(The story begins here.)
(The last recap is here.)
“Well, at least we know it’s Shafer,” Lassiter said after examining the unconscious man.
“What I want to know is where Victor went—or was taken,” Darren replied. “I can’t make anything of the tracks; they end at the road, and there might have been a car waiting, though I didn’t hear anything.”
“Let’s take Shafer inside and bring him around. With a little luck, he’ll tell us what we want to know.” So saying, Lassiter picked the man up and carried him inside, and Darren followed, puzzling over the strange sign on the scrap of paper.
Darren found Dr. Fleming’s medical kit and produced some smelling salts, but the results were not what they might have hoped.
“Put that away,” Shafer mumbled. “Try food. I always wake up for food.”
“Do you wake up for a thrashing?” Darren asked.
“No, that puts me to sleep.”
Lassiter growled something unintelligible and grasped the foil cap that was still clinging to Shafer’s head. “Wake up, or I’ll take this off and tear it up.”
Shafer’s eyes opened wide. “You wouldn’t!”
“I would, and so would Darren, here. We could each take an end and make a wish. Now talk! What happened to Dr. Fleming?”
“The guys who followed me caught him. It was really funny: they figured you would come out to see me, so they grabbed that doctor guy when he came instead.”
“They’re still after me? Why? And who are they, anyway? Mantong’s people?”
“Yeah—the Tehros. They’re pretty nice, except when they hit me in the head.”
“So Mantong’s a Tehro?”
“No, ‘Tehros’ is their game. There are two groups underground, and each one has a favorite game. Tehros is about crossing distances and mountains and stuff, and Dehros is about tearing people limb from limb. The guys who play Tehros are okay, but the guys who play Dehros are monsters. The Tehros—the guys who play it—hate the Dehros, and they think the Dehros came from the dark world. So they try to shut any openings to it and kill any Dehros that come through.”
“Then they think I’m a Dehros?”
“Well, yeah—you know, the werewolf bit, the Nazis... I try to tell them, but they won’t listen. They’d throw me out, but I got as many miles playing Tehros as they do, so they have to let me keep playing.”
Darren’s patience finally gave out. “So where is Dr. Fleming?”
“I don’t know, exactly.”
“But I’m sure you’ll find out,” said a familiar voice from the doorway, where Clio FitzHugh stood with gun in hand.
Next: The Horror Sign
1 year ago