Tommy only dimly remembers holding Max Evans down while two other of Kyle’s friends beat him nearly to death. That was weeks ago. And Tommy has no idea Max is an alien. He only remembers trying to do Kyle a favor when Evans was moving in on Liz.
So he’s only mildly puzzled when he sees a vehicle following him down the highway that keeps barely but doggedly just in sight in the rear view. Tommy pulls off the road into an abandoned gas station and the strange vehicle seems to vanish. When he does not see it again he shrugs and pulls back onto the highway.
And damn if the same car doesnt keep tailing him. He tries hard to shake the tail off but whoever it is drives like they’re not even human.
Tommy does an abrupt U turn and heads toward the car but it seems to just vanish like a water mirage on the highway. So much for that. Or so he thinks.
He is still heading away from Roswell when he sees the squat black vehicle pull out from behind an old highway billboard in the rear view. He knows it’s the same one. Only it’s . following closer now. He feels ants of fear crawl over his groin and tries desperately with his limited intellect to understand why he cannot shake what seems to be a mad stalker.
Ahead is the turnoff onto the old highway to Albuquerque, now all but devoid of traffic. .A road into a forested upland. But it’s still miles away and the highway ahead stretches out flat for miles. Red dirt and creosote. Heat shimmer. From the abscissa of a cliff a hawk sets forth, whistling thinly.
All thru the uplands the black thing stays behind him, driving with inhuman skill and terrifying relentlessness. It’s near dark when he thinks he’s finally lost the spook. Sitting just off the old highway in wire grass. A long red twilight with doves crossing the road, heading toward some ranch tanks.
He pulls onto the road to go back to Roswell. But just over the hill the black thing is parked in the middle of the road and Tommy slams on the brakes and skids to a stop, just avoiding the car.
Something emerges from the vehicle. The intruder’s eyes actually glow bright green in the dark and Tommy hopes he is just dreaming and not losing his mind. The fiend gets out and walks over to his window and says in a garbled, nonhuman voice, Pull off the road and drive over to that hollow beside the road. Do not attempt to escape or your life will be forfeit.
Tommy feels a warm dampness in his crotch and he knows he has wet himself. He pulls off the road and parks at the bottom of the caldera as he was told. The black thing that has followed him here with its lights off pulls in behind him ,blocking his egress.
The thing gets out of its car and comes over and says, Exit your vehicle. Do not attempt to flee.
Tommy sees that the thing has a ski mask and is dressed entirely in black but that does not explain the glowing eyes. As Tommy stares at the thing its eyes glow brighter and its pupils narrow into slits like a reptile’s.
Mister, Tommy says, That…that’s a mask of some kind, right? With the glowing eyes and all? A disguise?
IDK, the thing says with feigned amazement. Is it? Get out at once and face me, Earthling!
Tommy gets out of the car and stands ten feet away from the man/thing at the bottom of the caldera, completely out of sight of the road.
Oh, he’s scared, alright, i think. It’s really very funny. But it’s about to get serious.
Remember me, Tommy? I say. U held me down while your little friends beat me nearly to death a few weeks ago. I nearly ended up in the hospital. You know how it goes. You put me in the hospital, i put you in the morgue. But you have a chance to live. A slim chance.
Evans? He says incredulously. Is that you?
IDK, i say. Is it?
Tommy panics and runs. I let him run a few steps before i hold out my left palm and enclose him in a stasis field. He runs in place and fairly dances as i hold him up two feet off the ground.
Why me, Evans? He says. There were two other guys that actually beat you…
Yes, i say, But you were the little pussy that held me down. That’s why. Now i’m in a good mood so i’m going to give you one chance. You stand here and take your beating like a man, like i did. You can even hit me back, which was more than any of you allowed me.
I have released him from stasis and he stands still and dazed. He says nothing.
Whaddya say, Cuate? Right here, right now. Just you and me, cunt on cunt.
That’s what i thought, you little bitch. Prepare to defend yourself.
I think you know how this goes. I make it a point of honor not to use alien powers when i fight him. I dont have to. He’s big and slow and clumsy and all i have to do is duck and hit him back, again and again till he’s exhausted. Then i move in and .really punish him.
The beating he takes is nothing to the one i took. If i had been human i wouldve probably died. But he’s hurt bad. I flash my green serpent eyes at him for effect and extend my palm and and send an EMR pulse over the whole area to fry any latent DNA evidence. It will leave him with a slight sunburn he wont be able to explain.
He’s hurt from the hammering he took from my feet and fists and forearms. He has a few shattered ribs and a concussion. A fractured leg. A crushed hand from where i stepped on it. Maybe a bruised kidney. He’ll live, i guess.
I stoop over him and kiss him on the mouth and say, I hope it was as good for you as it was for me, sweetie.
He says nothing. He’s in so much pain it hurts him to breathe, much less talk.
I say, You can tell them about aliens all you want but you do not mention Max Evans. Is that clear, fuckboy?
Yes, he wheezes.
Good, i say. If you mention Evans i will hunt you down and you dont want that. You’ll be driving down the road like today and you’ll see a bright light and you’ll be teleported into an experimental surgical bay. You’ve seen the movies. Understand?
Yes, he wheezes again. And i see in the Hadal light that he is crying. I go back to the car and stop and heal my sore hands and extremities. There is not a scratch on me.
The night is bright and clear and cold as i drive up out of the caldera and toward Roswell. And i feel reborn. All of the awful hostility toward Liz i couldnt control is gone and now i hate myself for taking this out on her but if she can forgive me i guess i can forgive myself for treating her that way. After all, i am more than human.
You see, sometimes you just have to let the dogs out. There’s no other way. If i hadnt done what i just did the poison from that beating i had to force myself to take would have continued to eat me alive until there was nothing left. I wouldve lost Liz. I wouldve lost myself. I would have lost everything.
Tommy will be found by a cruising cop before daylight. He will be sent to the hospital in Roswell where his ravings about an alien with snake eyes that beat him up will land him in the psych ward. When he thinks he sees aliens with green snake eyes coming out of the walls and becomes violent he will be placed in a State Hospital and not let out until he is dopey with psychotropics. He will never play sports again because his broken leg will not heal properly and he will walk with a limp the rest of his life. His hand is damaged so badly he cannot even hold a baseball with it. And this all happens fast. So fast i hear all about it at school the next day.
Kyle waylays me in a deserted place in school. He comes up and smiles and says, I know you did it, Evans.
Did what? I say.
What was done to Tommy.
And right now i am done with being Gandhi.
I get right in his face and say, If you think i did that, Holmes, then you’d better tread lightly. Because anything that could do that to that big ox could do to it you or anyone else. Stay away from me from now on.