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Something wicked this way comes


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Sammy walked back into his apartment and sat down in the chair before the Tv. Slowly he rubbed his head to clear it of the liquior he had consumed earlier at the Arena in celebration of his birthday.

'Hard to believe it's been six years since I got these abilities. I should have never told those guys it was my birthday. I haven't drank so much in years. It was a good thing I didn't have any classes today. I've only got about a little more to go before those computer classes are finished. Once they're done, I'll get in touch with Grey and get hsi business out of the way.'

Sammy closed his eyes for a second before looking over at the strange rune covered box that sat upon his TV. It was the prize from his first job here in Freedom City. A mysterious caller had hired him to get teh item but then never got back into contact with him. Since he wasn't getting paid the second half of his fee, Sammy had decided to keep the strange item until he could figure out who to sell it to.

Something about the box kept drawing his attention to it. Regardless of which room he was in, Sammy always made it a point to take a few moments to stare at the box. When he had first brought it to his home, the burgurlar would often reach out and caress the fine engravings. The box held little secrets to Sammy though he had yet to find a way to open it.

The box was fairly small, not large enough for anything more than a key or perhaps a roll of parchment. It's shape suggested soemthing long, but Sammy was familiar with containers designed to keep the true shape of its contents a secret. No, trying to guess what the contents might be was a waste of time. A few days after taking the item and realizing that his employer would not be trying to get it, Sammy had tried to pass through it, but the attempt failed. Whatever those runes were that had protected the safe and the room in which he took it from seemed to have been also etched upon the box. His own abilities were unable to bypass them.

'Maybe it's time I took the matter up with Lenny. He might be able to shed some insight on the matter. If not, he can at least direct me to someone that perhaps might be able to help. I'll take it to him in the morning.'

Sammy stood up and stretched.

'In the meantime, I think I'll turn in and get some sleep. Best to get the last of that liquior out of my system before going to see Lenny.'

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Sammy found Lenny sitting on a bench over looking the beach area. It was rare to find the informant out in the open but Sammy didn't think it would hurt to get the business over with while the sun was still out.

"So, having a good day so far, Lenny?" Sammy asked as he sat down next to the man.

Lenny's only react was to turn slightly to get a better look at Sammy. Lenny was good at hiding his surpise. A very useful trait in his line of business.

"I guess you can say so Sammy. It's been relatively quiet since that young buck, Arrowhawk crashed the Mancini place a few days ago. Did pretty well for himself actually. Almost didn't need Foreshadow backing him up."

"That good, huh? Well, just don't send him my way, okay? I've had my fill of running into vigilantes. The last one almost had me if not for that strange woman that popped up."

"I'll keep that in mind, Sammy. So, what brings out here looking for me in the middle of the day?"

Sammy smiled as Lenny got down to business. That was something you could always count on with the informant. Not only would he pass on jobs that would help make a man rich, he also made sure that the neighborhoods he worked in retained a bit of structure. It was a fine line he was walking, Sammy knew, but Lenny had been doing this for some time now and he still had all of his original body parts.

Sammy took out the small bag that contained the box he wanted to identify.

"I need to find out what this is and how much I can get for it. It was the prize for my first job and the employer decided not to contact me again to pay me the rest of my money. I've been watching the news, but so far, there hasn't been any word that it was stolen. Got any ideas of what it can be?"

Lenny took the bag and looked inside it for a short time before handing it back to Sammy. "Well, I assume you can't open it or you wouldn't be asking me about it. From the looks of it, I can tell you it's out of my sphere. However, I may be able to point you to someone that might be able to help you out. Give me a few days to check out some things."

Sammy nodded and took the package back. "All right Lenny. I'll be in touch."

Sammy stood and walked away leaving Lenny to his solitude.

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Sammy made it home after an uneventful walk around town. He didn't have much planned the day as his computer class wasn't until the next day. Free to roam the city, Sammy decided to grab lunch in Wading Way, very close to the building where he stole the box from. Dinner he spent over in Midtown.

Now, it was late and time for some sleep. Sammy placed the strange box back upon the TV and stared at it for a short time. 'There's something about this box that gives me goosebumps. I don't know if it is something I should try to get rid of or simply open. It's just got be my nerves acting up. I've got that test tomorrow and I should get some sleep before I have to be there.'

Sammy cleaned up and went to bed. As soon as he had drifted to sleep, the rune covered box opened slightly.....

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Sammy looked around the deserted street. From the look of the buildings, he figured that he was in Midtown. Though there was no one in sight, he could still feel the presence of others all around him. He smiled in anticipation of the nights activities.

Sammy began moving towards a small car and when he reached it, he realized that it was much larger than it should be. The strange siaze difference was quickly forgotten as a hunger began to form in his gut. The more he stared at teh car, the stronger the hunger became. He reached out his hand and touched the vehicle's smooth body and he knew that it would satisfy his hunger.

Through his touch, he could feel every portion of the car. Every nut and bolt was exposed to his senses. Saliva dripped unnoticed from his mouth as he focused his attention on the car. Slowly, Sammy ran his hand over the body looking for just the part to begin. He could have easily opened the door but that would not have been fun. No, he had to find a different location to start.

Finished with his inspection of the outer shell, Sammy lowered himself to the ground and looked under the vehicle. The underside, unlike the outer body, was black with dirt and oil. This was where he would start. Near the rear axle, oil slowly dripped upon the payment. The sight of which caused the saliva to drip even more from his hungry lips.

Sammy quickly slipped under the car and moved directly under the dripping oil. He opened his mouth wide and tasted its sweetness. Ah, a good year to be sure. Sammy reached up towards the drip and watched in glee as the hole widened with very little effort. More oil poured from the car but Sammy didn't stop to drink his fill. Instead, he began to rip out bolts, causing more damage to the car. With each bolt ripped from the car, his hunger subsided for a short moment before flaring up in greater intensity.

Soon there was nothing left of the axles or the transmission of the car. A gaping hole exposed the engine to Sammy's hungry eyes. He reached up and began tearing up the heart of the vehicle. As he worked, a wicked smile of pleasure grew upon his face.

Sammy tossed and turned in his bed, trapped in the throes of the dream. Sweat beaded on his head and small moans of disgust mixed with pleasure escaped his lips.

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Sammy licked the oil from his fingertips with delight. The car was a wonderful treat but the hunger within was still strong. He moved down the street and turned his appetite loose upon the traffic lights before him. As he dined, he heard the soft murmer of voices just on teh edge of understanding all about. Still, he could not see what was making the noise.

After devouring three more lights and two cars, Sammy spied an ATM. He rubbed his hands in glee and went quickly to work ont he poor machine. Money spewed forth falling tot he ground like confetti. He paused in his work to watch the money drift slowly to the ground. The small part of him that was still Sammy Cosentino wanted to reach out for the money, but the creature that he had become had no need for paper. It was the machine that satisfied the hunger within. Only that which moved and could be destroyed with but a touch, gave him any pleasure.

Sammy turned away from the falling paper and turned his attention back to the machine. As he worked, he laughed.

Back in his room, Sammy's sleeping form laughed in unison with his dreamself.

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The Boardwalk was deserted. The sudden cold front that had swept into the city had forced the tourists to remain safely inside of their hotel rooms. The usual working girls stood within the alcoves of buildings, trying to keep teh cold wind from their exposed flesh. It was not a night to be out on the streets yet Sammy strolled to the appointed corner without a care in the world.

Sammy whistled a short tune as he walked. His hands were buried within his pants pocket in an attempt to kep them warm. His ever present backpack held the strange box again. As he neared the corner, he spotted Lenny smoking a cigarette. "Those things will kill you, Lenny."

Lenny looked up at Sammy and tossed the unfinshed bud into the street. "Yeah, that's what my momma told me. Look, it's cold out here and I really don't want to be out here longer than I have to. So can we skip the verbal foreplay and get straight to business."

Sammy smiled at Lenny's direct statement. "Fine by me. So what did you find out."

"Got some good news and some bad news for ya. First, the good. I found someone who can probablly help you out. There's a guy I know goes by the name of Byron who operates out in Lantern Hill. The bad news is he won't see you unless you do something for him."

Sammy frowned as he thought about the situation. "What does he want?"

Lenny pulled out an evelope and handed it to Sammy. "He wants you to deliever this to the Millenium Mall before coming through. And before you ask, I have no idea why nor what is inside of it. You have take it inside of the Mall and drop it off in a mailbox inside.

Sammy shrugged his shoulders as he took the envelope and placed it in his backpack. "If that's what I got to do, I'll do it. Thanks Lenny.

Sammy turned and left Lenny to his own devices.

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Sammy sat in his chair, the strange box sitting on the table before him next to the sealed envelope.

'Why in the world would he ask me to take this to the Mall before meeting him? What could be inside that it needs to go somewhere like that?'

Sammy turned the envelope over wondering if he should open it or not. The envelope was large, about he size of a sheet of paper. It had almost no weight and was thick enough not to let light reveal its contents. It would be easy for him to take a peek, but Sammy was known for his discretion and he didn't want to do anything to disrupt that track record.

'But who is this byron fella? What will he be able to do for me? Simply tell me what the box is or go further by pointing me to a buyer? Lenny didn't say and that really isn't like him. I'd better do some looking into this guy myself before seeing him.'

Sammy left the items on the table and headed out. Once the door closed, the box opened slightly allowing green smoke to flow out towards the nearby envelope. It wasn't long before the envelope was covered with smoke.

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