It was a night like all the others since he had quit his job. Derek would wear one of his new suits and wander off the city, to see what would it kill him first, the cancer or a random crazy head. Once reached exhaustion or simply boredom he would then take a cab and get back home.
Derek was walking with quick strides, high on his medications when he saw him. Chris Wainright. He was holding a bottle of liquor, ill-hidden inside a paper bag, from which he would drink in big gulps.
Chris was talking and laughing loudly with a teen girl that was showing a lot of skin. She was holding a joint, taking big puffs, until they traded and got into a car.
It was a custom painted muscle car. Not the same Camaro that Chris had used to kill Carl, it was even bigger and more expensive.
In that moment, Derek wanted to puke blood. How could he possibly have forgotten about that little b*astard? Had his cancer really screwed up his brain so bad to be willing to let such a loose end slip?
The tires screeched and the car started suddenly, almost running over a woman that was crossing the road. The skimpily dressed girl rolled down the window, yelling insults at the woman that was still frozen in fear.
Derek could almost hear that couple of idiots laughing. Gritting his teeth, he called a cab and started to plan his final act.
First, he started to stalk Chris on all the social networks, learning all his routines and habits. Then Derek began to follow him, and planted a GPS tracker under the Camaro to always know his exact location.
Simply skimming through Chris’ Chirper, he found at least fifty violations of the parole deal. While following him, Derek took many photos of Chris abusing alcohol and drugs.
But Derek had no intention to submit the evidence to the police. What could he possibly gain from that? Chris would just get another slap on the wrist and then start being more careful.
Derek had not the luxury of time, nor the willingness of doing what the so-called justice system was supposed to.
Less than a week later, by checking Chris’ Bookface page, Derek learnt of a rave he would participate to. Derek double checked his equipment and jumped into his new car, a black 1967 Chevrolet Impala.
The best car to hunt monsters with. The rave was “secret”, hence it would take place in some run-down abandoned location.
Derek followed Chris closely, and as soon they were away from traffic cams he run into the Camaro from the side, forcing Chris to halt.
As soon as Chris stepped down of the car, Derek took him down with a stun gun, and then quickly proceeded to check if the Camaro had more passengers.
It seemed to be his lucky night, Chris was driving alone. Derek searched him and crushed every electronic device he could find, bitfit, smartphone, even Chris’ keychain.
Derek tied him hands and feet and ball gagged him. Then he destroyed his own smartphone and the GPS tracker, tossing everything outside the road.
Then he moved Chris in the trunk of the Impala, headed toward a party only for the two of them.
Derek drove to an abandoned warehouse in the old industrial area. He had already got rid of the lock and chain that kept the big metallic doors closed, replacing them with his own.
Inside the warehouse there were only two chairs, both bolted to the ground, a bucket and several water tanks.
Derek opened the trunk, discovering that Chris had regained his senses so he tased him again. Then he took Chris to a chair and started tightly binding his arms and legs to it.
Then Derek splashed him with a bucket of water forcing him to regain focus.
“Hello, Chris. My name is Derek Esposito, and you killed my brother. We need to talk.”
Chris tried getting out of the restraints, and while commending his efforts, Derek violently hit him in the groin with a nightstick. The pain paralyzed him.
“Were was I? Oh, yes. The last time we saw each other was during your farce-trial. Do you remember me?” Chris’ panting intensified.
“Good. Let’s get straight to business.” Derek took two digital timers out of the car, setting the first to thirty minutes and the second to two hours, forty-four minutes and sixteen seconds.
Then, he pulled out a gun and double tapped Chris’ liver. His scream was muffled by the gag ball, but the shots echoed loudly in the empty warehouse.
Derek started both timers simultaneously and came in close, checking the blood. It was dense and black, a clear indicator of a crushed liver.
“Now before the real pain settles in, I need you to take a good look to the timers, they are really important.” Chris was crying and screaming, so Derek had to splash him again and pull him by hair to get his attention.
“The first timer marks how much time you have left. After it rings, even if someone should miraculously break through that door and rescue you, you would be dead anyway. You have only so much time until your system gets flooded by toxins unfiltered by the liver, to the point that no transplant can save you. The second timer is a surprise. We’ll get to it in time. For now, your only task is to stay awake and savour every moment of pain, like Carl did.”
The time flew, Chris kept screaming through the gag ball, and soon the fist timer rang.
Chris started sobbing even stronger, sometimes stopping only because overwhelmed by the constantly rising pain.
Derek would speak to him no longer, he would just pace back and forth, occasionally checking the second timer.
Every time Chris fainted, Derek would splash him and force him to stay awake before refilling the bucket.
When the second timer rang, Derek finally spoke again.
“I have bad news and I have good news. The bad news is that I lied before. I thoroughly researched liver injuries, and with such crushed liver you had no hope to begin with. Even if I had shot you in front of the best hospital in the USA, unless they had a compatible liver at hand, you would have died. I wanted to give you false hope, as happened to my brother while waiting for help. The good news is that you just suffered as long as Carl did. I may be many things, unrelenting, vengeful, a liar, a murderer but I am also fair. So your suffering ends now.”
Derek pointed the gun to Chris’ head and double tapped him.
Then he pointed it to his own head.
“Little brother, I’m coming. Wait for me.” And pulled the trigger one last time.
While Derek’s body was still falling, his consciousness was basked in light and he felt pulled toward the sky.
After months of grieving, a whole lifetime of misery and pain, Derek felt that all his traumas and hatred were fading away.
Derek had never experienced such bliss. In this new form he felt no negative emotion, he was in peace with his past, unafraid of his future.
Derek was enjoying a present that he felt could lead to endless possibilities, and there was no right and wrong, success or failure. He would simply be, no strings attached.
That intoxicating feeling lasted until he suddenly woke up, alive and breathing.
All his negative emotions returned, plunging him back into despair. Derek cursed inwardly while trying to focus his eyes. Maybe it was because of the shot to the head, but his vision was blurry.
“So much for the perfect plan. Some idiot must have rescued me and somehow I survived the journey to the hospital. I am still alive. I still have cancer. I am still alone.” But when his eyes finally cleared up, they strongly disagreed with his reasoning.
Derek was in some kind of huge metal corridor surrounded by dead bodies. Alien dead bodies to be precise. They were all wearing some kind of full body armour, that resembled some kind of sci-fi space suit.
“Where the f**k am I? What the hell does this mean?” He screamed while trying to get up, only to fall back on the floor.
He fell hand first, and only then he noticed that he was wearing a space suit too, and that his hands, all four of them, had three fingers each.
“WHAT! THE! ACTUAL! F**K!”