Through The Looking Glass
Time of Death: Roughly 7:30am
Date of Death: March 18th
Age of Deceased: 23 Years Old
Cause of Death: Possible Poisoning, further study needed
Coroner's Notes: Deceased appears in perfect health. - Physical signs of pregnancy are apparent but lack of fetus proves that wrong. - Stomach contains seeds of strange and unknown origin (side note: several other bodies, both male and female, have been found with similar seeds and signs) – No wounds, abrasions, lesions or otherwise of any kind were found.
Coroner's Side Note: In the last month, five other persons have been brought in with all signs and the strange seeds. I don't believe this coincidence. There is a connection between all these people, It just needs to be found...
Doctor Charles Reese leaned back in his chair and sighed heavily. The room was cloaked in near darkness, the small desk lamp and a larger one in the middle of the room providing the only light.
He had been in that room for many long hours already that day, trying to understand how a young woman in perfect health could die so suddenly without any signs or warning. The same could be said for the other people he had examined that month who all came in with the seeds in their stomachs and the bloated abdomen's that many had mistaken for pregnancy with the female bodies.
Charles ran his hands over his face, trying to eliminate the tiredness he felt creeping in on him. His fingers ran over the slight grooves around his eyes left from the multiple times he had pressed either to the viewing lense of a microscope. Too many things didn't add up in these deaths and he was determined to figure them out.
The clock over his desk chimed loudly, causing him to jump. He looked up to see the time to be two in the morning. He rubbed his eyes, realizing he had been there for longer than twelve hours now, working on this one body.
The wedding band around his left ring finger caught his eye and he frowned, knowing it meant nothing these days since the divorce. His ex wife had left him, claiming his attention was all on his job and not on her and their nine year old daughter.
The truth of that was actually that she was having an affair with a colleague of his. Charlies had gone to court, knowing that with her father as her lawyer, one of the top attorneys in the country who already didn't like him, he couldn't contest much in the divorce. He had gone for the soul purpose to get joint custody of the child, which was granted mostly due to her begging and pleading with the judge, crying her eyes out and screaming at anyone who made accusations against her father being anything but good.
"Alright...let's get you covered up." Charles sighed as he stood up, his back protesting the sudden movements. He walked to the middle of the room where the other light shone over an autopsied body lying on an examination table. He gave the young woman one last look before reaching for the blue medical sheet to pull over her stone cold body.
A pale, well manicured hand latched onto his wrist, sending a chill straight through his body as his eyes snapped to the now opened, dead and glossy eyes of the body on the table.
"Mirrors...they come...from...mirrors." The dead woman croaked out. Charles struggled to remove himself from her grip. "The mirrors."
With one last pull, he finally got his release and he fell backwards, scrambling across the floor away from the table. Slowly, he rose to his feet, only to find the dead body completely still. Her eyes closed, her hand resting on the table where it had been the entire day.
"I need to sleep." Charles concluding, taking a deep breath as he moved back to the table. "Starting to hallucinate."
He paused for a moment as he lifted the sheet once more. His eyes looked over the dead body before carefully putting the sheet down over top of her and sliding the slab into a drawer in the wall.
Amanda Reese ran across the grassy lawn of her mother's house and into the waiting arms of her crouched father. She threw her arms around him and giggled happily, putting a smile on Charles' face.
"Morning Sweetheart, how was school this week?" He asked curiously, holding the child back slightly to look at her over excited face.
"My teacher says I'm the brightest in my class!" Amanda boosted, bouncing on the spot. "And she says my reading gets better every day."
"That's great, I'm so proud of you!" Charles exclaimed, sharing in the young girl's enthusiasm. "Anything else been happening lately?"
"I've been playing with my new friend Lorna a lot." Amanda explained, suddenly going quiet and leaning closer.
"Really? I'm glad you have a friend, why are we whispering though?" Charles asked in a low tone.
"Mom doesn't like Lorna." Amanda replied in a tone that suggested this was the most obvious answer. Before Charles could ask, the door to the house opened and out stepped his ex wife. She carried Amanda's bag in one hand while the other rested lightly on the bump forming under her shirt, the constant reminder of her affair, taking life.
"Good, you're here." Claire greeted her ex husband with a tone that suggested she was surprised to see him there.
"How's life, Claire?" Charles asked.
"Swollen." Claire replied shortly. She shifted the bag between her hands, letting her now free one drop to her side. Charles frowned slightly at the tone as he rose from his crouched position, reaching forward to take the child's bag. "Her homework's in there and..."
"I know how to take care of my own child and what she needs." Charles cut in, attempting a civil tone.
"Fine." Claire muttered. She held out her arm and gestured Amanda over for a hug. The little girl went wordlessly and hugged her mother as best she could with the growing bump in the way. Amanda gave a kiss to Claire's stomach before returning to her father's side. "I'll see you after school on Monday baby, I love you."
"Love you too mommy." Amanda replied absently as she took Charles' hand and smiled up at him. Even though it probably wasn't a nice thought, he did enjoy the fact that she preferred him over her mother.
"Charles." Claire called out suddenly as the pair were heading to the car. He turned and raised an eyebrow before walking back over on his own. "If you hear anything about a Lorna...don't take it seriously. It's some imaginary friend of hers who apparently lives in all the mirrors in the house."
Charles paused for a moment, remembering what his dead "patient" had said about mirrors and something coming from them. There was no way this was connected to that though...absolutely not.
"I'll keep that in mind." He muttered, walking away again. This time he wasn't stopped and he assisted his daughter to getting in the back seat.
"So tell me about Lorna." Charles suggested at dinner time, looking across the table at his little girl trying to build a tower out of her mashed potatoes.
"She's in the mirrors." Amanda explained, licking her fork clean before using it again. "She's got skin almost like us but kind of purple-ish and really pretty blue hair. Her eyes are red and her ears are sort of pointed like an elf. She says lots of kids see her and others like her but the grown ups don't."
"Why's that?" Charles asked, beginning to get curious.
"She said that when humans grow up, their minds close off." Amanda sighed as she stabbed her fork into her potato tower. "I told her I wouldn't. She just laughed and said that we'd see. Then she disappeared because mommy came in."
"And she lives in the mirrors at mom's house?" Charles asked.
"She lives in all mirrors." Amanda pointed out. "She was in the bathroom mirror when I was brushing my teeth earlier."
To that, Charles had no response. Amanda went about finishing her dinner as her father watched her carefully. He knew the child had an incredible imagination but she had never had imaginary friends before.
He could hear her playing and talking in her room as he cleaned the dishes from dinner. He wondered if she was talking to that Lorna person and debated on taking a peek. Normally he didn't think to spy on Amanda when she was in her room, he generally trusted her to do as she was meant to and not make a mess of anything. Right now however, Charles was more than a little curious.
"No...there's no connection." He muttered to himself. "My daughter can have an imaginary friend who just happens to live in mirrors. I was tired last night, there's no way that body came to life and.."
His personal rant was cut short by a knock on the apartment door. He paused and slowly looked over at it before drying his hands off. Amanda had gone quiet down the hall but he figured she was just working on her homework now. He unlocked the door and opened it up then stood there blinking in surprise.
On the other side, toying with what looked like an oversized wrist watch, was a woman in tight blue jeans and biker boots. She had a leather coat on and it covered anything she may have worn underneath, which may have been nothing considering the zipper only went partially up her chest, revealing a far bit of skin.
That's what threw Charles off.
Standing in front of him was a woman with purple-ish skin, blue hair, red eyes and pointed elf like ears.
"Lorna?" Charlies asked without even thinking. The woman paused and slowly looked up from her watch.
"Excuse me?" She asked, a flash of worry crossing her eyes before she just looked curious.
"I...I'm sorry...you just...is there some sort of costume party going on?" Charles asked, still amazed. The woman just blinked and looked at him uncertainly. "You...you're obviously going...somewhere."
"I...I don't know...what you're talking about." The woman replied uneasily, laughing slightly.
"You're purple." Charles spat out. He mentally cursed himself for not thinking of a smoother way to say it.
"I...it...oh fuck." The swearing caught him off guard and he watched, unsure of what to do now, as the woman hit at her watch. When she paused, confusion crossing her face, he knew something was going to happen. "It's not malfunctioning."
"Excuse me?" Charles asked.
"My...this...it's working properly." Red eyes lifted slowly to look at Charles, a hint of fear flashing in them. "You see me."
"Well...of course...I mean, you're right here." Charles pointed out, waving his hand to indicate her. He paused, very fearful for his sanity at that moment, before leaning closer and whispering. "Aren't you?"
"Yes." The woman whispered back.
"Your name is Lorna." Charles whispered slowly.
"You're Amanda's..." He didn't get to finish the sentence he was dreading to say. There was a sudden crash from Amanda's room and Lorna had pushed past him and bolted down the hallway. "OI! Hold on!" Charles ran after her and nearly crashed right into her as she flung open the door to Amanda's room and stood just outside it, staring in.
He looked in as well, opening his mouth to say some long winded rant about intruding on personal property, but never got the first sound out as his eyes caught what had made Lorna the middle of the room, standing over the shattered pieces of what was once Amanda's vanity table mirror, was a large, green ogre looking monster. It breathed heavily, puffs of smoke coming from it's nostrils as it turned bright yellow eyes to the duo standing at the door. It's fingers were long, ending in sharp looking claws. It's whole body seemed to be covered in purple boils, sprouting out in random spots.
It wasn't until she was actually applying force did Charles realize Lorna was trying to get his attention. He slowly looked at her, his eyes still wide in fear and confusion. Her red eyes darted to the side to glance at him, making sure she had his attention this time. When her hand suddenly gripped his, he couldn't help but jump and make an attempt to free himself. His struggling halted when the ogre suddenly roared and charged towards them.
Lorna bolted, dragging Charles along with her. He stumbled at first before regaining his footing and keeping up with the strange woman.
"What are we doing? Where's Amanda?" Charles yelled his questions over the roaring coming from behind them.
"She's safe, don't worry!" Lorna replied. She dragged him out of the apartment and to the elevator.
"My neighbours..." Charles started.
"They'll see it as a dog!" Lorna cut in, bashing her finger against the down button repeatedly. "I still don't know why you can see me as I am or even see that thing but right now isn't the time to find out! COME ON YOU STUPID METAL BOX THING!"
Charles looked back to see the ogre standing just outside his apartment, gazing around for them. When it's eyes landed on them, it crouched down, snorting out more smoke before charging. Lorna spun around as the elevator doors finally opened and she shoved Charles inside. From her pocket she drew out a silver dagger that shone with an eerie green glow. Thrusting it forward, it embedded into the charging monster's eye. It howled in pain, thrashing around. It's claws ripped through Lorna's coat and she hissed in pain, pulling the dagger from the ogre and grabbing her arm with her free hand.
Charles reached out before the elevator doors could close and yanked Lorna into the box with him. She stumbled backward, collapsing against the back wall and sighing.
"Thanks." Lorna muttered.
"You need to give me answers." Charles insisted, hitting the button for the ground floor.
"What are the questions?" Lorna asked, straightening up and examining her arm.
"How do you know my daughter, what was that thing, who are you, what are you, and how did you and that thing get here." Charlies listed off the questions.
"I..." Lorna started but stopped as she began to sway and then collapse. Charles caught her before she hit the floor and frowned.
"Tell me once we get you checked out." He muttered.
"No hospital." Lorna pleaded. "They...they won't understand. They'll see the illusion me but..." She spread apart the rip in her sleeve to show the green staining her arm where red normally would be. "Blood...doesn't change."
Getting Lorna into his workplace was easier than Charles had originally anticipated. She had straightened up and balanced on her own long enough to flash some sort of badge to the officers standing around. When they had gotten out of sight, she was back to leaning on him for support. Her brought her into the morgue and sat her on a chair before retrieving his medical supplies.
"Take your coat off." Charlies instructed, pulling his chair over in front of her and sitting down. Lorna sighed and unzipped her coat before carefully sliding her arms free. Charlies raised an eyebrow at the Lady Gaga tank top she wore and couldn't help wondering if the rips were on purpose or from other fights.
"You had questions." Lorna's voice brought him back to the current situation as she turned her chair to give him better access to her arm. Three diagonal cuts ran across her purple skin, each leaking green.
"Yes...I did." Charles agreed, nodding slightly as he shifted closer and leaned in to start cleaning up the wounds. "What was that thing?"
"Humans call them ogres...we call them Ogrians." Lorna explained, pulling her hair out of the way and watching his hands. "They're one of...many troublemakers from our world. They cross over to here, implant seeds into the stomachs of humans, wait a few days then return to those humans and rip them open to eat the now full grown seeds."
"Wait...seeds...in the stomachs?" Charles asked, lifting his eyes to look at Lorna's face.
"That's what I said." Lorna reminded him.
"What happens if...the person dies?" Charles asked, glancing over at the drawers in his wall that housed the bodies of the deceased.
"They're supposed to die." Lorna replied. "The dead body gives off a scent that the Ogrians track for their food. The people in our world are immune to the poison that implants the seeds so they never grow in us. But humans have the perfect biology to be the cookers. Why are you asking about that anyways?"
"Because I have several dead bodies in that wall, each of which had those seeds in their stomachs." Charles pointed out, nodding to the wall of drawers as he got back to cleaning up Lorna's bloody arm.
"Oh...that explains why the Ogrian was going to come through at your place." Lorna muttered thoughtfully. "You must have carried the scent from your contact with the bodies and it thought...huh."
Charles shivered and shook his head at the thoughts as he reached for gauze. He put a square of it against the slashes on Lorna's arm then wrapped it up tightly.
"What were the other questions?" Lorna asked, flexing her arm to test the tightness of the bandage.
"You...who are you, how do you know my daughter, what are you and...where are you from?" Charles asked, leaning back and crossing his arms. Lorna raised an eyebrow then sighed and leaned back, twisting her chair back and forward.
"I'm Lorna." She replied finally. "I know Amanda because she kept spotting me and we got to talking. I'm a Jardon, which is basically just someone who polices the mirrors and has access to your world in case someone from ours gets through. That sort of explains your last question too."
"I guess." Charles agreed slowly. "But what do you mean, she kept spotting you?"
"Have you ever glanced in a mirror...caught your reflection out the corner of your eye...and saw something different?" Lorna asked, leaning forward. She rested her elbows on her knees and looked at Charles. "Just that brief instant of things being...unreal. Something else in the mirror or...someone behind you."
Charles paused, thinking back through his life.
He knew he had those moments, everyone did. But the more he thought about it, the more he remembered moments where it wasn't flashes. He remembered a time actually staring at another reflection in the mirror for several seconds before turning to make sure there was no one behind him. When he looked back, the second reflection was gone.
"What about the ones that get through?" Charles asked.
"You know the stories about aliens and stuff that can't be explained because only certain people see them, no one else?" Lorna asked. Charles nodded slowly, knowing those stories all too well. "It's because there's certain people have their minds open enough to see us for what we are. Which is why those of us that come through to stop the monsters wear these watches. They make us blend more."
"I still see you all...purple and blue though." Charles pointed out.
"Which is rare." Lorna explained. "I've never come across anyone who has seen me like this. I heard a story from one of the older Jardons about it but I've never met someone in this world who could see through the illusions." She frowned slightly, leaning even closer. The movement caused Charles to lean back, rolling his chair backwards. Lorna paused and blinked then leaned away, looking apologetic.
"What do we do now?" Charles asked.
"Let me see these bodies." Lorna requested.
She barely even got ten minutes to examine the bloated corpses before there was a crashing noises from elsewhere in the building and a loud roar that Charles recognized from his apartment.
"Oh son of a...you stay here and I face the beast." Lorna explained, running out before he could stop her.
He should have stayed put, listened to her, but he didn't.
He ran out after her, listening to the yelling up ahead. He rounded a corner and watched Lorna flip over a table before clashing her dagger against the Ogrian's claws. There were people lying on the ground all over the place, some of them bleeding, all unconscious. Charles wondered what had knocked them all out before his attention returned to the fighting pair.
"Jardon, surrender...and your death...will be...fast." The Ogrian growled as it pinned Lorna to a table.
"Screw you!" Lorna ground out, swinging her leg out to kick at the monster's stomach. He fell backwards, smashing a desk under it's weight. Lorna flipped over her table to put it between herself and the Ogrian and stood ready for another attack. Her wait wasn't long as the beast got back to it's feet and charged at her. It rammed into the table, pushing it against Lorna and ramming her into a wall. Her dagger went flying out of sight and her eyes widened at the horrific prospect that her weapon wasn't available. She looked at the monster before her as it pressed the table harder against her abdomen and she winced, squeezing her eyes shut and gritting her teeth against the pain.
"I shall enjoy...peeling...your skin...from your bones." The Ogrian leaned it's face up close to Lorna's huffing out smoke at her. She coughed and pushed at the table, trying to free herself. The Ogrian laughed and lifted it's hand, claws ready to strike.
It jerked and froze then looked down at the tip of the green glowing dagger protruding out of it's chest. Lorna blinked and stared as the dagger was withdrawn from the beast's back. It slumped forward onto the table, smashing the weak wood beneath it. Charles stood behind it, examining the dagger he held in his hand as it continued to glow.
"How did you do that?" Lorna asked, eyes wide with surprise.
Her stomach was just as purple as the rest of her.
Charles wasn't too sure why that surprised him but as he applied the ice pack to Lorna's bruising skin, it just seemed to catch him off guard that her whole body was indeed purple. They hadn't said anything in a while.
Lorna had managed to save the people that had been cut, stopped them from having seeds harvest in their stomachs for another Ogrian to munch after they died. Apparently she had many different things in her pockets, one of which repaired the damage done to the room, one that looked like a mirror that she used to send the dead Ogrian back to...wherever it came. And yet another that seemed to erase the incident from everyone's minds (something she had made Charles leave the room for when she activated it).
Before everyone woke up, they had retreated back to the morgue where Charles was once again applying his medical training.
"You'll probably have bruised ribs." He muttered, trying to break the uneasy silence. Lorna nodded slowly, saying nothing back as she held her tank top over her chest to allow him access to the bruised skin. "So uh..."
"I'm sorry." Lorna cut in quickly. "I...I didn't mean to...sound accusing back then. It's just that humans shouldn't be able to activate my weapons."
"Activate?" Charles asked.
"The dagger shouldn't have glowed in your hand." Lorna pointed out. Charles blinked and looked at the table where the aforementioned blade sat, no longer glowing. "I should go."
"Wait! What about Amanda?" Charles asked, demanding an answer. Lorna paused and looked at him then looked slightly guilty and he knew that she had forgotten about Amanda being...wherever she was.
"I'll get her and bring her back for you." Lorna assured him as she rolled down her tank top and stood up, brushing away his hands and the ice pack.
"I'm going with you!" Charles insisted, getting to his feet. Lorna looked doubtful as she tilted her head. "She's my daughter."
"So you trust me to save these strangers and beat the beast..."
"I think I did that."
"But you won't trust me to retrieve your daughter?" Lorna asked. Charles crossed his arms. "If I show up with you, things will be worse. Humans aren't meant to go through."
"Well I might not be all human, am I?" Charles asked, picking up the dagger. It sprang to life in his hand, glowing merrily. Lorna glared at it as if it had just betrayed her then sighed and shook her head.
"I shouldn't have brought you into this." She muttered, looking around.
"Technically speaking...you only brought me out of my apartment." Charles pointed out. He held out the dagger and Lorna slid it back in it's place at her waist. "I brought you here."
"Do you want to argue with me or do you want to get your daughter?" Lorna asked. She put her hands on her hips and looked around again. "Where's a mirror?"
She had to be snuck into the mens room. From there she had taken out her little pocket mirror and aimed it at one over top of the sinks. A vortex grew from the centre of the mirror and stretched out to cover the whole thing. Before Charles could ask, Lorna was pushing him forward and he went straight through the vortex, landing face first on some cold tile flooring. Groaning, he rolled over and looked up as Lorna hopped gracefully through the vortex before it died away to nothing.
She helped him up and pulled him out of the room as the vortex returned to the mirror.
"Wait, what's going on?" Charles asked.
"Nothing, just someone else coming back." Lorna replied. "This is gateway five."
"How many are there?" Charles asked. Lorna turned around and looked at him. Her eyes drifted off along the hallway and he followed her gaze, finding countless doors with different numbers on them. "Oh...that many."
"Yeah...that many." Lorna muttered. She pulled him along again, turning corners and going through doors until they got outside. Here there were orange bushes, a green sky with blue grass beneath it. Trees with orange leaves and red trunks.
"Did we fall into Wonderland?" Charles asked.
"Oh please, Alice in Wonderland is based more on us then we're based on it." Lorna replied, looking around. Her fingers went to her mouth and she whistles. Before any questions could be asked, a car drove up on it's own, the doors popping open as it waited for it's passengers. Charles just stared at it until Lorna pushed him and he cautiously got inside.
"There's no steering wheel." He pointed out, looking around as his companion got in the other side.
"Why would I need one?" Lorna asked. She patted the dashboard in front of her and drew a line on what looked like a map that had popped up. "All the vehicles drive on their own." Just as the statement was made, the doors slammed shut and the car speed down the street.
"Where are we going?" Charles asked.
"My house, that's where Amanda would be." Lorna explained. "now you have to listen very carefully. Act as if this place...you're used to it. Nothing here should surprise you. If anything does, then people are going to be curious and I'm going to be in trouble." She looked over at him and raised an eyebrow at the expression he was giving her.
"Won't my lack of colourfulness prove that I'm not from here?" Charles asked, waving his hand to gesture at Lorna.
"Just because I'm like this doesn't mean everyone else is." Lorna pointed out, rolling her eyes. "Besides, you can pass, just keep your hair over your ears and your collar up and people will think you're fine."
"My collar up?" Charles asked. Lorna didn't answer him and he wondered just what strange things were in this place as he popped up his collar to hide his neck.
"Daddy!" Amanda called out the second Charles and Lorna walked into the house. Her father paused and looked around, trying to figure out where she was before spotting her at the top of a curved and possibly wavering staircase. Amanda waved then turned to the wall next to her to pull on a lever. The stairs sank down to form a slide and Charles couldn't help but laugh as the nine year old slid down gleefully.
"I see you've been having fun then." He mused, crouching down to hug his daughter as she came to him.
"Yeah, Lorna's house is just as she described it!" Amanda explained. Charles looked at Lorna as she tossed her coat into a bin nearby and began pulling off the bandage around her arm. "She's even got a Chesire Cat!"
"She...what?" Charles asked.
"Like the cat in Alice in Wonderland." Amanda pointed out. "It disappears and appears and has this big old grin. Sometimes he talks but I think he stays quiet to try and bug me." Lorna laughed slightly at that before she twisted her arm to check on the scratches.
"Sounds like an interesting pet." Charles muttered thoughtfully. "But I'm still not getting a kitten."
"Aww daddy, come on!" Amanda whined. "Why not?"
"Because it wouldn't be fair to the poor thing for it to move back and forward between my place and your mother's." Charles pointed out, tucking his child's hair behind her ear. "And if it were to just stay with me, I wouldn't be able to give it the proper attention it deserves." Amanda sighed and looked down, scoffing her toe against the floor.
"I guess so." She muttered.
"They're not all that fun anyways." Lorna added in, coming to the father's aid. "They take a lot of attention and they won't always want to play with you. My cat only comes out when he wants attention but when he's done, he goes away, as you obviously know."
"Yeah." Amanda laughed slightly. She looked at Lorna with a smile but then gasped at the sight of the scratches Her eyes went wide. "What happened?"
"I just got into a little bitty fight, everything's fine darling." Lorna assured the young girl. "But now I have to get you and your daddy back back before someone notices."
"We have to go?" Amanda asked, sounding disappointed.
"Afraid so darling." Lorna sighed and crouched down in front of the little girl. "But you had fun right?" Amanda smiled and nodded. Lorna grinned and patted the girl's shoulder before straightening up. "Great. Now come on, we don't have a whole lot of time." She went over to the staircase and twisted a section of the railing, putting the stairs back up. "We need to get you..."
Knocking on the door cut her off. Charles pulled Amanda away and Lorna frowned slightly. She walked over to the door and opened it slowly to find two men on the other side. One looked human except for the long pointed ears and green cat eyes. The other was green skinned with long silver hair.
"Alistair...Harold, what can I do for you?" Lorna asked.
"There were reports of you coming back accompanied by a human." The green man, Alistair, replied.
"I can assure you, this isn't just some on a whim thing." Lorna tried to explain. The two men pushed past her into the house and stopped at the sight of Charles and Amanda standing by the staircase.
"Well, well, what do we have here?" The man with the ears, Harold, questioned as he tilted his head.
"I can explain everything just...please, let me send them home." Lorna pleaded.
"This is against all Jardon rules, Lorna!" Harold snapped loudly. "What were you thinking?"
"I said I'd explain! They have to go home first before anyone else..." Lorna started.
"Before anyone else finds out?" Alistair asked. He advanced on Lorna, a deep frown on his face. From behind, Charles could see what looked like a fish fin on the back of Alistair's neck and he suddenly realized why Lorna had told him to cover his neck. "I don't think you understand the problems that could arise from this!"
"I understand perfectly!" Lorna snapped, her eyes changing to a deep red colour as she narrowed them at the much taller man. "I've been doing this for as long as you have. Only I didn't give up the real work to sit back and boss the rest of us around!" Alistair let out a growl and looked as if he was going to hit Lorna.
"HEY!" Charles yelled out, halting all movements. Lorna looked around Alistair to give Charles a wondering look. "This isn't her fault. She was going to come back on her own...I jumped in before she could stop me. I just wanted to get my daughter back."
Silence followed the declaration.
Alistair and Harold looked at each other then between Lorna and Charles. For her part, Lorna kept her face expressionless to keep from giving away her surprise. Amanda stayed quiet from her spot hiding behind her father, taking in the whole scene with wide eyes.
"They just want to go home." Lorna spoke up finally. Her eyes went from Alistair over to Harold, her expression pleading. "Please."
"They can't remember."
"Any of this."
"I'm aware of that."
"You're to undergo evaluation to determine whether you are fit to continue working or not."
"If you are fit, you are not to have contact with them again."
"And this whole event is never to be spoke of."
"Understood. Thank you."
Charles woke up from his bizarre dream, one he couldn't even remember now, as his alarm clock buzzed obnoxiously. He hit at it until it stopped then he paused to look around at his bedroom. He didn't remember going to bed and, as he thought about it, he didn't remember what he did the previous night either.
"Amanda.." He muttered, quickly jumping out of bed. He went from his room to his daughter's at a fast pace.
Then he paused, watching her sleep peacefully. Her arms wrapped tightly around a purple stuffed bear that looked like it had blue hair. Charles wasn't too sure when Amanda had gotten that particular toy but something about it felt familiar.
Sighing, he decided to give her some extra time to sleep and turned to leave the room. He paused when his eyes caught sight of the mirror for her vanity table. He frowned and walked quietly over to it, leaning closer and running his finger gently across the crack.
"That's odd." Charles whispered to himself. He shook his head and left the room, closing the door softly behind him. "I could have sworn that thing was fully intact yesterday." He walked through the apartment, picking up random things.
When he got to the living room, he paused again, his eyes on his coat tossed onto a chair. It wasn't unusual for his coat to be there and he wondered why it had caught his attention this time.
Walking over to it, Charles checked the pockets and was surprised when he felt the cool heavy handle of something. He gripped it carefully and pulled a strange looking dagger from the pocket. He tilted his head, wondering where he had gotten it and why it seemed to have a dull green glow to the blade.
"I never thought I'd be asking myself this again but what the hell did I do last night?" Charles muttered to himself as he examined the dagger. Sighing, he brought it over to his bookcase and put it on top, out of sight. He'd figure it out later but not when Amanda was around.