My name is Happy; that’s what they call my Morphus. Truth is, I hate that name! But my face is so animated that I look like the Joker got assimilated by the Borg, but got to keep his huge smile and wild eyes. My eyes are forced open by wires making it impossible to blink; and when I attempt to do so, blood rolls down my cheeks. I chuckle all the time; and sarcasm just comes out of me like a river. Yea, I am a real sight. Before my Morphus revealed itself to me I was an average Joe about a hundred and thirty pounds, avid nerd of all things sci-fi and lover of comics. I dreamed, perhaps lusted for the power of outer space or being a hero. But alas, I also coveted the power and resource of villains. Who knew that my love and desire would manifest itself in an eternal war; and I would become a soldier of good hunting down the invisible and ever elusive Nightlords.
I need a place to chronicle my adventures hunting a spawn of Cyberspace: Needles. Needles is a Free Code person, and technically could be a woman or a man as they keep rewriting their code to disguise their look. Most of the time he, the Free Code freak, doesn’t change his look and hasn’t done it for a few weeks now. He keeps plotting the death of humans in the Physical Layer. That’s what it’s called, and I’ll get to that in a moment. For now I will describe my mission.
Shortly after my Uncle Artie’s funeral I went through the “Becoming”. The death came at such a surprise. He was recovering and doing well. Then his medication was changed, and he died. At first, it looked like a typo or something. But further revelations showed that no staff member had touched the record, and that an unknown code was entered. His record had been changed! Fingerprints didn’t say anything at all. At the time, I was a young intern shooting for my Masters degree in Computer Science, a regular savant.
I had to find out what happened. And so, I took my tinkering to the next level. After the cops had finished their work and determined it was an ‘accident’ I went to work. After a week of digging I kept finding the name, Needles coming up. I thought that it was a mob or Mafia or something. Such a name said seedy all the way, and I was bound determined to get to the bottom of this, even if it killed me! Artie was such a father figure, and when dad died he was there to help me be involved in baseball and sci-fi conventions. We talked about girls and getting old. He even was willing to take a 3 A.M. call about Allysissa, and my first kiss at fourteen. So I could not let this Needles get away with murder!
After graduating high school, Artie gave me his old beat up Rabbit. Man, I loved that car! And, I took it to Illinois to go to college. I thought the world was my oyster, and Artie was going to be my backbone. When he came down with cancer I wanted to switch majors and study medicine. He encouraged me to keep on track and study my computer science. Good thing. I passed with a Bachelor’s with honors; and old Artie just got sicker. Then by some miracle he started to get better through some carefully crafted new chemistry. Art’s doctor, Dr. Avery, said that he was going to use some of the old ways. He said that what he was doing was going to be top secret. But, if it worked, it would revolutionize medicine. It had been several years after Dark Day. We had gotten used to some air of mystery and weirdness. There was a worldwide attempt to get back to normal. So, finding the Doc’s need for privacy and experimentation (that was legalized thanks to the Preverts in Congress) carried without incident.
After my Becoming and Arts death, I found out that the Doc was a bonafied mage. I thought that it was because of his ‘magic’ that Art died. But, when I cornered him, we were surprised; and, he was gunned down. I was left holding the bag. With his dying breath he told me that he had found a healing spell. He told me that he was working on Art to cure cancer. Needles had contacted him via text message, and told the Doc to stop. He didn’t listen. He was sent formal letters with no return address threatening his livelihood if he didn’t stop. Avery didn’t. And when he found out that I was looking for a killer, he had found a kindred spirit in me, and confided his discovery; the papers of his discovery and the clothes on my back were all I got away with.
The cops spent a month chasing me. When they finally broke off the chase, it was because I was in a library in Pennsylvania attempting to look up something on the Internet. Some of the research Doc had left had been cryptic, and some of the writing was in his own version of ‘magic’ language. I am sure that he understood it clearly, but it was mixed in with reference of God, Egypt, Babylon, crap like that. It talked about his travels and his secret Benefactor who wanted out of a prison. But they wouldn’t tell him where the prison was. Only that if he studied magic ‘he’ would reveal the prison, and would ask at a special time to get a release.
When Avery started using his magic in private medicine he was subtle and unnoticeable. But when Art’s case came to his table, he was such a respected doctor at the time he had become careless, and some of his secrets of using ‘voodoo’ slipped. The Benefactor didn’t like it. He ordered him to stop. Of course the Doc had grown emotionally attached to Art, and so he ignored the threats. Who knew that this ‘Benefactor’ would kill his Key Master to his prison, and bring a chase that he didn’t want right to his door.
Like I said, I was at a library when the cops came hunting. They had come with Men in Black (NSB) to ensure the catch would be unnoticed and easy. At first, they attempted to corner me. They moved in so fast that they almost were a shadow before I noticed them. Because it was a Sunday night, and the place was almost empty, changing to my Morphus would almost be unnoticed. It would be later reported as an arson attempting to burn the library down. From my left and my right, they closed in while I was seated at a computer. My arm was plugged into the computer as it was faster to get information, misleading or not, to my mind and process it. I wanted to know who Needles was. And I was going to find out!
The side arms were immediately pulled out when they saw my face in the shadow cast. I had an overcoat, but that didn’t hide my face. You know the one with the smile of Pennywise, Joker, something, call it what you want, but it said that they were going to die or I was. I didn’t know all my talents, but I knew how to hold my own against the government’s goons. They open fired on me, and I had to get the data that I was downloading into my brain. The bullets ricocheted everywhere. Those that were at the library were actually scared. I had nowhere to go. The only talent I knew was Shadow Blast and Lightning Riding. Who knew that when I ‘rode’ into the computer I would not come out for a month?
End of entry 1.
Picture from Mojo in the Wikipedia.