It Came From the Jersey Shore
God, I fucking hate New Jersey. It seems like ass, north, south, or central. The north is all slums, factories, landfills, and refuse from New York. The south is all hicks (who proudly hoist Confederate flags despite never even being in the fucking Confederacy), and its very own scum holes, Camden and Atlantic City (think Vegas with less glitter and more slums). The central part is an unholy, fucked up marriage of the two. If a meteor slammed into the Atlantic and submerged that whole fucking state, the USA would be much better off for it. It used to be the Tenth Circle of Hell, but was rejected from the underworld because Lucifer had higher standards.
The politicians here are the most corrupt in the USA, according to the FBI. BB guns and emergency flare guns legally count as firearms, and need permits to purchase. The insurance rates and taxes are higher than most of the drivers on the highways. The roads are always parking lots. Drivers always speed, cut you off for the hell of it, curse you out, and try running down pedestrians in crosswalks. Most of the tax money goes towards hookers and drugs for whatever party's in power. In NJ, there's a great bipartisan spirit in fucking over the voter after (and during) elections.
After Arizona, I get set up to Jersey to visit the fucking shore when the first batch of college kids are going to be getting out. So, I head down to Wildwood in South Jersey, which is near Atlantic City. Now, let me tell you a bit about it. Imagine if Tijuana, Mexico had some backwater part to it that was worse than whatever the worst parts of it now. Imagine if it was full of drugs, drunken teenagers, frat boys, guidos, and similar filth. I guess you can think of it as a guido-infested mini-Detroit by the Atlantic Ocean.
You don't have to be a supercomputer AI to figure out I'm out of my element. I'm better as a techie or nerd somewhere. Not that I don't still do that. Hell, on the way here they made me deal with a mad AI. It was an Air Force project, simulating a human brain on a massive system made of Playstation 3s in parallel. I had to shut it down by changing the PS3s with X-box 360s, and Red Ring of Death did the rest. After I reprogrammed some morals into it, that fixed it. But, me dealing with high tech threats apparently isn't as important as sending me here.
So, I'm dressed in my shorts, sleek sunglasses, and tee shirt, with my wallet, weapons, and armband-wearable console hidden underneath it. Still, my narrow frame and pale skin make me stand out in this scum-hole of guidos with rub-on tans and tanning morons who are only screwing themselves over by setting themselves up for skin cancer. Everywhere I look, I see people drinking bottled fucking water.
Honestly, I hate people who drink bottled water almost as much as I had people who step on spiders out of instinct. The stuff's worse for you than tap water, as some studies have shown, the bottles rarely get recycled, and there's plenty of nasty plastic chemicals inside the water from the bottling machine. It's not like we live in a third world country with shitty plumbing. There was one fucking hilarious scene I saw on TV, where patrons in a restaurant were asked to choose which of a few brands of expensive-seeming bottled water tasted the best. As it turns out, the patrons were shocked to learn there was no difference between the water brands: they were all filled out of a garden hose out back. If you really want fucking clean tap water, just get a fucking purifier and re-usable metal canteen. I have some bottled water in my apartment, but I keep it with a first aid kit and battery operated radio and spare gun: only for use in case of emergencies. Fucking pretentious guido fucks.
The streets of here are enough to make a landfill covered in feces and puke look clean. I look on the ground and see it littered with discarded bottles, used condoms, syringes (likely used to inject questionable substances), plastic bags of said questionable substances, crushed beer cans, home-rolled cigarettes, and puddles of piss and vomit (undoubtedly done by some fuck in a hangover). If I stepped on a needle and got some horrid disease, chances are if I kept walking, I might step on a cure. This city is an microcosm of the essence of New Jersey, and the innate vileness that the state represents. Like New York City, this place is a fucking overrated landfill that poor deluded fucks inhabit.
I see the creatures walking the streets are the typical fauna of New Jersey: wiggers with tattoos and fake golden chains of dollar signs, guidos and guidettes with enough spray-on tans that make them look like they're animated bronze statues, gold diggers and bar skanks with copious amounts of fake glitter makeup, peroxide blonde hair, and enough STDs to make Casanova vomit, and other people who'd make the lot who always shopped at Wal-Mart seem like upper-class consumers. Honestly, the chavs I saw on that trip to the UK once had more class than these walking dregs of humanity (and even that's probably an insult to dregs everywhere).
So, why am I, Jim Fox, Agent Foxtrot, the FBI's paranormal tech support bitch, out here? Well, chances are, the rest of the FBI didn't want to get within fifty miles of the state, let alone this place. Can't say I blame them. Even the regular operatives are "Special Agent" somebody. I'm just "Agent." All the other agents who investigate supernatural shit, the X-Cases Division, get to be "Special Agents." Even after being a confirmed psychic, I'm still a tech support bitch. But I do like the code name Foxtrot, though, since it's the military code letter that starts both my last name and my favorite swear word. I look around, taking in the smog, weed, and tobacco filled air. I almost gag up my lunch. Getting used to the air in this state is not going to be easy.
It just so happens there's reports of something strange here. Creatures picking off people at night. Neck wounds and bite marks all over the body suggest a vampire, but some of the kills were reported in daylight. (Contrary to the popular belief, vampires can't really subsist on human blood alone, since there's not enough nutrients in it. They're more like Hannibal Lector with two giant fangs.) I approach the latest scene of a killing, I see a reporter standing in front of it. I have to resist the urge to punch in the face with my weighted gloves once I recognized his rat face.
Now, there's plenty of intrepid, respectable reporters who will stop at nothing to find the truth. There are others who risk their lives to deliver the news right from a war, dangerous storm, or natural disaster. Then there are soulless reporters, shells of people and pretty faces the media barons just use to boost rations. And then there are the complete and utter shills, willing to say anything someone pays them to. Guess which of the above that Dave Dunn falls into?
That's right, none of the above. His journalistic standards are low enough to make Rupert Murdoch's look like classy, objective news. Even with the Ted Turner Commie news, that's low. But, Dunn doesn't so much report the news as much as try to outright lie for ratings. I recalled reading about him acting as a war correspondent in the third world. Two armed groups were finally reaching a ceasefire to end years of strife. So, Dunn gets there, decides it's too boring, and the next thing anyone knows, the leaders of both factions die under strange circumstances, and the fighting began anew. He's in his natural element here in Jersey. He wore a Hawaiian shirt, khaki pants, large framed sunglasses, a wicker hat, and his normal shit eating grin.
His mute camera-woman, Beth Benson, seemed completely soulless as well, covered in similar fake tans, blonde highlights, and glitter make up as the rest of the tramps around here. Her clothing left little for the imagination, but little room for me to avoid gagging when I saw her tramp stamp on the small of her back. She had more piercings than an ancient Mayan cat impaled by railroad spikes. She didn't look as thin as she was anorexic. Honestly, women who were skeletal like that creeped me the fuck out. Especially if they hung out with people like Dunn. I didn't know him to be a necromancer, but I wouldn't put it past him.
Him as a psychotic soulless reporter lying and murdering to make his own stories is scary enough. I ran into him a few times, and I try to walk by him without him noticing. Having him involved in the supernatural is still likely, given that last time, he paid that mercenary botono in New Orleans to create a zombie horde so he could look good fighting it for a local supernatural group.
"And here, we have the latest victim of the Wildwood Mangler," he pointed to the police-tape covered location behind him. "Another young life was tragically lost, and a killer still roams free. With the local police paralyzed and unable to find any significant leads, some believe the suspect may not even be human."
I saw Beth sweep the camera over the murder sight, undoubtedly getting all the dried blood stains for all the gore-hounds who'd watch his shitty show. Sometimes, he worked for Big Media, sometimes for different occult newsgroups and magazines, and other times, he'd just work for himself and his own online pseudo-news channel. He was the worst sort of showman, one willing to make a story where there was none. I had a hunch that this fucker was involved in whatever was going on. The fact he was the first one on the fucking scene with these murders and was close enough was enough to ring alarm bells in my head. Not just any alarm, but the bullshit alarm as well.
"So, what do you think, my dear viewers? Can this truly be definitive proof of something other than humans inhabiting this world?" he leaned over the police tape. "For the local police, and the latest victim's family, there are no answers. Perhaps there never will be."
I saw Beth turn the camera off and lower the lens.
"Good job," Dunn grinned. "You get a good shot of all those bloodstains? This is going to be great for ratings."
Beth nodded with empty, soulless eyes. Even more soulless than lawyers or politicians.
"Come on, babe," I saw him grab his camerawoman around the waist with his hand. "Let's go back to the room. Maybe Jenny's up for another threesome. She'll probably be out tonight, so might as well enough her company while she's there."
Beth nodded again, allowing Dunn to lead her away. Well, whatever Dunn was up to, chances are it wasn't going to be good. Even if he wasn't involved and just being a media vulture picking at carnage (like he normally was), I'd still want to know what he's been up to. Maybe find something to finally nail him with. Still, if I did sneak in there while he was naked, one glance in the wrong way and I'd lose my lunch.
I shadowed them towards a sleazy, single story motel, and saw the two vanish into a room with a number "7" on the door, partially hanging off. I quickly ran back to my car, threw on my trenchcoat and fedora hat, and accessed the wearable digital assistant on my arm. A few different psychically enhanced and technical-based powers were available at the touch of a button. I stuck with "stealth," since my outfit was made of light-reflecting meta-materials. I brought up standard protection against possession and brought along some tranquilizer bullets for my Mauser. I wanted Dunn and his little friend alive when they faced the music on whatever fucked up schemes they were running. I also pack my holy-water filled squirt gun and some incendiary rounds to light any vampires I run into on fire. I also grab some antibiotics, since vampirism is caused by bacteria. Honestly, those bloodsuckers have been shitting themselves since penicillin and germ theory came out. I also grab a few bugs to spy on them.
So, I leave my car, invisible to all the guidos, frat boys on vacation, and similar hedonists around me. I move in a half crouching position, recounting my steps on where I'm going. I follow the asphalt garbage can to the end of the street, and approached the motel that would probably creep Norman Bates out.
Using my lock picks, I easily bypassed the door. I darted inside, pulling closed the door behind me. The fucking thing creaked, of course, but I didn't hear anyone coming towards me. Instead, what I did here was moaning coming from the other room. Realizing I want to keep the contents of my last meal inside my stomach, I make a promise to myself to avoid going there if I can avoid it.
Instead, I went into the room next door, and saw a number of interesting things. There was a few books on tattooing, a tattoo needle, and a few bottles of ink. Interestingly, there were also a few test tubes. All of them were empty, but one of them was labeled. Carefully reading the label, I saw the name was "Streptococcus Vampirius" in misspelled letters. Turning another of the empty test tubes around, I saw it was labeled "Red Ink and SV 50:50." The rest of the tubes seemed to be where similar blends of ink and vampirism-inducing bacteria were. On the floor of the room, I could see blood packs that had been ripped open and discarded, indicating perhaps there was a bloodsucker of some sort in here.
I took a few photos, and began thinking. Perhaps Beth, or that other girl Dunn mentioned, were vampires? Or perhaps he was trying to create vampires via contaminated needles? Or had he stolen these from the scene of one of the crimes, and was conducting his own research? After taking some pictures and scanning around a bit, I didn't find anything else interesting. Sadly, those answers would probably be on his laptop computer. Knowing that paranoid bastard, he always kept that sort of thing in his room. I resisted the urge to vomit right then and there. Looks liked I'd be having to sneak into the room with him and his two (at least) girlfriends.
Cautiously, I approached the door and leaned against it. I could hear moaning and the creaking of well-worn bed springs. Thankfully (or not), the bedroom door is cracked open a notch. Ensuring my stealth fields were engaged, I cautiously crack open the door a bit more for a peak.
"I haven't been fucked this good since junior high!" a naked, freshly tattooed woman with brown hair sloppily dyed blond shouted in mid-bob. She had cheap glitter used with eye shadow, and a lot of her tattoos glittered. Beth moved behind her, as if to restrain her for her boss there.
I almost vomited when I saw her, with bandages and scars from recent tattoos. As she moaned, I caught a glimpse of something in her mouth. Aside from a painful-looking tongue piercing, I saw she had enlarged canine teeth. Suddenly, a theory popped into my head. Judging from her tattoos and logic, this recently infected woman was Jenny. Perhaps Dunn here had injected the bacteria into tattooing ink, infecting some unlucky client with the vampire bacteria? There were enough trashy tattoo parlors and people who loved visiting them around here. Then, he'd dangle the promise of a cure in front of them, and have them commit murders for his trash-rag (or spam rag, technically). Of course, he'd kill her once he was done having his fun.
Damn, I'd love just to shoot the bastard and be done with it now. But, if I was to shoot somebody while breaking and entering, I damn well have some solid proof first. Or, maybe my idea was complete and utter bullshit. So, I averted my eyes from the three going at it and scooted along the wall. At the head of the bed, I saw my prize. Underneath a randomly tossed shirt was a closed laptop case. I reached for it, and yanked for it without thinking.
Mistake number one. As soon as I pulled it, a smaller box on top of it, which I didn't see due to the damn shirt, clattered to the ground. The same millisecond, I saw Beth's eyes flash, and she stood up, utterly ignoring the orgy beneath her. Fuck. Last thing I needed was someone with super-senses. I pulled out my Mauser, which was now loaded with silenced tranquilizer rounds. Instinctively, Beth pulled she had stashed behind the bed out, hoisting it towards the ceiling, like a psychotic Sword of Damocles. She held a massive meat cleaver in hand, and her head swept back and forth, looking for the slightest signs of motion.
Since I was crouching about ten feet from her, the fact she hadn't seen me yet was a testament to my stealth abilities or some dumb luck. Likely the fucking latter.
"What is it, girl?" Dunn sat up, leaving his vampiric bimbo naked and confused. "Someone else in here?"
He reached into his own briefcase, pulling out a set of knives. He, Beth, and a confused Jenny all stared at the wall, their gazes converging where I previously thought I was concealed. Fuck. Guess I'm less a chameleon and more a deer staring at headlights. My question as to how they could've seen me (aside from the vague outline of mine) is so obvious, I had forgotten about it. In my hand is the laptop case, which doesn't have the benefit of being cloaked. Fuck.
"Honestly," Dunn rolled his eyes. "Whoever the fuck you are, hate to say it, but you interrupted me in the middle of a fucking threesome. For that, I'm going to enjoy castrating you."
Since they knew where I was, might as well strike first. I didn't come here to make conversation with these people. I threw the laptop case at Dunn, and then fired off a few rounds at the target I had the best shot at. My Mauser kicked back as I fired out of reflex, blasting darts like there was no tomorrow. My tranquilizer darts hit Jenny in the forehead, chest, and the wall behind her. She fell down, apparently unconscious. Apparently, her case of vampirism must have been recent, since the tranquilizer darts don't do shit on the terminals and long-term sufferers.
Regardless of how fast Jenny went down (on something other than David Dunn), there was still the asshat and his creepy camerawoman to worry about. Beth rushed at me with her cleaver outstretched, aiming for my exposed forearm. I tried putting a few shots on her, but the Mauser ended up empty. Honestly, this wouldn't have happened if I was using a Glock like the other agents had.
The cleaver arced downwards, and I narrowly avoided the slash as I rolled away. I felt something warm run down my left hand, and saw my transparent facade along my left forearm was damaged. Blood ran from a nasty cut down my arm.
"Heh," David's irritating voice mocked. "Whoever or whatever the fuck you are, you can still bleed."
I resisted the urge to think of a witty response as I saw Beth gearing up for another attack. She slashed again with the cleaver, this time aiming for my thigh. I could feel the blade slice through some of my leg, giving me more blood to worry about. Hopefully, the crazy bitch didn't knick and artery. Quickly, I countered while I was still high on adrenaline.
My gun was empty, but still was a decent weapon. One thing I love about these old pistols is they're made of fucking heavy metal and wood. Perfect for pistol whipping. I spun around as she recovered from the strike, still unsure of the damage she had inflicted upon me. Seizing the instance, I brought the full weight of the handle down on Beth's temple. My hips turned, my hand held the empty pistol, and physics delivered what I hoped was a skull-fracture. I felt my improvised weapon make contact with something dense as the shock wave traveled back up my arm. I saw blood oozing from the side of her head. She dropped the cleaver, instead reeling backwards.
While normal people would have been killed by such a blow, I got the impression she was anything but a normal person. Regardless, I decided to press the attack. I introduced her face to my knee, feeling the satisfying feeling of smashing someone's face in. God, I fucking missed mixed martial arts. I delivered a downward elbow strike to the back of Beth's head, sending her face first into the floor finally. I generally don't hit girls, but I've got no problem beating up one who tried doing the same to me.
Of course, there was no time to celebrate yet. David had pulled out a throwing knife in each hand, and was now standing towards the back of the room. He was up on his toes, shaking like a little girl that had just seen a horror movie.
"Whoever the fuck you are, don't come any closer!" he shouted. "These knives were made from the showers at Auschwitz, and iron from a sunken pirate ship! They'll cut through any mystic protection!"
I took the time to reload my Mauser. Honestly, while a century old gun was generally pretty cool, there were times when this piece of crap could be more trouble than it's worth. Like now. Since while I reloaded, he tossed both knives in my direction. Cursing to myself, I stepped out of the way as both whizzed by my head. When they went behind me, I thought that might be the last of them. Instead of ending up implanted in the wall behind me, I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. Ducking down, the two blades had circled back at me, almost slicing my carotid arteries opened. I saw David reach for the two knives, his hands ending up holding the handles. Chances are, it was some enchantment on the blades, or David had telekinesis, or some combo of both.
Either way, I didn't care. The Mauser was now reloaded, and it was time to give that scumbag a taste of German engineering. I ducked down, rolling forward as I shot him. My rounds struck him in the stomach, causing him to wince as the tranquilizer rounds delivered their narcotic packages to him. I saw his eyes roll back up in his head, and his gaze began to falter. He fell down, sent into unconsciousness with a lot less fuss than his camerawoman.
Looking down, I saw I had quite a bit of blood dripping from me. I'd have to return to my car and get the first aid kit there. Before I left the shitty apartment, though, I had some business to attend to. I grabbed the laptop case, probably damaged from me tossing it. I saw the unconscious vampire on the bed, and I slipped some antibiotics into her mouth. Hopefully, they would be enough to kill off the infection. The last thing the world needed was another vampire covered in glitter.
I left the apartment and patched myself up without incident. I called for backup, and of course the others take their sweet time getting there. By the time they searched the place, only the unconscious (and healing) Jenny was found inside. There was only some blood from an unknown source, and scattered witness reports of a battered, naked woman climbing out the window with a naked, unconscious man, and vanishing into a seedy bar. Sadly, Dave and Beth are still on the loose. But, I did learn a valuable lesson from all this: Jersey girls suck. And don't swallow.