The Titular Devil, With Hand

The Titular Devil, With Hand

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hypo-Head Treatment Part 2

Here's the second part of the Hypo-Head treatment...I'm following up on the first part a little sooner than normal because I'm going to Philcon over the weekend.

If you'll recall, Count Wormius's cylinder had been opened, and the Swedish Evil was busting out all over Northern Delaware...

Up in Pike Creek, REV. SUNDQUIST takes CHRISSIE and BOBBY down under his church, into the branch office of the Order of Gustavus Adolphus. The walls are covered with pictures of prominent members of the order; BOBBY looks at them in amazement, seeing photos of NATHAN BEDFORD FORREST, WILL ROGERS, JIMMY CARTER.
They go back into SUNDQUIST's armory----he explains that they ran out of ammunition down in Patagonia. Their primary weapon, it turns out, is an old German 75mm snub paratrooper howitzer that OLE and SVEYN lug around; THORSEN gets to carry the pack containing the ammunition---custom-made grapeshot rounds. For extra insurance, the huge SWEDES also carry USAS-12 full-auto shotguns, as well as short-handled axes.
Too slight to handle such ordnance, SUNDQUIST carries a mere Remington 1100 semi-auto shotgun, and a fifty-caliber Desert Eagle pistol; he gives CHRISSIE and BOBBIE Remingtons of their own, and a couple of Beretta nine-milimeters. Thus equipped, the slayers get back into the van and head back for New Castle, CHRISSIE driving.
On the way, BOBBY asks SUNDQUIST if crosses work on these vampires. SUNDQUIST replies that the things don't have anything to do with the Christian supernatural, and that the Knights of Columbus handle matters dealing with Christian Demonology.
As they're speaking, SUNDQUIST starts shaking again, and begins to transform; he gets much farther along before they administer his medication.
"What're you going to do if you change all the way?" BOBBY asks. "Can you change back?"
"No," SUNDQUIST replies. "But with any luck, I'll be able to make use of this---"
He holds up a cannister marked with a skull and crossbones. "If I still have the willpower, I'll snort this up, turn myself into a walking bomb, take as many of them with me as I can…."
"You look like you're looking forward to it," BOBBY says.
"It's very important to die well," says SUNDQUIST, with a distinctly insane sparkle in his eyes.
"Fuckink-A," say SVEYN, OLE, and THORSEN, all at once.
"Fucking-A," says CHRISSIE.
BOBBY thinks about this for a second or two, nods.
"Fucking-A," he says.
SVEYN, OLE, and THORSEN begin to roar a weird Swedish rendition of A Mighty Fortress Is Our God as the car speeds towards New Castle.
As they aproach the town, they encounter a roadblock---one lane of the highway's obstructed by a road department truck, and a cop car is parked on the opposite shoulder, a policeman leaning against it. CHRISSIE slows down, but the cop waves them forward listlessly. They almost drive through the gap. Then SUNDQUIST cries:
"It's a trap!"
CHRISSIE throws the van into reverse.
A pickup truck shoots out of the darkness from one side, and she slams into it. We see a hypo-head in the truck's front seat, mantis-arms clutching the wheel; blood sloshes back and forth in the thing's half-filled transparent dome. Staring at it through the back of the van, BOBBY blinks in amazement, both at the thing's appearance, and the fact that it's driving the truck.
More hypo-heads come leaping out from either side of the road. CHRISSIE puts the van back into drive and floors it, sending it shooting between the cop-car and the dozer. Hypo-heads spring up in front of it; as the van crashes into them, they roll up over the hood and the roof. Two of them cling to the luggage rack and try to tear their way through the roof; OLE, in the back seat, sprays the ceiling with his USAS, and from inside the van, we see fragments of the two creatures drop past the windows to right and left, and over the back hatch. The van picks up speed.
"Got to find a way back out," SUNDQUIST says.
But before they can find a road that isn't blocked, a hypo-head drops in front of them from a tree, and this time the van's going so fast that the impact smashes the front end in.
Everyone piles out of the van. SVEYN and OLE haul the 75mm out; THORSEN shoulders the ammo pack.
"We're near my house," BOBBY says. "Maybe we can get my dad's Ram…"
Dark semi-human figures emerge from houses nearby, leap down from trees and roofs, approaching. As our protagonists take off, SUNDQUIST brings up the rear, firing deerslugs from his shotgun.
In the next scene, they appear to have lost the hypos-heads, at last for the time being; desperately worried about his father, BOBBY leads his companions to his house, looks into the garage through a window; the pick-up's there.
They go into the house for the keys. There are signs of a violent struggle; the walls and even the ceilings are covered with hypo-head scrawls.
"Do they say anything?" BOBBY asks.
"Lie on the floor," SUNDQUIST replies. "Look up at one."
BOBBY complies. Foreshortened, the message above him on the wall becomes clear:
I'm so sorry.
BOBBY goes to another scrawl, squats down, cocking his head. The message reads:
Kill me now.
"Somewhere inside those things, there's still a spark," SUNDQUIST explains. "Those scrawls are all like that---it's always the same, everywhere we've gone….He's making me do this, Shoot me for God's sake, I have no choice…"
BOBBY rises, staring at the scrawls, utterly creeped out…suddenly a horrible though occurs to him.
"Dad," he says. "Do you think he wrote all this…?"
We hear footsteps; a hypo-head comes down the living-room steps. But seeing BOBBY, it appears to be torn by some inner conflict.
The slayers aim their weapons at it; BOBBY screams and prevents them from firing. The hypo-head trembles as if its having trouble making up its mind; finally it attacks.
CHRISSIE shoots its blood-filled head several times with her pistols, punching a number of holes in it, all of which vent huge squirts of blood; the thing then knocks her across the room.
The creature rounds on BOBBY. Screaming in anguish, he shoots the head with his Remington, and there's an astonishing scarlet splash as it shatters.
But the creature doesn't die. Only when SUNDQUIST gives it a couple of blasts in the shoulder-hump does it sink down.
"Dome's just a repository," he explains. "The brain's in the hump."
BOBBY flings himself to his knees beside the dead creature.
"Dad," he moans. "Dad…."
But just at that moment, SAM AMATUNA, who's been hiding in the basement, comes into the living-room. Every gun in the place swings his way.
"Bobby?" he asks, flinching back.
"Dad," BOBBY says. "You…er…got the keys to the RAM?"
SUNDQUIST tosses SAM his Desert Eagle.
The next thing we see is the garage-door going up; the BIG SWEDES load the howitzer into the back of the pickup.
"Where we going?" SAM asks SUNDQUIST.
"They've got the roads blocked off," SUNDQUIST replies. "We have to get out to the island. If we can kill the Master, the minions will die. With any luck, most of them will still be here in town…"
Cut to the river----see scores of hypo-heads, domes filled with blood, descending into the water, heading out towards the island….
Cut back to the truck, swerving and weaving htrough the streets of New Castle, SAM driving, BOBBY and CHRISSIE in the front seat beside him, everyone else in the flatbed. Hypo-heads rush at them from alleys, leap at them from rooftops; bursts of full-auto shotgun fire hammer the hurtling bodies in midair, send them tumbling back, trailing blood. A hypo-head jumps onto the running-board next to CHRISSIE; we see the needle tip of its snout scratching frenziedly across her window, digging white trails in the glass. She unloads a full clip of nine millimeter through the door, and the thing drops away.
As the truck nears the docks, a hypo-head leaps over the grille, snout smashing through the windshield; the pseudo-head pushes far into the glass, creating a huge white bulge, the tip of the snout stopping just short of SAM'S face. He loses control of the truck, which swerves into a tree; as the impact rocks him forward, he twists his head to one side, the snout's tip ripping along his cheek. The hypo-head draws its head back, jabs, misses him, jabs again; he throws himself against his door as BOBBY fires his shotgun through the windshield, blowing the creature back across the hood.
SAM, BOBBY and CHRISSIE tumble out of the cab. SVEYN< OLE, and THORSEN are already unloading their cannon; a throng of hypo-heads boils up the street towards them.
With the BIG SWEDES bringing up the rear, the group heads out onto the dock towards a likely cabin-cruiser; as SUNDQUIST and SAM go aboard to try to start the boat up, the BIG SWEDES plant their howitzer on the dock beside it, crank the barrel down to point-blank range, open the breech up, and load in a grapeshot shell. The hypo-heads rush onto the dock. OLE pulls the lanyard, and a storm of whistling steel balls splatters the quay free of bloodsuckers.
Another crowd of them swarms out and meets the same fate; but others, meanwhile, are leaping into the water, swimming towards the cabin-cruiser.
SAM manages to get the engine fired up--- the BIG SWEDES load their gun on the boat; CHRISSIE and BOBBY cast off just as hypo-heads come clawing up out of the water, trying to scramble onto the vessel. Auto and semi-auto shotguns roar, blowing the creatures back over the side. The cruiser speeds out into the Delaware, towards the island.
But back at the New Castle docks, we see scores of hypo-heads leaping down into the water in pursuit….
The boat reaches the island. Our protagonists head off towards the entrance to the catacombs---as they near the opening, buried hypo-heads thrust their snouts up through the earth; THORSEN gets a spike in the calf. There's a patch of flagstone floor in front of the cave; firing down into the ground, blasting domed heads as they emerge, our guys reached the floor and turn, annihilating the remaining hypo-heads clawing up into view.
SUNDQUIST examines THORSEN'S wound, says he'd give him some of his "medication," but can't administer it without a needle. There is still a chance that THORSEN will be all right---the snout went all the way through his leg, and the thing couldn't have had much chance to circulate its saliva through his blood.
"Then let's get going," THORSEN says.
They head down the steps, hurling flares on ahead of them. At last they reach the bottom; the catacombs are cobwebby but largely intact, although patches of the ceiling and walls have collapsed---streamers of dust drift down from above. There are hypo-head scrawls everywhere; mist seeps from fissures, crawls along the floor.
They press deeper into the tunnels. Hypo-heads come at them from side-passages, holes in the ceiling and floor, are blown away.
The group enters a cavernous hallway, makes for an arch on the far side; before they can reach it, a stone wall slides across the opening.
They head back for the other door, but hear the sound of scores of hypo-heads rushing towards them; the ones that followed them from New Castle come racing into view around a bend.
The BIG SWEDES set their gun up on the threshold. Blasts of grapeshot rip into the hypo-heads; dusty impacts spurt from floor, walls, and ceiling. Between cannon-blasts, SUNDQUIST, SAM, BOBBY and CHRISSIE lay down a barrage of small-arms fire.
After one last shot from the cannon, the ceiling collapses, blocking the tunnel, dust billowing up the passage; out of the cloud staggers a wounded hypo-head. Luckily for it, everyone's in the process of reloading----it gets close enough for CHRISSIE to recognize a bracelet hanging from the thing's foreleg.
"Marcia!" she cries.
The bloodsucker hesitates, wavers, shows no sign of attacking. CHRISSIE prevents everyone else from shooting her; she asks the thing who was once her sister if there's any way out of the big hall behind them. HYPO-MARCIA nods---they her let her past the gun. She goes to a bizarre bas-relief on the wall, presses one of its motifs with her snout. A section of wall spins round, revealing a series of levers. She pulls one of the levers with her mutant foreclaw.
Bet even though she's become a hypo-head, she's still MARCIA, and things go terribly wrong. On the far side of the room, large panels slide upwards; pouring into the hall, apparently sliding down chutes, coccooned hypo-heads come tumbling out over the floor.
Stamping in frustration, she pulls a second lever.
Another chute dumps dozens more silk-wrapped forms into the chamber. The things inside begin to move, spurred forelegs ripping out through the silken sacs.
CHRISSIE runs up and pulls a third lever. The stone door at the end of the hall slides back. The BIG SWEDES shoulder their gun and start towards it. SUNDQUIST, BOBBY, and SAM dash out ahead of them.
CHRISSIE remains at the levers with HYPO-MARCIA, who's looking pretty hangdog---- in mutantish sort of of way--- at the way her life's turned out.
Out on the floor, torn coccoons fly into the dusty air as the prisoners inside rip free….
Suddenly HYPO-MARCIA flings herself upon them, ripping and tearing with her mantis-forelegs, driving her snout into their humps. But she's taken down pretty quick.
As her sister's dismembered, CHRISSIE rushes at the creatures, blazing away with her shotgun. They almost get her, but BOBBY grabs her by the hair and yanks her back. The hypo-heads coming up hard behind them, then run almost to the muzzle of the seventy-five, which the BIG SWEDES have pointed back into the chamber.
"Down!" SVEYN shouts.
CHRISSIE and BOBBY hurl themselves to the floor, sliding forward on momentum, under the muzzle.
SVEYN cuts loose, and a wave of hypo-head jam goes splashing back across the floor.
But more of the things have broken through the place where the ceiling caved in, and come running into the chamber.
"Find the master," SVEYN tells SUNDQUIST.
The reverend, SAM, BOBBY, and CHRISSIE take off. As the cannon roars repeatedly behind them, they race through the catacombs. SAM is bringing up the rear----passing through a intersection, he's set upon by a hypo-head that buries its snout in his ribcage from behind. He falls over onto the thing; another springs towards him, but he fires up into it as it descends, blowing it back. The first hypo-head nailed to his back, he manages to get up, and BOBBY, rushing to his aid, sees him firing his pistol into one of the corridors. Two crippled hypo-heads drop down in front of SAM, and he shoots them in the hump.
As BOBBY runs up, SAM turns, showing him the creature stuck to his back; we can see its head filling with SAM's blood.
"Get it off me!" he cries.
Bobby stands off to the side, puts two bullets into the thing's brain, and it goes limp. His father sinks to his knees. BOBBY pulls the thing's snout out of his father's back.
"You're a good kid," SAM says.
And dies.
Cut to the BIG SWEDES. The hypo-heads are coming again, but there's also another problem---THORSEN, infected by his wound, is starting to turn into one of the damn things. As he transforms, he begs his comrades to kill him; they shoot him, don't quite kill him, are sufficiently distracted to let the charging hypo-heads overrun their position. They go down fighting with gun-butts, hatchets, fists; both men get several-hypo-heads nailed to them, the snouts penetrating them in thighs, throats, arms; we sees the domes filling up with their blood.
Mortally wounded, THORSEN sets fire to his ammo-pack with his cigarette-lighter, staggers up, and flings himself back-first into the mass of hypo-heads killing his friends. Shell after shell detonates; the hallway fills with humming grapeshot, the pellets ripping through hypo-heads and bouncing off the walls, hitting the creatures again and again.
BOBBY, CHRISSIE, and SUNDQUIST reach the sanctum.
Too huge for a throne, WORMIUS is bloated to an incredible size, a vast veiny mass. As the slayers approach the stairs, hypo-heads rush them from all sides, are shot down; but hardly has the last fallen when SUNDQUIST begins to shiver and change; reaching the foot of the steps, he pulls out his cannister of poison.
"Watch out for the shears," he tells his young companions as they head up the steps, but doesn't explain, as he is swiftly turning into a hypo-head; nearing the top, he inserts his rapidly-lenghtening snout into the poison-cannister, sucking it up into his expanding repository-dome.
But before he can inject WORMIUS with the juice, a great slick glistening roll of fat lifts up on the master vampire's side, and a tremendous pair of biomechanical shear-like things shoot out, snapping SUNDQUIST's head off before it can sink completely down between his shoulders---the pseudo head hasn't detached yet.
The reverend's head bounces down to BOBBY, who picks it up; the eyes are still moving, and it occurs to BOBBY that SUNDQUIST isn't quite dead yet. He and CHRISSIE advance to the top, dodge several snaps from other shears that come lunging out; BOBBY tosses the head to CHRISSIE, who plunges her uncle's snout into WORMIUS.
Bubbles fill the repository's dome, as SUNDQUIST, with his dying---breath?---forces the poison into WORMIUS'S body. BOBBY and CHRISSIE back down the steps. WORMIUS'S veins go black; his vast bulk begins to quake and bulge, as if huge pockets of gas are forming inside him. He swells and swells, finally splits; as he bursts, BOBBY and CHRISSIE turn and race down the stairs, a tidal wave of blood washing down after them. They reach the bottom, dodge to the side; the gore floods across the chamber, out into the hall.
They look up at the top. Smoking, WORMIUS is still alive, and rises up amid all the hanging rags and tatters of his skin; trailing long streamers of shredded hide, he staggers to the edge of the steps and tumbles down making a loud flapping noise, completely disintegrating into black steaming goo before he hits the floor.
BOBBY and CHRISSIE turn. A crowd of hypo-heads are stumbling through WORMIUS'S blackening blood. In twos and threes, they begin to sink down and die, now that their master has been slain.
Cut to---
The island, topside, BOBBY and CHRISSIE emerging from the catacombs as the sun is rising.
"So what now?" BOBBY asks.
"I don't know about you," CHRISSIE says, "But I feel I've found my true vocation."
"Fuckink-A," BOBBY replies.
Cut to---
A black full-sized Chevy van pulling up in the empty parking-lot of the Schaumburg Mall outside Chicago. Out get three sharply-dressed, very husky Swedish-looking guys in their early twenties; they open up the back hatch and pull out packages that contain the parts of a small cannon, which they promptly begin to assemble.
Several agitated police approach the van, are met by BOBBY and CHRISSIE.
"What is that thing they're putting together?" A COP asks.
"75mm snub howitzer," BOBBY replies, sliding grenades into an Arwen rotary shotgun.
"Without the shield," CHRISSIE says, sharpening a hatchet. "Fallschirmjaeger style."
"Fallschirmjaeger?" the COP asks.
"German paratrooper," CHRISSIE answers.
"Are you sure you kids know what you're doing?"
"Oh yeah."
"Where are they?" BOBBY asks.
"There's a restaurant called the Rain Forest," the COP says. "A lot of mechanical jungle animals…."
BOBBY nods. "We'll take it from here."
The THREE HUSKY guys walk by, carrying their howitzer.
"Don't make too much of a mess," the COP says, rather weakly.
BOBBY looks at CHRISSIE, just smiles. They get out in front of their big Swedish-looking friends and head on into the Schaumburg mall.

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