Rob and Phoenix made there way deeper into the city. They couldn't explain what inexplicable force led them there, but they trusted it. Neither had wanted to be alone - this was all still confusing to them.
One thing they knew for sure, they had to find Trouble, Valli, and Squirrel and get their own back. The anger was building up inside - the desire to kill; instinctive. It was difficult to get used to such extreme emotions when they had been so anti-violence along with the others.
Downtown LA was like a maze spread out before them, completely unrecognisable. It was about 3:30am. Rock music could be heard coming from a bar that was still open. It was called The Underground Club, a real dive, generally inhabited by the criminal classes and rough sorts that braved the curfew.
The lads descended the stairs into the club. A few people were lingering around the bar and the pool table. They turned to look at Rob and Phoenix, but went back to their own business. The light wasn't that bright inside, but scanning the room, Phoenix could make out two men sat close, talking quite loudly in a shadowy corner. A half empty bottle of tequila was between them. They were clearly celebrating something, oblivious of everything and everyone around them. All the pain and anger in Rob came to a peak and he started to move over towards them, but Phoenix stopped him.
"Not here, in front of everyone".
"But..." Rob began to protest.
"We're dead," Phoenix said bluntly. "That's gonna look odd enough, but we can't be witnessed like this. Not to mention that everyone in this bar might turn on us. We're after Trouble and Squirrel only - not a blood bath".
Phoenix could always be relied upon to make sense of a situation, even now, despite the killer instinct he felt inside.
"When the time is right, we'll make our move".
They sat down at a table in the opposite corner, their eyes never leaving their killers.
Chester's thought were darting between his urge to kick the shit out of Shifty Shellshock and the desire to see his wife again. He needed her now. He was heartbroken - and he knew whose fault it was.
I'll kill him he thought. And I'm so gonna enjoy it!
He continued on towards an old rundown apartment block, drawn by the power of his anger.
Brad couldn't take all of this in. He hadn't moved from where he sat in the arena. His mind was running amok with memories - performing with the others, talking to the fans, being bound, tortured and beaten by Feedodeelay. Feedodeelay was a total headcase.
He could be anywhere, he thought despairingly. He was so confused. Why didn't he just get up and go after his murderer like the others had? What was holding him back? He sat with his head in his hands on the stage where they had last been alive.
A door slammed, making Brad jump. Joe came back in.
"OK, I've regained control over Remy now. I've gotta think this
"I'm glad you're back. All this is just insane - I don't know what to do!" Brad sounded worried.
"You'll figure it out soon enough - don't worry". Joe sat down next to his friend and started to plan his next move.
Squirrel and Trouble Valli had almost emptied their bottle of tequila. They remained unaware of the two pairs of eyes that watched them from the opposite side of the room.
"I need something more lively than this," slurred Valli. "I've got some good shit upstairs."
"Y'know, I could do with a hit". Squirrel staggered to his feet and weaved around the tables and chairs, knocking several over along the way.
Trouble Valli had a bedsit above the Underground Club. It was sparsely furnished and undecorated. The walls were crawling with damp and mould. Used needles and burnt aluminium foil littered the bathroom.
They'd just tied bootlaces around their upper arms to make the veins stand out, and were drawing up the drugs into filthy syringes, when the door to the bedsit burst open.
Too drunk to really comprehend what was happening, Valli found himself lying stunned on the floor. Rob had grabbed a chair and hit him around the head with it. Phoenix had Squirrel pinned up against the bathroom wall. He had smashed the mirror with Squirrel's head. Blood trickled down the wall and the floor was sparkling with shards of glass.
"Do you remember us?" asked Phoenix smiling, wondering where this immense strength had come from.
"Who the fuck are you man!" cried Squirrel, struggling against the iron grip holding him.
He had difficulty focussing on the face before him, he was so inebriated, but suddenly he realised who it was he was looking at. His eyes widened with fear and surprise. He kicked out at Phoenix, getting him in the stomach, causing him to let go of his victim. Squirrel backed away into the other room where Valli was, woozy from his head wound. He was pointing at Phoenix.
"You're dead man! We... we killed you... and your friends! What the fu... you're not here... you can't be..."
"Oh I'm here alright," said Phoenix picking up a switchblade off the sideboard, advancing towards Squirrel. "You're the dead man now!"
He flew at Squirrel, blade held out and sliced him diagonally across his chest. The blade had gone in to the hilt, causing a wound so deep, you could see his internal organs pulsing inside. Blood sprayed from the wound, and Squirrel bent over in agony, about to fall to the floor, when Phoenix brought the blade down towards the back of his neck, piercing it right through. Squirrel fell to the floor, his body quivering for a few moments before dying, surrounded by a growing pool of blood.
Meanwhile, Trouble Valli had crawled on his back towards the wall, in a desperate attempt to get away from Rob who was standing over him menacingly.
"You're so gonna get what you deserve, Valli," said Rob hungrily.
It was although he and Phoenix were being controlled by some evil force. It was so out of character. Rob's desire for revenge had overthrown all sensibilities.
Valli was shaking in fright. He had seen Phoenix finish off his mate and now he was genuinely scared. He could not fathom what was happening. These guys are dead - we killed them he thought. They had so easily overpowered them last year, but now they were back and seemed 10 times as strong!
Rob kicked Valli several times, until he was black and blue. His lip had split open and his left eye was so swollen, he was unable to open it. He was barely conscious when Rob dragged him by his feet back into the bathroom.
Using the syringes and needles as weapons, Rob skewered Valli's eyes first. He was screaming in pain. Sat astride him, Rob ripped Valli's shirt open, and using a rusty razor blade he'd noticed on the side of the bath, he scratched the three 'Linkin Park' icons into his chest as a signature. Then using his full strength, Rob plunged a needle loaded with drugs into each internal organ, ending with the heart. Valli groaned, death from haemorrhaging and drug overdose overcoming him.
Suddenly a noise could be heard from outside in the corridor.
"Quick Rob, out the window... now!"
The two of them climbed out of the window and clattered down the metal fire escape, before sprinting off down the alleyway, into the semi-light of dawn.
Morning had broken, typically dull and cloudy, and the docks were alive with people. Mike inhaled the salty air.
"He's gone," he said pondering over what to do next. "Plus this place is swarming with people. I only have a grudge against one guy - innocent people might get hurt if I attempted to get Epic in broad daylight".
"I don't think you could kill anyone" laughed Rhiannon. "You're too nice - always were" she added.
He looked at her smiling.
"Well, I don't claim to have a natural killer instinct, but you guys never saw me in a bad mood".
He laughed momentarily. Becoming serious again, he continued; "I guess I'll know what to do when I see Epic. Meanwhile, what else can I do but hang around here all day. I'm not going all the way back to the arena now, only to have to come back here tonight - and he will be back here again, that I do know for sure". Mike trusted his instinct.
"It's just an idea, but my apartment is just 45 minutes walk away from here. You can hang around there for a few hours if you like, watch some TV maybe..."
Rhiannon felt shy asking, but Mike agreed readily. It would give him time to think and conserve his energy. He felt tired. Did dead people need sleep?
They headed off in the direction of Rhiannon's place. Both were silent now. Both caught up in their own thoughts.
Chester had a similar idea. He stood looking up at the derelict apartment block as the sun came up.
He can wait.
He doubled back on himself a short distance and then turned and headed back to the cemetery, which wasn't far from Shifty's place. He felt a sudden desire to be close to Samantha. He needed her desperately.
When he got there he saw the disturbed ground where they had been buried - until last night. The unrealness of the events of the last 12 hours or so, had seemed like a surreal dream. Reality came thundering back.
Chester turned to Sam's grave. He collapsed on to it feeling the damp earth beneath him. He closed his eyes and let the happy memories of their past together come flooding back.
Joe had left the confines of the abandoned arena for a second time. He left Brad there, still relatively oblivious to the situation they were in.
He stepped outside. It felt good being out in daylight. The rain had stopped but the clouds remained threatening. Joe spotted JBJ almost immediately. He began to follow him, though stalking may have been a better term to use. He followed JBJ like a shadow all day, until the day began to darken into evening again.
The rarely seen sun had managed to break through the cloud cover for a short while in the late afternoon. As it sank lower in the sky, the setting sun cast an orangey-red light through a gap in the curtains into the lounge of Rhiannon's apartment.
Mike awoke with a jolt.
For a moment, he couldn't remember where he was or what had happened, but all too soon, it came flooding back. The sun felt warm on his cold skin.
Composing himself, he got up off the sofa and went over to the window. Pulling the curtains back fully, the light from the sun bathed him in warmth, making his pale skin glow with colour once more. He almost felt real again. As he looked out towards the docks, he again felt the instinctive feeling that Epic Mazur was there. It was time to go.
Turning around, Mike spotted a darkened room leading off from the lounge. He went over to have a look, curiosity getting the better of him. He could hear the gentle breathing of his friend. When his eyes had adjusted to the darkness of the room, he could see Rhiannon, curled up on her bed. She looked so beautifully peaceful.
He sneaked back out, not wanting to disturb her. Looking around the room, he found a piece of paper and a pen.
Thanks for everything Rhiannon
I'm glad I met you. Have a happy and fulfilling life!
Leaving the note on the table where she would see it, Mike crept out closing the door quietly behind him. He knew he was going to miss Rhiannon, even though he hadn't known her long. He began to descend the stairs with a heavy heart.
When he got outside, Mike breathed in the evening air. There was an acrid smell of smoke in the air from the numerous fires that burnt in the city every night. He headed back towards the docks, so caught up in his own thoughts that he was unaware of the eyes watching him from behind the darkened windows of the black Mustang parked across the road from Rhiannon's building.
|TOP | Last updated 15 February 2002 19:42 (AUS EST / +1000 GMT).|