Authors: Norman Christof
Killing It at the Club
“Damn it, Andreas, we can’t keep doing this. Eventually I’m going to slip up and get caught. This is not a perfect thing. I can’t just control everyone at will all the time. Sooner or later, they start to figure it out and it doesn’t work anymore.”
Stepping out of the cab ahead of Christa and Leekasha, Andreas headed towards the door of the night club.
“Hey, settle down. You haven’t gotten caught yet, and you managed to get us a free cab to this place without gettin’ busted. Let’s just go inside to have a few drinks. Then we’ll do what you want. I promise.” He flashed Christa a smile that did more to creep her out than reassure her.
“Fine. Two drinks, and that’s it. Then we do what I say.”
“Absolutely. We’ll start with two, and see if you like me more then.”
“No, I’m not drinking. Just you and only two …”
Motioning to Leekasha, Andreas added, “I’m not responsible for that one. She’s your problem. I don’t want any of the girls in here thinking she’s with me.”
Before Christa could say anything else, Andreas was already up the stairs and arguing with the bouncer at the door.
“C’mon, buddy. It can’t be that full in there. You can let me and my friends in. I’ve got two hot chicks with me tonight.”
Christa and Leekasha made their way up the stairs, and Christa mentally suggested to the bouncer that it would be good to let them in as there were two attractive women and only one jerk in their party. The bouncer smiled at Christa and nodded in agreement. He opened the door to let them all in, but bumped Andreas as he walked by. Andreas started to reach for the bouncer, but not before Christa said,
“Don’t, Andreas. You got what you wanted. Let’s go in without causing any more of a stir. We don’t need any extra attention.”
The club was indeed packed on the inside. The music blared a techno beat and the dance floor writhed with arms and legs like a snake pit. It smelled of fruity drinks and sweat. Andreas headed straight through the middle of the dance floor, towards a booth at the back of the club. He fondled every female he could along the way, and it took all the energy Christa had to mentally keep the girls from sending their boyfriends after him. All the booths were crowded, but Christa convinced the group in the most secluded one to leave.
An hour and a half dozen drinks later, Andreas turned to Christa and put his arm around her. She batted it away.
“Let’s go, Andreas. You’ve had your fun here. I need to get both of you somewhere safe so we can figure out what to do next.”
“Ah, c’mon, baby, is it really so bad being here with me? You know, you’d be a lot hotter if you just loosened up a little.”
Christa rubbed her fatigued eyes and looked around the club.
Andreas opened another beer. “I think there’s something wrong with these beers. I don’t feel drunk at all.”
“For once, I agree with you. For the amount you’ve had to drink, you should at least be slurring your words. Maybe some of the Pacize is still in your system and blocking the alcohol.”
“Is it supposed to do that?”
“How would I know? I’m no scientist. It’s not like I’ve ever brought someone back before and fed them beers.”
“Well shit, this is a bust. I can’t even get drunk because of what those bastards did to me. All those years in a damn coma, someone owes me something.” He started looking around the room. “What about her?” he said, motioning to a young, pretty blonde at the edge of the dance floor. “You could use that little mind game and make her do whatever you wanted, right?”
“Don’t even ask. We’re trying not to be noticed here any more than absolutely necessary.”
“Humph. Maybe you’re trying not to be noticed, but not me.”
They both stared at each other for a while. Christa tried again to mentally suggest to him that they leave, but nothing. It had no effect on him. He tried to slide past Christa, but she pushed him back. He turned his attention to Leekasha, putting his arm around her shoulder. Christa bristled and started to speak, but Andreas interrupted, “Hey, you said you wanted us to blend in. Now we look like a fun couple enjoying a romantic dinner with the girl that’s about to join us later for our little ménage à trois. What do ya say?”
Christa said nothing. Instead, she tried suggesting to Leekasha mentally that she push Andreas away. Leekasha just sat there silently. Christa tried again. She suggested that Andreas would harm her, that he wanted to hurt her, that he was a bad person and she should run. Leekasha turned this time and looked towards Christa. For the first time, Christa took notice of her dark brown eyes and long black hair. Those eyes looked so hollow. Hollow and sad. Christa tried again, this time more vehemently.
He will violate you and leave you for dead … get away from him. Now!
Leekasha slid herself towards the end of the booth away from Andreas and out from under his arm. At first, Andreas just looked at Leekasha,
“Ah, c’mon, baby, not you too. What’s wrong with the women around here?”
Then he looked into Christa’s face and could see the look of determination and beads of sweat just forming.
“You did that. What is your problem? Why did you bring me back if you’re just determined to keep my life boring as hell? At least when I was under the drug I could imagine getting laid, being drunk and having a good time.”
He turned and looked at Leekasha, who was now shaking at the end of the bench. She didn’t seem to have the energy to move any further. The end of the bench was as far as the determination to flee instilled by Christa would take her.
Andreas laughed. “If that’s the furthest you can go, things may just work out for me after all. I don’t mind a little bit of a chase.”
He looked to Christa, obviously tired from the exertion, and more than a little frustrated with the situation.
“You know what,” Andreas said, “If you can play those little brain games, then maybe so can I. You thought there was something special about me, so let’s put it to the test. I think she’s game,” he said, motioning towards Leekasha. “I think she really wants to get to know me better. Let’s give it a go.”
“Don’t you dare, you jackass,” Christa said.
Andreas already was. He looked into Leekasha’s dark brown eyes, and thought,
c’mon, hon, slide right over here next to me.
Before Christa could smile and say, “See, it’s not so easy is it, you scum?” Leekasha slid up next to Andreas. Andreas slid his arm back around her and put his other hand on her knee.
Andreas said to Leekasha, “I knew you had feelings for me, baby.”
Christa tried to reach her again mentally, but got nothing. She was either too tired, or he had too strong of a hold on her.
“Well, what do you know,” Andreas crowed proudly. “It looks like I can do all the same tricks you can. Maybe even better. Hell, I bet I can do even more. What do ya say? You up for a little wager? I’ll bet you I can bring this one back the same way you brought me back. You couldn’t even do that, now, could you? What do you suppose she’d do? Things didn’t go all that well last time you tried it. I’m sure I can do better though. Let’s try it, shall we?”
Before Christa could finish saying, “Don’t …” Andreas was already in Leekasha’s head. He thought about what it felt like to be under the control of the drug. How much it hurt, and no matter how much he screamed, the pain never went away. He could hear her screams and followed them. They meandered around corners, down pits and up into mountains. The screaming got louder the closer he climbed. Eventually he could picture a ravine with a rope bridge across, but the bridge was broken and hanging down the sides. He reached across the ravine, with just his right arm stretching it further than it should be able to go, and grabbed the broken bridge. With his left arm, he grabbed the near side of the bridge and brought the two sides together till the ropes touched. The two sides fused and the bridge was once again whole and undamaged.
Andreas open his eyes, and the first thing he noticed was the look of horror on Christa’s face. The next thing he noticed was the bodies in the booth next to theirs. Two couples broken and bleeding. Their throats were torn wide open, with warm blood gushing out. Then he saw Leekasha feeding on the same pretty blonde girl that Andreas had noticed earlier.
Leekasha’s attack reminded him of Captain Willie. Of how good it felt to release all that tension and pain that had tortured him for years. He still remembered the pain, and still felt it. No amount of killings would ever take that away, but he understood why Leekasha had done what she had. The pressure had to go somewhere. It couldn’t just stay inside.
“Leekasha, now look what you’ve done,” he said, smiling. “You’ve gone and killed the pretty one. Why didn’t you just take the fat one over there?”
Christa moved quickly to Leekasha, grabbing her by the arm and pulling her off the blonde. Andreas piped up over the booth, “It’s too late now, she’s already ruined that one.” He looked at his empty beers, then around the room. It was quickly being vacated by screaming patrons running and tripping over each other for the exits.
“Don’t suppose there’s any chance of me flagging down a waitress in this mess. We may as well go. Alright, Christa, I suppose we can do it your way now. What did you have in mind?”
Christa was already leading Leekasha towards the exits. Andreas got up and casually followed them, grabbing a half-full beer from a deserted table.
Kill or Die
Alex and Chaz were loading the last of the supplies into the back of the black military-grade SUV before heading out.
“We’ve got enough ammo and rations here to equip six of us, Colonel. How long exactly do they think we’re going to be gone for?”
“Hard to say, kid. The lead we’ve got isn’t all that great, and we’ve got a big area to start searching in. A little extra gear is good. We can focus on finding Christa and not have to worry about where our next meal is coming from.”
“You might change your mind about that after you’ve eaten some of these military rations, Colonel. They’re not exactly your mom’s home cooking.”
“Yeah, thanks, kid. I’m well aware of military food. Here’s to hoping either it’s gotten a lot better in the last few years or we get lucky and find Christa quickly.”
“She’d like that.”
“What do you mean?”
Alex rubbed his eye and looked around nervously. “Well … she’s just having a hard time of it lately. Things aren’t really going her way.”
“She told you that? She still talks to you? Inside your head?”
“It’s more a feeling. She didn’t say anything exactly, I just know she feels sorry. She feels bad for what’s happening. I think she wants us to find her.”
“She knows we’re looking for her?”
“No, she can’t hear what I’m thinking. She doesn’t listen to me. It’s just her telling me things.”
“You’re sure about that? She doesn’t know what’s in your head?”
“Yeah … I think so. I’m pretty sure. I mean, she never answered any of my questions.”
Rabban entered the garage and headed directly for Chaz with a purposeful stride.
“We need to talk, Colonel,” he said, looking over at Alex “Privately,” he added.
They headed over to the far corner, out of earshot of Alex.
“Things have escalated, Colonel. There were some killings in a club near Mobile, Alabama just a few hours ago. Security footage from the club identifies three people that match the three from the missing boat entering the club just before the murders took place. We’ve leaked a story that it was some drugged-up street punks that went nuts inside the club. If they pull another stunt like that, someone will start to piece things together. If word gets out about what’s really going on, we’ll have full-blown war on our hands.”
Chaz nodded in agreement. “The good news is, we have a solid lead. Unfortunately, that’s an eight-hour drive for us. They’ll be miles away by then.”
“No time for that, Colonel. There’s a transport copter inbound that’s big enough for both of you and your vehicle. They’ll be landing in the next ten minutes, and they’ll have you on the streets in Mobile in a couple of hours. I see you’re still intent on taking the kid with you. We have eyes on the streets in Mobile looking for these renegades. I can assign one of them to ride with you.”
“No thanks. Alex is good. I want him with me.”
“Does he know it’s Christa you’re looking for?”
“Yes. Don’t worry, he’ll step it up when he needs to.”
“I certainly hope you’re right, Colonel, because your orders have changed. This is primarily a kill mission now. Your priority is to stop them. If capturing them isn’t viable, then you need to terminate them. That includes Christa. She’s the one that instigated this. We’ve worked too hard to get this country back in one piece to have it all fall apart.”
“Jesus. We’ll bring them in. Killing won’t be necessary.”
“Colonel, don’t forget what’s at stake here. This country won’t survive another war. If you don’t shut this down in a hurry, you’ve signed all our death warrants. That includes Alex, me, and your family. Get it done.”
Rabban left the garage as Chaz pushed the button to open the bay doors. Chaz walked back to Alex at the SUV.
“Who was that guy, Colonel?”
“Just some government lackey wanting to wish us luck.”
They could see the helicopter dropping in for a landing as the garage doors opened.
“Oh yeah, and they upgraded our ride too, kid. We’re flying this beast to Mobile. Let’s get at it.”