The Vanisher: Stray

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The Vanisher returns in this sequel to help the MCU on a strange case.
With new dangers lurking everywhere, no one is safe.
With Campbell gone, a new threat has come to Brimswood, and no one knows how to stop it.
A mystery causes people to break apart, for an end to trust, and death to arise throughout the city.
The Vanisher, almost a year later, has returned to solve the case, and the one respinsible comes as a shock to all.

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14. 'Physical'

I spent the night in Dr. Ming's lab last night, my head covered in wires attached to some sort of brainwave machine or something.  I aoke up to find Dr. Ming at her machine.  She hands me a cup of coffee.

"Well, Ragan, everything seems to be normal." Dr. Ming says, looking at my charts.  "No nightmares?"

"No." I reply, rolling my head around on my stiff neck.  I blow onto the hot coffee and take a sip.

"Anything unusual?  Feelings, sensations, thoughts, memories?"

"Not that I can think of."

"Any trouble getting to sleep?"

"Not really."  

Ming taps on her keyboard and moves her chair over towards me.  She takes my free hand and looks at my arm.  

"No cuts or bite marks...." she sets my hand down and puts a glove on.  "Open up," she says, pointing towards my mouth.  I open and she turns on a flashlight, looking at my teeth and throat.  She then pulls down the front of my shirt a bit to see the crystal.  She touches it and then turns away, scribbling stuff on her clipboard.

"Well, Ragan, as I said before, everything appears to be normal.  You're stats are good, you don't have any wounds, no partially transformed appendages, you seem to be okay."

"Good."  I reply, taking another sip of coffee.  "Dr. Ming, what happened last night?" I ask.  She turns to look at me, puzzled.

"I thought you told me everything was fine last night."

"No, not last night, the night before I mean.  How did I get outside my apartment?  Why was there blood everywhere?  How was I beat up and have no recollection of it?" Dr. Ming takes off her glasses.

"I'm going to be completely honest with you, Ragan.  I have no idea what exactly happened last night.  I think it's possible that the fear and aggression created by your nightmare caused you to partially transform and you began to sort of 'sleep fight.'  You were fighting in your nightmare, and you ended up sleep walking and acting out the motions carried out in your dream.  You must have walked out of your apartment and hurt yourself while you were 'fighting off the bad guy.'"

"You think I was sleep fighting?"

"Many people sleep walk and talk and do weird things in their sleep, Ragan, it's not uncommon."

"I know, but you're saying that I did this to myself, that someone else didn't do this to me."

"Yes, why?  Do you remember something?  Or, perhaps, someone?"

"No.  I was just-no, it's stupid."

"What, Ragan?  Talk to me." Ming looks concerned.  I sigh.

"I was worried that whoever has been attacking people found my apartment and attacked me in my sleep."

"There wasn't any evidence of a break in, or any foreign DNA detected in your apartment or on your or Tim."

"I know, that's why it's stupid.  There would have been some sort of evidence left if that had happened."

"I'm not saying that your concerns are stupid.  You have every right to be afraid.  You woke up covered in blood outside your apartment.  That's not normal.   Your thoughts on being attacked are plausible, but based on evidence and the fact that Tim was left unharmed leads me to believe that it was you acting out a dream."

"That makes sense, thank you." I tell her.  She smiles.

"You know I'm only here to help you, Ragan.  I believe that you are safe and that you can leave the MCU and head home, if you'd like."  I smile wide and stand up.

"Oh yes please.  Not that I don't appreciate my job or you or anything, but I miss my bed."  I start lacing up my shoes and tie up my hair.  

"Tell me, Ragan, is it the bed you miss or the person who sleeps in it?" Ming asks.  She raises an eyebrow at me with a smug smile on her face.  I bite my cheeks and look at her, crossing my arms.

"And what's that supposed to mean?"

"Oh, nothing." She looks away, smile still on her face.

"How do you know about that anyway?  Sure you came over to my apartment but I never said anything about that."

"Smith filled me in." She answers.  I frown.

"Smith filled you in....on what exactly?"

"Just your living arrangements, that's all."

"Uh huh, yeah.  What exactly did he tell you?" I walk up to her, arms crossed.

"It's really none of my business, I shouldn't have brought it up."

"Yeah, well it's not really Smith's either.  What'd he say?"

"That you and your boyfriend live together and share a bedroom and a bed and that, well, that you two are are very....." she stops, as if trying to hide something.

"Very?"

"'Physical'." She air quotes, spitting it out.  I look at her, my jaw dropped.

"What?!  Physical?  What's that supposed to mean?!"

"He says you guys kiss....a lot."

"So?  Why does he....why do you.....we are NOT 'physical'." I raise my voice, getting defensive.

"That's just what he said."

"What the hell does 'physical' mean anyway?  Does he think we-oh my god." I cover my face with my hands, pacing around the room.  "We don't.....we're not 'physical'!"

"Hey hey, shush, calm down, I don't think that and I'm sure Smith doesn't think that.  I should not have brought it up, I apologize." Ming lowers her voice.  I start to relax a bit.  I sit down and drink some coffee, cooling down for a little while.

"Okay.  I think I'm just going to head out now." I grab my jacket and slip it on. 

"Alright.  Oh, and Ragan?  Maybe hold off on the kissing for a bit." She says.  I nod and start to exit the door before I turn around.  Ming is facing her computer.

"Oh, and Ming?" I call out.  She looks up at me.  "The answer is both." I smile.  She smiles back at me.

"That's what I thought." She states, typing away on her computer.

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