Prologue: Making a Scene at the Crime
"I knew you'd like it, it's Martin Scorsese's favorite after all" he replied.
"That movie was pretty good" said Denise, who was on the front seat next to the one driving, Steve.
"But who would've expected the mystery object to be that?"
"Neither did I. Usually, it's all about efficient gimmicks for this guy when it comes to storytelling; He has a penchant for this like in his other films"
"Yeah right. I've heard his other films, The Departed had an unbelievable screenplay."
"I know, but he sort of rushed it with this one. Almost as if he's expecting a lawsuit from Leone any time sooner"
"You mean Sergio?"
"Who else? With the exception of that one religious aspect, I think he's just a Xerox of his movies"
"Yeah, only how can you get sued by someone long dead since the eighties?"
"Is that a rhetorical question?"
"Not unless you're willing to answer it with something absurd like zombies" Replied Denise. It seemed Steve at long last made it to the pinpoint of this conversation.
"Oh no Denise" said Steve. He noticed the cul-de-sac was a few yards away. An unpleasant thought manifested him once he finished the reply.
"I know the dead can't…talk…"
Denise could usually smell fear or worry around Peter, now she didn't have the audacity to judge Steve enough to assume he might be on the verge of becoming a worrywart too.
Steve parked parallel to the sidewalk of her house. As he came out of his door, that same expression of discontent grew strong enough to close his eyes for a brief second. But he knew he needed to
see Denise in order to perform one final task.
"Okay Denise, here's your place" said Steve grimly, after opening the other door and guiding Denise right out of the car. This was the last action she was aware of before questioning the awkward
"All righty then" Denise replied, insensible to anything Steve did, even in the dark as he reached inside his pocket "…so…aren't you going to help me in?"
Rather than replying, or even kissing her goodnight, Steve only stared at the perfectly blank index card he held. Nothing was written on it at that time of night, so one could ask why Steve looked at it
with infinite dismay.
"Steve?...are you okay? Why can't you speak?" asked Denise.
The reaction almost made his emotions shrivel up. If Denise could see his face for just the second, she too would seem severely hurt.
Knowing what he was doing, Steve took hold of Denise's hands. And before a reply came, he gently, though quickly, wedged the piece of paper in her palm before running back to his car and pressing
Soon, Denise heard Steve's car running and turned a shock face.
"WAIT, STEVE!" Denise yelled; right when it was too late as the car became part of the dark mist that was invisible to those unfamiliar with nighttime. "GASP!"
By now, Denise might've been worried to know she was alone and uncertain of whether Steve really did park next to her house or not, this in the response to having taken a guess at Steve's sudden
All she could do was decipher this puzzle with whatever clue, in this case, the card, seemed to linger around. She assumed she wasn't going to be anymore shocked than she'd already been before
holding the card.
Even after realizing its surface was written in a language only her kind could understand: Braille.
Reading it out loud still made little difference on whether she understood it or not.
"I-M S-O-R-R-Y , D-E-N-I-S-E,..." she began "T-H-E-Y H-A-D… M-Y…. F-A…"
Before she continued, Denise heard a noise. One so distant, she assumed it might've been footsteps, nothing more.
"… M-Y…. F-A…M-…"
If Denise didn't know any better, she'd say she was scared. Whether it was the distraction from a distance or the letter's enigma, it was all trying to stop her from focusing. Even for the blind, her
current habitat couldn't be any dodgier. All she could do was fall in disgust at the last letters of that same note.
The whole thing didn't make sense put together. "I'm sorry Denise, they had my family" She wasn't any more confused now than she had been before. If she tried thinking about it, maybe another
clue would come.
And it did, taking an arbitrary blow to the noggin that enlarged her face with a stare that appeared frozen at first and stayed that way.
Seconds later, a gunshot was heard by everyone within the mile in width's neighborhood. Her head hit the cold pavement, mixing a silhouette og dim blood.
Many days ago...
Darkness overcame anything whenever light is never around, even for someone with an owl's eye. Whenever the case, nobody knows how to react to it as emotionally prepared as they may get, which is why sadly, it usually comes down to genes for those who are able to overcoming the challenge. That or someone with enough vigor, like the hooded member, A75, to make believe they can proceed and ignore their instincts for a few seconds. This he proved almost modestly as he entered the shallow room, one with enough darkness to leave someone in nighttime forever. Indeed, A75 abandoned fear in place of his humor as a way of fisting the doubts towards safety this area occupied.
After all, he knew what he was doing; he took for granted the mistakes most would forget just so they could cheaply ignore their suspicions. There was never a banana peel he stepped on without seeing it first. Only the Boss' subordinate, another hooded figure carrying a M21 rifle, followed him like he was a prisoner, which he was to the eyes of those behind him as they found no need of fear for the using. Neither did A75, only he wasn't a coward who thought that not taking one wasn't the biggest risk.
"Here we are, ex member!" grunted the subordinate, under its shaded darkness and apparent voice scrambler. It wasn't the only one; everyone within the Bilk Division's premises was to look both like the subordinate and A75, with the exception of the rifle as special members and subordinates qualified for.
"Am I going in time out now or do you plan on explaining squat to me?" A75 asked, testing the subordinate's acumen with his tone.
"Silence, pawn! Your pathetic enmity won't help you understand the situation you've lead yourself into, now listen!" said the subordinate, as angrily as it shut the door behind itself. It was all up to the beam of rectangular shaped flash detected the minute the door forebode anymore light to knock some clues into A75´s pickle.
"The television you see before you was first issued in 1985, almost two decades ago basically" It began, pointing at the television written "Zenith" as below as A75 could distinguish. "Since this clan came to order, no other TV has been used to practice the afflict other than the one given to us by our founder, Joe Martin Vasquez, rest in peace"
A75 could tell this subordinate was fruitlessly trying to impose fear on him if darkness wasn't doing a very good job. Not for what it'd said, but for what it was about to reveal.
"You remember your sacrament of membership, don't you?"
"I'd have amnesia by saying I didn't"
"Then you know what must be done above all prerequisites to gain entrance"
"Who here doesn't, it's just…playing around with a joystick, reviving childhood in my words"
"Video games were to us as pawns were to this company, meaning I might be talking to the next "Earthbound 64" if he wasn't here"
"Am I flattered? They make stories based on our country just to keep them away from it, right? I feel your pain"
"Sit down!" said the subordinate, calmer than before. For that, A75 could detect a hostility slowly dying within its assertion, replacing it with the same humor he was using.
The subordinate took no time off in pointing at the chair next to the Zenith TV with its rifle. A75 sat as the subordinate followed whilst continuing its homily.
"Advice?" he asked. "I thought it was tea, and what advice?"
"When you requested to leave the Bilk Division for good, you thought we'd take "yes" for an answer, even that easily. As skilled as you were, foolishness still seemed to dominate your mind quite well if you thought it helped consulting the high Boss up and personal."
"Most members who'd wish to leave know better than to fiddle with the idea, most who've tried did it outside the area. If anything, you're quite the brave for refusing to escape just to end up with grizzly results"
A75 knew what the subordinate was talking about. It was easier to join than it was to leave, especially when they attached piercing-like tracking devices to your arms which either exploded or released a toxic chemical into one's bloodstream assuming anyone tried confiscating it from its place.
That's how most of his short-lived comrades perished as the society he was in demonstrated no mercy whatsoever, whilst refusing to cease its growth. And yet, that's still what A75 loved the most about these schemes: the thrills.
"So if you're not letting me go, why send me to this rathole?" asked A75.
"Unlike those fallen members, or the word "Oblivious", its people like you who are uncommon in these stories nowadays. Bringing up the real purpose why you're in this torture chamber" the subordinate began, nearly flinching when witnessing A75 didn't.
"Since there's still a chance you'll fail, here's a story that until now was classified. For an unknown cause, the Boss has considered retirement lately and sought you as the only member capable of filling in the Boss' shoes if it meant sparing life. The Boss has eyed great skill in you when hacking some of the more endearing titles such as "Knights of the old republic" and "Half-life" which was once deemed impossible even for those inhabiting outside the continent. The shame that remains is to see you were even worthy enough to beat The Boss to the idea of retirement, not to The Boss' benefit of course"
"Like I mentioned earlier, not many members have the diligence to request bail from anything, without assuming they'd get it. What I'm trying to get across is this"
The subordinate pointed its rifle towards the television.
"The game you'll be playing, pun or no pun, is rainbow six 3, at the final level. By winning, you'll be given another chance to keep your association with us, in other words, your foolishness will be forgiven." said the subordinate.
"By losing, on the other…hand…heh hehe…"
The subordinate flipped a switch on the table, where the television rested. A75 kept pretending he wasn't the least bit frightened. All the fear his face was supposed to exhibit immediately converted itself to the fastest heart rate ever for him if it meant only his insides could sense that very emotion. For the most part, A75 final knew what it felt like to inhibit a horror movie, where death was your worst enemy and you could no longer doubt your submission.
Severed hands, holding video game controllers, mounted by the dozens in the same way as poached animal trophies, stretched endlessly across the darkness that the flickering light bulb couldn't reveal due to the room's actual size. Each one with a plaque of an anonymous name, A75 didn't have the chance to read after the subordinate switched it back off.
He did, however, manage to spot some grisly stains of blood splattered across the floor. Some which were new enough to attract a few flies.
"Deep down, nobody wants to die, especially not someone your age, their whole young potential ahead of them, and with skill and talent to match. Arrogance cost you, I know, but if the Boss doesn't want you to inherit the Boss' throne anymore, there's always a commendable subordinate's position, trust me" the subordinate added, slightly lowering its weapon to emphasize on the magnitude of its gravity.
It still wasn't enough to keep A75 on guard even after that nearly traumatizing display of deceased members' hands. He didn't think thirteen was too young of an age to die, especially since he alone was two years older.
"I'll trust, but I've only heard of it, I've never actually played any of the Tom Clancy games before" said A75.
The subordinate seemed to echo A75's humor as a way of motivating him for the challenge; it was better this way as it had been a while since it ever executed someone like this. Assuming, that was, A75 wasn't going to win, an uncertainty not even the subordinate itself felt like gleefully underestimating.
"They're far easier than anything you've played before, now start!"
It didn't know it, but the subordinate had quite enough in common with A75 than it would ever find out. The ability for surprising would've been gallingly speechless as the subordinate also kept its appall bottled up like a bee ready to sting vengeance on its captor. It even felt like asking A75 if that was really a true failure, but releasing it so was not part of its job.
At the end of the hour, A75 let his guard slip and fell into bedlam.
"Ooooh, so close, but game over" said the subordinate in jest.
"I know" replied A75 as he evenly waited for the wrist guillotine. The subordinates always saved it in an invisible-thanks-to-the-darkness drawer near the corner. For most of them, it would've been a ride down Thrillsville to assassinate a rebellious member like this as the taste of their regrets that went along with their suffering was more exciting than disposing of them with as much imagination as Lee Harvey Oswald.
Not for this subordinate, however. Its only concern blockading the deserved thrills was an answer it didn't need yet really wanted more than usual.
"I have to know" said the subordinate after finally laying the sharp mechanism next to A75. "Was that really a slip at the unluckily last minute…or did you…well, did you…choose to lose?"
The stuttering which barely came apparent to A75's ears pleased him enough to over fake the tranquil tone in his reply.
"Your job is to kill me, not socialize with prisoners" replied A75 " But since you're so superficial, if you were familiar with my record, you'd learn I have no history resembling the lose of any game, even ones I've played as a first. When it's about strategies, both sides of my mind don't work without one helping the other to the point preparation alone becomes a luxury. I'm always careful, that's what makes me the more successful black sheep of the herd"
"Martyrdom, now that's a different subject unrelated to history. This death cult you all pass off for a "division" has been nothing more than an itch on my back for a long time now. You think me, or better yet, ANYONE with an ounce of sanity can live with that? When I said I wanted to quit, I was all set to take any option that'd come my way…even death! So to make it pointy, yes, I lost on purpose."
"Oh how heroic! I'm so touched!" the subordinate immediately replied. "Touched enough to make me forget this is sarcasm!"
A75 released a chuckle before laying his wrist on the guillotine's space reserved for it. The way A75 felt it, either everyone was afraid of death or no one was afraid of anything.
"Ah the inevitable naivety, premature humanity as I'd like to call it" said the subordinate, laying its hands on the lunette's whole, ready to lock it. "Any final requests before we slash your wrists for you, Mr. Emo?"
"Unless you've seen the faces of members you've killed, nah, I'm good." said A75, worry-free as could be.
The subordinate never thought it was already intriguing to know A75 lost on purpose. Now, for the first time, it sensed an overcoming intellect from this one victim, or one to match its own.
"Why?" It asked, releasing the lunette so as to avoid closing its wrists shut yet. "Are you implying you want me to see your face, divulge your identity, before executing you?"
"If it's not a lot to ask for, only if you can" replied A75, with a tone insinuating he was actually waiting for this to happen.
So the subordinate effortlessly shrugged and did what was requested, coming close to A75. After simply removing both the hood and the voice scrambler, it seemed only the mask was left. Usually, it was against protocols for any member, high degree or normal degree, to see this. If they ever died, only the Boss was permitted to know their identities.
The subordinate never found it threatening in a dark room, and even more from a member like A75, who was one of two of the Boss' favorites. The second being one the subordinate would remember after getting this over with.
"I can't say I'm delighted, your identity will seem to get me one way" said the subordinate as it glanced into the eyeholes of that same, creepy robotic skull shaped masked A75 wore.
"I'm not counting on it" said A75 before feeling the subordinate's hands confiscate its facial shell.
After it came off, A75 was certain he didn't need to.