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What Memory Remains
Writer lovepenguins1984
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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What Memory Remains
A - A - A
Intro 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 9 10
Chapter 4: Voice of Reason (updated)
May 26, 2015
17 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!nSszJszN6lYCnSB1Mndoposted on PENANA

In restless dreams, a road stretches on forever in front of Zenapharr and he is alive with fear. The road is the only thing there, inky blackness all around it. Something is chasing him, so he runs but never gets anywhere. Fire soon begins raining down on him and all he can do is run, dodging the searing flames. Accompanied by this is a sea of disembodied faces, contorted and disfigured, some known and some unknown, and they angrily pursue him. They never let up and slowly catch up to him. Just as they are about to touch him, they disappear and so does the road.125Please respect copyright.PENANAOTvUU9Bb2W
copyright protection121PENANAbuLjoHgFK4

Surrounded by a jet-black nothingness, he is somehow still standing on some invisible sheet. It’s disorienting as he is neither here nor there. He tries to walk straight for a moment or two, and feels sick from not going anywhere when he sees a small speck of something in the distance and he trudges on. Finally, the scene comes into view and he sees an alleyway. The moonlight dances on the pavement, reflecting the scene of two bodies. One is a middle-aged man, lying on his stomach atop a pool of blood. The other is a young boy, no older than eight or nine. He lies on his back in a similar fashion, and Zenapharr stops in his tracks. copyright protection121PENANAw8XYHGqgtx

Immense guilt starts to drown him, and he turns to get away but not before he is frozen in place. In horror, he watches as the deceased boy sits up and stares intently into Zenapharr. He raises one arm in accusation at Zenapharr. No words are exchanged, but the message is clear.copyright protection121PENANABr9ZjL068d

            “You did this,” the boy’s voice reverberates in Zenapharr’s head.copyright protection121PENANAukHfD6XTMI

            “No! I—I didn’t.”copyright protection121PENANAYjQVixCJO5

            “When will it stop? Look at what you’ve done!”copyright protection121PENANAgqxqpRbpXk

            “It was accident! I wasn’t trying to…”copyright protection121PENANADsEkIhrFbe

            “There’s blood on your hands, Zenapharr.”copyright protection121PENANAn9xe5PLHyA

Wide-eyed, Zenapharr looks down at his hands to see they are drenched in blood, so much that it’s dripping onto the pavement in small streams. For the first time that he could remember, the blood didn’t fill him with joy. Not only that, it made him feel true guilt. copyright protection121PENANANP0kgpbrP9

            “No, no!” Zenapharr cries. He falls to the ground and curls into a fetal position. Soon, the blood begins moving of its own accord, coming alive and begins to cover him. As much as he struggles and claws at his hands, the blood does not cease to envelope him.copyright protection121PENANALsBqNkHeZS

            “Stop it! Stop, ahhh!” The blood begins to cover him wholly, entering his mouth, his ears, his eyes, then everything fades to black.copyright protection121PENANAsn20C7PnPo

            “That is quite the dream,” a soothing female voice adds. Zenapharr is quiet for a moment, feeling the realness of the dread in his mind. He felt odd, telling something so personal and strange. This was the first time he’d ever told anyone this dream that had haunted him.copyright protection121PENANAXCeXXun9Wc

The voice was that of Dr. Ellen Monroe, the psychiatrist assigned to him, to which he had been confiding to for the past week. Much to his surprise, he actually felt…relieved in a strange way. It never occurred to him how much talking to someone organized his thoughts, and began to make sense of all that was going on.copyright protection121PENANAiIFU8sfQHf

            “How long have you been having this dream?” She asked, pushing her glasses up on her petite nose as she scribbled some notes down on her clipboard.copyright protection121PENANAIaDLafT0CI

            “About six months ago.” Zenapharr said flatly, feeling exhausted.copyright protection121PENANAoAlDyi7Vr3

            “I see. Do these dreams scare you out of your own sleep? Keep you awake at night?”copyright protection121PENANA8KMNFUgVKX

            “They do.”copyright protection121PENANAat7Neh28iF

“That’s good.”copyright protection121PENANAQHgbkOurKW

            “How do you mean?”copyright protection121PENANAvTHhHncXiW

            “You said that you felt guilt in your dream, and that it bothers you.”copyright protection121PENANAUsp2fEkiMC

            “And so…?”copyright protection121PENANAXDjdPD2j5M

            “That means…that you are reacting to your acts of murder. This is not something commonly felt among serial killers, because of their sociopathic tendencies. Even though it is a dream, there is empathy within you somewhere. Perhaps in the moment of killing you don’t feel it, but it does come nonetheless, consciously or subconsciously.”copyright protection121PENANAgBGXTnk5kC

            “I don’t like it. It makes me feel bad, as if…as if I don’t like myself.”copyright protection121PENANA1f5rhl6BDT

            “Well that’s what guilt is: feeling that you’ve done something wrong. It’s not supposed to feel good, and means we have a conscience which leads us to know right from wrong.”copyright protection121PENANAeBwxOlaRFg

            “So the opposite is also true?”copyright protection121PENANAEVRkTKHdQ1

            “The opposite?’copyright protection121PENANAQRhVjyhqaU

            “If I do something…moral that I’ll feel good?”copyright protection121PENANAjovQVkc6bR

            “Of course…but we must first define what a moral act is. I take it you’re referring to a specific incident?”copyright protection121PENANAnQNeaHZRUP

            “Yes…but I did kill people, it was just…different this time.”copyright protection121PENANATLHaH1JYrT

            “How do you mean?”copyright protection121PENANATLhoBdJNkV

            “Well, my reason was not as it normally is. Not the nonsensical killing for small reasons or no reason at all. I was actually trying to help someone.”copyright protection121PENANAFHLtWVaVN5

            “Please, go into detail.”copyright protection121PENANALHQtRyuBwW

In the Northern capital city of Old York, Zenapharr was on a mission. Under the cover of night, he was investigating the Palmer district of town, where his most recent duty was to be fulfilled. This was a typical routine for him to walk about as if on a casual stroll, but he was actually taking note of the various side streets, buildings, and foot traffic of the area. This was to get his bearings firsthand for entry and exit undetected. This was his first mission in the capital city, and he was actually enjoying the scenery a bit. There was much history here and that fascinated him. Old York was a great example of a city developed before the Great War had changed much of life on the Great Continent.copyright protection121PENANAuqIMPj0y7k

“Hard to believe they once called this place the Big Apple,” he thought to himself. Being an older city, it had more historical areas than many other provinces, which were apparently called states before the War. It was the only intact one after the War had demolished everything, and served as a great starting point of survivors. Much technology was lost or setback, and much life on the Great Continent had to start over. Yet, the population naturally grew away from the province of York, expanding out to the other provinces to re-populate the Americas, as they were called.copyright protection121PENANAuN1ggXcrTZ

“It must have been so different in those times,” He thought, wondering how life had been. As he passed by an alleyway, he absent-mindedly heard a noise but ignored it. Moments later, the noise persisted and he couldn’t ignore it this time, now louder and more discernable. Using his keen instincts, he followed the sound to an alleyway not far south of his location. From this, he soon found a rather unnerving scene.copyright protection121PENANAwFGn8yWD9t

A group of dark clad gentlemen surrounded a young girl, a pretty blonde girl who was less than half their size and weight. Two of the men were holding her arms and the third was caressing her hair in a creepy manner. She was screaming for help again and again, and one of the two men laughed.copyright protection121PENANAAETirICrhJ

“No one’s gonna hear you out here, doll face,” said one of the goons. “You should have been nicer to me back there…I might have let it slide.”copyright protection121PENANALLwM1NKdeE

“Get away from me, creep!” She said in disgust, struggling unsuccessfully against their hold on her. A sudden rush of adrenaline began to pump in Zenapharr’s veins, and he could feel that thing coming back again. His first instinct was to shred these men limb from limb, but he really wanted to resist this time. Lately, he felt like he was giving in too easily to his urges. Feeling of out of control was not something he was fond of, even if it didn’t feel bad in the moment.copyright protection121PENANAdLjU8st56C

Breathing slow and evenly to keep his composure, he decided to approach them and attempt to simply talk to them. If push came to shove he could easily incapacitate them. So in a calm stride, he made his way towards the end of the alleyway, his hand close to his katana’s hilt.copyright protection121PENANAyGhrZI9B9r

            “Hey you there, help me !” The girl shouted, noticing him first as she was facing his direction.copyright protection121PENANAkUcRHeEssT

            “Shut up!” One of the men shouted at her and, raised his hand to strike her but stopped mid-pose at Zenapharr’s approach. There was a fury in Zenapharr’s intense green eyes, and the thug was smart enough to sense that Zenapharr may not be someone to trifle with.copyright protection121PENANA6FEqANS3SY

            “Evening, gentleman.” Zenapharr greeted politely, a juxtaposition to his eyes full of  homicidal desire. “What exactly is the situation here? Your lady friend looks distressed.”copyright protection121PENANAGqFXREG1fP

            “Hey, butt out pal! This is none of your business!” Another thug replied.copyright protection121PENANAsAKFrsU5Um

            “Oh, I’m afraid you misunderstand. You see I’ve now made it my business, and therefore I stand here before you. Have they hurt you?”copyright protection121PENANAY12DrCqjFi

            “No…not yet” she said meekly, her bright hazel eyes attempting to read Zenapharr. She seemed almost equally afraid of him, questioning who was the frying pan and who was the fire.copyright protection121PENANAimIXjABZCQ

            “What are you, some rock star or something?” The one closes to him said, and took a step closer. “You come over here with your long coat, spiky blue hair, studded bracelets and all, like you’re some kinda badass. Is that what you think you are?”copyright protection121PENANAP5qzLS1FXW

            Zenapharr laughed mockingly. “You see my friend, I don’t think, I know as an absolute fact that I’m a…as you say ‘badass.’ And what I’m going to do here is take Miss….?”copyright protection121PENANA2WX4zpHZIn

            “Melody,” she responded.copyright protection121PENANAi1J1Y3Cz2e

            “…Miss Melody here somewhere safe. I strongly do not recommend that you get in my way.” Zenapharr took a step towards Melody and the thug closest to him pulled out a small revolver and aimed it straight at Zenapharr’s head.copyright protection121PENANAqSjRs4JuKH

            “I’m not sure…I can stress enough to you, the importance of why I told you not to get in my way.’” He was noticeably gritting his teeth, his lips turning back into a snarl.copyright protection121PENANAqMEoQeNyew

            “Either way, I got a gun pointed at you. You think you can doge a bullet?”copyright protection121PENANAVwxExvH95K

            “I can and I will. In fact, before you could even pull the trigger I could grab your arm and make you shoot your friends here with your own gun…but that’s just not fair. Besides, I hate using guns…they’re just loud and obnoxious. Swords are much more fun,” he tapped the side of his scabbard at this. “They’re silent, more personal, and you can do so many…creative things with them that you can’t do with a gun. Tell you what…I’m attempting to turn over a new leaf. You have impeded me from escorting Miss Melody to safety, and you didn’t heed my warning. As much as I’d love to paint these alleyways red with your blood, I’m going to try a different approach, I’m going to give you a second chance to redeem yourself. Normally by now all three of you’d be dead.”copyright protection121PENANAowCIn5N7zx

            “You believe this guy?” he looks over to his cronies, and they all chuckle. “So what now?”copyright protection121PENANAPZjtnaHbIV

            “If you pull that trigger, this is what’s going to happen. I will not only dodge your bullet, but I’m going to slice off your arm, and while you’re writhing in pain I’m going to beat your other friend with it. The third here, I’m not sure…maybe I’ll call him harsh names…or maybe I’ll shove your arm down his throat…I haven’t decided yet.”copyright protection121PENANAHEsejZK09P

            “You’re funny…I’ll give you that much. But I can’t give up the girl, she was going to make us a lot of money because she’s just too pretty. Business is business. So get outta here or else there’s one less woodland fairy in this world.”copyright protection121PENANALxlogJt3Q2

            “You have been warned.”copyright protection121PENANAAF2U8q5QBO

At this, Zenapharr took another step forward and the thug fired off a chamber from his revolver. In a split-second, the girl watched an indiscernible blur of movement. All she could fathom was the gunman, who started kneeling in pain holding a bloody stump of what was once his arm. Another of the three was crying out in pain, followed by the sound of being struck, except the sound had a whipping quality to it. The third man now stood with his back flat against the wall in terror as Zenapharr stopped his assault on the other man and approached him and the girl. They could both see that Zenapharr’s eyes were now a deep red, which chilled both of them to see such a thing.copyright protection121PENANAMjsexLdhMn

            “You there…don’t move if you like the fact that your limbs are still attached. Melody, what was this ruckus all about?”copyright protection121PENANA7yVsXbbre2

            “They, they were going to bring me to some abandoned warehouse. Something about sex trafficking…I would never see my family again. First they were going to…do things to me. ‘Trying out the merchandise,’ they said…oh my God thank you I….”copyright protection121PENANAtPHwKQWPHy

            “Melody, I want you to do something for me, and I doubt you’ll object. Can you kick this man in the groin? I would do it myself, but I’d probably rupture something if I did and I want him to be conscious.” With a grimace of anger, she turned and gave the man exactly what she was instructed, and the thug clutched his injured parts as he crumpled to the ground. Zenapharr now stood over him and met his gaze.copyright protection121PENANAEtR7HpTVHG

            “Good sir, you and all of your friends here are miscreants; vile and abhorrent. I’ve scraped things off my shoe that I’ve had more respect for in my lifetime. A man who has two other large men with him take advantage of a woman so much smaller? Deplorable. It makes you feel powerful, doesn’t it? So in control…I understand, actually. Power is…a good feeling. Makes you feel invincible, untouchable….and that’s exactly where you’ve gone wrong. Even for people like me…there ARE THINGS THAT YOU JUST…DON’T….DO! Do you know who I am?” He lowered his voice to a whisper, the words full of poison and disgusted rage spilling through his teeth.copyright protection121PENANAjOeehcqtDE

            “N-no.”copyright protection121PENANAv6udDe4z4L

            “Good, because if you truly knew who I am…and what I am capable of…you’d already be crashing through Death’s doorstep, in pieces.  I’m trying to hold it together right now…I’m trying really, really hard not to kill you, you diseased little worm. You’re smart for not trying to fight back against me. You’re also lucky…that other unconscious fellow who I hit with that dismembered arm didn’t draw a weapon… I’ve just always thought it’d be fun to do that. I’d like to thank you and your friends for giving me inspiration. Would you like to know who I am?”copyright protection121PENANA8Jf0QXpJT7

            “No…”copyright protection121PENANApcWEqdQRHt

            “Good answer! But I’ll tell you anyway. I am a specter of death...the last thing you don’t see or hear before your insignificant life is snuffed out by my hands. I am the the undertaker of tyrants, and your personal Anti-Christ if I so choose to be it. Normally, I kill because it’s my job , but you are just a victim of my personal circumstance here. You are going to tell me all the information on your human trade business. I shouldn’t have to explain what happens if you don’t.”copyright protection121PENANAvcA0qdeuNj

            “Look…I-I don’t know anything. They just pay me to do certain things…I’m a middle man and so I don’t really...” In mid-sentence, Zenapharr stabbed one of the other thugs with his blade, making him cry out in pain, and whimper silently as he slipped back into unconsciousness.copyright protection121PENANAgW2wWTtmDm

            “I’m sorry about that, I have this odd…reflexive thing that I do…it happens whenever someone is attempting to lie to me. Try again.” The man began to babble everything he knew, giving out names, addresses, and any information associated with his business.copyright protection121PENANAu2yqHZDyQk

            “Thank you for your cooperation, this information should prove helpful. And just so we’re clear…” Zenapharr brought his face within an inch of the thug’s. “If you have given me any false information in any way…and especially if any false leads mean any more girls get taken away in the will see no end of me. I’ll make you wait, day after day in anticipation of your own Death as I subtly and continuously make my presence known to you. And I will do this until I haunt your every dream and thought until you think you’re going to lose your mind. It is then, when you least expect it, that I would slowly end your lowly existence, and it’s going to involve a bottle of acid and shards of glass in places of your body that the sun doesn’t shine. That being said, I hope we understand each other clearly.”125Please respect copyright.PENANA3yJrCghpr1
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The man meekly nodded his head.125Please respect copyright.PENANASQT0CgEy2J
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            “Now be a good lad, and give your people a message for me. Tell them that the Boogeyman is coming for them, whether they believe in him or not. And he will be the unholy bringer of justice to end them swiftly and mercilessly. They chose a way of life, and I’m going to end it. It’s up to you how you want to reiterate what I said here, just make it menacing. It adds that little something to it. Well then, that is all. Go, before I change my mind.” At that, the hechmen fled for his life, following every bit of Zenapharr’s instruction.copyright protection121PENANA6oxFPfEtNv

            “So…you did it?” Dr. Monroe leaned in, completely enthralled.copyright protection121PENANAOPSlsfjjRM

            “Yes I did. I tracked those sick people down and killed each and every one of the men involved in their organization. I personally freed some of their victims in the process. It was the first time I felt somewhat good about what I was doing. Boy, I sure did kill a lot of people though. It was months before I felt the need to kill again after that…what a relief.”copyright protection121PENANAYNwzLM7Dv2

            “How many exactly did you kill?”copyright protection121PENANA8BrGggWVJJ

            “About 39 men total. I took them out one-by-one…some of them I vetted and stalked. I did rather enjoy it…a little too much to be honest. There was this one man…I set him on fire as he was drinking alcohol, and the fire actually went inside of him! You should have seen it, he was screaming and…it was the hardest laugh I’ve ever…”copyright protection121PENANArxzkT1zclr

            The doctor seemed uneasy, giving him a side glance.copyright protection121PENANAZjewS0i0EN

            “I’m sorry. I’m in the presence of a lady, I shouldn’t talk of such things.”copyright protection121PENANA2NpttGJpCs

            “Wow….that is a lot of people.”copyright protection121PENANA930JoTLY66

            “Yes, it was, but I feel the world is a better place without them.”copyright protection121PENANAp5pEBiEUii

            “Yes, but don’t you feel it’s hypocritical? Considering you’re a murderer.”copyright protection121PENANAIk57NzOxZq

            “What, you don’t feel the world is better off without rapists or exploiters?”copyright protection121PENANA09u0SSTDQ0

            “I just don’t understand why murder is any better.”copyright protection121PENANAJg59UHrzCJ

            “Well, they are different things. I take lives…and they destroy lives. It’s more humane to simply end someone than to break them. Like putting a sick dog out of their misery. And if that dog is vicious…all the better. To take advantage of someone…exploiting women like that…those people are not only forcing themselves into their bodies, they are forcing themselves into their inner being, breaking someone of their will and hope…that is the killing of one’s soul…the most sincere form of killing imaginable. ” Dr. Monroe stopped writing, and looked out into the air for a moment.copyright protection121PENANASk4YrSxfpx

            “Doctor?”copyright protection121PENANAGqGaqy2kcT

            “Yes, I’m sorry. It’s just…as strange as that sounds, you actually made some sense of how you look at the morality within your actions. It’s interesting that there’s logic behind it, almost rational even.”copyright protection121PENANAkV9q438wCK

            “Thank you, that’s quite kind of you to say. You know…around that time I also learned something new about myself.”copyright protection121PENANAfv4ktwc0MC

            “What is that?”copyright protection121PENANAys2eCtNFNZ

            “That whenever faced with these urges…when I decide the pseudo-Shakespearian question of ‘to kill or not to kill,’ there’s something else involved. I thought that it was completely me all along, making the decisions and giving in, but there’s another element.”copyright protection121PENANAy8VHyZLHwo

            “What exactly do you mean?”copyright protection121PENANArMTw6m2inP

            “What I mean is that…there’s another voice that I hear. I know that no one else can hear it. There is a voice inside my head. And it all started after my Injection.”copyright protection121PENANAVVhXaUqYze

            “Oh…another personality…I should have known.”copyright protection121PENANAX8mSPVSBCp

            “No…it’s not like that. It still feels like me…just another part of me. My entire demeanor doesn’t change. I don’t have blackouts or anything like that.”copyright protection121PENANAZ4bSAheDAC

            “Is the Voice saying anything to you right now?”copyright protection121PENANAsvyKtIETGd

            Zenapharr shifted a bit in his chair, looked down and back up at her.copyright protection121PENANA7EluxbpqM2

            “Yes, yes it is.”copyright protection121PENANAPL60EHhTkR

“What is this Voice telling you right now?”copyright protection121PENANAvNn3xQMbKt

            “It’s….it’s wanting me to kill you.”copyright protection121PENANApS7LmEWM4J

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