The Afflicted Ch. 16byChiShyGuy©
The companions looked at each other with surprise. Martin had just given them a glimpse into his unique, analytic mind by deducing so quickly that he was the mechanic in the prophecy of the Elders.
"It makes sense," said Claude. "Loenshellen told us to follow our compass. Aimée felt she had to get Martin, but she didn't know why. He is our sixth."
"I agree," said Jacob. "You have an actual clockmaker. How do you know him?"
"It didn't seem important at the time," said Abby. "We met him in Paris. He was charming and gave us a clock – but it just seemed like a random encounter."
"Until just a little while ago," said Aimée. "Then, all the pieces fell into place in my mind."
For his part, Martin, in his usual distracted fashion, was peering at the complex machinery around them.
"There," he said. "No, there," he continued.
He was pointing to various spots on all of the machines, attempting to reckon the best spots to cripple the equipment.
"Yes, I have it now," he said. "I know every spot we need to hit. It won't take much, really. Just a loosened nut, or a bar in just the right places and we'll have this place useless to them. I'll know how to fix it if we need it, but it will take them weeks to figure it out."
"We can help. Just tell us what we can do," said Aimée.
"I wish I could describe it," said Martin. "But it's too complicated."
"Silly clockmaker," said Abby. "How quickly you forget who you are dealing with. Show me, and I'll show them."
"Oh, of course," said Martin.
Abby kissed him chastely which allowed her to lift the images and ideas out of his head. She transferred one image and idea at a time to each of her companions. As luck would have it, there were five precise spots that Martin believed would render the serum factory useless for at least a few days.
Now it was Abby's time to influence Arnet's followers. She was masterful at her job. Each person in the factory suddenly realized they had something to do – somewhere other than near a spot that needed to be sabotaged. One by one, they drifted off to other places and looked away in other directions.
Each of the five arrived at their spot with an implement in hand and set to work.
Aimée and Jacob's work was easiest – they simply had to toss in metal bars which fell into gears and began to slowly gum up the works. Glennis and Claude's sabotage operations involved snipping cooling tubes which would lead to massive overheating within the equipment within a few moments. Martin's work was the most complicated, he opened a gear box and reversed several gears as well as disengaging others. He had surmised that the operator would come to this junction first. The changes he was making within the gears assured that whoever tried to stop the entire assembly would actually set in motion the final death commands for the factory.
They didn't need to walk back to Abby, with four quick 'zips' Aimée had them back to their friend and with a small pop they were back at their abandoned hideout in Manhattan, ready to join the troops in the city.
"Where are you?" called out Abby to Frederique's mind.
"Fighting," said the beautiful fighter. "But don't come. I have a curious feeling. Lay low. That's an order."
As disappointed as they were in being denied the chance to fight, they felt they had accomplished a good amount of work that evening – and Frederique's tone left no possibility of argument.
The companions took a survey of the building where they were hiding. They found a back, internal stairway, and were pleased to discover that the ground floor was a dry-goods store and the basement was well stocked with wine, food, and even a secluded store room which seemed to have been closed for years based on the amount of rust on the hinges. No one would seek them out there.
The battle plan for the resistance was different this evening. Since combining forces with the Cadets, they had begun a more systematic approach. This evening, Seiko was leading ground forces while Scaurus and Frederique took two different flying contingents.
Palo had been asked to oversee the water supply issue and finish that before joining the battle. He was working with Karl, the finest inventor among the Afflicted (other than Franz).
Palo explained. "We need to be sure we have a steady supply of bleach going into the water for days so that we kill the serum as soon as it enters the system."
"These will work," said Karl.
They had devised large canisters with slow drip mechanisms.
"We just need to find a place to conceal it near the outlet valves."
"Can it work under water?" asked a voice in an Irish accent.
They turned to see Sean the swimmer approaching.
"I heard about your task and I thought I might be of assistance. Can you fix that so it comes out under water?"
"Well, yes," said Karl. "We would just need a better seal and a pressure spring, but it could be done fairly quickly. I have some concerns about just dropping it in, though. I would want it at just the right place."
"You worry about getting the equipment working– I'll get it to the bottom of the reservoir. Trust me."
"Very good," said Palo.
"Palo!" cried a woman's voice.
It was Hypatia, and she was sailing upon a huge sheaf of newsprint as though it were a magic carpet.
"What is it, Hypatia?" he called.
"Scaurus needs you, quickly. "
"We'll take it from here," said Karl. "Go."
Palo took Hypatia's hand in his. The paper she'd been riding upon rolled up neatly and floated into one of many scroll tubes she had slung on her shoulders. Off they flew.
The battles were proceeding well. Aimée's efforts to snatch the leaders had paid off with phenomenal returns. Without clearheaded, well-prepared leaders, Arnet's (now) thousands of followers had taken to generally milling about.
For the resistance, the night was proceeding with surprising ease. Arnet's Afflicted warriors were being hit with disabling wounds at a steady pace and it seemed that the evening would be a clear, decisive victory.
Suddenly, however, the course of battle turned. The Afflicted members of the resistance suddenly began to wither.
It happened with two flying fighters first. They had been fighting strongly but they simply began to fall. The resistance fighters around them watched in shock as the two warriors fell in fits and starts, eventually crashing to the street with a force that wasn't fatal, but certainly damaging.
On the next street over, two more fell and then non-fliers began growing nauseous and dropped to their knees.
"Disengage!" cried Frederique. "Something is wrong! "
All who were able scrambled or flew away. Frederique felt a brief flash of weakness herself, but was able to outfly whatever force was pulling at her.
From a great height, she retrieved a spyglass and looked down sadly to see over forty crippled Afflicted have needles put to their necks and succumb to the infectious, hypnotic spell of Arnet's blood.
Scaurus saw her and flew to meet her.
"This is bad," he said. "It seems like they've gotten portable dampeners that can project the field over some distance."
"Bordel de Merde!" cried Frederique. "If they can cover too large an area with that thing we don't stand a chance. "
"Ah, but they don't know about our secret weapon," said Scaurus. "And here it comes."
Palo and Hypatia ascended rapidly upward and hovered beside Scaurus and Frederique as Scaurus explained the situation.
"Can you sense any of them?" asked Scaurus of Palo.
Palo reached out with his senses and found the first of the dampeners. The workings quickly made sense to him.
He gave a wry chuckle. "I see exactly how to disable it, but I can't do it from this distance. I'll need to be closer."
"See what? Do what?" asked Frederique.
"My dear," explained Scaurus, "it seems that the clockmaker's gift has appeared again in a mate of Frederique. Palo, I'll take Hypatia, you explain it to Frederique – but quickly."
Hypatia could support herself on pieces of paper suspended in air, but it was not the effortless energy of the flyer and it was easier to have help when available. Scaurus took Hypatia's hand and floated a short distance away as Palo explained things in gentle tones to Frederique.
Frederique took the new information in calmly; resolving to face the greater implications of Palo's new ability after the battle was won.
"Very well," said Frederique. "Here is what we do. Scaurus and I will fly ahead of you to distract the people with the dampeners. They will aim at us, and we'll simply pray to god you can knock out each one before we hit the ground so we can return to flying again."
"Sounds like as good of a plan as any," agreed Scaurus. "Hypatia, why don't you go check on the progress of Pasteur and Jeannie? If we make headway, any counter-serum they can give us might prove to be critical in this battle."
Hypatia gave him an understanding nod and unfurled her 'carpet' once again. She flew swiftly back to the underground mansion.
In the forgotten storeroom below the dry goods store, Claude was pacing about manically.
"I want to go!" he said between gritted teeth. "I want to help."
"You heard mother," said Aimée. "That wasn't just an overprotective mother. That was a general giving very clear orders. For whatever reason, she wants us out of it. But still, I could help, too. They have no deplaceurs. I could move people around."
"I could attack from within," said Jacob.
"I could guess their very thoughts," insisted Abby.
"I'd rip them to shreds," said Claude. "I would slash their throats and drink their blood and it would make me stronger."
"Indeed," agreed Jacob.
Glennis and Martin watched the four with more than a bit of concern. Their four companions had a frightening look in their eyes that bordered on madness.
"We should go," said Aimée.
The four Afflicted debated back and forth, but Glennis perceived there was something deeper which needed fixed. She searched through some of the crates near them and found what she needed. Pulling Martin aside, they conferred – turned their backs – and then turned to their companions.
All four Afflicted suddenly stopped and turned toward the unmistakable scent which hit their nostrils.
Glennis and Martin each held a goblet in their hands and approached their friends. Each of them had a slashed finger and had filled their container with blood.
"You need this," said Glennis. "That's what has you so upset. It's been two days since you drank. Come on then."
Abby was the first to comprehend the need for this and was able to send out a soothing signal to the others.
"Of course," she said. "Give me some."
She lifted Glennis's goblet to her face, but quickly pushed it back toward the fair girl.
"No," she said. "There's something different about your blood. My body doesn't want it. Let me try Martin's."
She sipped from Martin's offering and gave a sigh of relief as her senses cleared. A few drops was all they needed. Yet, those drops came just in time. They had been on the brink of being very dangerous to their companions and others.
The others followed suit, drinking their ration. They were soon much calmer, but not calm enough.
There was still another hunger which was growing within their bodies.
They were in such an odd state they couldn't even recognize what they were feeling. Glennis, who had spent more time among the Afflicted, knew exactly what they were in need of.
"I know what's wrong," she said. "Come here Claude."
She walked to Claude and took his hand in hers. She pulled him to Abby and put that same hand on Abby's breast. The singing of nerves and the way their systems cried out to each other was instant. Aimée comprehended the situation and was quickly in Jacob's arms.
There were no doubts as to where things would go from there. Claude took Abby's hand and led her to a row of crates where they dipped down out of sight. Aimée took Jacob's hand, and led him to another corner that availed them of some privacy.
The sounds of passion began to grow louder. Glennis and Martin sat side by side on a crate.
"They have to," said Glennis, blushing. "It comes with the Affliction. They can't help it."
"I gathered that," said Martin, his cheeks also red. "Still, I suppose if you have to do something – a few drops of blood and lots of that – not too shabby."
"True," said Glennis.
They sat in more awkward silence as several pieces of clothing flew over the crates shielding Aimée and Jacob.
"Do you need to?" asked Martin.
"Oh, no," said Glennis. "I'm not made like them. I've been considering trying that. To tell the truth I never have."
"Neither have I," said Martin after a pause.
The moans grew louder.
"We could kiss," offered Glennis. "I like kissing and it might help distract from... them."
"I would be agreeable to that," said Martin.
They started kissing. It definitely helped to distract.
Behind one row of crates, Claude hadn't even gotten his trousers off. He was lying on his back and Abby was sucking hungrily at his cock.
"Don't hold back," she insisted. "You've got plenty more."
She twisted his cock in her hands, gave a simple lick, and reached out to give a tiny mental nudge. The gushing began.
She was so randy, so hungry, there was no volume of cum Claude could produce that she couldn't swallow. Like one stranded in the desert tasting their first water in days, she let this lovely white fluid pour down her throat and swallowed with abandon. Before the last drops had finished streaming, she had climbed aboard his massive, resilient cock, and was riding him to satiate her own needs.
Across the room, behind their own crates, if one hadn't known better they would have thought Aimée was having a delicious erotic, solo, fantasy. She was lying naked upon the ground and moaning with pleasure and seemed to be kissing an imaginary lover. However, there were a few telltale signs that this was no flight of fancy, no sensuous daydream. As she moaned and twisted her body, her breasts grew flatter and more round as though they were being crushed from above. She kissed, too – her lips crushed by her invisible lover, her tongue dancing with his imperceptible moist and hungry mouth.
Above all, if one were looking for signs of how real her lover was, they needed to only look at her bald and glistening pussy. Her lower lips were spread wide and open, gaping from the presence of a long and powerful tool. Piercing her inner sanctum, Jacob couldn't help but be somewhat visible as his juice-soaked cock slid in and out, her sweet nectar creating a diaphanous shaft that continued parting her down below.
Evident, too, was the impossibly long path Jacob's cock was taking in and out of her. He was taking full thrusts, and with each push her skin rippled from her pelvis to far up her belly as his invisible snake plundered her Garden of Eden.
The invisible intruder started to slow and she moaned with ecstasy as her own orgasm gripped her body.
"Cum with me Jacob," she pleaded, "cum right now."
The invisible cock within her held one more surprise. Jacob's moan rang out and the young stallion began to empty torrents of seed into her belly. At the spot where the long raised protrusion of his invisible rod terminated in her womb, a bulge began to grow as two days' worth of cum filled her more than she could have possibly imagined. Her hands clawed at his invisible back and bright red stripes hung in the air as Jacob poured himself into her. He was soon spent and he collapsed on top of her, coming back into view as he did so. Aimée sighed at the comforting feeling of his body atop her, and the boiling hot volumes of cum within her.
On the other side of the crates, things had progressed surprisingly quickly with Martin and Glennis. Their tops were now off and they were kissing passionately. Her hand reached curiously down his pants to find a lovely, warm, stiff surprise within.
"Does that feel good?" she asked.
"Oh yes," he concurred. "Does this?"
His own hand had sought out her treasures below her skirt. His hands displayed surprising tenderness as he found her secret spot. Being a 'mechanic', after all, he had long ago sought out clandestine books that taught him the workings of the mysterious machine called 'woman'.
In answer to his question, Glennis could only nod and gasp, leaning in to kiss him fervently. She pushed his pants down to allow her better access.
Behind the other crates, Abby was now seated lotus-style, mid-air. With only Claude's index fingers touching hers, he was lifting her up and down his monstrous shaft with his extended flight abilities. Each plunge sent a ripple of pleasure through her frame. She knew if she wished, they could go on for hours, but now it seemed best to hurry things along. She reached down with her free hand and began rubbing her clit slowly in time with Claude's cunt-splitting manipulations. She felt the orgasm beginning. In her pleasure she forgot to put up the usual mental precautions.
Like a shock wave from a bomb, her orgasm ripped through the others in the room. Jacob and Aimée, who had been drifting in post-coital slumber found themselves awakened with lovely gasps. Jacob's cock, which had been slowly softening within Aimée, went from half-hard to unbending in a second, and from there to spraying another impossibly huge load into Aimée's cavern as she also gave into every pleasure center in her body being flipped to 'on'. Claude, too, though he had climaxed scarce minutes before, tipped over into climax and filled the tiny redhead to overflowing.
Most surprised of all were Glennis and Martin, who had certainly been engaged in heavy petting, but hadn't been near climax. Martin groaned out in surprise as his cock began shooting ropes of cum onto the dusty floor. Glennis, too, was paralyzed with pleasure – and the two virgins' only regret was that they weren't able to watch their partner's climax more closely due to being in the thralls of their own.
"Sorry, "whispered Abby's embarrassed voice from behind the crates.
The entire room began to giggle and from there collapsed into laughter. This was probably a good thing, because it distracted the randy companions from the dangerous mating lust that lingered, as always, in the background.
Their needs satisfied, they all began to get dressed again.
Hypatia gave a cursory nod to the guard. As usual, the guard dispensed of the customary security checks with the great scholar. She started toward the kitchen-now-lab to check on the progress of the two scientists.
Pasteur was carefully placing the vials back into the incubating safe. There was now a seventh in the mix. The vials were no longer red, but had been spun out on the centrifuge, separating the red from the white cells, and settling the almost amber cells of the Affliction at the very bottom. The top layers had been suctioned away, leaving only the unique cells of the Afflicted in the bottom fourth of each vial. Also within the safe was Pasteur's emergency kit which he had used when saving Aimée's life after her encounter with Bullet. Pasteur closed the safe door and was about to lock it when he heard the footsteps.
"Hypatia, hello," said Jeannie. "How does the battle go?"
"Back and forth, but I believe that triumphs is near."
"How are things going with you?" asked Hypatia. "Any progress on the counter-serum?"
"You're about to see for yourself," said Pasteur. "Jeannie has prepared the culture and we think we have it this time."
Before them was a large, ten-liter beaker. The thermometer in the fluid showed it to be just over body temperature. Pasteur took a syringe and squeezed a few drops of light amber fluid into the liquid.