By Jeff A. Hatch
About the Author

What's Gone Before: Cody "Slip" Jenkins, thief and lowlife, is dragged to death by a member of the biker gang, The Bloodstones, but, through a magic amulet given to him by his warlock father, he is brought back to life as Nemesis.  Though still horribly mutilated, he sets-up shop in a wax museum. Having a vision of a woman being raped, he rescues her, killing the rapist as his own dark brand of Justice...

Episode Nine:

A Face Only a Mother Could Love

In his new lair, Nemesis worked long into the night. He experimented with the make-ups and putties that he found in abundance there. He tried clothing and decided which outfits would fit him. The others he would donate to someone who needed the clothes; he knew plenty.

Suddenly he knew what he was and what he had to do. He had rigged an old black and white TV set to work and was watching the news. There was a story about some guy who could kill with a touch.

"Well, I can just about do the same, but they'll know the cause, heh heh!"

Nemesis laughed till he coughed. His features were currently clad in bandages to keep the damp air from causing an infection. He needed to remain in his best health if his plan was to take effect.

After a bit of work, Nemesis had perfected a false face for himself. He had done some drama on the island, and also some work with make-up. All his skill seemed heightened by his obsessive desire for Justice. He simply put his mind to a task and would not stop until it was accomplished.

Cody selected some nice evening clothes and a dark trench coat. He also grabbed a few of the ancient weapons and stashed them on his person. Nemesis left the Wax Museum and grabbed a Muni bus to the Lower Haight area. He was going to get some really bloody revenge. As his bus arrived though, he felt that strange pain again. The red vision came hard and he saw an innocent man being beaten and robbed by two thugs and, what was more, they were clad in leathers marked with the bloody insignia of the Bloodstones.

Cody cast his red eyes about for the source and saw two bikes parked in front of a video store.

Emil Barakas had come to this country several months ago. He thought that a video store would provide just the kind of income that would allow him to move his entire family from their home in Greece. He never counted on a gang of blood-thirsty thugs who would kill for a few dollars and a thrill.

When the thugs arrived, he tried to talk kindly to them, but they took immediately to smashing things. He tried to call the police, then they shot him. Just an arm wound, but that was plenty for a guy like Emil.

As he sat there bleeding to death, he wished that he had stayed in his own country.  He wished that he had a second chance to make things right and to see his family. The thugs looted the register of the day's take and then turned to Emil.

"Hey, Butt lovin! Where's the rest of your dough?"

They meant his safe.

"If I give you the money, will you leave me?" pleaded the poor man.

"No way, Grand Pa!" spat the lead biker. "We just won't let you suffer."

Emil was about to settle for a quick death when the tall good-looking man filled the door to his shop. The man was so far over six feet that he was officially classed as a giant. The man had handsome features marred by rage. The man moved into the room swiftly drawing a huge spiked thing from his coat.

"You men have caused enough suffering!" bellowed the tall man.

"What the...Who are you?" asked the thug who had been silent so far.

"I'm your worst fucking nightmare!" cursed the dark stranger who seemed so full of rage.

"Nightmare, nightmare, I'll show you a nightmare!" spat the thug, as he reached for a gun.

Nemesis saw the gleam of the gun, and brought his spiked mace down on the man's head as fast as lightning. Blood pulped from the man's now useless head and sprayed all over the walls. The other man tried to flee, but Nemesis caught him up with a gloved hand and began to squeeze the evil from his throat.

"Help....Don't kill me!" rasped the thug through his almost collapsed windpipe.

"Justice is all I want from you, killer!" spat Nemesis with as much venom as a cobra.

Nemesis then cast his eyes around for something to use as a weapon and settled on a broken video tape. He wrapped endless strings of magnetic tape around the thug's neck and slung him over a rafter. When Nemesis departed the store, he left the thug twitching as the life choked out of him at the end of a noose made of video tape.

Emil rose to get to the phone trying to shout a thank you to the dark angel who had rescued him. If the tall avenger heard it, he never replied.

Emil thought to himself as he dialed the phone: "I think I have my second chance."

Next episode....The Heat is On!

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Necropolis is copyright 1999, Jeff A. Hatch. It may not be copied or used for any commercial purpose except for short excerpts used for reviews. (Obviously, you can copy it or print it out if you want to read it!)