Dead Track

Image result for vinyl track

     It was a quarter to midnight and the club was barely starting to become active.  Electronic music played from speakers all across the club and people from all backgrounds were dancing in mass on the dance floor.  The blaring sounds of electronic synths and flashing lights that danced around the otherwise dark insides briefly illuminated individuals in the crowd, exposing blurred expressions and beaming smiles.  Few people stood outside of the dance floor, mainly enjoying themselves with drinks or staying out of the way of the light.  This large dance floor was alive with people from all walks of life dancing to the music that emanated from the speakers that surrounded them.  

     At the helm of the DJ set, Victor had just set the track playlist to play for the last two hours before closing.  Just in time for him to hit the bar and bathroom before he ended his shift.  He would have enough time to gather his weekly check and pay off his debt before it was too late.  He ran straight down to the owner's office to receive his paycheck.  A simple walk down the hallways full of drunk college students and young singles was all that stood between him and the cash.  He made his way through the narrow crowd, hoping that Braxton and his two guards wouldn't intercept him, but he was too late to avoid such an encounter.  Right before Victor was able to reach for the doorknob to the owner's office, Braxton shoved Victor up against the wall.

     "Two weeks are up, Victor!  Where's the Boss's money?"  

     Victor was taken aback by the sudden move and did his best to remain calm throughout the entire ordeal.  "Take it easy, Braxton.  I was just heading into the owner's office to get my paycheck.  I'll have your money in just a moment."  Victor made his way into the owner's office and received the envelope from the owner of the club.  Victor walked back out of the office and flinched as Braxton ripped the envelope out of his hands.  

     "Hmm....I'm afraid this isn't enough, Victor.  The Boss needs more."

     Before Victor could even give a rebuttal, the other two guards grabbed him by the shoulders and marched him out of the back of the club.  Victor was promptly forced into the back of a limbo and the group together drove off.  Mr. Boss made his voice loud and clear from the seat in the front.  "You earned enough to make your final payment with me, Victor, but I'm afraid there are some more debts with bigger contenders that must be paid."

     And once again, before Victor could utter a reply, he was sidetracked from his train of thought as he was gagged and blinded by a burlap sack that was both placed on his head.  After a short drive and a short walk inside what sounded from the rounding echo like a vacant warehouse, Victor was seated, bound to his chair, and his burlap sack was removed.  Victor was immediately presented with the superficially warm welcome of The Boss and Braxton.  "Hey, looks like our sweet little fucking princess has woken up."  Braxton followed up his comment by punching Victor twice in the face.  

     The Boss pulled Braxton away from Victor.  "Now, Braxton!  Leave the beatings for our special guest."

     Braxton backed away reluctantly and spit in Victor's face.  "You're lucky, Vic!  I hope Mr. K holds good on his promise.  Hope you're ready to squeal about that Clarity thing you kept talking about, Vic, cause Mr. K don't play!"

     The Boss was displeased with Braxton's comments but retained his composure as a large man in a jet-black suit with dark shades over his eyes arrived in on with two guards in similar attire following close behind him.  "Braxton, please go back to a proper institution and educate yourself on proper grammar."

     Braxton was more than irritated by Mr. K's remark.  "What the fuck do you know, old timer?!"

     Mr. K gave his two guards a quick hand signal only they understood and overwhelmed everyone present when the two guards shot all of The Boss's guards, including Braxton straight through the brain, and Mr. K placed a large, gold serrated knife up against the throat of The Boss.  "Now, Victor, or should I call you Mr. Strawson?  I believe The Boss heard from you that you knew about Clarity.  Well, I've come for that information."  Mr. K let go of The Boss as both of the guards took hold of his arms and kicked his legs until they folded and brought The Boss down on his knees.  Mr. K was a chilling figure up close.  He had unnatural facial features, bleached white hair, and a smile so sarcastic you could see the madness in the expression of his smile. "You see, Mr. Strawson, Clarity is a tool that my employer has sought out for a very, very long time.  He has sought out Clarity for ages, in hopes of utilizing its capabilities for his purposes of destruction and rebirth."  Mr. K walked around The Boss in circles.  "Oh!  What a grand day it will be for us when his plan is complete!"  

     Mr. K took a swipe at the back of The Boss's neck, grinning widely as the blood stained blade lightly grazed across the exposed flesh.  The Boss screamed in pain.  "I thought we had a deal, K!  I give you Vic in exchange for my freedom!"  

     Mr. K knelt down to meet The Boss's quivering expression.  "My employer did not guarantee YOUR freedom!"  Mr. K jabbed his blade straight into The Boss's right eye, causing him to scream in pain.  "Do you know what I love most about blades, Mr. Strawson?  Unlike a handgun or other machine of death, a blade allows you to savor all of the primal emotions that one feels right before they die."  Mr. K removed the blade and began to saw away at The Boss's neck, the guards doing their best to hold The Boss to the ground as he was slowly and brutally decapitated.  Within what felt to Victor like an eternity, The Boss finally fell silent as the final strings of flesh that connected The Boss's head to the rest of his body came loose.  The guards then shoved The Boss's dead body forward towards Victor, causing him to wince as the body fell to the floor in a slow thud and dripped hot blood everywhere.

     Mr. K put the hand he held his blade in up to the jaw of The Boss's mouth and began to move it as he spoke in a voice that was chillingly similar to how The Boss sounded.  "See, that wasn't so hard!  Mr. K's employer sure does get what he wants.  You better give up the info now and make it snappy!"  Mr. K let out a loud chuckle as he tossed The Boss's head behind him, whipping droplets of blood everywhere as he flung it across the warehouse like the head was a discarded baseball.  "We get what we want, Mr. Strawson.  I'll make you an honest deal."  From within Mr. K's left pant pocket, he removed a small handgun and proceeded to point it towards Victor's forehead. "If you give me what I want, I'll make this quick and painless.  But if you refuse to give me what I want, well..."  Mr. K tossed his blade up and down in his right hand and placed it close to Victor's neck as he moved in to whisper to Victor.  He removed the shades covering his eyes, only to reveal two void dark spheres mirroring the horror that Victor experienced as he came to the realization that Mr. K and his guards were not entirely human. "I'll make sure you suffer worse than The Boss."  Mr. K stood up and took a couple of paces back away from Victor.  "The choice is yours!  Make your decision!"

     Victor paused for a moment but knew better than to wait any longer.  "I choose to tell you what you-" Victor was interrupted by three silenced bullets cutting clean through the air and hitting Mr. K and his guards straight through the left side of their heads.  Three men in black body armor and concealed helmets crept in with silenced automatic rifles.  Each of them wore a bandana marked with a skull around their mouths.  The leader made his way up to Victor and knelt down in front of him as one of the other men untied Victor.  "We've come to rescue you, Victor.  We're part of a secret project dedicated to Clarity.  As of tonight, you are dead to the rest of the world and will go into hiding as we try to uncover what you know about Clarity.  You're not safe anymore unless you come with us."

     Victor was thankful for his freedom but was skeptical as to the validity of his rescuers.  "Thank you for rescuing me, but who exactly are you."

     The leader revealed the identity of his team and their mission without flinching and without question.  "We are an underground team of the best global military specialists that goes under the name 'Dead Track', and we serve to protect humanity from the oncoming wrath of Gidnash."


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