Fright Night


curtis_icon.gif delia2_icon.gif



Scene Title Fright Night
Synopsis A Dreamwalker happens upon a nightmare, one that she's not willing to fix.
Date March 6, 2019

In Dreams

There's a harsh breath of surprise as Curtis jerks awake, rolling off of his bed and onto the floor of the Bunker on his hands and knees. The big soldier's breathing is fast and heavy. He doesn't hear any noise. Not at first. He's not sure why he's awake. But then he smells it. Through the door even he can smell it. Blood. That iron heavy tang in the air. A scent that the soldier knows very well. He staggers to his feet, lurching over to the lockbox. It's flipped open, and from within is drawn out a well worn kukri, and a battered .45. He grips them tight in hand before he moves towards the door. He's dressed only in simple linen sleep pants and a tank top, no other armor or gear.

He opens the door and jerks back in surprise at the scene in front of him. "No… no no no." The lights in the hall flicker, and he can see splatters of blood on the wall. It's not brand new blood though. It's drying in places. The dead horrified eyes of one of the support staff stare up at where Curtis stands at that very moment, as if what killed her emerged from his room. "No no no no." He growls it this time, grinding his teeth as he steps into the hallway, blood sticky under his bare feet, soaking into the hems of his pant legs where they touch the ground at his heels.

"No… Ash what have you done?" But then he hears it, a scream, a cry, fear and confusion and rage in it. Someone still alive. Someone fighting back? If it's still going on it couldn't have been Ash. Because Ash is right there. Inside him. Curtis starts down the hallway, not noticing the blood that now slicks the blade of his kukri, held down at his side at the ready. Nor does he notice that the clip in his gun is empty of bullets, all of them having been used, though not by him.

When he rounds the corner, Curtis can see a swath of wild red hair disappearing from view. Whoever it is, they're running from him. The blood curdling shriek that follows is choked off all to suddenly with a wet gurgle and when he rounds the next corner, he can see why.

The thin line of wire is visible only from certain angles, when the light hits it just right. On the floor is a body and a few feet away from it, its head. Eyes open, mouth gaping in a perpetual silent scream, blood pooling from the neck. At both severed ends. The face is familiar, perhaps not immediately so, but whoever it is… they don't belong here. The clothing isn't that of a soldier, a tattered white sundress that's gone grey with age and no footwear to speak of, just a pair of dirty feet that have run too many miles. It's been a decade, too long, but he knows that face.

Ash knows that face. Curtis never actually saw it in person. He sees that body and it sends confusion running through him. Why would… who is? He looks at it for a few moments longer. "Delia?" He asks, crouching down near the body. "No… why would… unless you were visiting Lu…." Curtis's eyes fly open, a mournful look given to the now beheaded body laying on the ground. He looks for the wire and ducks under it, not even thinking to see what it's connected to or how. He pauses a moment to glance back, eyes lingering on Delia's horrified face. "What the fuck is going on?"

He growls it out as he resumes running down the hallway, pausing a few times when he spots people. Dead people. Some friends, some just familiar faces. The Evolved threats amongst the familiar faces weren't given a chance, taken out by gun. The un Evolved less lucky, taken out by blade and left to bleed out. But again all the blood he can see is drying. This is work done an hour or more ago. Not in the last few minutes. He looks around, not having heard the scream for awhile, trying to find a direction to go. There are bodies left everywhere, not really indicating a direction for him to take. "Ash if this was you I swear I will end us. I fucking swear it." He still doesn't notice the dripping blade in his hand, or the fact that the pistol in the other is lighter than it should be. "HELLO!?" He cries out, hoping someone, somewhere will hear him, and will answer.


More bodies, not just threats of Evolved and non but friends, his team. First Devon, the gangly youth is cut too deeply and has bled out long ago. His young face marred by the permanent smile that only a blade can make. Then an auburn haired woman, presumably Lucille, laying face down on the floor. Her blood pooling from a wound to the head, her face unrecognizable from exit damage.


The word echoes through Curtis' head, louder and louder until it feels as though that one thought is clawing its way out of his mind. Around another corner, more bodies, more Wolfhound agents, civilians… children.


Curtis walks the halls of death. The halls of hell. This is own personal hell. His teammates laid out on the ground. His fellow Wolfhound members. There are few people Curtis calls friend these days. But these people are some of the few he might apply that word to. But at the very least they're squad mates. Team mates. They've fought together. Bled together. Brought justice to the wicked and corrupt together. And now they're dead. Gone. Just like everyone else. Curtis doesn't stop to weep, or mourn.

His jaw clenched tight and he keeps on walking. "I fucking hate you Ash. I know this was you. I know this was fucking you. I don't know how. But…" He pauses when he sees the brunette head. He'd know Lucille so when he sees her laying there dead his eyes do close for a moment, just as they did when he saw Devon. Just as they do with every familiar sight.

"I am not a monster!" Curtis cries out to the uncaring voice. "He is. He's the monster…" It comes out a worried whisper. Uncertain. Afraid. Very little scares Curtis. But the other mind locked in his brain is one of them. There on the ground, Avi, broken and slashed. He put up a fight. Claire, her head taken clean off as well, the blow wicked sharp. But the weapon had heft because it went through her neck in one stroke. Heft like the kukri in his left hand. Felix, a shot clean through the head. Taken down before he could kick into high gear, sprawled on the floor like a broken toy.

"Why? WHY!?" He shouts, the sound echoing through the brick and stone halls of the Bunker. Then he starts to spot civilians and his confusion and his horror both mount. "Why were there children down here?" He asks the empty air. He doesn't see the blood that soaks his own clothes. He doesn't feel the cuts and scrapes from the fight through the halls of the Bunker. The fight that Ash took him down. "I AM NOT A MONSTER!!!" He shouts back in defiance.

Yes we are.

Comes the slow growled response from the other entity that shares his mind. The tone is different. The New York accent heavier. The voice itself rougher, pitched a bit lower than Curtis's own speaking voice. It echoes through the empty space of the room, coming from nowhere.

He hears a cough.

Digging through a pile of bodies he finds her. Claire, not his teammate but his Claire. Her brown hair stuck to the side of her face by blood, hers and others. Her clothing in the same state. "Curtis," her weak whisper is interrupted by a wet cough a trickle of blood pouring from her lips. "I missed you…" She reaches for him, and curls her fingers around his arm. Silently begging to be lifted.


His powerful arms wrap about the tiny frame and he pulls her from the mass grave, holding her close to his body as he stumbles out and away from this place. He can feel her head against his chest. Hugging her closer to his body, she seems so small, so frail. Weightless and getting…. lighter?

Looking down, all he can see is her form melting from his arms. A wet mass sliding down his large frame and into a puddle at his feet.


Curtis turns at that sound. The cough. It's one he knows. it's one he knows very very well. And one he wished he didn't know. He turns his head slowly, every so slowly because he knows what he's going to see. "This isn't real. This… this can't be real." He murmurs. His feet move forwards despite that protestation, and he drops down to his knees, his body reaching forwards to take Claire up. "I… oh god I couldn't… I couldn't save you. I couldn't protect you."

Tears fall freely now as Curtis staggers back to his feet and carries her away from the piled bodies. Only to… oh god no. No. "No no no nooooo." There's a long cry of soul deep pain and pure, hot, unbridled fury at what is happening. He knew it was going to happen before he picked her up. But he still did it.

"I AM NOT A FUCKING MONSTER! YOU ARE THE MONSTER! YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO PROTECT HER!" He screams it, at the top of his lungs as he watches in horror as that mass of clone… stuff goes sliding down his form to puddle on the floor. Again. "THAT WAS THE AGREEMENT!" He cries to the empty air of the hallway again.

"That was the agreement. I let you out in battle. And you protect her. No matter what." This time it comes out as a soft and broken whisper. Curtis's careful hold on his mind, and on Ash's cracking. A hand settles on his shoulder. A gloved hand. The arm connected to that hand is covered in black wool. A black fog coat. Ash's coat coming into view as that hand settles on his shoulder.

You failed her.

You knew I couldn't control myself.

You let me out anyway.

You failed her.


"FUCK YOU!" Curtis screams out, lurching to his feet, not sure when he went to his knees again. But he slips, in the puddle, in the mess on the floor and drops to a knee again, weeping, sobbing, breaking.

The click of shoes coming from further down the hallway stops before they come too close. Curtis can hear the cocking of a gun before a voice that's too familiar in both a fearsome and comforting way hits his ears. "You were supposed to protect her," a flash of horn rimmed glasses is the first thing he sees, before the receding line of the military crew cut comes visible. Noah Bennet. "My little girl."

He squeezes the trigger.

Curtis can see it all in slow motion. The hammer snapping back into position, the bullet slipping out of the end of the barrel, the smoke… the bullet as it comes closer. Claire's face clouding his thoughts. Isis playing at the back of his mind. Melissa…

A piece of popcorn lands on the floor near his hand.

"BOOOOO!!! GET UP CARP!!" Adam Monroe's voice is unmistakable. "FIGHT BACK!!"

"Shut up," the hushed female whisper is also unmistakable, he knows it. Late night movies, staying out past curfew, couch surfing. "I want to see what happens."

Curtis looks up, Ash's hand still on his shoulder as he stares into the face of Noah Bennet. "This isn't real. This isn't real. WHO ARE YOU? GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!!" Curtis shouts it as he stares up at Noah. At Claire's father. All his protesting doesn't make the nightmare end. "I'm sorry." He whispers, the sound weak and pathetic even to his own ears. "I'm so sorry." He doesn't pull back. He doesn't try to run. His eyes gradually drift closed as he watches his death come in slow motion. For a moment there's peace. It's all over. It'll all be over. And he didn't even have to do the deed himself.


Ash's voice whispers through reality, harsh condemnation in that single venomous word. He sees everyone flashing before his eyes. Those he's loved, those Ash has loved. The people they've both lost. Allies, friends and lovers. Lola, who was left waiting, wondering what happened to him on the night Rupert turned New York into Hell. Melissa, who he cared about, a lot more than he ever admitted to anyone. Lucille, in his dream dead on the floor a couple rooms away. Isis, Claire and more sweep past his vision. Then… His eyes snap open when he hears the soft patter of the popcorn on the floor.

"What?" He asks, looking around. He starts to stand, but Ash's hand keeps him on his knees. That hand is like steel. Unmoving. Ungiving. "Monroe? But he knew Ash not me." Curtis looks around in complete confusion. "What is going on? Where am I? WHO ARE YOU?" He shouts, the sound booming through the hallways, impossibly loud.

We failed so many people Autumn. Why continue? Why bear that pain yourself? Let me bear some of it for you. Just let me free a little bit. I can bear some of that pain for you.

Ash's voice fills the world again, not booming, just at conversational level, but it fills the world. "Get out of my mind Ash." Curtis snarls at the man standing at his side, keeping him on his knees. "Get the fuck out of my mind!!!" Curtis shoves Ash's hand away and lurches to his feet.

Our mind Autumn. It's our mind.

Curtis spins, but Ash is gone. He looks around the hallway, empty now. The lights no longer flicker, there is no longer blood on the walls, though Curtis himself is drenched in it. He drips it to the floor, where it soaks into the stone like it never existed.

You’ll never be free of me Curtis.
“Let him go!! You’re not doing anything meaningful!! Let him have a go!!"

Adam's voice rings through as the wall to Curtis' left side slides away to darkness, like a curtain falling to the floor. Spotlights shine on the scene, making a diorama or theatre production of his pain.

"Ow" Adam again. "Get those bony elbows away from me, you minger."

"I said shut up," it's… but it can't be, can it? Delia's voice, a bit more mature than he remembers. The light makes it impossible to see past the first row of powdered wig silhouettes. No faces he can recognize, only voices, and only those two are familiar. "I want to see what happens next. I completely missed the part where he explains why he's fighting with Ash. You were probably yelling."

Curtis can smell it now, the thick scent of butter and popped corn, drifting in from the theatre audience. His personal hell is on the menu as tonight's entertainment.

"No." Curtis's tone is not as firm nor as certain as he would like. He looks around himself, at the empty hallway that now continues on forever in both directions, the light growing brighter, to the point where it obscures everything around him, so it's just a pool of bright from the light, surrounded by pitch black. Then the theater comes into focus beyond the lights and he holds up a hand towards them, trying to block the light out so he can see.

"Adam? Delia? What in the literal fuck is going on?" He asks, trying to shield his eyes against the light. But no matter where he puts his hand, his arm it doesn't block the light. Ash's voice comes from the audience too now.

"He thinks I'm the monster and he's the noble knight protecting the world from me."

There's a laugh from Ash. A harsh sound, full of scorn and disbelief. Curtis steps towards the edge of the stage, but finds that the step carries him no further forwards, the edge of the stage is just as far away as it was before. "Who are you? What is happening? Why the fuck are you doing this to me? Ash get back in your fucking cage."

Curtis doesn't sound… entirely sane in that moment. His voice is tight, on the edge of mania. He can't tell if what's happening is real. Is some telepath invading his mind? Torturing him with his own memories? But then why Adam? Why Delia? They were Ash's friends. Not his. So many of the faces he saw were Ash's friends. Not his own.

It's true, Delia was never Curtis' friend. She was friends with man who proclaimed himself a monster, a man who was kind to her instead of showing that face. Like a spider, she crawls from her seat and scuttles to sit next to Ash.

"Hey big guy," she whispers, ignoring the screaming man on the stage. He's a stranger, a man threatening her friend with a cage. "Who is that?" Even she isn't completely aware of what's happening or of the split in the personality. "Is he your twin brother or something?"

Curtis' tirade is greeted with fist fulls of popcorn being thrown toward the stage. Not just from Adam, but from others, more monsters of history. Lenin, Elizabeth Bathory, Ted Bundy, faces recognizable from history both old and new. All of these monsters berating and jeering at him not Ash. Shouts of Let him go! and Freedom!! sound from the audience until it turns to white noise. Until all he can see is that redhead among now faceless masses, sitting beside his other self.

Ash in this mindscape still bears the scars he earned in Pinehearst. Though the Institute removed them from Curtis's body. And Curtis's face doesn't wear those particular scars. Ash leans over, bumping a shoulder lightly against Delia as she settles in next to him.

"That little dreamer is a man that was betrayed by the person he trusted most in the world. His grandfather. It was his body first. But since I have no idea what happened to my real body? It's our body now. And he's going to have to learn to share. That or I'll just take it from him and lock him away like he thinks he's locked me away."

Ash breathes in, nice and slow, then lets it out just as slow, an easy smile settling on the big man's features. "How have you been little one? Curtis is an asshole. He doesn't check on my friends unless he runs into them. But his control is slipping. I think… he's beginning to realize that though." He winks at Delia, then glances back to the stage, where Curtis is on his knees, his mouth open wide in a primal scream, but no sound emerges. It's just an endless scream of pain and fury at the uncaring merciless void. At the lights. At the crowd. At Ash. At the circumstances of his life. And no one can hear it. Not even a whisper of it.

"Next time I slip his leash I'll come see you in person. Maybe bring pizza."

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