Hooking the Masses
While most people’s morning routines consist of relaxing stretches, mine involves yoga or more specifically a single child’s pose. I wasn’t the most orthodox yoga enthusiast as most morning’s spent on my knees “stretching” also involved hunching over an agency toilet. Still a bit buzzed from the night before I wabbled to my feet and reached for a wad of toilet paper to wipe my lips before I heard the Men’s room door swing open.
“Wayne, we’re starting the interrogation in five” It was my partner Damien. We were working on a case involving a new upper on the streets called Rex, I remember trying the purple drug. It was a strong stimulant, a cross between cocaine and pure adrenaline.
“I’ll be out in a-achk!” I coughed up what I hoped was the last of the jack Daniels and Nachos I consumed last night. Damien had grown accustomed to my morning routine and pushed open the door.
“Yuh done pal?” he looked at me with tucked lips and wide eyes.
I nodded and followed him out of the bathroom. We had been partners in the CIA for seven years before the agency recruited us. We kicked a lot of ass together, well I was the ass kicker, he was the tech geek, but in order to kick ass in the field the agency needed people like Damien.
Our underground NY headquarters were completely walled in with concrete and steel beams. As we walked by the offices our coworkers seated at desks, eyed us down with envious and curious looks. We had been teased being the newest pair of rookies but now that we had brought in an underground international threat it seemed everyone would start backing off. Our very first case at the agency had led us this far. The interrogation room. It was dimly lit, small, and complete with cameras and one of those one way windows for our colleagues to observe through. As Damien readied information and equipment I got my first good look at this guy. He looked mostly human, older, maybe late forties on a count of wrinkles and the grey hair, and his skin bleach white. His eyes gave his inhumanity away. Those dark glossy purple chasms looking into my glare made me uncomfortable to say the least. I had never felt unease in an interrogation, but then again our criminal isn’t exactly the typical drug lord. Damien joined me on one side of the single stainless steel table as the extra terrestrial outlaw, Rexeelo, sat opposite of us. Damien pressed the record button on his laptop and gave me head nod as I was smirking at our captive in victory. I was good at crafting my facial features. Only Damien knew about my depressing capsule and alcohol filled life in nightclubs. You get used to concealing yourself as a government operative after your third or fourth kill. I continued eyeing our captive down with a smirk. To my dismay he showed no signs of intimidation, only grinning back revealing a set of yellowing, almost brown teeth.
“So let’s start at the beginning… what’s your name and what brought you to earth?” I inquired.
“My home planet, Borwick, gave me the name of Rexeelo, but on earth my men call me and my special product Rex. The elders of my home considered me a heretic and oh, I might have started an intergalactic drug trade, so I was sentenced to be exiled.”
“You never said why you chose Earth,” I stammered
Rex smiled down at the table and then glared up at me.
“What better planet to start a drug empire than earth? Nearly all of your population is addicted to cancer sticks, the bottle, and most of all that bitter brown shit you call coffee.”
“Your operation hasn’t even spread past Brooklyn. I wouldn’t call it an empire just yet ‘Mr. Heisenberg’” snickering at our guest.
“Such confidence Mr. Peterson,” Rex sighed sympathetically as he started cackling before slamming his handcuffed palms on the table. I noticed that as his nature grew in ferocity, the purple drug we'd been tracking coursed more aggressively through his own veins contrasting through his pale forearms. “There are shipments going to every corner of the world at this very moment.”
I paused for a moment at this troubling news before asking,
“What’s this drug do for you Rex?”
“Me? a junkie?” Rex said as he looked left and right pretending to be caught
“We know you’re a user on account of the purple eyes and veins.”
“If your ridiculous culture has taught me anything it’s don’t get high on your own supply. Besides, I’m always feeling the effects of my own blood.”
It was a troubling enough that people who were only looking for a good night including myself had injected themselves with an unknown drug but now to find it was the blood of an alien made a knot in my vocal chords and my lungs tighten. Completely in shock, I only muttered the words,
“I think you’re just as sick as me Mr. Peterson. That was your father's last name. Correct? An odd tradition your earth has. I wonder what he would think of you now. An agent that fills his nights with drugs and whores. I had no idea that my nightclub was a place for dead beat, depressed coppers that let teens die! Oh you’re just as sick as me Mr. Peterson!”
I shut my eyes while I grimaced. I remembered a man standing in a balcony above the dance floor the night I had tried the drug, it must’ve been Rex. I was no more deserving of life than the kids that had overdosed in the rave that night, but only I survived.
“What’s he talking about Wayne?” Damien asked in a concerned tone
My eyelids sprung to the sound of Damien's voice, I had forgotten his presence in my own spiraling train of thought.
“I did some undercover work at a night spot in the city once, turns out it was Rex’s joint.” It was nearly impossible to conceal the regret from my face.
Damien gave me an ashamed shake of his head
“Don’t lie to me Wayne, I’m your partner!”
Rex stood up from his chair
“Well boys, it looks like you’re busy with planning Wayne's rehab payments so I’ll be seeing you around.”
“Sit down Rexeelo.” I said sternly
Rex paused and scratched his chin
“I think I’ll leave now”
The purple veins began swelling and his muscles seemed to grow in size before he snapped out of the handcuffs with ease.
“Quick! get some of his blood!” Damien yelled as he rushed Rex. The only way to make a successful antidote to the copied blood that Rex had sold was to trace it to the real blood source. Rex’s blood. I pulled out my empty syringe gun and positioned myself behind Rex. As soon as Damien reached him, Rex, planted him into the metal and concrete walls of the room with a single punch. I managed to stick the needle into the back of Rex’s right arm before I was met by his elbow that left me unconscious.
I awoke to concrete rubble and plumbing leaks coming from the ceiling of our interrogation room. Rex had bashed a hole from our underground headquarter’s interrogation room to the streets of Times Square. New York’s bright lights glistened through the layers of rubble and leaking water and shed the slightest bit of reflected light in the corner of the room where I lie. Small droplets of purple blood were trickling down the syringe gun’s glass magazine. In the other corner of the room Damien laid motionless. I crawled over the rubble and listened to Damien's chest to hear nothing. Should I save this for the anecdote or save the only person I consider a friend? I didn’t contemplate long before I plunged syringe into Damien with the hope he would open his eyes. Looking down at the glass I noticed one of the six drops of purple had entered him. Still nothing. After entering four more his pulse returned and he inhaled an aching breath and screamed in shock.
I spoke into Damien’s dilated eyes,
“I’m not finished and neither are you, look,”
I lifted the syringe
“Is there anything left?” Damien asked.
I tilted it to his eyes revealing the last lonely droplet.
He rushed to his feet and snatched the syringe cartridge from my gun as the debris and dust fell from his clothing.
“What are we waiting for then?” Damien said excitedly as we started moving the pieces of the ceiling blocking the exit. Once the door was open Damien sprinted into the headquarter’s laboratory where he began synthesizing an anecdote for the blood users and more specifically for Rex.
As the anecdote neared completion in one of the agencies complicated devices Damien said
“The anecdote is designed to kill any remnants of Rex’s blood in the body, considering Rex has nothing but this in him it should disintegrate the asshole. There’s just one part missing. Where do we find him?”
“I don't think he’s gone too far, he finds comfort with his goons. Let’s grab what weaponized antidote we have synthesized and nail this bastard in his own club.”
Damien and I pulled up to the night spot in our agency cruiser and hopped out.
“Is your gun loaded with the anecdote?”
Damien asked as he slipped a magazine filled with the light blue anecdote into his pistol.
“Locked and loaded” I responded.
We walked under the familiar purple fluorescent sign of Rex’s club and headed down wide cement stairs. A strip of carpet led from the stairs to a bouncer guarding the club’s main entrance.
“The club’s closed tonight. Get lost!”
I looked down and put my left hand in my coat distracting the guards eyes before leading with a right uppercut to his chin and pulling his forehead to my knee. We scaled over his pockets and failed to find a key.
“Oh well,” I said as I pulled liquid nitrogen strips from my utility pockets and lined the steel door. Within seconds the the steel hinges were crumbling before the door fell down. The electronic music blasted through the now open doorway and we headed inside the dark strobe light filled club. Bullets started whizzing by our heads as we took cover behind the bar in the center of the club. I pulled out my short barrel plasma shotgun and fired at each rifleman stationed in the club’s balconies. Before long the firefight ended and only one target remained… Rex. The music stopped and the lights came on. Rex walked out from the balcony facing the bar that we stood behind and began slowly clapping.
“What a great show! Let's start the finale!”
Rex put his foot on the railing of the balcony and pushed off. I quickly reloaded my shotgun and aimed for Rex. He soared through the air directly at the bar that we were using as cover. I pulled the trigger inches before he met us, launching him on his back several feet from the bar. I mounted the bar and sprinted at his laying body. Rex snapped upward revealing his purple entrails as they began regenerating from the shotgun blast. As Rex gave a right hook for my head I slid to the floor and shot the anecdote cartridge into his leg.
Rex looked sick, he held his stomach and purple liquid began flowing from his eyes nose and mouth. He screamed in agony before his entire body fell into a pile of bubbling blue and purple swirled ooze.
“Good work buddy,” Damien said with a sigh of relief
“It’s all thanks to your smart ass,” we both laughed and started walking out of the night club
“I'll call the agency for clean up,” I said, we wouldn't want anyone to find what was left of Rex.
“Hey maybe we should honor Rex’s dying wish.” Damien said jokingly
“And what's that?” I laughed
“Your rehab!” Damien exclaimed this time half jokingly.
“Good one, I need a beer after that.”