He was broken, little Das. But a towering man stood before him when he awoke. The man was daunting. The air to him lingered foreboding. He had eyes darker than the night skies and a scar that hinted at naught but danger. This man drew forth, resting a hand atop Das head. Das flinched, expecting harm. But instead, he got … a smile.
”What a sound little boy, ” the man said, retaining his smile.
And just like that, most of the fear little Das had for the man was gone.
”Its unfortunate that youd lost your legs, ” the man said. ”Do you remember how? ”
Little Das remained on the bed, sweeping his eyes down his body until his eyes met two broken legs in casts. His eyes gaped. How could this have happened? His breaths quickened.
”Now, ” the man patted Das little head, ”theres nothing to worry about. Although your legs are gone, you are still alive and that matters most. So … little boy, do you remember, ” he leaned in, ”how you lost your legs? ”
Das looked up at the man over him and he grew panic-stricken no longer. He simmered down. And he shook his head to the mans question.
”Hmm, ” the man said, thoughtfully. ”That is not a problem. You know, I can give you back what you have lost but it must be on one condition. ”
Das eyes gaped again. He could not remember anything but he was certain the ability to walk was something he had before.
”Do you want to know what the condition is, boy? ” The man smiled again.
Das nodded promptly but slowly.
”Well, ” the man straightened himself out, ”its quite simple, really. You let me, ” he put out a hand, ”help you. But one day, you must return what it is I have bestowed upon you. Shake and you accept. ”
Das looked down at the calloused, scarred hands. He dithered. He did not know what to do. He trusted the man but at the same time, he did not. Yet, he felt an air that coaxed him to slowly reach the mans hand. And that he did, such that he was shaking the hand gently.
The man smiled, making his squeeze at the boys hand firmer. ”Youve got quite the grip. I can make it stronger. ”
Little Das parted his lips at the man.
The man smirked. ”You will be seeing my face for a long, long time. ”
”Hes still out cold, ” Ray said, looking down at Das who lingered on a mattress in the garage.
”His gestures tell me somethings wrong with him, wherever he is, ” Lenny said, ”I wonder what hes dreaming. ”
”And I wonder how big was that dosage you gave to him, ” Ray said curtly.
Lenny smiled. ”Just a few ounces. Hell sleep for around two hours more. ”
”You should have given him a bit less, ” Ray said, ”after all, Tomie is here … ”
Suddenly a car pulled into the garage, tires screeching upon sudden brakes. It was the Thunderbird—broken. Sunken in on both sides. A woman left the car, went to the back and took out a little girl. With the girl on her back, she stormed toward Ray and Lenny.
”Tomie! Just the girl I needed to see, ” Ray said, smirking.
Tongue stopped in front of Ray and slapped him to the face. ”How dare you, Ray! You haven been returning my calls. ”
”I didn know you wanted me that bad, ” Ray rubbed his cheek.
”You have no idea what happened, ” Tonis frowned, ”its Annika … Shes hurt. ”
”Aw, Im sure shes fine, ” Ray said.
Tomie smacked Ray to his other cheek. ”I **ing hate you. And you know what? Im done. D-o-n-e with this recruitment shit. Fuck you, ** your plans and ** teamwork. ”
Ray frowned as Tomie spun around with Annika on her back.
Tomie grabbed at Das stagnant legs and yanked them, pulling him off the mattress. Then, she placed Annika nicely upon it, caressing her head.
”What the hell are you doing, Tomie! ” Ray snapped.
”Exactly what you think Im doing, ” Tomie said, ”Im taking care of Annika because you don care about her. You don care about anyone else but yourself. Because of this **ing ridiculous plan of yours, she almost got killed. Impaled, Ray, for crying out loud! ”
”Impaled? ” Ray feigned concern.
Annika bled from her stomach. Her entire grubby, brown V-neck shirt drenched her rampant blood. Her eyes remained closed — she was just as unconscious as Das, only deeper due to the rapid loss of blood.
Ray walked over to the bed and frowned at the girls body. ”What are we gonna do? ”
”What do you think, Ray? You
e going to **ing get rid of that hole in her. ”
”I can do that, ” Ray said. ”You know I can . ”
”If you can , ” Tomie said, ”Ill have to take her to a hospital. ”
e not getting her back if that happens, ” Ray said. ”Shes got no ID, no parents and a messed up gene. The doctors would assume the worst and it will only be a matter of time before she is handed up to the scientists. ”
Tomie averted her eyes at the thought of Rays words.
”Lets just have Lenny and Gutter take care of her, ” Ray said. ”We both know that we can . ”
”No, ” Tomie shook her head. ”Im not doing that for you anymore. I told you not to proceed with the plan without my notice. ”
”And Im sorry for that, Tomie,
” Ray smiled.
”I really am. Im sorry about Annika too. Just hear me out, we
e all dead if hes out of the picture, ” he pointed at Das sprawled body.
Tomie frowned again. ”We don need him, ” she muttered.
”Not unless we wanna die, ” Ray said. ”Do you want to die, Tommie? Do you want to see my death? Annikas death? Gutter? Lenny? ” He watched as she looked away. ”Thats what I thought. Now, do what I say. ”
Tomie looked at him.
”While Lenny and Gutter take care of Annika, perform the operation on Das, ” Ray said. ”Is that clear? ”
Tomie stared at him in the eyes for long. She did not blink. She did not look away. Shed known him for many years and she saw the same person but the same person whos changed. She turned around, looking at the parked Thunderbird.
”Get out of the car, Gutter! ” She snapped.
”Whats the matter with him? ” Ray asked.
Tomie folded her arms. ”He feels guilty about what happened to Annika. ”
Tomie snapped again. ”Gutter, get the hell out or your sisters done for! ”
Gutter opened the passenger door, stepped out and went toward Tomie with his head kept low. ”What do you want? ” He stopped.
”Help Lenny take care of Annika, ” Tomie said.
Gutter furrowed his brows then his face softened. ”Fine, ” he sighed as he started toward Lenny who crouched down at Annikas side.
Tomie looked at Ray.
Ray smiled again. ”Ready? ”
Tomie turned around, walked over to Das and dragged his body to the middle of the garage. Then she crouched down at his side, resting a hand on his forehead.
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