Cobra

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
What will a teenage boy do should he be talented enough to have a secret identity as a notorious hacker? This is the situation of Kill Croses, who had been keeping this deadly secret from all of his friends and families. However, the game turns on him once Kill realizes that he wasn't the only one keeping secrets...

Submitted: July 19, 2016

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Submitted: July 19, 2016

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Amidst the darkness of his room, a lone teenage boy typed in commands after commands onto his desktop computer. He was rather lean, standing at about 175 cm. in height.

 

The boy had short blonde hair that complimented his pale, icy eyes. He rubbed constantly at his slightly hooked nose.

His long, slender fingers worked continuously, issuing commands and writing scripts for the program he was running.

He was so drawn into his work that he neither paused nor rest, until the final click of an enter key was heard.

With a satisfied gleam in his eyes, the boy sat back on his leather bound chair, a satisfied smile upon his face. The beeps of computer operation rang incessantly as his commands were processed and displayed upon the monitor.

Streams of HTML and software encoding rushed across the monitor’s screen, until a concluding ding-dong signified the end of operation.

“Finally!” The figure remarked in triumph, a gleeful light dancing in his eyes, “I unleash you, Cerberus!”

A graphically designed symbol of a Blonde Cobra flashed and lingered upon his monitor. The snake’s head stood haughty and proud as a golden figure upon a field of darkness.

His name was Kill. Kill Croses. On the outside, he appeared like a perfectly normal 15-year-old boy.

Behind the closed doors of his room, lurking in the cyber world, however, he was known as “The Blonde Cobra”. The Justice Bringer.

One of the most skilled hacker in the world network, feared by corrupted authorities around the globe. Most only heard fragments of rumors about him.

Some claimed that he had once breached the defenses of Pentagon, while others chimed that even notorious intelligence agencies, the MI6, CIA, KGB, and Mossad, had fallen to his skill.

Enigmatic and wrapped in shadows, most had never known the true and full story of this legendary hacker. Had not known that the brain behind the power that had brought down so many corrupted agendas had been a mere 15-year-old.

I reckon even hackers could devise their skills for the good of the people, Kill mused absent-mindedly, and with all the news of corruption and injustice in the world, I wish that I might be able to do something

His parents had been cheated of a great portion of their life-savings in a scam plot. The incident had been an incense that motivated Kill to use his prowess to bring justice to evildoers.

Due to his tracking and hacking skills, the scammers were taken down by the police, and millions of pounds returned to the victims of the scandal.

Just witnessing the gratified look upon his parents’ faces was enough of a reward for Kill. He need not be known or achieved great fame, just being able to right the wrongs committed to helpless people would be enough.

Lost in thought, it took him several minutes to recognize his mother’s voice shouting his name from downstairs,

“Kill! This is the last time I am going to call you. Come down for your breakfast or you’ll be late for school!”

With the intensity of her voice it was rather clear that should he dawdled any longer, she will come up the stairs and dragged him down to breakfast.

“Alright, Mom! I’m going down in a minute!” Kill shouted back with a satisfied voice. He had finally succeeded in encoding “Cerberus”, the most intelligent computer virus known to man.

It could penetrate any software’s firewalls in less than a second, and no networks in the world had technologies advanced enough to stop it yet. A guarantee to the world’s safety, or its doom, laying in Kill’s hand.

He must protect the virus with extreme caution, should it fall into the wrong hands the world’s systems could easily be destabilized.

 

Kill went down and had a quick breakfast of peanut butter and jam, before seizing hold of his school bag.

“Goodbye Mom! See you in the evening!” he beamed delightedly as he bursted out the door.

“Bye, Kill. Good luck at school!” his mother replied in a caring tone.

I could never let anyone know about my secret identity, Kill pondered to himself, The Blonde Cobra had lots of enemies, both domestic and abroad.

His exposure would be a threat to the security of everyone around him. They will try to get to him through his friends and family, and his loved ones would inevitably got hurt.

I had always known that this is a dangerous profession. And I accept the fact, but no one around me should get hurt because of it.   He continued strolling on the gravel path toward his destination.

 

Before long, in front of Kill stood the gates of his high school.

On a golden plague beside the wrought iron gates was the name of the place, “Centerville High school”.

Standing beside the black gates, Kill spotted his three best friends.

“Hello mates! Sorry for the long wait!” Kill greeted his friends with a smile, “I was stuck in a World of Warcraft raid, and I couldn’t’t have left just half way through.”

Whew, He sighed in relief, having been able to make an excuse on the spot for his tardiness.

Nothing about hacking or programming, or anything related to those topics should ever be brought up near his friends. Otherwise, he felt like he could have slipped up his secrets at any time.

“Well, Call of Duty is more my type of game, but to each their own I guess.” Ryan remarked casually. A breeze swept his short hazel hair over a pair of almond-colored eyes.

He was slightly taller than Kill, towering at about 180 centimeters.

Emerging from the sleeves of his white t-shirt were well- vascular forearms, corded with muscles. Upon his t-shirt was a large, colorful image of the Union Jack.

“It’s Rock & Rolls for me. All the way.” Lucas moved his fingers nimbly, as if he was plucking the strings of an air guitar. He carelessly ruffled his short hair, dyed a brilliant crimson.

Covering him was a dark leather jacket, revealing a black t-shirt with pictures of skulls and roses on it. Strapped to his back was a leather case containing his electric guitar.

“It’s half past seven! We will be late if we don’t hurry!” Alisa cried out in alarm, her gaze fixated on her pink wristwatch.

The girl’s long dark hair flew in the wind and her emerald green eyes flashed in the sunlight. Kll’s heart skipped a beat.

No matter which angle I look at her from, she never ceased to captivate me. He had never known when it had started, these confusing feelings he had for his female friend.

They had known each other since childhood, and had grown close to each other ever since they were little kids.
 

Kill knew he shouldn’t’t harbor these feelings toward her, and that it could ruin their friendship, but this affection was beyond his control.

I had fallen too deeply in love with her, Kill mused complicatedly as the group made their way toward class.

 

When the final bell rang for the end of classes, Kill gathered his supplies and strolled to the front gate together with his friends.

Bathed in the evening light, Kill waved at his friends, “Bye, guys! See you all tomorrow!” he beamed a bright smile at his mates.

“Bye Kill. See you!” They waved their hands at the hacker and were swiftly on their way back home. 

While strolling back the route toward his house, Kill felt as if someone had been following him. He sharply glanced backward to discover Ryan stalking him.

“Hey, Ryan. Did you forget something?” He inquired in a puzzled tone. Ryan had a strange expression upon his face.

His mouth was set into a thin line, his eyes cold and hard. He seemed gravely serious, devoid of his smile and laughter back when they had just parted.

What is up with him? Kill wondered as he stared questioningly at his friend.

“I am so sorry I had to do this, Kill.” Ryan replied calmly, his tone grim. Kill’s pupil dilated in shock as he felt a quick blow to his stomach.

He fell down, unconscious within seconds. Before his eyelids closed, Kill saw Ryan slowly approaching him.

His mind wandered wildly, Why did you do this, Ryan!  Then the hacker passed out.

 

Kill felt himself lying upon a hard square mattress. He woke up and found himself in a dimly lit patient’s room. Besides the hospital bed’s steel railings stood a cart of medicine.

It was filled with a large assortment of measuring devices, syringes, and pills with vibrant colors. In the corner of the room was a small glass table. Stacked neatly beneath it was a pile of Vogue magazine, and atop the table was a small flower vase.

In a corner of the room was a long red sofa. Upon it sat a figure, hooded in shadows. As he stepped out into the dim hospital light, Kill gasped in surprise.

It was Ryan! Images of their encounter streamed into Kill’s head, almost driving him mad in confusion?

Why had his best friend attacked him in broad daylight? Before he could utter any question, Ryan cut him with a brusque statement,

“You are awake? Good.” He stared at Kill with those cold, dark eyes, his lips slightly parted in satisfaction.

“I know you probably had a million questions brewing inside your head right now, but this is not the time. Not just yet.”

Abruptly, he seized Kill’s wrist and dragged him out of the bed. “We should get going.”

“Where are you taking me?” Kill roared, anger now welling up inside of him.

Why had his friend attacked him? And after he had finally woken up, insisted on dragging him to god knows where?

Kill resisted Ryan’s pull with all his might, but the blond boy was much stronger than him. With growls coming from Kill’s side, Ryan pulled Kill to a road just in front of the hospital.

There was a black Ford van waiting for them outside. Kill was haphazardly shoved into its backseat. After a moment, Ryan dived in to sit beside the chauffeur.

With the boy’s command, the van bolted off at full speed, its tires screeching the asphalt road with a loud screech. Kill doesn’t know where they are taking him, and a feeling inside told him that he wouldn’t’t want to know.

 After what had seemed like hours of driving through the boulevard of central London, the van came to a stop. It halted just before a towering slate grey business building.

Upon a plague situated before the building itself were the words, “George and Harrison Law Firm”.

Why are they bringing me to a law firm? Kill pondered worriedly, his mind vainly calculating the possibilities. The chauffer and Ryan locked their arms around his and hauled Kill into the building.

The interior of the law firm was enormous. Its lobby was majestically decorated, with a crystal chandelier hung on its ceiling. Its ceiling was etched with beautiful murals and designs, flamboyant in hundreds of different shades and hues.

The chauffeur’s boot and Kill’s sneakers clapped upon the smooth marble floor with different sounds. Standing before them was a wide registration counter wrought from brown marble.

The duo easily pulled Kill toward that direction. Once at the reception, an alluring secretary emerged from behind the counter and beamed a brilliant smile at them.

“What businesses do you require today, Sirs?” She gazed at Kill dangling between the two men as if it was something normal, not an issue to be troubled with.

“We want to file a court case.” Ryan replied with a serious tone. Lowering his voice to barely a whisper, he murmured,

“Tell M that the Blonde Cobra is here.” The female receptionist nodded calmly, and swiftly dialed a number on her tabletop phone. An expression of alarm flashed upon Kill’s face.

So Ryan had discovered my secret identity? Kill was shocked, This is bad. Extremely bad.

Now that he was no longer sure about his friend’s identity, having him know of Kill’s secret could mean danger to his family and friends.

Darn it! When had I let it slip? Was I so careless?  The thought occupied his mind as the duo led Kill into one of the firm’s elegant elevators. Once inside, Ryan inserted an electronic card into a narrow slot on the control panel.

The panel was replaced by a series of complex looking buttons, cleverly hidden from the outside view. Ryan pressed the lowest button, labeled as “B10”.

The elevator gradually moved down from their current floor. The large, ornate mirror behind them reflected Kill’s anxious face as he looked around the elevator.

 

Kill’s back was drenched with sweat in his fear and trepidation. There was only silence between the three companions as they made their way downwards.

Kill felt as if his veins had been frozen solid, and breathed with difficulty. Finally, with a loud ping, the elevator came to a stop at their destination.

As the doors opened up, Kill could only stare in marvel. Before them were hundreds of computers and technologically advanced systems lined up in front of a gigantic processing screen.

An endless stream of staffs and suited agents bustled up and down the room, filing through paperwork and discussing urgent matters over table-top phones.

“Welcome to the MI5 Secret Service Special Operations Headquarters.” Ryan announced in a proud voice.

He then grasped Kill on the shoulder. To the hacker’s surprise, Ryan’s outlook was the warm and compassionate expression of his best friend once again.

“Kill. I am really sorry that I had attacked you earlier, but we need your assistance as soon as possible.” Ryan explained in a somber tone.

“I know all of this will be hard for you to take in one sitting, but please bear with me.” Ryan cleared his throat before continuing,

“MI5 recruited me a few years ago when my parents died, and now I work for them. As to why we are calling on to you today.” Ryan paused here, his expression troubled and hesitant.

“So what is it? The reason that you had called me here?” Kill inquired sharply. His patience was frayed and his curiosity could no longer be contained.

“We need your hacking skills in order to stop Lucas and his organization, ‘Devourer’ from utilizing a nuclear bomb to destroy England.”

His words tore right into Kill. After the knowledge that Ryan was an MI5 agent, Kill thought that he could no longer be surprised. He was wrong, so totally wrong.

“Lucas? Our friend Lucas? Nuclear Bomb? What are you even talking about, Ryan?” Kill blurted his questions out in panic, trying to refuse the truth that had been presented in front of him.

“Yes, Kill. Our friend Lucas is the head of a notorious criminal organization, codenamed Devourer. Last month they had stolen an old, unused nuclear warhead from a warehouse near Saint Petersburg." 

"We had intelligence that they are planning to plant the bomb in the vicinity of London, but up to present we still could not figure out its precise location, or if the bomb had been planted.” Ryan revealed the facts to Kill, his tone grave.

“But that is …” Impossible? Kill mused crestfallenly. The perfect balance that was his world had seemed to topple completely, shattering into a million fragments.

Everything he thought he knew was a lie, even the fact that he believed his identity was cleverly hidden from anyone. He had covered up his secrets, and now the karma of that act had returned to punished him by the truth behind the cover of his friends.

I couldntt believe it! Kill pondered dejectedly. He would have yelled out if the situation hadn’t been so inappropriate. How did it all came to this?

All of a sudden, the building’s security alarm went off in a cacophonous *eeeoooeeeooo*!

Amidst the chaos and confusion, every computer’s screen went blank. In a flash, they were filled with a graphical image of a black skull laying in a pool of emerald blood.

“Greetings my fellow correspondents at the MI5 Special Operations Headquarters.” A digitally edited voice boomed from all of the speakers in the room.

"My name is Lucas, a specially anointed representative of our magnificent organization Devourer. We would like to inform you today that the nuclear warhead M6-101 shall be deployed shortly by today’s evening, in the vicinity of London.”

At this point, the voice continued in a bitter, more sinister tone.

“London shall go up in flames. Our plans had been set in motion, and none would be able to stop it! We will cleanse this world of corruption and injustice, of hypocrisy and imprisonment." 

"To every men and women listening to this recording, prepare to fall!” The voice roared in bloodlust. Then the recording flickered and went away just as suddenly as it had appeared.

“Sir, Devourers’ hackers had infiltrated every television channels and social media systems and displayed this video to the public!” An agent cried frightfully, his eyes fixed in panic at the screen of his monitor.

“So everyone in the UK had probably seen it by now.” Ryan muttered to himself, an anxious expression upon his face. Track the IP address this video is sent from, if we hurry we might still be able to catch them!” Ryan ordered in a stern voice.

The agents quickly went to work, sounds of their furious keyboard tapping echoing endlessly in the room. After a while, a female agent called out in distress,

“Sir, the IP of the device this video was sent from was deeply encrypted. It leads to signals from hundreds of countries around the globe, Romania, Thailand, Russia, China, even the US. We won’t be able to track them at this rate.” Her voice was bleak and filled with desperation.

With a grim outlook, Ryan turned to Kill.

“Kill, could you please track the IP address of the computer that had released this video? As you see, even our best hackers couldn’t penetrate Devourer’s system. You are our last hope, my friend.”

Kill regarded the expectant eyes gazing to him from all over the room. Their look of desperation, fear, anxiety, and panic spoke to him more than their words could have.

I must do this, Kill thought in resolve. Here before him was a catastrophe that he might be able to help avert.

Countless of lives could be saved, families preserved, lovers rejoined. Here is the epitome of all the acts he had done to bring justice to the society, through the cyber world.

I was born to do this!  Kill shot Ryan a determined look and bolt upright.

 “I will need one of your computers.”

As Ryan barked out orders at his agents to make way for the hacker, Kill worked his hands over the secret compartment in the pocket of his jeans.

Making his way to the computer, he plucked out a black flash drive, embedded with a golden symbol of a golden cobra. The mark of the notorious hacker The Blonde Cobra.

With precise movement, Kill thrusted the USB into the CPU’s hub. His fingers flied over the keyboard buttons, writing codes and commands, drawing up the IP address of the Devourer’s system.

The MI5 agents gathered around him, their stares filled with trepidation. After what had seemed like an eternity, Kill announced in triumph,

“Found it! The IP address came from a small coffee shop by Tottenham Court Road!”

“Tottenham Court Road?” Ryan shouted at his surrounding MI5 agents,

“Utilize every unit to Tottenham Court Road! Send the coordinates of the location to the SAS team and tell them to meet us there!”

As the streams of agents and armed men moved out the front entrance of the law firm, Kill was deep in thought,

Why would the signal came from a café, located right in the heart of the city? Something just doesnt seem to add up

His train of thought was broken as a series of army jeeps and slate black vans came of a halt before the front entrance of the law firm. Ryan let him to one of the vans, and as they jumped in, the convoy set off toward Tottenham Court Road.

Their vehicles raced down the streets, their sirens blaring and blazing a path through the cars ahead of the group. Before long, they were in front of the café in which the IP address had come from. Upon its glass doors were the words,

Coffee and Snacks Free internet available! Heavily armed and on full alert, the SAS men and MI5 agents barged in through the doors. People lazing around in the café halted whatever they are doing and stared at them with wide eyes.

After announcing their purpose and intention, the officials went in and searched each suspect, one by one, to no avail. Lucas was nowhere to be found.

As they were about to leave the café, Kill spotted a black burner phone placed upon one of the store’s table. The mobile rang, and Kill went to answer it, placing the call on loudspeaker so that every agent could hear the conversation.

“Hahaha. You think you had got me, don’t you?” Lucas’s voice boomed out from the mobile’s speaker. Ryan sent a signal to one of his agents to track the location from where the call was made.

“You should not worry about me, but the friend that you leave behind, Blonde Cobra.” The voice continued in a malignant tone,

“We had Alisa. If you want her back in a full piece, Kill must come to an abandon factory near the Tower Bridge. Remember, he must arrive here alone, if any agents or SAS men were with him, I will instantly put a bullet in Alisa.”

Then the call was terminated. Kill felt as if his heart had been torn out, and only a bloody, gaping hole had remained. His head within his hands, Kill would have fainted if not for Ryan supporting him by the side.

How could I let this happen? Kill wondered darkly,

I had kept my identity a top secret to prevent my loved ones from being harmed, yet this still happens. Now Alisa are in the terrorists hands.

It was all my fault!  Kill almost wept in distress.

“Where was the call made?” Ryan inquired the agent beside him. Although with the expression upon his face, he had already guessed the answer.

“It was made from a deserted factory about 2 kilometers from the Tower Bridge, sir!” the burly agent replied.

Ryan turned to his friend, and patted Kill lightly on his back.

“Kill, what happened was not your fault. Lucas had known that we had taken you in for aid against the Devourer, so he aims to strike us at our weakest point. He made his target a person close to us, important to both you and me, Alisa. ”

With a firm grasp, he brought Kill up to look him into the eye.

“However, if we are not deterred from our path, we can still beat Lucas at his own game and rescue Alisa.” Ryan’s tone was intense, and filled with conviction.

“I know that you can do it, Kill. I know that deep down you still had the strength to rescue Alisa, and to bring Lucas to his knees. I had my confidence in you, and so should you.”

Ryan’s eyes gleamed with a fierce light, showing his determination not to give up so easily.

“Yes, Ryan.” Kill replied in an equally heated tone. Clenching his fists in rage, he shouted, “We must rescue Alisa! Lucas must pay for this!”

It was only a short while before the convoy arrived before the abandoned factory. As the SAS and MI5 teams rushed out of their vehicles, a storm of bullets riddled the air.

“Look out!” Ryan roared as his teams desperately struggled for coverage behind the bulk of their vehicles. The blasts of gunshots were so deafening that Kill felt his ears went numb.

Flashes of light bursted from the barrels of rifles and pistols, and bullet shells rained down as the agents fired back in response.

The impacts of bullets hitting home plunged at Kill, who felt the trunk of the car giving away. Ryan pulled Kill close to him and whispered into his ears,

“I’ve got a plan…”

Kill listened on in shock and disbelief. Ryan’s plan seemed as mad as it had sounded.

The teams of MI5 and SAS would provide them with coverage fire as they made their way to a side entrance of the factory. It was supposedly guarded by only a few of the terrorists, but the possibilities of danger were still prevalent.

“Are you sure of this?” Kill voiced his doubts to the MI5 agent.

“Definitely. It’s the only way we could save Alisa before Lucas acts out. Should we remain here, we could be pinned down for a very long time." 

"By then, even if we did manage to gunned down Devourer’s men and charged into the compound, there stands a high probability that Alisa will already be harmed.” Ryan explained skillfully, his eyes cool and calculating,

“If we utilize this chaos as an opportunity, we can infiltrate the terrorist’s compound without notice, and while the teams out here drew their attention, we can sneak in and rescue Alisa, unharmed.”

With the weight behind his friend’s words, and practically of the plan, Kill nodded in agreement.

Ryan made a secret signal to the agents surrounding him, and they immediately move their concentration of fire to the terrorists in front of the entrance. While the men were concentrating on putting off the agents’ teams, Ryan gestured to kill.

“We should go. Now!” They charged out from behind their cover, and sprinted their way toward the side entrance. Two of the guards notice the incoming duo, but they were quickly gunned down by Ryan’s skillful aim.

Once they were inside the factory, Ryan glanced around to inspect their surroundings.

“Where should we go next? Do you know where Lucas might have kept Alisa?”

 

Kill swiftly brought out a laptop he had just gotten from one of Ryan’s agents. With a furious series of tapping, he brought up a satellite imaging of the entire factory complex.

“This area used to be the worker’s living quarters.” Kill pointed at a location in the map.

“This is probably where Lucas had imprisoned Alisa. Follow me!”

With confidence, Kill darted forward, Ryan following closely behind him. They pass through corridors of abandoned machineries, boxes, and dusty rooms that used to be the workplace of thousands of workers.

By now, due to Ryan’s physical stamina, he is leading Kill in the chase. All of a sudden, Ryan stopped in his tracks. Kill, who was intently looking at his laptop, almost went crashing right into his friend.

 

“What is it? Ryan?” Kill inquired in, perplexed. Ryan was standing before him, taunt as a bowstring, as if he had sensed something. Then, amidst the forlorn silence, blasted the sound of a gunshot.

“Crouch down!” Ryan cried out as pulled Kill out from the path of a searing bullet. The duo frantically fled as fast as they could, the soles of their sneakers screeching along the rough concrete floor.

Instinctively, Kill felt that despite their running, their pursuer was quickly gaining in on them. Just as the assailant was almost upon them. Ryan and Kill ran into an open space, the center warehouse of the factory.

 

“Run as fast as you can  and keep as low as you can, or you’ll be an easy target.” Ryan barked at him, a serious expression upon his face.

“We wouldn’t be able to outrun the shooter, I will hold him back for you.” As he saw the hesitant look written all over Kill’s face, Ryan shouted,

“Kill, you are our only hope in saving Alisa and England! You must go, Kill. GO!”

Kill sprinted off like his life depended on it. He could hear the sounds of fighting behind him, the crashing of punches, landing of kicks, and grunts of pain.

He knew he shouldn’t do it, but Kill turned back to glance at the scene. Apparently, Ryan had managed to disarm the attacker, and they were engaged in a deadly martial arts fistfight.

As he stared, Kill saw that their assailant was their friend, Lucas! As the fight dragged on, to Kill’s horror, he could clearly see that Ryan was steadily losing his ground.

In all their time together, Kill had never known Lucas had been so skilled and deadly. He moved like a snake-all speed and precision, able to land most of his punches and kicks upon vulnerable parts of Ryan’s body.

Ryan was definitely skilled in martial arts, but his blows are gradually getting weaker, and with the passing time, their aim only worsened. Finally, Lucas locked his arms, corded with muscles, around Ryan’s neck in a wrestling move.

Ryan’s face turned purple from his increasingly lack of air, and he would probably had been strangled to death had Kill not returned.

“Lucas!” the hacker shouted out in rage, “why did you do this?”

“Run away if you still wanted to live.” The man who was once his best friend spoke to Kill through gritted teeth. He was strained, tensing against Ryan’s struggles to free himself.

 

“No, Lucas! I demand an answer, right now!” Kill roared furiously. He felt as if his blood were boiling, the pent up rage, hatred and confusion welling up inside of him.

“Why did you betray us? Why did you betray Alisa and her trust in you? Our trust in you.” Almost breaking into tears, Kill cried out,

“You were once my best friend. Ever since I knew of your part in this whole thing, I had always wanted to ask you this question.”

Kill enunciated each word with a scream, his voice cracking with rage and grief, “BUT WHY DID YOU DO THIS!”

“I wanted to unleash my vengeance upon this world. This fowl, putrid, corrupted world.” Lucas replied in a bitter tone.

“Both of my parents and my younger sister were murdered in a hit and run by some rich kids driving home from some bloody party. And what did the police do to him? Nothing! Bloody fucking nothing!” Lucas bawled in a hoarse voice.

“Just because someone is rich and powerful, the rule and laws of the world bow by their feet! That bastard murdered my whole family and got away without any punishment." 

"The police barely did any investigation and dismissed the whole thing as an irresponsibility on my parents’ part. They dared to push the blame onto my family!” Lucas was screaming now, tears cascading down his face in violent sobs,

“Justice is dead! And my family along with it!” A hard, vengeful glint shone brightly in his eyes,

“So I seek justice for myself. I gave that bastard that murdered my family a taste of what he did. I stalked him down while he was driving home from another party and rammed my car into his. He is in hospital now, and his doctors said that he would probably never walk again. As for that police,” Lucas had stopped crying, and stood up to face Kill,

“I exposed the evidences that he had been receiving bribes from the kid’s parents, and filed them to both the station he worked at and to every single person he knew. He was fired, and shamed by everyone around him. So much that he fled the city and never came back.” At this end, Lucas looked Kill straight in the eye, and they were filled to their bottom with sorrow,

“Kill, I am truly sorry for what I did to you, for what I did to Alisa. I may harbor vengeance toward this world, but I shouldn’t have dragged all of you into this. Even Ryan.” With a quick jerk of his hand, Lucas released his hold on Ryan. The MI5 agent went down onto his knees and gasped desperately for breath.

 “Our friendship was the most beautiful thing I had ever experience. I may have lied to you about a lot of things, but there is nothing more true to me than our friendship. I shall miss all the good times I had spent with you, Ryan, and Alisa. Truly miss them” To everyone’s surprise, Lucas yanked out a pistol and placed it upon his own temple,

“In the end, I would like you to know that I am truly sorry, Kill. I am truly sorry.”

Just before he could pull the trigger, Kill interrupted him with a cry of alarm,

“Wait, Lucas!” The hacker was twisted in a confusing blur of emotions, rage, anger, betrayal. However, after hearing Lucas’s story, much of his hatred for the red-haired boy had dissipated. Besides, even though his feelings must still not have settled, Kill knew that he definitely couldn’t bare losing one of his best friend.

“There is still another way out of this! You can still live. Confess and you can repent your sins!” Seeing doubts creeping into Lucas’s expression, Kill continued in an earnest plea,

“Think about the people who cared for you, the people who loved you, Lucas! Think about us, your friends! We wouldn’t be able to bare to lose you. Think about your sister, and your parents who had passed away. Think on what will they want for you. Would they wanted you to end your life like this? Bitter tears were streaming from his eyes, his worry for his friend overcoming feelings of wrath and hatred.

With a metallic *clunk*, Lucas’s pistol dropped from his hand.

“I am so very sorry, Kill.” His face was grave, with the haggard look of someone who had went through much grief and suffering. “I had been a fool. I will continue to live on, and repent my actions.” He thrusted both of his hands before Ryan, his clenched fists facing upward.

 “Arrest me, Ryan. I shall live the rest of my days repenting all the wrongful things I had done. I am sorry for hurting you, and everyone.”

Just then, the MI5 and SAS agents bursted through the doors and streamed into the central warehouse. “Where is Lucas?” An agent inquired Ryan, his face lit in triumph.

In an action that surprised everyone, Ryan pointed to a door by the far end of the warehouse, “I encountered Lucas but he got away. He went in that direction!” As the teams charged toward the exit from the warehouse, Ryan called after them, “Go get that terrorist!”

“Why?” Lucas stood open-mouthed in shock. “Why have you saved me, Ryan?”

“You had repented your sins. Most of the wrong doings you had done could still be corrected. In the eyes of the agencies, you are only an unimportant collaborator with Devourer, not someone to be pursued with great expense.” Ryan stood up and clasped Lucas upon his shoulder,

“You still deserved a second chance, Lucas. Everyone are still waiting for you. You must come back.” Looking into their eyes, Lucas was so touched with the forgiveness of his friends that his eyes gleamed with tears.

“Thank you so much, Ryan! Thank you so much, Kill!” His sounded truly relieved, as if the burden of grief and hatred had finally been lifted from his shoulders.

 Almost forgetting why they were here, Kill inquired, “How about Alisa? Where is she? Is she alright?”

As Ryan heard this question, he chimed in worriedly, “Hey, and where is the nuclear warhead? Had you already planted it somewhere? Lucas!”

“The warhead hadn’t been planted yet, Ryan. Your team had rushed in so quickly that we had no time to activate and find a location for it. The rest of the terrorists flee after the SAS team had breached in through the front doors. The nuclear warhead was located in the right wing, in the old maintenance section.” With that, Ryan bolted out of the warehouse, rushing to get to the bomb as quickly as possible.

“And Kill, Alisa is located in the left wing, in the conference room. I hadn’t hurt her in anyway, we had just brought her here and had enough time to bind her before you guys arrived. I am so sorry I had kidnapped her, Kill.” His voiced a sincere apology.

“You better be the one to say sorry to her.” Kill replied quickly and made his way toward the right wing of the factory complex. It took him a while to locate the run down conference room.

Barging his way through the double doors, Kill emerged in a dimly lit room. Before him, Alisa was tied to a chair, her mouth restrained by a length of duct tape.

“Alisa!” Kill exclaimed in relief. He swiftly rushed to her side and remove the strip of tape. “Are you all right?” With urgency he quickly untied the cords of rope that were bounding her.  

“Kill, I was so scared!” Alisa wrapped the hacker in a frightened embrace and wailed miserably.

“It’s all right, Alisa. No one will be able to hurt you anymore.” Kill spoke to her reassuringly as he patted Alisa caringly upon her back.

“Thank you—so much—Kill.” Alisa said to him between sobs,

“I never knew that deep down, I had always depended so much on you. All through the time that I had been taken prisoner, my only thought had been of you. When I saw you bursting through that door, I felt as if I was whole again. And I was so, so glad.” She had stopped crying, and is now looking at Kill with a pair of tear-streaked emerald eyes.

“We had been friends for such a long time, but to be honest I had never felt as comfortable with anyone else other than you. You are the person who would always be there for me. A constant, a pillar for me to lean on. Through all this time I had taken you for granted, Kill Croses, and I am so sorry.”

Alisa stared at him with her most sincere gaze, her large green eyes twinkling as if they were filled with stars. With her pink lips, Kill’s crush questioned in a tone of heartfelt emotion,

“Do you share my feelings, Kill?”

“I do, Alisa.” Kill confessed, the pent up truths of years past pouring out of him.

“Through all of our years together I had long had a secret crush on you. I don’t know when did it start, or how did it happen, but I had fallen in love with you. Without being able to help it, I gaze at you, and long for the day that you will look at me with the same emotions that I had look at you.”

“I’m glad we had finally said that out loud.” To Kill’s surprise, Alisa bent over and placed her lips upon his. He kissed her back, amidst the dim light of the secluded room...

 

 


© Copyright 2017 S. K. Inkslinger. All rights reserved.

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