The Quan’s finally let me go, not that that I’m free, but they push me out of a moving car near my apartment. Their little underling explained the device they implanted in me.
“You go near Quan’s and they don’t want you too, it’s a shock. You go near a hospital or doctors, you get a shock. You try and leave the city limits, you get a shock. You go near the airport, shock. Pretty much everything you can think of, you get a shock.” He said. “Oh if you head near the CBTF building…”
“I get a shock, I get it.”
“We’ll be in touch about your first gig smart ass!”
I roll with the momentum, still hurts but at the moment my anger is greater than the gravel burn. I stand, flip off the car that nearly hit me through no fault of her own and head to my apartment. As I enter the lobby I can tell that it won’ be home sweet home. My mailbox has been removed from the wall. Forcibly. There’s yellow warning tape over it.
“Great!” I mutter and trudge up the stairs. I live here because it’s cheap and easy and they don’t ask question or give a $#!t about what you do so long as you don’t murder someone in the lift, like Mrs Patterson from 5A did last year. That wasn’t entirely her fault but she serves as a cautionary tale on not to cut stardust with meth.
“Ugh!” My front door, well what was once my front door is a piece of cardboard held on by yellow cautionary tape. I push through it to see my former place of residence a complete and utter shell. Everything I owned or had is gone. Everything. Pictures, furniture, lightbulbs, carpet, everything. Some of the underfloor’s been ripped up too where I stashed my guns. It’s very disheartening yet a little cleansing not having a god damn thing. All I own is this blue hospital gown and this Demon Dog sweater the Quan underling put on me.
No possessions. No clothes. No phone. No powers. This is f^&%^$ bul!$#!t!!
I eventually leave my shell, no point staying as there is absolutely nothing to do there. Can’t even go to the toilet as they also took my toilet paper! What kind of heartless b…they’re the Quan’s! They don’t have hearts just lumps of coal pumping liquid misery through their black veins. I think I’ll kill Genghis first because he’s the dumbest and more dangerous of the two. It’ll also dawn on Kublai that he’s about to die when I toss him his brother’s burnt decapitated head!
I need clothes, cash and medicine. I’m just going to go hold a chemist up. They got it all. No point in wearing a mask. Rummaging through a nearby bin I get a bottle, can’t hold it up with my powers coz I don’t have any anymore! I feel like a scumbucket! And knowing how my luck has been going I’ll probably end up killing some poor teen behind the counter because I look like a junkie and they’ll think they can take me! I AM GOING TO P!$$ DOWN THE NECK HOLE OF GENGHIS AND MAKE KUBLAI DRINK IT!
“Nate? Is that you?”
It’s a voice I haven’t heard in about six years. I turn to see my Hispanic friend Rico standing there looking like a million dollars.
“Rico! What the hell man!”
We high-five and embrace. “You my friend look like…”
“Me! Look at you Mr Business Man!”
“Were you going to,” he nods at the chemist we’re standing in front of. “Y’know.”
I feel like such a lowlife but at this point I’m desperate. “You got five minutes?”
“So what the hell man?” Rico puts down two beers on the table. “You look like a hobo!”
“Would you believe I just came out of a coma!”
Rico shakes his head. “That’s retarded. So what you need?”
I hate borrowing things. I hate people who borrow things. I am now becoming what I hate. “Two hundred.”
Without hesistaion his hand goes into his suit and pulls out a money clip and drops five grand on the table.
I take two hundreds and push the rest back. “Two hundred. I’ll pay you back.”
“Don’t sweat it,” Rico says. “Just take it all. You need a job? My bos…”
I shake my head. “No, I’m good. So what’s been going?”
Rico smiles “So much crazy stuff man…” He pauses as he pulls out his phone. “I gotta take this.”
“Go Mr Corporate,” I laugh and wave him away, my eyes zone in on the money. It won’t get me out of my hole but it’s a start. I drink my beer as I ponder. No, take the two hundred get some clothes. Start there. More I take now the more I have to pay back. But he does owe me from when I saved him from getting shiv’d back in lockup all those years ago. Stop it! Drink your beer, take the two and go. Rico’s probably straightened out; all stock market trader or financial advisor I guess. The waiter walks by and I grab his arm.
“You got a pen?”
I write a quick note on one of the hundreds, hand a hundred to the waiter whose eyes nearly pop. “You give the rest of this back to him when he comes back or I’ll find where you live…Brian, three years of service, and stick your pen in your eye. Get me?”
“Y-yes sir” Brian says nervously as he unconsciously covers his name badge.
I scoop up the two beers and bail, don’t want to burden Rico with my problems. I’ll deal with my mess. And by god it’s going to be messy!
I sip my coffee as I catch up on my life via the internet. The Quoll’s dead, the mayor got his hands chopped off, some weird rain hit the city, that rock and roll clown beat up a church rally, the Macedonian’s took a hit when The Reverend Doctor Dentist paid them a visit, Wind Bag joined a super group and there’s more rumours about a giant wolf army in the forests of Kingville. I kinda wish I was still unconscious dreaming of amber sands…
“Nate?” asks a low voice from the computer next to me. In my peripheral it’s the underling.
‘What do you w…how did you find me?”
“Tracking device,” he says with a smile. “Have a job for you.”
To be continued...