top of page
Search

The October Faction Volume One

The October Faction Volume One by Steve Niles and Damien Worm



The beginning began like this… outside Herbs Out of Thyme, Geoff spots a tall, thin woman with long straight blond hair, and huge black sunglasses getting into a flashy red sports car. Mother? Before he can question this further, Philip, the annoying jock, interrupts him calling him Creepy Geoff and spits some derogatory comments about his sexuality. Geoff points out high school ended last year so he should grow the fuck up and go torment college freshman instead. This pisses Philip off because he lost his scholarship due to a car “accident” that killed three of his friends. Lucky he survived (this is delivered really creepily as Geoff is in complete black except for pinprick eyes, looming over Philip’s shoulder). Geoff knows Philip lied, he knows Philip was driving. Philip protests, but Geoff reminds him that the dead don’t like liars and his friends are still upset with him.


Why are we obsessed with monsters? This question is asked by a man, Frederick Allen, standing in front of a chalkboard with a long list of monsters on it. He’s addressing a room full of students. Continuing, he tells them that monsters come from something inside us, almost always associated with evil, but not always. Humans are actually the monsters that go bump in the night, but when we think of monsters, we think of vampires, zombies and werewolves, or something dark within our hearts. Regardless, monsters are in every aspect of human existence. As he dismisses the class, he is approached by his old partner Lucas, who he hasn’t seen for almost forty-years.


Together Frederick and Lucas have a drink in Frederick's very opulent office surrounded by artifacts and trophies from his life and toast to the old days. Lucas then mentions the Harlow Family case, the last time they saw each other. The panels cut to a flashback, at first a mailbox saying HARLOW and Frederick and Lucas in a speeding car, then a creepy house the Addams family would like to summer in. Together they approach the house, weapons drawn. Before they can get inside, a pack of werewolves attack, but Lucas says he'll deal with them as Frederick bursts into the house.


Inside, a lone man in a very extra spotted suit greets Frederick and pulls a lever which causes a huge scythe booby trap, the likes of which Indiana Jones has encountered, to swing down. Frederick ducks out of the way and fires at the man. Cutting back to the present, Frederick and Lucas are talking, Frederick defending teaching though they are both rich enough not to work. Lucas doesn’t work, he’s a fighter. They have a semi-cryptic conversation because they obviously know what’s going on, but we readers have not yet found out who this mysterious “little club” is that Frederick mentions Lucas working for. Now back to the reason Lucas is there: Frederick’s wife Deloris. Sigh, what has she done now? Lucas was working a job and saw her with a man, Merle Cope, who slipped her a key. Frederick admits their relationship is strained and they are effectively separated.


Vivian, Frederick’s daughter, is walking home. A group of girls give her shit and they look hideous, like bulbous deformed clowns but when Vivian tells them she’ll see them in twenty years, their appearance is normal. Soon she is home at another mansion that looks like it’s from the Addams Family real estate portfolio. Saunders, the housekeeper, greets Vivian who has just completed her last day of high school. Vivian asks after Geoff, who is locked in his room, so Vivian heads up.


Geoff has something to show Vivian, a magic circle carved into the floor, but this one is more impressive than the regular ones they make… this one is smoking. Geoff managed to get this summoning circle to work and inside his closet he has what looks like the bastard offspring of Wednesday Addams and Pennywise the clown. Geoff has no clue who the creature is, she was just wandering around, so he snagged her. Geoff will let her go, but first he needs to show her to their father. Both Geoff and Vivian want to follow their father’s footsteps and enter the family business, not teaching, but hunting. This creature will show what they are capable of.


At a deserted storage unit, Deloris Allen steps out of her car. In her hand is a key to unit eight and the only thing inside is a casket which she opens. The body of a human with robot parts is inside. Deloris tells them to WAKE UP.


Back in the flash back at the Harlow house, Frederick stands over the manically smiling body of a suited man. Lucas stumbles in from the fight outside, he’s hurt, but there’s no time to dwell on that as a woman wielding an axe comes for Frederick and with a RAAH-RAAAARGH! Lucas transforms into a werewolf and rips the woman’s head off. HOLY SHIT that’s not normal behavior for Lucas but also not something they can “deal with” right now, so Lucas jumps out of the window. Frederick can’t follow as a baby’s wail catches his attention. Frederick follows it and finds a baby in a crib with a toddler standing next to it.


Back to now, Frederick has returned home. He can smell the distinct odor of ectoplasmic residue and knows that Geoff and Vivian have been up to something. They’ve been caught, but it’s difficult to disguise a summoning circle carved into the hardwood floor so what did they expect? Frederick asks, well, where is it? Geoff and Vivian point toward the closet which Frederick opens and is promptly attacked by the Wednesday Pennywise creature. It’s really strong and wraps its hands around Frederick’s neck. Geoff and Vivian struggle to pull it off so Frederick instructs Vivian to grab a mirror and shove it in the creature's face. This causes it to release Frederick and run. It seemed like the creature knew him. Frederick asks them, again, not to perform summonings in the house.


Meanwhile, Lucas has gone to meet Merle, they exchange an envelope for a USB stick and are satisfied that business is concluded. Lucas threatens Merle if he should ever see him again. No matter, Lucas must live with the guilt of screwing over his partner and the only person who ever had faith in him. Fuck. Lucas werewolfs out in anger.


At the Allan family mansion, the family sits down to dinner without Deloris. Like nearly every other family, Frederick asks what Geoff is going to do now he’s been finished school a year and if Vivian has plans now high school has come to an end. They can’t stand any more schooling and both want to follow in their father’s footsteps, but he does not want them to. Despite trying to be reasonable in their argument, Frederick puts his foot down (like that’s going to work). Saunders interrupts dinner to alert them that the police are on the phone. Mrs. Allen has been attacked.


At the hospital, the police stop Frederick from seeing his wife. Deloris was found unconscious, but she’s awake now and covered in superficial wounds. The policeman tries to question Frederick but he refuses until he’s seen his wife. Frederick, Geoff and Vivian are allowed in and try to talk to Deloris but now she’s asleep. Frederick notices a bolt in her open palm. This isn’t good.


Geoff and Vivian are sitting in the waiting room. Who would do this to their mom? What does their dad know about the bolt? Maybe they should just become hunters on their own. As they sit, Phil comes over and says he's sorry about their mom and that he’s thought a lot about his conversation with Geoff the other day and wants to apologize. Phil takes Geoff to the cafeteria for a drink leaving Vivian alone to celebrate. She’s obviously picked up on the attraction and Phil’s internalized homophobia.


Meanwhile, back in the hospital room, Deloris finally wakes up. While Frederick romanticizes his memories of them, Deloris admits to her desperation for his attention. She misses how they used to be and thought if she let Robot Face lose, they might be a team again and that Frederick would return to himself. Frederick promises to think about going back to his old life, especially as he has Deloris and both their children trying to pull him back.


Vivian makes her way home as her parents are obviously having sex in the hospital room and Geoff is off with Phil the jock. As she walks, she is followed by Robot Face. Vivian senses she’s being followed and calls them out, then Robot Face steps out and tells her “your father killed my father!” OH SHIT better start running.


Just as Robot Face launches himself at Vivian, Lucas, as a werewolf, takes him down and a seriously cool and violent punchup takes place as Vivian escapes. As they pause, Robot Face says he only wanted to talk, but Lucas points out he has a funny way of showing it. They fight some more and Lucas wins. Lucas turns back to human to question Robot Face. He says he didn’t attack Mrs. Allen, he only wants Frederick. He actually thanked Mrs. Allen for freeing him!


Back in the hospital cafeteria, Geoff and Phil are chatting. Phil wants to know what Geoff meant when he said the dead don’t like liars. Geoff can hardly tell Phil the ghosts of his dead friends are hanging around him, but they definitely are. As Frederick collects Geoff, Geoff reassures Phil that everything can be fixed.


Back at the Allen Mansion, Merle Cope is waiting to speak to Frederick. Merle confirms he gave Deloris the key to the storage unit for her to free Robot Face. Instead of watching Frederick’s demise from afar though, Merle wants a front row seat. Yeah, no. Frederick pulls a gun and shoots Merle through the throat and instructs Saunders to grab a shovel. Vivian is sure she saw Merle’s eyes open, he’s not dead! Please, Frederick is a professional and WHAM! he uses the shovel on Merle. While Geoff and Vivian are somewhat taken aback, Frederick points out that the family business sometimes gets messy. When someone threatens to destroy the family, why wait around? Get the messy business out of the way. He does have a point... Now Frederick can teach his children how to dispose of a dead body.


Meanwhile Lucas and Robot Face are sitting in a car, Robot Face is eating a very messy looking burger and being very messy about it, but in all fairness, it has been years since he’s eaten anything. Finally they formally introduce themselves to each other. Lucas, meet Dante aka Robot Face; Dante, meet Lucas, he sometimes turns into a werewolf. Lucas asks Dante to tell him what happened so maybe they can figure something out.


Dante knows his dad wasn’t well, but he is loyal to the man who saved him. He doesn’t remember much, it was a dark and stormy night as he was being carried into the woods by a mysterious man. The mysterious man beat Dante to a pulp and left him. Dante’s father found him and fixed him. He’s done it for other kids too. One night, Frederick came and shot his dad. Lucas remembers that night, he was there just getting the other guy, the mysterious man who beat him up, and it seems they worked together. NOOOOOOO!!!!! Dante runs off.


Back at the Allen’s house, they’re moving Merle’s body to the hearse before they go to find a suitable burial site. This is convenient and appropriate because their SUV is in the shop. While Geoff and Vivian think their father is trying to scare them with reality, honestly he’s just not hiding the more unpleasant side of the family business anymore since they are so set on being hunters. As they’re digging Merle’s grave, Vivian tells Frederick about Robot Face’s “attack,” what he said, and how she was rescued by some wolf guy.


As the Allen family are having a lovely time family bonding by burying a dead body in the woods, they don’t notice a gross looking lady watching them from between the trees. Once they’ve sped away, she lights a cigarette and walks to the freshly dug grave encouraging what is in it to hurry the hell up. Merle’s reanimated corpse crawls out.


Dante is standing outside the Allen mansion and inside, Frederick is telling Vivian that Deloris is being discharged. They share a lovely father/daughter moment before he leaves; however, when he comes home, Frederick needs to talk to Geoff and Vivian, he needs to prepare them to be hunters.


Outside, Lucas is waiting in his car and takes Frederick to the hospital. They give each other shit about each other's cars before Frederick mentions Dante and Vivian’s run-in, but Lucas has something else he needs to discuss and it’s not pleasant. Frederick tells Lucas he already knows Merle blackmailed him and is fine about it and Lucas is gobsmacked that he knows. Unfortunately, that’s not what Lucas wanted to say. He has cancer. It’s aggressive and inoperable. However, the pain in his gut from the cancer goes away when he transforms, so he would like Frederick to run tests on him when he’s in wolf form to see what is going on. Okay, this will take some thought, but he’ll do it.


Back at the Allen mansion, Geoff has seen Dante standing outside and approaches him asking if he is stalking his sister. Dante doesn't understand what stalking is so Geoff explains before promising Dante if he ever goes near his sister again he will regret it. Dante doesn’t take this kindly and rushes Geoff who is definitely able to hold his own in a fight with a part-man, part-robot. As they fight, Dante realizes that Geoff is Frederick’s son and with a neat uppercut, knocks him out.


In a creepy house in the woods, Opal, the gross lady from the grave site, is hooking Merle up to some sort of machine that looks like an old wooden radio with loads of wires coming out that are attached to various points of Merle’s body (corpse?). A voice from upstairs is screaming that she wants to see “ma boy!” and Opal shouts up to her mamma that’s she’s “tryin’ to fix him!” Damnit, why won’t she shut the hell up? Mamma makes Opal so mad, which isn’t great for Merle as Opal is about to stick him with a syringe.


Later, Merle is lying on a bed and Opal “coyly” suggests that as they aren’t actually family, Mamma said they could, you know… oh yuck. He was just dead! As Opal is calling Merle names for rejecting her, he pulls a gun from somewhere but he’s not holding it very steadily.


Meanwhile, Frederick is wheeling Deloris out of the hospital. Lucas isn’t there to give them a ride back, but thankfully Vivian is in the hearse and though there is room in the hearse for the fucking Deloris is promising Frederick, with their daughter driving, it isn’t appropriate. Instead they update Deloris about Merle. As Deloris opens the front door and offers thanks that they got out of the hunting business for a normal life, they find Saunders tied up in the foyer. Once her gag is removed, Saunders screams that Geoff is upstairs.


Frederick, Deloris and Vivian dash upstairs and find Geoff tied to a chair and gagged. Next to him is Dante with a nice sharp looking double-headed axe. Dante tells Frederick, “you made me watch my father die. Now you can watch your son die.”


Merle is getting dressed, Opal tells him to see Mamma before he goes. Merle declines despite Opal’s warnings, but if Merle can bring four more back to add to her family, that might appease Mamma. He just needs to use one of the bodies from storage.


Back with the Allens, Dante is still threatening Geoff as Frederick tries to calm him down. Frederick reveals that he locked Dante away all this time to protect him from his siblings. They’re still alive? Well, no. This revelation enrages Dante and he lifts the axe for a wide swing. Meanwhile, Deloris has grabbed a weapon from the wall and throws it at Dante hitting his head and knocking him down. Deloris takes Dante’s axe then beats the robot-snot out of Dante, her final blow is to kick him out the window before she follows him out.


The fight continues but more cinematically as it’s outside in the rain with the mansion as a backdrop. Deloris absolutely owns Dante because no one messes with her family. In the meantime, Frederick, Geoff and Vivian have made their way down the stairs. Frederick knows just how to deal with Dante, but they’re going to need rope and a nice family dinner. Dante will get exactly what he deserves.


With Vivian’s help, Dante is able to eat. Frederick’s plan is to give Dante a bit of normalcy and be nice to him even if it kills him. Deloris, Geoff and Vivian exchange looks, and Dante protests. He tried to kill Geoff! He wanted to kill Frederick! Frederick insists that Dante will fit into their family perfectly, they are, after all, a family of orphans. Wait, what?


Frederick admits he is not Geoff or Vivian’s biological father, he found them in the Harlow house. Yeah, Geoff and Vivian figured that out years ago, the fact they look nothing like either of their parents was a big tip-off. As Vivian unties Dante, Frederick declares this month their month before raising his glass for a toast to Dante joining their family and to their amazing family, The October Family.


Meanwhile, as he’s investigating the woods, the sheriff receives a call about kids vandalizing the high school again. He’ll deal with it once he’s done here. The sheriff is standing over an open grave. Sigh, he best speak with Frederick Allen about this.


8 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page