Title: Part of the Team
Characters: Chloe Sullivan, Lana Lang, Lois Lane, Ava Wilson, & Jo Harvelle
Disclaimer: Don't own Smallville/Supernatural
Summary: Chloe & Lana founded Tara Paranormal Investigations, and they'd grown so famous Lois isn't enough help. Only problem is that all the applicants for the jobs available know nothing about the paranormal...and then Jo Harvelle and Ava Wilson apply...
Written for my Paranorma25 150 Prompt Table. Prompt of the day: #*: Necromancer
Chloe woke up to the sound of her phone ringing.
Groaning, the blonde brought her hand to her head and pressed against the throbbing ache before fumbling in the dark for her phone and answering it with a groan. “Hello?”
“Chloe?” Ava’s voice was concerned. “You and the others need to get out of that house immediately. I did a thorough background check on that house and I didn’t find only one weird thing happening there.”
“What are you talking about?” For a moment’s Chloe’s mind was blank as to what Ava could be referring to. The blonde was dizzy, disoriented, and from the darkness around her she was guessing it was night—but then again, despite the pitch darkness of the room she somehow could tell it wasn’t hers—and she was on the floor.
“Multiple people went missing in that house or around it during its construction and many more after it was completed.” Ava announced. “The original owner was Morgan Man, and he was an upstanding citizen in the day. I mean, he was Mayor and head Elder in his church and had this ridiculously perfect family and image that makes you just know something had to be wrong with him!”
Sitting up with a groan, Chloe listened to Ava’s words, trying to remember where she was or how she’d gotten there. Her memory was real hazy and the throbbing pain in her head wasn’t helping either. “Go on.”
“Well, around that time there were these multiple disappearance in the town, and they all had one thing in common.”
“Let me guess, pretty young women?” Chloe asked, beginning to remember going to a house to check---had someone gotten hurt? Where was she? Where were Lois and Jo?
“Not exactly...” Ava hesitated for a moment. “I---I don’t think this is relevant or anything myself, but, uh, when I told Lana about it she went pale and told me to call you and get you out of there immediately. She tried calling you herself the few first times but it just rang and rang, and then she went and said she needed to talk to someone named ‘Clark’ and that I must continue trying to call you.”
Chloe frowned, knowing that if Lana was calling Clark things were Apocalyptic. “What’s the connection between the past victims, Ava?”
Ava cleared her throat. “The people who were disappearing were really different and none were really connected with each other, but from my own still ongoing checks, well----they were all were connected to hurt children, abused children, children who’d gone missing, or---or murdered children.”
Chloe’s body went still with horror, paling as her blood ran cold. “Oh god.” Finally the memory of how she’d gotten here returned, and she remembered the figure pulling her in before others knocked down the wall behind them to keep Lois and Jo from going after her and then everything had gone black. “Ava, I need you to do something for me.”
“Sure, shoot.” Ava responded.
Reaching into her boot, Chloe pulled out her spare flashlight and turned it on, shining it around her. “I was taken by the ghosts and the path was destroyed so Lois and Jo couldn’t come down after us. Call them, make sure they’re okay.”
“Wait, what do you mean you got nabbed by Casper?” Ava asked, worried. “Where are you? Did you say ghosts? As in plural?”
“There’s whole hidden lower level to this house.” Chloe peered through the darkness that seemed to devour the beam of her flashlight whole. “It---it looks like a catacomb.”
“My thoughts exactly.”
“What about you?” Ava asked. “What can I do to help you?”
“I have a specialized, custom-made GPS chip imbedded under my skin, activate it by entering into Tara’s database, its Hidden Achieves---Lana should have given you all of the restriction codes. Go into the Command Center and type in activate agent and then type in 38277492749374. The rest should be fairly straight forwards. The closest satellite above me should be able to pick up my signal and project on the computer screen my location.”
“GPS?” Ava asked, intrigued, the sound of typing in the background. “Do you get buried underground often?”
“I’ve been enjoying this pastime since I was fifteen, actually. First time I was buried alive was in a coffin in Miller’s field. The chip would have been very useful back then.” Chloe smiled as her beam fell upon her bag, which thankfully the ghosts hadn’t taken from her.
Hurrying to her bag, Chloe looked through it and smiled, pulling out her revolver and checking it. It didn’t seem damaged, and the rock salt bullets and such were still inside.
“Also, I want you to run a more in depth check on the back ground of this Mister Perfect.” Chloe announced, loading the revolver. “There has to be a reason why this is happening. See if he lost a child or a sibling maybe when they were young.”
“Okay, no problem.” There was a pause. “You know, if you’re in a catacomb your cellphone has awesome reception.”
“I was thinking the same.” The blonde grinned, feeling better now that she had a way to defend herself. “Ava, listen, I’m going to explore this place. I’ve been brought here for a reason, okay? Get in contact with Lois and Jo and let them know what’s going on.” With that she hung up and put her phone back in her back pocket.
The blonde took in a deep breath before holding the flashlight in one hand and the revolver in the other, ready to aim and fire if any of the ghosts come back at her. “Now or never, Sullivan.”
Taking in a deep breath, Chloe started down the dark, damp passageway, shining her light. She shivered slightly, the temperature under the house much colder than the house itself, and she wondered if it was because of a congregation of undead or if there was another explanation for it.
Feeling the temperature dropping more and more, Chloe narrowed her eyes and turned, shining her flashlight behind her, not seeing anything but not exactly feeling relieved since she knew from experience that just because you couldn’t see them didn’t mean they weren’t there.
Noticing an odd scent, Chloe sniffed and followed the scent to the wall, shining her light on it and blinking when she saw the small trench carved into the lining of the rock, and realized what the black powder there was.
Searching in her bag quickly she pulled out a matchbox and lit a match, letting it fall into the long trench, shielding her eyes from the small explosion as the black powder ignited brightly, quickly, lighting the trail ahead of her.
“Hmmm.” Putting away her flashlight, Chloe headed down the tunnel, turning left and right, glad that there was only one vein because not only would it help her from getting lost, but when Lois and Jo got through they’d have no trouble finding her. All they’d have to do would be follow the trail of light.
Farther in Chloe began to notice skeletons lining the walls of the cave-like tunnel, looking as if they’d gotten stuck there, some even reaching out their hands to her as if asking for help.
She shivered and looked away, not wanting to know what’d happened to them.
The tunnel opened up into a large mouth, which led into a large room. Chloe didn’t need to enter it to know that it was the room where the sacrifices or rituals or whatever this place had been dedicated to had taken place. But she did need to go in to get a better idea of what exactly they were dealing with.
She hesitated, looking back. “Lois? Jo? You guys got through yet?”
Her yell rang through the tunnel with no audible response.
Sighing, Chloe turned back to the entrance “Sometimes I really hate my job.”
Butching up, the blonde entered the fully lit room and stopped, eyes widening. “Oh God.”All around her were bodies.
And not only human.
And some hadn’t even finished decomposing as yet.
These ghosts hadn’t suddenly started again.
They’d never stopped.
“How dare you enter here so boldly?”
Chloe turned at the sound, aiming her gun at the spirit of a man wearing a cravat and poncy looking suit. “Let me guess. Mr. Man.”
The spirit paused, seemingly surprised that she knew of him. “Yes, and you, murderer, should have been done away with like all these other abominations!”
“You know, that’s kinda harsh. You don’t even know my name and yet you’re judging.” Chloe tried to keep calm, stall for time.
She had rocksalt, but that would only deter the spirit for so long. Without information of where the body was or what was tying this bastard to this world she was in trouble.
“I know that my minions, my workers of justice, would only react to you if you had the blood of an innocent child on your hands.”
Chloe’s hands shook. “You know nothing about me, mister.”
“I know all I need to know.” Morgan Man sneered at her, circling her. “I know what it’s like to be a child and feel helpless, scared, unable to defend yourselves as a monster tears you to pieces! I managed to get out alive somehow, but my twin---he didn’t. I felt all the horrors that he felt, and I vowed I would never let my soul rest until every single person with innocent children’s blood and tears tainting their souls were punished for what they did to those who couldn’t defend themselves!”
“I’m sorry for what you had to go through.” Chloe really meant it. “But it’s not excuse for what you’re doing.”
“Every single thing in here has hurt or killed its child, or a child in its care, a small creature that relied and trusted it.” Morgan Man sneered. “Who did you kill?”
Her hands began to shake harder.
“What child that depended on you, that trusted you, got hurt because of it?” Morgan seemed to enjoy the pain radiating out of her body. “Whose innocent blood do you have tainting your soul?”
Tears began to fog up her gaze.
“What poor, misguided, trusting and naïve child put its trust in you?” He was closer, sneering.
Chloe dropped her gun and brought her hands to her face. “Alice.”
Her whole body shook as she began to cry brokenly, forgetting that she was in a hunt--that her life was in danger. All of a sudden images and sounds were forced on her, and she was forced to relive the beautiful, precious life that’d been ended so horribly, so abruptly, and all because of her.
“Yes…” Morgan Man hissed as he circled her like the predator that he was. “Feel the pain! Feel the anguish that child went through because of you! Punish for what you did!”
“Ally…” Chloe sobbed broken-heartedly, falling to her knees in the middle of the bodies around her. “I’m so sorry.”
“Sorry?” Morgan sounded furious as he leaned over her, hissing in her ear. “Do you think ‘sorry’ is enough?!?”
“No.” Chloe shook her head. “Never.”
And then she wasn’t in the room anymore, she was in the bedroom, looking down at the bloodied body of the beautiful three year old. She was crying, the grief returning to rapidly and fiercely she couldn’t distinguish between reality and fantasy as she scooped up that tiny, lifeless body and held her to her heart.
Chloe collapsed to the ground, holding the child’s cold, bleeding body to her chest and crying, rocking back and forth. “No…No…No…No…Not her! God! Not her!”
A gunshot rang throughout the room, and yet Chloe didn’t react, staring down into the face of the child, crying. “Ally…God---not Ally---not her!”
Something went up in flame next to her.
Screams inhuman filled the room.
And yet she couldn’t take her eyes off of that face.
Those eyes opened. “Why?” That soft voice she hadn’t heard in two years asked her accusingly, so hurt. “Why did you let this happen to me? Why did you let him do this to me…mommy?”
“Who?” Chloe pleaded, desperate, about to go insane with her desperation, her anger and her impotence. “Who did this? WHO?!?”
The child pointed one bloodied finger behind them.
Chloe turned and her eyes widened in horror as her teary gaze fell upon the silent, shadowed figure standing behind her. “You.”
And then it was all gone, all torn away from her like Alice had been, and Chloe was kneeling amongst bodies, kneeling in front of her, shaking her.
“Chloe! Snap out of it!” Jo continued to shake her until seeing Chloe’s pupils return to a normal size, and the blonde blinked, coming out of her trance. “It was all a nightmare, none of that was true.”
“Yes, it was.” Chloe whispered, closing her eyes, feeling so tired. “What---happened to Man?”
“Ava contacted us and Lois went to find the idol inside the house that was keeping him here, it’s actually one of the carved columns. One side it’s the god of children and on the other side it’s the god of vengeance. He had a piece of his hair and drops of his blood in a bottle in them, or so Ava discovered.” Jo helped Chloe to her feet, slipping her arm around her waist and beginning to lead her out of the room. “Lois must have smashed it to pieces and burnt the remains right on time because I was running out of ammo by the time the bastard went up in flames---along with all the spirits he’d tied down to this room.”
Chloe was silent, taking in a deep breath, finding her strength. “My daughter.”
Jo gave her a look.
“You know what the profile for the victims is.” Chloe didn’t need to look at Jo to see the horrified and sorry look on her face as she put together everything. “When I was sixteen, my three year old daughter was slaughtered in her bedroom. I came home from studying at a friend’s place one night to find the babysitter and Alice both slaughtered.”
“I’m so sorry.” Jo whispered, unable to say anything else for a couple of minutes as they walked in silence. “Did they ever find out who did it?”
“No. There were no signs of forced entry or any proof that someone else had been in there except for the---the massacre.” Chloe closed her eyes tightly. “My father got his promotion soon afterwards and so we moved to Smallville. It---it happened a long time ago.”
“You were really young.” Jo commented, not judgmentally, but sadly as they continued to make their way up the tunnel. “Was the father ever a part of her life?”
“I---I don’t know.” Chloe hung her head.
“What do you mean?” Jo frowned.
“The night of my thirteenth birthday I was attacked.” The blonde admitted. “I woke up to see a shadowy figure standing at the foot of my bed. I---I couldn’t move, my muscles were just heavy and I couldn’tscream…it was like I had no control over my body. I----after it was over I blacked out and woke up and thought that it’d just been a horrible nightmare, but then a couple of months later I started gettingsick…”
“Oh my god…” Jo whispered.
“Just---don’t tell anyone about what happened down here? Not right now at least?” Chloe asked, finally getting the strength to walk on her own as she wiped at her face. “I—I’ll tell everyone in my own time, but for right now I want to get myself straightened out first.”
Jo nodded. “Of course.” She gave a little smile. “Thanks for trusting that information me.”
Chloe smiled shakily at her. “Of course I’d trust it to you, you’re a part of the team now, a part of my family, and I trust my family.”
Jo’s smile grew and she ducked her gaze. “This isn’t the test you had planned for us, huh?”
Chloe giggled softly at that. “No, it sure isn’t. But both you and Ava passed with flying colors.”
“What helped us was that, for some reason, most of the guardian ghosts tied to this place through Man were attracted to that EMF reader…they were fascinated with it and really paid us no attention.” Jo couldn’t seem to figure it out at all.
Despite the horrible ordeal she'd been put through that night, Chloe couldn't help it.
She threw her head back and laughed.