The Tourniquet Serials #1 (of 5)

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The Tourniquet Serials #1 (of 5)
By Christopher Michael Carter 
Transferred from the original comic book scripts.
 
            Somewhere in the middle east; an undisclosed location.
 
            The sound of water dripping nears loud in its volume as outside commotion is constant.  The room is dank and dim with shop-lights hanging overhead; some broken with the rest covered in dust and grime blocking much of the light.  Rats scurry across the damp, filthy, and broken floor.  Tied to a chair in the center of this room is a battered, bruised, and bleeding man in his boxers and undershirt with a dirty burlap sack over his head.  Around this man, unbeknownst to him, are men equally as dirty as the sack over their hostage’s head, strapped with machine guns and sporting wicked grins.  Heroes and soldiers to themselves, but terrorists to most.

The man’s slumped head jolts as he wakes.  His body tries to move in its restraints and his head sharply turns side to side hoping to get a glimpse of where he is and what’s happened only to see the dark inside of the sack with very little light seeping in.  Realizing he’s strapped to the chair, he begins to flail about frantically, the best he can anyway, before he stops.  His body shivers with fear as he tries to regulate his breathing.

“H-Hello?  What’s going on?”  The scared man asks the darkness with a voice trembling as bad as the rest of his body.

One of the devious fiends in this bunker-like room holds up his phone to happily record such a demonstration of terror.  The others watch the man in the chair squirm restlessly and share stifled chuckles.  The leader of this bunch walks past his men, approaching their centerpiece while twirling a large machete in his hand.  Shirtless, scraggly, and undoubtedly evil, the man walks behind the bound hostage.

“Who are you?  What do you want?”  He continues to ask through the lump in his throat in search of answers.  Through the burlap over his ears is the combination of footsteps, rats, murmuring, and the incessant dripping, along with the breathing just above and behind him.  The bag moves in and out with his anxious huffing breaths.  His hands clench tightly and his body shakes as he awaits his fate.
 
The leader of this outfit stands behind his hostage; one he’s sure to make an example of like he no doubt has done many times before.  He places his hand on the man’s bagged head who jumps while startled.  The two are framed up perfectly in the camera man’s phone.  The recorder watches his boss do his thing on the screen under thumb instead of watching the live event like his cohorts.  The man with the machete grunts looking down at his prisoner before him.
 
“All you American scum will die!”  Their leader states with one hand still on the man’s bagged head before quickly and aggressively pointing the machete directly at the camera, “One pig at a time!”
 
The rest of the group watches and laughs.  The man recording this footage smiles while watching it all in its little frame.  The captor grips the handle of the blade hard and raises the weapon up high to the heavens while his other hand remains even more firmly placed on the poor man’s head.  A reflection materializes on the phone’s screen — a large beast whose lips snarl revealing razor sharp teeth.  It takes a moment before this monstrous image is truly recognized and the phone shakes as the man looks up in terror.  The blade has yet to come down as the leader’s gaze catches what’s terrifying his minion.
 
Stealthy in his arrival, the giant beastly thing makes his presence more than known plowing through the ring of strapped men.  Before the sharp machete can do its work, the beast with a spiked and thorny exterior rushes in and snatches up the formerly terrifying master with one hand as he screams and drops the machete.  The man’s limbs flail while looking like a rag doll in the hands of this stout creature.  The terrorist group strapped with artillery rush in their startled state.  With the greatest of ease the beast tears the man in half throwing his upper and lower torsos in separate directions without time to utter a threat that would surely be meaningless to the monster.
 
Still captive, the hostage’s head looks around still blinded by the sack and hears the commotion along with the splat of his tormentor’s insides hitting the floor.  His body jumps when his skin is slightly sprayed with the blood of the wicked.  It’s all so fast.  The bullets start flying and the beast steps in front of the chaired man.  Everyone shouts as they fire whilst terrified.  Bullets ricochet off the towering behemoth’s exterior as it smiles at them.  The cameraman still has the situation within frame of his phone.  His hand shakes, blurring the footage as he wets himself.  Urine runs down his leg while the barrage of bullets reflect off of the large man-creature.
 
A loud rumble is felt even in the midst of the chaotic bullet storm.  The wall behind the beast and the hostage begins to crack and crumble before being completely torn down.  More humanoid creatures like this one burst in behind him to the soldiers’ shock and awe.  A man with wings and an eerie mask jumps in covering the bound hostage with his large wingspan.  Another comes out covered in fur, a humanoid cat man, throwing his spear directly into the head of one of the many armed men before letting out a ferocious roar.  Behind these two freaks that match the monstrosity of the large beast who revealed himself first comes a small woman.  She’s suited up much like the winged man behind her in a tight black uniform, young in appearance and beautiful.  She walks into the scuffle nonchalantly, confusing the already terrified soldiers.  The little woman looks peaceful, almost angelic, that is until her hand morphs with extended jagged fingers as she picks up one of the outfit members.  Her beautiful image transforms as well, becoming more demonic as her mouth stretches revealing more than enough razor sharp fangs and rips out the man’s throat.  The blood splatters and spills to the already bloodied and filthy floor. 
 
The giant beastly thing breaks the machete in his hand as if it were a pencil — this is Cyprus.  His rage, strength, and sharp nude skin is apparent and felt by his enemies while he smiles at their fear.  
 
The cat-like man creature stabs his dagger into one of the terrorists — this is Romus.  A warrior from long ago survived by his skills in the field and presumably the last of his kind.  The terrorists know real terror at the blade of this soldier.  He still wears his uniform of boots and gauntlets looking more like armored braces and draped fabric looking like a bit tattered and ragged from all the years of battle.
 
The small vampire woman holds a headless body with one hand and wipes her bloody mouth with the other — this is Decimate (though affectionately called Deci).  She tosses the body aside and her lengthy tongue slithers out licking the thick red from her hands.  She looks around at the carnage with a smile.
 
The winged man picks up two of the gun strapped soldiers with the hands on the wings while firing two pistols with his regular hands — this is Neorn.  Beyond the wings he appears a young, fit, white man.  His mask, a combination of pearl and platinum with blank eyes, is a stark contrast to his dark black body suit similar to that worn by Deci.  The hands of the wings drop the bodies as he holsters his weapons and chuckles to himself.   
 
The last one left, the ‘cameraman’ of the bunch, continues to stand and stare with his mouth agape and his pants soiled.  His phone is still poised out in front of him but only because he’s too terrified to move, frozen in fear.  The monster team of four are all in the frame of the device as Cyprus turns and looks directly into the lens with a snarl.  His large hand moves forward covering the lens as the man screams…
 
            An anchor sits behind his desk to deliver news to the people.  The desk shines with a clean gloss as his background is a backlit image of a sunny blue sky.  His suit is black and his smile is big as he has the happiest of news to bring to some.
 
“Today, a journalist previously held captive by a terrorist organization for months was returned home to his family.  There they are right now…”  The smiling newsman says as the image of this battered man rejoicing with his wife and two children comes across the news screen.  The family cries happy tears.
 
            Meanwhile back at headquarters, their jet lands.  The doors open and the four walk out after another day’s work.  They walk side by side towards the building in their usual pairs of Deci & Cyprus and Neorn & Romus.
 
“I’m hungry.”  Decimate says rubbing her tiny stomach.
 
“How?”  Cyprus looks down at her in shock thinking about the terrorist meal he’d seen her devour.
 
“Anybody else jet-lagged?”  Yawns Neorn.
 
“You have wings.”  Romus points out.  “Why do you fly with us anyway?”
 
“Kicking all the ass for this team makes me a bit tired for flight.”  Neorn quips with a nudge.
 
They continue to walk with chuckles and head shakes.
 
“Yeah, yeah.  Let’s eat.”  Cyprus says in his lumbering movement.  
 
             The headquarter’s cafeteria is white, appearing blank and sterile.  Along with the cook behind the counter, there are various workers walking around getting their lunches.  Everyone has name tags with a large ‘T’ on them.  In the center of the room at a large table is our team of justice avenging freaks of nature sitting in plain clothes and far from being in battle mode.  All four of them scarf down various kinds of food they’d each requested; after all, they need to keep up their energy.  
 
A coworker of theirs, Brick, a regular human man with black hair and a square jaw while in a stark black suit, steps in and approaches them.  “Hey, guys, the president wants to speak with you.”
 
“Of course he does.”  Cyprus says with a mouthful and a grin.
 
Decimate, the little vampire woman, smiles, “How ‘bout that, boys?  From sideshow to main stage.”
 
Brick looks over this monstrous group.  “Tell me, how do you go from being chased by villagers with pitchforks and torches to being the government’s personal hit squad?”
 
“We’d tell you…but then we’d have to kill you.”  Romus smiles while Neorn, behind him, points his finger like a gun and winks.  
 
“I see…”  Brick looks at them with raised eyebrows and envisions them in different ways:
 
Cyprus, the giant beast, standing up straight before going into battle mode as his scaly skin becomes jagged tearing his clothes as his kind demeanor becomes angry and ferocious.  
 
Neorn, the winged man, standing normal with his wings down without his uniform before becoming suited up with his wingspan spread and a gun in each hand.  
 
Decimate, the vampire woman, looks eloquent and peaceful before morphing into her more demonic side with enlarged mouth, teeth, and fingers as she’s about to pounce.
 
Romus, the anthropomorphic lion-like man, stands up straight, strong and noble before appearing in his battle gear while looking like feral cat with his spear in one hand and his dagger in the other.
 
The images fade in Brick’s mind as he views the crew in average clothes with food all over their mouths.  He nods.
 
A large red light located at the top of the wall flashes brightly with an equally loud alarm blaring.  An automated voice joins the siren, “Code red.  Code red.”  The team looks up sharply.  Cyprus looks wide-eyed with food falling out of his mouth.
 
“Pedophile…”  Decimate grumbles with grimace across her face.
 
“Sick evil bastards.”  Romus says revealing his sharp dagger while Neorn cocks a gun.  Even in street clothes and lounge wear, the crew is always ready.
 
The four get up and leave the table, walking past Brick.
 
“Tell the Prez he’ll have to wait.”  Neorn tells him on their way out.
 
“You got this, right?”  Cyprus asks motioning his large hand to the eatery area.  They vacate the cafeteria while Brick looks around at the sloppy cafeteria and sighs shaking his head.
 
The locker room looks more equipped than a militarized bunker.  Neorn’s suiting up fitting his wings through his uniform.  He locks on his holsters before locking and loading his guns before reaching for his diamond-hard mask.  Cyprus stretches as his skin pulsates as his smooth surface ruffles becomes spiky.  Romus puts on his tribal-like gear while preparing his weapons, sharpening his dagger and spear.  Deci just suits up in her uniform as her weapon, as deadly as any other, resides within.
 
“There’s nothing I like killing more than pedos…”  Decimate says with her head in her hands.  She looks up with coal black eyes, “…But I can’t wait until the day we won’t have to anymore.”
 
The engines fire up.  They’re all strapped in their shuttle, the Runner, a jet flown completely via autopilot.
 
“You guys ready?”  Cyprus asks looking over at his teammates.
 
“Hell yeah!”  They answer as the Runner bullets through the skies.
 
“You still hungry, Deci?”  Cyprus asks, poking her arm with his big finger the size of at least three normal digits.
 
Her fanged mouth opens, “Always.”
 
Aerodynamic, bullet-like while slightly flattened across the bottom, the shiny chrome Runner jets through the air faster than any military fighter jet.
 
            A playground isn’t very busy today but the swingset is currently occupied by a little girl.  A playful, happy child having fun — a peaceful sight; however, in the distance stands happiness for a different reason.  A man in sunglasses and a hat watches from across the playground.
 
“C’mon, let’s go to the Mary-Go-Round!”  A little boy yells running by the girl, his friend.
 
“No, I wanna swing some more.”  She says enjoying swinging higher.  Meanwhile the man still watches in the distance while keeping the girl in his sights.  She swings without a thought, without a care other than fun and the childlike thrill of getting closer to the sky.  His sunglasses bear the reflection of innocence at play.  
 
The swing slows down as she looks around.  “Hey, where’d you go?”
 
However, the playground is empty and her question is met with silence.  The man has advanced closer to his target.  She gets off of the swing as he approaches her.
 
“Hi there.”  He greets calmly.
 
The little girl looks up at the creeping man scared.  A creepy grin crawls across his face.  She’s understandably uneasy, fidgety.
 
“Who are you?”  She asks after a quick glance around the vacant playground.
 
“A friend…and you’re a very pretty girl.”  His smile continues.  
 
The playground remains desolate besides these two.  She looks up at him with wide eyes as she grows more scared.  Her heart beats faster before she turns and starts running.  He gives chase, bolting for his young target.
 
She runs for her life with tears in her eyes as the man chasing her has dropped his plastic smile, revealing the vicious creep he really is.  The pervert’s gaining on the child as Neorn swoops down from the sky and picks up the girl up.  The child predator stops, in shock of this winged thing.  
 
Romus runs along under the flying Neorn while the giant beast and the little vampire run behind him.
 
“We’ll get her to safety!  You handle him!”  Romus tells the others.
 
The bastard’s stopped, unable to move while looking at this group of monsters.  Cyprus and Decimate approach the terrified man.  He looks up at the towering Cyprus slowly, trembling.  The large beast snarls and looks down at this little man while cracking his knuckles.
 
“Doesn’t feel good to be small and scared, does it?”
 
Neorn and Romus bring the girl to safety as she finds her friend, the young boy, there too, having just been saved himself.  They hug, excited to see each other while in disbelief of seeing superhero-like beings in the flesh.
 
“You guys will be safe here.”  Romus tells them as they look up at the humanoid cat creature, excited.  “You did the right thing.”  Romus tells the girl.
 
Cyprus SLAMS the pervert down to the ground like a freshly emptied soda can.  The man’s knocked for a loop which his eyes rolling around.  His vision from the ground is a bit fuzzy as Deci approaches looking like she’s walking on a wall with the ground to his side.  He leans up trying to get his composure.  Deci leans down, getting in his face.
 
“What are you?”  The scared man asks.
 
“It doesn’t matter.”  She says calmly.  “We know what YOU are.”  Cyprus looks down at him with a snarl of disgust.  The man appears even more scared.  “What’s the matter?”  She asks him in a change of tone.  “Am I not a pretty girl?”  He shivers at the thought of what’s next.  Decimate’s face begins to distort and her features stretch.  Her smooth skin becomes rough and aged in appearance as her mouth grows in size along with the copious amount of razor sharp teeth stretching to a point.  Her eyes cloud over before turning their pitch black.  Cyprus smiles as the man stays frozen with fear.  Her dainty fingers grow in length as well, with her nails becoming more like talons.
 
Decimate rears back with her body now exaggerated, looking as demonic as ever with her long fangs and nails.  The man between her and Cyprus is more horrified than his target was as he chased her.  Romus and Neorn arrive and stand behind them.
 
“Let’s get the kids home.  They shouldn’t see this.”  Romus tells Neorn.
 
“Agreed.”  The two leave the soon-to-be gruesome site.
 
The winged man and the lion-esque man leave the scene as Deci TEARS into the pervert with claws and jaws.  Blood and meat flies about while Cyprus chuckles at this monstrous justice.  Her head cocks back with flesh hanging from her mouth.  Her elongated hands continue to rip him to shreds.  
 
“It’s okay.  He’s dead.”  Her giant friend says pulling her off of him; a mass of bloody pulp that used to be a man.   
 
In no time, she transforms back to the pretty young woman.  She sits up seeing all the blood covering her hands; thick red dripping off of her pale, soft skin.  Decimate’s covered and, to her surprise, becomes terrified seeing it all.
 
“His blood…  I can feel his blood INSIDE of me!”  She screams with flowing tears.
 
“Shh, it’s okay.  I know what this meant.  It’s gonna be okay.”  He says, comforting his crying friend.
 
            Another day of justice being served, the team has reconvened at headquarters.  Cyprus, Romus, and Neorn stand in a small room with a large rejuvenation tank in the center; a plexiglass tube with wires and monitors.  Decimate floats in the glass tank with extreme weakness; her body almost lifeless.  A company doctor in a long white lab coat stands with the team.  They all watch Deci weightless in the liquid with glowing lights beneath her.
 
“She gon’ be okay?”  A nervous Cyprus asks the doctor.
 
“She’ll be fine.  Sometimes blood can carry powerful memories.  With what she is and, well, what she’s been through in her past, it’s hit her a bit hard.”  The doctor explains.  
 
The three monsters sit together in the room.
 
“Well, another creep gone.  Kids get home safe?”  Cyprus asks.
 
“Of course.”  Neorn shrugs.
 
“No one saw a thing.”  Romus adds.
 
Decimate floats while the guys sit, keeping an eye on her.  Even with the doctor’s assurance, the gang can’t help but feel melancholic at the sight.  She looks sad, weak, pressing her hands against the glass.  Tears come only to join the fluid around her.  
 
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