Just a little twisted
Warning, this short story contains graphic and disturbing scenes of violence. It may not be suitable for all audiences.
"Don't mind Angela, she's just a little twisted." That's what Basher said.
Basher is a Dwarf but he's was the tallest dwarf that you'll ever meet. At 6'9" he towers over most humans and some orks. That's because of his customized troll sized cyberlegs. They make him look like an absolute freak, like he literally made out of legs. He doesn't care, though. "I may look like a freak, but at least I ain't short."
Basher isn't your average dwarf, either. No, he ain't. Most dwarfs you meet in the shadows are either mages or riggers. I don't know why, that's just the way it is. Sort of like how most trolls are adepts or samurai. Basher, though, Basher is an adept. He's what they call a berserker. When the drek hits the fan he takes out his fragging combat axe and just chops people up like he was a lumberjack and they were trees. It doesn't matter if they're fragging Red Samurai or Lone Star or little kids or his best buddies, anybody who gets near him when he's like that is going to go home in boxes.
And he called Angela a little twisted.
The team was Blackheart, Sweet, Mambo, Basher, Cheech, and me. We worked together regularly on these kind of runs but we weren't a permanent outfit or anything. We were all members of Louis' stable, he just put us together depending on what kind of skills we needed. I hadn't been around for the last year; I was on an extended assignment hunting army ants in Amazonia. It was fun; I blew a lot of stuff up.
Cheech was our driver, a Latino ork who lived in a rundown apartment with his 'friend' would smoke pretty much anything that would burn in his quest for the ultimate high. He was a little flaky but he could drive anything, literally. From spaceships to tricycles, if it has a motor then Cheech could make it do miracles.
Mambo was our face. I don't know if Mambo is a man or a woman and I really don't care to check. He responds to either pronoun and deflects any questions about his gender. Either way, he's a sly and slick motherfragger. Mambo's is usually androgenous but his appearance changes from run to run, depending on what is needed. Sometimes he is a handsome and apparently well-built man, sometimes he is the most voluptuous woman imaginable. But, it doesn't really matter what he looks like; either way he can talk anybody into doing anything if they make the mistake of listening to him for long enough.
He's a nice guy (or girl) and good in the sack, I hear, but if he ever tried to communicate with you I suggest just punching him in the face because he'll end up convincing you to do something that is not in your best interest if you actually pay any attention to him. Mambo has talked and flirted his way into more cash-registers, vaults, high security facilities than I've been able to open up with my guns, bombs, torches and that makes him invaluable, even if talking to him is dangerous. I don't know what metatype he is, either. He could be a very small troll for all I know.
Sweet was a security man, the best of the best. He could crack just about any electronic security system, ranging from a matrix-controlled maglock to a full building rig. If he couldn't beak it then he could take control of it and if he couldn't take control of it then he could break it. He was also the ugliest elf that I have ever seen. He might have been the ugliest elf in existence, for all I know. If he had some fake tusks he could have passed for an ork. I say 'was' and 'could have' because he recently had an accident involving members of the Dixie Mafia and a woodchipper down in Alabama. They accidentally fed him into it piece by piece after they accidentally emptied an AK-97 into him twice.
Blackheart was a comic book shaman. He patterned himself after some 20th century comic book villain. He was our magical support, most of the time. He was a weird guy but he made sure that spirits and other nasties didn't get us. Human, I think. It was hard to tell under all of the special effects.
Basher, was our cyclone of death, as always. That's really the only thing he was good at. And I was the guy with the guns and the bombs and the torches. Shoot it, blow it up, and set it on fire, that's what I did and that's what I do.
Were were hired to bust open an Atlentean foundation vault and grab something inside. Our Johnson usually got his money from DMIR and was lazy about laundering it. They were probably our ultimate employers on this one, so it felt better than most of our jobs.
It would have been a cakewalk if not for the fact that this is the Alantean Foundation we're running against. For a bunch of loony bookworms they have plenty of guns and even more mojo.
Sweet grabbed the building's blueprints off the matrix without a hitch but Blackheart nearly dreked in his pants when he did his weird eye thing. He said that he couldn't handle there magical security, that the spirits alone would tear us all apart. I believed him, he would know.
Blackheart suggested scrubbing the mission but Sweet thought we should bring in Angela. Basher agreed. Blackheart did not like the idea at all and neither did Mambo. I'd never met Angela before, she hook up with Louis while I was blowing up bugs down south. Cheech didn't care either way, he'd never worked with her before, either.
I asked Blackheart if Angela could handle the boogymen that he saw. "Yeah, but...", was all I got out of him and it was all I cared about. I'm not a quitter and I've never turned down a mission that I could complete. Mambo left, he said that he couldn't work with Angela. Blackheart almost went with him but we were able to talk him into staying. Without Mambo finesse was impossible and we'd need all the magic we could get.
"Don't mind Angela, she's just a little twisted." That's what Basher said as we sat in the back of Cheech's armored van on the street of a very high class suburban neighborhood. Cheech stopped in front of an expensive 3-story home with a perfectly manicured lawn and a 600,000 nuyen sportscar in the driveway and he honked the horn in the prearranged pattern. Yeah, it was obvious. But it is better to be obvious behind four inches of plasteel and a pop-up missile launcher. Than it is to be obvious out in the open and there is no way that someone wouldn't notice a bunch of thugs in a paramilitary vehicle on this street. Luckily, the rich snobs pride themselves of their discretion. Sure, they gossip amongst themselves, but plenty of them have fragged worse than the likes of us. They know not to rock the boat or talk to the wrong people and the police are always the wrong people.
After a moment a woman walked out of the house, Angela. She was a human in her late teens/early 20s with dark brown hair dressed in grey sweatpants and a black lycra top that accentuated her rather impressive abdomen. She looked like she had swallowed a basketball.
Basher opened the back of the van and let her in, greeting her like an old friend. Blackheart looked nervous. I couldn't see Cheech or Sweet, they were both in the front.
So I asked Basher, "Are you sure that she's the person that we need?"
"Yeah, I'm sure. It doesn't matter what kind of mojo they have guarding the place. She'll beat it, she's the best.", that's what Basher said.
"You're do sweet", that's what Angela said. She said "You're so sweet" and she kissed him on the cheek. Basher is about as sweet as a Tasmanian devil with rabies.
"Are you sure you're up to it in your condition" I mean, this isn't exactly safe for the baby and all and you probably can't move very fast."
"Don't worry, she said, "being pregnant just makes me stronger."
"She's a Great Mother shaman", it was the first sound that Blackheart made since she climbed into the van.
And then she said, "I'm not exactly a shaman; I'm studying Unified Magical Theory at Seattle Universities. I do follow the Great Mother."
She seemed compelled to give us, her life story, "When I got pregnant for the first time I was just a kid and the guy who said he'd love me forever dumped me like a sack of potatoes. I was scared and ashamed and I was considering an abortion. I didn't even have enough courage to tell my parents. But then She came to me in a dream and showed me a better way. She showed me that I could become very powerful if I loved my children and dedicated myself to nurturing and protecting them as soon as my first pregnancy was over I went to a fertility clinic and started again."
"Do you have it?" She asked Basher.
"Yeah, it over there." He pointed to a hard case containing a fetal ultrasound system and medkit.
She picked it up, popped it open and set it up. Obviously she had done this many times before.
She took great pride in showing off the babies in her womb, pointing out each one and telling us their names. The boy was Mikey and the three girls with Olivia, Misty, and Georgia. I asked her how she could tell the girls apart., she just said that "a mother knows." For a while she just talked to them. She was very limber and was able to put her face fright against her swollen belly. She used the ultrasound to show her where to look as she addressed each one of them by name.
I turned away from the spectacle and started grilling Blackheart. He obviously didn't want to be in the same van with her. He was about to jump out of his skin just sitting there.
"Why you so nervous, Blackheart", I asked, "those kids yours?"
"I don't like the way she does things; she's...", A grunt of pain from Angela cut him off.
I looked back at her and saw that she had an icepick in her hand, its blade piercing her distended abdomen. The ultrasound monitor showed the icepick piercing the baby boy's head.
Angela set aside the bloody pick and closed the wound with emergency foam and then she started talking to her belly again. "You're a good little baby, Mikey, yes you are. Yes, yes, your dead now Mikey. You died so good for mommy. You're so good at dying mommy loves you so much."
"She's just a little twisted", Basher finished Blackheart's interrupted thought.
The thing in the van was a little creepy, but I really didn't get what Basher meant until we were right in front of the vault. We had gone in shooting and there were bodies everywhere. A couple of guards were dead and a couple of spirits were gone but there was then one guy in full military armor, probably a troll. I hit him in the face with a mini-grenade and he didn't even show down. He had me pinned behind a potted plant with a sturdy plascreet base.
While this guy was shooting at me with his machine gun, there was this giant rock thing, some sort of spirit, beating Basher to a bloody pulp
And then this thing, this monster, flew past me. Flew. It was this tiny bloody baby boy with his umbilical cord and placenta trailing behind him like a grotesque tail attached to his belly. His mouth was evil. There is no other way to describe it. He had these giant yellow teeth, literally the size of katanas. His mouth was bigger than his entire body. I still can't understand it. His eyes, they glowed red.
I looked back at Angela and there was this giant hole in her belly where her kid's possessed corpse tore its way out of her. One of her daughter's had spilled out of the wound, or she reached in and grabbed it when I wasn't looking, I don't know. The girls umbilical cord was still attached inside her.
And she had had her hand around the premature kid's neck, squeezing. Its eyes were bulging out as it struggled to breath. The little girl couldn't have survived outside her mom, I don't think. She was too early, but she tried. She clawed at her mother's strangling hand. She tried to breath but she couldn't and she started to turn blue. And Angela's wound started to heal. The bluer her baby got the faster the wound closed.
The possessed mutant fetus corpse that flew past me went for the heavily armored guard first. It ate his helmeted head with a single geometry-defying chomp and the tiny monster downed the rest of him with a second bite, in spite of the fact that the huge man was like a mountain compared to the tiny premature infant. It then flew into the spirit that was pummeling Basher and did something to it. I don't know what I saw the monster do to that spirit I just know that it was wrong. It was so wrong and I vomited right there.
When I finally finished heaving I looked up from the pool of DNA evidence and half-digested soyza and then I started heaving again. Angela's wound had closed but she still held the girl fetus by the neck. She had torn her daughter's abdomen open with her teeth and was eating the still living fetus' innards. The little baby was crying as her mom chewed on her vital organs
When she finished swallowing her then dead child's guts she pointed at the vault door and smiled; Baby flesh was visible between her teeth. Not even the foot-thick diamond-reinforced plasteel door could withstand her depravity. It shuddered and groaned and cracked and split in two, just because she pointed at it with that evil baby-eating grin on her face.
We got the trinket and we got out alive. Any job you give her she'll get done, I'll hand her that. But don't work with her unless you have a very strong stomach.
When we were done she dismissed the spirit that was in her dead son, and ate the kid's body in the back of the van.
She's just a little twisted.