The Abominations: Nyaida Zander
The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense now under U.N oversight, it's come a long way since 1944. I had to laugh; never back then would I have ever thought the B.P.R.D would go International, and yet here I was being flown in to the new Headquarters in Colorado following being requested to return to field work after some thirty years of 'extended leave'. Though I had been expecting a call since that thing in Nebraska and Munich, I hated having to stay out of the mix and watch the chaos unfold but I'd be damned if I knew the number to call for the Bureau and when I drove up to Fairfield I had found the old facility closed. I had spent hours roaming the abandoned halls, going through all the rooms. The memories I had here where fond ones, when we had moved in from that small Air Force base in New Mexico it was a welcomed change from the small roomed barracks I had been confined to for five years before. My brother was almost full grown by then of course, not my brother by blood but I refused to call him anything but, to me Hellboy was family. I admit we made an odd pair but he had my back and I had his, even if the human agents felt wary of having a vampire on the team, one of the things they had been told was evil and that they might have to kill one day on a mission, Hellboy always stood up for me. Funny though if you think about, the world of humans more accepting of a seven foot bright red demon then a simple vampire that's been around since before most of them combined. H.B had said once it was because, "Vampires have been around so long humanities had time to think them over, pinning them as evil, demons, yeah they've been around forever but the whole hell things more abstract."
As the chopper descended through the low laying clouds the new base came into view, built into the rock itself the structure was huge beyond anything I had expected, triple the size of the Fairfield building I guessed roughly. "Settin her down be out in round five minutes." The pilot said through the headset. The man next to me, agent Hughes spoke back through his head set. "Roger that." But said nothing else.
We set down smoothly on the landing platform and a weird feeling arose in my chest, like anticipation mixed with indigestion. I was home. Back to the place I knew best, but it was different now that my brother and the professor are gone and I highly doubted there would be anyone still here that had known him and that was a sad feeling, like the end of something. A small part of me held hope that someone had known him, someone I could connect with.
I removed my headset as the chopper door slid and locked with a clang and a dark skinned man with wire rimmed glasses looked in at me. "Agent Zander, I'm Andrew Devon."
I smiled slightly, not to wide. "Nice to meet you Andrew, you're the one they assigned to show me to my new digs, right." He looked oddly at me before nodding. "Yeah that's me."
I slid out of the chopper and reached back to grab my bag. "Place is big isn't it?" I said looking round. "You ever seen the Fairfield location?" He shook his head as we entered the oversized hangar. "I've only ever worked here." He answered. I nodded, the small hope in me diminishing slightly. With a sidelong glance noticed the clip board he kept glancing at had my name typed across the top.
"That my file?" I asked. Devon looked taken aback slightly almost as if he'd been caught red handed with something.
"Uh… yeah I was just seeing where your room is at." He smiled nervously.
Must not be used too many women around here, I thought looking to my left where a group of guys were eying me while mumbling to each other. Morons.
Devon was flipping through a few pages on the clip board; I briefly wondered what exactly was in those files. "So what exactly do you do here?" I asked trying to strike up a conversation. Adjusting his glasses he replied. "Research mostly but I do some fieldwork as well," He looked over at me. "Needless to say I prefer doing research." I laughed lightly before I replied. "I've always preferred fieldwork; I'm more of a hands on beat the crap out of the monsters kinda girl myself." He gave me another odd look as we passed through the doors into the main structure. "I get it from my brother…" I said simply.
No less than a few seconds before we had crossed into the main building a man, well what I guessed to be a man, in a containment suit walked by; Devon looked up and stopped. "Oh Agent Kraus I finished those papers you were asking about," he said taking a slim folder out from under my file and handing it to him. "Ja, thank you Devon." Agent Kraus said dully opening it slightly then closing it, I reasoned he was looking at me kinda hard to tell though seeing as he had no face.
"You must be the new agent, ja?" He asked. I nodded. "Yeah well not really new, I used to work here thirty years ago but," I figured I'd stop there and avoid odd questions and to avoid rambling. "I've been on a leave of absence until now I'm back on Manning's request."
He nodded and said he'd see me later, before walking away. I turned to Devon after he turned to corner and we'd begun walking.
"Does that guy weird you out slightly?" I asked. "I mean I've seen way weirder things but… I just get a strange vibe from him." I shrugged my shoulders and Devon laughed lightly. "Agent Kraus can be hard to read at times." I raised my eyebrow. "You don't say…" I said slightly sarcastically as we pushed through two more steel doors marked 'Residential Wing'.
"Well his body was destroyed when he was doing a séance and the Bureau made him that suit, he had a body a few months ago but…" He trailed off and looked back at his clip board. Yet again my eyebrow was up; I thought for a second about pushing for more info but decided it really didn't matter at the given time.
We turned a corner and started down a corridor and Devon handed me a key card. "Your rooms here next to…" He trailed off as I examined the card that had my name printed in the middle on the front. "Next to what…"
I looked over at Devon but my attention was instantly drawn up to see a green man with deep blue eyes staring at us. I wanted to say something but found I was lost for words, luckily he wasn't.
"You must be the new agent." He said simply. I nodded uncertainly and couldn't help but notice Devon seemed tense beside me and the emotions I was getting from him where uneasy and filled with mistrust.
"Yeah I'm Nash…" I said then corrected myself. "Well Nyaida..." The man walked a little closer. "I'm Abe…" Devon cut him off. "Well um Agent Zander… you should get your stuff put down then I can show you where the mess hall and…" Abe cut him off looking slightly irked. "I could show her, Devon it's no trouble I'm free all day," He said curtly. "Don't you have paper work to get to?"
Devon breathed out deep and looked from me to him as though he wanted to tell me something but couldn't say it in front of Abe. "Be careful." He whispered almost silently. I frowned and watched him walk away confused as hell at what he meant. "I'm sorry about him." Abe said his voice soft. I turned to face him and pointed my keycard at him, biting me lip slightly. "You two don't like each other very much I get that." He looked down. "After recent events I guess not so much."
I slid my key in the door, it made a light beep and opened, and I threw my bag carelessly inside before closing the door again. "Well seeing as you give me no reason to mistrust you, I'm going to take you up on that 'showing me around' offer." He looked up and smiled slightly. "Of course…" He waved me forward and we began walking.
"Did you know Hellboy?" I asked before I could stop myself. The fish man looked taken aback, surprise visible upon his smooth features. "Yes I did." He said shortly. Relief spread through me and I felt slightly lighter, relief flooded me. "Really? I was worried no one left here would have known him." I said. Abe looked down at me. "You knew him?"
"Since 1944," I said laughing slightly at his expression. "He's my brother, and I know that sounds odd, believe me but," I sighed. "He's family to me, you know?"
We had stopped walking, Abe was standing still turned so I could see him fully, his skin a green grey roughly textured with dark black jagged markings like lightning bolts on his forehead, his plain white button up shirt had been rolled up so I could see fin like ridges on his forearms and the slightly transparent gills fluttered around his neck. But the most startling feature I found where is eyes, pupiless deep aqua, they shown with a deep intelligence, understanding, and pain. "Yeah I know…" He said softly. "Why did you leave?" He asked. I looked down and smirked ever so slightly. "Why does Devon seem scared of you?" I retorted. He seemed to study me before replying. "Well seeing as you've given me no reason to mistrust you," He said countering my smirk with one of his own, only his faded as quickly as it had come. "I just worry that if I told you, you might begin to feel the same as the others."
I narrowed my eyes and stepped forward to rest my hand on his arm. "Hellboy wouldn't have stopped trusting you, I know that." I said making him smiled just a bit. "And neither am I…"
"I mean I just met you but, you seem like a guy who's been through a lot of tough things."
"You know that, huh?" He said. I cocked my head somewhat to the left. "Yeah I do… and really I'm never this up front with anyone, so your getting special treatment here pal."
He looked both ways and took a hold of my hand. "Come on let's talk somewhere privet."
He led me away just as the doors we had been headed towards opened and the glass headed man walked through. "Abraham, you have met our knew agent I see." Abe kept walking pulling me with him. "Yeah Johann." Was all he said before we disappeared through the twin doors.
Abe's room was dark, with a dim blue light as the only illumination that seemed to be coming from a long cylindrical tub, with a large container of water at the head of it.
I turned and looked questioningly at Abe. "I sleep there…" Was all her offered.
"I've seen way stranger believe me." I laughed.
He pulled a dark wood chair from his desk and sat it in across from the tank, where he sat on the rim and motioned for me to sit.
"Sorry it's a little dark," He said. I waved it off. "I'm a vampire darks kind of my thing."
He smiled, then sighed. "Well I guess I should start at the beginning, I was discovered in a sub-basement of a Washington D.C. hospital." He paused and looked at me, then continued.
I sat and listened with genuine interest as he told me about everything, and I couldn't help but feel sorry for him, after all he'd been through all of a sudden everyone's acting like he's the enemy. Now I've never been one for emotional conversations but seeing this man pour his soul out to me, a person he just met, took a lot and I was content to sit and listen.
"The guy said they were my brothers. That I was the first 'new man', and," He hung his head and messaged his temple. "It's just like everything keeps going wrong and I try and try to stay together, push through it, but, I," He looked me in the eyes. "I feel like I'm broken, like I'm some kind of mistake that…"
I stood up and cut him off. "You are not a mistake…" I sat next to him. "Look I've listened to everything you've said, and I can tell you are most definitely not a mistake… no one is."
He shifted his body towards mind and examined me. "I'm one of the things that we've been fighting against for what, sixteen years," He exasperated. "I'm supposed to be a monster, and… I can't believe I'm telling you all this..."
I grabbed his face between my hands and made him look at me. "I'm a vampire… I am the definition of a monster, I'm supposed to be this blood sucking, merciless killing machine that people have feared for centuries," His look softened slightly. "But I'm not, just because someone says we're something, and yeah maybe we are that doesn't mean we have to act like it."
In a fluid motion he reached up and grabbed my wrists, lowering them gently. "I'm sorry…"
"Don't be, I understand how all this can drive you crazy. I mean, after everything with Hellboy, and I'm sure everyone found out he was supposed to destroy the world, but even knowing that they trusted him, never looked differently upon him despite the fact." Abe watched me intently. "And I think it's completely idiotic of anyone, after all the time you've been a field agent for them to suddenly treat you like you're some bloody disease.
Abe opened his mouth slightly but a sharp knock on the door made up both jump. "Abe I need to talk with you, are you in there?" A female voice called through the door.
We both stood up, and Abe walked heavily to the door pulling it open slowly. "Yes, Kate?"
Kate eyed me standing behind Abe. "Should I come back?"
"No, Kate that's not necessary, this is Agent Zander, Manning requested her to return for the time being."
I shifted uncomfortably. "Yeah, I worked here about thirty-five years ago…"
Kate raised her eyebrows. "Really? Oh um well, welcome back."
"It is nice to be back, Thanks."
Abe straightened up more. "Kate?" He asked sounding slightly impatient.
"You're needed in the briefing room."
He sighed. "Nyaida, why don't you go get unpacked," Kate watched us oddly. "I'll meet up with you later."
I nodded. "Yeah," I moved out into the corridor. "Nice to meet you Kate."
"You too." Was all I heard before I slid my key in and disappeared into the dark.
Kate turned to face me. "Abe what are you doing?" She asked almost scolding tone.
"What do you mean, 'what am I doing?' What did it look like, we were talking, she told me she knew Hellboy. I wanted to make her feel welcomed." I was beginning to feel quite irritated as she sighed heavily.
"Abe ever since that thing with the skull guy," She started as we began walking. "And look I know you're taking it hard…"
I cut her off hearing the coldness in my own voice. "Maybe if everyone here would stop acting as though I'm going to snap and turn into one of them, I wouldn't be taking it so 'hard'."
"No one's acting like that, Abe." She said.
"It's fine, really, because at least the new girl as sense enough not to mistrust me over it."
Kate slowed slightly. "You told her?"
"Kate she refers to Hellboy as her brother for Christ sakes, they obviously were close!" I lowered my voice a notch. "And if he trusted her, then I will."
"How much did you tell her?" Kate pressed.
"Everything." I said sharply. We had reached the briefing room. "It was my decision, I did it, end of story."
I walked into the room leaving Kate standing outside dumbstruck.
Everyone's eyes were on me as I moved across the room to a hard plastic seat towards the back. People would have to turn all the way around to stare that way.
Kate walked in, glanced at me then down to her clip board. "Ok people, it's been a long day, but we have some assignments to hand out, due to the influx of so many of you that are new, we're going to be assigning mission this way until everything's up and running."
I sighed. So much for having the day free. As I sat there my mind wandered to Nyaida, the way she stood by me not even having known me at all. The way she held my face in her hands, her cool smooth skin against my rough… I shook my head and placed my hand over my eyes. No don't even go there.
"Alright everyone, in Oregon, we have a doomsday cult, the usual reports, anyone want to take this one?"
"I will." I said raising my hand slightly. Everyone's eyes were back on me.
Kate eyed me. "Ok who wants to accompany Agent Sapien…"
Nobody raised their hands, all shifting uncomfortably.
"I'll go with him." A lightly accented voice said from the door way. Nyaida stood in the way leaning against the frame. She hooked a thumb behind her. "I unpacked, figured I'd listen in, and seeing as no one's jumping to volunteer, I'll do it."
She smiled in my direction a gesture I returned.
"Are you sure?"
Nyaida strode in, her confident walk reminding me more and more of Hellboy. "Positive, I've been in the field before, I'm not new to any of this, and besides I need a little action…" She frowned slightly at her choice of words. Kate gave me a quick look.
"But what if one of you is needed here?" Johann spoke up. God I was really starting to get frustrated with him. "Agent Zander should stay back, it doesn't make sense to send the both of them, Ja?"
Before I could speak Nyaida spoke. "Look if there is anything I learned from years of fieldwork with Hellboy it's that if a job seems easy, it's not."
Whispering filled the room.
"Alright you two, you're on this one." Kate said finally.
Nyaida took the case folder. I walked over to her and followed her out of the room.
"Looks like it's you and me." She said smiling up at me. I flipped through the folder she handed me. "Yeah, you know you don't really have to come if you don't want."
She laughed. "And stay here with that Johann fella? Yeah I think I'll pass."
"You don't like him?" She gave me a strange look.
"I think there's something under the surface he's not showing, I mean yeah he could be a really nice guy, and I could just be wrong for judging him so quickly but," She paused. "I just get an odd feeling about him, my guts telling me there's more then meets the eye."
"You're not alone there…" I murmured.
She looked at her watch. "Did you know we were talking for a whole hour and a half?" She laughed lightly.
"Really? Seemed shorter." Was all I could say.
We reached the residential corridor and stopped in front of her door. I couldn't help but feel awkward.
"I never did get to tell you my story…" She said lightly. I looked down at my own watch.
"It's only eight O'clock…" I noted. She grinned and said sarcastically. "Really? Seemed Later."
She slid her key card through the door panel. "It seems unfair for you to tell me everything so openly and for me not to tell you anything." She motioned me into her room. "You know how weird all this is right?"
She laughed lightly. "Yeah, it usually takes me forever to trust anyone, but you... your alright kid."
Her room was bland for the most part, the bed was positioned in the corner, a single lamp sat next to it, and her duffel bag lie open on the bed.
"You really unpacked huh?"
She flopped down on the bed and moved the bag onto the floor. "Nothing really to unpack. Come on sit next to me." She stopped. "Or is that kind of awkward?"
I walked over and sat next to her. "Not very."
She laughed again. "I haven't had very much contact with anyone over the years so, I'm a little dull on all the mannerisms and what not, guess I always was."
She picked up my hand and held it palm up in hers. Tracing lines with her fingers.
"You read palms?" I asked. She shook her head. "No, but I've always loved people's hands."
Releasing my hand she looked up at me. "I make a lovely first impression, do I not?" She grinned.
"Are you stalling?" I asked picking up her palm, her hand was ice cold. She smiled and if I'd been anyone but myself I would have sworn she was blushing, if vampires could even blush, as I ran my rough fingers over hers.
"I was born of an Elvin mother and Vampic father." She looked up at me. "Promise you won't think of me or treat me differently after I tell you any of this."
I was honestly very taken aback at her request, and couldn't find words. My mind wondering how bad something she could tell me was that would prompt her to pre-tell me not to think different of her.
I snapped out of my thoughts. "I promise."
She breathed out deeply. "My father is the King of an Otherworld known as Aenam, My mother was the sister of the Elvin king Nuada, the leader of the Tuatha de Danann. They were married and conceived me as a bond almost, binding the two races together. A symbol of peace." She looked to the side, gazing at the wall and I could imagine the images playing in her head.
"My mother was killed by humans, they tortured her, raped her, then finally slit her throat. I was in Aenam at that time, my father forbid me to go to her burial ceremony."
She stopped and as I watched her I noticed a tear fall from her face to the floor. "Why didn't he let you?" I asked, wondering why would someone prevent their daughter from saying there last goodbyes to their mother.
She turned to me hate plainly visible on her porcelain features. "Because he has no honor, he is pitiless, vile and cruel." She shot. "As far as I am concerned he has never and will never be my father."
Her look softened slightly, only slightly. "I left a few days after that, I was on earth before he knew I was gone. That was, what I could guess, a few hundred years ago." She smile weakly. "But I've learned to put the past behind me. I married in 1861."
A strange feeling grew in my chest. "Married?"
She nodded. "He had money, I needed a place to sleep. Hadn't had one of those in round a century by then. After a brief courtship," She laughed coldly. "That sad thing is at one point I though he actually loved me. Turned out he just wanted me as a vampire trophy wife.
"We lived in London, he was a prominent member of some Society, and he'd bring me around to their social gatherings and such. He'd leave sometimes for months on business," She raised a finger. "But in 1865 he just never came back."
I stared, mind reeling. "Never," I stuttered slightly. "Never came back?"
"Yeah, just like that, police questioned me of coarse but I knew nothing. Had to leave the house though, in his will her left everything to some guy, I don't know. Anyway in 1938 I met Professor Trevor Bruttenholm just out of Oxford. We both got in with the British Paranormal Society on a recommendation from his Uncle, turned out we had both known Edward Grey, small world, huh?" She mused but continued without waiting for a response. "I wasn't there in December, 44' but Trevor wrote me and had me transferred to a small air force base in New Mexico," She clapped her hands. "Worked for the Bureau ever since."
"Why did you leave?" I asked softly.
She hung her head, face shadowed so she expression was unreadable. "Family issues, a man showed up in Fairfield, tried to bring me back to Aenam by force." She looked up. "He cut me up pretty good, ran me throw with his sword." Now she smiled faintly. "Then Hellboy showed up, bust his way through the door and slammed the bastard right in the head with his right hand. Other agents showed up, Hellboy told them to burn the body as he hurried me off to the infirmary." She frowned and placed her hand lightly over her mouth before continuing.
"But as he lay on the floor, after Hellboy had hit him, he said more would come for me. I couldn't risk putting the people I cared about in harm's way. Even through Hellboy protested, I had to leave."
Sitting next to Nyaida, this woman I hadn't know 24 hours, I couldn't help but feel a strong bond forming, almost like the one that I had formed with Hellboy after he'd saved me from being some science experiment. She trusted me with all that she had told me and that meant more to me then I think she realized. "I'm glad your back…" Was all I could say.
She smiled and picked up my hand again. "It really is great to be back…"