Wednesday, September 23, 2015

9. Bang Bang Into the Room

“Assure me that this is a good idea.” Evan was partially scared. But he was also feeling very brave. She stared at him blankly and nodded.

“It’s a good idea.” Her face and tone didn’t express anything reassuring.

They were in front of a small and clean house. It looked taken from a horror movie, truthfully. It had that innocent vibe that was found at the beginning of a scary movie. The house of terror led by a mysterious man who had been a serial killer when he was young and with a basement full of guns and torture machines. He could see it all.

Once they entered, that feeling intensified. He was ready to see Sadako jumping out of some creepy small door in the ground. Probably from the secret torture chamber where skeletons of unfortunate souls were hidden. The floor cracked when they entered the living room and he swore his heart did a small flip inside his chest.

“Who is this guy again?” She rolled her eyes and pointed at the stairs. They were taking most of the living room.

“Now you see them,” She started. Evan furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. She knocked twice before she waited for exactly five and a half seconds. She knocked again and the stairs cracked in the middle and started to move apart. 

“Now you don’t.” He continued. He was dumbstruck. He only saw that in movies. Stairs weren’t just splitting in two in front of people.

The stairs uncovered a metallic door. It was quite small and square and it was like a sore point in that blank house.

“For your information, he is a genius. The house is just a cover. Chau works for international agencies and he holds secrets that no one can know. He is a secret himself.” She explained. They walked towards the door and stopped in front of it.  She typed some codes into the security system. A sudden wire came out of a little hidden spot and moved in front of her. It analyzed her retina before it moved in front of him. He was a stranger but he was there with someone important. Or so he noticed since the door opened.

“If he is a secret, why do you know about him?” She smiled innocently and linked her arms behind her back.

“He was my brother’s classmate. Most kids in school bully the nerdy guy,” Evan nodded. “Well, not him. He was the sexy and popular nerd.”

“How’s that?” She laughed and swayed back and skipped inside. He had no choice but follow her. It was dark and cold. He was scared what he got himself into.

“He has a certain charm that attracts people to him. He’s a nice guy and probably a bit weird. But he’s got my brother’s back and he worked, secretly, with my dad. I’m sure you two will become best friends.” She winked and walked faster.

They had to go through some more security tests before they finally entered the headquarters. Evan was in awe. It was a normal room –wider and more colorful than anything he had seen before- with no way out or in except the door they just walked through.

“Oi, bro! Is that how you welcome your guests?” She ran towards the couch and jumped over it.

“Back to normal.” Evan mumbled to himself. It was always nice to see her be her suspicious self. That was good news. He started to appreciate weird people more because of her. That meant those people were trying to be happy yet had a lot on their minds.

Instead of one head, two heads raised from the couch. One was hers and the other one was someone Evan met before but under different circumstances.

“Oi! Is that how you act with every man? You jump them with no second thought?” She scoffed and hit him.  Evan’s eyes widened and walked warily towards them. When the other man turned his head, his expression was pretty much the same. They stared at each other in awe before Chau jumped on his feet.

“I know you! You’re the guy I met at the Technological Fair!” She raised an eyebrow curiously.

“You went to the Technological Fair?” They nodded. “With what projects?” They stared at each other and chuckled. The masks broke completely. They shook hands and hugged.

“We didn’t go there for projects or work related stuff. We went there for the free video games.” Chau explained. She blinked in confusion and tilted her head to the side.

“Video games.” She repeated. The guys nodded and laughed again. They started reminiscing old memories –about video games and strategies for video games- but she couldn’t understand anything. She suddenly became the outsider. 

She coughed once. 

They were still deep in their conversation. In one hour, they sat at the improvise dinner table in the corner and got into their own world. 

She coughed twice. 

They were talking about some guy they both met in the virtual world. She closed her eyes and sighed heavily. People say the third time is the lucky one and she was hoping so. 
She coughed three times before Chau raised his head. He glanced at her and smiled before he went back to talking. She had no choice but use her own methods; the unorthodox ones.

She narrowed her eyes at them and went in front of the computer. She wasn’t a genius IT specialist –like some people cough, cough- but she wasn’t a stranger either. She had to pass the code first. She glanced at him from the corner of her eyes before she entered some random numbers and letters. 

The screen became red but didn’t seem alarming. She entered it wrong two more times before the alarm in the room went on. Chau jumped on his feet and looked at his computer. He saw her head moving from side to side and glared at it.

“Are you stupid?!” He pushed her aside and entered the right code. At the same time, he turned off the alarm and alerted the police and special services that he was alright. “What if the police came here?!” She clicked her tongue and reached for help. He pushed her off the couch and she fell on her butt. Evan grabbed her arm and pulled her up. He used a little too much force and she bounced straight into his chest. She blinked and looked up at him. She gulped and licked her lips. Chau raised an eyebrow at the view. “Are you two in a relationship?” They blinked at suddenly realized the position they were in. She pushed him harshly and wiped imaginary dust off her clothes.

“No!”  That answer came suspiciously quick. Chau chuckled and stared at her with knowing eyes. “No.” She repeated but they both knew the truth.  Chau met her when she was really young and with a brother like hers –who was always so chatty about anything, moreover his amazing younger sisters- Chau was up to date with her life.

“Anyway, I heard you want to kill the leader of a mafia clan.” She breathed in and nodded. “The Vipers.” She nodded again. “You do realize they have power over the economy.” She shrugged.

“I don’t care. It’s a long story and I’d like to end it quickly and with few dead bodies.”

“Not mine!” Evan jumped on his feet instantly when he heard the word ‘dead’.  “And not my brother’s either.” Chau frowned.

“He got your younger brother?” Evan nodded. Chau’s expression changed to 90 degrees and he took his rightful place in front of the computer. He typed and typed until he got every file of everyone in The Vipers.  “34 dead bodies are enough for you, Abby?” She walked behind him and read the front file. It was the leader’s.  His son’s picture and file was in the corner. She pointed at it.

“I want him free from jail.” Chau glanced at her over his shoulder.

“Are you sure? He’s just a petty thief but he got himself in some crazy business.” Her eyes were locked on the picture.

“Get him out of prison by tonight. Also, please contact the Tokyo Metropolitan Police and tell them to give you access to their evidence. We need it in order to catch this guy.” Chau nodded and went to work.

“You can spend some time here or you can go out. It doesn’t really matter since people think this house is haunted.” He chuckled bemusedly but his hands were typing. He had to get in the central computer and either add or delete some evidence regarding Max Lee.

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In the end, they did get out. Chau was busy and he had to concentrate. Their case wasn’t the only one he was working on. Evan saw a library a few streets down and they went there. On the way, he could see pieces of the Abigail he knew. She took out her earphones and turned on her phone.

“Are you going into another music video induced mood?” She chuckled. She glanced at the phone and bit her lip. In the end, she gave him one earphone while she put hers in the left year. He put it inside his right ear and they automatically had to get closer since the wire wasn’t long. She didn’t know if his heart was beating quicker or if the hair on the back suddenly rose but she was definitely experiencing her first crush.

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Luckily, they had a coffee machine in the building and didn’t have to move from their spot. The library was quiet and pretty much empty. If one person entered, it was a big deal. The librarian didn’t question them and just let them stay.

“Have you ever read?” Her question was offending. Evan scoffed. It made her chuckle under her hand.

“Of course I do. I like to read books in my free time.”

“Which is not much since you work and study, right?” He nodded. “What genres do you like?”

“Thriller or romance.” She leaned on her elbow and stared at him.

“Horror. Read horror. That’s the best way you can see the world through the eyes of someone smart.” He leaned in and copied her movements.
“Why?”

“Because reality sucks. However, those horror stories come from minds that have lived long enough to distinct the bad from worse. There’s no good in anything. It’s just bad and worse. Just like there is no Heaven. It’s just the World and Hell. Humans are worse than demons but I guess this world has something special and specific that makes it better than Hell.” He raised an eyebrow and listened closely.

“What’s that?” Her eyes suddenly became sad. He frowned and moved closer to her. It was a weird sight to see her so consumed by her past.

“Hope. That’s the only thing that defines us as humans. We have hope that tomorrow will be better. We have hope in God and Heaven. We have hope that no matter how much we sin, we will be saved by Him. We have hope that He exists even if we believe or not. Do you know why that is?” Evan was seriously intrigued where that was going to lead them. “Because we want someone to come and rescue us when it gets hard. Everyone wants to be saved, no matter what from.”

“And why is that concluding to us?” She bit the inside of her cheek and narrowed her eyes at him playfully.

“When it gets hard, even mafia leaders want that. They seek the easiest way to rescue themselves. But, unlike commoners, they don’t seek it from God; they seek it from the Devil. In this case, we are the Devil.” He bit his lip and leaned back.

“He’s not stupid. Once his son will get out of prison and the DA will get rid of the evidence, it will be like nothing happened”. She smirked and crossed her arms in front of her chest.
“Not exactly. Mafia is driven by greed. We will use it in our favor and will destroy him once and for all.”

“What’s with you? Why do you want to catch him so badly?” Her expression changed quickly. It became hard to read. It was like she suddenly covered herself with a magic cloak.

“It’s not him. I don’t care about him and what happens to him. I guess I’m driven by greed too. I have to show someone that he was wrong and I was right.” Evan stared at her and waited for her to continue. She didn’t. He could only guess it was about her father and her short time working as an officer.

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They spent the rest of the day reading or just standing around doing nothing. When the closing time came, they had to go back. They were walking calmly towards Chau’s house when she felt the urge to glance over her shoulder. Her eyes widened and she pushed him out of the way. Evan only heard a gunshot before he fell on his side.

“Run!” 

He froze. He didn’t know what to do and even if he wanted to run, his legs were jelly. She rolled her eyes and grabbed his hand. Instinctively, he took it and they started to run away. They could hear men screaming to each other and Evan chose wrong and looked over his shoulder. His eyes widened and he could actually see the bullets going past his head. He gulped and found a new will to run as fast as he could.

They ran in circle. She wasn’t leading him to Chau. If anything, it seemed she was trying to get away from it. They found a street that was going down in the suburbs. They were going into the nasty part of Birmingham.

“We’re not going to die by mafia men. We’re going to die in a side street with no clothes on and no money!” She hit him in the side and he grunted. Her fist was a weapon.

“Shut up and turn at the next corner. From what I know, there’s a clan of junkies!” Evan frowned. “We need a gun!” He gulped and nodded.

They ran and dodged the bullets for five more minutes before they jumped around the corner. She covered his mouth and told him to be quiet. He did. They heard the man running past the trash can they hid into. It was horrible and it smelled even worse but Evan treasured his life.

Once the alley became silent, she sighed and dropped her hand.

“I can’t believe they found us here.” He mumbled. He wasn’t ready to speak at normal volume yet. She winced. “Why did they come anyway? We have a deal and even if his son gets out, he said he will contact us again!” He was feeling a lot of things but the predominant one was anger. He was angry that someone couldn’t let him live his life in peace.

He kicked the trash can without thinking too much. Unfortunately, he kicked it hard because it fell down and they rolled out of it. He groaned and brushed the rotten banana off his hair. He was shuddering and was feeling really dirty. Why did they jump into a harsh can if she was so sure they were going to face some junkies? He glanced at her and saw her sweating and holding her side tightly. He frowned and crawled to her. He rolled her on her back and scanned her face. Nothing. His eyes moved down and he gasped at the sight. She had been shot in the shoulder and her side was slightly scratched by a bullet while they were running. It was bad. He had no idea how to get her at Chau’s. He had no idea where he was.

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After going through a small panic attack, she flinched and got up. It stung and her body was slowly going numb. But she was alive and had been through worse.

“Why are you there, swaying back and forth like you just committed murder?” She was very chatty for someone wounded.

“You got shot.” She rolled her eyes. She knew that since she jumped in front of the bullet. She wanted him safe and sound. He saw her trying to get up and quickly moved to her side. He wrapped one hand around her waist and wrapped her arm around his neck. “How are we going back?”

“We’re not. He’s a secret, remember?” Evan sighed and took a look around. “Call my brother and tell him to come take us from Oldbury.” Evan frowned. “We can get there in 15 minutes. I know the short way.” He nodded.

“Where’s your phone?” She glanced over her shoulder to her back pockets. He blinked and suddenly felt like blushing. With shaky hands from more than the obvious reason, slipped his hand in her back pocket and quickly got her phone. She was having fun watching him to that but it didn’t seem so if you were to look at her face. “Alright. Here.” He found her brother on the speed dial. He was number one. That was cute.

He had to keep the phone next to her ear and it was uncomfortable. He was taller than her and her shoulder was hurt. However, when Matt responded,Abby couldn’t hear him well. She snatched the phone with the wounded arm and narrowed her eyes at Evan.

“Matt. Can you come in 15 minutes and give me a ride?” It seemed like her brother agreed. “From Oldbury subway station. Alright. Thanks. Bye!” She took a deep breath and gave two thumbs up. “Let’s go, partner.” Evan chuckled and helped her walk for the rest of the way. It was such an eventful day and he wanted nothing more but a bed and those painkillers she bought for him before. He was sure he wasn’t going to sleep as peacefully as before. 

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