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667

Children of
the Beast
Issue #7 Part I
Seven

E.M. Moon

Copyright 2016 E.M. Moon


All Rights Reserved
ISBN: 1535445874
ISBN-13: 978-1535445870

The highest manifestation of life consists in


this: that a being governs its own actions. A
thing which is always subject to the direction
of another is somewhat of a dead thing.
Thomas Aquinas

Contents
1. July 15th 2016: Violet Eve
5
2. Subject Name: Adam Baudin
14
3. Subject Name: Seven
24
4. Subject #001: Violet Eve
29
5. Subject Name: Adam Baudin
40
6. Subject Name: Seven
49
7. Subject #001: Violet Eve
57
th
8. July 16 2016: Adam Baudin
69
9. Subject Name: Seven
79
10. Subject #001: Violet Eve
89
11. Subject Name: Adam Baudin
97
12. Subject Name: Seven
119
13. Subject #001: Violet Eve
119
14. Subject Name: Adam Baudin
129
15. Subject #001: Violet Eve
140
16. Subject Name: Adam Baudin
147
17. Subject #001: Violet Eve
155
18. Subject Name: Asher 7 Cole
167
19. Subject Name: Adam Baudin
169
20. Subject #001: Violet Eve
175
21. Subject Name: Asher 7 Cole
179
22. Subject Name: Adam Baudin
184
th
23. July 17 : Violet Eve
192

667: Children of the Beast


Issue #7
Seven
July 15th 2016
Subject #001:
Violet Eve
It had only been a few weeks since
we left Salem, and I was kind of starting to
miss it. I had been e-mailing back and forth
with Naomi since then; she was doing well,
but still getting used to her dream walking.
She had, however, told me about the
possibility that she had prevented a
kidnapping while traversing through
someone elses dream. How she explained
that to the police, I didnt ask.
Josiah had been kinder than usual, but
he still kept us under lock and key. We were
stuck in the house while Henri had resumed
helping the NOPD with the investigation
involving the Crescent City Shaman. They
were insistent that they were getting closer to
finding the perpetrator, but they werent.
Theyd never find Jeremy.

Nates death was oddly still a


question that was up in the air. No one would
tell me how they were able to explain that
situation to anyone and why I hadnt even
heard anything about a funeral. I found it all
quite funnyand it fueled my curiosity.
I tried not to ask too many questions
and instead do some investigating of my
own; research had been a high priority as of
late.
I had just sat down to respond to an email from Naomi when the little white
envelop popped up on the right side of my
desktop. Never being one to stay on track, I
clicked on it and the e-mail opened up to an
address that I didnt recognize.
Violet,
Not sure if you remember me or
not, but we met in Salem. I got your e-mail
address from Naomi Starr that works up
at Brighids Dawn in downtown. She
thinks that maybe you can help me.
I moved away from the city about a
week ago, but I had talked to Naomi
before I left. Im not even really sure how
to begin explaining myself.

We had a rash of unexplained


deaths right before you all arrived here.
They only got weirder after you left, but I
wasnt able to put it all together till about
two weeks ago. Each and every person
who died inexplicably had been one of my
tattoo clients. I went back and found their
names in my customer database and
noticed something odd; their deaths all
had eerie similarities to the tattoos that I
had given them.
There was a man that was bitten by
a very venomous snake that was found to
not be native to the area: a cobra. Just like
the tattoo on his forearm.
Another woman who had gotten a
tattoo that looked like a bite had been
taken out of her stomach was found
eviscerated. It went on like that through
quite a few clients.
I have been tattooing for the past
five years, but had been out of work for a
while. My friend Sam opened up the shop
in Salem and invited me to come work
there right after my birthday last Month. I
hadnt done too many tattoos there by the
time we met, and now I am afraid to do
any more until I can figure out what is
going on.

What I am getting at isI think


that my tattoos are killing these people. I
have no idea how that is even possible, but
I was desperate enough to go to Brighids
Dawn looking for answers.
So far, every single person that has
gotten inked by me since I started work at
the shop is dead and I have to figure out
why, and how to stop it. She pointed me in
your direction.
I need your help, Violet. Whatever
you know, whatever information you can
give meits important that I get it.
I stopped working at the shop right
after I found out about all of this and
havent done a tattoo sincebut the last
tattoo I did was on your boyfriend, Adam.
Please e-mail me back ASAP,
Seven
What in the hell did I just read?
I remembered SevenI remembered
sneaking in to the basement of the old L.
Cipher Clinic that was now the tattoo shop
too.

From the sound of that e-mail and the


fact that Naomi had sent him my wayI
could only assume he was one of us.
I wanted to reply right away to his email, but I knew I had to talk to Adam first.
He had gotten a tattoo on his chest from
Seven; a tattoo that looked almost identical to
the one I had fabricated to hide my third eye.
I was thankful that he was concerned, but
Adam wasnt like most peopleand neither
was Seven apparently.
I snagged my phone from the end
table in the sunroom and started texting
Adam.

He had gone out with Khaine in to the


swamp to play with their new powers like
they had been doing for days now. It was
something allowable by Josiah that didnt
keep them cooped up inside all day.

Of course he did; he had been


avoidant like that for a few weeks now. He
hadnt really talked to me in days, but that
was probably my own fault.

That was rude. I was rudebut its


hard to express urgency through a text
message sometimes.
My phone rang immediately and I
picked it up, I know youre out with Khaine
having man time, but this is really important.
Do you remember Seven from Salem?
The tattoo artist? Adam sounded
almost breathless as he spoke.
Yes. I just got an e-mail from him
and it doesnt sound good. I think he may be
one of us. I was already preparing to
forward the e-mail to him.

And what would make you think


that? I could hear splashing on his end as
they tromped through the waters of the
marsh.
Check your e-mail; I just forwarded
it to you. Let Khaine read it too. Im going to
go talk to Salome and wait for you two to get
back. I clicked send and set my laptop
down.
Whatever you say, boss. Well be
back shortly. Adam was short himself as he
hung up the phone.
I tried not to take his abruptness
negatively as I set off to find Salome in the
big antebellum mansion.
(*)

He sounds like he is one of us, but


what the hell? Tattoos that come to life?
Salome had been reading the e-mail on my
mobile.
Yeah. Thats definitely a new one. I
was only half listening; I was thinking more
about Adam and that eye on his chest.
He tattooed Adam? Salome cocked
a perfectly arched brow at me.
We didnt tell anyone. When we
were trying to find out more about the

Batibat, Adam and I took a detour to the


Clinic that used to be in Salem; its now a
tattoo shop. Adam decided that getting a
tattoo was a good distraction while I tried to
gather evidence. I sighed a little too audibly
as I stared out at the front drive and the
Spanish moss swaying slightly in the hot
wind of a Louisiana summer.
Did you find anything? Salomes
curiosity was now piqued.
We can talk about that later; here
they come. Khaine and Adam had rounded
the house and were now climbing the front
stairs, soaking wet from the knees down.
So he thinks that my tattoo is just
going to come to life and blink me to death?
Adam plopped down in a rocking chair next
to me.
I dont know that his powers would
even affect you like that since he may be one
of us. If it hasnt done anything yet, it
probably wont. I was finally typing up my
e-mail to Naomi and letting her know that I
had heard from Seven.
Well, thats good to know. I can now
sleep better at night. Adam leaned back in
his rocker and made a funny face at me. Or
maybe it was at what was behind me.

Khaine and Salome were cuddled up


together on the porch swing, their faces
hidden by a curtain of hair as I assumed they
were expressing their fondness for one
another.
You dont think its cute? I smirked,
watching as Adam averted his eyes.
I mean, its cuteI guess. Good for
them. Adam shrugged and crossed his arms.
He seemed uncomfortable with their
public displays of affection, but there was
something underlying all of it. He almost
seemedjealous? Bitter?
Can you get out of my head,
please? Adam waved a hand around his face
as he spoke, How are we going to help
Seven? He didnt look like he was ready to
jet back to the Northeast any time soon.
Im not sure. We should probably
talk to Josiah first and see what he thinks; he
wouldnt be happy if we made important
decisions without him. I made a pfft sound.
Salomes giggle caught Adams
attention and he rocketed from the chair and
stepped to the door, Tell me what the plan is
after you talk to him. And he slipped in to
the house with a slam.
The noise startled the love birds and
Khaine finally spoke, What was that all
about?

Dont know. I shrugged, But I


need to talk to Josiah about all of this.
I figured it would take my mind off of
Adams weird behavior and turn that
curiosity towards the situation with Seven.

Subject Name:
Adam Baudin

Violet saw right through me; she


always did. That damn third eye was nosy
It wasnt that seeing Salome and
Khaine crawl all over each other upset me
but it upset me.
I had been single for months now, but
there was still that ache in my gut when I saw
other people happily wrapped up in one
another.
My ex-girlfriend had decided it was
time to stop pretending that she was
interested in me and go find herself. She had
been a fun loving goth chick who
proclaimed to be an unselfish Satanist; a
woman who loved to come to my shows and
help me with the art classes and sporting
events down at the community center. Really,
she had just done all of those things because
she liked the status that came with being my
girlfriend.
She liked the attention when she
danced for my gigs and talking to the press
whenever I did something good for the kids
in the community; she liked to be in the
limelight. When she found out the local news
station was looking for a weather girl, she
traded in her neon colored wigs and black
clothes for coifed blond hair and a pant suit.
The station liked the look of her so much and

ratings went up when she did the weather, so


the station promoted her to news anchor.
We split because of it. We didnt want
the same things and were clearly going in
two different directions. I woke up one
morning to a vacant bed and empty closets
with a note telling me that she had to move
on with her life and answer her calling.
Whatever the hell that meant.
I slipped one of my favorite vinyls on
to the record player and laced my arms
behind me as I plopped down on the bed. I
hadnt meant to be so rude with Violet, but it
was something I didnt want to talk about.
I wasnt ready to get close to anyone
again and she just kept drawing me in. There
was no time for me to get wrapped up in
someone else right now; there was just too
much going on. Henri may have kept joking
with me about finding at least someone to
know on a carnal level, but I wasnt even
able to leave the house, let alone go trolling
for women.
Adam. A knock sounded at the door
as someone waited patiently on the other
side.

Come in, Cassandra. I reached out


to turn the music down as she opened the
door and entered.
I could see why Henri had been so
enamored with her.
She was tall and thin with the most
beautiful skin and naturally wavy hair that
glinted with hints of gold. Cassandras face
was borderline perfect in its symmetry and
her intense hazel eyes were always sultry, no
matter her disposition.
Whats up? I leaned back in the bed
and waited for her to talk.
Josiah wants you to come down and
discuss this Seven thing with him, but Im
wondering why you lied to me in Salem.
Cassandra perched her dress clad form on the
end of my amp and waited for a response.
Because I knew you wouldnt let us
go otherwise. I shot back. I hadnt thought
about Violet telling everyone about our little
detour to the tattoo shop, but of course it
would have to come out sooner or later.
I would have had I known Violet had
the information. Josiah is expecting full
disclosure on your little journey when you
come downstairs as Violet wouldnt make a
peep. She can be rather brazen. Cassandra
pursed her red lips.

Violet doesnt answer to anybody, if


you havent noticed. There I went coming
off rude again, What I mean is she doesnt
feel like she owes anyone anything. As much
as she wants to help others like us, she wants
to find out who we really are because she
knows how beneficial that could be to our
kind. We are sort of fighting blindly right
now.
That woman from the Square
seemed to know who you were; Violet at the
very least. Cassandra made eye contact
with me for a second.
Did she think that I knew who that
woman under the street lamp was?
She may have known us, but we
dont know her. I tried not to come off
sounding defensive.
Either way, that is another outlet we
need to pursue after this. Lets get downstairs
and talk to Josiah so we can continue to move
forward. Cassandra got up from the amp and
traipsed out the door.
(*)

Ah, Adam; have a seat. We were just


discussing this man named Seven that you

and Violet met when you took your day trip


to get tattooed. Josiah looked irate, but I
wasnt worried about it. I chose the seat next
to Cassandra and caught Violet mouthing her
apologies, but I crossed my arms and turned
my attention to Josiah.
What do you want me to say? I went
with Violet to check out the old L. Cipher
Clinic in Salem. Everyone had the Batibat
situation under control for the time being,
and we needed to know more about who
created us. I glanced at Violet who was
smiling slightly at me from across the table.
Well, what did you find? Josiah
didnt like when I stood up for myself, or
when anyone stood up for themselves, but he
wanted to know what Violet and I already
knew.
File copies of the other 661 of us.
Violet was smug as she responded.
6661? You mean to tell me that
there are 666 of you? Josiah was
dumbstruck, as were the rest of the people in
the room who werent privy.
667 if you count Seven. She
corrected him.
667there are 667 of you with
uncontrollable powers just roaming around
out there? Leo just shook his head.

Not all of us are uncontrolled; I think


the company here is doing a fine job and
Naomi seems to have it together. Khaine
piped up as he looked my way.
That may be, but that means there
are 662 of you who might not be controlled.
Josiah quipped.
661. Violet muttered under her
breath. Everyone tended to forget that Missy
was no longer alive.
Lets have those files then. Josiah
tapped the table.
You can have them, but you wont
be able to read any of them without a vintage
PC. I chuckled. Violet had some of the
information already, but Josiah was going to
have to work for the rest.
He looked from me to Violet, not
quite understanding what I was saying. There
had been nothing on the table in front of her
up until now, but her hands were now clasped
atop a sizeable black box.
You werent kidding. Leo eyed the
box of disks on the table. How are we
supposed to access anything on those?
Find us a Macintosh. I kicked up on
the table and could have sworn I saw smoke
pluming from Josiahs ears.

Cant Violet access them somehow


with her powers? Leo suggested but Violet
just rolled her eyes.
Doesnt work that way. Adam is
right; we need an old computer to read
these. Violet responded, but I knew she had
already read at least one of them.
Then lets see if we can find a
working one somewhere. In the meantime,
get back in contact with this Seven character
and see what we can do to help. If his tattoos
are coming to life like he claims, we are
going to have to put a stop to that. Josiah
jotted something down in a notebook before
closing it.
I dont think he is a threat, I just
think that he doesnt know what is going on
and thus cant control his powers. Violet
wanted to make sure that Josiah wasnt going
to start looking at Seven like he was one of
the bad guys.
Regardless, we need to get this under
control before he killsbefore anyone else
dies. Josiah quickly corrected himself before
he royally pissed off Violet.
Ill e-mail him back and figure out a
way to get him to New Orleans. I really dont
feel like going back up there any time soon.
Violet began to slide the box towards her

when Josiah snapped for her to pass it to him


instead.
Ill take that and keep it safe, if you
dont mind. He nodded in her direction.
Violet eyed him guardedly for a
moment before sliding the box across the
table, Seriously keep it locked up, ok? I
dont know where I even pulled those from,
so there is a possibility that someone could
be looking for them.
None of us had thought about that
until now. It was highly unlikely that the
entirety of the files was just sitting down in
the basement of the tattoo shop.
I promise it well be kept under tight
security until we can get our hands on a
virtually extinct dinosaur of a computer.
Josiah nodded at her again and took the box
under his arm.
Violet scooted her seat back, phone in
hand, and exited the room with Salome and
Khaine not far behind. I sat glued to my seat,
however, waiting for Josiah to say something
else. I could tell by the look on his face that
he had questions about Violet; he always had
questions about Violet.
What does she already know? He
turned to me, popping the lid on the floppy
disk box to see what was inside.

All I know is that she read her own


file. Youre going to have to talk to her about
what she read; she didnt really tell me
anything. That wasnt entirely true. She had
mentioned the inhibitor serumand that her
mother had been Patient 0but it really
wasnt anything new. If there had been
something else, she hadnt told me.
Ill discuss things with her later.
Right now I want you to make sure that she
gets in contact with Seven and we can get all
of that settled. I am hoping that he will be on
our side, but we have to be prepared that
maybe he wont. Josiah got up from his seat
and set the box inside a cabinet as I went to
stand up and leave.
Wait a second, Adam. He held his
finger up as I had almost made it to the door,
You got a tattoo from this guy?
I did. I knew that Josiah was going
to chastise me for that.
Can I see it? Josiahs gold tooth
was glinting as he curiously smiled at me.
I shrugged and pulled the collar of my
t-shirt down to expose the eye that was now
speckled with chest hair after it had several
weeks to heal.
Josiah chuckled, Dont let yourself
get sucked in so easily, Adam. I know about
how your last relationship went and I dont

think you need to get involved with this girl.


I like her, but she seems a bit volatile. She
seems to be more invested in L. Cipher
Laboratories than she is in finding the rest of
your kind and stopping them before they turn
like her friend Missy. Josiah warned me.
Yeah, wellthis is sort of personal
to her, you know? I wont go around telling
people about her private life, but you can ask
her if you want. Im not interested in her like
that, Josiah. It was just a split second
decision and this was the first thing that came
to mind. I let go of the collar of my shirt and
placed my hand back on the doorknob.
Whatever you say, Adam. But youre
a Baudin and I know how you boys can be.
He winked and I left before I had a chance to
say, or do, something that I would have
regretted.

Subject Name:
Seven

I was anxiously waiting for Violet to


respond to me, if she had even gotten my email.
Naomi had been nice enough to give
me her information after we talked at
Brighids Dawn. She seemed a little a bit
taken aback when I asked her questions about
curses and hexes, wondering if maybe one
had been put on me and that is why all my
clients had been dying.
She asked me to elaborate and when I
mentioned my birthday, she got a bit nosy;
asking the exact date and year. I assumed it
had something to do with astrological signs
or something, but she didnt let on. She just
immediately scribbled down Violets name
and e-mail on a piece of paper and told me to
contact her; said that she and her friend
Adam could help me even though they lived
in New Orleans.
It was then that it clickedI had met
them in Salem only a few weeks before and
had tattooed Adam. He was the last person I
had put a machine to and possibly the only
one that was still alive.
What were the odds that I would run
in to a friend of theirs who thought that they
could possibly help me in this? I didnt know
what good it would do since my story

sounded so far-fetched, but Naomi seemed to


believe it at least.
I had bit my nails almost to the quick
in anticipation for her response when my
phone went off with an e-mail alert. I
fumbled with the lock screen before clicking
on the e-mail.
It was Violet.
Seven,
I think we can help you, but it
would be easier if we could talk on the
phone. This isnt really something I want
to go back and forth with through e-mail.
Im glad Naomi pointed you in our
direction, though. Give me a call when you
can at 555-821-0616.
Violet
A sudden rush of relief washed over
me as I read her words.
I grabbed a pencil off my art desk and
began scribbling in the margins of a drawing
I had been working on and closed out of the
e-mail before dialing her number.
It rang twice before someone picked
up.

Hello? I recognized Violets accent


instantly, but my voice came out shaky in
response.
Is this Violet?
Yes it is. Is this Seven? She knew it
was me.
Yeah. Yeah. I didnt even know
how to begin the conversation.
I can tell youre scared; dont be.
Im going to try and find a way to help you
out. Violets voice sounded oddly cool.
Im a bit worse for wear at the
moment. I just dont know what is happening
right now. I was finally able to let some of
my worry out with just a few sentences.
Well figure it out. You said that you
moved and havent tattooed anyone since
Adam? She queried calmly. How could she
be keeping it together after I told her that her
boyfriend could possibly die at any minute?
Uh, yeah. II actually moved to
Baton Rouge. I nodded to myself as I spoke.
Youre down South now? There
was a hint of excitement in her voice.
Yeah, Sam has friends down this
way and helped me move. I was surprised
considering I just sort of left him high and
dry in Salem. I scooted down in my chair
and tried to relax while I talked to her.

Were you the only tattoo artist at the


shop? Violet asked another question. I
imagined her taking notes in a little notebook
like some cop.
Uh huh, besides Sam. We had to shut
it down because I didnt want to tattoo
anymore and Sam couldnt handle it by
himself. His business partner just disappeared
on us. It wasnt the only tattoo shop he owns
though; he has several down here, so he
offered to take me to Baton Rouge with him.
I just started to talk, despite my initial
concern.
And what excuse did you come up
with for not wanting to work at the shop
anymore? Violet sounded a little curious.
I told him the truth. I winced. I
figured Violet was going to give me a stern
talking to for not sugar coating this ordeal for
everyone.
And he believed you? Well she
fucking believed me!
He did; I thinkmoved me to Baton
Rouge so I could start over. Im out of work
and getting dangerously close to being out of
money because I have no idea what to do
with myself. I confessed to her. I just needed
her to help me.
Maybe we should meet up. Theres
too much to talk about over the phone. Since

you dont really seem to have the funds to


drive to us; we can come to you. Violet still
hadnt given me any real explanation as to
what was going on, but at least she was going
to come talk to me face to face.
Ill text you the address and you just
tell me when. I responded.
Let me talk to everyone else and I
will shoot you a text when we are headed
your way. And Seven, just sit tight ok? Well
find a way to help you. And then she hung
up.
Greatmore waiting.
But it didnt take long for her to get
back to me.
In under an hour she had texted back
and said they were heading out around four. I
knew that in just a couple of hours I would
hopefully be able to answer all these
questions that had been zipping through my
mind for the past few weeks.

Subject #001:
Violet Eve
He told his boss? This isnt the sort
of thing that you just go telling people.
Adam was in the drivers seat going way too
fast for my liking down the highway.
Hes scared; cant fault him for that.
I shook my head as I gripped the seat next to
him.
Did he really look like a guy that
gets scared easily, though? Adam was very
combative with me.
Looks cant tell you everything
about a person, Adam. I grabbed on to the
handle above the window and held on for
dear life as Adam turned off the exit.

Do you have to keep driving like


that, dude? Im practically sitting in Salomes
lap and I know that cant be comfortable. I
turned over my shoulder to see Khaine
holding on to the headrest of the drivers seat.
Yes, what he said. Can you slow it
down a bit? I placed my hand upon Adams
over the gear shift and he reflexively jerked it
away. He was going to wreck the car if he
didnt calm himself down.
Yeah. Sorry. He slowly moved his
hand back and shifted as he turned right off
the exit.
What kind of power could this
possibly be? It sounds like an episode of the
Twilight Zone or something. Salome had
settled back in her seat and was eyeing me
through the side mirror.
Im not sure, but everyone that hes
inked since he had his birthday has died. I
hadnt even thought to ask him how old he
was, but the whole situation just screamed
that he was one of the 667.
Everyone except me. Adam spoke,
but his eyes never left the road.
I think youre fine. I mean, if he is
one of us then there is a high possibility that
his powers wont affect you like it does a
regular person. That was my theory any
way.

Turn here? Adam pointed down a


street and I nodded.
I think so. I was watching the little
yellow arrow that was gliding over the map
when the image changed to a phone number.
Hello? I answered the call, You
want to meet where? A few blocks over from
the house? We can do that. No, its no
problem. See you in a bit.
He wants to meet us at the park a
few blocks from his house. He sounded
off. I had hung up the phone and pointed
down the street that Adam needed to take.
To the park then. He turned and
took us the few blocks down a side street that
led to the prettiest little park with more
Spanish moss on the trees than the ones at
Cassandras house.
That looks like him. I pointed out
the window as Adam parked. I could see
Seven perched on a park bench, wringing his
hands together.
I was the first to hop out of the car
and ran over to him; my third eye was
twitching something awful.
Seven? I posed his name as a
question because he looked slightly different
since the last time I had seen him. I could see
that his hair was shorn on one side and his

eyes were red and puffy, almost as if he had


been crying.
Violet. He tried to force a smile, but
I could tell that it was a front.
What happened? I had to ask.
Adam, Salome, and Khaine came up
then and Seven tried to introduce himself
but he choked.
Another oneI think I killed
another one. He hung his head low in his lap
and just shook it from side to side.
But you said you hadnt tattooed
anyone else? I was not expecting that to be
the problem.
When I got off the phone with you I
decided to go out and grab something to eat
before you all got here and when I came back
there were police cars everywhere. I tried to
go inside, but they refused to let me in and
when I asked them what had happened they
told me that my roommate had been killed.
Seven was trying so hard not to lose his
mind.
Sam? I questioned. He hadnt
mentioned who he had moved in with.
No, just a friend of his, but
regardlessthe cops told me that they found
him in his roomburnt to a crisp. Seven
stood abruptly from the bench and walked

over to a tree where he began picking the


leaves from a limb.
But what does that have to do with
you? You didnt fry him up like a crispy
critter. Poor choice of words on Adams part
because Seven was on him like he had just
insulted his mother.
It was my fucking fault. I had been
doing some drawings here and there and I
had sketched out this colossal dragon a few
days ago. Rick really liked it and offered to
pay me for it. So, I let him have it. Seven
butted up against Adam as they were toe to
toe. I could see the flash of fire in Adams fist
and knew that if I didnt break the two of
them up, Seven might meet the same fate as
his roommate.
Was that dragon breathing fire in the
drawing by chance? I came between the two
of them and gently pushed Seven back to the
tree.
Yes. He relaxed under my touch,
but continued to focus his eyes on Adam.
So, it isnt the tattoos then; its your
art. That was the link. His drawings were
coming to life.
But how? How in the hell is this
even happening? I have been drawing for
years and not once has anything that I have
drawn ever harmed anyone. Seven looked

me dead in the eye as he spoke. He was so


confused, so scared, and he had no answers.
You may want to sit for this, yeah?
I took him by the hand and brought him back
over to the bench.
When is your birthday, if you dont
mind me asking? I sat down next to him and
waited for him to talk.
Why are you and your friends so
interested in my birthday? Sevens hazel
eyes were almost watery as he looked at me.
It is rather important. I just needed
to hear the date.
June 6th, 1986. He replied, waiting
for me to say something profound.
Mine too. I spoke back as he
curiously looked at me, Same as Adam and
Salome and Khaine; we all have the same
birthday: June 6th 1986.
All five of us have the same
birthday? Seven looked dumbfounded.
Naomi too. We were all born on the
same day and we all have special talents like
you do. I tried to break the news to him as
simply as possible.
Do your talents kill people too?
Seven sarcastically responded as if I couldnt
somehow relate to him.
They havesort of. I dont even
know how to go about explaining all of this

to you, but we arent normal people. I still


dont know exactly what we are, but we all
have the ability to do some extraordinary
things. I laid my hand on his arm and I felt
him relax under my touch.
Whwhat can you do then? He
turned to me as he placed his own hand over
mine.
I blinked and Seven and I were back
under the tree that he had been tearing the
leaves from, while the other three still stood
by the bench. My powers had become more
commonplace for them and they didnt even
bat an eye.
How in the Seven almost
knocked me back when he stood up from the
base of the tree.
Its this little thing I do. I blinked
again and the two of us were seated back on
the bench.
That hardly seems like a dangerous
power. Seven seemed like his interest had
been piqued by my little display.
It can be if I want it to be. I wasnt
going to show him just how dangerous, but I
think he got the point.
And you three can do stuff like this
too? Seven pointed at me as he addressed
everyone else.

We can, but I dont think here is a


very appropriate place to be demonstrating
that sort of thing. Salome responded as she
took hold of Khaines hand.
Then lets go somewhere where you
can. She is one thing, but I am not yet
convinced. Seven insisted. What about me
teleporting him back and forth wasnt
convincing?
Where would you like to go then? I
wanted him to at least be comfortable and if
it took us going some place where prying
eyes wouldnt see us, then so be it.
We can go to Sams. He has a farm
about ten miles outside of Baton Rouge. I
cant go back to my house anyway and its
private out there. Seven smiled at me and I
couldnt help but smile back. I wouldnt deny
that he was rather attractive.
Lead the way; well drive. I went to
stand, but Seven beat me to it and helped me
from the bench.
Ill drive. Adam scoffed as the five
of us got back in the crossover and headed to
Sams farm.
(*)

This place is beautiful. Reminds me


of the ranch back home exceptgreener.
Salome gushed as we pulled down the long
dirt drive lined with old magnolias and
stopped in front of a big red barn.
Sam isnt here; still getting
everything squared away with Salem, but he
told me I could use the farm house whenever
I needed it. Seven climbed out of the car and
stood in the middle of the broad drive.
It is rather lovely out here. I took a
deep breath and could smell the wet hay and
horses somewhere out in the pasture.
It is nice. Now, show me what the
rest of you can do? Seven seemed a little
excited as he waited for the rest of us to show
off.
Ill go first then. Khaine stepped
forward and let out a low whistle. I watched
as Seven waited for something to happen.
Somewhere on the other side of the
barn a hound barked, and then another, and
another. Three massive black dogs rounded
the structure and came bounding up to their
master. Seven almost backed in to me when
the dogs galloped up to Khaine and sat
obediently by his side.
I can summon the hounds of Hell.
Khaine grinned and I knew that Seven could
now see just how sharp his teeth were.

Salome went next and everyone


watched as she climbed the fence in to the
pasture and grabbed a handful of wildflowers
before walking up to Seven with her arms
outstretched. The flowers began to wither in
her grasp until they were nothing but a putrid
green mess in her hands.
Decay. Not a pretty power, but it
works for me. She pursed her lips as she
shook the goop from her fingers.
And what about you? Seven
crossed his arms as he looked at Adam. It
was almost as if he was challenging him.
Adam didnt look happy that he had
to perform for an audience, but he trudged
over to a fire pit that was amidst a circle of
chairs and took off the new gloves that Henri
had fashioned for him. He placed his hand to
the dry brush that was piled inside and it
instantly went up in flames.
You can roast weenies with hands
like that. Seven began to laugh, but Adam
didnt look like he found it very funny.
There you have it. I am going to try
and explain this to you as simply as I can; all
of us were created in a lab, with the same
birthdays, and all with incredible gifts that no
normal human could possess. We dont know
why we were created, or what we are, but we

do know who made us: a medical facility


called L. Cipher Laboratories. It was getting
tiring having to explain this over and over
again. I was starting to consider making a
damn pamphlet and just handing it out
whenever we met another one like us.
What the hell are we? Seven turned
to me for an answer.
Demons? Super soldiers? Gods
chosen freaksI dont really have an answer
to that. We are in the process of trying to
figure everything out. I explained as I
watched the sun start to sink lower in the sky.
Anyone else want a beer? Im pretty
sure I need a drink after all of this. Seven
blinked hard a few times before fumbling for
his keys.
Sounds good to me. It was the least
irritated thing that Adam had said in a while.
Sam always has the fridge stocked.
We can hang out here for a while and maybe
discuss this a little more? Seven was now
talking to me again.
Sure. We dont really have anything
else to do. I agreed and the lot of us entered
the farmhouse for a cold brew and a long
conversation.

Subject Name:
Adam Baudin
What do you think about this guy?
Khaine asked me as we sat on an old sofa
with a few domestics in hand.
He seemed nice enough when we
met him in Salem, but we didnt exactly get
to best buds status. I had been asking him
about the shop and Violet was in his
basement looking for clues. I knocked my
beer back and took a long swig.
Violet seems to like him well
enough. Salome chimed in as she scooted
closer to Khaine.
She wasnt wrong. We had been
sitting here for an hour while Violet told
Seven pretty much everything we knew. She
explained to him that the shop he had been
working at was once one of the clinics that

had a hand in helping create us, that Naomi


was one of us too and what her special
abilities were, even that we had encountered
angels and demons since all of this began.
Seven seemed to be taking it all rather
well by the way he kept touching her arm as
they talked and she seemed to be enjoying his
company with the way she laughed at
everything he said.
Violet sees the good in everyone. I
glanced over at the two as they sat at the
kitchen table together.
Thats a good thing, though. She
gives people a chance even if they dont
think they deserve it. Khaine retorted. I
knew he was talking about himself.
That she does. I replied. He was
right; she trusted me, a total stranger, even
after she had just been accosted by a man on
her first night in New Orleans. Granted, if
she hadnt
Anyone hungry? I can order us some
pizzas. Seven called out from the table and I
watched as Violets gaze never left him.
Pizzathat would hit the spot right
about now. Khaine stretched on the sofa and
pulled Salome close to him as he kissed her
forehead.

Everyone was getting a little too


comfortable with one another for my liking
and I decided to excuse myself.
Pizzas good. Im going to go for a
walk and a smoke; holler out to me when it
gets here. I set my beer down on the coffee
table and walked out the front door.
(*)

The sun was going down now and I


assumed that we were going to be staying the
night at the farmhouse. No one seemed to
mind since we werent stuck inside the
mansion twiddling our thumbs for hours on
end.
I wouldnt have minded it so much
had everyone around me not been all lovey
dovey with one another. I tried to forget
about all the mushy stuff and yet it seemed to
be slapping me in the face.
Adam! Pizza is here. Seven was
jogging up to me from the farm house as I
balanced myself on the post of the pasture
fence.

Ill be there in a minute. I was


working on my fourth cigarette and wasnt
sure if I was ready to eat yet.
I think your girlfriend wants you to
come in and eat something. He pushed as I
hopped down from my perch and smudged
my smoke out in the dirt.
Violet isnt my girlfriend; that was
just a story we told you so she could go
snooping around in your basement. I had to
be truthful.
She never mentioned that while we
were talkingdoes that mean shes single?
A sly smile crept across his face as I followed
him back to the house.
I guess it does. Still had to be
truthful.
If this wasnt such a fucked up
situation, Id ask her to dinner or something.
You two made a pretty convincing couple,
though. Seven nudged me. He was trying to
be friendly, but for some reason I just wasnt
interested in being friendly back.
I guess we did. I hadnt thought
about how we looked together; we were just
playing a part to gain intel.
Well, I still may ask her to dinner. It
isnt like we live that far from one another
now. Seven smiled and for some reason that

big pearly grin made me want to punch him


in the face.
Go for it. Not sure if she will say
yes, but its worth a shot. Now I was just
being an assholebut I didnt care.
Ah, but I think she might say yes.
She seems like she might be interested. But
Seven just kept going. Thank God we had
just gotten to the front door or I probably
would have slugged himfor whatever
reason.
Eat some pizza, dude. This is
seriously some of the best I have ever had.
Khaine had one of the biggest slices in his
hand and Salome was sitting with Violet
munching away on one equally as big.
I snagged a slice and started eating as
Seven took his seat next to Violet and began
chatting away with her.
What exactly are we doing right
now? We cant save people that are already
dead and he said he isnt tattooing anymore
I suspect after this he wont draw again
either. I spoke quietly to Khaine as he sat on
the couch and listened to Seven make jokes
with the girls.
We need to make him understand
that his powers arent inherently bad. Maybe
there is a way that he can control what his art

does and use it to his advantageour


advantage. We need more allies like Naomi
and less possible enemies like Missy.
Khaine stuffed his crust in his mouth and
went for another slice.
True. But there is something about
Seven I just dont like. I grunted, finishing
my own slice.
What? The fact that Violet likes
him? Khaine paused mid-bite and arched a
fuzzy eyebrow at me.
What? I mimicked him
involuntarily, Why would her liking him
make me dislike him? That seemed petty
but maybe it was true.
I have no idea. Khaine just shook
his head and arched both brows this time.
So, this is what I think we should
do. I overheard Violet speaking and
positioned myself on the sofa to listen in,
You need to draw something and learn how
to control it. Maybe start with something
small and non-threatening and then work
your way up. I mean, you could learn to draw
your own weapons and what not.
Do I need weapons? Seven asked.
If you are going to fight the good
fight in all of this, you might. Aside from our
apparent powers, we all are super humanly
strong, abnormally healthy, and incredibly

agile. I think those traits come with the


territory. Violet pointed out what the
majority of us already knew.
You all fight a lot? What do you
fight? Seven was only posing these
questions to Violet and not anyone else in the
room, but I decided to answer for her.
Quite a bit. Anything from angels, to
criminals, to demonseven each other. I
hadnt meant for that last bit to have such a
bite, but it caused Violet to noticeably flinch.
I knew she was thinking about Missy.
Some of us arentarent good
people. We may have seemed that way before
our transformation, but things changed after.
Violet was pensive as she stared down at her
half eaten slice.
Transformation; is that what that
was? Seven was now thinking pretty hard.
It was painful wasnt it? The fog is
no joke. Salome laid a caring hand on
Sevens shoulder.
I was actually down at Proctors
Ledge when my birthday came. I had gone
with Sam and his business partner after we
had one too many. I am not even sure where
the hell they had wandered off too, but I was
down near the hanging treeswasted as fuck
when this thick fog just rolled in and it hit
me. I thought I was having a heart attack, or a

seizureor both. I cried out for help, but I


guess they didnt hear me right away. When
they found me I was lying flat on my back
just looking up at the sky.
They assumed that I was just blitzed
and I didnt bother going in to detail with
them because at least I was fucking alive.
Seven seemed a little emotional as he retold
his story, but he had the comforting hands of
both women now.
It was literally a life changing
experience for all of us. That is why I am
trying to figure out who we are and where the
rest of us are hiding because we will be
stronger if we are in this together. I dont
know why we were made, but there are
peoplebeings out there that dont want us
to survive, that dont want us to do good or
think for ourselves. We have a choice in all of
this to do the right thing, or to let evil take
overand I want all of us to fight for
ourselves and the people around us who cant
fight. That was quite possibly one of the
most profound things I had ever heard come
out of Violets mouth.
She did care about everyone, no
matter what Josiah said. She was dealing
with her own internal struggles while still
trying to fight for everyone else around her.

She was far stronger than he gave her credit


for.
I like you, Violet. You have one of
the most beautiful souls I have ever seen and
I think that most of us will want to follow
your example. Anyone who doesnt wasnt
truly a good soul to begin with. Maybe we
have been given the opportunity to make a
change in this world with these powers.
Seven seemed like he had changed his tune
and by the look on Violets face I could tell
that she was eating up every word he fed to
her. I just hoped that he wasnt feeding her a
line

Subject Name:
Seven
Ok. What do you want me to draw?
I sat back in the kitchen chair with a pad of
paper on the table and a pencil in hand.
Something a little less dangerous
than what you have been. Violet was
twirling an ink pen between her fingers.
It was late and she had been working
me up to draw something and I had just given
in. I knew she wanted to see what I could do,
but I wasnt feeling it; I couldnt always draw
on demand.
The others had retired to old
television shows, but Violet wasnt giving up
on me.
Uh, lets seehow about a kitten? I
smirked at her and she rolled her green eyes
ever so slightly at me.
Fine. But I want it to be a tabby.
She tapped the paper, insisting I put my
pencil to it.
I began sketching quickly and tried to
make the feline take up the whole page.

Would a kitten be just as deadly as a fire


breathing dragon if I was the one that was
drawing it?
And there you have it; a tabby cat. I
turned the paper around so she could see it
better, but didnt hand it to her.
Its cute, but it isnt doing anything.
Violet slid the paper back to me.
Because I dont know how it does
anything. I just ink the drawing and it leaves
my person and then goes on to commit
terrible acts of violence. I sucked my lips in
as I studied the creature on the page.
Then maybe you should give it to
me. She held her hand out and waited for
me to put the paper in her palm.
Are you sure you want me to do
that? I was hesitant about even letting her
hold the drawing.
What is the worst that can happen?
You didnt draw a tiger or something; just a
wee baby kitten. Violet chuckled, but I
didnt find it that funny.
I tattooed a tiger on the guy that was
in the shop that day I met you and Adam. I
licked my lips as I thought about the
headlines from that death:
Man Seemingly Torn Apart By Jungle Cat.
Investigation Continues with Possible Animal
Trafficking Ring.

Yeah, more like good ink work


turning in to a deadly encounter.
Oh, I forgot about the tiger. Im so
sorry; that was a very poor choice of words
on my part. Violet appeared to be truly
apologetic.
No worrieshere. I finally let her
take the paper from my hand and she looked
it over carefully.
Nothing; still just a kitten on a piece
of paper. But a rather well drawn one at that.
Violet looked at it a little longer before she
folded it up and placed it in the pocket of her
shorts. Can I use your toilet?
Wasnt the first time she had asked
me that, but far less cute. She did a little
dance for me last time and everything.
Down the hall and to the left. I
pointed to the back of the farmhouse and she
nodded before walking away. Not a bad
view...
Anything scary happening over
there? I heard Adam holler from the open
doorway. He had stepped out to smoke
another cigarette and looked like he still was.
Nope. Just drawing fluffy kittens. I
got up from my seat and went to get a slice of
cold pizza from the kitchen counter.

Sounds exhilarating. He practically


scoffed at me.
What was his problem? He had been
weird since they got here and nothing like the
guy I had met in Salem. He seemed
positively irked.
I opened my mouth to reply with a
snarky remark when we heard a string of
expletives streaming from down the hall.
Jesus Christ! What theoh, God.
And then lilting laughter as Violet came
bustling down the hall and Adam was to her
before I could even try.
Trailing behind her was a tabby
kitten, meowing and talking up a storm as it
chased Violet down the hall.
It worked. She was laughing as
Adam gripped her by the elbows and moved
her out of the way to scoop up the cat.
Maybe I have to be out of the line of
sight for it to work. I joked as Adam handed
the tabby to me and I stroked it between the
ears.
Or maybe you were thinking about it
while I was in the toilet and it just manifested
itself. Violet pinched the kitten at the scruff
and cradled it in her arms.
That is a good possibility. I didnt
know what else to say.

The thing ishow long does it last?


In the police reports, was there ever a
mention about finding the attacker, or
whatever you would call it? Violet had an
idea that whatever it was I drew, didnt stay
manifested for long.
No. All of the deaths were pretty
much unsolved. They never found who, or
what, had killed those people. Maybe it just
does its thing and then it goes on its way
once it has finished? My explanation
sounded pretty good.
That sounds about right. Violets
voice seemed a little unhappy and when I
looked down at her hands, the kitten wasnt
in them.
Where did it go? I asked, looking
around her and all over the living room.
It justdisappeared. Violet smiled
sadly as she sat back down at the kitchen
table and Adam pulled a seat out next to her.
So, I guess that is it then. I sat down
and pulled another sheet of paper towards
me.
Try something else. Maybe
something that will make me a little less sad
when it dematerializes. Violet rolled my
pencil across the table.
Adam was watching me with
scrutinizing eyes as I put pencil to paper

again and began scribbling away. In a few


minutes I had drawn a full suit of armor and
turned it around for everyone to see.
Thatssurprisingly good. Adams
compliment was backhanded, but I took it
anyway.
Ok, now focus on it, alright? Focus
on the armor and will it to manifest. Violets
eyes were full of wisdom as she waited for
me to make the magic happen.
I studied the drawing, really took in
all the lines and shading; imagined how
heavy the metal would feel if I was wearing
it. The weight of the helmet over my head
and the echo of my voice if I were to speak
inside of it
I hadnt realized I had been holding
my eyes closed until Violet said something.
Look at you.
I opened my eyes to tiny slivers of
light and pushed the visor back from my
face; I was wearing the full suit of armor and
felt very heavy in my chair.
Focus. Sometimes it is about focus
and will: you wanted to wear the armor
apparently and here you are all ready to go
out and slay dragons. Violet quickly
clamped her hand over her mouth; she
assumed it had been a poor choice of words,
but she wasnt wrong.

I got up from my seat and made such


a ruckus that Khaine and Salome sat up from
their prostrate position on the sofa to look as
I ambled to the mirror in the hall.
Holywow. Wow. I studied myself
in the mirror sporting the armor of a knight
before walking back out in to the kitchen.
Look at that. Now you can control it
for the most part; you just have to keep
working on it. Try something live again and
work on controlling what it does. That seems
to be part of the problem you were having.
Violet had gone to the fridge and pulled out a
whole handful of beers.
Does this mean we are going to be
working on this all night? Not really how I
had planned on spending my evening, but
nothing was really going the way I had
intended lately.
If youre up to it. The more we work
on it, the better you will get at it. Last time
we had to do this we were fighting a demon
two demons in the process. Better to be
prepared while things are quietjust in
case. Violet looked a little sheepish that she
was ordering me around, but she had a good
point.
The armor had dissipated from my
body as I sat back down at the table and
spoke.

Were going to need more paper


then.