I turned to face a seething beast with cold black eyes, orbs that reflect an imminent demise.. it was the death of me.
Yet oddly, he just stood there watching, a silent predator, as the riot alarm sounded overhead and we could hear the rising chorus of mayhem in the distance, slowly but surely drowning it out.
I matched his look with a glare of my own, digging deep within to steel my nerve. I now just had to survive the fall, and rise from the ashes of the ruins, a feat that looked impossible given the current circumstances. He stood at the foot of the bed, while I was backed up against the headboard, only Obispo’s lifeless body and the blood soaked sheets lay between us.
“Didn’t I tell you we were one and the same..” I could barely hear Ramon’s voice over the noise, but somehow I didn’t miss a word. “What makes you any different from me? I know you feel it.. That dark pull inside you, the rush you feel when you take a life, the fun you’ve had planning this little coup of yours. Relishing in the mayhem.. What do you plan to do next? You think you could control these men on your own? These animals won’t be so easily domesticated, meu amor.”
“To tell you the truth, I haven’t even made any plans on what to do.. at least none beyond me killing you, that is.”
“Ah, so revenge is what consumes you, what drives you.. what fulfills you.” He replied slightly amused, as he smiled condescendingly. “It fueled me for several years, as well. After our little incident on my birthday all those years ago, you must remember. I was angry at you for rejecting me, especially knowing, I’d always have you eventually. You are mine, it’s something that is inevitable.. no matter where destiny leads you, nor how many of her paths you take.. Isso eu sei como um fato!” He had gotten riled up and beat his chest passionately. “The Black Nobility shall never rise again, it’s my purpose to ensure that, esse e o meu destino! I have to ensure the bloodline ends with you, yet I’m unable to kill you.. they find you too valuable to dispose of and unfortunately, as do I.”
I didn’t know what to take from all that, these people actually believed in what I had always seen to be nothing but myth. Grandmother had told me many stories during my childhood, but said they were all just fiction. Bedtime tales for children about the price of greed, treachery, and deceit that accompanied power and money.
From what little I remembered, the Black Nobility was a branch of descendants from the fifteen families of the first of the Old Elite. Bloodlines that have crisscrossed back and forth several times, and last names that have changed twice as often, but still, sixty percent of all the wealth in the world is controlled by the many descendants of the original fifteen. New money controlled the next thirty-sixth of the world’s monetary resources, with little trickling down from the top.
The four bloodlines that made up the Black Nobility consisted of two families with blood of the new and two families with blood of the old, joined together to make a force that quickly consumed half of the financial sector and commanded heavy influence over global leaders.
At the time there were already two regimes of the often at war bloodlines, the Council of Thirteen and the modern day Illuminati(which consists of several sub clans of its own). The Black Nobility had arrived unexpectedly and seemed to have an advantage of sorts, Gran never went into detail but somehow, someway, they had taken over out of nowhere.
So as the story went, the two opposing factions both found common ground to work together, they both preferred the enemy they knew over this new threat. It’s debatable by many how they did it, but they were able to dismantle the Black nobility and the bloodlines that were aligned with them dwindled and suffered financial, as well as personal, ruin at the hands of the two groups. I was still confused how they could connect me to them, as far as I knew, I shared no lineage with them and I’m pretty sure my Gran or my mother would have likely told me of such.
Ramon stood there watching me, looking as if he’d strike at any moment, he grabbed one of Obispo’s limp limbs and dragged him from the the bed to the floor. He wiped his bloody hands on the pants leg of his orange jumpsuit, his body glistened with sweat, outlining every muscular cut and curve of his defined torso. His eyes pierced deep within me, and I could feel the lust he beheld, even now, after such treachery on my behalf. Maybe in some sick way, he felt his insane infatuation equaled to love, maybe in a way it did.
I couldn’t subscribe to the program though, I refused to be ANYONE’S pawn, not his, not my father’s, not these people pulling the strings, nor the bastard with the vendetta against me.
Suddenly, I was yanked from the left and flung forcefully into the dresser that occupied that side of the room. I jammed my shoulder but I had instincts enough to move out if the way as Torre slashed at me with the bloody rusted metal shank that had once been lodged in his eye. I fought the urge to throw up when I’m finally able to see his horrible wound, shocked at the damage I’d done, it was leaking blood profusely but he acted as if he felt nothing at this point. The flesh, within and surrounding, his eye socket was torn and frayed, a cavern where his left eye once was.
I went to run, only to stop when I saw Ramon was blocking my only exit. Pausing had been my biggest mistake, I was grabbed by the neck in a vice tight grip. I didn’t know if I’d die first from the crushing of my larynx or the suffocation that burned my lungs and spotted my eyesight. My feet dangled in the air as Torre squeezed the life from me, I could make out Ramon running toward me with his fist raised, and prepared myself for a blow that never came. To my surprise, he had cold clocked Torre right where his left eye used to be.
When I hit the floor, I gasped and coughed as the oxygen burned its way through my lungs, my throat was bruised and strained to the point where it became painful to even swallow. I looked up to see Torre and Ramon engaged in battle, but not against each other.
Escro, accompanied by Hassan, was dealing heavy blows to Ramon, who blocked most, if not all, the shots taken at him from both men. They were laying on the pressure thick, so the King had no choice but to play defense. I could see Chi and the newly recovered Cavaleiro going at it as well, both seemed to be evenly matched at the moment but Cavaleiro was landing a few haymakers, swinging wildly like a beast. It was then that I caught site of Muhammed and Torre, the monster of a man had yet to show signs of fatigue despite his grotesque injuries. Muhammed was holding his own, but barely, rage and adrenaline was driving Torre, giving him the advantage. Somehow I was able to drag myself to my feet, my footing unsteady and the blood rushed to my head. I wasted no time though, as I had to act fast.
I stumbled my way to the love seat against the wall, dropping to my knees to reach under. I snatched the sac containing my personals from the hiding place I’d created, reaching inside quickly to find what I needed. When I found it, I made haste to my feet and turned around Only to see Torre stab Muhammed in the shoulder. He let out a yell and immediately got the attention of his brother Hassan, who quickly abandoned Escro and O Rei to aide his brother.
I felt a dark crimson fury flow through me, as I rushed Torre, the Taser crackling with electricity. Hassan caught Torre with a two piece combo to the face and I gave Torre a hit to the neck with the voltage set to the max. He fell to the ground like a sack of dirt and I quickly picked up the rusted metal shank he dropped, I got down and straddled his back, losing myself as I stabbed into him repeatedly.
I cared not about the fresh blood that splattered and stained my skin and tattered rags, I was consumed by the blood sport of death and survival, entering a mindset of primal instinct. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it, as Ramon had described, I wouldn’t say I felt anything. Only when I was satisfied all life had exited his body, did I stop my assault and stand shakily to my feet. I bent down and picked up the Taser, looked to the two brothers, Hassan tending to Mohammed’s wound. I moved toward them to help but Hassan shot me a look, that made me think otherwise. Muhammed gave me a smirk and elbowed his brother in the ribs, he could barely speak without wincing in pain.
“You did good baby boy, now get the hell outta here before TACman come, you know they on they way. Don’t worry bout us, we got this from here, this nigga bout to be put to rest!” He said, looking hard at the battle that was going on between Ramon and Escro.
“How do I know you’re going to be alright? I can’t have anyone else die on me.” I replied with honest sincerity, I had always found the man to be charming, even if he was a bit of a hoodlum.
“Man, ya need to cut that faggot shit out!” Hassan interrupted, clearly annoyed. “Yo, my brother gonna be alright, I got him. You need to get outta here for real, before it’s too late.” Both Muhammed and I just rolled our eyes at him before saying goodbye, with just a look between us.
I turned to the two battles still going on, Escro and Ramon still fought each other with equal ferocity, while Cavaleiro had gained the upper hand on Chi. The loud mouth looked worn for worse, as Cavaleiro hit him with a barrage of blows to the body and face. When I saw an opportunity, I called out to him and tossed the Taser to him. The battery was fresh, so hopefully it would help him, I didn’t stick around to find out, grabbing my bag and the bloodied rusted metal shank from the floor. I then headed for the exit of the cell, and hastily made my way across the room. I heard the telltale cackle and accompanying shriek that came with usage of the electric weapon, as I made my way out the door.
I had been tempted to turn and witness the death of Ramon for myself, but time was of the essence. I felt I could trust Escro to finish the job, and if he failed there was no way things would be able to return to how they once were. The King and his empire was essentially over, it would be next to impossible to maintain control as he once had, his death would just be icing on the cake, and what’s cake without icing.
Entering the dark corridor outside Ramon’s cell, I could hear the chaos that ensued in the distance. The little light there was flickered above, accompanied by the incessant shriek of the ‘lock down’ Alarm. I had maybe made it a couple cells down, before I was yanked back by my hair and slammed to the ground. My head hit the concrete and I lost my vision momentarily, I could hear two people screaming obscenities at me but everything was muffled. I felt a kick to the ribs and I balled up instinctively before the incipient kick to my head from the other assailant could land its mark. They continued with a multitude of stomps to my body, and I felt as if I might black out. Suddenly I was flipped over onto my back and straddled by one of the guys, my vision cleared enough to reveal none other than Pandora, and standing to the right of us was Lethi, forever the punk bitch sidekick.
“Puta de mierda! You thought you’d get away with this? You just waltzed your little prissy faggoty ass in here and ruined everything! I knew it would happen, it was the last time he even looked at me that way.. The way he now looks at YOU.” He looked down at me in such a rage, his eye whites were stained red. “I always have loved him, obeyed him, I LIVED for him.. I would even DIE for him! And here you plot against him and repeatedly toss him to the side as trash! You never deserved to be Minha Rainha!”
He grabbed hold of my hair, tightly by the root, and bashed the back of my head into the ground again. I reached around for the metal shank, as I’d dropped it when they’d attacked, my fingers searching around frantically. During that time Pandora pulled out what I clearly identified to be a scalpel, he must have stolen it from the medical ward. He raised his arms up high to drive it down and end me, I abandoned my search for a weapon and caught hold of his wrists before death could claim me. We struggled for what seemed like forever, Pandora’s absolutely ravenous face above my own, the scalpel inching its way ever closer.
We both heard a yelp come from Lethi and Pandora turned to look, while he was distracted I yanked his arms to the left and then swiftly to the right. The blade sliced his cheek, splitting it open to the white meat. He let loose a scream that hurt my ears, dropping the weapon and clutching his face. He began to pummel me with blows, his fists a clear message of his fury. I cover myself as best I could, several of his hits, catching me cleanly.
I felt Pandora be ripped off of me and flung backward, I uncovered myself and could see Calypso, Athéna, Sujo, and Tomas had arrived. Calypso was attacking Pandora, while Tomas enacted his own revenge against Léthi for his double crossing ways, beating him to death with what look to be a lead pipe.
Athéna and Sujo helped me to my feet, one of them handed me a large shirt, which I quickly threw on. I could walk by myself but I couldn’t move too fast, I went to help Calypso end that crazy bitch Pandora, when canisters sailed through the air, followed by a thick suffocating smoke. It was tear gas, and that could only mean one thing, TAC units had finally breached the mob. Sujo grabbed my arm and pulled me in the opposite direction, but not before I saw Pandora run off, disappearing into the smoke with Calypso close behind him.
The two led me through the riots, clearing a path forcefully if needed, making our way to safety. The smoke had thinned and we could make out the clear hulking form of the TAC Units battering and bashing their way indiscriminately through the crowd of inmates. Fiery fireballs of paper and trash fell from the sky, littering the ground, as the inmates caused further destruction.
There were burning corpses and bloodied wounded scattered about, carnage and mayhem engulfing the cellblock. I couldn’t help but to feel guilty, the emotions finally catching up to me. Maybe Ramon had been right, we weren’t so different after all. Look at the death and destruction I had caused, did I relish in it? I couldn’t lie to myself and deny that I never felt so alive, than I did right now, so close to death. What was this dark part of my soul that fed from this? And when had it taken over?
We finally arrived at the main gate to Hades, unfortunately it was locked, and I had no way of reaching Cerberus for help. I hadn’t planned for things to progress so soon, the timing all wrong. Hopefully he’d come down on his own to retrieve me, but that may take time we didn’t have. I turned to the two boys, throwing my hands up, declaring I was fresh out of ideas. We were locked in and the door was remote.
Suddenly we heard a riotous laughter behind us, and I turned to see Muhg accompanied by two imposing TAC Units, emerging from the shadows like hyenas from The Lion King. Her fat face held the most smug and condescending grin, it read game over, checkmate. I didn’t see any sense in the two with me losing their lives so I offered a quick surrender on their behalf, citing their innocents during the whole thing. She accepted the clean surrender, and I stood there, with my hands raised in defeat. She ordered Athéna and Sujo to kneel to be searched, and to place their hands behind their heads. The two armored men approached them from behind, patting them down and checked them thoroughly, finding nothing. They stood and looked to Hernandez, awaiting orders, and she looked to me.
“O que he com voce? Why can’t you get with the fucking program? We got a good thing going on here, where everybody can win! They just need you to fall in line, and maybe we can even see about getting you an early release.. Ramon, he has always been disposable, it’s you we really need.”
“I don’t want any part of this, why can’t you seem to understand that shit?!” I screamed, frustrated with it all.
“No, what you don’t understand, is that you don’t have a fucking choice!” She said menacingly, turning to the two TACmen, she gave a nod.
The one on the left was the first to move, quickly unlatching his riot stick, bringing it high into the air then down in a crushing blow to Athéna’s head. I closed my eyes, as tears threatened to break free, I could hear the sickening crunch of his skull being bashed in. Sujo’s screamed but it was quickly silenced and replaced with the dreadful sounds of his own demise.
“You fucking worthless piece of shit!” I screamed at Muhg, in a fit of rage. “You didn’t have to kill them!”
“Hahahaa.. The look on your face, Graciosisimo! I’ll remember it till the day I die, it’ll always make a good laugh. Hopefully now you understand, the offer is non negotiable, you will stand down and cooperate in full.”
“What the fuck do you people want from me? money?! You can have all of it. Access to my father? His universal pass key is ‘GODOFMAN2140’, it unlocks everything from his apartments and cars to his private jet and safe. Just take what you want and put me outta my motherfucking misery!” I had seriously had enough.
“You still don’t know why we want.. no, why we NEED you and will do anything to acquire you. Do you know nothing of the blood that courses through your veins? What it is foretold to be able to do?” I gave her the same confused look she gave me.
“So you need me, eh? Why the hell should I cooperate with you bastards? You need me alive and my blood fresh, you’re not going to kill me.” I said, already filing through my options, which were scarce indeed.
“I’ve been told to take you out in case of non compliance, while we prefer a fresh specimen, please believe we can do many things with you postmortem.” She smiled evilly, coming closer towards me.
I could see a figure cloaked in the darkness behind her and the two TAC Units, it stood near the edge of the shadows, and whatever it was stalked closer to them. I stopped looking before I gave whomever it was away, they could be my only chance to make it out of this alive, because compliance wasn’t an option for me. At that time, Muhg had gotten right in my face, she grabbed my chin in a tight grip.
“I’m sick of playing this game with you you ungrateful little rich boy, do you wanna to live or do you wanna d..!!!” I cut her off with a head butt to the face, so hard, I’m sure I cracked a tooth because I felt blood drip down my face from the impact.
She grabbed her mouth with one hand and swung her club at me wildly with the other, she caught me in my bad shoulder and I almost blacked out from the pain. When she swung again I caught it in my hands, the two TAC guards had reacted fast, only to be snatched back into the darkness. I gave her a kick to the gut and she dropped the stick, I bent down to pick it up and prepared to swing. Halted, as I came face to barrel of a SIG Sauer P227, she pressed it against my forehead, digging it into the laceration located there, pushing me to my knees.
I grunted in pain as a fresh stream of blood traveled down my face, her dark eyes were crazed and she still held her wounded mouth, where blood had now pooled into her hand, spilling down to soak her sleeve. She moved her hand to speak and I could see I’d busted her lip while breaking two of her front teeth, the red liquid gushed and cascaded down her chin, as she tried to talk.
She slurred something in Spanish, that sounded to me like she said “The End”, and all I could do was close my eyes and wait to join those I loved in the afterlife.