Read Orphan of Mythcorp Online
Authors: R.S. Darling
Tags: #urban fantasy, #demon, #paranormal abilities, #teen action adventure, #school hell, #zombie kids, #paranormal and supernatural, #hunter and sorcerer
Orphan of Mythcorp
A Mythcorp Novel, Book 4
Smashwords Edition, 2015
Story by R.S. Darling
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When Mythcorp Tower rose into view, I didn’t
tell anyone. I’m no fool.
Is that it?” Galahad asked on spotting
the notorious building. Even worse, he shot out of his seat and
pressed his face to the filmy window. “Is that
I yanked him back down. “Shh! You want to get
us sent back to the Home?”
He mumbled a response, but this and the
mindless chatter of Morai all around me on the bus dulled to white
noise as I gaped up at Mythcorp. Somewhere in that fifteen story
tomb were the answers I’d been asking since I could . . . ask. What
happened to the original Morai? Why had we spent all our lives in a
government funded, bars-on-the-windows day-care prison? Why were we
only just now being released? And of course, the King Kong of
queries: who were
Attention wavered as Galahad shifted beside
me on the ripped leather bench. Voices returned in a slam-bang
rush. Someone was yelling.
Our faces mashed into the seatbacks ahead of
us as the bus lurched to a screeching halt.
Check out that kook,” Galahad said,
Following his gaze, I saw the kook; some
strangely duded up man was approaching our bus with the swagger of
a doojee-fiend at the end of his binge. With his scarred mug and
huge raggedy fur coat he looked like a bear that’d scarcely
survived a fight with a pride of lions.
What’s he doing?” Galahad asked. “He’s
going to get run over, walking in the street like a
He had a good point. A smidge part of me, the
devil-on-my-shoulder part, hoped the kook would get pancaked. It’d
serve him right for interrupting our first sighting of Mythcorp
As the man lurched towards us through the red
light, twelve sets of white peepers and my own pair of hazels bore
down on him. He paused about ten feet in front of our bus to press
something in his hand; the traffic lights began to blink rapidly,
red-orange-green, as though stupefied by the sight. Virgil’s
Nave—six sky-ticklers ranged like sentries around the derelict
Tower—shimmered in morning sun behind the kook.
Our bus caught the jive from the lights and
barfed up a few sparks. Something rattled up front. The stink of
melting plastic filled the bus as the engine sputtered. Death moans
of a Hybrid Cummins.
Perhaps we should’ve run at this point.
A girly cry escaped from Mr. Malory, our bus
driver; I’d never be able to think of him as a real man again. Even
so, I followed his peepers to the folding door where the heavy-duty
Davy Crockett wannabe was standing outside peeping in. He shoved
his hand (an appendage comprised of blue-black metal) between the
door and the frame and pried it open. Mr. Malory yelled, “What do
When the cats in DC had announced they were
transferring us from Ava’s Home for Lost Children to Philicity
High, the Myth Free Zoners—an anti-Mythcorp group—had conditionally
promised not to intervene, and so we were being carted off without
the strength of an armed guard. All we had in the way of protection
was Mr. Malory the screeching zipperdick.
Thanks Uncle Sam. Just keep pinching those
The bearskin-cloaked kook scanned the bus. I
was sitting four rows back, not far enough to be spared the sight
of his glowing right peeper, one of those crude augmetics from the
early years of this century. It paused on me. Was that a look of
recognition? His gaze continued on to Ash (the littlest Morai) and
you could almost hear the crimson pupil dilating. The way he
goggled Ash made me wonder if he was a puff as well as a kook.
Before anyone could react, the man leapt
forward, grabbed Ash by the collar and dragged him off the bus.
This was no holy-moly feat, since Ash stands only five feet and
some chump change, and as a Morai he’s about as heavy as a bag of
hair. Still, it was totally not cool.
The guys on my side gawked through filmy
windows at Davy Crocket as he dragged Ash through the wrought iron
entrance into Lincoln Park, oblivious to the honking horns. The
guys from the other side jumped up and shoved their way through us
gawkers to steal a peep at the unfolding scene, a full blown
Mr. Malory scrambled to hit the EMS screen.
When that didn’t even offer a squelch, he picked up his FAD. After
tapping a few buttons he threw the phone onto the dash and cursed.
Call the police,” several Morai
ordered, while Galahad cried, “Oh man oh man. What a
Like any fifteen-year old guy, I’d fantasized
about being the super hero, but so far I was coming up pretty limp.
My pumper was gushing blood with whiz-bang gusto, trying to
convince me it would explode if I didn’t grow a pair soon, when the
kook halted about twenty feet away. He glanced back at us, and then
whipped Ash around so we couldn’t see him.
Under nickel-colored clouds, Davy Crockett
stood looming over Ash, possibly whispering. Several ticks later he
stood up straight and started limping back towards the bus. His
right knee seemed to bulge unnaturally. Either it was wrapped in a
dressing or there was another augmetic implant living in monkhood
underneath his khakis. He loomed closer, larger and more hideous
with every step. He might have just come in off some ancient
Someone unleashed a cute little yelp.
Mr. Malory struggled with the lever to shut
the door, but the kook caught it with his metallic hand and held it
open with seeming ease. A worn black combat boot rose to the first
step; a matching boot followed, also rough and torn and painted in
shades of grime.
What?” Mr. Malory demanded. “What do
you want? I’ve called the police.”
No, you haven’t.” His voice was
flavored by the raspy sound of a rebreather. I’d heard a rumor of a
surfer having paid to have a pair surgically implanted in his
lungs, so he could breathe underwater. Is that what this kook had?
What in blazes happened to him?
Ava scampered to the back of the bus, leaving
a faint perfume trail in her wake. Hoo-boy. That fruity scent gets
me every time. If I wasn’t careful, this obamafest would rev me up.
The noggin-docs at the Home would have a field day with me. I
remained seated where I was as the back end of the bus grew
congested with Morai. I considered joining them—just to comfort
them, of course, not because I was scared or anything.
With the whine of a servomotor, Davy Crockett
took the last step up into the bus. He faced Mr. Malory, who sat
trying to control his wheezes.
I was totally about to stand and command the
kook to leave, use a Mesmer on him maybe, and look like a total
hero, but just then he whisked something out from a pocket inside
the fur-coat. The slam-bang move incited a collective gasp. But
this shocker was nothing compared with what followed.
The man shot Mr. Malory.
It wasn’t a real gun. I didn’t think it was,
anyway; I’d never heard a real one discharge. It was quieter than
what I thought a proper gunshot should sound like. Mr. Malory
jerked in his seat, brought his hand up to his neck, and removed a
And then the only adult chaperon we of Home
had been given, slumped. I hoped he was only conked out and not
eternally buggered. Was this what the outside world was like? Maybe
those bigoted Zoners were right in lobbying to keep us locked up in
the Home all these years. For some reason my hand was over my
mouth. I dropped it before anyone could catch me performing such a
Sir Kooky Cloak turned to face us. Well, to
face me, I was closest to him. Everyone else had fled to the rear,
which gave me the dubious credit of being the bold one. Dynamite. I
hadn’t even had to do anything but sit on my bum and not act on the
urge to vamoose.
Oh my gosh,’ Marie inhaled. She’s one
of the spooks who’ve been haunting me since birth. I hate it when
she just appears beside me all BOOGITTY-BOO like. I hoped to
someday find a way to wrap a bell around her intangible neck, give
me some warning. ‘It’s him.’
Who?” I whispered.
The Hunter,’ Marie said in a
manner. ‘I can’t believe he’s still alive.
Ooh look at that squirrel. So cute.’ And with a flicker of her
essence and a quiet bamf, she vanished. Her kind could be useful,
but with their own spectral version of ADD, they’re mostly just
The man scowled at me like I’d crapped on his
lawn in a previous life. His hand twitched and there was a distinct
click-clack from the dart-gun-thing.
Okay, we get it,” a soft, intelligent
voice said from behind me. “You’re tougher than a bunch of
students. Congratulations, you get the Ass-hole of the Year Award.”
Ava had been born without a filter on her shapely red lips. I knew
their shape by heart. Hopefully someday by taste.
Without even blinking, the man readjusted his
aim from my face to Ava’s chest.
No!” I surprised myself with this
whiplash tone. “You don’t care about her. You came for me, didn’t
you?” Hadn’t planned on saying that. Weird.
Do you know who you are?” in that
raspy-mechanical voice. Shivers up my spine.
I leaned forward and stood on mysteriously
wobbly legs. “No. Do you?” On the outskirts of my attention,
drivers around the bus were checking under their hoods, flailing
their arms like dum-dums. Why were they not helping us? Couldn’t
they see what was going on here?
You’re a bastard and a sonofabitch,”
the Hunter snarled, retraining his gun on me.
You don’t want to do that,” Ash said,
appearing at the door behind the man. The man hesitated as a look
of megabomb frustration crinkled his face. He turned and peered
down at Ash as the Morai said: “You are leaving.”
I’d heard this calm tone from him before,
when he had tried out his ability on Mr. Bors, caretaker of the
Home. The bus was silent as the Hunter fought Ash’s Mesmer.
Their peepers were connected now. The man
never had a chance. You don’t lock peepers with a Morai. He
holstered his gun and stepped off the bus without another word. Ten
ticks later the tail of his bearskin coat vanished, embraced by the
shadows of Lincoln Park.
Cheers from the back of the bus. Ash walked
up to me in his usual gait, hands folded in front. Such a
zipperdick. He had to crane his neck to look up at my face, as I
stand nearly six feet tall. “You all right?” he asked. I nodded and
that was that. Among us orphans much is said without words. He’d
just broken the law by using an extra-human ability and no one here
was going to turn him in.
While half the bus gathered around the little
scene-stealer to shake hands and to praise him, Ava came up to me.
“You know,” I said, “that was remarkably stupid of you.”
I was just distracting him to give Ash
time to come up and do his thing.” She smirked.
Yes,” I sighed, “thank the stars Ash
came along when he did.” The crowd around Ash surged, forcing Ava
forward, into my arms. God, she smelled good.
Thanks,” she bit her lip. Yup, she was
definitely hot for me. After I’d released her from my admittedly
unnecessarily-tight grasp, Ava said “So what was all that crap
about ‘do you know who you are’ and ‘no, who am I’?”
I hesitated. “Just trying to distract that
kook long enough for the great Ash-man to show up.” Smooth, real
Right,” Ava smirked.
The police arrived six minutes later. By then
everyone had taken their seats, and Ash was wearing a smile that
threatened to split his face in two. That would be a sight to see,
sure as sure.
Whatever the Hunter had used to bugger the
power in the traffic lights, our bus, and in the nearby cars, it
had done a permanent job. But the cop cars worked and joy of joys
we were all herded into two Philicity Police prisoner-transport
vans. So not only did we still have to go to a public school, but
now we were going to be transported there in police vans, like a
bunch of J-Dean delinquents.