“Jesus Christ Joey, the apartment’s trashed!” Carl Peters was shouting into his phone.
“Oh fuck. Listen little brother, you need to pay attention here, is anything burned?”
Carl looked at the room, focusing. Their apartment was fairly small and shabby. Everything had been wrecked, smashed, slit, or burned.
“Yeah, there’s giant fucking scorch marks on the ceiling and floor. What the hell is going on?”
Joey sighed. “Listen, don’t get mad here, but I may have gotten in with the Suns. I just-“
“The Suns?! What the fucking hell where you thinking?” Carl interjected.
“Let me finish, Carl. I just left the Suns, I decided the thug life wasn’t for me. I guess they don’t appreciate their members bailing on short notice.” Joey responded with a tremor in his voice.
Carl clenched his hands. “Joey, listen to me. I have been covering your ass for as long as I can remember. I got you a job at the school, I’ve paid your fucking bail a dozen times, and this is how you repay me? You crossed a line this time, I’m done.”
“Wait wait wait, don’t hang up Carl. Listen, I’m really sorry for everything, you know I am. I figured out a way to fix it, though. I stole some money from the Suns, enough to get us started somewhere new, you see? And all we have-“
“You did what?!?” Roared Carl. “I can’t fucking believe you, not only did you leave the Suns of Sin, but you stole from them? Oh Joey, this is so bad. We need to go to the SVRA, or the cops or somebody!”
“No no, I’ve got a plan, don’t worry. Listen, I’m at the rental place on 14th right now, we can just-” Joey’s voice was cut off again with a strangled noise. A strangers voice resumed the conversation.
“Hello there, I’m assuming you’re Carl. Joey’s told us so much about you. He even said you like to be prepared; you hide cash around the city, just in case. He’s bleeding pretty heavily right now. I’ll patch him up, and keep him alive for now, you just bring our money to the address I’ll text you, and you can get him back. Thanks!”
With that, the stranger hung up. Carl dropped his phone and slumped on the couch, feeling a headache building. This whole thing felt unreal, the kind of situation plucky heroes found themselves in, in movies at least. Carl looked around at his ruined apartment once more with a sigh. He was sick and tired of it all, the constant attempts at reforming his brother, the constant messes he was in, the constant flow of problems in the rest of the world.
His phone buzzed and Carl swiftly picked it up. It read “bring 50,000 $ to the corner of 8th avenue and Washington, we will meet you there. Come alone ;P”
Carl shut his phone and got up. The reality of the situation hit him in waves as he left the building. Joey was kidnapped by the Suns of Sin, a pretty horrible gang deeply rooted in the city. Joey, ever the blabber mouth, had told them about Carl. Carl kept stashes of money in the city, just enough to cover the 50 grand needed. He never liked surprises, always wanted to have backup plans and contingencies.
Carl entered the train station and opened his locker. In it was his bug out kit; a pistol, about 55 thousand dollars, and some emergency gear. Carl slid his pistol into the pocket on his cargo pants. He left the gear in the locker, taking only the money in a duffel bag. He shut his locker and left.
Carl walked the ten minutes needed, and arrived at the corner. A taxi next to him opened, and two large men got out. They each grabbed his arms and escorted him into the taxi. It drove away, and the men put a bag on his head.
Sitting in the darkness, Carl felt overwhelmed. What had he gotten into? Carl felt rage build up. His brother, always useless and getting him into trouble. The anger faded away quickly, being replaced with guilt. Joey could be dying, he needed help.
The car stopped surprisingly soon, and the goons got out. Carl was pulled along with them, and walked into a building, stumbling occasionally. The men patted him down, and removed the gun from his pocket.
“Sinistar wants to talk to you, in person. He told us to give you the tour before, so let’s get moving.” With that, the goons tore the sack off, and Carl blinked in the light.
They started walking down a fairly dirty hallway, walking through a set of guarded doors. They strolled out onto a catwalk above a large, spacious room, nearly the size of a football field. Carl nearly threw up at the sights and smells.
The room was divided into several sections. The nearest one was full of small, partitioned rooms. Men were lining up to enter and…enjoy themselves with a woman. As Carl and the men walked along the catwalk, they passed over another section. In this one, men and women lay sprawled around the room, unmoving in a haze if used needles and pill bottles. The next section had a plastic, apparently soundproof ceiling. In it, people in lab coats were experimenting on others. From the looks of it, no anaesthetic was used.
Carl couldn’t look away, his eyes were locked on each grisly scene. He threw up after passing the final section, and the smell of rotting flesh that wafted from it. How Joey had gotten mixed up in this, he would never know. But Carl understood exactly why Joey had left. This level of hell was violating every principle he had. Anger built up in his chest; righteous fury and the desire to cleanse the place.
The two burly guards pushed Carl forward, through a final set of doors. He entered another chamber, smaller than the previous. It was ornate and spacious, with high ceilings and a throne-like chair at the end.
“Hello there!” A jovial voice called from the throne. A man sat there, in a black bodysuit with a yellow circle on it.
“The money is all here, sir,” a goon replied.
“Fantastic! Well Carl, how do you like the place? Pretty swanky, no?” The man said with a grin.
Carl kept his mouth shut, not trusting himself to speak without shouting in anger at the deranged villain. That would be a mistake, he decided.
“You’re no fun,” the man pouted. “This is boring now. Kill him,”.
“Yes Sinistar.” Both goons grabbed Carl by his arms and dragged him out a side door, into a bloodstained tile room.
Carl was in shock. Stunned and unmoving. A goon pulled his gun out and –
Carl was calm. Everything was at peace within him, he was going to die, he was going to live no more. Carl knew this, there was no will to live left in him. He thought about his day so far, all the turmoil, all the evil. At that last thought, a great inferno began building inside of him. Carl was angry, far beyond the point of rationality. He had to do something to stop the horrors he had seen. His death couldn’t be for nothing.
Carl suddenly wasn’t in shock. The man had barely moved during his revelation, almost no time had passed. Everything clarified for Carl. Light flashed inside his head, illuminating a map of the building. Every useful bit of information seemed to leap into his head unbidden, a rush of tactical data, filling his head. The weaknesses of the building and it’s inhabitants built themselves in his head in an instant, how to scourge this den of filth permanently. All he had to do was follow the plan. So, Carl acted.
He swiveled and swiped, hitting the gunmans wrist right on a minor fracture. The gunman dropped his weapon, and Carl smoothly caught it, and shot both men in the head. Less than ten seconds had passed since entering the tile room. Carl calmly walked out, analyzing his environment and adapting his plan.
Sinstar looked up in surprise, before the bullet caught him between the eyes. Carl proceeded to sweep through the building. He killed every single person; men, women, and children. When everyone else was dead, Carl attacked two support beams, and collapsed the warehouse. He walked out, limping from a cut to his calf. Getting hurt wasn’t part of the plan, but it was valuable to know he wasn’t infallible.
Carl looked back at the wreckage, and felt the inferno inside of him blaze just as strongly as ever. He decided to move on, to clean up the problems the country faced. America was almost as bad as the place he had left. His mind blazed into crimson light as he decided to clean house.