"Eaten From The Inside Out": In Coral City, the police force is corrupt, and officers Joseph Whitt and Luis Peña in particular are, at this moment, attempting to plant drugs on an innocent teenaged couple. Eventually, they decide to let the pair of them go with a warning - but not before sex
- Captain, you're in the 'Tweens, and things have changed. We'll find the killer. We'll protect these people. Lord knows you never managed.
- -- Virtue
Appearing in "Eaten From The Inside Out"
- "Channel M"/The Movement (First appearance)
- Pastor Mike (First appearance)
- Kirstin (First appearance)
- Coral City Police Department (First appearance)
- Cornea Killer (Behind the scenes)
- Blaire Meers (In a photograph only)
- Coral City (First appearance)
Synopsis for "Eaten From The Inside Out"
In Coral City, the police force is corrupt, and officers Joseph Whitt and Luis Peña in particular are, at this moment, attempting to plant drugs on an innocent teenaged couple. Eventually, they decide to let the pair of them go with a warning - but not before sexually assaulting the girlfriend. Eerily, the officers begin to hear their own voices played back to them, from every direction. A masked figure appears at the end of the alley, bearing a smart-phone with the letters "i.c.u." lit up on its screen as it plays the recording. Angrily, the officers turn on the newcomer, only to discover that this is one of many people in masks, all of whom have a recording of the corrupt officers' indiscretion.
The following morning, the officers' Captain learns of the incident from a news report, which names the group that collected the evidence as Channel M, an anonymous group of activists. Angrily, the Captain marches to the bullpen and places the officers responsible on administrative leave pending a full investigation. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the authority to do that, since the department's administration was handed over to the city council. Before he can react to that news, a call comes to the precinct, informing them that the so-called Cornea Killer has struck again.
Elsewhere, in the neighbourhood known as the 'Tweens, thanks to its existing between the city's Tenth and Twentieth Streets, a young runaway finds himself outside the Angel's Hand Presbyterian Church, where he is met by the pastor, who invites him inside. The boy warns that bad things happen when he enters churches, and when the pastor reassures him, introducing himself as Pastor Mike, the young man claims that his name is Burden.
The Captain arrives at the crime scene to find yet another mangled corpse with its eyes cut out; the Cornea Killer's M.O. As with all of the other victims, this one is homeless and local, and just like the others, the body is inexplicably lying in a puddle, despite a lack of any rain. Unexpectedly, the Captain is called away to another crime in progress: a slasher, who could be the killer, is attacking a church just two blocks away. A group of young vigilantes hears the call, and follows the Captain from the shadows.
At the church, Burden has apparently become possessed by some kind of demon as a result of his entering the place of worship. The police are completely surprised to see him levitating there, and further surprised when a rat with a note attached to it stops at their feet. The note reads: "WAR". Suddenly, the ground opens up beneath them as a tide of rats accompanies the emergence of Mouse, the Prince of Rats, and sweeps the police out the door.
Outside, a girl called Tremor draws the attention of the trigger-happy police, who warn her that they will shoot. She assures them that it will have no effect, and kneels down, using her powers to open a rift in the earth and cause a tectonic shift that destroys their cruisers and sends them all reeling.
In the confusion of Mouse's arrival, the Captain had snuck outside, and now he calls back to dispatch for a SWAT team and even more backup. He is surprised suddenly by a girl in a mask who tells him that she sees him, and that he is trespassing. Nearby, Katharsis accosts Whitt, and challenges him to a fight. Despite the fact that he used to be a boxer, her attacks are brutal, and leave his face a bloody mess as he collapses into unconsciousness. She declares a citizen's arrest.
The Captain recognizes his visitor as a member of Channel M. She corrects him, explaining that Channel M is merely part of something she calls The Movement. Incredulous, he asks if she intends to kill him, and she clarifies that she, at least, intends only to read him. She touches his forehead, and begins to glow with a golden light, only to react with some surprise. She flies away, and returns moments later with the news that his wife is having an affair. She explains that she knows this because she can ride on emotions. She offers the name of his wife's lover, and reluctantly, he learns that Officer Yee - one of his own men - is the culprit.
Sternly, she demands his phone and gun, stating that the 'Tweens neighbourhood now belongs to the Movement - the police are no longer welcome there. Defeated, the Captain warns that there is still a killer in the church, but she responds that the boy in there is only a tortured kid with mental illness who has been told his whole life that he's possessed. The Movement will look after him - and the Cornea Killer.
Backed by the rest of her team, the girl introduces herself as Virtue, and warns that they can end his career with the least of effort. It is time for him to leave.
Confused and angry, the captain rushes into the church in order to call for some back-up, enraged that anybody would speak to him the way Virtue just did. Pastor Mike and his congregation, members of the Movement themselves, refuse him the use of their phone, and warn him as Virtue did, to get out of their neighbourhood.
- This book was first published on May 1, 2013.
- Vengeance Moth appears on the cover, but is not in the story.
- No trivia.
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Links and References
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