Content Warning: This novel contains sexually explicit activities, extreme violence, strong language, violence against children, incest, cannibalism, ableism, and homophobia. Reader discretion is advised.
Psycho Shatter 1985: Black Vice Re;Birth
Phase 11: Re;Call
As Vice made their rounds through Murinova, they gleefully used and abused its denizens for their own twisted purposes. They took the police staff, frantically cleaning up after Vice’s messes from last night, and turned them into drones with no purpose beyond establishing a quarantine. They happened across a cluster of innocent children and subjected them to a vast array of bodily transformations. And those who were unfortunate enough to have been inside the small seat of the local government were mentally altered into multipurpose minions. Creatures devoid of any thought beyond serving their master.
After the clock struck noon, and with the sun hanging high from behind the clouds, Vice paused for a moment, and reviewed what little remained on their informal to-do list. Radio communications were jammed beyond a single wavelength. Phone lines were severed. And all who had attempted to cross the few roads connecting this town to the outer world were either turned away, redirected, or apprehended.
Much like with the group of men Vice examined an hour ago, their minions rounded up a large number of women who chose to ignore the broadcasted message of quarantine and were snatched up by roaming patrol vehicles. Nearly 30 resided in this conference room all with hands bound to bars adorning the walls, and none retained a shred of modesty as they were left to stand or sit with every facet of their body exposed. This group looked at Vice with apprehension and confusion, wondering why this unknown black ‘woman’ was glaring over them. But they did not need to wait for long before they became first-hand witnesses for the magnitude of Vice’s power, and the depths their mind could sink to.
Minutes later, the doors to the Murinova Community Center, the impromptu base of Vice’s operations, swung open as a group of four children dashed from the steps of the community center. Individuals whose features and faces differed from the town’s paltry minor population, and would be unrecognizable to the bulk of Murinova’s residents. As these children billowed from the center, they all clenched onto tools, including a spade, a kitchen knife, a hoe, and a hatchet.
Objects that were innocuous on their own, but their holders brandished them with what could be construed as either childish ignorance or violent intent. As if this disconcerting sight was not alarming enough, these children screeched as they ran through the empty streets. They created a sight that would have captivated the attention of onlookers if there were any left in this desolate commercial street. Streets the children went through with a sense of purpose, as if following a predetermined path that led them halfway across the town. Funneling themselves through an empty space between two buildings and out into the natural forest walls of Murinova.
Once there, the children dispersed, spreading in seemingly random directions in order to cover more ground, muttering to themself a disorganized series of words that could only loosely be described as a chant or mantra.
These words echoed far throughout the forest, notifying others of their presence, and causing some to seek out these children. One such person was a middle-aged woman, wandering through the forest in a frail and flowing garment and socks encased in dirt. As the woman breathed heavily, staggering as she walked through the forest, the sounds of one of these children reached her ear, causing her to stop and investigate her surroundings.
She called out to this disembodied voice, having failed to understand whatever they were saying, and was met with a plea for aid in response. The cries of this child stirred hesitation in this woman, who momentarily deliberated whether or not she should continue on her path through these woods, or if she should rescue this nondescript child from whatever peril they may be in.
This decision was made for her as memories flashed before her eyes. The heinous image that caused her to flee from her home. Her daughter, age 11, flailed as her husband bashed her with a hammer. An eye popped from her head, and her blood painted the floor of the upstairs hallway. Her husband then turned his head, blood dripping from his glasses, with a look of horror on his face. She asked no questions and fled without so much as grabbing a pair of shoes, for she was too stricken with disgust and horror to think for even a single second.
The possibility of another child being left to experience a fate as reprehensible as the one that befell her daughter was too much for this woman to bear. She simply had to rescue this child and save them from whatever terrible fate they had encountered. Short of breath, the woman came to a halt before a young boy in a fetal position, wiping away a mesh of tears and mucus onto his uncovered knees. The woman wasted no time trying to comfort this child, hugging him while muttering “everything is going to be okay,” into his ears. As her arms wrapped around the child and she bent onto the twig and weed-strewn floor of the forest, the boy’s sobs slowed into mere sniffles. Once his crying stopped completely, the woman stood up and put her hand out to the child.
“My name is Jennifer, what’s yours?” The woman, Jennifer, asked in as sincere and approachable a voice as possible.
The boy looked up at her with reddened eyes, wiped his nose on his bare arm, and then extended his left hand to her right. As their fingers clenched one another softly, the boy abruptly strengthened his grip and raised his right hand, where he was holding a hatchet. In a single swift motion, the boy slammed the metal blade into Jennifer’s wrist, causing bone to crack and blood to spray as her skin was torn open. Jennifer reacted as one would expect, screaming and clenching her injury, inadvertently leaving herself exposed for another strike, this time to her left elbow. Another followed, and another, and another, and soon enough Jennifer was lying in a pile of blood and dirt, flailing her damaged arms as best she could in a vain attempt to stop the boy who assaulted her so aggressively. A fear of death began to overcome her being as she cried incessantly, only for her wailing to be overpowered by a concussive sound that echoed throughout the woods.
As she attempted to regain her composure from the impact, she realized that the young boy was now laying on top of her. His head was cast off to the side of her shoulder, and blood poured onto her person. The pain of her wounds, the shock of seeing her attacker die so suddenly, and the emotional strain of seeing yet another dead child, all left her immobilized. At least, until she was greeted with the hoarse intonations of a middle-aged man.
“Oh, God. Please tell me you’re okay.”
Jennifer laid there, glass-eyed, as she looked at the figure who stood over her. A man in his forties with a blonde beard. He dressed himself in leather boots, jeans, and an olive jacket that was a mark too heavy for the summer, and had a strap along his chest, connected to a hunting rifle. A rifle that, Jennifer assumed, was used to kill the child whose blood she was now bathed in. She was confused about so much that happened over the past few minutes and struggled to comprehend the cruel and absurd nightmare that had replaced her humble humdrum reality.
“Is this real?” She attempted to say, only to cough up a dollop of phlegm from her throat.
In response to this, the man lifted the young boy off of Jennifer, tossing him aside like a sandbag, and letting his face hit the dirt. Jennifer’s eyes darted to the relocated child, his dull lifeless body untouched beyond the hole that stuck out from his head. A hole that this man put there. He was just like her husband, Jennifer thought. She saw him murder someone. He was a child murderer. They were alone. He was going to murder her too. These wild thoughts caused Jennifer to lift her body up, only to immediately come crashing down, unable to so much as stand thanks to the violent gash in her left leg.
“Stop!” The man barked. “Just… don’t move. I… I’m going to think of something, but for now… don’t move. You’re in no condition to do anything, trust me!”
As panic lingered within the man’s voice, the woman’s eyes directed to her person and found her body coated in a startling number of wounds. While pain filled her person, it did not prepare her for what she saw. Cuts, bruises, bite marks, and more, all coated her body with such intensity and quantity that she struggled to believe that she was still alive. Seeing these wounds made her hyperventilate, exasperating the severity of her wounds, and inspiring further panic within the scruffy standing over her.
“Don’t die on me! I don’t have anything to help you, but I know where to get it. Just… just stay here and I’ll get what you need. Take calm breaths, and…”
The man’s silence was caused by a… change in Jennifer’s state. A small fleshy tendril emerged from her right wrist. It was unnatural, impossible, and as the tendril began to grow into two strands, the man cleansed his face of all emotion. He looked away for a brief moment and grabbed the blood-soaked hatchet used by the boy he shot moments ago. With this weapon clenched in hand, he took it to the woman’s right arm, slamming it against her appendage with the full strength of his person, ignoring the guttural scream released by Jennifer as he struck her arm again, and again, and again, all before the arm snapped, the bone broke, and the appendage was severed, inspiring the man to toss the dismembered arm aside.
He heaved and huffed as he returned his attention to Jennifer. Her screams ceased abruptly and, as the two’s eyes locked, she raised her newly formed stub of an arm and aimed it at his face. From the bloody wound came a mass of small fleshy strands that shot out and toward his face, clearly trying to get into his mouth for some unsightly reason. Driven by impulse, he kicked Jennifer away, slamming her upper body against the floor, and clashing her head against a rock. With a good five meters between them, the man pulled his rifle off his back, looked down the barrel, and aimed for the center of her head. With a single tug of the finger, a concussive pop reverberated across the forest once more.
As his breathing evened out and the rifle returned to his back, the man clenched his head with bloody hands and shut his eyes. It did not make sense. Nothing about his current situation made sense. And as he tried to fathom something— anything— that could make this situation feel more real, memories began flashing before his eyes.
The smell of napalm burning away jungles. The weight of a dying man propped against his shoulders. The sight of children armed with weapons pillaged off his dead friends. The metallic taste of rations. The sound of his name, Kikansky, as it was shouted by his superior officer. And the blazing heat and humidity that assaulted him on a daily basis.
He was reminded of death. Of destruction. Of the inglorious colors of war that his person had stained his very soul. Even as the waters of time caused those colors to fade from his person, the horrors lingered deep in his mind.
It was something that Kikansky had carried with him for nearly two decades. A trauma that many men his age buried and repressed in order to lead normal lives. He thought he could find peace and tranquility by moving somewhere quiet. Someplace like Murinova, a safe place free from any and all modern woes or worries. And for the past 15 years, it was. The people accepted him, he made friends, he led a fulfilling career, and he raised a son. A son who went missing last night after checking out a home where a dead body was found crammed inside an oven. He did not sleep well that night, and come morning, he took to the woods, hoping to find him. As he went to the woods, his wife went to the police station to see what, if anything, she could do to help.
Kikansky glanced at his wristwatch, which read 1:23 PM. More than four hours had passed since he started traveling throughout these woods with little more than his hunting rifle and a knife. Tools he brought with him as a means of protecting himself from any unkempt wildlife or trouble he ran into. It was a paranoid and unrealistic mentality for sure, but it proved useful during this latest encounter and the one before that. Where a child, or something that used to be a child, tried to tear his throat out. He kept trying until he was given a bullet to the eye.
His trek through this forest had done nothing but rekindle dormant trauma, and Kikansky wanted to do nothing more than leave this forest and return to his home, where he could repress his inner demons. …But escaping from this forest proved to be quite the challenge.
Kikansky was never one for long hikes, camping, or spending time savoring nature beyond his commute through walls of forestry. So he wasn’t too familiar with the minutiae of these woods. He knew how to traverse through large stretches of wildlife, yet, for some reason, he could not find a way out. He felt like he was running around in circles, as any and all directions led into more and more forest. He felt as if he was destined to be lost forever. …But he could not accept that. He needed to escape this place. He needed to get back home.
With dread and frustration clawing at the core of his being, Kikansky sought out any potential lead and found a series of lightly laid footprints. It was a stretch, but he hoped these would lead him back to a world where he could either try to put these things behind him, or fess up to being the potentially delusional murderer he was. However, he wasn’t so lucky. As Kikansky followed these tracks, he began hearing a noise, the mingling of many voices, all high pitched and youthful, growing in volume as he stood still.
“Maintain the quarantine! Kill all fugitives! Maintain the quarantine! Kill all fugitives!”
Though the words and language differed, this chanting caused Kikansky’s mind to be assaulted by vivid memories of children. Children no older than seven, picking up weapons and defending all they had ever known, trying to avenge their fallen parents. They were innocents. They were victims. They were just kids who never did anything wrong in their lives. But he still shot them, he still bashed their heads into the dirt with the heel of his boot, he watched them bleed out as their short lives came to an end. And he saw their bodies burn as the napalm spread across all they had ever known, erasing everything they were from the annals of history, only leaving behind a burnt and charred carcass that itself would soon be forgotten.
“Is this my punishment?” Kikansky thought to himself. “All I wanted was to defend my country… to serve it just as my father had. …And I did. I did as I was told. My hands were stained with blood, but so were theirs! I didn’t want to do it. They haunted my dreams… but now… it’s back… it’s all back. I sought atonement. I confessed my sins… I tried to put them behind me and lead the life of an honest man. Why God? Why are you punishing me now?”
Kikansky ran away. Not only from the children crying for the death of others but the acts of murder he committed. Murder was the foundation of war. It was something that was glorified to him as a child. Something he was taught as just during his adolescence. Something he was deemed a demon for doing after his service. And something he never wanted to do again once he returned home. But within the hours past, he had done it thrice. He did so to defend himself, to protect others, and to put those destined to die out of their misery. They all felt bad. They were all devoid of any sense of justice or duty. And the weight of these sinful acts only made him run faster.
As Kikansky ran, he saw another figure between the increasingly dense foliage of the forest. He changed course to approach this person, whose slow walking speed implied they knew not the danger lurking all around them. He shouted at them to run, but he was cut off by the growing sounds of screeching children, whose muffled words were seemingly enough to stir unrest in this figure, who broke out into a sprint.
As this figure fled, Kikansky pursued them, desperate to find someone, anyone. Not so he could protect them, but so he could distract himself from the burning concern and doubt wracking his mind. His desire to find another, to reassure himself with the safety in numbers while in this vulnerable state, led him to rapidly, yet clumsily, maneuver throughout a series of bushes the figure dashed through. The tall foliage eventually consumed Kikansky’s vision, causing him to lose any and all trace of this person, and causing him to unwittingly fall off of a steep ledge. He fell face-first into the dirt, and his left knee clashed against an unfortunately placed stone.
It did not take long for Kikansky to realize just what a poor shape his leg was in. Blood was seeping through his jeans as pain seeped across his person, nudging him to stay put and treat his wound as best he could as he lay there, stranded in the forest. But that was unacceptable. He had fought too hard, overcome too many hurdles, to sit here and wait to die. As such, he began trying to walk on his clearly damaged, if not broken, leg. It was a foolhardy act that had him tumbling back down to the ground beneath him within five seconds.
“I’m fucked. I’m so fucked!” Kikansky said to himself in muffled whispers.
He could not move, he only had two rounds left in his rifle, and as the chanting continued from a distance, he viewed his death as an inevitability. He was not an old man, he was barely past forty, but if these children were as vicious as they seemed, he was going to die. Death was an inevitability, and now, all he could do was deliberate whether he wanted his life to be ended by a frenzied murderous child, or ended by his own means. A deep sigh escaped from his mouth as such thoughts filled his mind, only to erupt into a coarse cough that would assuredly attract the attention of these children.
While Kikansky found the idea of going out fighting to be an appealing one— an ideal carried over from his time in the military— he wanted to die with at least some solace before he was sent to the unknowable afterlife. This bitter desire inspired Kikansky to take the rifle off of his back and aim it at his own head. He took care in aiming the weapon, so as to avoid a misfire that only prolonged his suffering, instead of offering him the cold embrace of death.
A burst of gunfire echoed throughout the forest.
It was followed by the ruffled and bristly sounds of Kikansky’s voice as he screamed in pain. As the initial shock washed over his body, he saw a stream of blood pouring from a hole in his right hand, and saw his rifle to his left, placed well out of his reach. He clenched his bleeding appendage and looked to his right, where his eyes landed on an elementary-school-age girl with blonde hair, wielding a handgun with both hands. As their eyes locked, she walked up to Kikansky nonchalantly, bearing a smile on her face. A face that Kikansky looked at with a bewilderment stronger than the pain coursing through his body. It was uncannily familiar, yet different enough to delay his thought process for a few seconds as his overstimulated mind struggled to process this information.
“Julie? Julie, is that you?” Kikansky muttered as he teetered across the edge of madness
“Oh, so you recognize me? Even like this? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, we did meet when we were pretty young, after all.”
“How… what the fuck is going on here?”
“Oh, Dick. You always did have quite the temper, but you’re saying such a thing even when in the presence of a child?”
“Why the fuck did you shoot me!? You’re my wife!”
“You act like those things are contradictory, but they really aren’t. Domestic abuse is all the rage these days, especially in places like Murinova, where nobody can hear you when you scream as your spouse beats you for fun and pleasure. Oh, but you probably want to know why I am shooting you. Because Vice told me to. I don’t actually want to kill you, Dick. I simply must! Just looking at you fills me with a murderous fervor that I am only able to contain because I can tell that this conversation is causing you mental and emotional anguish.”
“You’re spouting bullshit! How the fuck are you a kid again?”
Instead of replying, Julie leaned towards Dick as he laid on the ground and pressed her lips against his, mingling her tongue with his own. With Dick stunned from this sudden embrace, Julie brought her pistol up to his heart, where she pulled the trigger. The immediate failure of such a vital organ left Dick’s body unable to function as blood stopped flowing throughout his veins. All he could do in this final moment was release a bloody cough that sprayed onto Julie’s person, and let out a groan before all actively left his body within a single visceral moment. As he died, Julie did not take her lips off of her beloved and continued to lick his dead tongue for more than a minute after all brain activity had ceased.
After Julie concluded the oral interaction, she looked up to the obfuscated sky and shouted as loudly as her small lungs would allow her to.
“THE FUGITIVE HAS BEEN KILLED!!! RESUME SCATTERED PATROLS!!!”
Assorted shouts of varying volume, all saying the word “affirmative,” began coming in, indicating that her message had been received. However, rather than assuming a state of patrols like she informed all within earshot to do, Julie instead chose to linger where she was, staring at what remained of the man she loved.
She knew she should be wrapped with sorrow or the like, but she felt nothing as she stared at the decaying mound of meat before her. She attempted to smile as she forced herself to remember her life with her husband, but those feelings soon faded, replaced with the same elation and drive that consumed her being mere moments ago. She had memories, she had a life before this. But all she wanted to think about was her duty. The orders given to her by Vice. To find and kill anyone who dared to try and escape Murinova. Refocused by silently uttering her modus operandi to herself, Julie resumed her patrol of these woods, leaving Dick’s remains as they were.
Like any corpse lost in the woods, the only realistic future that awaited the remains of Dick Kiansky was to serve as a feeding ground for a swarm of maggots and potentially feed for desperate carnivores. It was a cruel demise to impart to anyone, and it was a fate that Dick was thankfully spared from.
Come sunset, the remains were reduced to nothing but ash. Them, the surrounding forest, and everything that resided within the borders of a forgettable little town by the name of Murinova. All destroyed in a matter of minutes, and amidst all burning wreckage, Dick’s body was never found.
Psycho Shatter 1985: Black Vice Re;Birth Main Page
Phase 01: Re;Birth
Phase 02: Re;Member
Phase 03: Re;Discovery
Phase 04: Re;Turn
Phase 05: Re;Assembled
Phase 06: Re;Juvinated
Phase 07: Re;Action
Phase 08: Re;Union
Phase 09: Re;Join
Phase 10: Re;Fresh
Phase 11: Re;Call
Phase 12: Re;Venge
Phase 13: Re;Joice
Natalie Rambles About Psycho Shatter 1985: Black Vice Re;Birth
Psycho Shatter 1985: Black Vice Re;Birth – The Day After