FIC: Pulp Faith (5/?)
Faith shook her head as she peered out of the train’s window and peered upon a Washington that had little resemblance to the city she’d twice visited before on demon hunts. It was the same, but different, landmarks missing, that sorta thing. “I’ll endeavour to find us some transport,” Savage sprang up with the sort of effortless power that was indicative of the man and raced out of the carriage.
“Jesus Xan,” Faith glanced towards her companion, the words she’d been bursting to say since they’d left New York bursting outta her like water breaching a dam, “why are we here? We should be searchin’ for this Sorcerer Supreme!”
Xander shook his head. “This is a chance to work with Doc Savage! We’ve gotta take the opportunity. Besides if we’re stuck here for any length of time, we might need influential friends.”
“Yeah,” Faith wrinkled her nose, “and just how did Doc get this information?”
“Huh,” Xander grimaced slightly, “if I remember rightly, he used brain surgery to rehabilitate people.”
“Jesus,” Faith shook her head, stomach twisting slightly. “And you wanna us to work with this nutjob?” Faith barrelled on over Xander’s opening mouth. “And correct me if I’m wrong, but I remember a little from my American History GED, and wasn’t Hoover a cross-dressing whack-job?”
“Maybe so,” Xander nodded, “but while a lot of the stuff he did was questionable, he was also integral in building up our pre-war intelligence network against the Nazis.”
“But we don’t even need to be here, like I said, I know my history, and Hoover didn’t die until way after the war,” Faith protested.
“Maybe that’s because we were always here to stop him being killed?” Xander shrugged. “I think a general rule for dealing with this stuff is we don’t try and do anything significant that didn’t happen in history, because either we’re doomed to fail or if we succeed we risk horribly changing history. Like for example if we kill Hitler, great, but then maybe he’ll be replaced by someone more competent who costs the allies more lives, or someone even more sadistic, who kills more Jews. If on the other hand, we get an opportunity to help keep history exactly as it was, then we should take it, because maybe if we don’t, things would change, because we’ve always been there in the past to help history.”
Faith’s mouth opened and shut as she took in Xander’s commentary on time-travel before finally shaking her head. “My head hurts, and for the record, I fuckin’ hate time travel.”
Xander smiled wearily. “Not the only one.”
“I have a car ordered,” Savage suddenly appeared in their carriage’s doorway, eagerness shining in his eyes. Dude was like a nicely-muscled boy scout. “The game’s afoot!”
Faith blinked. Oh boy, the sooner this was over with the better.
“So how do you plan on playin’ this Doc?”
Doc Savage blinked at the Slayer’s husky rasp as they settled into the car’s rear. Over these last few days his world-view had taken quite a battering. He’d always been staunchly rational, sure that anything could be explained through science, but to be confronted with unshakeable evidence of the existence of the supernatural, and in the undeniably alluring package of a woman who made all other women he’d ever met seem like retiring wallflowers by comparison, even his own cousin Pat, was staggering to say the least.
However, he endeavoured to keep his calm as best as possible, and one of the ways he did that was by concentrating on the mission on hand. “I think we should form a triangle around the director and keep in touch with these,” he preened slightly as he passed each of his companions a small black box shaped like a cordless phone, “it’s an invention of mine called a P-Com, Personal Communications Device.”
“Oh yeah?” he was nonplussed when the Slayer exchanged a knowing look with her one-eyed companion. Clearly these devices were far from unusual in whatever wondrous time they came from. “And we gonna tell Hoover about this attempt on his life?”
“Even for a man of my reputation, convincing people of demonic assassins and the like would be difficult, I feel it better we simply unobtrusively trail the good man until there’s an attempt made, then after we succeed, explain our actions then.”
Xander grunted. “For very different reasons we all stand out, one way or another. Discreet tails might not do the job for any length of time.”
“According to the agent I questioned, the hit is planned for today, we need only protect the Director for a day,” Savage replied. “He is apparently on a tour of FBI offices today. I suggest we follow him from office to office, and while he’s in each office form the afore-mentioned triangle around the office to ensure no-one attempts an illicit entry.”
“And what if the attacker’s already in the building?” Faith queried.
Savage grimaced. “They are very secure buildings, if I’d had more time I would have been able to fashion identities allowing us access, unfortunately God was not with us, and I didn’t have enough time. We’ll have to trust to building security, and guard Hoover to and from buildings, and at his own home.”
“Great,” Faith shook her head, “amateur hour.”
The next few hours passed in a boring crawl, following Hoover from anonymous, grey-stoned building to anonymous, grey-stoned building. Faith found herself gettin’ real bored, not to mention hungry as hell, as a Slayer metabolism was not meant to go hours without eating.
She was busy salivating ‘bout an imaginary juicy, barely-cooked steak being served to her by a topless Chippendale when she heard it. Eyes narrowing, she stalked around the back of the car, confident that the barely-awake driver wouldn’t notice her stealthy passage. She dropped into a crouch by the town car’s rear wheel, eyes fixed on the creature crawling out of the sewers.
It was a tall, wide-shouldered creature with long, ropy arms that ended in hands with three talons, the eyes in its rat-like face shone violet in the half-light while salvia dribbled from its jagged teeth. The moment the monster saw her, it let out a hiss and shot out of the sewer hole like a cork out of a bottle, and flew at her.
“Crap!” Faith let out a shocked wail and fell onto her side as she kicked out at the lunging creature.
The monster grunted as the tip of her sneaker thudded into the monster’s barrel chest, knocking it back a step. “Guys!” Faith let out a yell as she grabbed the car’s bumper and pulled herself up, dark eyes fixed on the monster.
The monster leapt at her again. Faith readied herself, dropping into a wrestler’s crouch.
And then Savage bundled out of the greying darkness, football tackling the beast around the left side of the torso.
The creature’s elbow swung back and crashed into the hero’s forehead, knocking him to the ground, blood gusting from Savage’s forehead. Faith smirked as she leapt into the air, catching the distracted beast in its thick chest with a double-footed dropkick.
The monster hit the ground with a thud, Faith landing in a crouch beside it, her arms wrapping around the monster’s elephantine neck, her arms’ lithe muscles contracted python-like around the beast’s neck, and then she twisted hard to the left. The creature convulsed as its neck cracked and snapped like stamped on twigs, then shuddered as it went limp in her arms.
“I say!” Faith glanced up towards the building to see a puffed-up, self-important looking man striding towards them with eyes bulging. “What is going on here? And what is that evil-looking creature?”
“A demon,” Faith flatly replied as she rose, deciding she was even less impressed with the fabled FBI Director up-close and in person.
“Dr. Savage,” her glassy-eyed companion rose and bowed at the FBI Director, “we’ve met several times before.”
“Dr. Savage of course.” The FBI Director nodded distractedly at the pulp hero before returning to examine the downed monster. “There’s no such thing as demons!”
“I understand these things can be hard to believe, but you have my word as a fellow man of Christ,” Faith rolled her eyes, shit Savage was a nice enough guy, but he did go on, “that things such as demons do exist, and this one was sent by the Nazis to kill you!”
“Amazing,” Hoover looked like a feather could floor him.
“And word to the wise,” Faith drawled, “maybe the government should be doin’ more to protect people from demons and the like.”
“The like?” For the first time Hoover looked towards her. “What else is there, young lady?”
“Vampires, werewolves, dark arts mages, demons, poltergeists,” Faith replied. “Other stuff too, basically anythin’ you find in a book ‘bout myths, at least 80% of that shit is real.”
“Quite.” Hoover looked like he was about to faint. Although whether that was due to the revelations about the existence of the supernatural or her raucous language was anybody’s guess.
Xander grunted at the knock on the door, his eyes reluctantly opening. It seemed like only minutes since they’d returned to their hotel. “Give me a second,” he grunted, voice thick with sleep. Throwing aside his sheets, he rose and stumbled to the door, still rubbing the sleep outta of his eyes as he flung the door open to find the bell-hop stood there.
“Hello sir,” the bell-hop managed a weak smile, “the front desk got a message through, said it was urgent and you were to be woken immediately, no matter what.”
“Why didn’t you wake my friend with this?”
The bell-hop paled under his dark skin. “Oh no sir,” he shook his head so violently Xander half-thought it might fly off his neck, “she’s a mighty frightening woman!”
Yeah, that tracked, Xander’s scowl deepened, the one-eyed man was far less terrifying than the beautiful half his size woman. Was he feeling emasculated yet? Xander sighed as he returned his attention to the note, jaw dropping as the note’s contents sank in. “Thanks,” he passed the bell-hop a dollar before pushing past him and heading for Faith’s room.
“Jesus FUCKING H. CHRIST! Whoever that is better have a damn good reason!”
Xander winced at Faith’s bellow following his knock on her door. Clearly the bell-hop had been the smart one, coming to him rather than her. “It’s me.”
“Shit,” five seconds later and the door swung open, Faith still pulling her silken dressing gown around her. “What’s the problem?”
“Yeah.” Xander forced himself to focus not on Faith’s long, smooth legs beneath the robe’s hem but on the note he’d just received. “Just got a letter from Doc Savage, H.P. Lovecraft’s been found murdered.” Faith stared blankly at him. “Lovecraft’s one of the occultists that Savage recommended. He was a famous writer of this time, but it was rumoured he had other darker interests.”
“Shit. There might be somethin’ in his papers,” Faith decided. “We still gotta go.”
A Pentagon Bunker, Several Days Later
Omar Bradley’s eyes widened as he hurried into the fluorescent illuminated room with maps from throughout the world fastened to its walls to find a considerable number of his colleagues seated around it. “Dwight, George, Douglas, good to see you again,” he greeted his fellow generals then glanced at the two men clad in naval uniforms, his brow furrowing. “Sorry gentlemen, we haven’t been introduced?”
“Admiral Chester William Nimitz,” said the first of the two.
“Vice-Admiral William S. Pye,” the second said.
“Well this is quite the collection,” General Bradley looked over his shoulder to see a man dressed in the uniform of the air force coming down the stairs behind him, “General Henry Arnold, Army Air Force. I see all three services represented here, but no reason why. What have those Nazis done now?”
A hitherto unnoticed door to the room’s rear opened and a very familiar figure strode in, face shining with self-importance. “It’s not the Nazis that bring us here,” Director Hoover huffed. “But an even bigger threat. Gentlemen, I need cross-service support, assistance from the army, navy, and law enforcement agencies to help me in establishing a new government department.”
“And what will this agency be called?” Patton demanded.
“And what will its remit be?” queried Bradley.
Hoover hesitated then nodded. “I’ve come into certain facts recently, facts that will shake your world-view. This organisation will be called the D.R.I.” Hoover hesitated again then continued. “The Demonic Research Initiative.”