5th Column Comics: LEX HARD #9 THE RISING TIDE
*IT'D BE HELPFUL FOR YOU IF YOU READ NUMBER 8 SO I THOUGHT I'D BE HELPFUL AND GIVE YOU THE LINK*
Lex stood before his army of about one hundred men and women of varying ages. For months after he had engineered their escape from the Carrier prison, they had looked like nothing more than a bunch of rag tag, trampled upon refugees. But with a whole lot of training and extremely physically taxing exercise, he had whipped them into a mostly ready fighting force. Luckily, most of them would end up doing relatively safe jobs in the public sector. Ever since he’d paid the Mayor a visit in his own home, the bill had been pushed through quietly and now Carriers were free to work and live as normal citizens, as long as they had a reputable company to vouch for their abilities and training. Everything was already in place the only thing he needed was to make sure his workers were ready.
All these thoughts about the Mayor and his plans for the city caused Lex’s expression to sour as he remembered what went down on his visit to the Mayor’s house. Kiro Nowasaki had crashed the party and it looked like the Nowasaki Group had the same thing in mind for Indigo City that Lex did. And there was absolutely no way that Lex would allow them to move in on his city. It had taken him too long to get this far. As he stood there contemplating what all this meant for Indigo City, it occurred to him that his people were waiting on him to speak.
“Thank you all for joining me today.” Lex started. “I’m here to tell you that everything we’ve been working towards for the last few months is now within reach. A bill just passed that will allow all of us carriers to live and lead normal lives again. There are a few clauses of course like the fact that all Carriers must register themselves with the city and wear a power limiter, once the technology is fully developed, but other than that, you’re free to be normal, everyday citizens of this great nation again!”
His people cheered loudly at that, with a couple of whistles and whoops to boot. After a few seconds, they quieted down and Lex continued. “All Carriers who want to work needs a company that specializes in recruiting Carriers and training them for specific jobs to vouch for them. And that’s where I come in. My people and I will find you work and all you have to do is pay us a small percentage of what you make. And don’t worry about being escapees, all of that has been taken care of. I’ve paid off all the right people and they’ve broken into The CBTF branch that deals with their prisons and removed your identities from their system. Congratulations ladies and gentleman, you’ve all started your new lives.”
As soon as he delivered that bit of good news to the people they cheered and applauded their new status as regular citizens as Lex left the makeshift podium and left the warehouse through the back where he had a car and the Loup waiting. As usual the large man fell in alongside his boss silently and followed him inside the car.
“Did Bone make sure all the other crime bosses get the message?” Lex asked. The Loup nodded his head and Lex turned to look out the window of his car. The Loup stretched out and knocked on the car’s partition and the driver took off.
MEANWHILE IN THE GARMENT DISTRICT
“Mr. Yun.” Bone said very calmly as Speedy Rodriguez finished tying up all of the living thugs in the room. The head of the Chinese Triad in Indigo City knelt before him, bloodied and bruised. Usually Bone preferred to meet in out of the way locations, but Mr. Yun only hung out here in the back of his dress shop. It was the only way to get to him. “It doesn’t have to be this way. My employer, Mr. Hard, is making you an offer. He knows that it’s getting harder and harder to make a living doing what you do with all these Carriers running around. That’s why he’s offering you the services of our boy Speedy here.” Bone said, pointing to Speedy Rodriguez in the corner and stepping closer to his captive.
Mr. Yun spat at Bone’s feet and glared at him. “No I will not allow anyone to tell me how to run my business.” He said. Bone shook his head in an exaggerated expression of sadness.
“That’s a real shame, Mr. Yun.” Bone said. Seconds later, Bone closed the gap between them and stabbed his bone sword through Yun’s rib cage and into his heart, piercing it completely. Bone withdrew the blade and allowed Yun to slouch down to the floor. There was a knock on the door and Bone nodded to Speedy who then moved to answer the door.
“Ah, Mr. Chen.” Bone said smiling. “Glad you could make it out here on such short notice.” Bone turned around and looked at the bound goons and grinned maliciously. “Say hello to your new boss gentleman. All the way from Hong Kong. He brought his own people over here and he hired a couple of our carriers. Smart guy wouldn’t you say?”
The helpless men’s eyes widened and they stared at Bone in fear, some of them even starting to sob behind the gags. “He probably won’t be needing your services though, so what is left to do with you guys? What value are you guys to my employer?” Bone asked.
The men immediately started mumbling and grumbling through the gags they had on and Bone just laughed. “The question was really just a rhetorical one. I already have the answer. You’re going to be test subjects for a new serum the boss has been working on, so I hope you guys still remember your high school chemistry class. Or not it doesn’t matter. We have doctors for that.” Bone joked. He nodded to Speedy and Speedy zipped around the room and went to start loading the truck they had brought along with their new guinea pigs.
IN THE BASEMENT OF LEX’S HQ
Kiro Nowasaki had been tied up and beaten and tortured for several hours straight before he’d given up anything, but it wasn’t really a question of if he’d tell, but when he’d tell. Through him, Lex had discovered the Nowasaki Group had for Indigo City and that Kira had no involvement in it whatsoever. But it was strange that he was in the city and Kira didn’t know anything about it. Especially since he personally knew that she kept tabs on all of her family members and their travel plans. Lex walked into the room Kiro was being held and closed the door shut behind him. In the room was Kira and her brother, having some good old fashioned brother and sister time.
Kira kicked her brother in the head and knocked him down to the floor, still tied to the chair. “What do you guys know about him? Do you know where we hid him?” Kira demanded.
“What are we talking about? Better yet, who are we talking about?” Lex asked with a slight smirk on his face.
Kira turned around, still breathing hard and trying to catch her breath from her workout. “Aaron.” She said simply. Then she crossed her arms as all of the expressions and mirth drained right out of his face.
“Why do you think they know where he is?” Lex asked, his voice tight.”
“He just said ‘our people are still looking very hard for the boy. And we had a line on him, but I was sent here first. His location was next on my list.’ “Kira explained, trying to remain calm.
“Untie him.” Lex commanded. Kira started at the change in Lex’s tone. She backed away from him slowly and then moved to untie her brother. When he was free, he struck out lightening quick and caught his sister with a backhand across the face, sending her flying across the room and into the wall, leaving a woman sized hole behind.
“Now. Time for the men to talk.” Kiro said.
TUNE IN NEXT TIME TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!