VOICEMAIL – Friday, June 15, 2018 – 8:45PM ET
“Samantha. Hi, this is Darren Knox. I know we haven’t yet been able to be properly introduced, but I would like to meet with you to discuss some things. I know it is still a rough point in time for you, and believe me, I can relate. However, I think your life and mine have intersected thanks to the actions of our lost loved ones.”
TEXT MESSAGE – Friday, June 15, 2018 – 8:47PM ET
257 Smith St
Brooklyn, NY 11231“
BARELY DISFIGURED – Saturday, June 16, 2018 – 4:02PM ET
The doors had just unlocked as Darren was approaching.
“Hey, at least I get Happy Hour specials at this time of day. Gotta be careful with the cash for now” he thought as he opened the door and waved at the bartender.
“Can I get a tall gin and tonic? I’m going to head to the booth in the back.” he said to her as he laid a ten dollar bill on the counter and walked toward the back. “If anyone comes in looking for me, just point them my way.”
A few short minutes later, Samantha entered the bar, pausing for a moment to allow her eyes to adjust to the low lights. She quickly scanned the bar for Darren, but being that they had never met, she wasn’t totally sure of who she was looking for. Approaching the bar, she fired off a quick text to him, letting him know that she had arrived.
“Rum with Coke please. Double tall.” she said to the bartender, offering a thin smile. “Also, I am looking for someone. Darren Knox? Know him?”
The bartender smiled and pointed toward the back corner of the bar and offered to deliver the drink to their table.
Sam wasted no time heading over and took a seat across from the man.
“Mr. Knox?” she said.
“Darren, please. And you must be Samantha Miller. Nice to finally meet you.” he said as the bartender arrived to deliver their drinks.
Darren gave the bartender a warm smile and a nod of appreciation before turning back to Ms. Miller.
“Samantha, I have an issue and I am hoping that you might be able to give me a little insight as to what might have happened. Your brother had a spyglass that people referred to as “The Kaleidoscope.” Do you know anything about that object?” Darren asked, followed by a large gulp from his glass.
Samantha paled at the mention of the Kaleidoscope.
“I know of it. At least from John. And Rhys.” The later name was muttered with a bit of exasperation. “There is a man. Sir Nigel? Have you meet him before? I’ve been talking with him about it. Nigel had contacted Johnathan about it prior to his death.” Her throat tightened at the mention of John’s passing, and was promptly drowned with some of her drink. “Why do you ask?”
“I do know Sir Nigel. Good man. A bid odd, but he knows his shit.” Darren began. “The reason I ask is that I think that when John brought that thing back, or forward, maybe,” his head cocked to one side “with him, I think it caused some issues with timelines.”
With another gulp of gin and tonic, Darren continued “I think that it brought my parents back from the dead, or something. And I think that it also brought back a Demon. And I think the Demon then cashed in on a pact with my parents to take my entire inheritance from me. Took my ownership of my company, Knox Industries, at the very least.”
Darren sat back in his chair, downing the rest of his drink and raising it toward the bartender with a smile.
Sam choked on her rum and coke. “Forward? I mean, I know what he said happened last year. They sent him out to California. He was the only one to return too. He said they killed it.” She paused. “But he couldn’t remember anything afterwards. We found him six months later. He called us. He was in terrible shape an in some weird reenactment get up, but nothing was mentioned about bringing something back.”
“Honestly, I am admittedly making some assumptions about what happened. I know he got sucked into the past and when he returned to this time, he had the object. He was alive again in this time and so were a few other things that had previously been killed or destroyed." Darren said with a sigh. He continued "Long and short of it is that I need any and all information you have on that thing. Has anyone done any research on its origins, its purpose, its creator, anything? Because it may well be the key to being able to take out whatever is coming after me.” Darren said, trailing off a bit as the bartender approached again with a fresh gin and tonic for him.
“Something is after you?” Paler still, she mulled over what Darren had presented to her. “Are you telling me time travel is real? Don’t answer that. I’m already bothered that ‘baby brother’ came back to our doorstep as ‘older brother’.” She held a white knuckled grip on her drink, deciding her next words.
“I can try talking to Dr. Skinner again, to see if he would be willing to release anything about John’s sessions with him. Also, perhaps you could talk with Sir Nigel as well. He’s helping me handle the Kaleidoscope right now." Samantha paused "I … Rhys has seen some things recently as well. Apparently he snatched the scope from John and had a hard meltdown shortly after. He opened up about it recently to me, saying he saw John and some other man in chains, but wouldn’t go much further into it. Maybe it’s related?” Samantha rubbed at a temple. Her eyes were beginning to show what seemed to be a common trait among the Millers. Dark bags and a heavy expression.
“Also, uh… Dr. Buss has John’s body. You could… ask him something about his autopsy. I’m not sure if that would help given that he…” she trailed off, either unable or not willing to complete the sentence.
“Honestly, Sam, you might have a better shot at getting something from the shrink. Family usually has a little more sympathy from the courts and the Doc’s themselves. I would need some legit legal claim and I’m not that creative right now.” Darren said with mild exasperation.
“Rhys might be a better option for me to talk to, personally. Actually, anyone that had looked through it might be of help, at least in figuring out what it does. Rhys is the most likely to give me some insight into what happened to John that might have lead us here.” Darren continued.
“Thank you, again, for meeting with me Sam. I lost them once, and then I lost their legacy, and now I have the opportunity to lose them all over again. I need to put an end to this before it gets out of hand.” he said as he reached out with his hand to put it oh her shoulder before thinking better of it and placing it firmly on the table.
Sam nodded solemnly as he thanked her for meeting him.
“I’ll see if Rhys is willing to chat about it." she responded. “He’s been a bit of a clam recently, but any mention of the Kaleidoscope gets his attention. I’m just not keen on his … Obsession.”
Samantha paused for a moment. "John was similar, when he was trying to figure it out, but he ended up turning us away about it. He did mention that some other folks did look into it as well. Jack Mills, I believe was the name? John was doing better around that time several months ago, said he had some ideas after he spoke with the man. He also showed it to some folk in Research and Development. Some woman, Vicki, I think? She didn’t handle the exposure too well. Apparently John failed to mention a few things and he was tearing himself up about it for weeks.” Samantha sniffed, taking a moment to regain her composure.
With a deep breath, her expression hardened, "I’ll see what I can do to help you get some answers, but if more people end up getting hurt by that … thing, I’m casting it in concrete and tossing it into the Hudson.”
“Oh, I get it. I’m hoping that whatever my resolution to this is involves its utter and complete destruction. If it somehow brings Demons back from real death, it has to go.” Darren replied.
“I will check in with Jack and Vicki and see what I can find, as well. Thanks again.” he said as he looked out across the bar as it had began to fill.
“Take care of yourself, Sam. This job is hell on a person, but the stronger you are, the more good you can do. Your brother gave his life, but he saved who knows how many people from the horrors that are out there.” he said as he stood up, leaving a $20 on the table under his glass.
Samantha reached out, touching his arm briefly. “Before you go, could you do me a favor? I don’t want to leverage a favor for a favor, but when you have the time, could you tell me a bit about a man named Richard Miller?” She retracted her arm quickly, pulling her drink closer. “I’m not expecting an answer right now, but anything you can send my way would be appreciated.”
She offered a last, thin smile. “I’ve got your number, I will keep in touch.”
“I will see what I can do. We’re all in this together, now. We have to stay close and work together.” Darren offered with a smile. “We can’t let ourselves be controlled by the monsters in our closets. Let them out so you can look them in the eye when you destroy them.”
Darren turned and walked through the bar, stopping to speak to the bartender briefly before stepping out of the darkness of the bar and into the light of the day.