Less than five years ago I was a "typical" American girl college student on tour in Europe, thinking it would somehow change my not-especially unique life. I was Cindy Suthers from Mill Valley, California, 20 years old, glasses, kinda OK pretty-wise if you like freckles, although maybe just a teensy-weensy bit plump, with big dreams of becoming a concert pianist but without any spectacular talent. Oh yeah, and still a virgin.
I guess you could say that trip did change my life, which is now much more hyper-unique and ultra-spectacular than anything I could have ever imagined. I'm an Avatar now, an Earthlevel Angel with all sorts of superhuman powers: strong, fast, more or less indestructible, psychic abilities, etc. If I only had a cape I could qualify as a comic-book superhero: "Stand back, Wonder Woman, I've got this!" Although I'm actually more like the Hulk: I turn into someone big and powerful (whom I can't remember anything about), except that instead of smashing stuff I usually fix it.
It's all because I fell in love with a boy in Rome. And when I say "boy" I mean it: Tazio was only 12 years old at the time. But amazingly mature; I assumed he had to be about 20, like me. Later on he told me he was The Antichrist. I believed him, not because he was evil (he's good!) but because I've only fallen Truly In Love with 2 boys in my young life and the other one just happens to be the current incarnation of CHRIST: Immanuel Godson, my humongous & hopeless crush way back in Mill Valley High School. Pretty cute coincidence, huh? Or maybe a set-up?
Anyway, Tazio took care of my virginity with overwhelming zeal, and all that intense sexual contact with his Avatar energy transformed me into a regular super-woman. A year later Anton murdered me, so Tazio revived me as best he could, upgrading me into a Pure Angel with even more magical power. But I can never remember things I do as My Angel, she's just on way too high a cosmic level for my feeble human brain.
Since then I've been among Avatars training my angelic abilities, have joined a coven of witches, and have landed a high-powered job as personnel manager in Tazio's own company, dellaTerra Corp. So now I'm working and living with Tazio's mother Mariangela and his "wife" Jytte. Maybe I'm also one of Tazio's wives, I'm not quite sure yet. I hope so...I think.
That is, I think I still love Tazio, although I'm not sure who "he" is any more or what "love" means to him. Problem is, Tazio's sorta gone missing, on the road to who knows where. It's been years since I've seen him, and he's changed from a "him" to an "it" now, neither male nor female, having stepped off the wheel of all emotion or motivation. Last I heard he was wandering around the Sahara being a hermit, getting weirder and weirder. Being the Antichrist could do that to you, I suppose.
But the Angels are telling me that he'll show up for "Armageddon" in about a year and a half. Whatever that means--nobody's really sure, not even the Angels. I hope so; I want to be with him again. Jytte and I have agreed to share, although if he does become his ultra-horny male self again two of us may not be enough.
I don't care, I just want to make love again with someone I really do love for a change, instead of with all those big groups of guys. Well, actually, that's fun too in its own way, although it's more a duty than a pleasure. Eradicating the AIDS Virus, you know.
Tazio had been working on exactly that when we met: studying viral DNA, computer analysis of HIV, trying to outsmart the AIDS virus. But he was distracted by "The Lust", an affliction all Avatars have to go through at puberty, making them too horny to function. So he picked me up and used me--hey, I was all for it, I was feeling Lustful too--so that he could fuck me, become inspired and work on his project for a while, until he had to fuck me again to be inspired again and get right back to work. It was a very complex academic problem and required lots of inspiration.
But what happened was that he'd solved the problem without knowing it, on the subconscious level. He'd generated the physical antivirus in his own sperm, which he'd pumped gallons of into me over our month together, "dis-infecting" me with it. And then into the hundreds of other girls he was seducing every day on the Spanish Steps, although how many of them became dis-infected it's hard to know. I may have been the only girl who was aware that I had the cure for AIDS, right inside me. All I had to do was spread it around as much as I could.
I was in Istanbul on one of those Anti-AIDS missions, taking a week off from the dTCorp job in New York. Jytte and Mariangela could handle things for a while--actually, we've got a staff of hundreds now, so all we three really have to do is make the big decisions once in a while.
I'd contacted an office of the University of Istanbul to arrange access of a lecture hall, passing myself off as a psychologist specializing in Sexual Therapy. Actually, I do have papers to that effect, although I've never taken the time to officially graduate from any university. Didn't seem to matter much, the Turkish officials chose to consider me a prostitute anyway and were morally outraged that I would come to their city and offer such a service...at least until I paid the bribe they demanded.
As usual, I had printed an announcement for the event, which would be sexual group therapy between me and a hundred anonymous but selected men, worded to titillate horny guys and yet hinting that I would be curing AIDS. The officials neither comprehended nor believed the hint, but by now the rumor was well established that a mysterious "angel" was travelling around and doing just that. The gay communities were especially aware of my activities, since they were hardest hit by the AIDS epidemic. I'd toured through Africa the year before and must have personally cured over a thousand cases, all those men had become "infected" with Tazio's anti-virus and had passed it on to other men and women. It was no secret that AIDS was diminishing worldwide, although authorities were uncertain how that was happening, the secret being that it was mostly because of me.
Anyway, I'd been in Istanbul a couple of days waiting for the arranged session, staying with a private family, Johann und Marilla and their kids, who were friends of Immanuel--now my friends. So I was seeing the sights, spending time in the bazaar, going for lunch at the famous Pudding Shop in the Sultanahmet district, just like all the other wannabe hippies. That's where I came upon Sasha, a young Russian girl, just as she was overdosing on heroine.
She was in a back booth on the second floor of the pudding shop, well out of sight, but I sensed her as I came in downstairs. Pretty hard not to; I've become quite psychic and she was broadcasting waves of fear and pain, going into convulsions, about to die.
I headed upstairs fast, almost running into two scruffy guys crashing and thumping loudly on their way down. One of them had given her the fix, both had panicked and were hurrying to get away before she died and the police were called in. They tried to shove me out of their way.
I grabbed them both, one in each hand. They tried to wiggle loose but quickly caught on that I was a lot stronger than both of them together. "What have you given her?" I asked. They said something that sounded like Russian, which I had never spoken, so I plucked that language from the Akashic network we Angels use (sorta like Google Translate, but way better) and asked again in Russian.
They were surprised, then tried to look innocent, pretend they didn't know what I was talking about, not understanding how I could know about Sasha anyway. So I gave them The Angel Eye and they admitted "Heroin!" I let them go, having no time to deal with them--except for a little push that sent them tumbling the rest of the way down the stairs.
Sasha was lying on the floor, twitching and gasping for air. I didn't know exactly what to do, so I let my Angelic Self take over. As usual, I can never quite remember what happens when she becomes me, or I become her, it's always confusing later. By the time I was aware of being myself again, I found myself sitting on the floor with her in my arms and she was breathing normally, sound asleep.
There were a few other people at other tables, drinking tea and eating pudding, but no one seemed to have noticed us in the back-- My Angel had evidently been discreet. So I had time to study her up close: dressed in shabby clothes, dirty, obviously poor, potentially pretty but sallow and thin, she hadn't been taking care of herself at all. Her complexion was dotted with small sores, although even as I looked they were rapidly healing and vanishing because of close physical contact with my Angelic energies.
I remembered my first contact with Tazio's energy; that had changed me too. Not my complexion, that had always been healthy, but my eyes; I'd never needed to wear my glasses again. Now I was doing stuff like that to people too. Kinda cool.
She finally opened her eyes, was surprised at being comforted by some strange girl, and quickly sat up. "What happened?" she asked in Russian. Now fluent in that language, I informed her that she had barely survived an overdose. She scrambled to her feet, obviously in better form than she had been for a long time. Realizing that, she became confused, then afraid.
"Who are you?" she asked, suspiciously, "police?" She looked around for threats, much like a wild animal.
"I'm Cindy," I said, also standing up, "not police, just a tourist passing through."
"What do you want?"
"To save your life, that's all. You know, you should..."
"I don't want a lecture! Leave me alone!" and with that she turned and hurried down the stairs and out of the pudding shop, vanishing into the busy streets of Istanbul.
"You're welcome," I mumbled to myself and went on my way, not feeling hungry for a pudding anymore.
Just by coincidence I saw Sasha again the very next day, although I still didn't know her name yet. She was with the other two Russian guys, even though they'd bailed on her when she'd been dying of an overdose. It was in the busy old Grand Bazaar, they were acting pretty suspicious; I figured they were trying to sell some heroine.
I was just passing through, nibbling one one of those great little fried oyster sticks you can get on street corners, but when they saw me they all reacted; the guys got scared and turned to leave, but the girl looked at me as if I was her worst enemy and was trying to stare me down as I walked past.
"Sasha, let's go!" her maybe-boyfriend shouted from a distance, "You don't wanna fuck with her!" But Sasha definitely did want to fuck with me, it seems.
I considered just ignoring her, then decided to stop and face her frown. "So Sasha," I said, "what IS the matter?" I asked her in polite Russian.
That surprised her, as if she'd expected to intimidate me with her glowering. "Why are you following me?" she asked, kind of outraged.
"I'm not, this is a coincidence. Now, why are you so arrogant and angry?"
"I'M arrogant? God, you remind me of my mother: and that pisses me off!"
"Your MOTHER? Hey I'm 25 years old, can't be much older than you."
"You look at me the same way she does: all judgmental and disapproving."
"Well, there's probably a reason she looks at you that way, considering how badly you're fucking up your life. You ARE a junkie and DID almost kill yourself yesterday."
"What did you DO to me?" she asked, "I woke up all...DIFFERENT!" She pointed to her face, now shining with a healthy complexion instead of pimples and sores, looking actually quite pretty. Except for her expression; which was ugly as shit.
I considered forgiving her behavior as a traumatic reaction, meeting an Avatar can be confusing to mortals. But before I could explain anything she was angry again: "Whatever you did has really fucked me up! I can't even FIX now!"
"Maybe that's a good thing," I suggested, not knowing what I could have done to ruin her happy fixes and not feeling especially concerned about it. As an Angel I'm supposed to love everyone, I guess, but I was losing my patience with this chick pretty fast.
I decided to just ignore her and walk on. But she was getting angrier all the time, almost inarticulately sputtering Russian profanities. Then she pulled out a knife and tried to stab me in the arm. I don't believe she intended to kill me, but she was definitely out to cause me some hurt.
Of course she didn't have a chance against an Angel, she was only human; too slow and too weak to offer any danger to me. I deflected her knife and paralyzed her with a touch of one finger, then took the knife from her frozen hand and snapped it into pieces before her eyes, which widened in fear. Then I walked away, her paralysis would wear off in a few minutes.
The next day was my therapy session, held in the afternoon at the University. I'd arranged a lecture hall with one mattress on the front stage. The one hundred selected Turkish men were seated when the doors closed--many more had shown up but I have to control these things, so the next day was also scheduled for those still interested in whatever it was I seemed to be offering.
It had been billed as a workshop in "The Art of Really Fucking a Woman, theory & practical application; individual participation required". Even though every man present was convinced that he already knew all the best ways to use a woman, they were interested in the show if nothing else, although unsure of what to expect. Many of them were present because they'd heard something about getting to have free sex with some crazy nymphomaniac out to break her record. Most of them didn't actually believe it would happen, expecting a swindle of some kind, but were horny enough to check it out.
Of course I mentioned nothing about curing AIDS, or no man would have ever attended the workshop, although they must each have been aware that venereal disease would always be a danger of group sex. Actually, most of them did have condoms along for the ride, not yet knowing that I would cause them to "forget" using them, since unimpeded sexual contact was required to "dis-infect" them.
I began talking as if it were a lecture, in Turkish, having "uploaded" that language as well a few days before. But that was more to warm up my audience than to inform them of anything, quickly going to the dirty jokes and getting a good response: laughter and erections. Within minutes I had them all wishing they could have sex with me. And then I let them.
Some of them were eager to rut, many were shy but couldn't help wanting me, most were bewildered but powerless to resist. I took them all on, young old skinny fat, I didn't judge them on looks or bodies. They worshipped me, of course, especially as I was beginning to glow the way we angels do.
We Angels have an alternative attitude about sex, considering it a legitimate form of magic: something from nothing, and yet powerful enough to change lives. But even some Angels have wondered how I can indiscriminately offer my sweet little pussy to perverts and disgusting creeps, or men who abuse and degrade women. I explain that once I fuck those men with my special patented and supercharged holy-whore technique, they will never again abuse or mistreat a woman: they will be far too grateful for what a woman can offer them. Yes, even Muslims as most of these Turkish men were, whose culture is traditionally unfair to women.
Actually, I sorta-loved every man I had. Not one of them offered me either harm or disrespect; they were too taken, too aroused, too grateful. Men with sexual problems had no problem plunging their swollen erections into me and coming prodigiously, husbands who had not planned on being untrue were learning what they could offer their wives, homosexual men discovered the overwhelming pleasure potential of a female body. Me, I loved it: I've always enjoyed fucking large groups of men.
The thing is, I'm still in love with Tazio, and no one could fuck like him. But a hundred men comes close, orgasm-wise. And actually, I do it the way Tazio did: rather than grind away for a long time, wearing out pussy-and-penis parts, I enjoy about 2 minutes of energetic pumping with each man, then make him come--intensely. The men are usually so satisfied that they don't mind how quick it goes, and of course they usually come back for seconds and thirds anyway, so it's actually like I've screwed 300 men before a session ends. But I don't mind, it's a lot of fun.
Besides, I'm generally pretty horny and these sessions are often the only sex I get. Oh, I can always seduce a man, but it's not really fair to make some nice guy fall in love with me as long as I am yearning for Tazio.
Anyway, I finished off a hundred men. They gave me a round of applause because they truly appreciated my performance, and I was done for the day. I did not wait around to chat, I'd had enough contact with men for that day. I went into Tourist Mode again, off to visit Istanbul's Blue Mosque and afterwards the Topkapi Museum.
I sensed Sasha's psychic scream late in the evening, on my way back to the family I was staying with. I believe I only sensed it because I'd recently been in intimate contact with her aura, normally I don't hear psychic screams. It irritated me that she could intrude into my thoughts like that, since I really wanted nothing more to do with her. I'd like to have ignored the screams, but they were quite shrill. Fear, pain, physical trauma, this was not a drug overdose. I finally deciphered that she was being held down by someone, but then lost contact.
I wondered if I should do something, although I certainly owed her no loyalty, but I had no idea where she was or what was happening to her. Could be her asshole boyfriend was beating her up. Which she probably deserved, how could I know?
Unable to do anything about it, I went back to Johann und Marilla's apartment and had a nice cozy evening with them. They knew I was an Angel, so I could tell them about Sasha, but they agreed that I could only wait and see if I got another message.
I was awakened by Sasha's wailing in the middle of the night and this time it was clear that her horror level was at maximum. I could FEEL that she was being cut open with a very sharp metal blade, more like a scalpel than a knife. Without anesthetics, so it was probably not hospital surgery. I sat up in the dark, accepting that I was not going to get any sleep before I did something about this. The psychic signal was amazingly strong, although I had no idea where she was, but I could sense the direction her screams were coming from. I threw on some clothes and went out into the Istanbul night.
It was 3:00 in the morning, the streets were more or less empty. I was staying near Gülhane Park and could sense that Sasha's wailing was coming from the East, probably on the Asian side of the Bosporus, towards the Üsküdar district. I suspected that from the waning intensity of Sasha's shrieks they would probably be ending soon, so I has no time to go the long way around, many miles, over two bridges. Besides, there were no taxis convenient, and since I was only a few blocks from the waterfront, I ran East.
Fortunately I arrived at the narrowest passage, only a mile wide. I crossed the Kennedy Cadesi, dove into the Bosporus and swam across. Being an Avatar I can do stuff like that, but even so the current was pretty strong and late at night there's still a lot of commercial shipping traffic. I had to avoid a few boats and ferries, so it was a challenging swim, costing at least a quarter hour.
Halfway across the Bosporus Sasha's shrieks stopped completely.
I landed at the container terminal harbor on the Üsküdar side of the Bosporus and started running, soggy and splashing with every step, but I ignored that and was soon more or less dry. I needed to continue in the same Eastern direction I had been following. Fortunately, it was a clear night so I had oriented myself to the stars rather than becoming lost in the tangled streets of Üsküdar. The way went up steeply, and of course I couldn't just go straight, there were all sorts of hindrances in my way; a railway system, a four-lane superhighway, large apartment complexes stacked up against a hillside, cliffs, forests, the enormous campus of Mamara University, suburban sprawl after that. But I went as straight as I could, running and jumping over fences and obstacles in my way.
Of course, it was strenuous and difficult, but also glorious allowing myself to really use the power in this Avatar body, which I rarely got to when there were witnesses about. Anyway, being an Avatar can be pretty cool sometimes.
I had a direction to follow, but no indication of how far away Sasha was. I had to hope that I would just KNOW when I got there, otherwise it was going to be a futile exercise. And that's what happened: I'd come down a hill into an upper-class neighborhood with nice cars in front and swimming pools in back, and suddenly I was THERE--I just knew it.
Not that I was picking up any sort of signal from Sasha, she was very quiet, maybe dead. But from someone else: two men who were quite busy doing something evil. Their collective aura was so dark that I wondered if they were Dark Templars.
They were in a large white house on a nice tree-lined street. A van was parked outside with the side doors open. It was about 4:00 in the morning and those men were very busy and being careful not to make noise.
A side door to the house was also open, so I went in it. If I was wrong I could just apologize. But I knew I wasn't, now smelling blood and disinfectants.
I met a large man pushing a dolly out to the van, upon which were several styrofoam freezer boxes and medical equipment. He was surprised to see me and almost shouted, but I told him "Shhh, sit, stay," and he just stopped, confused. I touched the boxes and recognized what was in them: freshly slaughtered human flesh. Then I touched him on my way past and he went to sleep as I continued deeper into the house. Down a ramp to the cellar, to where the other man was.
I came to a brightly lit operating room, quite professional and well-equipped. A man wearing a blood-spotted surgical gown was finishing up his project. Beyond him Sasha's dead body lay upon a hospital gurney, opened wide and hollowed out, plundered of all her organs. Even her eyes were gone. The man was packaging them at the moment.
Maybe it sounds like I took that in stride: but actually the sight of her freshly ruined corpse hit me harder than I'd expected. Not because it was gruesome; I'm an Angel, we have another perspective of life and death. Certainly not because I had any affection for the little bitch. Actually, the sight of her made me angry instead of sad: I'd been trying to rescue Sasha but this asshole had defeated me.
He continued his packaging, professionally septic and temperature controlled, doing meticulous work, having not yet noticed me. I was in Angelic stealth mode: not exactly invisible but definitely elusive to casual attention, so I observed the man. He looked like a doctor, in fact he was one, this was his night job and it probably paid pretty well.
I remember Johann und Marilla mentioning several reports about organ thieves operating in Istanbul over the last year, kidnapping and gutting young tourists. I had resolved to check it out while in town, but had put the idea on my "maybe to-do list" to let it simmer. I never know exactly how My Angel is going to do things, I just dump things into my sub consciousness and it gets worked out. I hadn't known that Sasha was part of that mission.
I finally let the man know that he was being observed, "Alright Doctor Death, you are busted."
He spun around to see me, really startled. There he was: caught with the blood of the murdered girl splashed all over his gown, surrounded by packaged organs, lots of evidence. I saw panic in his eyes, which were scanning the room for police.
"What--what are you doing here?" he shouted "this is a private clinic!" He blustered as if quite outraged that somebody was trespassing in his domain.
"I'm here looking for her," I told him, pointing at Sasha's cadaver, "but it seems you've murdered her and are stealing her organs."
By then he had seen that I was all alone and also just a girl; the panic left his eyes. I could easily become his next victim; there was sudden joy in his eyes. More organs to harvest and sell; Dollar signs! He smiled at me, suddenly friendly. He was tall and athletic, could probably have overcome any woman my size.
"No, you misunderstand," he said in a reasonable tone of voice, "this woman was already dead--of an overdose-- and was brought here to salvage her organs as quickly as possible." It sounded quite believable--except that I had SENSED her screams half an jour before.
He moved towards blocking me off from the door, but not too fast, trying not to scare me off just yet. "I'm sorry," he said with great compassion, "was she a friend of yours?"
"No, definitely not," I admitted, "but I liked her a lot better than I like you. Because I do not misunderstand at all--you're running an pretty nasty business here."
The doctor had me blocked from the door now, I had no way out, so he decided to drop the facade and enjoy the moment. He shrugged: "Okay, you got me: she was alive when I cut her open."
"And conscious," I reminded him, "wasn't that unnecessarily cruel?"
Doctor Death smiled and came nearer. "She was a drug-addict, a whore, a fallen woman, such a death was better than what she deserved." Closer. "Perhaps you think me an evil man, but not so: I only take the organs of non-believing foreigners--like yourself--for the benefit of Muslims who need them. We provide a valuable service to our own people in need."
"And the money is good, I'll bet."
Finally close enough, he jumped me. Rather than overwhelm him I went slippery; outmaneuvering him so that he couldn't quite get a hold on me, every grip a near miss. He never got a chance to pit his strength against mine, probably thought I was just lucky to have eluded his grabbing. I could have squashed him, of course, but wanted to prolong the conversation, find out about his organization.
"Just how many times have you done this--to how many people?"
"You know," he was having fun up to now, smiling & laughing, believing that I was in his power, "I really can't recall them all, too many, could be a hundred."
"A hundred and one, if you add me to your list?" I just had to tease him a bit.
"Exactly," he lunged again, but this time with his scalpel.
I felt he'd gotten close enough, so I touched him with a fingertip and he fell to the floor, paralyzed. I withered him until he was unable to stand, much less attack. I could decide what to do about him later.
But first I had to decide what to do about Sasha. Her poor body was split open and gutted, and yet still slightly warm: she had not been dead long. Angels can do healings and resurrections under certain conditions, I'd even learned some techniques, but there was no way I could heal someone with no organs. I didn't think anyone could, not even Tazio. Then I noticed that I was beginning to glow, things got fuzzy. I knew that meant My Angel was coming.
The last thing I remember was opening the package Doctor Death had closed, the one with Sasha's eyes in it. I knew that the other packages on the dolly out by the van had contained her heart, lungs, kidneys, she was spread out and about but it was all here. Too bad I couldn't just sew them back into her body...
...I came back to this reality, my Cindy-self again. I still haven't learned the trick of remembering whatever happens whenever My Angel takes over. I looked down on the gurney where Sasha lay and was amazed to see that she was seamlessly whole again, alive and breathing, sleeping peacefully. My Angel must have fixed her. Wow! Surprised me. In fact, I had never believed that Sasha could actually be reassembled. Looking around I saw that all the boxes that had contained her organs were open and empty, littering the floor of the operating room, evidently discarded rapidly one after another.
I heard sobbing and turned to see the two men who had murdered her sitting on the floor, cowering and weeping, looking back at me, dreading whatever I was going to do to them. Their legs were still paralyzed so they could neither stand up nor run away and had been forced to watch a glowing Angel restore their victim to life--a holy miracle. (I'd like to have seen that myself--did I really do that?) They had not been spiritually prepared to appreciate miracles and were now quivering in terror of the divine judgment that had to be coming. Of course, mostly they deserved to die, but I don't kill people, so I considered simply calling the police. First I looked the place over to see if there was any evidence of earlier operations, but they had been quite careful about cleaning up after themselves: no souvenirs, no DNA spillage, no list of names. Sasha was hardly evidence anymore because she was now resurrected from the dead, and there was no way I could explain that to the police.
I thought about how Tazio would handle this: he would simply command those men to turn themselves in and confess everything and they would simply HAVE to obey, but that was a talent I did not have. At least as far as I knew. My Angel probably could do that, but She was nowhere now. Unfortunately I can't just say a magic word and become Her, She decides when and where to show up. Pretty irritating.
Anyway, I still had to decide what to do with those organ thieves. They had probably killed many young tourists and the families involved needed to know what happened to their beloved children, so I tried to get them to tell me details about their previous victims.
They were absolutely terrified of me and traumatized by My Angel's power, but they never actually confessed anything, only wept. I tried the old Angel Eye trick, but then they babbled hysterically. I commanded that they answer me, as Tazio would have done, but they only wept harder. I was tempted to just HIT them with my Avatar strength (torture them, in other words) but simply couldn't do that. Damn!
It was almost dawn and I was feeling rather irritated with these guys-- as well as My Own Angelic Self for not having resolved this problem while She was active. She could have evaporated them, turned them into trees, or something. I just wanted to go home now, but I was trapped in this stupid quandary, armed with the power of a god (well, I am) and yet unable to overcome the final little bit of humanity I have: being unwilling to harm anyone.
"Am I alive?" Sasha's voice suddenly uttered, she having just awakened.
I turned to look at her. Actually, she looked great; glowing with vitality and health, much better than first time I'd seen her. And way better than dead.
"Can't you tell?" I asked her.
She sat up, felt her chest. "But they cut me here..." She stood, unconcerned about being naked but confused that she was intact. She was looking and feeling for the cuts the scalpel had made until she passed out, her last memory before dying.
She was trying to process that when I told her, "Yes, they cut you, They were going to sell your organs. It seems they've done that to a lot of young travelers."
Sasha looked at the two men sitting on the floor, eyes widening as she recognized them. But she was not frightened, seeing how abject they were before me.
"They said they'd give me money if I went for a drive with them, but I didn't want to go. They took me anyway. then they tied me down and cut me, the fuckers. I don't remember anything after that."
"The truth is they killed you. Cut you apart, put you into boxes to sell to private hospitals. You were dead, but are alive again because an Angel has fixed you. Got that?"
"You're the Angel?" She didn't question anything else I'd said.
"Sometimes a Pure Angel, glowing, magical, although I'm not really her..."
"...and she's not really you, I get it."
"You get it?"
"How could I not? I was a junkie, I've gone through being someone else a lot."
"Hey, you seem much more positive than before. Nicer even, maybe."
"Yeah, hey you too!" That was her perception anyway.
"Okay, Sasha, I need your help deciding something: see these two guys? They killed you, and probably lots of others like you. What do you want to do with them?" I explained the options: no killing, and no evidence.
"Let's call a newspaper, tell on them, get their pictures taken and published, then call the police."
"We still have no evidence to back up our story: you're neither cut up nor dead now."
"Those empty boxes are not quite empty, they're wet with blood and body fluids; DNA traces, who knows what. Ever see CSI on TV?--I love that forensic stuff, I may just become a cop someday just to get to do that."
I never had seen it, but I knew she was on to something.
"Besides," she went on, obviously now in possesion of a keen-thinking mind, as if My Angel had tweaked her intelligence, "the main thing is to get them noticed: once the newsguys start ivestigating their records, their income, their associates, they're going to find a trail that leads to organized organ trafficking. I'll bet."
"Brilliant, Sasha. Maybe we should be friends after all."
"Well yeah, sure-- oh wait, I was being kinda shitty to you before, wasn't I? Oh, let me apologize! I'm sorry, couldn’t help it. My life was shit, made me mean. Besides, you REALLY DID remind me of my mother."
"Sorry about that," I said, sort of ironic.
"No, no," she said, "the good part about my mother: the angelic. Which just made me feel guilty for... hmmm, now I can't even remember what I felt guilty for. Hurting her feelings, I guess."
We used the doctor's telephone to call the receptionist at Zaman, the major Turkish newspaper in Istanbul. The staff was very interested in the story, came at once with reporters, photographers, TV cameras. Eventually the police were called, and we got out of there before anyone thought to insist upon getting our names or taking our pictures.
Sasha had been sleeping in the streets, having left her addicted friends when she couldn't fix anymore, so I took her with me to Johann & Marilla for a while. She turned out to be a nice girl after all. I'm not sure what happened when My Angel repaired her, how deep the restructuring went, but she was polite, intelligent and no longer a junkie. After a few days we sent her off to her mother in Moscow.
From Istanbul I went back to New York and my job at dTCorp. Gotta keep Tazio's big-biz intact and running so it'll be ready for him when he comes back to us. Man, I sure am ready for him.