The Commission - 12
The Commission Part 12: The Eye of the Storm
Los Angeles and elsewhere December 4 9 AM Pacific local time
The city of Los Angeles burned in the morning hours. A massive crater, nearly 5 miles across, marked where the downtown area had once been. Away from the crater, nothing stood for miles around, and what remained was burning. Even further away, in those areas protected from the blast and thermal pulses of the massive detonation by mountains and hills, more fires burned and buildings were shattered by the immense earthquake a few hours before.
Hundreds of thousands of refugees, mostly on foot, as all the roads and overpasses where shattered or blocked by stalled or wrecked cars, streamed their way out of the ruined city, looking for somewhere to go.
Across the planet, the scene was
repeated at a 100 cities. The biggest cities in the world were no more, and
the death toll was already cataclysmic. Smaller scenes of devastation marked
another 300 places. Here the detonations had been smaller, only a megaton
instead of the 10 megatons that had hit the big cities. But the targets were
smaller and the destruction just as complete. Major military bases that had
housed army divisions and brigades, national command centers (such as Cheyenne
Mountain), and several regional (that is state capitals in the United States,
provincial capitals elsewhere) were gone as well.
Morro Bay 9:15
Shaken police officers, state troopers and EMTs walked around in a daze at the badly damaged house that that had been the target of the FBI raid a few hours before. Those that could, had already started walking or driving home to look after the families after the staggering earthquake, nearly 9 on the Richter scale, that had brought destruction to their home. A few, who had families too far away to reach, or no families at all, stood around, wondering what happened to all of the Federal agents, and the suspects.
No one was in the home anymore, and after a while, they left also, to do what they could for the people around them. There were survivors to look for down at the harbor, where a massive wave had swept over the sand dunes and smashed the docks and waterfront 30 minutes before. The strangeness of the hours before no longer mattered.
Donner Pass and elsewhere 9:30
The first of the cocoons began to open in the morning light. It was cold, and the snow had already covered most of the cocoons, but the larger ones glowed for several minutes, melting the covering snow, before opening. Where once helicopters had been, large winged shapes shook off the debris of their cocoons, and held up their reptilian heads and roared. An observer, if any had wandered in over the last few hours, would have been struck by how much they resembled dragons.
Silver City New Mexico, Noon local time
Grim concentrated as he drove the 4 wheel drive Jeep along the narrow mountain road leading up to Gila Cliff Dwellings National Park. Traffic had been light, as expected, as quakes had inflicted some damage in Albuquerque and most of those not affected were glued to CNN, which was still operating out of Atlanta and reporting the massive damage suffered around the world.
On the front seat, a large briefcase rested, where a number of doll figures rested in soft padding. Hans and Gavin where in the back seat, talking quietly as they made plans about their next move.
“How much longer before the next event?” Gavin asked.
“The pyramids are talking to each other now, and it shouldn’t be to long. The Demi-God Caredoc, my friend and our patron, the, wasn’t too sure of the exact time line after the asteroids hit. He just said that within a couple of days the magic field would be in effect, and that it would wreck most of the technology of the inhabitants here.” Hans replied, his mouth in a tight line.
Neither of the men could shake the images from the morning news, or from what their eyes had seen. Massive fireballs, earthquakes, tsunamis, and the mysterious pyramids. The world was indeed ending here, at least the world the people of this planet had known.
“I have an idea about getting some more of these people out, and helping the rest.” Hans said after a few more minutes. “It will cost us though, and you aren’t going to like it I suspect.”
Gavin looked at Hans warily, “let me guess, you want to make another deal with Caredoc don’t you.”
“Yes, that’s part of it, but it’s for a good cause.” Hans replied, and pulled out his pipe. “I want to open a permanent portal between here and Shiron, and another one between your Earth and Shiron.”
“I know the answer to this, but I am asking anyway,” Grim piped up from the front seat, “why exactly?”
“He wants to get more people out, and I am betting he wants people to come back and fight the invaders.” Gavin replied, “I bet he means me,” he added sardonically.
“Naturally, although I actually what I want is to send back most of the people that Sarah and the others have kidnapped, after suitable training. They will be the seeds of the resistance that will eventually liberate this planet after the Shadow Lords conquer it.”
“And we get to help?” Grim replied, hope and wariness in his voice.
“Yes, we get to help.” Gavin replied.
“Uh, one thing though, what is the part I don’t like?” Gavin remarked after mulling over the idea.
Hans sighed as he lit his pipe. “Well, Caredoc will do this, but.” Hans inhaled the tobacco and blew out a smoke ring. “He will want something in return.”
Gavin sighed, he knew what was coming.
“Yes, you guessed it. He will want more women for his harem.” Hans nodded.
“Greedy, isn’t he,” Gavin remarked.
“Well, the Gods tend to be a lusty lot. You know the mythology on this planet, especially the Greek stuff, they do like to dabble with human women.” Hans grinned for a moment, “I seem to remember that you like to as well.”
“Ok, I guess the price is reasonable. Not exactly altruistic is he?” Gavin replied, ignoring the jibe.
“Have the gods, with a couple of exceptions, ever been known for altruism?” Hans remarked.
Gavin reached forward, and pulled the briefcase into the back seat. Opening it, he looked at the collection of dolls packed away inside.
“Hmm, I notice that my girls seem to be naked, oh Prince of Shiron, now why is that?” Gavin remarked cynically. “And you talk about me liking to dabble with the human women.”
“Yes, well, you did such a good job with them, and they were beautiful to start with. How could I resist.”
Hans replied with a grin. “Besides, I have noticed they do like to show off now and again.”
“Oh yes, they do like to show off.” Gavin replied, grinning. He couldn’t really blame Hans, he would have done the same. He picked up Sarah, a beautiful little figurine of ivory, her face composed and relaxed. He caressed it with his fingers, thinking about her.
“You get to help too, Sarah,” Gavin remarked and he placed her aside, sorting out Cheryl, Cindy, Michelle and Kim from the others inside, “All of you do. So rest while you can.”
Sorting through the others, he recognized the little plush doll that could only be that FBI agent he had come to enjoy seeing on television. Although she was now simply a plush doll, still somehow, even though her eyes were expressionless glass buttons, the spell had still caught her with a firm look of defiance somehow remaining on her mouth. Although it was simply yarn, it still had a firm set to it, as if she was still determined and fighting.
“Well, Special Agent Molly Malone. I think you and I need to talk soon. I bet you have a lot of questions.” Gavin remarked.
Hans grinned as he looked over at Gavin talking to the transformed woman. He was sure she did.
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Park 4 PM
The three men sat in the kitchen of the Park manager’s house, eating some eggs and bacon. The residents would probably have complained, if they, along with a dozen other park employees and a few campers had not been charmed into compliance and then transformed into more dolls for the growing collection.
Grim served some more food to the weary Elf and Half Elf, both of whom had dark circles under their eyes now and were clearly exhausted.
His voice almost shaking with exhaustion, Hans ordered Gavin to bring awaken one of the girls. “We need them to take care of things for a while, both of us need rest.”
Gavin nodded, and stood up and walked slowly into the next room. On the desk that had belonged to the park manager, a weather beaten but still attractive Hispanic woman in her 40s (until she was transformed into a plastic image of herself the size of a Barbie doll anyway), was the briefcase.
Pulling out Sarah, he set her down on the floor and mumbled a spell. The little ivory figurine glowed a bright golden color for a moment, before it suddenly seemed to grow to life size in a few seconds.
Sarah, her mind awash in a peaceful feeling of bliss, felt like she was floating on a cloud. Sometime before, she wasn’t sure how long, she had felt Gavin caress her, and she was still treasuring the feeling of warmth and love it had given her. She had felt through the other girls when they were touched as well, and for her, all was finally alright in her world. She was back with her Wes, and she didn’t really care anymore about anything else for now.
He was touching her again, and the feelings swept through her. A sweet excitement that almost consumed her as she felt herself be lifted up and then placed again on the ground. And then she felt the magic encompass her, and then it came again, and suddenly she was kissing him and she could move again. Sarah seized him in a fierce embrace, kissing him until finally he pulled away a little bit so he could talk.
For the first time, she felt his weariness, and concern swept through her.
“Oh Wes, are you alright?” She asked, and feeling him starting to collapse, she gripped him tight to hold him up.
“Yes, just so tired, I need you to wake the others.” Gavin replied, and then he sank into sleep, fatigue finally overwhelming him.
Grim hurried in, while Hans, almost as weary, sat at the table, watching with dull eyes. Grim helped Sarah move Wes to the couch, where they laid him down, his snores already noticeable.
“Where are we, Grim?” Sarah asked, and noticing that she was nude and it was a bit chilly in the room, she grabbed a knit cover of one of the chairs and wrapped it around herself. “The Arctic?!” she asked, shivering.
“Not quite,” Grim said, smiling a bit, it was always a pleasure to see one of Gavin’s girls naked, “the mountains of northern New Mexico. Gila Ruins National Park specifically.”
“Near the gate then?” Sarah asked, as she sat down and stroked Gavin’s hair, “are we leaving.”
“Not just yet.”
‘Ok, well, I don’t suppose you brought some clothes with you Hans?” she asked, glaring his way.
In spite of his fatigue, he smiled, “well, not actually, but there are bound to be some in the bedrooms.”
“Fine” Sarah remarked, a bit icely. Although she didn’t mind showing off, it was damned cold in this house, and it was just like a man to forget to pack properly. Although, it had been a busy day she decided.
“Umm, what day is it anyway?”
“This morning we were in Morro Bay.” Hans replied, “Now if you don’t mind, I am going to sleep, Grim will fill you in. Could you wake Gavin and I an hour before midnight? We have a meeting.” He ordered.
“Yes your Highness.” Sarah replied, back to business again.
An hour later, all five women were awake, and had found some clothes. Only Kim had clothes that fit her, the park manager being roughly her size, while the other women had been forced to make do with clothes from the house, or from the ones nearby.
Cindy was already on the computer, searching for news, while the other girls watched television, grateful that the Park Service provided satellite television to staff quarters out here in the sticks. Grim filled them in somewhat, leaving out the part about the deal, only mentioning that Gavin and Hans had a meeting at midnight with their patron.
“An actual demi-god; well I guess we are getting to the now I have seen everything part.” Cheryl said, replying for them all.
Watching the news, it was clear that things were coming apart fast everywhere. In the United States, cities like Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Dallas were gone, and every major army and marine base was too. Overseas, major cities like London, Tokyo, Alexandria (the list went on and one and they stopped caring after a while, it was too painful) were gone too. Hundreds of millions dead, and the worst part was still to come.
The pyramids were not in the news though, although a brief report mentioned that a news crew that had traveled form Sacramento to Donner Pass had reported something unusual before they stopped reporting about the time of the asteroid strikes.
More worrisome, at least from the perspective of the news people, was the effects of the destruction. Vast clouds of dust, debris and smoke were already spreading, and news people were already speculating about the possibility of a nuclear type winter.
“Well, we know that won’t be a problem long, don’t we,.” Cheryl said through clinched teeth.
Michelle replied, wiping away tears, “no, at least the invaders will fix that problem. I guess triggering an ice age would ruin their plans.”
Grim nodded. The invaders would make sure an ice age wasn’t a problem. Not that they hadn’t created enough problems to make up for it. He watched the five women as they dealt with the catastrophe. They were brave alright, and probably because it wasn’t their Earth made it somewhat bearable. But on an instinctual level, it might as well be their world. Familiar names, places, people, all destroyed or doomed and there was so little they could do. He was proud of them though, and he knew they would see what came next through.
Although he was glad HE wasn’t going to be the one who told them what that was!
Let's Make a Deal...