Frankenstein: The Last Man Part 6, Queen of the Imposter

Posted: July 15, 2013 in Frankenstein: The Last Man, Hard Coal Studios
Tags: , , , ,

As I awoke the next day my eyes rested on Mary. She looked beautiful in her sleep, free from panic and despair she resembled a sleeping angel. I lay still on the ground, not moving, just watching her. She awoke and our eyes met. Immediately she sat up and looked about. “Where is Michelle?”

“Michelle!” She called out. I looked about and did not see her. Aliquis had gone too. A thousand thoughts raced through our heads. What happened? Did he take her somewhere? Some of the clothes were missing. He’d run off with her! Why would he do such a thing? Together we looked around the garden area but to no avail.

Then we heard the sound, it was Michelle’s voice. Close by was a small pool of water, and we noticed the large stature of Aliquis. We came close and could soon see Michelle standing with him. He picked her up and held her over the water. My god he was going to drown her! Is his thirst for violence never quenched? “SHELLY!” Mary called out as we both frantically ran to the river. My mind had no time to ponder how I would best him. He was larger than me; and obviously capable of great violence. Even in my prime of youth I doubt I could have taken him.

It was then we bore witness to the strangest sight. Both Mary and I were in fact mistaken. Aliquis held Michelle up and lightly tossed her in the air. He then placed her back on the ground and she ran around him. They both began plucking flowers from the grass and tossed them into the water. Here was a man capable of immense violence being playful and gentle with a young girl.

“Michelle I was so worried.” Her mother ran towards her with her arms open. Little Shelly ran back.

“Hey mom. We were just playing in the water. Mr. Aliquis is so fun!” Her mother was shocked to see her so lively and jubilant. She placed her hand on her daughter’s forehead. A fever that had stricken her was gone, and her complexion returned. How could this have happened? During the last days no one ever found a way to even treat the plague. All the advancements of science stood powerless against it, yet here stood this wonderful little girl, seemingly cured of its ravages.

I turned to Aliquis and asked “What happened? What did you do?”

“I don’t know. When I awoke she was lying beside me. It startled me, but then she woke up and was full of energy. So I took her down by the river to wash the clothes we found last night.”

In immeasurable relief Mary said “I don’t care how it happened as long as you’re ok.”

Together we had a peaceful moment, washing the clothes in the water and letting then dry on the nearby rocks. Little Michelle was cheerful and eager to help in any way she could.

Suddenly Aliquis stopped for a moment. “Wait, wait.”

“What is it?” I asked.

He looked around, gesturing with his hands he repeated “I know this, I know this?”

“You know what?” I still didn’t understand his behavior.

Speaking more frantically he answered “I’ve seen this before. The garden, the girl. Oh wait, what happens, what happens next?” Growing more frustrated he began smacking himself on the forehead calling out “Dam it I can’t remember!”

“What are you talking about?”

Then he pointed to Mary saying, “Wait, that other woman. The woman in white. You know her.” Mary said nothing but had a frightful look on her face.

“What other woman, what are you prattling on about?” I said angrily.

Tapping himself on the side of the head he replied “I almost got it!” He looked up. “Get down!”

Aliquis was sent flying through the air from the explosion. The blast from the artillery shell thundered as rubble and debris shot up around us. We fell to the ground in shock while covering our ears. Just ahead of us we could see multiple gunshots hitting the ground, the bullets punching up small clumps of dirt. One man and two women approached on horseback and focused their guns on myself, Mary and Michelle. Several more on horseback rode behind them.

Aside us a large hand grasped the dirt in the ground. Aliquis crawled forward, he was bleeding, but still alive. Even in his weakened condition he frightened the three gunmen.

“Stop right there or your friends die.” another female voice called out. A small horse-drawn carriage approached. It stopped before us. The driver stepped out and took his female passenger by the hand as she stepped out of the carriage. She had deep black hair and a long white dress with golden designs about it.

She walked towards us and knelt down towards Michelle. Caressing her face she said “Praise heaven it’s a miracle!”

“Get away from her Sophia she’s not your child!” Mary angrily called out.

“Isn’t she now?” Still looking at Michelle she continued “You should know our precious Shelly saved your life, and it appears your companion saved hers.”

“What are you saying? Just let us go.” Michelle said sobbing.

Another horse rode by with two men on it; the man in the rear was the large man from last night. The stump of his arm bandaged, he looked weak and weary. He spat on Aliquis as they rode by.

“You can imagine our surprise when only one of our party came back.” Sophia explained. “We decided not to take any chances. Early this morning we found your camp.” Turning to Aliquis he said “We were going to gut you in your sleep, but then we noticed something.” Again she knelt to Michelle and wrapped her arm around her. Michelle attempted to squirm away but Sophia held her in force.

“Let her go!’ Mary cried out.”

Ignoring her, Sophia continued. “This precious child woke up, still coughing from her sickness.” Looking to Mary she explained “And with what appeared to be her last remaining strength crawled toward your new friend. But as she drew closer to him her movements became swifter; to the point where she stood up on her own power. Mary when was the last time we’d seen our little Shelly walk?” Those words tore at Mary who scowled at her captor. “Yet there she stood in the morning sun. She walked over to him then lay back down to sleep. My disciples were about to charge, but I held them off. Not long later they both awoke. She leapt to her feet like a perfectly healthy child and buzzed around the camp like a bee.”

She then turned to Aliquis. “This brings me to you.” Two men hoisted Aliquis up by his arms as she asked “What power do you have over this plaque that all of modern science lacked? Who are you? What are you doing here?”

He said nothing.

Pointing to us Sophia shouted “Answer me or your friends die!”

He paused but a moment before answering “You will call me Aliquis, and I have walked this Earth before your grandparents were born. I was, I was put together in this place, by someone foolishly believing themself to be God.”

“Don’t speak to me in riddles. What power do you have over this plague? How did you acquire it?”

“I know nothing of this plague you speak of other than what Lionel told me. Though if I know anything about man, I’d bet you brought this on yourselves.”

“Anything about man? What are you?” She gasped for a moment before asking quietly “Are you from beyond our world?”

With a smirk he replied “I am who you say I am.”

She slapped him in the face saying “For the last time what are you?”

Slowly he brought his head forward before answering “I am not someone who will turn the other cheek. I am a creature of his word, and I promise you when this is over I will turn you inside out.”

Her eyes grew large as she stepped away. “I’ll deal with you later.” Her voice trembled as she turned to Mary and said “Mary, let us end this foolishness. Tell us where you saw the survivors.”

“You’re mad you can’t do this.”

She touched Shelly on the cheek. “You don’t know how it pleases me to see this precious child healthy again. She should enjoy a full childhood just as we had together.”

“You always had to run things didn’t you? Just leave those people in peace.”

“Peace.” Looking to Aliquis Sophia said “It appears we’ve been led to our salvation. Yet how can we spread it to others if we don’t know where they are?” She pulled out a small knife and held it in the air and said “But you know.”

“Stop, this is madness!” I called out.

“Shut up!” One of the men shouted while punching me in the stomach. I fell to the ground and wheezed.

Sophia now clutched Michelle’s shoulder while she and Mary stared into each other’s eyes. It was silent for a moment as tension gripped the air. But soon Sophia’s face relaxed and her hand released Michelle.

“Give her to me!” said the wounded man as his one arm grabbed Michelle by the neck and hoisted her into the air. Michelle cried out and Sophia gasped as the child struggled in the clutch of the brute.

“No! Alright alight!” Michelle said frantically.

“Where are they?” shouted the brute.

“There near Vohburg, in the Durnbucher forest.” Michelle said in sorrow.

The one armed man tossed Shelly down as her mother rushed by her side. “Tie them all up.” Sophia commanded. “It’s time to spread the word.”

What to make of this Aliquis creature? The story of the Last Man was one complete narrative, easily passed off as a work of fiction. But this creature is so strikingly bizarre. If this story were ever released to the public, it would be savaged worse than its predecessor not only for its violence and vulgarity, but also because this thing seems out of place in the tale. It’s as if it were the Lucifer cast out from the hell of another story, a dark falling star that crashed into this apocalyptic earth.

Another chilling thought came to mind. The creature would not state its origins, but said rather defiantly that he “walked this Earth before your grandparents were born.” If these characters inhabited the 22cnd century, how long before then could it have lived?

It was terrifying, almost unbearable to think of the unspeakable possibility. Could this creature be alive now? And what of its struggle to remember? Could this thing have possibly read these very words?

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