Chapter 1 – Something I Want
Mike Henderson was in his penthouse suite on the 30th floor in the Oakley Hotel in downtown Silverstone, but he wasn’t alone. Two call girls were in the bathroom freshening up for their late night endeavors. Even though it was 2 o’clock in the morning, the June heat still lingered, so Mike opened his wall-to-wall window and gazed out into the city night lights. He didn’t know, however, that someone was looking back.
The girls came out of the bathroom ready to have some fun. Mike padded over to them and began to kiss them both. The kisses were soft and slow at first, but grew in intensity. The three went to the bed, clothes coming off as moans and sighs of lust and passion were let out. One of the girls began to straddle Mike, while the other girl held him down and continued to kiss him, rubbing her breasts over his face as she went down his body with kisses.
The girls’ moans grew louder as Mike continued to thrust harder and deeper. The other girl moved off to the side, rubbing herself while she watched the other two. Their moaning grew louder and louder. Thrusting faster, deeper, and as they were about to reach the climax, they were interrupted by the sound of a loud click and a low growl.
“Jesus-fucking-Christ,” Mike shouted and ejaculated all over himself as the girls cowered in the corner. Before he had a chance to clean himself off with the bed sheets, Mike found himself looking up the barrel of a highly customized gun made to look like a wolf. His eyes followed the barrel, up the arm, until he stared into a pair of golden-yellow eyes glowing in the darkened room. The hood the shadowy figure wore hid all other details of its face. “Holy shit,” Mike gasped. “You’re him! The one they warned me about! The Nightmare!”
Nightmare let out a low growl. “Bitches, leave,” he said in a ghostly whisper.
The girls gathered their things and left the room without bothering to put their clothes back on.
“What do you want,” Mike asked, his voice squeaking with fear.
“Where are they,” Nightmare demanded.
“You know very-fucking-well who!” Nightmare shoved his gun in Mike’s face as he spoke. “You sell illegally obtained weapons to them every now and then. My patience is wearing thin, Henderson. I will ask one more time. Where are Nova and Ifrit?”
“I-I-I don’t know! They contact me! Set up a meeting spot. I-it’s different every time! It’s never the same spot twice!”
“Show me where!”
“I can’t! They meet me at a drop-off point, blindfold me, and put me in a plain room with no windows! I’m telling the truth, I swear!”
“You said they warned you about me. What else did they tell you?”
Before Mike had a chance to speak, the door to the room was kicked down and five Banshee soldiers entered the room, guns blazing. Nightmare dodged their fire, but Mike was not as quick. The bullets hit Mike with armor-piercing strength, blowing chunks of flesh and bone, blood spraying everywhere. The soldiers had lost sight of Nightmare and began scanning the room for him.
The penthouse suite was big, taking up the entire 30th floor of the building, which was the top floor. The room was all open. No walls separating the room save for the bathroom. There was a bar at the end of the room, a pit area that acted like a living room; a huge flat-screen, sofas, etc. The rest of the room had a marble dinette set, art, and sculptures all along the walls. The balcony had a pool and Jacuzzi. The bathroom was practically a mini spa, complete with a large tub, shower, and sauna.
The soldiers activated their night-vision goggles and continued to search for Nightmare. A bottle of vodka was thrown from the bar and hit one of the soldiers in the head, knocking him to the floor. The other four soldiers started firing at the bar; glass, wood, and granite flying everywhere, until their guns clicked empty. They slowly walked over to the bar, reloading their weapons, and checked behind the bar. The soldiers found nothing but debris.
Nightmare started laughing maniacally. The sound was coming from everywhere. The soldiers were searching the room, frantically looking for their target. The laughing grew louder and the soldiers were beginning to panic. Then Nightmare spoke.
“Your sins to be named,” he began his judgment prayer, a sadistic thing he does before every kill. “Your crimes to be paid.” Nightmare ghosted in, punched one soldier in the face, grabbed another by the neck and snapped it, and then ghosted out. “The souls of your victims cry out in pain.” Nightmare started laughing again as the remaining four Banshee soldiers turned to where their fallen comrade was and fired, hitting nothing but the dead body. Two shots were fired from behind the soldiers, hitting two of them in the head. The last two turned around and started firing; bullets not finding their target once again. “Granted unto me their will and ire!” Nightmare continued laughing “Judgment shall be cast, and your souls, for all eternity, will burn!” Nightmare slashed a soldier in the throat, tearing open his jugular, and rushed the last soldier, grabbing him by the neck, dangling him outside the window. “In Hell’s fire.”
The soldier squirmed and struggled against Nightmare’s grip, like a dangling worm on a hook. “Now, before I kill you,” Nightmare said. “Where are Nova and Ifrit? Better yet, where the fuck is Kayla?!” The soldier continued to struggle, not saying a word. Nightmare tore off the soldier’s night-vision goggles and ski mask and saw that his mouth was sewn shut. “What the fuck,” Nightmare gasped.
A two-way radio squawked to life from somewhere on the Banshee soldier. “Well, well, Nightmare. It has been some time, hasn’t it?”
Nightmare recognized the voice immediately. “Silas. You piece of shit!”
“Ah, ah, ah,” Nova said. “I have discontinued use of that name. I am Nova, now. Please be respectful and address me accordingly. You wouldn’t like it if I went around blabbing out your real identity while you were in uniform, now would you…Lucian?”
“Where the fuck is Kayla?!”
“No finesse, whatsoever. Always have to be the brute, don’t you, Nightmare? Let us try this with some class. I have something you want. You have something I want. So, a deal we shall make.”
“Fine. Here’s the deal: give me Kayla now, safe and sound, and I’ll grant you a quick, but excruciatingly painful, death!”
“Typical comeback from a would-be superhero. Now let’s be serious. Kayla’s life hangs in the balance.”
“What is it that you want, Nova,” Nightmare asked, spitting out the words as he spoke.
“Now we’re getting somewhere. Let’s see. What do I want? Ah. I got it! In exchange for Kayla’s life, I want you to relinquish your Nox suit to me.”
Nightmare growled and tightened his grip on the thrashing Banshee soldier. “How do I know Kayla is still alive?”
“Your dear hero wishes to speak with you,” Nova said.
“Lucian,” Kayla spoke through the radio. Her voice was a sore whisper.
“Don’t give this crazy son of a bitch anything, Luke! He plans to mass produce the suits to—”
“Alright, that’s enough out of you,” Nova said, cutting her off. “It’s all true, by the way, Mr. Hero. I do plan to mass produce the suits.”
“To what end, Silas?! What do you hope to gain from all of this?!”
“Aside from the fact that there is strength in numbers, and power is everything, I wish to push my genius to its limits and create a vast army for His Grace, and, together, we shall reinvent the world!” Nova begins to laugh, then says, “Or something to that effect. I don’t really care. Just so long as I can sate my intellect, I could care less what He does with the suits or the world.”
“‘He’? So you really are just someone’s little bitch, aren’t you, Silas?”
“The name is Nova, you dumb fuck! And you better show more respect! Remember, Kayla is with me, and…accidents do happen. Now give me the suit and I’ll let the two of you die in each other’s arms!”
“Try and take it from me, you piece of shit. Just wait till I find you, Silas. I’ll make you beg for me to kill you!”
“If you survive the explosion,” Nova said.
“Oh, yes. I forgot to mention. My soldiers are rigged to explode at my command. And I just pushed the red button.” Nova started laughing.
Nightmare heard beeping and saw red lights flashing on the bodies of the four dead soldiers. He turned to face the last soldier he held and saw the same flashing lights.
“Oh, fuck,” Nightmare shouted. He threw the soldier back into the room and used his Shadow Hand ability, being able to move things from afar similar to telekinesis, to launch himself out of the window. The bombs detonated, engulfing the entire 30th floor in flames, and raining down glass and debris as Nightmare fell.
Nightmare stared at the inferno. An entire month of searching gone to waste, Nightmare thought to himself. People keep dying around me. If it weren’t for me, none of this would have happened. I can end it all here. I can end my suffering. No one else would have to suffer. I can put a stop to all of this bullshit. But they wouldn’t forgive me. Kayla, I will find you. Arianna, I will bring you back. Esperanza, I will come back to you.
Nightmare took out his grappling hook and used it to latch on to one of the lower balconies of the hotel and gained control of his descent until he was low enough to jump to the ground. The building’s occupants were running out of the building in a frenzied panic, sirens growing louder, drowning out the hotel’s fire alarms. Nightmare landed in a crouch in the alley behind the Oakley Hotel.
He rose from the ground slowly. He turned and looked back at the burning building. “Not my problem,” he said to himself. “I’ve got more important things to do.” Nightmare dusted himself off and was about to walk away from the scene when he heard the sounds of guns being cocked.
“Freeze,” shouted a woman. “Put your hands where I can see them!”