Saturday, October 29, 2016

Rogue Possession: Nightmares (Part I)

Armed guards carelessly pulled Mateo Matic and Gilbert Boyce down the dirty compound hallway. They dragged them down the steps and threw them in their glass cage like lemurs at a zoo. The two of them decided to not speak to each other. Anything they said would definitely be used against them later, and it wasn’t worth it. They quietly sat next to each other and privately wondered what was going to happen to them. Hours later, Gilbert’s nemesis, Horace Reaver strutted in with this weird platter of finger food.
Reaver dropped the platter on the ground. “You guys like turkey?” he asked in an unsettlingly jovial voice.
“You have us now,” Mateo said with a hoarse voice. They hadn’t been given any water, and the dry Australian heat was taking a massive toll on their bodies. The fact that they now had food, but still no water, was proof that Reaver was just toying with them. “Let Leona go.”
“Oh, she’s fine,” Reaver replied dismissively. “She’s staying in a six-star resort with air conditioning and television. It’s my ol’ buddy, Gilly who you should be worried about.”
“Worried why?” Gilbert asked, knowing right away that he would not be happy with any answer.
“Because you don’t matter,” Reaver explained before shooting him in the forehead.

Gilbert freaked out, struggled with the sheets, and got himself out of bed. He stumbled along the floor a little before resting against the wall.
“What the hell was that?” someone screamed.
Gilbert tried to rub the pain out of his head while he was standing back up. “I have no idea. I also don’t know where I am.”
The woman waved her head in the air and activated the lamp on the nightstand. “You’re home. Everything’s fine. Were you having a nightmare?”
Gilbert looked around the unfamiliar room. “Since when has this been my home?”
“Uhh...” the woman said, trying to remember. “Since 2048. May, I think it was.”
Gilbert took a deep breath and instinctively placed his hands on his chest, only to find a pair of breasts. “This can’t be a dream.”
The woman smiled and looked at him seductively. “Oh, believe me, sweetheart. Those puppies were always my dream.”
“What’s my name?”
“Are...are we role-playing?”
“Yeah, sure, what’s my name?”
“Okay, about Gaia Neptune?”
“No, what’s my real name?”
“How is that role-playing?”
“We’re role-playing that I have amnesia.”
She stared at him for a few moments. “That doesn’t sound very fun.”
Gilbert stared at her for a few moments. “Please.”
“Rebecca—” she tried to begin.
“Rebecca what?”
“Rebecca what!”
“And you are?”
“Judy Schmidt. Yeah, I was right. This isn’t fun at all.”
He took another deep breath and went over to the mirror. He wasn’t sure why he wanted to know who this woman thought he was before trying the mirror. It just made sense. Maybe he thought it would make the situation easier to understand. It didn’t. Looking back at him in the reflection was a beautiful twentysomething, apparently named Rebecca Halcyon. He repeated the name in a whisper.
“Honey? Are you okay? You’re kinda scaring me now.”
Gilbert briefly looked down at Judy, but then went back to admiring his new body in the mirror. “Let’s have salmon for dinner tomorrow,” he said using Rebecca’s voice.
“That’s not funny,” Judy said.
Gilbert turned all the way around and sat on the edge of the bed. “So you know what I’m talking about?”
She shook her head, not as a negative response, but because she couldn’t believe he was saying these things. “Your...trips. That’s what the others call you. Yes, I know what you’re talking about. Did something happen? Is it affecting your memory, or something? I knew we should have gone to some doctor.”
Gilbert peered at Judy, wondering whether he should speak to her delicately, or just not give a crap about her feelings. “So you also know that there are other people like me.”
“Other time travelers, yes. You’ve mentioned them, and you say you get the feeling there are many more you’ve never met, but you’ve come across a few. Please...tell me what’s wrong.”
“Have I ever mentioned anyone that can jump into other people’s bodies?”
“You mean like Quantum Leap?”
He was pleased with her familiarity with the show. “Yes! Just like that.”
“No, no of course you...” she trailed off and became lost in her own thoughts. Then she pulled away as much as she could and tried to cover up with the sheets. “Are you not Rebecca?”
“I’m afraid not,” Gilbert answered honestly.
She started crying and looking around, either for a weapon, or a way out.
“But I’m not going to hurt you. This is all new to me. I mean, I know other time travelers, I just...I’m not supposed to be one. Last thing I remember, I was in a cell, and Reaver was pointing a gun at me. Then I heard a shot. Judy, he shot me.”
She was not any less scared than she had been before.
“He shot me in the head. What a dick! But I’m here.”
“What happened to Rebecca?”
“I have no idea. Maybe she’s in my body. No, because then she would be dead.”
That didn’t help with Judy’s fear.
“Oh, don’t you cry,” Gilbert nearly scolded. “I’m the one who should be crying. I’m the one who was just murdered.” Quickly changing the topic, he asked, “is it April 27, 2051?”
“It’s the 28th,” she said through her tears.
“So I didn’t jump here immediately. There was a latent period. But why, where was I?” He stood back up and found his truth. “Okay. I’m sorry that I caused you so much pain. I assure you that I meant you no harm, and that I will leave, if possible. I’m going to try to jump out of your wife’s body. If it works, in a few seconds you’ll have your Rebecca back, and she will be as scared as you are right now.” He closed his eyes to concentrate.

When he reopened them seconds later, he was outside.
For a second, he couldn’t move. It would seem that each jump came with some kind of side effect. Hopefully it would soon wear off. Hopefully it would soon wear off. But he was rather pleased with how relatively easy it was to jump into other people’s bodies. He didn’t even have to be taught by a wise old man, or something like that.
“Octavian, can you hear me?”
“What?” Gilbert asked, instantly feeling ready to slip into his new role.
“Gun or knife?”
“Um...whichever one you...don’t...want.”
“You know that I prefer knives.”
“Just like you. What’s wrong with you?”
“I’m just not feeling myself today. I’m fine.” Gilbert wasn’t fine, though. When he first leapt into the body of Rebecca, it made him feel different. He looked at the world differently; more optimistically. He felt happier and more comfortable, and he even felt a level of love for Judy, even though he had never met her. He was now starting to suspect that leaping into the body of someone else causes one to adopt certain characteristics of their personality. This Octavian fellow, whose body he was currently in, must have been a pretty bad guy. Gilbert wasn’t feeling much of anything. His initial thought was that Octavian, much like this other guy, was probably a sociopath.
“Yeah, we all have those days, brother. But it’s time to work. We can’t go back home until this guy’s dead.”
“What guy?” Ah, no. He wanted to be more confident, but that was a dumb question, for Octavian would already know the answer.
Yeah, his brother was confused. “The...Donald Trump?”
“Donald Trump? What year is this?”
“How do you not remember this?” He prepared himself to go over the mission. “Okay. It’s February 11, 2000. Donald Trump is about to kick his presidential campaign into high gear. The boss wants us to take him out before he can do that, and he wants it to be messy.”
“Trump doesn’t run for president in 2000, and he certainly isn’t killed.”
“No, because that’s what we’re doing here, to change history. What about time travel are you not getting? We’ve been doing this forever, have you lost your marbles?”
“I...yes. No?”
“I don’t understand what’s happening. It’s like I don’t even know you.”
A man walked in from the aether. Literally. “That is because you don’t. The man you’re looking at, Sevastian, is not your brother.”
“Then who is it?” Sevastian asked, more curious than upset or worried.
“Mister Boyce,” the man said. “You’re a long way from home, aren’t you?”
“How do you know who I am?” Gilbert asked, checking his face with his hands to confirm that he still looked like Octavian.
“I see into people’s souls. Those few who know me The Maverick.”

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