Close Encounter of the Strange Kind, Continued

By Dangerously Psycho

[Go Back to First Half]

     Sicko began his search right there in the gym as the others dispersed throughout the school, trying to locate their alien adversary. He decided the best way to survey the entire gym would be to climb to the gymnastics area on the balcony and to challenge the ceiling-mounted rope. Reaching the top and spotting nothing, he shimmied up and down the rope repeatedly.
     Or at least he did until he got stuck.

     What decided that the easiest way to find an alien was to consult the locals. He made his way to the loading dock to speak with the janitors.
     "Have any of you guys seen an alien?" he questioned.
     "Hey, Miguel paid good money for his green card!" snapped a member of the janitorial staff.
     "No, I mean the one which crashed down in the pod out front and wants to kill me now, even though we haven't even met!"
     "What on Earth are you talking about?"
     "No, it wasn't on Earth until about an hour ago, and if I wanted to sit and talk about myself, I'd go to a psychiatrist."
     "Soy sauce?"
     "Let me get this straight... you're asking us if we've seen a hit-man from another planet?
     "It must be around here somewhere," replied What.
     "Well, we'll keep an eye out for ya'," promised the janitor.

     Drum Boy traversed the entire length of the school's first floor and climbed the stairs up to the third floor science wing and the chemistry lab.
     "Well, I haven't seen any alien, but maybe I can put together a biological weapon to help me in case I do run into it. Let's see what we have here... Bunsen burner...butyric wing's ventilation intake grate..."

     Annoying, typically, found his way to the PA system room in the main office.
     "Attention all aliens!" he addressed the building. "Surrender yourselves immediately. Submit to the Strange Society, or answer to Super Protractor Man! Resistance is futile! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE...!!!" He emitted a high-pitched shrill which reverberated throughout the school.

     Puff smiled. His prey was searching for him. It would not be long now.

     Dr. Stein sprinted out of the second floor science wing, desperately trying to shield both his nose from the pungent stench from the air vents and his ears from the deafening shrill of the PA speakers. Rounding a corner, he nearly toppled over the entire janitorial staff on hands and knees, vigorously scouring the hallway.
     "I'm glad I've found you! The vents and the PA are both on the fritz, and the vending machines are unlocked and empty! Why are you all here on the floor, anyway?"
     "We're looking for aliens, Dr. Stein."
     "Aliens? What the hell are you talking about?"
     "No, for What DeHelizat. They're after him."
     "I'd... rather not know." Dr. Stein began to run for the main office to figure out the PA system for himself.

     Dangerously Psycho entered the school library on the second floor. Certain elements became apparent to him immediately. First, there was a partial footprint on the carpet composed of dust resembling that near the crater. Second, there was a faint scent and warmth in the air indicating another presence in the room. Third, there were books thrown all about the place and the PA speaker had been torn from the ceiling.
     "Ok, alien scum, show yourself!" Psycho made his demands with a brandished axe.
     "One of those Strange Society deviants, I assume?" The voice was unmistakable.
     "Mr. Puff? Well, apparently the alien didn't kill you. Did you get a good look at the thing?"
     "Oh, I'd certainly say I did," spoke the head of security with red, glowing eyes.
     "You... aren't Mr. Puff," muttered Psycho, blandly.
     The very large man rushed toward Psycho, who vaulted out of the way with his axe. The moment he landed, Psycho turned and struck Puff in the back of the head with the blunt edge of his weapon.
     "You can abuse this man's body as much as you want, enemy," spoke Puff. "I won't be in possession of it much longer, and my consciousness will not black out as easily as his would. I can experience the stimulus of much, much more pain than this."
     "Ah, so we're body snatchers and not blobs. I must say I'm disappointed," confessed Psycho. "Now, you must die!"
     "Like I said, this body won't be mine much longer!" Puff charged at the boy once more, who leapt back and against the wall. With a quick movement of the arm and another lateral jump, Psycho triggered the building's fire alarm and avoided the next charge. Before he could regain his footing however, Puff had made his way to the boy and jabbed a pressure point on his arm previously unknown to Psycho. With a sudden shout of pain, Psycho dropped his axe which embedded itself into the floor. He stood, gripping at his sore limb.

     The other four human banes ran outside, not for the threat of a fire, but for the understood significance of the alarm.

     "Where in the hell did you learn this?" demanded Psycho, still gripping his forearm.
     "Books, of course," explained Puff's captor. "I now have all the knowledge of James Puff and the authors of these book you see on the floor. Now I'll have the knowledge you possess as well, along with what you know of your friends and their weaknesses!"
     "You're not getting it without a struggle!" Psycho backed up to the window overlooking the school bus pickup circle.
     "No, I suppose not." Puff charged the teen once more with glowing eyes, crashing through the glass and sending both bodies plummeting to the ground.

     One by one, the other four of the former Strange Table approached the place where Puff and Psycho were laying, both cut by numerous glass shards and bruised from the fall. When one of the bodies stirred, it was Psycho who picked himself up from the ground.
     "Psycho, are you ok?" asked Drum Boy. "Is it over? Had the alien taken Puff's body?"
     "N-no... no, it... it was a blob," answered Psycho monotonously.
     "But then why did you and Puff fall out of the window, and just where is the alien?" asked Sicko.
     "Um, I did kill it... it's... all over," stammered Psycho.
     "It must have been quite a fall..." noted What, looking displeased.
     "Fall? Oh... yeah. Falling is bad. Bad."
     "Well then..." Annoying was interrupted as Psycho emitted a loud yelp.
     "Ouch!" panted Psycho, who had jabbed himself in the arm. "Damn you!" he growled.
     "You're concentrating too hard, you realize," began What.
     "H-how do you mean?" Psycho looked more composed. "I'll be ok, let's go... hunting, or whatever."
     "Trying to suppress Psycho's consciousness. He has too many, not just one as you'd assumed from Puff. After such a fall, it should be easy to inhabit a mind which should be unconscious, but Psycho can take quite a bit of pain as you now realize. They say that the eyes are the window to the soul, and when Psycho jabbed himself in the arm, yours shone red."
     The alien gathered himself. "So I've been discovered. I hadn't counted on your finding me so soon, you must realize. I gain more control by the moment, and have already suppressed him completely. So go ahead and battle your leader, I don't even have his axe. All I need is this boy's knowledge!"
     "Does this mean the world's doomed?" whispered Annoying.
     "Apparently so," replied Drum Boy.
     "If it's knowledge you want," addressed What, "then it isn't Psycho's body you seek. I possess the most knowledge of our individual potentials. Also, if mind control is your ploy, I can achieve such results without leaving my body. Strategically, with the possession of my body and mind, you could rule this world with minimal effort! Just refer to Psycho's mind if you don't believe me."
     "I sure hope you know wudder doing..." muttered Annoying.
     "Well... you're telling the truth, anyway," confirmed the alien. "All right, then. I don't know what you're planning, What DeHelizat, but I definitely have everything to gain by it. If you think I can be stopped outside a body, you're sorely mistaken. Fool! If what Dangerously Psycho believes about your mind capacity is correct, my power will triple by this!"

     Dr. Stein staggered to the scene. After the encounter with Puff, vending machine mystery, PA malfunction, science wing ventilation mishap, fire alarm, and discovery of smoking crater in front of the school, the realization of the broken window didn't surprise him at all. However, witnessing a dark vapor emerge from one of the teenagers' glowing eyes and envelop another boy prompted him to look down at the cup of coffee in his hand, ponder it, dump it out, and walk away, babbling to himself incoherently.

     As soon as Psycho was free of the parasitic alien being, he frantically used his newly regained voice. "What, don't allow it to do this! Are you mad?! How will we ever hope to defeat it then?!!"
     The black mist encircled What and entered him through his eyes, eyes which began to shine red. A smile crept over his lips, but suddenly the expression changed to shock as the eyes faded to be totally white. What closed his eyes for a full minute, and then...
     What opened his eyes, which were now in their original state. He smacked his lips. "Delicious!"

     As the word was spoken, the sky lightened to its original blue. A voice spoke from above. "It looks as though your doubts were unsubstantiated, Guardian," spoke Amura Kimi.
     GOD materialized before the five teenagers. "What DeHelizat, Interrogative of the Bane World, Bane of Mass Confusion of the components of logic, comprehension, and modesty. With your bane locked within your human body, inviting the nemesis within was the only way to challenge it. Within each of you is a being so powerful, a deity would have to be insane to create it, and indeed the creation of the eternalz which focused on the mind could not compare to our Bane of Mass Confusion.
     "So it's all over, then?" asked Drum Boy.
     "Completely," assured GOD.
     "Well, then, if we're through being hunted, I'll retrieve my blade and we'll hunt something different!"
     "Are you sure you've recovered from your fall?" asked What.
     "And why not?" asked Sicko. "I always recover in seconds, standing straight and tall immediately. Why shouldn't Psycho?"
     As he sought his weapon, the rest of the Strange Society walked past Puff's unconscious body and rounded the impact zone in the marching field. There, the emergency vehicles which had arrived to stop the signaled fire were investigating the smoking crater. Dr. Stein was there, too, pleading with paramedics to "take him away."

     Hunting was great on this particular day, even though Psycho never did find a blob.

     The pilots of the alien spaceship who'd been watching the Earth fled from the galaxy in horror. Their creators had now vanished. They were suddenly alone and without their champion. Their only hope would be that the gods of Earth would neglect to wield the same destructive power upon them which their eternalz had planned for Earth.

     "Just play a stupid card!" pleaded Jester.
     "Oh, sure." Undecided played his entire hand in one move. "There, my win. Play again?"
     "Sure." Jester gathered and reshuffled the deck.

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Last page update: 5-23-99