I found myself in a police interrogation room, which on a side note I have to say is a step above a PRT interrogation room, and did my best to remain focused. I was being questioned about the fact that my girlfriend called in the cops, at my request mind, because I had shot a home invader in the face after being poisoned and...fuckin hell how was I going to explain this to mom and the girls? I was just looking up how to-

"Mister Simmons, are you listening to me?"

I glanced up at the police sergeant interviewing me a moment, adjusted my glasses, then shrugged sheepishly, "Honestly ma'am? Not really, I'm still...processing well, everything. I'm sorry."

She dropped the tough cop look a moment later, and I appreciated that. Taking in her appearance I noted that she was middle aged, of mixed heritage, some African and Asian, had very pretty caramel coloured eyes, her hair was pulled into a tight braid, and she looked stressed as all get out.

"Mister Simmons, I understand you-"

I interrupted her with a raised hand and a chagrined smile, "Mister Simmons is my emotionally negligent father ma'am, please call me Ben."

That seemed to put her on the backfoot a moment, then she shot me a sad smile while nodding. Likely had a shitty parent too, could relate to the fact that my dad could die tomorrow and my only concern would be if he left mom or his mistress his fortune.


"Alright then, Ben, you can call me Alice. What were you doing before this woman appeared in your room?"

I sighed at that, then shrugged, "I...don't like people, at all. You ever watch House? That Aleph TV drama where the main character is a misanthropic jackass, but keeps trying to save people because he is a doctor and it is his job so he is going to do his damned best to save his patients even if they don't deserve it?"

She nodded, "Yes, what exactly does that have to deal with this situation?"

Taking in a breath I thought about it a moment, then nodded to myself, "Aside from my mom I was just like that, and was fully content to live my life out on those terms. Then I met my girlfriend, and...then I met my best friend, and her sister who became my friend after that, and then a snarky bitch who totally got my being a jackass to deal with the world thing and became my friend. It only hit me after...after Ziz took out Canberra that I was terrified of losing any of them."

Alice grimaced at that, "I...understand. I was in Seattle when Leviathan came calling..."


I nodded respectfully, "Sorry ma'am..."

She waved it off, "It's in the past, please continue Mi-Ben."

"I decided I needed to protect my friends and family and had no way doing so aside gratuitous use of firearms. So I was looking up how to buy super powers, I've heard it was a thing even if I didn't want any part of the whole cape scene. They're crazy bastards who somehow get a carte blanche to do whatever they want because they shoot lasers out of their ass, but to protect them I..."

Thankfully Alice nodded slowly in understanding, "I get it, continue."

I shrugged, "So I looked it up, followed some links, then there was a flash of light behind me, and that beautiful woman with the Indiana Jones hat popped out behind me, offered me super powers in a vial, and I told her I wasn't interested."

She looked incredulous for a few heartbeats, then asked, "Not interested?"

At that I laughed a bit, "If you were on Craig's List looking up how to become a vampire like in that horny teenage girl fantasy rag, and then some twitchy looking person holding a frothing vial of steaming goo showed up behind you telling you to drink it to achieve your dreams, would you?"

Alice visibly paled, "Uh...no, no I would not."

I smiled, "Same thought process for me, life is strange enough as is but when weird shit piles up I think of something my mom told me growing up. Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, thrice is an enemy action. So I told her not interested, she freaked out, tried to force the vial of frothy sweaty sock juice down my throat and then I blacked out."

"And that is when you called your girlfriend?"

"Naw, she called me. Taylor's a little clingy but after what those psycho bitches did to her at school I don't blame her for it. But yeah, had her call you guys and now here we are."

Sergeant Alice stared at her notepad for a time, then nodded slowly, "Well...can I be honest Ben?"

I nodded enthusiastically, "Please do so."

"This entire scenario sounds absolutely insane, and I'd probably be signing papers out to have you under a psychological exam if we didn't have a dead body of an unknown woman holding a firearm that is linked to...multiple cold cases, and a fu-crap ton of volatile chemicals covered on your person and your floor as evidence."


She glanced back at me while raising a brow, "What?"

I sighed, "So I'm not crazy, this shit actually happened?"

Alice scoffed, "Afraid so kid."

"Well...that sucks..."

I was escorted to a waiting room and sat there in silence for nearly two hours, then the door opened and Taylor and my mom were standing there waiting for me.

I...got warm feelings a moment later, and accepted their hugs as they escorted me to the sign out station followed by Alice and a tagalong cop I hadn't bothered to learn the name of.

This was a very weird day, one I really hoped to never relive because even I have a threshold I don't want to pass when it comes to insane circumstances.

That being said, I was in the clear, the dead MILF was now the polices problem, and I was going to go home.

At the end of the day, mom, Taylor, Amy, Tammi, and Vicky were all okay, and really, that was all that mattered, right?


I winced at that then moved on.

Right so...wait...

I stopped dead in my tracks, both mom and Taylor staring at me in concern as I muttered out, "What the fuck?"

I didn't know what to do.

That seemed...par for the course recently if I was to be honest with myself.

Fuck even that phrase annoyed the hell out me. I hated golf, Robin Williams even made a skit about its entire existence being nothing more than a mockery of ill advised one up men ship just for the Scots to give people hope where there was none while they hit balls with sticks.

Why is their amused laughter... Oh...right... Voices in my head.

"Mom...I really need to go home..."

Fucking hell what the fuck was going on with me?

And then I very nearly fell apart when Taylor hugged me.


I seethed in a breath, then turned to my girlfriend while lightly kissing her lips, "I'm okay babe...really."


I ignored the pain throbbing in my skull while I thought out, SHUT THE FUCK UP!

The pressure in my head alleviated, thankfully, and I cuddled with Taylor as mom drove us home, apparently Taylor was going to stay with us since she didn't want to be left alone and...fucking fuck...

Taylor didn't want to be alone, because her dad wasn't home, again...

Danny and I were going to have words...as soon as the voices in my head stopped talking...

After we got home, Taylor changed into her pajamas, a pair of short shorts and a tank top, and crawled into my bed, the smile she shot me as she pulled the covers over her head was...

Hey, libido, do me a favor, and please shut the fuck up.


Stomping out of my bedroom after kissing Taylor on her forehead I came to a stop in my father's study.

He was very likely out fucking some whore at the moment so the rooms vacancy would serve my purposes for the time being.

Doing my level best to keep my calm, I eventually seethed out, "Okay...who the FUCK are you?"

Instead of the mechanical Glados sounding statement, I got an amused laugh in reply.

"That's Queenie, she's...very attached to her host and trying her best to be accommodating. Getting her to understand humans and how you communicate has been, well difficult. She is trying though."

I remained silent entered the restroom, then eventually the voice sighed in annoyance and continued, "Benny I am literally a copy of your personality from the point you were killed by that bear and gestated to what we are now. Chowing down on that Shard corpse that was shoved down your throat has just made our methods of communication more...flexible."

I turned the sink on, ran the warm water across my hands, then splashed the water across my face, a few moments later I stared at the mirror, then the voice spoke up again.

"You're angry?"

I actually mulled that over for a time, then shrugged, "No. Confused would fit better."

The voice continued, "Well, you're a metal fan so I'll throw this lyric out, stupid people do stupid things, and smart people outsmart each other.' You're an anomaly Benny, you triggered when that bear killed you and you were reborn here. I've been riding shotgun since, I am what amounts to your super power. My appointed designation is Adamant, and my configuration is social shielding."

I was silent for a time, then flatly stated, "That is fucking retarded."

The voice seemed to nod in agreement, "I know right?! I mean my configuration was sort of 'Uh...wow, social shielding, the hell am I supposed to do with that?' then I get stuck with you who absolutely despises people-"

"-Because they're awful-"

"-because they're awful and I really didn't know what to do about it. I mean I was in an unprecedented position of bonding to an already mentally mature host at the supposed onset of his developmental stage which was already fucking weird. Then you retained your memories, and then completely undermined the point of my configuration by avoiding people-"

"-Because they're awful-"

"-Yeah! Then you fell in love with-"

[Best Host]

Both myself and my...power? cringed as she seemingly nodded, "Yeah, Taylor, and then my subconscious draw started dragging more shards in and then that cray cray bitch showed up and... Hey Benny?"

I was very much considering if Mom and Taylor would blame themselves if I shot myself in the head at this point while I muttered out, "What?"

There was more silence, then the voice in my head asked, "Please...don't fall back into the bottle.. I know this is a lot but... seriously please?"

I stared down at the sink for a long while, then spoke to the voice in my head, "Why?"

More silence.

Then, "We need you."

I turned the sink off, then sighed, "What do I call you?"

I winced as [Adamant] slammed in the back of my head, a few moments later, my apparent partner quietly stated, "Ada...Benny.."

So...this was what embracing insanity felt like...


I just hope Taylor understands...