Whispers of Morg City
Chapter 7: "The Alley"
The intense rain clouded the reporter's vision, preventing him from truly knowing where he was going. But in his heart, he felt an imperative desire to find the artifact now, before it is too late. He sprinted through the streets of Waterfront, passing many sick and dying folk exposed to the fungus around every street corner. He arrived in the market square. Everyone had abandoned the market due to the rain, except one, lone person. The old man stared back as the disheveled reporter. He was wearing some type of traditional garb, marked with an odd, ancient-looking insignia. He donned his hood, and disappeared into the fog towards the Canals District.
Now gasping for breath, the reporter put his hand up to his eyes to block out the rain, searching for Easy Street, where the artifact must be. He rounded the corner, spotting the truck meant to be holding the artifact, lit by a single lamp post. He approached the truck, craning his neck around to be sure no one was around. He checked the flat-bed of the truck for the crate. It was still there, just as it is meant to be. He reached out towards the alluring crate, before feeling the same intense pain he felt at his apartment just moments before.
As the pain subsided and his vision cleared, the reporter noticed a shadowy figure coming into the light. The man slowed his approach as he noticed the reporter's anguish, face still obscured by darkness. The man was dressed in a pale, tan shirt, adorned with two vials filled with red liquid, and he spoke with a German accent.
“Are you alright? Is this the artifact you would have delivered to me?”
The reporter stood up waving his hands at the German, face now in full view, revealing his chiseled features and short mustache.
“Stay back! No one can touch this thing! No one!”
“Calm down. Please, step back. Do you have a key for the lock on this crate?”
The reporter removed a white piece of paper, marked with a black letter 'M', waving it around wildly, and moving towards the German slowly.
“GO! DON'T FUCKING COME BACK!”
The crate's lock appeared traditional, but it seemed to be sealed by an almost magical force, with symbols of the Ancient Order swirling around it.
The reporter approached the German, brick in hand, ready to bash his skull in if he did not leave.
“I need the Summoning Key. Do you understand? Please, stop walking towards me like that. Do not make me defend myself!”
The reporter began to cackle and mumble to himself words he had not heard before in his life. He raised the brick and moved swiftly towards the mysterious German, screaming as he did so. In an act of retaliation, the German removed a knife from his pocket, stabbing the reporter in the chest, causing him to drop the brick and go limp. The German whispered into his ear, “I'm...sorry.”
The limp body fell to the cold, wet concrete, the reporter's vision still hazy but slowly fading out. The German quickly approached the crate holding the Key, attempting to touch it before experiencing a similar pain in the head to the Reporter's, falling to his knees. The German quickly rose back up once more at the sound of footsteps and shouting down the street.
“Hey! You, stop right there!”
The German sprinted away towards the dead end of the street, walking into an oval shaped portal of some kind, before the portal disappeared.
The reporter's vision continued to cloud as he bled out, mixing his blood with the fallen rain. All he could see now was the blinding light of the lamp post, and he heard footsteps inching closer to him. Two figures in brown coats approached the reporter's body, inspecting it. One pulled out a Bloodhound pistol, walking into the darkness.
“I'll go looking for this guy, stay here, Jackie.”
Lieutenant Jack Vincent stood over the corpse examining the flesh wound, the knife still stuck into his chest.
“I'm sorry kid. I don't think you're gonna make it.”
The sound of another figure approached, an older officer. The one from the police station, who leaned in close to the reporter's face.
“Hey...it's that kid. He came snooping around my office. Lookin' for info about you Jackie.”
“What?! And did you give it to him?!”
“Of course not, Jackie.”
“You didn't fucking think to tell me? I could've mopped up this little runt myself before whoever else got him. He must be one of the Mayor's guys.”
The reporter's vision began to swirl and then fade completely in silence. In his final moments he heard the words of Jack Vincent.
“Lucky me, I guess. Get rid of him. No investigation.”