Cant stop what's coming, can't stop what's already here.
She rolled over, barely awake enough to make form of the thoughts which drifted through her mind like clouds through a grey sky. It was several seconds before she came to a semblance of consciousness that let her mind forward. It was dark. Chances were that meant it was nighttime. That made sense in her mind. She'd gone to sleep in her bed at night thus she would be waking up in her bed later that same night for some reason. She groaned, wishing that her coherency was a little better. She focussed, forcing herself to wake up enough to think properly. Opening her eyes she looked over to the bed table to see a semblance of her clock radio. Groaning again she brushed away the stray blonde hairs from her eyes which, like many things in her life, had a habit of doing what they wanted if not properly controlled.
It was 4.20 in the morning. She sighed to herself and rolled over. Her hand stroked the bare mattress beside her. She blinked and looked through the darkness. Where her husband should have been there was a blank space. Easy enough to explain she thought. Probably just gone to the bathroom. That'll be what woke me up. Then she heard movement outside the room.
"Honey?" she croaked, her voice not yet prepared to speak.
There was no reply.
"Hank? Are you out there?"
Again there was nothing.
For a second she milled over her actions then rose out of bed, wrapping a white sheet about her naked body.
"Hank? Is everything alright out there?"
She walked through into the main hallway of the apartment that was totally dark. There in the darkness a from was moving. Somewhat reluctantly she reached for the light switch throwing it on suddenly. She blinked once at the sight she saw. It was her husband, fully dressed and putting on his boots.
"Hank? she gazed down at him. "What the hell are you doing?"
"I said what the hell are you doing?"
Hank finished lacing his boot and stood up, apparently oblivious to her. Her moved for the door but she intercepted him, grabbing him by the wrist and staring him directly in the face.
"Honey! Where are you going!" she pleaded, trying to penetrate the vacant stare in his eyes.
For a second there was flicker of recognition.
"..church.." came the whisper from his mouth.
"Church? You've never.... Now?"
The flicker died, his face resorting to a mask. Without thought he pushed her aside, her sheet falling to the floor. She stood there naked but her offered not even a second glance before closing the door behind him.She stood there, heart beating, tired mind racing, trying to figure out what was happening but failing. For the first time in a long time, Helen felt a sick feeling she was losing control.
She couldn't sleep. Not that she really needed to sleep much more luckily. Instead she watched the only thing she could find of interest, a news channel. Earthquake in the middle east, tax problems, bush fires in L.A almost under control. None of it really held her attention. Her mind raced over what might have happened. In the end she could come to only one conclusion. He'd found out. Somehow after all this time, in the middle of the night he'd found out the truth and was too startled to deal with it. That would explain it. That would explain a lot. Helen felt sick again. She'd always been frightened this might happen, that everything would come out in the open. Now what would happen? Who had told Hank? And how many people had they told? She was a celebrity. That meant there would be no escaping the media frenzy, especially something this big. She had to do something, had to talk so someone, any one. In the end there was only one person she could think of even if it did seem a little dangerous.
She looked at the clock that read 5.06.
She picked up the phone. She dialed. Phone. Ringing phone. Close enough. Hand reach. Pick up. "Hello?"
"Hank. He knows. He just walked out and it's the middle of the night and he wouldn't even talk to me or anything..."
"Shh. Helen calm down. It's okay. Relax. Okay? Relax."
"You say Hank knows?"
"What did he say?"
"Nothing. He didn't say anything. He wouldn't even talk to me."
"So you don't know for sure why?"
"What else could it be?"
"It could be anything. It's all right."
"Jesus Christ Uma it's not all right! If this gets out you know what it means?"
"Look Helen. Calm down. Just.. stay where you are. You're at your apartment?"
"I'll be there soon. It'll be fine."
Helen nodded, mostly to herself and hung up the phone. She sat curled up on her bed in tee shirt and boxers, wishing that she could make herself believe in the way she that she could to others.
Dream. Space. Nothing. Force. Church. Eyes. Hands. Breasts. Beasts.
Helens eyes flicked open with the knock on the door. She looked at the clock. 8.11. Through the window a vague semblance of light was now beginning to filter. Obviously she'd been able to get to sleep after all, albeit a disturbed sleep.
"Hang on." she called, rising from the bed and going to the door. She looked through the peephole but she knew it was Uma even before she saw the woman's face. Unlocking the door she let the woman in.
"Uma. I'm so glad you...." Helens sentence tailed of as the taller woman moved briskly into the apartment and pushed the door closed behind her, locking it firmly. "Uma? What's going on?"
"I'd really like to know that myself." Umas serious tone was unmistakable.
"What do you mean?"
"Look out he window."
Wrinkling her brow Helen moved to the window, brushed aside the curtain and squinted down at the street.
"What do you see Helen?"
"Nothing." Helen tried to find what Uma was referring to.
"Exactly. What don't you see?"
"I... What the.. People. There are no people. This is L.A. There are always people."
"Oh there are people all right."
"Where are they?"
"What? All of them."
Uma paused for a second, considering the enormity of the concept. "ALL of them." she nodded. "Every house of worship for every denomination of every religion in this town is filled to overflowing. There are some squares and malls which are just filled with people."
"Nothing. Absolutely fucking nothing. They just sit there."
"But.. Frank said he.. was going to church."
"Helen... I don't think this has anything to do with you or me or any of us. It's like this whole population of L.A has become zombies."
"Not just L.A. Look."
Helen pointed at the T.V news, raising the remote volume.
"I don't get it. Helen that's just last nights news."
"Yes. It's exactly last nights news. It's just a continuing loop.
There's nothing new coming in from anywhere."
"But.. " Uma grabbed the remote and scanned through the channels. Most of them were the same but about a fifth were mere static."
"Jeez. What the hell is going on?"
"I have no idea.... Why aren't we affected?"
"Why aren't you and I down there among them?"
"... Because of... the way our minds work."
"Or the way our minds are linked."
"Phone!" Uma reached for the phone beside the bed.
"Who's in town right now?" Helen asked, considering whom she knew.
"Kate's around somewhere. I don't know exactly. Liv's in Europe. Drew should be around. So should Neve and Love."
"Assuming they aren't zombies."
"We aren't so they shouldn't be."
"But we're more powerful than them."
"Hmm." Uma waited impatiently for a pickup. "So. How is hetro married life treating you?"
"Fine." Helen replied. "Until about four hours ago."
"So how did we do?"
"Not great. I got Kates answering machine, I got in touch with Neve and Jen easy enough."
Helen raised an eyebrow.
"They were in the same bed." Uma smiled. "But god knows where the others are."
"Hardly even see her anymore."
"What's she doing?"
"I don't know. No projects as far as I know but that's just from the grapevine.
"That doesn't sound too good. We only managed to get two others."
"Well at least there are others who are still thinking. We're going to meet those two at 3pm."
"So what do you suggest we do until then?"
"Find out what we can from those people."
"I don't think they're particularly responsive."
"Oh come on Helen. I think we know how to make them respond. It'll just take a little work.. and play."
Even given the bizarre circumstances, Helen couldn't help smile a little.
"You weren't kidding." Helen whispered as she gazed in awe at the mass of humanity assembled in the square. They sat and stood, oblivious to the world around them, oblivious to each other. Tens of thousands simply waited. Waited for something.
"See any that might fit the bill?" Uma scanned the crowd.
"Hmmm. There." Helen pointed. The teenage girl stood slightly apart from the main mass though was no less oblivious. Her short skirt and tight tee shirt seemed to indicate she'd been at a party when struck with this compulsion. "Young mind, good body, probably sexually active. Easier to get into."
"I'll take your word for it."
Helen cast Uma a querying glance. "Well I went for the older woman most of the time. Mature anyway. And all stars or friends. How young did you go Helen?"
"When I was out of control? Um... I got Lacey Charbert to masturbate at home. Does that count?"
"Not really. She probably did it regularly anyway."
"Well anyway. I was never into the masses like you were."
"Gee thanks. How did you get into this thing anyway? You never told me how..."
"Some other time. Right now let's get down to business."
"Pleasure is our business."
"Of course you realise that if this goes wrong we're in big trouble."
"You mean we're going to have literally a million zombies stalking us?"
"Something like that."
"Then we have to get it right."
Helen nodded and the prepared to move. Briskly they walked up to the girl, Uma holding her arms, Helen her mouth. The girl struggled a little but with minimal force they were able to drag her out of the crowds into a building. There they locked themselves in an office. Thankfully there was no movement among the silent masses in her defense.
"Wendy Adele Baker." Uma read from the I.D card.
"Do we have anything to tie her down?" Helen tried to restrain the girl as best she could in the small office.
"Sorry. I left my bondage gear at home."
Helen rolled her eyes.
"I really did. But I think we'll have to make do."
Uma knelt down and swiftly peeled off the girl's pantyhose, tying her hands above her head to a radiator.
"And her legs?"
Uma looked around and searched through draws finally discovering a thick roll of insulating tape.
"I hope for her sake she's shaved her legs." Uma said grimly.
"Okay. So what's the plan. We get in her head and get what we need right?"
"In theory." Helen pulled out a coin. "Heads or tails?"
Uma knelt between Wendys splayed legs, her expert hands softly working on Wendy's delicate flesh under the pushed up skirt. Helen sat at the girl's head, currently rubbing her breasts, ensuring that her nipples were fully erect from their attentions, pressing through the stretched fabric. It was gratifying to see that the girl's body was responding, as it should be, even if her mind was somewhere else. As Umas hands went deeper and deeper, Helens rose up, pressing her fingers against Wendys temples, gently sliding into the mind of the teen.
"Wendy. I know you can hear me. That's right Wendy. Relax. Just relax. It feels so good. Let it feel good. Let those fingers touch you so nicely. So nicely. Let me in Wendy. Let me into your head. Let me in. Let me in."
Umas eyes watched Helen as she tried to concentrate on the mind link. She was naked, they both were, her deep breaths raising and lowering her bosom. Uma could see the look of concentration on Helens face: eyes closed, lips pursed tight.
"Let me in Wendy. Let me in... Uma?"
"Make her come."
Uma nodded and flicked her fingers quickly in the right spots. Instantly she felt the girl twitch and quiver. She could feel that same shiver wash through Helen as the relaxation flowed through Wendys mind.
"Yes. Wendy. Feel me. Feel me inside you. Let me in... let me in..."
Helen felt the woman's mind opening like a book but the pages were distorted. Nothing seemed clear. It was as if a thick glass had been pulled around her and Helen could find no way about it.
"Uma. Give her multiples."
Uma moved again, feeling a series of orgasms shudder through the girls and her friend."
The glass was cracking. Helen could tell. There was a way through. There had to be. Another orgasm. A chink in the defense. Pushing her will forward, Helen squeezed into the deeper parts of Wendys mind. Desert. Nothing but desert. Helen felt the heat of the raw sun beat down on her back, sweat leeching out of her pores, soaking through her singlet. Squinting she looked around herself. Nothing. There was nothing. No landmarks, no rocks, just endless miles of desert. If this was the psychic projection of Wendys mind then things were very, very wrong.
"Wendy!" Helen called to the outline of the girl as she walked towards the nondescript horizon. The girl didn't reply so Helen was forced to follow. She felt the heat sapping the strength out of her body, or rather her projection of her body. This was certainly not a healthy environment for a consciousness. Even when she'd been held hostage by her inner demons Helens world had been more pleasant than this. In fact it was the very fact that it was pleasant that she'd been trapped in the first place.
At least until Uma had managed to pull her out, probably saving her soul and preventing further damage to her celebrity targets. After regaining control of herself Helen joined the Sisterhood, her new psychic powers a match for Umas. She also repaired the damage done to others. Gillian was released, as were Gwenyth and Jennifer Aniston. Jennifer Love Hewwit and Neve had joined up of their own choice, though Uma seemed strangely cautious about letting Neve in. She obviously knew something that Helen didn't. There was also Drew and Liv but they'd been Umas choices long before.
She'd heard about how Uma brought Drew over but not Liv. Again it seemed that Helen was left out. So far there hadn't been anymore initiations. They were cautious. And they were happy. Seven seemed a safe enough number to keep things low key, especially when all of them possessed some degree of mind control power: Helen and Uma were unmatched, Neve surprised everyone by demonstrating a strong talent for subtle mind bending; Kate had a talent for picking knowledge out of peoples heads; Love and Liv were just below, visual hypnotism their key and Drew was able to press peoples thoughts in the right direction with a little concentration and a cute look.
All in all they had exactly what they needed to keep themselves secret. They occasionally considered branching out but Uma was adamant that they shouldn't be forcing people, only opening their minds. Helen agreed with the semantic argument, still overhung with the guilt of her past actions, not so much about what she'd done, that much had been erased from the consequences. She never wanted to mind rape people like that again. Yet here she was, inside the head of an innocent, barely legal teenager, trying to pry into her inner secrets.
"Where... where are you going?" Helen puffed as she caught up with the girl who was walking without slowing. She too was laboring under the heat in jeans and a tee shirt but refused to stop even for a second.
"Following? Following what?"
"The fire. Can't you see it?"
"See it?" Helen gazed in the direction the girl was pointing. It was impossible to see anything in the bright heat. In front of them, through the mirage of heat there seemed to be a light but it was most likely the sun.
"How long until you get there?"
"As long as it takes."
"Why are you going?"
"Because I have to."
"Do you want to?"
"I have to."
Helen wiped sweat from her brow. This was crazy. The girl was just as much a zombie in her head as she was in the real world. There was some very strange things going on here.
"I want you to stop." Helen requested trying to be calm.
The girl didn't stop.
"Stop or I'll stop you."
Helen swore under her breath, gritted her teeth and tackled the girl to the ground. She didn't really want to but she had to do this. Just as Uma was stimulating Wendys body from the outside, Helen would have to do it from within, The girls passive demeanour shattered in the desert heat. She began to kick and screamed wildly, flailing her limbs as the women rolled in the dust. There was no question as to which the victor would be. Helen was an experienced master at this internal mind manipulation. Within seconds Helen was entwined around the girl, wrapping up her limbs tightly and sliding her hand down the hot jeans. Wendy squirmed and writhed but was unable to break the grip, even as Helen began to rub her fingers gently beneath the girls panties. Wendy gasped and instantly Helen felt her calming, surrendering to the pleasure.
"That's good Wendy. Yes. It feels good, So good. So good. Relax. Let me touch you. It feels so nice. So nice. So nice."
"..so.. nice.." the girl sighed in relaxed happiness.
Helen let out a sigh of her own relief. Now at last they might be able to get to the bottom of this.
"Where are you going?"
"I.. I can't..."
Helen pressed her fingers more firmly, watching the girls lips
part in silence.
"You can Wendy."
"Wendy. It's all right.. You can .. tell. me?"
Helen looked up. It wasn't as hot any more. Or as bright. Both women were in a shadow. Helen felt a wave of terror wash over her. She released the girl who lay on the ground panting. Helen felt like screaming but nothing seemed to come out. The shadow came closer, filling the sky, a testament to nightmare horror. Finally Helen tried to run. She got no where, just like running in a terrible dream; each footfall took her nowhere. She felt the darkness engulf her, a piercing beam of searing dark. She felt her skin crawl, clothes ripped to shreds, pure overloads bursting in her nerve cells. She heard a scream. Wendys scream, yelling something she couldn't understand. It was only a fraction of a second before she blacked out entirely.
She rolled over; barely awake enough to make form of the thoughts that drifted through her mind like clouds through a grey sky.
Helen coughed and rolled up onto her elbows, blinking up at Uma. "Uma?"
"For a while there I thought I'd lost you."
"What.. what happened?"
"Well I was.. doing what I do and you were focused inside her head. Next thing I know she starts screaming and thrashing like it's the end of the world and you fall over faint. I went to help you, to see what was going on and as I did she broke her bonds and ran out of here, naked and still screaming. I'm willing to bet she's back at the square now, mostly naked ad without a single guy staring at her. I tell you that's unnatural. What happened?"
"Her.. Her heads a desert. It's like something's gone in there and picked it clean. She was walking somewhere for some reason. When I ..er ..'asked' her this... this shape came out of the sky and .."
Helen shivered at the thought. "It was horrible. I'm willing to bet everyone of these people is the same."
"That has to be bad... Do you know anyone called Dyer Sarius?"
"No.. never heard of him. Why?"
"She was screaming it over and over."
"Yeah.. I remember hearing that just before I went out. What the hell does that mean?"
"I don't know. Maybe the others will. We have to move."
"It's almost four. We're late."
"What...Hey Jeez it is." Helen reached for her clothes. Uma was already dressed but Helen was in the state she'd been in when he'd blacked out. On top of that she was soaked with sweat which felt uncomfortably familiar. She zipped up her jeans, throwing on her tee shirt while stiffing her bra into her pocket. She slipped on her shoes and they were out the door soon after.
"Jeez!" Helen swore as they stepped out the door. "It looks about 7pm out here. And man it stinks."
"It's those bush fires in the hills. They were almost under control but I'm betting there's no one to fight them now so they're raging. And it's a hot day. That's what all this smoke is. Certainly makes it darker though doesn't it?"
"Yeah. That's L.A smog for you. You can just see the moon. Freaky.
Where are we meeting?"
About two blocks from here. Helen nodded and they began to walk.
They spotted Neve Campbell and Jennifer Love Hewitt sitting nervously on the curb of the street. There was no traffic to worry about, a first for L.A for many decades.
"Took your time didn't you?" Neve asked as the two approached.
"We were doing some.. research." Helen replied.
"Uh huh." Love nodded, "what cup size research."
"About a C. But that isn't the point. The point is that we seem to be the only people in this city who are still able to think freely. Everyone else is a zombie and we can't even get through to them. I tried. Their minds are deserts."
"But... What does all this mean?" Neve pondered, hoping that one of her three companions would have an answer.
Three heads shook in reply.
"Well I guess we have to keep figuring this out." Uma rationalised.
There has to be some reason why the entire population of a city.. of a country and maybe the world, just decided to space out."
"Well," Love sighed, running a hand through her smoky long hair, "
At least there are four of us now."
"Make it five."
The quartet turned to the source of the voice. Dressed in jeans and a red blouse, Kate Winslett shot across the road like a comet to hug her friends.
"You have no idea what it's been like in this city. It's a ghost town only all the ghosts are still alive."
"Yeah. We know. We've tried waking them up but there's no luck." Uma offered the information.
"I know how you feel. I tried to get some information out of them and all I got was blank pages. It was freaky. I had to lie down to get a grip for a while. I've never got blanks before. Nonsense you can pick up but.. human minds just don't have an off switch."
"Well these ones all seem to. And we have to figure out why.
Man it's getting dark early." Helen mused.
"Do any of you know a Dyer Sarius."
The three shook their heads.
"Why? Neve wondered
"Because that's what the girl we tried to wake up was screaming: Dyer Sarius,"
Helen looked at her three new companions. Neve and Jennifer looked just as confused as ever. Kate however had suddenly become pale.
"Kate? Are you okay?" Helen asked, feeling a shiver starting to run up her spine.
"Not Dyer Sarius." Kate whispered, her voice filled with dread.
"What do you mean?" Uma asked nervously.
"It's not Dyer Sarius."
"Dias Iraes....." Kate whispered even quieter. She saw no recognition of the words. "Judgement Day."
Five women shivered. Five women looked up. And the sky had become as black as sack cloth, and the moon had become as blood........