Eric merely raised an eyebrow as the detective pulled out a pair of handcuffs and cuffed him to his bed. One of the doctor’s rushed into the room at that moment. Noticing the handcuffs he turned to the detective. “Is it really necessary to handcuff a paralyzed man to his bed?” He asked.
The detective shrugged. “It’s protocol. Even if he is paralyzed. An accomplice could always try to get him in a wheelchair and help him escape.” The last was said as he was looking at Valerie and Nicole.
At this point Eric was wondering if it would be easier to just get rid of the idiot. Although he doubted it would actually solve anything. He suspected that the detective would just be replaced. Plus he would surely face additional charges for whatever he did to the detective.
“Glad to see that both of you are here.” The detective said to Valerie and Nicole. “I’m going to have to ask both of you to come with me down to the station.” He said with a wide grin.
Something about the looks that the men behind the detective were giving the two girls set off alarm bells in Eric’s head. He had seen that look far too many times. It was more than just lust at seeing a couple of attractive women.
Closing his eyes Eric made a decision. “Detective Hill. Do you remember what I told you last time you were in this room? Right before you pissed yourself and ran away like a coward.” Eric said.
The detective visibly turned red and the men behind him looked a bit confused. Obviously they hadn’t heard the story. Although clearly they also didn’t believe Eric when he said the detective had pissed himself.
“So what? You’re a paralyzed bum. What do you think you are going to do to a detective?” Detective Hill said with a sneer.
“This.” Eric said and then pointed towards the detective.
Eric unleashed his entire killing intent and focused it on the detective. It was far more than a mere mortal could handle. Detective Hill’s eyes bulged and then he went pale. Finally he crumpled to the ground and started frothing at the mouth.
The police behind the detective caught the edges of the attack. All of them released their bowels and two of them also fell over. One of them tried to run out of the room. Redirecting his focus Eric focused his killing intent on him. Like the detective, the police officer passed out and fell to the ground.
“Now then. Someone explain to me what you intended to do to the two girls. Otherwise what I’ll make sure you experience far worse than these two just did.” Eric said coldly.
“We weren’t going to do anything to them. I swear.” One of the police officers said.
Eric snorted and then focused his killing intent on him. Except this time he kept it to a lower amount. Not quite enough to make the man pass out. Within a couple seconds the man started screaming as he thrashed around on the ground.
After a couple seconds one of the officers seemed to remember that he had a gun. Drawing it he pointed it at Eric. Splitting his focus Eric hit this officer with his killing intent also. Since Eric was immortal a gunshot wouldn’t kill him. It would be a pain to heal though. Depending on where he was shot it may even knock him unconscious. The man’s hand shook and the gun went off. The bullet barely grazed Eric’s arm. Before he could fire a second shot the gun slipped from his grasp and he also started screaming.
“Okay. I’ll tell you. Just please let me go.” One of the two officers that wasn’t screaming whimpered out.
Eric ramped up his soul attack on the two officers slightly and they passed out. “Go ahead. I promise I won’t hurt you if you tell me the truth.”
The man licked his lips nervously and looked around. At first Eric thought he was looking at Valerie, Nicole, and the doctor who were staring on in shock. After a moment he realized the man was looking around to make sure he wasn’t being recorded.
The other police officer that was still conscious decided that was the moment to talk. “Don’t tell him….” Before the officer said anything else Eric hit him with a low level of killing intent. Just enough that he couldn’t speak but wasn’t screaming.
“Talk. Before I lose my patience.” Eric said.
Finally the officer started talking. “This was all the detective's idea and if anyone ever asks me I’m going to deny ever saying anything about it. The detective’s cousin pays big bucks if we bring him girls that nobody will miss. The detective has access to look up the records of girls and see if they have any family that will miss them. Usually we just deliver a few drug addicts, prostitutes, or runaways to him. The girls get suspicious if it’s just him though. So he picks the targets and then we back him up. They don’t know what’s going on until it’s way too late.”
Eric felt a twinge of rage but kept it in check. “What happens to the girls?” He asked, knowing that whatever happened wouldn’t be good.
“I don’t know. Never heard from any of them again though. Probably shipped off to some other country or something.” The officer said.
Eric highly doubted that. The officer was telling the truth that he didn’t know. However, Eric had his suspicions. Runaways were probably often trafficked and shipped around. He kind of doubted there was enough demand for drug addicts and prostitutes to make trafficking them profitable. Besides, there wasn’t much reason to abduct a drug addict or prostitute. If it was just about sex it made no sense to kidnap a prostitute instead of just paying them.
“I believe you so far. However, there is something you aren’t telling me. You get more than just money when you deliver the girls don’t you?” Eric asked.
The officer glanced at Nicole and Valerie nervously. “Yeah. The detective’s cousin let’s us do whatever we want with the girls before he takes them away.”
Eric nodded. He had already been expecting that answer. He just wanted Valerie and Nicole to hear it. They were a bit too innocent. “Last question. Where do I find the detective’s cousin.”
The officer hesitated for a moment and then looked over at the passed out detective and officers. “I have no idea what you did but I guess you can handle yourself. Just don’t tell them I told you. Go to Ray’s pub off of Morris street and ask for Josh. He’s the detective’s cousin. Now you are going to let me go right?” The officer said.
Eric shook his head. “I never said I’d let you go. Just that I wouldn’t hurt you.”
Eric slammed him and the last officer with the same level of killing intent he had used on the detective. It was true that the officer wouldn’t feel much pain. Killing intent affected the soul of the target. The level of killing intent Eric was using was enough to sever a mortal's soul from their body. In effect they would slip into a coma and appear brain dead. Their soul itself would move on to their next life. One where hopefully Eric would never have to deal with them again. If he did hopefully they would have learned the lesson not to cross him.
“What did you do to them?” Valerie asked with wide eyes as she looked at the six bodies that were lying on the floor.
“I used my killing intent to sever their souls from their bodies. In essence those are just empty husks now. Fortunately we shouldn’t have to worry about something inhabiting them since we are on a null plane.” Eric explained.
“That’s impossible.” The doctor said, seeming to finally come out of their shock. They rushed over to the men and started checking their pulses.
“You killed them?” Nicole said, staring at Eric in shock.
“What do you think would have happened if you had gone with them? You would have been raped, probably tortured, and then killed. The detective certainly wasn’t expecting to ever hear from either of you again.” Eric said.
“That doesn’t give you the right to kill someone though. You could have just told us not to go with them.” Nicole said angrily.
Eric sighed. “I get it. You are into the whole law and order thing. Let me make something clear to you though. The rest of the universe isn’t like Earth. In most of it, might makes right. Even the strongest country will allow a powerful enough cultivator to do whatever they please. Also severing their soul isn’t that terrible a punishment. In my empire they would be imprisoned and tortured for at least a few hundred years before being allowed to journey into their next life.”
“I don’t care what the rest of the universe does. This is Earth and you are in the USA. There are laws and you can’t just go around executing people.” Nicole said. Nothing Eric had said had calmed her down at all.
“They aren’t dead. It looks like all of them have just passed out. Maybe something they all ate?” The doctor chimed in.
Eric gave the man an incredulous look. The lengths the doctors would go to in order to ignore anything they couldn’t explain was surprising. For instance the doctor was clearly ignoring the fear he had been feeling just a little bit ago.
At that moment the door burst open again. This time a security guard rushed in with a drawn gun. Eric almost took the man down with another blast of killing intent. The guard never pointed the gun at him though.
“What happened here? There were reports of screams and a gunshot coming from this room.” The guard said.
“I’m not sure what is going on. I think these men must have been exposed to something. Call the nurses. We need to get them to the emergency room right away.” The doctor said.
Valerie and Nicole looked on in confusion as half a dozen nurses got the detective and five officers on gurneys and out of the room. “Are they seriously just going to pretend like you didn’t do anything to those men?” Nicold finally asked in a stunned voice.
“In the doctor’s defense I am insane. I’ve been diagnosed and am taking quite a few medications. He probably believes I’m just delusional.” Eric said. In truth he was just as surprised. He had even admitted to killing the six men. Hopefully they wouldn’t decide to come back and take him seriously.
Before Nicole could get over this new shock Eric decided to give her some direction. “How about figuring out who Lawrence Derringer is? I think the detective was being honest about me being under arrest for killing whoever that is. I’ve never heard of them though.”
“I was one of the officers originally investigating you. I think they found a bloody knife at your camp in the woods. I’m not sure but I’d bet this has something to do with that.” Nicole said.
Eric thought about it for a moment. Unfortunately the memories of this body before he occupied it were a chaotic jumble. A lot of them he knew couldn’t possibly be real. Yet the memories were real. That was the problem with delusions. Figuring out what was real and what wasn’t was nearly impossible. He did have memories of fighting monsters with a knife. Perhaps one of those monsters was actually a person. In which case it was possible that he had killed the man while he was delusional.
“Oh well. We can figure that all out later. For now I’d like to go to Ray’s pub and pay this Josh fellow a visit. Can you get these handcuffs off?” Eric asked.
“I can get the handcuffs off but how are you planning to get to Ray’s pub? Also what about the fact that the detective said you are under arrest?” Nicole asked.
“Well I was hoping that you could give me a ride. If not, I'll have to figure out some other type of transportation. As for the detective I don’t see any active duty police. Am I just supposed to remain here forever? If it’s necessary I’ll turn myself in after visiting the bar. However, I’d like to get some evidence of what the detective was planning first.” Eric replied.
“Are you sure it’s safe to check out of the hospital? I'm not even sure it’s safe to move you in a wheelchair.” Valerie said.
Eric grinned. “No wheelchair needed. I’ve at least partially healed most of my injuries. I’ll have to be careful though. My bones are healed enough to walk around. They aren’t nearly healed enough for a fight. Luckily I can just use my killing intent.”
Valerie and Nicole both looked skeptical. Nicole came around the bed though and pulled out her keys. One of them was a handcuff key that she used to undo the handcuffs. Both of them looked on in shock as Eric carefully swung his legs around and gingerly stood up from his bed. He was a bit shaky but clearly wasn’t paralyzed.
“Well I guess that confirms that you aren’t entirely crazy. I peaked at some of the x-rays. I would have said it would take a miracle for you to ever walk. Being able to stand in less than a week is on another level entirely.” Valerie said, sounding a bit stunned.
Clearly Valerie was finding the events of the last few minutes a bit overwhelming. Nicole seemed to be less overwhelmed. Although Eric could tell that she was very disturbed by what he had done to the detective and the officers.
“I’m going with you. At least then if the detective wakes up and claims you were under arrest you can explain that you were with me. After visiting the bar we will have to stop at the station though.” Nicole said.
Eric frowned. He didn’t like the idea of turning himself into the police. Before he could voice any disagreement Valerie spoke up. “I’m coming also. If you pull your stitches or something I can help. Also Nicole and I took the same car here.”
It was Nicole’s turn to frown. “I don’t want you anywhere near that bar. Who knows what they would do to you if something happens to me and Eric.”
Valerie pouted a bit. “Fine, I'll stay in the car.”
Nicole started to say something again but Eric interrupted her. “I think both of you should stay in the car once we get there. I may be injured but I’m far more resilient than either of you can imagine. I believe I also just proved that I can heal myself quickly.”
“I’m not worried about you. I’m worried about the people in the bar. You can’t just go in there and start killing everyone.” Nicole said clearly assuming that was Eric’s intentions.
“Who said anything about killing anyone? I'm just going to ask some questions and gather some evidence.” Eric said, struggling not to smile. He probably would kill a few more people. But only if they resisted or refused to answer his questions.
“I don’t believe you for a second. Why don’t you just let the police investigate?” Nicole asked.
Eric sighed. “Clearly the police are involved. Can you guarantee that the men that came to this room were the only ones involved? Once Josh finds out I’m sure he will destroy any evidence. He may also decide to tie up any loose ends. Which could mean him sending people after all of us.”
Nicole still shook her head. “I can’t guarantee that, but I’m not letting you go into that bar alone. My oaths require me to stop you from killing or torturing them.”
Eric was starting to get frustrated. “Do you have another way to quickly get information from them? Normally I’d use a truth serum or have a truth seeker conduct the interrogation. Those options aren’t available though. You need to start learning that the way this universe operates isn’t like this world. The strong prey on the weak.”
“This isn’t the rest of the universe. This is Earth. We have laws here and the strong protect the weak instead of preying on them.” Nicole said.
Eric struggled not to laugh. “Clearly if that was the case this group wouldn’t be operating. Besides I would think you would be happy about what I’m doing. I’m going to destroy that group and protect all the weak people they would have preyed on. I just need to figure out who all is involved.”
“You can’t just be judge, jury, and executioner. There is a process when someone breaks the law.” Nicole countered.
“Clearly that process hasn’t been working. If it makes you happy though we can just go round up all the evidence and people involved. Then I’ll turn them over to the police. If they don’t handle it I promise that I will.” Eric said, relenting a bit. He resigned himself to having to give in a little bit with Nicole. Yin bodies were like this. They were cold and calculating. At the same time they had a tendency to see the world as black and white. They got hung up on following the letter of any laws and couldn’t see that the world was filled with different shades of grey.
Nicole nodded. “Fine. But you have to promise not to torture or kill anyone.” She finally said.
Eric cocked his head and considered what she was saying. “As long as they don’t attack me I promise that I won’t torture or kill them.” He agreed.
“No pushing their souls out of their bodies either.” Nicole said.
Eric nodded. “Agreed. I’d consider that killing them.”
“Now that we have all agreed on what to do, can we get out of this hospital? I keep on expecting a swat team or something to show up and start asking about the detective.” Valerie said.
Bio: I'm almost certainly addicted to reading. For decades I've read at least a dozen books a month. I'd say getting close to ten thousand over the course of my life. For the past few years I've been writing as a hobby. I created an account on royal road in order to get feedback on the projects I've started.