House is haunted
I just want to go for a ride
Out and on
Before I set this room alight
Left alone forever and for crimes unclear
With my patience gone
Someone take me far from here. Yeah ~ Audioslave
Another shadow moved through the water, the sight no longer holding the attention of the few left on the beach as the sun descended into the horizon. They'd have paid it little mind if it were keeping the same circuitous patrol along the beach. If it hadn't been speeding straight towards the sand at impossible speed. They'd have gone about their work had they not noticed that the form was not alone in its headlong approach, or that those which followed bore the triangular fin they'd grown accustomed to seeing. The surf surged forwards reaching for the dead and dying behemoths which lined the gritty beach. It receded just the same, never coming close to those that once dwelt within it. If it had been any moment previous there would have been nothing to distinguish it from the one before or after. This particular moment would be unlike any that had come before in their vigil. The speeding form leapt from the next incoming wave, fifteen feet of something massive going airborne to hit the sand with a dull thud and roll. It began to move up the beach, once it righted itself, in jumps and lunges the mottled grey of its coat catching in the retreating sunlight.
"Leopard Seal." Robert Pullman observed, finally finding a renewed interest in his choice to remain at Seaside Beach.
"Not possible, it's way too far North." Bill Harris countered, his tone still heavy with the days tragedy.
"Look around you, Bill. Would you have said any of this was possible before?" Rosemary Deter's voice was no less heavy than Bill's. She'd hated this day for the loss of so many magnificent beasts, but also because it had shown her exactly how little she really knew.
The sound of a spring being tightened, and the audible snict of something locking into place drew all of their attention. "What are you doing?"
"I'm going to kill it." Private Tuberaat held his weapon aimed squarely at the seal moving up the beach. "Keep you all safe."
"Hasn't there been enough killing on the beach today, Private?" Robert's hand closed over the pistol, not to take it way, simply to push it down and away from yet another intriguing anomaly. He had nearly accomplished that when Tuberaat brought the weapon up once more, a fierce resolve in his face.
"What's it doin'?" He'd seen what they hadn't, of course they'd all been looking at him when it began. His words had the others jerking their attention back to the lumbering seal, except it wasn't a seal anymore. Portions of it still were, but the front flippers had become hands attached to arms. The entire thing was metamorphing in front of their eyes. The transformation was relatively brief, though the seconds seemed to have slowed to a crawl. Head and torso emerged, legs formed and for a brief instant bare skin and dark hair were all that could be seen. He, for it was definitely a male, pulled his knees up under his body and somehow between the time it took him to push the sand and stand up his torso was enveloped into a leather jacket which fortunately managed to cover all the important parts.
The turn of his head revealed irises the color of burnt sienna, and a stoic expression as the once seal seemed to look right through them. He said nothing as he began to take strides away from the quartet, though he didn't go far before kneeling once again. The dark hair, still damp from his recent immersion pressed against the form of the albino killer whale (one of the few barely alive) just beneath its eye.
"Yu gonplei ste odon...Oso gonplei nou ste odon nowe. Jus drein jus daun." He spoke against the the lower jaw of the Orca, perhaps knowing that was where sound was transmitted to the creature's ear. It responded with a weak whistling through its blowhole and several audible clicks. "You did all that could be done."
Eddie wouldn't say there was honor in his death. This was as far removed from honorable as anything could be. More sounds escaped the albino. "Tallulah is safe." He had no idea how he was going to tell her about this. The sounds grew weaker, Eddie put his hand on the Orca's side pressing as tightly as he could since the other had no hands for him to hold to. "I'll tell her that it's okay for stone faces like her to laugh sometimes too."
The mammoth mouth opened and spewed forth something small as a pebble, which Eddie was quick to scoop up and thrust into his pocket despite the blood that coated it. The great mouth worked again forming audible words deeper than an earthquakes rumble. "I don't understand why this happened to us..." Unfortunately for the speaker, he would never get to hear the answer.
"Cuz we were born, kid." Curiosity had pulled at the quartet bringing them, hesitantly, closer to Eddie. They stopped with a visible flinch when he turned his eyes towards them.
"Please, we need to know what's happening here, and out there." The woman's voice was soft, a breathy hint tinged with fear and... interest. Under different circumstances he might have admired the courage it took to overcome her trepidation. Eddie lowered his hand to the sand to lever himself up. He wouldn't use the body for that, it had been through enough.
"It is said that when the first of our kind, the first of the Selkie emerged from the water to walk upright, she too was surrounded by enemies with razor teeth and ravenous appetites. Looking back...not on the past, just on where I've come from I begin to believe it might be true." He turned to face them, not caring that the front of his jacket was open. Had it not been for the gasp from the woman he'd not even have remembered.
"In the stories, she's always helped by the mother..." As he talked the coat shifted, disappearing in a faint shimmer of air leaving him bare chested, but wearing a pair of leather trousers of the same color. "A few skills, the encouragement she needed when she was afraid. It's said she had companions, but we never get to know who they were. Names lost to time...if any of it was ever real." He moved toward them, more an attempt to get a clearer view of the devastation along the beach.
"I wonder how long they'll remember the details of this? Will they know about Oralea, who'd been initiated into the sisterhood on her fifth birthday merely a month back? That she was so terrified when the attack hit her pod that she ran as fast as she could swim? Will any of us remember Owain..." His hand stroked the dry flesh of the albino. "How he charged after her as fast as he could, only to catch up too late and be surrounded? He managed to fight his way free... he was strong despite his youth. By then more than two dozen had been separated from their parents. Owain swam at their head, desperately trying to cut a path through. He was the only fighter among them, his enemies too many... what more could you expect from a twelve year old kid?"
Eddie held onto his resolve, the woman had asked and he would finish his tale. "You want to know what happened, but refuse to look around you and see it. Children died because they were too wounded and too weak to change, and disappear into the city."
"Why?" The question came, perhaps surprisingly so, from the Watchman.
Eddie bit the inside of his cheek hard enough to draw blood, it hurt but he managed to keep his control. Even if it did require him to squeeze his eyelids together to hold on. "You wouldn't understand, can't begin to comprehend this." He turned away from them, walking further up the shore towards the city.
"Try me!" It was the Watchman again, daring Eddie to give up his secrets.
"They believed too hard." He stopped, his hand clutching the railing of a set of stairs up to the street.
"What did they believe in?" It was the bearded one who asked that question. Eddie remembered the sound of his voice from when he'd come ashore. Something about the question set him into motion again.
He was all the way up the steps before he said anything, and there was no way the four of them would have heard his soft reply. "In me." He wanted to be away from that place, away from the scent of blood and death. He wanted to be behind the wheel of the purple Roadrunner with his foot pressed to the floor and the sound of base drowning out everything. There were people he could have called to come get him, one in particular would probably drop everything and run even if she accidentally burnt the carpet with a candle in doing so. The penthouse wasn't that far, a ten minute walk... even without shoes.