George sat there as his memories, his "true memories" burst into his mind in a cascading fury of color and sound. Jason Redding and he had never been "hateful rivals". Certainly they had once been in love with the same woman but Jason had never injured George in a bar fight and George had never retaliated by hitting Jason head on with his truck. In truth the two friends had merely agreed to a motorcycle race to win Diane's affections. Jason had been injured when he wiped out into a ravine and George suddenly was flooded with the guilt he had felt for suggesting they race. It was after that he accepted his fate by registering to go to Vietnam as a Paramedic while Diane agreed to help Jason rehabilitate from the accident. Other snap-shots in time exploded akin to fire-works into his conscious. He remembered how Jebideh had peaked his interest in the physical anatomy of living things as well as the fine line between life and death. He remembered calling Jason's son Dwayne into his office, trying to convince the young man to go into college instead of enlisting into the military. Once again falling into the recollection of his own childhood and adolescence, George recalled the foster home he was apart of as a boy had been a sex, death, and drug cult, specializing in turning young acolytes into trained assassins to murder supernaturals. He had run away from his "false family" over a disagreement in ethics as he knew not all supernaturals were truly "evil". Matter of fact, it was George who had brought his foster family to justice with the help of Xander, Wendy, Max, Jason, Rahman, and Diane. How long had he believed in the other false memories? How long had "they" believed in those same false memories too? George looked at the strange dead plant, it's leaves wilted and brown and it's strange brain-shaped center now slimy and runny with the onset of decomposition. Betty no longer had a reason to hide it from him. She had called it a "Memory-merigold" and it had the uncanny ability to put false memories into others. Betty had used these botany spawned abominations to slowly severe George from his old friends and make it seem as if they had always been bitter enemies. George struggled but the ropes tying him to the chair were tight. Betty walked in to check on him her lilac eyes cold and calculating as ever. George regretted admitting to himself he still found her beautiful, that there was a part of him still somewhat happy to see her. He knew their whole marriage had been a lie, that Betty had secretly been a pawn used by Daedalus to get access to all his most recent research when it came to making homunculi. How long Betty had known Daedalus was still a mystery, but George surmised he had approached her when she was still a nurse working in Area 52. She was just another of his naïve servants, just as he had been when the old scary man had approached him to become a protégé when he was a young paramedic in Nam. "It's too bad they're life cycle is only a few months" Betty said nonchalantly. George new she was referring to her damned "brain flowers". Figured she would have more of an attachment to them than her own husband. "I could have thought of less convoluted ways for you to get what you wanted, Elizabeth." George retorted with a sarcastic barb. As if suddenly made aware he was there, Betty approached him, giving him a good look of her unbuttoned white shirt and pale full breasts before her violet lips curled into a smirk. "With your true memories coming back you must think of yourself as some sort of righteous philistine, Georgie! But let me remind you, you "did" create Deidre and sleep with her fully knowing she was a teenager and you "did" turn our son and his friend into homunculi as well....not that I'm complaining. We both know undead are stronger as we made the choice even to modify ourselves in this way. Regardless, among your "old buddies" you were the loose cannon and your curiosity of the forbidden put you in this situation." George couldn't defend himself. Yes, he had done good things when helping his old friends but he had done questionable things too. Certainly he brought Sarah back to life as Deidre with noble intentions, so she could go back to an actual life. However, he had inadvertently started to take advantage of her amnesia, molding her in such a way she'd become the "perfect hunter" against evil super-naturals whilst simultaneously molding her into the perfect lover to satiate his own needs and those of his son. Though George hated to admit it, his old "family" had rubbed off on him, turning him into a charismatic yet dangerous cult-like figurehead. Deidre, Robby, and Nathan had all trusted him and put their lives in his care and he had not been an entirely pious mentor by any stretch of the imagination. "Regardless of the false history you put in my head our marriage was still "real", Betty. You're right, I wasn't the perfect father or perfect role-model but damn it, you just don't understand how dangerous Daedalus is! He'll level this whole town and the people in it to get what he wants....he has no remorse, no's all one big crazy experiment to him. Even "you" have more scruples than that. Lord only knows we've done some screwed up stuff together but I doubt you would help in the genocide of hundreds or thousands of people, many of which we've seen at church every Sunday." For the first time in awhile George saw a semblance of emotion pass over Betty pale moon touched face. In that instant there was color in her cheeks and George realized he actually loved her. Sure, he knew she was borderline psychotic and she had betrayed him, but damn it all, he had been married to her a long time. George never thought he'd be so sentimental. "I---I--have to go for now......" Betty stammered before she turned quickly and shut the door behind her. George knew that was her guarded subtle way of saying "I love you too George but I cannot say it like that under these circumstances." He sat in the dim twilight for what seemed like an eternity and was about to nod off to sleep when suddenly the metal door creaked then fell forward. Jason Redding stood in the entryway, the dim lights of the hallway surrounding him in a glow as if he were some kind of saint. "Funny thing....I remembered I healed up from our race decades ago.......why the fuck was I rolling around in that wheelchair?" Jason's words made George tear up and laugh as he was elated to see his best friend. After Jason untied George they shared a hug, now fully aware of the "true friendship" that bound them together. "I have to get you out of here , George. Diane and Max are waiting outside but we have to be quick....." George nodded, appreciative of the rescue. Yet he knew he had other things to do. "I appreciate the cavalry Jas....but I have to save my children.......and maybe even my wife though I'll have to drag her along kicking and screaming!" Jason crossed his arms but his facial features softened. "I'd try to talk sense into you....but when it comes to the people we love, "logic" and cold practicality have no place....c'mon,then...this old wolf has some fight left in him and I'm itching for a scrap!" Both men clapped each other on their shoulders than began their foreboding journey into Daedalus's labyrinthine research facility....... ******************************************************************* George Mackleigh (Revised) : Many creators decide to "revise" characters later on. This is usually done to give more balance to the story or to simply make a character more believable and sympathetic to the audience. (Even if said character is an antagonist) In his younger days George Mackleigh was a "rogue hunter" who decided to leave his own guild that was named "The Family" during the 60's. The Family were known to take in orphaned or troubled kids from the streets, training them into becoming supernatural hunters and assassins. Unlike his fellow clergy, George did not believe all supernaturals were evil but he dedicated himself to slaying those who were. George was often competition for Xander,Jason,Diane,Wendy,Rahmon,and Maximillian, approaching supernatural cases from a more lone-wolf and vigilante perspective. Still, he developed friendships with the other young detectives,often ending up helping them in someway despite being a rival in many respects. It was known George and Jason Redding were exceptionally close friends due to the fact both came from religious backgrounds and held many of the same moral beliefs. However the two of them would often fight for Diane's affections, something which annoyed the young beautiful clairavoyant to no end. One night George challenged Jason to a motorcycle race in which the winner would take Diane out for a date. During the event Jason ended up in a terrible accident that left him bed ridden and in a wheel chair. Feeling extreme remorse over his friend's injuries, George left Gutter-delve and joined the draft for Vietnam. (Jason had wanted to fight for his country too but his legs had been busted up too badly to pass the physical exam.) In Vietnam George saw terrible atrocities and ended up fighting a strand of unusual Vietnamese vampires with a host of strange abilities. (Such as being able to detatch their winged flying heads from their dying bodies, escaping until a new body could be regrown. Additionally these ancient clans had no problem using children as sex workers and even as front line soldiers) Having applied to be a paramedic, George got his crash course in education as a military doctor and his mentor was a strange eccentric man who believed traits of the Asian vampires they fought could be extracted and used to heal human soldiers and even enhance their physical prowess. Before George new it he was experimenting on the cadavers of humans and supernaturals alike,trying to bridge the gap between life and death. But while George did all this in a desperate attempt to save many of his enlisted friends from their horrific wounds, his mentor always seemed to have ulterior motifs. (George would discover later this "man" had been Daedalus, an insane angel and mad scientist who had conducted similar experiments during World War II) By the time George had returned home Jason had healed up nicely and was back on his feet. It was Diane who had nursed him back to health and the two had fallen in love. While it was bittersweet for George to see his friends, he felt as if he had returned to a town that no longer cared for him or wanted him. The hipster hippies were there to beat their drums to the barbed shouts of "Baby killers" and "Government lackeys". There seemed to be no more love for Vietnam veterans but George was too numb to even give a damn about what a bunch of draft dodging self proclaimed university intellectuals thought of him. Though George had been a "war hound" he was not entirely uneducated and this was what got him a scholarship to attend college. Much to the dismay of the local beatniks, George passed his classes with flying colors and easily got his PHD degree. During this time he had met a beautiful RN by the name of Elizabeth (Betty) and the two soon got married and had a son named Robby. (Some say Robby was born "clinically dead" with his umbilical chord wrapped around his own neck but George was able to perform cpr to save his son much to the relief of Elizabeth herself.) George knew there was something about Betty's past and her overall icy demeanor that did not sit "quite right" with him but he did not judge her as the war had changed him too. If Betty was "odd" so was he. If anything, the two of them worked well together and Betty approached his "side experiments" with eagerness. At least she did not shirk away from the unknown and the macabre as had most of the squeamish yuppies who wanted to become doctors only to be paid like rock stars. It is revealed to Robby eventually his father George and mother Betty made themselves into homunculi shortly after he was conceived via using research of George's from Vietnam and a strange black iqor called urr to turn themselves into the living dead. This is how Mr. Mackleigh is able to save Sara (Deidre) and even make Nathan and Robby into homunculi at a later date. To George being a homunculus is a "higher state of being" free of the exhaustion and physical limitations that come with being human. Despite delving into the darker arts of necromacy, no one would doubt George's dedication to his community. When not attending his duties as the principal at Gutterdelve HS he often volunteers his skills as a doctor at the saint mercy clinic, tending to the sick and wounded on a voluntary free of charge basis. Many residents in Gutterdelve want George to run for mayor but so far he has "dodged that bullet" believing he can better help the people of Gutter-delve in other ways. Not as bitter or withdrawn as he was when he first returned home from Vietnam, George will sometimes still talk to Max,Xander,Diane,Raymond,or Jason but it's obvious he still has certain regrets and grievances tied to the past. (George still loves Diane. His marriage to Betty was more out of convenience and to have a working partner. Despite this he and Jason remain good friends.) Dwayne eventually recollects Mr. Mackleigh gave him a hard time in HS but it's later revealed George did this merely because he saw Dwayne's potential and pushed him harder than other students to show the young man what he was capable of. Before Dwayne leaves to serve a tour of duty in Iraq and Syria it's actually George who pleads with him to stay home and apply his energies into getting into a decent college. Sadly Dwayne is stubborn on the issue and decided he would do what he could to protect America after the 9/11 incident. A good man dabbling in shades of grey, George may soon find himself at odds with his past mentor Daedalus, The Family, or even his cold,remorseless, and neurotic wife..... ************************************************************* Revisions -This version portrays George Mackleigh & Jason Redding as friendly rivals and life-long friends as opposed to bitter enemies. The only thing that stresses this relationship is how both men love Diane. -George still trains Robby,Nathan,and Deidre to be hunters but only to prepare them for the harsh world they live in. He has no hatred for "good" supernaturals but simultaneously knows evil supernaturals exist and it's best to be ready for them. -A shared interest in Necromancy may create an endearing sense of kinship between George and Jebideh Krawl. -Between George and Betty Mr. Mackleigh has the most humanity and it would be interesting to see how this causes the occasional bout of conflicting interests between husband and wife. Killing Betty would hurt George beyond words (Despite the fact he still loves Diane more) but I could foresee him doing it to either protect his own son or his old friends.Most likely George would try to "save" Betty first and there's the possibility his love for her has actually deepened over the course of their marriage. (Refer to the short story/scenario above) -Previously George was hard on Dwayne just because he loathed Dwayne's father but in this rebooted concept he pushes Dwayne's buttons just because he cares about the son of his best friend and wants Dwayne to reach his full potential. -George's revised self is still very charismatic and handsome. This coupled with The Family's" mix of strict Christian dogma and intiating acolytes thru a sensual series of tantric Golden-Dawn-esque sex rituals may go further to explain why George fratenizes with teen girls in particular. (Including Deidre) Unlike christians from more traditional denominations, George does not see sex as sinful but rather as a sacred act. He is likewise pro polygamy and believes a man can be married yet still have lovers outside of wedlock. (And because he himself was forced to grow up so fast he does not consider teenagers to be naive thoughtless children) -When made aware Robby was pulling pranks and bullying certain kids at school George confronts his son and says "You're 17....that's "young man years",son. It's time to grow up." This does help Robby mature quicker and suggests George's good influence eventually encourages Robby to be heroic and more sympathetic to the plights of others. -Because of his eccentric unconventinal behavior, George might still be considered an antagonist of sorts. Afterall, making homunculi in a hidden labratory and having sexual relations with teenaged girls does not exactly paint oneself with a flattering brush! However, George would always be reluctant to serve his masters and quick to betray even his own wife,mentor,or hunter's guild "for the greater good". Lecherous and immoral as some may percieve him as being, George nonetheless has a kind heart and truly cares about his home-town. - Now a homunculus, George's sperm is "infertile". This may also explain why he feels no guilt or anxiety over taking multiple lovers. -Both George and Xander have had problems with drinking and both used to attend "Alcoholics Anonymous". Xander may have approached George for help when Wendy committed suicide but George would have regretfully informed him because of her brain being "damaged" (Wendy took her own life with a gun shot to the head) her ressurected self would have been a mere hollow husk of who she once was. -George knows Adam but merely sees him as a colleague and fellow doctor. He does not know of Adam's immortality,ties to Jehovah,biblical significance,and relationship with Lilith. (Seriously, lotsa guys out there named "Adam". Doesn't mean they're "the" Adam from the garden of eden!) #gutterdelve #ultranetworlds #originalcharacters #homunculus