The figure before all of them turned to look at them. Sagebear immediately stepped forward and tried to sniff his feet.
He smiled down at her. “You came back! And you brought friends! And…” Here he bent down to Sebastian and looked him in the eyes. “And Sebastian came back too!”
Sebastian’s face was already streaked with dried tears. His lower lip trembled as he tried to fathom the reality of seeing Liam now.
The other six watched on dumbfoundedly. Most of them didn’t even know who on earth these two men were. Sinbad then spoke up and asked what was on all their minds:
“Will someone please explain to me what the fuck is going on? How is the guy in the bathtub walking around and yammering to some blond dude we don’t know?”
Liam looked back up at the rude questions. “Oh, right! I should probably start at the beginning, and…what happened to me.”
Horse-Face looked over the notes he’d been forced to write. So far, most if not all of the shortcuts were on the page.
“All we need now is the southwest part of town and-” He was stopped by The Builder’s hand tightly gripping his shoulder.
Looking behind him, he saw their face scrunched up in a most displeased scowl. He saw what was making them so displeased.
“The science lab? What do we need there?” The Builder didn’t answer him. Instead, they dragged him towards the entrance.
“Come on, Horsey!” They said in a hardened, icy tone. “I got some unfinished business to take care of.
Taking a moment to clear his throat, Liam began his strange tale.
“A while back, I was working under the tutelage of a group of well-respected scientists. I think they were enlisted by the government?”
Liam began twirling his hands in thought. “They let me know about what was going on in the lab. I guess the last experiment they worked on was…some kind of specimen?”
“Specimen?” Marc seemed interested in this, unusually so. “What, was it some kind of new species, maybe?”
“No…” Liam shook his head. “It was a woman. Just what we thought was an ordinary woman. But I guess she wasn’t.”
He bit his lip, trying not to cry. “I didn’t like seeing them abuse her so much. It was bad enough in the beginning, but then…”
Then he paused, which made Sinbad impatient. “Then…what? Why’d you chicken out when some lady was getting beat?” He immediately regretted his choice of words when he saw Marc flinch.
Liam shook his head sadly. “After a while, it turned out she was pregnant. I tried getting her help, but the others wouldn’t let me. Then I was fired from my job, which I guess turned out to be a blessing in disguise.”
He stopped again, gauging the reactions of all those who were listening.
The pristine exterior of the science lab belied the true, scarred interior.
Scuttling away, Horse-Face looked on in horror as The Builder destroyed the already badly damaged equipment in a fit of rage.
“Lousy, stupid, mother-fuckin’…!” Their assault was merciless, as they spewed obscenities while smashing every item in sight.
Horse-Face didn’t know why they were so enraged, and he didn’t want to know. He tried to stay out of their line of sight as they threw various machines about.
“Make my pre-school years a living hell, huh? Treat me like some guinea pig, and not letting me spend time with Mommy!
“Well…” The Builder stopped before pulling out their knife, and stood before many large stacks of paper. “Who’s laughing now, ya insipid fucks?!”
With that, The Builder proceeded to laugh maniacally as they stabbed everything before them.
“A few months after I was fired, I found out the scientists who were experimenting on that lady were killed. All of them.” Liam continued speaking, seeing everyone properly horrified. Even Sebastian had stopped crying to look fearful.
“Killed? Do ya think the lady was the one that did it?” Blaise asked him as she bent forward to pick up Sagebear.
Here Liam shrugged. “I don’t know that. When investigators tried to find any surveillance footage, it was all gone. No one knew what happened to them, except there were a lot of stab wounds on the bodies.
“Then, about a week ago,” Liam said while his voice dropped, “I realized there was a chance I could have been blamed for all of it. I had possible motives, I had reasons, and I guess…”
Then he pointed to his corpse in the bathtub. “Looking back now, though, it was probably a horrible mistake. I took my own life for what? Because I knew too much?”
He bent back down to Sebastian’s eye level. “And I didn’t think about Sebastian. Given the relationship we had, he probably thinks it was for another reason…”
Sebastian nodded solemnly. Liam tried to place his hands onto his cheeks, but it didn’t even seem like he was touching him.
Dennis just looked confused now. “Well, all right. You’re a ghost and you offed yourself because of government problems. But then who’s causing all the deaths in town?”
Now it was Liam’s turn to be out of the loop. “Deaths?”
Shark spoke up now. “There’ve been people dying in town. Do you know anything about it?”
Liam shook his head again. “No, I don’t. Unless…Has Sebastian’s mother met any of you yet?”
When the others turned to look at Harwood, he just smirked and nodded. It seemed they counted that as a meeting.