Chapter 5.18 – Lunatic

The night has a surreal quality to it. Faith notices this as she, Jimmy, Doc, and Mark rush down the steep slope leading to the beach below the estate.
She knows so little about her family history, and it is quite honestly nobody’s fault but hers. She has preoccupied her mind with the conspicuous absence of a father, and mostly ignored the amazing family she had been already blessed with. She has never asked anything about Grandpa Mark or Grandma Mei. Her own mother’s heritage is Chinese; and yet has never asked about her background. And the names Grandpa Mark spoke about; Julian, Bebe, Ciara, David, Deirdre, and Claire. She knows nothing about any of them. It is a problem she intends to correct.
Before leaving the house, Grandpa Mark had taken one of his old, antique, Chinese weapons from its display. The purpose for bringing the old thing escapes her, though she is sure there is some purpose for it. Faith half-smiles when Jimmy whispers a lighthearted question, asking if they are setting phasers to stun. But she gently tells him to keep pace with her grandfather. She appreciates what Jimmy is attempting to do, but there is a sim’s life on the line. And sometimes even nerdy humor is out of place.
It is difficult to see on the unlit beach as grandpa Mark begins to rustle through the tall sea grass. He places his hand on a massive boulder. It is nearly the size of a bus. Somewhat to Faith’s dismay, she sees the flash of steel in the moonlight as Mark swings the ancient weapon toward the monolithic chunk of solid rock. In an explosion of dust and noise, the thing disappears; replaced by a pile of smaller rocks and rubble.
The three spectators are speechless as the dust begins to settle. Faith can see Grandpa Mark’s silhouette through the cloud as he instructs them to begin clearing. But as he emerges, another silhouette becomes visible behind him. She is unable to warn him in time. Another man, a man with dark skin and hair, also emerges from the dust cloud and takes a very cheap shot at Grandpa Mark from behind, sending the elder to his knees in agony. Mark is barely able to make it to his feet to avoid another cheap shot.
In the prime of his youth, there was no better martial artist on the planet than Mark Barimen. But age has slowed his reflexes and softened his strikes. And the younger aggressor seems to have the power of youth, and the fire of emotion on his side. Doc holds the two teens back from the fight with a surprising strength of his own. He whispers to Faith that he has seen her practice martial arts, and she is good. But this man will hurt her.
The fight continues for some time, but youth and anger eventually defeat age and experience. With Mark prone on the ground, the man reaches for the chinese weapon and levels the blade at Mark’s neck. He says something that sits very wrong with Faith. Speaking with a distinct middle-eastern accent, he pronounces that he will avenge is mother’s death with Mark’s. Faith cannot sit idle any longer. Having broken free from Doc’s grip, she prepares to lunge at the man regardless of her own safety.
A flash of light and a high-pitched, electronic, screeching sound draws her attention to Jimmy. The dark-skinned man collapses to the ground next to Mark. Jimmy smiles broadly and shows her some kind of weird gadget. He offers a shrug of his shoulders and says he was serious about the “phasers to stun” thing. Doc’s eyebrow shoots up as he cocks his head toward Jimmy. In response to the unspoken question, Jimmy states that Doc is not the only sim capable of coming up with cool stuff.
Doc and Jimmy begin to delve into the little gadget, leaving Faith standing in exasperated disbelief. Grandpa Mark is hurt; quite possibly seriously so. There is a crazed killer laying unconscious next to him, and a sim who lay dying somewhere in the cavern below them. With a burst of frustration and indignation, Faith shouts that they CANNOT be serious about doing this RIGHT NOW. She directs Doc to find something to bind the lunatic, and orders Jimmy to go and check on her grandfather.
The two jump at the barked commands. She smiles a satisfied, little smile as the two men scramble to carry out their tasks. That felt pretty good. But as much as she hates to play the “in charge” card, she needs them distracted so she can carry out her own task. She quietly collects her grandfather’s antique weapon and makes her way to the spot where the crumbled boulder sit in ruins. It had been concealing a shallow crease in the earth where a small, water-filled pool sit reflecting in the moonlight. Faith waits until Jimmy, who is attending her grandfather a few feet away, makes eye contact.
Her eyes speak the words both of them have been thinking for years; then she takes a backward step toward the pool and disappears into the dark water leading to the underground cavern.

4 thoughts on “Chapter 5.18 – Lunatic

  1. Awesome! “Phasers set to stun!” I love Jimmy.

    I was wondering if anyone would interfere in the fight. I wanted Mark to kick butt but he is old.


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