The light from the sun had almost been enveloped by the descending darkness. The sky had clouded over again making the darkness more intense. JBJ, Feedodeelay and Shifty Shellshock had congregated in the rooms above an old factory about 5 miles from the docks. House music thudded up through the floor as an illegal rave was going on downstairs.
"Epic already knows. I've sent him down to the docks to check up on the supplies in the warehouse. There should be a new delivery coming in tonight" spoke a male voice.
The voice came from the throne-like chair, now positioned by an open fire in a huge ornate fireplace. He was facing away from his disciples.
"I can't believe this crap," said Shifty. "How can that boyband be back from the dead - and to get us? We finished 'em off a year ago. The dead don't come back!"
"There is evidence that indicates they have indeed returned," said the voice impatiently. "Trouble Valli's body was found with these symbols carved into his chest".
He indicated to someone in the shadows. One of his minions came forward and produced a photograph of Valli's torso.
"I've sent one of my most trusted men to check out a couple of leads. He's already checked out the cemetery, and the ground has been disturbed. I'm awaiting his report on other leads, but in the meantime, you and the others will continue with our little Devil's night celebrations starting at midnight tonight."
"Yes boss," was said in unison.
JBJ and Feedodeelay turned to go, but Shifty walked straight up to the chair and said; "I'll believe Linkin Park are back from the dead when I see them. Anyone could have done that to Valli."
He turned and strode out of the room after the other two, laughing to himself.
"Back from the dead... ha!" The man seated in the throne simply smiled to himself and said nothing.
Chester shivered as he slowly opened his eyes. It was getting dark. His face was pressed up against Samantha's gravestone. For a moment he remained in his dream. Sam's arms were around him. He felt protected. His lips locked onto hers in a deep kiss. His hands embraced her slim body.
As he came to, the harsh reality of being completely alone hit him and he felt the cold stone against his face. A tear slid down his cheek and he roughly wiped it away. The anger in him welled up with immense speed and he drew his hand back in a fist and punched the gravestone with all his might.
Pain seared through his hand and the lacerated knuckles dripped blood. He was momentarily surprised he hadn't broken his hand, or at least it didn't feel broken.
Well at least I know I'm not totally invulnerable.
The pain quickly subsided, but blood still trickled from the wound. He stiffly stood up and looked once more at her gravestone.
"I'm doing this for you Sam. We'll be together again - we've got to be".
He kissed his fingertips and touched them to the cold stone. With that he turned and left the cemetery.
Rhiannon stirred and rolled over. What time was it? She wondered.
She sat on the edge of her bed and rubbed her eyes. The apartment was quite dark now. Streetlights outside cast eerie shadows across the room. The corners of the rooms were so dark, nothing could be seen.
"Mike... are you awake?"
She stood up and walked into the lounge. The sofa was unoccupied. The note on the table caught her eye. She had barely finished reading the short note, when she had the strange feeling she was being watched.
Suddenly a pair of hands grabbed her arms, holding them tightly behind her back. She started to scream and one of the hands now holding a cloth, covered her mouth silencing her.
A bitter chemical smell came from the cloth and she started to feel dizzy. She heard a male voice come from another dark corner of the room.
"Tut tut. You really must learn to choose your friends more wisely darlin'..." The voice trailed off as she lost consciousness and her body flopped into the arms of her attacker.
Joe had been sat on the fire escape outside the factory. He had heard the whole conversation, despite the loud music coming from down below. He hadn't seen their ringleader, but he was certain he recognised the voice.
God damn - where have I heard that voice before? He wondered.
JBJ had left the building with Feedodeelay, but they had parted company soon after. Joe continued to stalk JBJ and was now following him down a dark alley that came to a dead end. The alley was littered with battered fencing panels, pieces of broken furniture, trash and trash cans. One trash can had a fire lit in it, and an old homeless guy was warming himself on this chilly night. The man saw JBJ advancing down the alley and he ran past him and Joe and left the area.
JBJ hadn't paid any attention to the guy, and continued on towards a door at the end of the alley. He must have realised he was being followed, because as he reached the door, he turned to face Joe who was standing still in the shadows about 15 metres away.
"Got a problem man?" he laughed. "Let me guess..." he said mockingly "...you're a member of Linkin Park and you've come back to kill me!" He laughed as though it was the funniest joke he'd ever heard.
Joe stepped out from the shadows. His eyes glinted with evil. Remy was back.
He smiled. "Well well, how did you guess?" he asked in mock surprise.
"You can fuck off back to your lonely grave now..." JBJ said as he reached into his coat, "...and if you don't, then I'll make you." He drew a pair of long knives from where he'd had them concealed. "And there's more where these came from," he threatened, grinning insanely.
Joe/Remy grinned back. "Whenever you're ready!"
JBJ threw a knife with full force at Joe. Joe ducked, making a mental note of where it landed. He dodged the next one too. JBJ withdrew two smaller knives, aiming at Joe again.
Joe had regained control over Remy again, although both personalities had the same agenda - JBJ wasn't going to survive the night.
The two smaller knives came flying at Joe simultaneously, but he caught them in his hands with perfect accuracy. He felt the blades slice into the skin on his palms causing the blood to flow freely. He spun the knives around and threw them with all his strength back at JBJ.
The blades hit him square in the chest, puncturing both lungs. The force with which they hit took JBJ by surprise and slammed his body into the solid wooden door behind him.
Gasping for breath, his chest cavity filling with blood, JBJ saw Joe retrieve the first two knives he'd thrown, turn around and come straight towards him, one knife in each hand. He stopped a few feet from JBJ.
"Go to hell!" screamed Joe, and with that, Joe threw the long knives one at a time, the force pinning JBJ to the door by his throat and his groin.
A groan bubbled from JBJ's throat. The blood ran down the door in rivulets. Using his finger, Joe used the blood to write on the dirty grey wall next to the body on the door.
MR HAHN WAS HERE!
He wiped his finger on his trousers and, stuffing his hands into his pockets, headed back to the arena and his friends.
Brad still didn't know what to do.
He just didn't feel the anger his friends felt. What was wrong with him? He certainly wasn't happy about being dead. Nor was feeling forgiving towards Feedodeelay.
He'd sat all day on the stage where, just a year ago tomorrow night, he'd performed for the last time. The arena had become slowly darker as the day drew to a close. He got up awkwardly after having been sat in the same position for so long, and wandered around the arena.
The Linkin Park gig had been the last show performed there - other bands felt the venue was jinxed or haunted. Rooting around, Brad found a drumstick belonging to Rob and some broken records that had once been Joe's. Brad visualized the concert, and then their final moments.
Like a slow motion video replay in his head, he saw Mike get shot and fall from the stage like a rag doll, and Phoenix being battered. He remembered the feeling of his own guitar strings cutting deep into his wrists and ankles as Feedodeelay had beaten and tortured him, before finally ending his life. He moved around as though in a dream, when he stumbled over something, bringing him back to reality. Moving the rubbish aside, he found his guitar, only three of its strings remaining.
As he picked it up and idly strummed the remaining strings, he felt a sudden uprising of all the hatred and anger repressed within his body come flooding to the surface.
He raised the guitar over his head, and with all his strength, he repeatedly slammed the guitar against the wall, the door, the floor, until it no longer resembled a guitar.
"That guy is one dead shit!" he said angrily.
"Welcome to the club, mate". Rob came back into the room followed by Phoenix. Brad had been so absorbed in what he was doing he hadn't noticed them watching him.
"We've got an idea where you might find Feedodeelay", said Phoenix with a sly smile.
"Lead the way", said a determined Brad.
The docks were devoid of life now. Mike knew Epic was in the warehouse, he'd seen him arrive. He wondered purposefully around the building looking for another entrance, other than the main one Epic had gone in by. However, the place was like a military post, there were no other doors.
Oh well, frontal attack it is then. His thoughts went back to Rhiannon for a moment, and a prickly sensation came over him. Something wasn't right - he could sense it.
Chester, meanwhile was stood once again outside the dilapidated apartment block where Shifty resided.
He took a deep breath and pushed open the door.
Slowly he started to make his way up the stairs.
Mike gently pushed the door open.
He had hoped it would open silently, but no such luck. It creaked noisily. Epic was nowhere to be seen.
It was quite dark inside, the only light coming from a few bare light bulbs hanging from the ceiling. They provided a dull glow - enough to see by.
The place was full of crates and boxes - some wooden, some cardboard. Some were obviously very heavy as there were winches and chains hanging from the roof to aid moving them.
Mike crept around the piles of crates and shelf units towards the sound of movement further in. He felt anxious and tense. Something told him that all was not right with Rhiannon - it worried him. Also he didn't know quite how this was going to work. He'd never been the type to fight - he was more diplomatic. He'd certainly never taken a life before. Mike tried to stop thinking about it and just allow his emotions and anger to carry him through.
As he rounded a corner, Epic Mazur came into view. He had his back to Mike and was clearly concentrating on what he was doing. He was completely unaware of Mike standing behind him.
Mike spied a length of rope lying on a crate. Silently, he picked it up and crept up right behind Epic. In one swift movement, he threw the rope over Epic's head and pulled his body back towards his own.
"What the fu..." cried Epic clutching at the rope around his neck, cutting off his oxygen supply.
"Did you really think you were gonna get away with what you did?" Mike held Epic's face close to his own whispering in his ear.
"Who the fuck are you man?" Epic tried to turn his head to the side in a attempt to see his assailant.
Mike dragged Epic backwards towards one of the chains that were hanging down.
"Let me give you a clue..." and with that Mike launched into song;
...I know I've got a face in me
Points out all my mistakes to me
You've got a face on the inside too and
Your paranoias probably worse"
"No... I shot you like... seven times man! No-one comes back from the
"Well in your case, lets hope not" replied Mike.
He loosened his grip slightly and Epic managed to wriggle out of Mike's iron grip and he turned and punched Mike in the stomach.
Mike fell to his knees, momentarily winded. Epic reached into a box for something, presumably a weapon, but was knocked to the floor as Mike grabbed his ankles and pulled him down.
A pistol clattered to the floor a few feet away and Epic tried to crawl to reach for it, but Mike was too quick and overpowered him. Turning Epic over to face him, Mike punched him in the face three times . The power behind Mike's punches stunned Epic. While in his dazed state, Mike dragged him by his arms back over to the chain and secured it around Epic's neck.
Epic was quickly coming around and Mike suffered a few cuts from a small pen knife Epic had hidden on his body. Mike managed to secure Epic's wrists with the rope he found earlier. Epic fought to free himself, but to no avail.
Standing back, Mike looked at his prisoner with contempt.
"I wish I could say that it was nice seeing you again, but we both know I'd be lying" Mike smiled as he spoke and gave Epic a final kick in the stomach.
Mike pulled the chain, raising Epic's body into the air. He writhed on the end of the chain, gasping for breath, his face bright red and his eyes bulging.
Mike secured the chain and turned to walk out of the building with the keys to the Chevvy, as Epic Mazur took his last breath.
He flew through the front door and up the stairs. He hammered on the
"Rhiannon! Rhiannon!" he shouted going from room to room. The note he'd left her was on the floor and there was a large footprint on it. He panicked. It couldn't have been hers - someone else had been here. Frantically, he looked around for signs of a struggle, but found nothing.
He went into her bedroom, switching the light on. He looked at the bed where he had last seen her, peacefully sleeping. On the pillow there was a note addressed to him.
As he picked up the note an image flashed through his mind, and he saw her body being carried out of the flat. He opened the letter feeling his anger returning.
'You and your friends had better disappear back to the afterlife where you belong, if you want your girlfriend to live.'
It was unsigned.
Mike couldn't move. His feet were rooted to the floor. He couldn't believe that anyone could be so evil and callous as to involve an innocent party like this.
He felt his anger building up again, but he was not just angry with Rhiannon's kidnappers, but also with himself. This was his fault. He should have let her walk away believing she'd seen a ghost, instead of encouraging her to come with him. In truth he'd appreciated her company - he'd felt so alone and she had been so friendly, and attractive. Now he didn't know what to do.
He left her apartment as quickly as he'd arrived. His best bet was to get back to the others and ask their advice. With that thought in mind, he screeched off towards the arena.
Chester was standing outside the door to Shifty Shellshocks' apartment. Noises from inside indicated that he was not alone. Two distinct female voices could be heard giggling and talking.
Chester burst in and went straight to the bedroom. Shifty and one of the girls started when Chester appeared in the doorway. The other girl was too busy with her head in Shifty's lap to notice the intrusion. Neither girl had a lot of clothing on and they were both clearly high on drugs and drink.
"Get out", said Chester. Both girls looked at him astonished.
"I said GET OUT!!" he screamed and the girls stumbled around grabbing their clothing before pushing past him, clearly annoyed at being sent away, but not understanding what was happening.
"You'll pay for that, Bennington" growled Shifty, pulling his pants up. "I killed you once, I can do it again".
"Yeah right, my ass!"
"Y'know, I didn't believe it when my boss said you guys were back from the grave. I still can't believe it" he laughed. "Have you seen your friend Mike recently? I think we may have upset him. She's quite a looker, don't ya think?"
"What the hell are you talking about?", Chester was distracted. Shifty was now pacing the floor in front of the fireplace.
"Don't tell me you don't know! Your mate's taken to necrophilia with some fan. Mind you, I wouldn't kick her out of bed!"
Chester, completely confused went for Shifty, who produced a large knife from behind his back and plunged it into Chester's stomach.
Despite the searing pain, Chester swung out at Shifty, breaking his cheekbone as easily as snapping a twig. Before he realized it, Shifty felt Chester's hands tighten around his neck.
However, the pain overcame him and Chester collapsed, blade still in his gut. Shifty took his opportunity, kicked Chester in the face and left the building.
Rhiannon felt groggy. She was lying on a cold stone floor. Her eyes opened, but she had difficulty focussing on her surroundings. It was dark.
As her eyes grew accustomed to the poor light, she could make out a long table with a few chairs around it. Straining her sight, she saw a larger throne-like chair facing away from her at the end of the table.
"Not a good predicament to find yourself in, is it?" asked a male voice, coming from that chair.
Rhiannon shook herself to full consciousness and realized her hands were tied behind her back. She remembered reading the note from Mike.
But where was Mike?
She remembered being grabbed by some unknown force and recalled the smell of some chemical. After that, her mind was blank. She felt suddenly afraid and almost screamed, but instinctively she knew there was no point - there was no hope of help.
What had happened? Where was Mike? Was he imprisoned too? "Who are you?" she asked in reply to the disembodied voice.
"Oh, you'll find out soon enough. As will your friends, if they are foolish enough to make it this far". The male voice laughed. Rhiannon had never heard anything so evil. "You are to be the bait that will bring your friends to me and my associates. If you misbehave, you will join them... six feet under."
Mike sped through the deserted streets of LA. His mind was overrun with thoughts. He swerved left at the intersection and headed down the main street that led back to the arena. A figure on the sidewalk caught his eye. He screeched to a halt.
"Joe, quick get in!" He flung the passenger door open. Joe got in and they headed back.
"Where did you find the crappy wheels?"
By the time they got back, he'd filled Joe in on what had happened.
"Let's get together with the others. We'll work something out," Joe sounded convincing, but Mike needed a lot more reassurance. He didn't know what to do.
|TOP | Last updated 15 February 2002 19:42 (AUS EST / +1000 GMT).|