The Generation of 1954

The Generation of 1954

A Supernatural/Miracles Cross-over
by Laurel (Sailorhathor)

Chapters: 3 of 3 plus Epilogue
Dates: Written July-August 2007
Fandom: Supernatural/Miracles cross-over, set very pre-series for both. Alternate Universe.
Universe: Plastic Dashboard Jesus
Word Count: 23,877
Rating: Rated Adult for violence, language, brief non-con, and gore
Summary: Did you notice that John and Mary Winchester were both born in 1954? The Yellow-Eyed Demon did.
Prompt: Written for [info]spn_xx prompt #15 A past or future generation of the Yellow-Eyed Demons' "Special Children."
Beta: No beta for this chapter.
Author's Notes: This fic answers the following Alternate Universe questions:
What if John and Mary had been part of a past generation of Psychic Children? What about Theresa Callan?
What if Paul Callan was not a medium, but something much more sinister?
The last question cannot be disclosed until the end of the story because it would spoil the ending otherwise.

Thoughts are in italics while telepathic conversations are in quotes and italics. This will, hopefully, help distinguish between them.

Other notes can be found at the end of the story.

Chapter 3: Talons

        Everyone looked at Theresa and Paul. She held her son close and looked at them once before averting her eyes, praying quietly to herself.

        She knew. She knew all along.

        John began, "Ignore him. Let's find a back door - "

        Natraya stepped before all of them. The expression on her face was supremely offended. Jordan had violated all the natural laws of man and God, no matter what God one prayed to. She put her arms out before her. "Stop!" the girl cried in accented English.

        They all cringed as the front of the house blew outward. Jordan and his dead army were blown several feet backward and showered with splintered wood and glass from the facade of the house. Paul screamed in terror and confusion at the mighty noise.

        "Good gravy, did you know she could do that?!" Mary questioned.

        John nodded. "I encouraged her to do it."

        Smiling proudly, Natraya turned to look at John for approval. Somewhere between him shaking her and the realization that Jordan was evil, Natraya had decided to trust John again. He mused that she probably didn't get to use these abilities much. This might even be fun for her. John gave her an enthusiastic thumbs-up. Natraya seemed to understand, and beamed with pride.

        He shrugged and remarked to the others, "Uh... fine. We'll go out the front door."

        Chuckling darkly, Jordan fought his way to his feet; he was limping and bleeding from the head. "In any language, that means back off, motherfucker. I guess we know what Natraya can do now, huh Winchester?"

        "No shit." John stepped into the wide opening that was once the front of the house. "You'll get more of the same unless you give this up, Jordy," he said with contempt.

        Jordan's face scrunched into a mask of blind anger. "Don't call me that!" he yelled. "Only my mother was allowed to call me that!"

        Raising an eyebrow, John responded with, "Got some mommy issues, do we? No wonder you like to choke women to death."

        A sinister smile crawled across Jordan's face. "Oh, you mean Beth?"

        The woman they were speaking of now came shuffling toward them, joining the rest of the zombie army. Her face was blank, her mind thinking only of obedience. Beth's shirt still hung loose and open in the front, but with her standing up, the pieces covered her chest.

        Upon seeing her, Mary cried, "You sick bastard! How could you murder her?"

        "I told you, Mary, I'm in this to win." Jordan looked around at his dead soldiers. "Arise, and do my bidding. Kill all of them by any means necessary, except for the blonde. Capture her and bring her to me!" Jordan pointed at the others.

        The dead people shambled toward the house again. "Yes, master," several of them said.

        Mary angrily yelled, "Even Paul? He's just a little boy!"

        "You now know what kind of powers he has. He's just as much a contender in this contest as anyone," Jordan explained.

        "You and your stupid contest!" she screamed back.

        The dead people came from all sides, approaching the porch. Natraya stepped forward again. "Stop!"

        Once more, Jordan's army was blown back. Jordan tried to shield himself with a large piece of wood, but he still left a deep groove in the ground as the blast pushed him away at least twenty feet. Still, he was moving, trying to get up, as were the army of the dead. The others tried not to look at them too much, as the concussion blasts were causing them to lose pieces of their rotted bodies each time Natraya struck them.

        "That hurt," Jordan admitted. "But it's also very helpful, Natraya. I understand more and more how your power works each time you hit me." He didn't seem to be injured as much as he should be.

        Always the strategist, John realized this wasn't quite working out the way he'd hoped. Jordan had already taken two of those massive blasts and he was still conscious, still standing, still attacking. Something wasn't quite right about that. If Natraya kept hitting him, he'd eventually be able to mimic her power without even touching her. "Mary, Theresa, you two have got to get out of here. Head for the bulldozer."

        "How are we supposed to do that?!" Theresa cried. She gestured at the mob of zombies blocking the way.

        One of them stepped up onto the porch; the dead woman had been so quiet and stealthy that Theresa hadn't seen her. She screamed as the zombie reached for her, aggressively going for her neck.

        "Go away!" Paul cried in fear.

        The dead lady immediately obeyed, turning and walking the other way.

        John instantly understood. Even if he was just a child, Paul was a necromancer, just like Jordan had said. The zombies would obey him too. "Paul, keep telling them to get away from you and your mom, and Mary too, okay? They'll do as you say."

        Theresa fidgeted uneasily. "He shouldn't use those abilities," she whispered harshly to John.

        "Good lord, woman, this is hardly the time for a morality lesson! We've got a whole front yard full of zombies to plow through! If he can get us out of here, you have to encourage him to do it!"

        Although she knew it was her right to ignore John and tell her son not to do it, at the same time, she also knew John had a point. How could Theresa turn her back on the others and just allow them to be killed? Paul might not make it out of here alive either if she didn't let him use those powers.

        Turning toward the field full of construction equipment, John tried to communicate with the bulldozer first. "Hey Bulldozer, would you like to be a hero?"

        An answer, rumbling but weak, came back after a few silent seconds. "Out of gas. How is it that you can speak to me?"

        "Some humans have that ability. You don't want to just sit in a field for the rest of your days until you are turned to scrap metal, do you? I know machines can run without fuel if it is their will to do so. Please help me save these innocent people."
He indicated Mary, Paul, and Theresa. "Come here."

        "What about the rotting people?"
the bulldozer asked.

        "Run them over. They're scrap. Use your scooper thing."

        "It's called a blade."
John felt the bulldozer mentally nod. "I will help."

        With a heavy, rattling rumble, the bulldozer roared to life. It began to make its way to the house.

        Paul kept the dead at bay. "Go away!" he told them when they got too close to the porch.

        Theresa did not stop him.

        Amused, Jordan watched the bulldozer as it ran into a cluster of his army and pushed them, flailing and groaning, along the ground with its blade. "Very clever, Winchester." Jordan closed his eyes and did some concentrating of his own.

        John wished that bulldozers were faster. He didn't like the looks of what Jordan was up to. "As soon as that bulldozer gets here, you pile into it," John said to Mary. "Natraya will blast them one more time and then we'll get out of here. Just run over Jordan if he tries to stop you."

        Jordan could hear him; he grinned maniacally. "Who's going to blast who?" He threw his hands out in front of him. "Back off, bitch."

        Natraya, caught by surprise, was suddenly blown back into the house like a giant, invisible hand had swatted her. This was followed by a great crash as more of the house was destroyed.

        "Natraya!" Mary screamed.

        "Stay out of the house! It could all come down on you," instructed John before going in himself, saying over his shoulder, "I'll get her!"

        Jordan laughed and laughed.

        While John was moving splintered wood and overturned furniture aside in order to rescue Natraya, the bulldozer arrived. Theresa and Paul climbed into the small cab, but Mary hovered outside the door, worried for John and Natraya.

        Several dead people closed in on the bulldozer. Theresa let Paul hang his head out the window to command them to turn the other way. "Mary, get in! I'm going to run some of them over!"

        She shook her head. "I have to know that John is okay. I can't leave here."

        "We're not leaving, we're just going to get rid of some of them."

        Shaking her head again, Mary repeated, "I can't leave here!"

        John dug through a pile of wood until he saw Natraya's legs sticking out from under half of the broken dining room table. She was bleeding from several places, semi-conscious. "I think it's time we retreat," he remarked, and slipped one arm under her knees, the other under her back. "Upsie-daisy," John said, and hauled her up out of the wreckage.

        By the time they got to the front of the house, Natraya was fighting to get down, glaring at Jordan.

        "I don't think that's a good idea. You're hurt."

        Mary was overjoyed to see them. "Hurry, get in the cab!"

        Natraya fought so hard that John had to put her down. Before her feet were even planted firmly on the ground, she sent a concussion blast at Jordan. The force caused John to stumble and almost fall himself.

        Just grinning, Jordan launched his own blast back at her.

        The waves of energy crashed into each other, meeting in the middle. Shockwaves ricocheted back at both Natraya and Jordan. Everyone was knocked off his or her feet, even Mary. The bulldozer reared up, making Theresa and Paul scream, but did not turn over.

        John and Natraya both crashed into one of the pillars that supported the porch roof. It cracked in half. Above their heads, the roof creaked dangerously. It had already been damaged by the repeated blasts, and now it was ready to collapse.

        "Get off the porch," John said before he had even stood up.

        Mary was the least hurt; she helped John stand, and he simply slipped an arm around Natraya's ribcage and dragged her off the porch with him. The roof collapsed a second later in a deafening series of crashes.

        Jordan acted disappointed. "Damn. That would have made things so much simpler for me."

        Although barely able to stand on her own, Natraya got to her shaky feet and pushed John away gently. "Go," she said.

        John, shocked at what he thought she was saying, replied, "We're not just leaving you here."


        Mary opened the door to the bulldozer's cab. "Just grab her and let's get out of here!"

        Before anyone else could protest, Natraya turned and blasted Jordan again. She moved as quickly as she could toward him, away from the others.

        John made sure that Mary got into the bulldozer safely. "Don't get the bulldozer too close to Jordan. Go around him. I'll meet you on the other side." With that, he ran off to try to make sure that Natraya got out safely, too.

        "John!" Mary yelled.

        Theresa yanked her into the cab. "Close the door! Zombies are coming!"

        Turning to her, Mary insisted, "We can't leave them!"

        "We're not going to. We're going to help." She looked to her left to see the crane lumbering toward where John was standing. Theresa sat Paul on her lap so Mary could sit down. Then she started to deliberately drive the bulldozer into the crowd of zombies.

        Some of the dead people saw her coming and climbed up on the blade. Pointing to a stick lever, Theresa said, "Move that up and down. Shake 'em off if you can."

        Mary did as she asked. The blade moved up and down, not very quickly, but quick enough to throw the zombies off balance. Several fell off and rolled under the track wheels of the bulldozer.

        Theresa kept ramming into them, keeping the army busy so John could do what he had planned. She cringed at the groaning and the way the bulldozer shook as it drove over them. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry..." Crunch. "...ooh, God forgive me for that one."

        They continued to deal with the zombies while John called the crane to him. Its voice was higher-pitched in his head. "What would you like me to do?" the crane asked.

        John pointed at Jordan. "Keep him busy."

        "I can do that!"
the crane said back with enthusiasm. John surmised that the crane must've been bored, having nothing to do for so many years. It headed toward Jordan, who was recovering from Natraya's latest attack.

        "Caught me off guard," he said, wiping blood from his lips. He saw the crane coming.

        A few seconds before Jordan reacted, John called to the crane, "Hold on to something!"

        "I'm going to blast your stupid crane, John," Jordan declared before he aimed a concussion blast at the huge machine.

        The crane heard John's warning, and slammed its open clamshell blade deep into the ground. When the blast hit it, it just shook mightily, but did not tip over.

        Natraya knew how her ability worked. Once she sent a blast, there was a short waiting time, a time where she was unable to send another one, when she was open and vulnerable. Jordan had wasted his latest chance on the crane. Natraya grinned. She carefully sounded out, "Back off, bitch."

        They knew that the blast hurt from how loud Jordan screamed in pain. When the dust cleared, he lay motionless in the middle of a crater thirty feet from where he'd been standing before.

        John ran up to Natraya and put up his hand. "You did it, Natraya! Gimme five!"

        She just stared at his hand curiously.

        "Put your hand up like this," he instructed.

        Natraya imitated the position of John's hand. He slapped her palm with his own. "That's five."

        Her eyes beginning to lose their focus, Natraya said, "Five..."

        "Yeah. Gimme five, on the side." He twisted his arm behind his back and poked his hand around his side.

        Cocking her head, Natraya smacked his palm again.

        "In the hole." John made an "O" with his thumb and index finger, then showed her that she should stick her finger in it.

        She did. John closed his fingers, catching her. "You too slow," he chuckled.

        Natraya had no idea what he'd said, but his humorous tone made her laugh. Then she collapsed against him.

        "Whoa, whoa, honey, it's okay. I've got you." John held her up; her dark eyes opened and closed as she tried to hold on to consciousness.

        He was leaning Natraya back over his arm so he could pick her up when he heard Mary's voice from across the clearing, raw with fear. "John, watch out!"

        John froze in his efforts and turned his head slightly to see Jordan getting up. The guy was hiding something; there was an ability he wasn't telling them about. How else could he be standing and Natraya be so badly injured?

        Having nowhere to go, John took the blast full force. He could hear Mary screaming as he and Natraya flew into the side of a house. Then they were going through the wall and he blacked out.

        Hanging out the cab's window, Mary began to cry. "John! Natraya!" She instantly opened the door and started to run toward the house.

        "Mary!" Theresa called. She drove the bulldozer after her, seeing the dead people closing in on Mary.

        "Get her!" Jordan commanded. His army stopped Mary in her tracks, grabbing her arms and holding her around the ribcage as she fought against them, screaming John's name.

        Theresa couldn't run over the zombies with Mary in the middle of them. She tried to decide what to do as Jordan headed toward the house into which he'd blown John and Natraya. The only thing that made sense would be to take Paul out there and have him command the zombies to retreat. But could she put her own son in danger and use him to save someone she hardly knew?

        Slowly waking up, John looked around; his vision was blurry at first. It cleared after a few seconds, at least in one eye. The other was full of the blood that had run into it from his lacerated forehead. John looked up and to his left and gasped.

        Natraya had been impaled on a long, thin plank of wood. Part of the wall through which they had crashed. It stuck out from just under her breasts, splintered and jagged and covered with her blood, and she grasped at it weakly, making gagging noises. The piece of wood had been driven into the wall behind her so she was held up like a demented marionette puppet.

        John would never forget the sound of her blood dripping on the floor, the pained noises she made as she fought to breathe because her lungs were filling with blood, Mary's screaming coming from outside... he'd never forget it. It could have just as easily been him pinned to the wall. Natraya was dying and there was nothing he could do to save her. She'd endangered her own life selflessly in an attempt to save them all, and death was her reward.

        Natraya caught sight of him. "John," she choked.

        He tried to get up, but couldn't. His leg was broken. "I'm sorry, Natraya. But you can go home now." John swept his arms above his head in an arc. "Thailand," he said.

        She nodded a little. "Home."

        John nodded back. Angry tears pricked at his eyes. No one had given their life in defense of him, not since 'Nam.

        Natraya's eyes filled with tears too, and she looked at the sky through the jagged opening in the wall. "Tam," she said with a little sob.

        John had no idea what that meant.

        She held out a hand to him and tried to smile. "Give me... five," Natraya said before the blood coming from her mouth choked her into silence.

        John just grabbed her hand and held on. "You did good," he nearly whispered.

        He didn't let go as she gagged and sputtered and blood poured from her mouth, and finally, Natraya's head bowed on her neck and she was still.

        Jordan entered just as her eyelids fluttered shut for the last time. He saw the tears in John's eyes and mocked them. "Awww. How sweet. I thought you liked Mary."

        "Shut up you pathetic little worm. You're killing people to gain the favor of some phantom. Natraya never did anything to hurt you, but you killed her anyway. At least she gets to die a hero," hissed John.

        Walking up next to him, Jordan examined his battered body for a few moments, then kicked him in his broken leg. John screamed in pain. "That's a big threat coming from a guy with a broken leg. How are you going to make me die without being a hero if you can't even get up, John?"

        "I've still got a few surprises," John replied through gritted teeth.

        "Oh, you mean the technopathy? Big deal. I just need a couple minutes to get inside your head and mimic it, then I control the construction equipment." Jordan grinned evilly. "I'm going to enjoy fucking her, John. I might even do it next to your dead body."

        "You know what, Jordy?"

        Jordan's features rippled, but he didn't react more than that. "What?"

        "I'm going to enjoy cutting you in half."

        The crane arm crashed through the already damaged wall. The clamshell blade was wide open, like an open, hungry mouth, reaching for Jordan. He turned toward it with his hands out, as if he could catch the blade in his hands and stop it like Superman. But Jordan was not Superman.

        At least not in that way.

        The blade slammed into him with enough force to drive him into the wall behind him. The wall splintered and cracked, giving way to the metal scoop, as did Jordan's body. John could plainly see that the blade had cut into the murdering bastard, deep through his chest and legs; blood ran over the blade and to the floor.

        Jordan died the same way Natraya had. Choking on his own blood.

        At least, John hoped he was finally dead as Jordan flopped lifelessly over the blade.

        Mary's voice came from outside the house. "John, are you okay?! I can't get around the crane!"

        The crane arm withdrew. Jordan fell limply to the floor.

        "Was that good, John? We don't ever kill people on purpose, but this is what you wanted," the crane said to him. "He was a bad man."

        "Yeah, that was great,"
John told the crane. "Thank you for your help."

        Mary ran in with Theresa and Paul behind her. Theresa screamed at the scene, hiding Paul's face in her chest. "Oh God... so much blood." She crossed herself.

        Trying not to look, Mary went to John's side. "You're really hurt," she said, rubbing his arm.

        "Yeah, but I'll survive."

        Mary looked up and swallowed down a lump in her throat. "Natraya..."

        John, wincing, replied only, "Yeah." He took a little time to wipe his eyes and get control of his emotions before asking, "Are you okay?"

        Mary, nodding her head, replied, "Much better, now that I know you're alright. I couldn't get to you because of the zombies."

        "How'd you get away from them?"

        Glancing at Theresa, she said, "Theresa brought Paul down off the bulldozer and he told them to let me go. They left us alone after that."

        John smiled at Theresa warmly. Because of the things she'd said, he knew it must've been hard for her to allow Paul to use those abilities for any reason. If she thought it was forbidden for him to talk to the dead, commanding and controlling them must seem far worse. "Thanks for looking out for us. It won't be forgotten."

        Theresa felt that he meant it. She returned a small smile to him, humble and a little embarrassed. After taking a look at his leg herself, Theresa said, "We can make a splint with some of this wood. I've got some scarves in my purse; we can tie it on with those."

        John had to laugh. "Is there anything you don't have in that purse?"

        Laughing too, Mary added, "It takes up half the cab."

        Theresa instructed Paul to sit on the floor and keep his back turned to them while they put John's leg in a splint. The room was full of so much that could scar a child forever - Theresa hoped she could shield him from any further horrific sights. Once they had three pieces of wood tied firmly to John's leg, Mary and Theresa looked at each other and sighed. They knew the hardest part was still ahead of them.

        "I think if we both carry you, we can get you to the bulldozer without hurting you," Mary said, and then added sheepishly, "...too much."

        With an arm around Mary's shoulders and the other arm around Theresa's, John was carefully lifted to his feet. The movement made him wince, but it didn't hurt as much as it could have. The trip out of the house and to the bulldozer was a slow and occasionally painful one. John held his leg up, trying not to jostle it, and used the women as crutches so he could walk with just one leg. Paul followed beside his mother.

        John didn't think that he could ever feel as glad just to reach the place that he'd been going as when he took a seat on the side of the bulldozer. Getting him into the cab proved to be the hardest part; they had trouble doing it without bumping his broken leg against anything that stuck out. Unfortunately for John, the cab of a bulldozer was a sea of things that stuck out.

        He finally leaned back, panting, his broken leg splinted straight so that it had to poke between the two front seats.

        "You okay?" asked Theresa.

        Still panting from the effort, John gave her a thumbs-up.

        Theresa started to climb into the cab. John shook his head. "What?" she said.

        "Natraya," John began. "We can't just leave her here. We have to take her body back with us so the authorities can send her home."

        "And Beth..." Mary added.

        Throwing up her hands in a full body shrug, Theresa cried, "How are we going to explain any of this to the police?!"

        No one had an answer.

        "We'll figure that out later. Let's just get them for now. I'd do it myself, but it should be obvious why I can't..." John trailed off.

        They could tell that the events of the night were causing Theresa to break down. "My son, he's seen too much already... I just want to take him home." Her hand shook as she pushed some of her hair off her forehead.

        "We all want to go home. But Natraya gave her life defending us. We're going to reward her by leaving her here?" John said in a harsh tone.

        Mary scolded, "John..." Then she turned to Theresa, stroking her arm. "I know the night has been tough. But let's just do this one last thing, okay?"

        On the verge of tears, Theresa responded, "I don't know if I can touch a dead person..."

        "It's an unpleasant thought, yeah... but we can get a blanket from the house and wrap her in it. You don't have to touch her."

        Paul took his mother's hand. "Natraya was a nice person, Mommy. She'd be lonely and sad if we left her here."

        Letting out a deep sigh, Theresa tried to smile and squeezed Paul's hand. "Okay, honey. We'll take her with us."

        Paul looked over at a spot near the bulldozer that seemed empty to everyone else and smiled.

        "Be careful," John warned. Paul stayed with him in the cab as Theresa and Mary headed back to the damaged house. John wished his leg wasn't broken so he could go with them. To pass the time, he talked to Paul. "How ya doin', kid?"

        Paul's eyelids drooped and opened, drooped and opened. "I'm sleepy," he said.

        John frowned a little; it was too late for a kid to be up anyway. "Why don't you lay down and go to sleep while we're waiting for your mom?"

        With a nod, Paul curled up on his side in the seat and closed his eyes.

        When she entered the house, Mary immediately looked at Natraya's body, suspended against the wall. She didn't know at first why Theresa gasped.

        John warily watched the house. He wished the girls would hurry up. The town was so quiet that it startled him when Beth stood up and started to amble toward the house. John, eyes wide, checked the boy. Paul was nearly asleep.

        "Crap," he mumbled to himself.

        Mary looked to the right and saw that Jordan was gone. "Where'd he go?! He was just there a minute ago!"

        "Let's get out of here," Theresa said, her voice shaking.

        John's voice, cutting through the air between the bulldozer and the house, scared them both. "Mary! Theresa! Run! Jordan's alive!"

        They turned to see Jordan standing in the opening in the wall made by the crane. "Surprise..."

        Frantic, John called to all of the construction equipment. "Come to me! I need your help! Two innocent women are going to die if you don't help them!"

        Mary and Theresa reached for each other, taking each other's hands. "How did you do that, Jordan?" Mary asked. "You were cut nearly in half."

        He grinned at them in smug triumph. "Just like you, Mary, I hid an ability from the others." Unbuttoning his shirt, Jordan showed them his chest. It was still healing back together along a bloody, jagged line. The women both covered their mouths and gasped. "I can heal myself quickly, even mortal injuries. I've got some powers of regeneration too. You could say that I'm invincible."

        Mary and Theresa backed up so far that Mary bumped into Natraya's body. The Thai woman wasn't even cold yet. They had to find a way to get around Jordan and out of the house.

        John's yelling roused Paul; the boy had hardly even had time to fall asleep. "What's the matter? Is my mommy okay?"

        "Everything's just fine, Paul. Go back to sleep." John didn't want to put the child in danger when he couldn't protect him.

        Paul looked at the house. "Mommy's scared!"

        With a growl, Jordan ran at Mary, grabbing for her throat. Theresa screamed. "What makes you so special?!" Jordan yelled. "Why does he like you best?!"

        Mary clawed at his face and pounded at his shoulders with her fists. "Let me go!"

        Jordan managed to close his hands around her throat, cutting off Mary's air. "I'll figure it out! If I have to try all night, I'll figure out why he likes you best!"

        Theresa struck him across the back with a board studded with nails. Jordan tried to ignore it, but she hit him again with a frustrated scream. He released Mary, who stood bent over against the wall, coughing, trying to recover, and turned to Theresa. The smug and evil look on his face shook her confidence for a moment, but she still managed to swing at Jordan again. He caught hold of the board and shoved it back into her stomach. Theresa doubled over, gasping for air.

        By the time Jordan turned back around, Mary had gotten a weapon of her own. She threw her hands out in front of her and rasped, "Stop!"

        Jordan was pushed back several feet by Natraya's concussion blast. Because Natraya was dead, the power Mary had pulled off of her was very weak. He smirked at Mary, mocking her. "You did say you were a Mimic too, didn't you?"

        "I am. Apparently, I can pull stuff off people who are dead as well."

        "Nifty trick. But I'm sure if she'd been dead any longer, you wouldn't have been able to do it."

        "What's the matter, Jordan? Afraid I'm a better Mimic than you?" Mary teased. "Maybe that's why the Yellow-Eyed Man likes me better. Or should I say, why he likes me best."

        Growling, Jordan charged forward and threw his arms out. Nothing happened. "Damn it, I've lost the power!"

        Theresa, finally recovering enough to move, ran into the kitchen to find a shorter, heavier, deadlier weapon. Some copper pipes stood in a group against one wall, in the corner. She grabbed one and turned around just in time to see Beth come from a side door, raise her arm, and bring it down on her neck. Beth had been aiming for the back of her head, but Theresa turned too fast. She heard John yelling something; her son's name was said. Then Paul was running into the house through the same door.

        Theresa went down on one knee. She opened her mouth to instruct Paul to go back to the bulldozer, but he spoke instead. "Beth, stop!"

        She instantly obeyed.

        "Just start walking. Don't come back, not even if Jordan tells you to," he told her.

        "Yes, master," Beth said, and walked out of the house.

        Theresa shuddered hard. Yes, master. That was her son that zombie had been talking to, that abomination. It obeyed him, a four-year-old boy. She had to make sure Paul never used these powers again. They were a sin. No matter how she felt about it, Theresa did not refuse to hug Paul when he came to her, just her little boy again.

        "Mommy! Are you okay?"

        "I'll be fine, Paul. Go back to the bulldozer with John. Mary and I will be out in a minute."

        "You promise?"

        Theresa held up the three-foot-long pipe. "I promise."

        Meanwhile, Jordan tried to win Mary over by telling her what he knew about her. "The Yellow-Eyed Man and I have talked about you. We've talked about you a lot. I know you can manipulate memories."

        Mary winced only slightly, but enough for him to notice.

        "I know what you did to your uncle."

        Her lips curled back off her teeth. "Shut up."

        "He shouldn't have done that to you, Mary. He should have been someone you could trust. You were just a child. A sick bastard like that who ruins the childhood of a beautiful girl like you for his own sexual pleasure deserves anything bad you'd ever want to do to him. You reduced him to a simpering little baby, Mary. Just wiped his mind clean," Jordan said, recounting what the Yellow-Eyed Man had told him.

        Mary didn't want to hear about it, talk about it, remember it. They were the only memories she'd ever tried to erase that had completely resisted her efforts. Those memories just sat there, festering, rotting inside her. "I told you to shut up!" Mary yelled angrily, on the verge of tears.

        Jordan continued. "You don't have anything to be ashamed of, Mary. I know what that anger feels like. What you did... it was a beautiful thing."

        Theresa came quietly into the room. She held the pipe ready and signaled to Mary; Mary realized what she wanted her to do. "Jordan, I rooted around in your memories when you touched me. What your mother did to you wasn't right, but you had no right to kill all those people. You and I... we're not alike."

        "Yes we are," he insisted.

        "No. I'll never be like that." Mary checked to make sure she still had Natraya's power coursing through her. "I'll never bow at the heels of a master I can't even trust like a pathetic, slobbering dog just to win some contest I never volunteered to join. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm getting out of here. John is waiting for me."

        Angry and hurt, Jordan said, "I'm better than him."

        "Wow, you just can't make up your mind, can you? One minute you're trying to choke me, the next you've got the hots for me again. This is why I want to go with John," Mary explained, trying to make him mad. "I like a guy who knows exactly who he is. I don't like mama's boys, Jordy."

        His face twitched with fury and pain. With an angry scream, Jordan rushed at her. Mary threw her arms out in front of her and blasted him. Her blasts were still weak, but it was strong enough to knock Jordan back toward Theresa. She held up the pipe. Jordan stumbled, almost flying, into her, and she stabbed the pipe through his body.

        Jordan screamed, the pain showing all over his face. The pipe protruded from the middle of his chest, missing his heart. Mary wondered if it would even matter if they stabbed him in the heart, or cut off his head... would he just keep coming? Theresa shoved him over and then moved away. Jordan fell to his hands and knees.

        "Come on, Mary, let's go!" Theresa grabbed her hand and pulled her toward the opening in the wall.

        As they were running out, Jordan snarled, "You can't get away! This is nothing!"

        "Start the bulldozer!" Theresa was yelling on their way out of the house. She stopped and covered her mouth, stifling a gasp, as she realized John was already on top of it.

        "Way ahead of ya," John called. The bulldozer and crane had been joined by the tractor with the rototiller and the drilling machine. The two latter machines waited for Jordan to come out. They revved like roaring wild animals that couldn't wait to rip apart their prey.

        John waved the women over. Mary and Theresa hurried to the bulldozer and waited there in plain sight, acting as bait.

        When Jordan managed to get to his feet, he didn't even take the time to remove the pipe. He was so angry that he just charged right out of the house. The tractor backed up rapidly, pushing the rototiller behind it.

        Theresa whirled around and screamed, "Paul, hide your eyes!"

        Jordan looked to his right a second before the rototiller backed over him. Its turning blades caught hold of his pant leg and dragged his leg under and into it. He began to scream because he couldn't get away; the blades were like a vacuum, pulling him in. Jordan's entire body was dragged under the spinning row of sharp blades. Blood flowed as they cut him to ribbons.

        With a sick groan, Theresa hid her face. Mary couldn't watch either. John made sure that Paul didn't see it, but he watched every bit of the carnage himself, just to make sure that Jordan did not revive again.

        The blades made loud metallic pinging noises when they struck the pipe coming out of Jordan's chest. When it seemed the rototiller had done as much damage as it could do, John asked the tractor to move it out of the way so he could finish the job. As soon as the blades stopped cutting into him, Jordan attempted to begin putting himself back together. He cried out loudly in pain as his useless limbs moved jerkily through the dirt, and it seemed that he might not be successful in repairing the damage this time.

        John wanted to be sure. He asked the drilling machine to move in now. "You don't want to look yet, any of you."

        Theresa climbed on the side of the bulldozer, reached into the cab, and covered Paul's ears.

        Jordan was twitching and making gagging noises; his blood was running out so fast that he didn't seem to be able to heal his skin back together where it had been shredded and cut. He was able to snarl, "Wiiinchesteeerrrr..." just before the drill bit started to whirl. Theresa much preferred that sound to the noises Jordan was making. But not even the motor of the huge drill could drown out his screaming when the drill bit descended. Blood and tissue was thrown in every direction.

        Even John winced, eventually closing his eyes to the spray of blood and dirt and the mad twitching of what was left of Jordan's arms and legs. Once the other man had nearly stopped making those horrible pain-filled noises, John swallowed hard and said to the drilling machine, "Now the face."

        Jordan was some type of monster. No human could heal himself like that, not so quickly, not in a way that allowed him to survive fatal wounds. If John didn't finish him off, Jordan would just come back like he had before. John had to protect Mary, Theresa, and Paul. He hadn't been able to save Beth and Natraya, but he'd make sure no one else died.

        John would protect the innocent, even if it meant his own life.

        "Don't look," he warned again.

        The noises were horrible. But soon, it was all over. The drill had reduced Jordan to something unrecognizable, and John doubted he'd be able to revive. Just to be safe, he asked the drilling machine to park on top of what was left of him. "If someone else comes along and tries to move you, you stay put, okay?" John said to the machine. "Unless their intention is to bury what's under your wheels, or to burn it. I can't do it right now, so you must guard his remains."

        The drilling machine sent back a mental nod.

        "Let's go now," Theresa said desperately. "Before anything else happens, let's get out of here."

        "But Natraya..." John began.

        "I'm not staying here any longer!" Theresa snapped, and got behind the wheel of the bulldozer.

        "Mommy," Paul began, "if I asked Natraya to come here, she'd do it. Wouldn't that be easy?"

        Gripping the wheel tightly in her fingers, Theresa held back the urge to snap at her son too. They could have this talk when they got home. For now, she replied, "Yes, that would be easy. Go ahead."

        Paul smiled, proud that he had thought of what seemed like a good solution.

        By the time Natraya laid herself down on the empty ledge behind the cab, Theresa was sobbing to herself. They all tried to avoid looking at the bloody, gaping hole in her chest. She said something to Paul in Thai that none of them could understand, but Theresa thought she knew what it meant - "Yes, master."

        "She's still speaking Thai. How does she understand him?" John wondered. "Must be some kind of necromancer thing."

        "He's not a necromancer!" Theresa suddenly shrieked. Everyone jumped, especially Paul. "He's just a little boy!"

        Mary put an arm around her shoulders. "Theresa, we'll be out of here soon. Get a hold of yourself."

        "He's just my little boy," Theresa said to her desperately.

        "Of course. Nothing can change that." Mary patted her shoulder.

        John saw Paul looking forlorn in reaction. He leaned over and told the child, "Go ahead and finish it. It'll be okay. Your mom's just tired."

        Trying to smile, Paul turned to Natraya and said, "Go to sleep."

        She closed her eyes and lay back, motionless, silent, unbreathing.

        "Maybe you better let me drive," Mary suggested.

        A few minutes later, Theresa and Paul were both practically passed out in the passenger seat while Mary drove the bulldozer through the dense forest, knocking down and crushing every tree that stood in their way. Mary drove around any tree that seemed too thick or tall for the bulldozer to handle.

        They had been at it for a good twenty minutes when John leaned as forward as his broken leg would let him and said, "You're a very strong young woman, Mary Campbell. I think I could fall in love with you."

        She grinned to herself. "So go ahead," she replied, and leaned back so they could share their first real kiss, slow and romantic.

        After an hour, Mary was the only one awake. The forest was vast and daunting; she could see why the Yellow-Eyed Man had chosen such an isolated town for his competition.

        "We never had a clear winner."

        Mary instantly knew whose voice she was hearing in her head. She looked to her left and saw that they were driving up on the Yellow-Eyed Man. He just stood out there, as if he had always been there.

        Stopping the bulldozer, Mary had a conversation with him in her mind, so the others would not be awakened. "You don't want to fuck with me anymore tonight. We're going home."

        "Such language, Mary. I'm sorry, but I can't let you leave until someone wins my contest. Oh, wait, I've just told a lie."
He grinned and giggled. "I'm not sorry at all."

        Mary just grinned back. He'd never seen such a look on her face. So confident and impish. "You're going to let us pass without incident. In fact, you're going to forget that any of us even exist. Your generation of 1954 was wiped out. Everyone killed each other. No winner. A failure."

        The Yellow-Eyed Man laughed. "And why would I do that?"

        "Because you're not a man at all. You've transformed yourself into what I can only describe as demonic energy and possessed an ordinary man. You're the Yellow-Eyed Demon. I don't know your real name, because isn't it bad for demons to reveal their real names to mortals? Gives us power over you. But no matter, because I already have power over you. I've gripped the memory center of the man you're possessing in my talons and I'm not letting go,"
Mary explained, the grin spreading, crawling, across her face. "Now I can see what you really are, through his memories."

        "I won't forget!"
the Yellow-Eyed Demon cried.

        "But you're already forgetting. Isn't it sad for you that you can't escape Hell without possessing someone? People are so fragile, aren't they, Yellow-Eyed Demon? So easy to manipulate, with such twistable minds. Even a mere human like me can bend them to my will. You're just as easy to manipulate as the person you possess. If he forgets, so will you." Mary sent him a mental giggle. "And you will forget."


        "Who am I, Yellow-Eyed Demon?"

        "You're Mary, one of the generation of... Mary Cam... Mary..."

        "Mary died. Everyone killed each other."

        She could feel him trying to shake it off. "The generation of 1954 was a failure. Everyone killed each other." He paused, and then screamed, "NO! That's not right!"

        "But it is right. You were so disappointed with it that over time, you couldn't even remember their names. That failure was your greatest shame."

        The Yellow-Eyed Demon suddenly yelled, "Did your face look that ruthless and evil when you wiped your uncle's mind clean?"

        Mary, unshaken, just went on smiling. "I don't know. I'd tell you to ask him, but he wouldn't remember."

        "It won't be permanent,"
the Yellow-Eyed Demon assured. "One day, you're going to let your guard down, and then I'll remember all of you. And I'll be coming to get you."

        Mentally shrugging, Mary responded, "I'll take my chances."

        A few more minutes of working on the man's memory and the Yellow-Eyed Demon let them pass like he didn't even see them. "Such a shame," he said to himself with a shake of his head. "I really thought Mary was a contender for champion."


        By the time they reached a road, another hour had passed, and Mary was exhausted to the point of nearly passing out. Memory manipulation carried to that extent always drained her energy. She was grateful when she saw the car headlights coming to a stop just ten feet from the bulldozer.

        Two young women got out of the car. "I thought you said Mary was here," one said to the other.

        She pointed to the bulldozer. "I did. She's in there."

        The girl glared in disbelief at the machine. "What the hell is she doing driving a bulldozer?!"

        Mary climbed down out of the cab and ran to her two sisters, throwing an arm around each of them. "Jenn! Judy! I'm so glad you found me!"

        Jenn put her first two fingers to her temple. "Took me a bit to home in on you, but I eventually got your location. How the hell did you get in South Dakota?"

        There had been many times when Mary was sorry that her older sister had this psychic power of being able to home in on anyone she wanted like a human radar. When she wanted to hide with a good book and Jenn just wouldn't stop bothering her. When she snuck off to the drive-in with a cute boy. And especially when she and another cute boy made use of an empty room at a party to make out - having your older sister burst in on you to play mother hen when you and the boy were already half naked wasn't Mary's idea of a fun time. But right now? Mary couldn't be happier to be found.

        Judy looked at the other people in the bulldozer, the path of crushed trees behind them, and the dried blood that had run down one side of the machine, and cried, "What the Jesus-jumping-up-and-down-Christ have you been doing?!"

        "I'll be happy to explain it to you. You're not going to believe a word of it, but I'll be happy to explain." Mary started to turn to introduce the others, but the world swayed before her eyes. "Later," she added, and fainted to the ground.

On to Epilogue: Plastic Dashboard Jesus

The Generation of 1954 (c) 2007 Demented Stuff
Supernatural (c) 2005+ Kripke Enterprises, Wonderland, & Warner Brothers/The CW Television
Miracles is (c) 2003 Spyglass Entertainment and Touchstone Television

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