Devil Seed: Chapter 2
From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
“So, these images you’re seeing,” Dr. Adams started, “what are they? After seeing how you were reacting this morning, and after hearing how Pam described you, I would say they’re not good. Is that safe to assume?”
The two were on their way home from the campus track. The sun had gone down and the bugs had started to come out. Jogging and talking and talking had made Izzo feel much better. The bulk of what they talked about had not been related to what she went threw that morning. She thought it was nice to have a normal part of the day finally.
“They’re terrible.” She nodded. “I wish I could shut my eyes and it go away, but I can’t. I get locked into this terror and can’t move at all.”
“What happened before your test? I was more than concerned when you didn’t want talk about it this morning. I think this may be a time we should continue to be open with each other. Izzo’s dad said.
“Its not that I didn’t want to tell you daddy, I just didn’t want you to think I was crazy or abnormal for the things I saw. What I have been seeing today is not something out of a nursery rhyme.” She replied. “I didn’t want you to think less of me or have you stressing about me while you were at work.”
“Of everything I do; the money I make, the people I hire or let go, the multi million dollar choices I make daily… everything, don’t sum up to equal the amount of time I think about you. You are my priority. Now don’t get me wrong, I think about a lot of other things as well,” Dr. Adams went on while his daughter smiled, “but I have on my mind on you more. Now explain to me what happened before Pam’s test.”
“K. This is what happened.” She began.
What happened back there? I have never seen something like that. I have learned about mental disorders where people see things, but they were never described like this. I want to tell daddy, but he has a lot going on today. I know he worries about me too much as it is. People give me odd looks as it is, Pete says it because I’m beautiful, but that’s just Pete being Pete. I think it’s these eyes. The hair is not a big issue; people don’t mind my black hair. The eyes though, what am I going to do, tell a bunch of doctors I have bad eye sight and they’re contacts? Yeah…that would work. All this had to happen when I had a test too. Christ, I wish I hadn’t worn these strap on heels; they impossible to run in. I’m going to be late!
Isabel hurried her way from where he dad dropped her off to classroom 1002. The campus area of the complex was beautiful; there were no roads for cars watch for or exhaust to smell. The walkways were all cobble stone laid with a gray that matched Isabella’s eyes and a tan like the color of some of her khaki pants. There were plants every where there weren’t buildings or paths. Trees here, shrubs there, there were even baskets with ferns drooping down hanging from the light polls. It was a very high end school that typically only very rich could attend. Most enrolled at the med school were kids of existing doctors. You saw students who went only because their parents made them, who dropped or failed. Then the other end of the spectrum you saw students like Isabel who got in threw scholarships who, for the most part, did very well. The goal of the architecture was to make people feel relaxed, no matter how stressed they were. The plants and rocks were clearly not hitting their conceptual goals in the case of Izzo.
She had to slow down to a normal walking pace once she entered the building. Her heels were making all kinds of racket on the high gloss floor as it was, if she was running, or even walking fast, she may have disturbed another class in the hall.
These shoes were clearly the worst choice I could have made in feet apparel. Gah, stop thinking about the stupid shoes already! There is enough to think about as it is. The test, never mind the test, its going to be so easy I feel I wasted a period of my life last night studying for it. The test I’m not thinking about, its what happened on the road. I felt terrible I killed the cat, but the guy? What kind of shit was that? Damn, there I go again, talking like dad. He needs to clean his language up, I get that from him. Maybe it was just a one time deal, seeing… whatever it was I saw. Here we are, time to get my head outta the clouds.
Isabel turned the handle to a large wooden door with a sign on it reading “In session”.
It’s ok; no problem. Knew I was going to be late, don’t stress out about it.
As she entered the small tiered theater Izzo gave a quick smile and a small wave to the eyes who wanted to know was late. Angie, the only other female in the class gave a big grin. Angie would be the person who would have fill the slot of “best friend”, if her dad didn’t have it already. Isabel and Angie would go out on the weekends to stress out all the guys around the bar scene. Izzo wanted to get involved with a guy, just not right now; she didn’t have time between school and her volunteer work. She also didn’t want to be with an egotistical “larger than life” man. There were plenty of those to go around here.
No big deal, everyone go on with what they’re doing, take the test, and we leave! Easy stuff! I hope Pam doesn’t say anything. If she does, I really really really hope it’s not embarrassing.
“Well look who decided to come to class! It’s the tri-state research campus and hospitals very own mascot! Welcome to class Miss Adams. Please take your seat.” Dr. May said with a playful smile.
These comments got a few smiles out of the miniature class.
That’s not what I was hoping for! I should be the upstanding person in this class; the backbone, not the comic relief. Did she put emphasis on my last name like I am here only because of daddy? She wouldn’t do that. But what if others in the class think so? And how am I a mascot? I’m here all the time sure, but it’s not like I’m a cheerleader or anything. Most of the time I’m working, not playing.
Dr. May’s lighthearted comments made Izzo feel like the class was laughing at her. As the students smiled at Pam’s comments, Isabel could feel the blood rushing to her face. This in turn made the six other pre-meds actually laugh outright as Isabella crossed the room and took her seat in the lower tier in the middle of the theater.
I don’t know what the big deal is anyway. I’m early every day. I’m allowed to be late once a semester. They’ll be ok. Hehe, I let some of the smallest things bother me.
Pushing the days events to the side, Isabel focused on the present and reached down to get her pen out of her bag. Upon looking up to listen to Dr. May give the instructions she started hearing a faint song sung by the familiar choir of gloom and despair.
No… No please... Please please please… I’m begging not again.
Against dear Isabella’s wishes, she saw a fluid mass of dark smog form under her respected and well liked teacher. The mass could have only been two or three feet across, but it seemed to absorb all the light around it. With the melody of spite growing in volume a band of the black dripping tentacles rose in a lethargic grace.
“Isabel!! Stop... please!” her befriended teacher begged.
I’m not doing anything! Why are you acting like this is me? I would give anything, ANYTHING to see this end. Please, let her go. Don’t get worse.
Gray eyes widening in fear Isabella saw the worms of hate tie themselves in impossible positions to around Pam’s arms, legs, and neck suspending her spread out as if in the middle of a jumping-jack four or five feet in the air.
“Izzo… I… I can’t breathe…” her teacher rasped.
Looking around the class room for aid, Izzo saw the all of the other six students were caught in the same dire situation. Looking back at her friend, Isabel saw the unearthly tentacles usher the constricted teacher to her sitting position as if in an offering. With the black monstrosities looming in an arch overhead, she could see the black ichor drip like grease to the floor. Recoiling back in her chair as far as possible, Isabel could make out that her teachers eyes had been replaced with the same morbid black tar.
I can’t take much more of this! Why is this happening to me!? All I have ever done is help people!
She forced herself to look at the floor; the only place that didn’t have tortured friends, Izzo saw the worst horror yet. She was hovering directly over still another semi-liquid cloud of bubbling dark energy filled with the unearthly constructs rising up from an unknown abyss melding with her own body. Looking down into the void of despair in near hysteria, Isabel could see the evil appendages joining stalks here and there getting thicker and thicker until the net of tentacles had matched her waist in diameter. Starting below her belly button her skin had warped from the beautiful tan, to an unnatural gray, then ended in the sickening black. As her skin color changed, so did the texture; from the silky smooth, to the wet glistening black. Unlike the horrors draining the life of her friends, there were seven to eight times as many. She came to the realization that legs were gone and in their stead were scores of shiny black stalks.
OH MY GOD, MY LEGS, WHATS HAPPENING TO ME!? DOES THIS MEAN I AM IN CONTROL OF THEM?
In a stricken dread hysteria Isabel made every effort to move. Every time she willed herself to move in the same way she would to take a step with her legs, one of her class-mates had a limb held by the tentacles twisted in a bazaar angle the human body was not meant to move. Every effort of escape Isabel tried caused a ripping agony in one of her friends.
I DON’T WANT THIS. GO AWAY. NOW!!!!
With the reaction time identical to one commanding their own body part, the host of slender tortures dropped their pray and fell into the darkness below. At the same time Izzo’s lower dark half also started recoiling at a massive speed. Whipping and turning the maze of black oily lines formed two distinct stalks with an explosion of pain in Isabel as they shortened to the length of her two long human legs. In a slow and agonizing transformation, the two black cylinders took the smooth and muscular shape of her human legs with a small pleated lip around her waist. Then from top to bottom her legs faded to their original tan with strap on shoes still on her feet and the black ruffled lip took the colors of her skirt. Once her lower torso was completely human the shadow like pit she hovered above faded from view with her rear landing softly in her desk chair.
They… are apart of me. Those were mine. Those things are as much me as my fingers. How… what is this? Why do I only have partial control of them? But none of this is real; it doesn’t matter! It’s all just in my head! Pam is still right in front of me passing out answer sheets! Everyone in here is fine!
“Are you ok Isabella?” Pam asked in a concerned tone.
Izzo didn’t have a reply. Fighting exhaustion she got up from her chair and ran out of the room leaving everyone in her wake with a confused look painted on their face.
"And that’s what happed.” Isabel said while starring at the floor mats of the SUV. “ After that I went to the nursery and slept until shortly before you called.”
“That is a fairly horrid story.” Her dad said.
“Its not a story, it really happened.” Izzo said accusingly.
“Hey now! No one said you were making it up.” Her dad said in firm voice with a face to match it. “You have never given me a reason to question what you say, so why would I start now?” he said much more fatherly.
“I’m sorry.” she said with remorse.
“It’s ok.” Dr. Adams began. “I want you to know, that I love you very much.” He continued, as if preparing for something. “But there is something you need to know that may give cause to what’s going on.”
Isabella half raised an eyebrow at how he was starting. It almost seemed he was unsure of himself. She had never seen him so apprehensive while talking to her.
“You know I was the on-duty for your delivery. You also know your real mother died moments after giving birth. I want you to know the rest.” He started as they came to a stop at a red light.
While opening his mouth to continue, a black van with their lights turned off rammed them from the side with bone smashing force. The Adams’ vehicle was rolled over and over for what Izzo thought was eternity coming to a stop on its roof.
Looking threw the world upside down, Izzo’s first action was took see if her dad was ok; the van hit his side. Staying buckled in as to not fall on her head, she checked his pulse. He was alive, but out cold. After closer inspection she saw his left forearm bone, in specific his Ulna, sticking threw the back of his upper arm. His closed left eye was also bleeding profusely. The eye could be serious, but Isabel’s teachings had taught her swelling in the Interosseus Membrane causes pressure on the blood veins in the hand creating an agony in the nerves no torture could simulate. The nerve damage done by this was also catastrophic; he could loose his hand or entire arm. In short, her fathers destroyed arm could be ruined for life.
“Daddy?!” Isso called. “Daddy common!” she called again.
She checked herself over and found she was in a great deal of pain, but mostly from the seatbelt. All in all she was ok aside from a large cut on her brow. Looking for the best way to remove herself, then her father, she saw men in black dress suits bend down and open the drive side door.
“Let’s go money bags!” one yelled.
“Pass jail and proceed directly to go” another laughed.
“Who are you all?” Izzo asked still dazed. Call 911, my father is in very bad shape. Please hurry!”
“No one is calling anyone. Good lord! You’re hotter than the boss man said! After this, we’ll have our way with that nice little ass of yours.” The first said.
“What? What’s going on?” Isabel asked with a mix of confusion and disbelief.
“Hrm… too bad you don’t have the brains to match that body of yours. We tracked this car all the way from the hospital. Our boss said this old man makes a killing, and will cough it up instantly to protect you. Even if he dies, you mother will surly pay us what we want.” Commented the second.
“You mean you hit us on purpose?” she asked in near denial.
“Whadda know? I think she’s getting the picture” a new voice said.
With that they cut her fathers seatbelt and drug him out of the car. They paid no attention to his wounds. The manner in which they pulled him from the turned vehicle could have injured a healthy person. They clearly had no concern for his well being.
“Stop treating him like that!” Isabel screamed. “You could kill him!”
“Someone shut her up. Don’t want anyone getting involved yet. Its only ten pm; fairly early.”
As Izzo began screaming the next command, she was cut off by the sound of shattering glass and a kick to the head from the third assailant. The blow put Isabella back into the daze she had just recovered from. She got a good view of the men for the first time as they pulled her from the car with the same force used on her father. The men were all well groomed and well dressed. The two henchmen were clad in black suits with matching black velour brimmed hats. As far as physical condition and appearance went, both were tall and stout. Massive muscles could be defined threw custom tailored clothing. These two must have weight trained for years to build this kind of bulk. Each carried a dull black pistol that could easily have been missed blending into all the other black they wore.
The third and last attacker was in all white. This was the one giving the orders. He was clearly in peak fitness, though much more athletic than his two muscle bound minions. Once again his suit was custom tailored to fit. Just above a slender mustache were a pair of perfectly round sun glasses pressed snuggly against his face just below a white derby hat. The only sign of emotion on this man was his eyebrows which stayed in a perpetual slope of anger. As with the other two, he was also armed, however he had two silver pistols.
Mobsters? I… I can’t think straight. Daddy!! They were going to use me as a ransom to get his money. I… I indirectly caused this?
“Hey look at this. Poor little beauty queen is crying! Life isn’t so sweet in the real world is it?” the one in white asked.
As they drug the two off into an ally, Dr Adams began to come to. He was being pulled by his arms, one of which was injured and could turn life threatening.
“My… my arm…. Stop.” He stressed. Stop… Isabel…help.” Was all he could mumble before succumbing to the pain once more.
“I guess they’re not all “smart” when their chips are down are they?” one laughed.
“Shut up, get them in the ally. It’s where the pick up is to meet us."
As they left the safety of the street lights Isabel felt hope draining away. As the light dimmed, her fear rose. After they moved threw the ally they came to a bright light used to illuminate the back area for early morning deliveries of a large store.
I have to do something. Anything. I got us in this, I have to get us out, or at least try. My entire life daddy has been there to protect me. I need to at least try to do the same for him.
Becoming fully aware from the crash and the blow to the head Isabel began to thrash around to loosen the thugs grip on her wrists.
“Didn’t you learn the first time?” the lead thug asked. “You’re dumber than we first thought."
“Help! Someone! Anyone?!” Isabel screamed."
The only fruit her efforts scored her was a brutal fist from one of the bulks to her stomach, lifting her feet three inches from the ground. After falling from the impact Isabella laid there, unable to breathe and choking desperately for air that would not come. The force had shocked her diaphragm putting it into shock. Within a few moments Isabel knew there was damage done; her diaphragm quit having spasm yet she continued to be unable to breathe. With her chest on fire and vision growing fuzzy due to the lack of oxygen she continued to flail. One of the guards, she couldn’t see which, grabbed her wrists and pulled them up while stomping on her back breaking both of her shoulders. With the inability to even breathe, much less scream, all she could do was endure the pain.
“Easy there pal, we need her alive.” Said another guard.
Isabel was being pulled up by the waist when she started hearing the song beginning to be sung by a hundred deaths.
Please, not now. I need my wits! I WILL you away. Leave me alone! I am in charge of you!
Izzo’s fingers began to itch, which turned into an intense sharp pain, her toes began to do the same. The pain reached a peak when black talons of a semi liquid state pierced threw her skin under the nails. She moaned at the pain but as quickly as it came, it vanished. While being hoisted by the brute of a man Isso looked down to her see her freshly sprouted nails of black dripping a black wax like substance.
What’s this? These nails are look like flowing liquid, but they’re as hard as steel. They’re even dripping! Why couldn’t these visions do something nice, like make me not feel pain, or just make me black out all together?
Feeling the skin on her hands and feet become loose due to having no digits to keep it on, she felt a stabbing in her back. The shifting and stabbing grew in intensity at the soulless choir became more in tune. Never before had she felt something as painful, not even the two shattered shoulders she just received.
What is happening to me? More bullshit hallucinations again. They’re effecting my sensory like with my fingers, but this is so much worse. My god it’s terrible!
Whatever was happening in Izzo’s lower back was loud enough to be heard. The huffled cracking and popping of bone was deafening to her. She associated the pain with a massive mechanical claw crushing her entire upper back then pulling it out.
“Holy shit! What’s happening to her?” the leader yelled.
Isabel soon lost the ability to stand. Try as shy may, the pain was too much. Her captor hoisted her up and held her against a wall face first into the brick. Looking with eyes wide, the mob enforcer saw something move under her shirt.
“What the fuck was that?!” he demanded.
Ripping off her black vest, button down shirt, and black laced brassiere with massive hands exposing the once exquisite curves of Isabel, the thug gasped at what he saw. There were outlines of spiked worm like creations thrusting and growing in length on their own accord while straightening under the surface of her back. He couldn’t tell if it was one or twenty.
Stop... Please... Death... Anything... Why... Pain...
With an audible cracking and snapping, two points, both directly on the lowest part of her shoulder blades slowly started to extend up and away from Izzo’s back. With the guard who held her against the wall dropping her to gain distance, Isabel fell to the ground. As the raised areas further stretched, two points in the middle of the raised sections cut threw her skin spilling red down her arched back.
No sooner had the blood come out did it turn to a thick black now seeping from the two wounds. Instead of her skin staying tight, it started to sag and hang. It became clear that the source of her pain, as well as whatever was coming out of her back was two segmented bone spears. Each length of pointed bone had barbs and hooks at the beginning and end of each segment. As the first segment came to her drooping skin, the tan smooth layer became hung up on the barbs of the bones growing out of her back. As the spears slowly gained segment after segment this happened pulling Izzo’s loosened skin from her arms and lower legs to reveal, not red and bloody muscle, but the flowing black ichor in the same form of a once beautiful and curvy woman.
As the original two bone lances reached about a foot in length, two additional points the same width apart and about three inches lower started to protrude her now ravaged back. With the extra two shafts of bone slowly rising out of her arched back snagging on her skin in the same fashion as the first two continued, her skin was being used as if it were canvas being tied up to make a tent. Two more bone spines now sprouted and begin to grow. Her skin was now pulled past her shoulders and hips, revealing even more of the nightmarish black liquid modeling itself to her figure.
Two final arching bones started sprouting from Isabel’s back “using” her remaining skin at an alarming rate. On Dripping black hands and knees Isabella in a subconscious state crawled to the middle of the alley leaving where she passed peppered with black tar. A crown of pointed horns cut the skin around Izzo’s skull. Faced twisted in silent agony, her horns grew out then curved up reaching a length of several inches before stopping.
With the display of quills high in the air, each reaching near eleven or twelve feet in length, Isabella’s inhuman figure had taken up most of the alley.
These are what I bring.
The four spines on each side of her back had been originating from two ball like joints that were now visible. Her father woke to just as her peaceful face was pulled up into the horrid creation taking place on her back. As her face was removed, he saw a slowing rippling black sphere take her face's shape.
“Izzo?”, Her father whispered while the three mobsters were paralyzed in horror.
The connected joints of spines now grew out of her slowly as two single thick bone shafts with skin no longer falling on bone. Arching her back in an impossible half circle, the changed Isabel flexed the spines in wide angles from each other reveling the truth of the warped creations on her back. They were massive wings of nightmare with exposed bone for structural support, and human skin as webbing.
I feel alive. No fear, no regret, no… remorse.
By flapping her gigantic wings threw will alone; there was no muscle or sinew, and rising a few feet above the ground into a hover, she let her legs hang seductively below her. While raising her slender arms in front of her slightly bent as if flexing, starting from her feet still in the form of strap on heels and rising threw out her still feminine figure, veins of a rotten white milky circulatory system rose out of the black oil that was Isabel. The veins were unlike normal in where they were outrageously thick; in between a half and 3 inches, and pulsed and bulged above the blackness. While the moldy milk like liquid pumped across her inhuman semi liquid body, four spikes erupted from the very tops of her arms on each side of her mirroring the other. The tallest were going straight out the top of her shoulders, while a pair going away from her exiting threw the sides of her arms were a bit shorter, and then the two on each side that shot out from the front and backs where only six or seven inches. All were curving up in a slow arch and ended like the horns in her crown, very fine and deadly.
With her unknown tuning of the sea of cries and in a face void of any emotion, care, worry, or want, Isabella Adams opened her eyes for the first time since her shoulders were broken. As a thin layer of black lifted up like eyelids to reveal yet more black ooze, two ethereal seas of tendrils appeared where her eyes would have been. The flowing cascade of light was a yellow hue in the middle of malice and pain. With the wisps calming and returning into the sickly yellowish orbs that were her eyes, only one thought formed in her minds eye:
Let the culling begin.