I think that this has turned more into an alternative version of Spiritualist, or more into its own story than a rewrite but either way, I think this is going to be good trip that I hope you all join me on and enjoy. Please review!
CHAPTER THREE: THE STRENGHT OF THE BEYOND PART II
Danny could feel it the entire time, just lingering in the shadows and corners, watching them, waiting for the chance to strike. Likely, it was trying to assess the threat before an attack, but it was only a matter of time. He entered each room with narrow, calculating eyes, letting his energy pour from him in warning to everything around him. From the corner of his eyes, he could see the darker presence in the corners retreat away from him at the use of power. Good. It's not indestructible. The cameras had already been set up on the first floor along with EMF readings and initial notes – the exact spots of suicides were noted as colder than the surrounding area, the master bedroom on the lower floor was colder as a whole (likely due to more murders taking place in there as well as suicides). That left his group – including Monk, whom he learned was actually a monk despite looking like a rock musician, and John, an Australian priest – to the do the third floor while below them, Naru, Masako, and Ayako were at work. Yasu had left shortly after they entered the mansion to return to the van, claiming that he didn't feel very comfortable and was more suited to watch over the cameras than to investigate. No one argued with him.
He let out a vile cough as they ascended the stairs, lifting the collar of his shirt to cover his nose and mouth. One hand went to the railing to support himself until the coughing subsided, the other idly hovering over where his inhaler sat in his pocket. Monk patted his back roughly in support, causing Danny to choke on one last violent cough, briefly shooting a glare at the sheepish monk.
"Asthma," he explained as he lowered the collar, "Doesn't exactly work in my favor at old locations and it seems like they don't really use the third floor."
He eyed the covers over the paintings on the wall and the dusty sheets draped over any furniture. The dust was thick enough that if he were to drag a finger against the wall, it would leave a clean mark behind. He couldn't hide his disgusted expression and apparently, neither could the others.
"The wife said no one came up here anymore," Monk carefully walked across the floor, testing each floorboard with one foot before he stepped onto it with his full weight. "I didn't think she meant for the last ten years! This is ridiculous!"
He couldn't hide his disgust, his face portraying all of his emotions.
"Just be careful." John walked calmly across the room, his Bible in front of his chest, "And be on the lookout for anything unusual. Danny, what is the best place for the cameras?"
Danny had to stop to let out another small series of coughs before he answered. "Probably here at the top of the stairs and one in each room at least. Maybe do another at the end of the hall too to cover the full hallway while this one would cover down the staircase. Can't be too careful."
He set up the camera in question with ease, despite the weight of the equipment. Monk watched him carefully, the way Danny's eyes were narrowed in concentration yet kept dodging around the area. He raised an eyebrow at the way Danny kept shuddering or moving off to the side suddenly, wondering if perhaps there was something there that he simply could not see.
"Everything alright," Monk asked carefully, daring to step a bit closer, a hand reaching out to help if needed. Danny ignored the offered hand, waving it off.
"I'm fine, there's just a lot of restless spirits here that keep making jabs at me. More annoying than anything else."
He swatted at thin air, moving off to the side yet again to dodge something the normal eye couldn't perceive. His comment grabbed attention as John turned sharply with concern.
"Are they harmless," John asks tentatively, "Is it going to be a problem?"
Danny furrowed his brows, standing up as he finished the camera set up. "A problem? Nah, not these. Restless spirits was a… broad term. These guys are more like imprints."
He walked over to the wall, pressing his palm against it. He could feel it stirring underneath his skin, energy shooting out at him only to get soaked into his own energy. If he closed his eyes and listened, he could hear their faint moaning and the sounds of gunshots. The energy beneath him felt like static electricity attracting to him. It wasn't uncommon – energy from previous deaths were bound to be left behind if the deaths were traumatic enough or big enough.
"I don't think they're the ones that this entity has trapped though, these ones feel…. Residual. It's just the deaths, soaked into the walls and floorboards. Nothing sentient, nothing even remotely related to actual spirits. Just these deaths… replaying over and over again in the spot they took place. We'll probably find some more downstairs, it's just stronger up here, probably since this is where the first deaths took place."
"So why are they lashing at you then," Monk put his hand close to Danny's on the wall and while he didn't feel much, he could admit that the wall felt colder and more textured than the wallpaper should have allowed.
"Lashing is a strong word to use," Danny winced, "You know how you're not supposed to water on an oil fire? Same thing here. The energy is reacting to my presence on a primal level that doesn't really mean sentience. There's some noise, but it's nothing different than the noise this energy would normally cause. Just a kettle whistling from the recreation."
"But it's not related to the entity," John pressed for clarity, his brows furrowing at Danny's explanation; in some way, it made sense. He wasn't a stranger to people's past lives or experiences imprinting their energy into the area around them. However, he wasn't sure if residual energy could respond the way Danny's describing unless his own energy is strong enough to interfere and soak into the area as well. The odds of any type of psychic having enough energy to get a reaction from residual energy around them was slim and practically unheard of.
Danny nodded, "Yeah residual energy like this is just that – residual. It's not something anything could feed from and once I'm out of here, the energy's reaction will die down. It won't be able to interact with the living or the people here beyond residual noises – noises and things that had already happened and just keep replaying over and over, regardless of what else is going on. My guess is this residual energy is just related to the deaths, but not the spirits. I'm sure after we get the spirits gone and the entity exercised, it's likely the family here will still here gunshots and probably some moaning from the suicides and murders."
Monk and John nodded at the information – that sounded more like the residual energy they were used to, yet the idea of something even if it was harmless, still at the house after they would be finished didn't sit well.
"Would there be anything we could do to lower the amount of residual energy whenever we get finished here?"
Danny scratched the back of his neck, carefully thinking over Monk's question, "Maybe. If the family wants it gone, I guess sometime after we finish up I could come back and take care of it…But nothing is going to happen if we don't finish this up. We still have cameras to set up and readings to take."
Despite the questions that stirred in their minds, such as how Danny would get rid of the energy, but it was clear that Danny had no intentions of answering anymore questions. Monk's eyes narrowed, unsure what to make of the psychic's avoidance of questions. He understood the need for privacy when it came to personal techniques, but Danny made it sound as if he could rid the energy all together. He knew there were psychics capable of lowering residual energy, but it would take a group of at least three psychics to transfer and remove the energy itself. Danny, however, didn't strike him as the type to join up with others that often. He seemed to be doing fine so far with their little group, but there was a lot that remained to be seen. Like just how powerful this guy really is.
They worked in solemn silence, Monk groaning and shifting at the weight of the cameras he set up, eying Danny's ease with them with jealous envy. Maybe he wears that jacket to hide how ripped he is, Monk thought bitterly, only to be a bit more annoyed when Danny took the cameras from his arms. His easy smile made Monk's tension disappear slightly. Give the guy a break Monk, he just wants to help. He hasn't done anything wrong. Yet.
"So Danny," Monk spoke up, "You have your own research center, so why did you take up Lin's call and come down here? I'd imagine a big shot like you would have his hands too full to help."
Danny sighed slightly as he finished up another camera in one of the top rooms, "I do have my schedule pretty filled, but it's really hard to turn down such a major case. If Shibuya had to swallow down his own pride enough to ask for help, I knew you guys must've really needed it. My sister says I have too much of a heroic complex – it's hard not to help when you know you have people that need you."
"A sister," John asked curiously, "Considering you showed up alone, I thought you ran Fenton Flames by yourself."
Danny snorted, "Nah, I'm not that organized. My older sister, Jazz, takes care of the actual business aspects of our organization. I just do all the grunt work. I couldn't do all of this without her." His eyes grew soft and a bit distance as his work pace slowed, almost freezing to a stop. "I know she has her hands full between the business and watching over our little sister. I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate her help."
Monk's expression softened, placing a hand on Danny's shoulder. Danny may have not said it, but both Monk and John caught the underling fact – Danny must not have parents around if it was just him and his sister at the organization, with her looking after their younger sister at that. It was something that didn't simply happen if there were parents involved to look after the youngest or to help their children. Danny tensed a bit at the touch, but quickly relaxed and released a deep breath at Monk's comforting gesture. He offered a small smile in appreciation before the hand dropped, Monk giving him a solid nod of understanding.
"Well, there's no use standing around here," Monk announced, "Why don't we finish this up to rejoin with the others?"
Yasu watched over the cameras carefully, Lin sitting calmly beside him. Their evidence wasn't necessarily lacking, but nothing huge stood out as of yet. Thanks to the microphones Danny and the others wore, they wrote down Danny's notes of residual energy on the third floor along with another that it was possible there it went around the whole property due to the amount of deaths. Their notebooks in front of them listed numerous camera numbers and locations, as well as time stamps for particular noises and movement that wasn't due to their team members – a portrait on the stairway wall close to the third floor suddenly turning frantically around on its hook before stopping just before Danny and others walked downstairs, a few orbs in the lower level master bedroom, a shadow on the second floor.
Mai had chosen to use her time taking a much-needed nap in the back of the van – only after Yasu heavily insisted she got her rest. He didn't have the heart to tell her that with a case this dangerous, they may need whatever information and flashbacks she could acquire in her dreams.
"Wait Lin," Yasu paused, his eyebrows furrowed as he removed his headset to turn to his companion, "Go back ten seconds on camera three, floor two. I thought I heard something."
Lin nodded, doing as asked, paying close attention to his own headset audio. Camera three flashed on the screen as the video rewound – Naru's group had just went by the camera when it pressed play. There was distant sounds of Ayako and Masako talking the far background, but closer to the camera there was another voice. Soft and broken, they listened closer. Lin took the audio and clipped it into a separate file, nodding toward Yasu to go ahead and watch the present-playing cameras for anymore evidence as he isolated the sound as much as he could. Suddenly, Lin took off his headset and rushed to grab his walkie.
"Naru this is Lin," Lin barked into the device, "Be careful, we caught some audio by your group that can mean trouble."
There was a static-filled pause.
"What did it say?"
Lin's expression turned solemn, his eyes narrowed dangerously, "It wants to kill again."
Where am I, Mai thought as she wandered through a dark hallway. Shadows lurked around her, just shy of touching her. Am I back in the house? She didn't remember going back in – Naru and the others were fairly adamant about her not joining them, despite how frustrated it made her that she couldn't help. She wandered through the hall and as the fuzziness of her surroundings sunk in, she knew that she had to be dreaming. Again. Great – this is just great, dreamwalking or astral projection or whatever, right through a house where something is supposed to be sucking the life out of spirits. She shivered, bringing her arms in close around her body. She wondered if, when she was like this, if she was like a spirit. I don't want to find out if it can do it to me. Her heart pounded within her chest. She wanted to help, but not like this. Everything felt so wrong, as if something was lingering just behind her. She wasn't sure if she wanted to look behind her shoulder to find out if that feeling was right. Her spine tingled, her gut screaming at her that someone, or something, was following right behind her. Her pace quickened. She could feel a cold breath down the back of her neck, the hair on her arms standing straight up as it broke out into goosebumps. She could feel arms wrapping around her, but a sudden bright light up ahead caused it to let go, as if burned.
She wasn't sure what the light was, but she basked in the warmth it created. It felt… safe. It was homely and if she took in a deep breath, she welcomed the scent of fresh jasmine tea. She closed her eyes and let it wrap itself around her, pulling her into its depths. It felt good, pure. She took a deep breath and opened her eyes, squinting as the light briefly blinded her. As her eyes adjusted, she walked toward the source of the light. I'll take it over what's behind me. It drowned out the dark shadows, the creepy evil lurking sensation of the walls. She could see a figure within the light, illuminating against it. Who is that? She got closer, blinking rapidly before finally, it was apparent the figure was Danny. He stood at the end of the hall talking to someone around the corner. He didn't seem to notice nor care about the blinding light around him and if she looked even closer, she could swear it was if the light was coming from within him. Maybe that's an aura? But why is his so bright? She never heard of auras producing such strong feelings either.
She could feel the dark presence still lurking, just shy of the light. From the corner of her eyes, she could see it. It was there pinned against the wall like a caged animal, towering up into the ceiling to avoid the light. She couldn't help but turn from the light to look at it directly. She covered her mouth as she let out a horrified gasp, her heart beating wildly in her chest as her eyes grew wide with fear. It was so wrong – so evil. It stared directly at her and as it let out a deathly, horrifying screech, she crumbled to her knees, desperately clasping her ears with her hands. It felt as if it were a thousand damned souls screaming all at once, screeching as their life was taken away from them and they were forced to a horrible death. Tears began to form in the corners of her eyes and she was only faintly aware of a liquid-like substance between her fingers.
She looked up desperately, only to meet Danny's eyes. It was if he saw her, saw everything, his expression softening in pity before he turned to the entity with a harsh glare. Everything grew fuzzier as her eyes became heavy. She could see a flash of bright green before she was knocked out.
Mai woke up with a start, sweat gathering on her brow as she panted heavily for air. Her hand went to her chest in an attempt to calm her ever-beating heart. She could feel tears bristling at her eyes once more, the screech still echoing in her mind. What was that? That was too much to be a dream so I must have astral projected again. She couldn't shake the uneasy feeling in her chest, the image of the dark entity she saw blaring in her mind. The idea that what she saw was actually there in the house made her skin crawl.
Yasu was quick to get to her, helping her sit up as his eyes shined with worry and concern. Lin glanced over to them, his eyes narrowing as he saw Mai's state.
"What did you see," Lin's voice was curt and lacked any warmth or understanding – if Mai didn't know any better, he sounded frantic. Desperate even.
"I saw the entity," Mai's voice trembled as much as her body, she drew her arms in close to her and hugged herself tightly in an effort to gain any comfort. Tears bristled at the corners of her eyes and she tried her best to blink them away. "It's so… evil. I was in the house and it tried to get to me, but -"
"-But what," Lin's patience was growing thin. With the voice they overheard, they couldn't afford any chances. Anything she may have saw or did could make the difference on whether or not that entity succeeds in its plans. "What stopped it from getting you?"
Mai was quiet too long for Lin's liking. She refused to look up at any of them as she thought everything over carefully. She could swear that Danny actually saw her, but that was impossible – right?
"A light," she finally answered, "A big, bright white light. I walked to it and… there was Danny. He was standing right in the middle of the light, like he was the one emitting it. I… It was like he saw me and the entity, like he was trying to protect me. But the entity didn't like it. It just kept screaming…. I saw a green light and then suddenly, I woke up."
She looked up at them with wide eyes, "But that's impossible, isn't it? He can't have the strong of an aura, can he?"
Lin frowned thoughtfully, "It's unheard of, but I wouldn't say impossible…"
He doubted that Danny could have seen Mai and the entity, at least in the clarity Mai was claiming. To have that much of a connection to the other side wasn't just unheard of, but it truly was impossible. But if he really does have that power and if his aura is strong enough and pure enough to repeal the entity… Lin's eyes sharpened as he grabbed the walkie yet again, calling out another order.
"Naru – be on the lookout for Danny. He might be in danger."