The Ancient

Marcus is on the run from Them. No matter where he hides They seem able to find him so Marcus never stays in one place for too long. But with the violence that follows everytime Marcus has one of his blackouts maybe They should be on the run from Marcus?

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2. The Ancient

 

The first thing that Marcus noticed as he slowly drifted up into consciousness was a soft breeze against his face. As his senses returned he could also smell the acrid tang of burning and the crackle of flame. He was afraid to open his eyes. He always feared opening his eyes after falling unconscious. The faint whoop of sirens in the distance told him it was time to face whatever devastation he may have caused.

He slowly opened his eyes and a bright summer sky of striking blue greeted him. The roof of the bathroom was gone as though a tornado had ripped it away. A water pipe sprayed a torrent of water from where the sink had been and the toilet lay on its side cracked and broken. The floor of the decimated bathroom was a lake of water that lapped at Marcus’ body as he lay prone. He gingerly raised his head and looked towards the bathroom door. Flames licked at what remained of the doorframe. The door was no where to be seen. Through the doorway Marcus could see into the bedroom, or rather what was left of it. He found it difficult to make anything out. The smouldering lump directly ahead could have been the bed but the roof had fallen in, blanketing most of the floor. Marcus groaned. He rose to his feet. He had to leave.

He hoped that the advancing sirens were just the police of a Fire truck and not Them. He grabbed the rucksack that lay at his feet and ran out of the bathroom, stumbled over the wreckage of the ruined motel room and out of the door which hung loosely from its one remaining hinge. Outside was calamitous and it didn’t take Marcus long to realise that the damage caused in the motel room was not isolated. The entire motel was nothing more than a smouldering heap. Residents had flooded out into the car lot, shocked, frightened and blood smeared. Marcus felt a hollow ache in his stomach and a swimming nausea in his head. He scanned the scene for signs of Them but could see nothing. There had always been remains before. This time they had disappeared. This was the worst yet. Marcus ran to his car.

As Marcus flung himself into the drivers’ seat and fumbled with the ignition key, three black BMW’s screeched into the parking lot. It was Them. His heart began to thud as the adrenaline infused his blood at the sight of the black cars. A small part of him wished for unconsciousness again but he knew that could not happen so soon after an episode. He was on his own. Marcus put the key in the ignition and fired up the engine. Slamming the car into reverse, he stomped on the gas and with a squeal of tyres Marcus swung the car out into the parking lot and straight into the oncoming BMW’s. They swerved to avoid him, two coming to a halt either side of Marcus’ little coupe. The third smashed into the back of a parked car with a crunch and shattering of glass. Marcus turned to his right to see a tinted window of one of the BMW’s roll down and the muzzle of pistol point at him. Marcus ducked as the pistol spat fire and the coupes window disintegrated in a shower of glass.

Throwing the coupe into first, Marcus again floored the gas pedal and rocketed away. How had this all begun? How had his life been taken away from him? For the first time in a long time Marcus felt the anger and frustration he had felt the first time They had tried to kill him. He thumped the steering wheel and screamed until his lungs were empty and his face tingled. He sped from the parking lot and out onto the road. A quick glance in the rear view mirror told him that the two remaining BMW’s were turning around and following him. Marcus felt that time was close to running out. It would not be long now before the bullet with his name on it would hold more weight than the Troll key ring. He couldn’t run forever and he didn’t know how to stop Them. They were relentless, unceasing in their pursuit of him. For six months They had an unnerving ability to track him down and after shooting so many of them only to see them get back up and continue their quest in capturing him, Marcus finally conceded that his life was already over. He had been dead for six months already. The only decision he faced now was how to end it.

As Marcus steered the coupe through the traffic to the accompaniment of honking car horns, the BMW’s began to close the gap. His hands, slick with sweat, began to slip from the steering wheel as Marcus took a sharp bend too fast. The coupe pitched over briefly on to two wheels before dropping back down onto all four with a violent shudder. Marcus looked at his rear view mirror. “C’mon you fuckers!” He shouted at the oncoming BMW’s. “C’mon!” His growing anger was a potent release. He felt calm now. Felt in control. He was going to give them a hard time and until they dragged him kicking and screaming from the car and shot him dead, he’d take as many of the bastards with him as he could. He just needed to wait for the rush of pain to return.

The voice in his head came as a complete surprise to him. All thoughts of his final stand vanished in an instant.

What had it said? What had it said?!

I’m dying, Marcussssss. Dying…

The voice was in his head but it wasn’t his voice. It had a high pitched sibilance, the way a snake might talk if it could.

You have to help me, Marcussssss. You have to save us both…

What was this? What was happening? Marcus feared he’d finally lost it, that everything that had happened to him had finally sent him insane.

You must help me, Marcussssssss…

“Shut up, shut up, shut up!” said Marcus, beating his forehead with the palm of his hand. He couldn’t stand the hissing of the voice in his head. He wanted to be free of it. He wanted to be free of everything. He wanted to rest.

There issssssss sssssssssooo little time…

“No shit?” scoffed Marcus. A quick glance over his shoulder and he saw that the BMW’s were almost upon him. He had to make a decision. It could be over soon. He just needed the pain to return. He needed to feel the searing heat deep within his brain again. Then he’d load the bullet with his name on it into the gun and end it all.

Help me, Marcusssssss and They will go away. They will be gone. It isssss ME they want…

“Who the fuck are you?!”

I am The Ancient. I am the One they ssssseek…

“This is insane. Where are you? How are you in my head?”

You are a vessel, Marcussssss…

“Vessel?”

Yessssss. I had no choice but to use you after the accident at the laboratory…

“The laboratory…” Marcus’ mind reeled. Memories flooded in as a mental seal was broken. The lab. The project. Suddenly everything became clear.  

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