Friday, March 27, 2015

Ctrl + Alt + Delete

Metal rattled in the sand as eight hostages walked single file while their captors shepherded them along the dunes. Black bags concealed their identities but their name tags hung on the side of their suit pockets. Blood smeared their collar. The heavy chains that bond them together burned at their fresh wounds. The captors took their prisoners and kneeled them before their leader. “Sing,” their leader commanded the hostages in his native tongue. Frightened, the hostages sung; quivering underneath their blindfolds. On ran the tape as the cyber world witnessed another massacre, another future in the brink of extinction.
Kidnapped during a conference meeting with the Arabians, a righteous team of activists sneaked under the secret service radar and captured eight of the most deceitful organized terrorist group members the world has always known. The people responsible for their sultan’s death now kneeled before them, bound and defeated. Their newly appointed leader stood beside the prisoners as the camera rolled on. Once the hostages ended their song their captors began their broadcast, their message to the unreachable world, live.
“Nations fall only to rise by another,” read the subtitles as he spoke. “For years, our country has fallen to the hands of these criminal’s hell bent on corrupting the world with their traditions.” He took his gun and pointed to the frightened hostages as he continued, “They find any means necessary to kill in the name of justice. They invade lands, enslave for black gold and are relentless until they have obtained it.” He paused, “You will not corrupt our system. You will not pin us as the terror you’ve become.”
“Let us redirect the world,” rolled the comments on the screen, “To the real terrorist who trained and supplied us with weapons of mass destruction. Then devise meetings with world leaders for our heads. The world is waking, your time is up.” The mountainous desert echoed from a gunshot as one hostage fell; blood spoiled in the sand as the tape rolled on. “We will not fall victims to your corrupted democracy.” Another fell, leaving the others to shiver in their blindfolds knowing their end was coming. He stepped aside and aligned himself to the other kneeled victim, then continued.
“You will not take our rights for we make our own,” another member fell. Their leader glared at the camera, “You hide behind your puppets that will your predictions while we present ourselves to the masses for we need no hiding. We roam our lands as free men while you enslave others.” The fourth member fell, “The only flag you pledge to is greed. Your system knows no justice, just your own.” Two more members fell to the ground, lifeless. The scorching heat dried the blood leaking from their heads.
“Your people flock to us for they know the truth,” the comments continued, “They stand and fight with us for they are real soldiers, not expendable souls. The end is coming, not the peoples, but your own.” The last member begged, even plead, under his blindfold as the other fell. His captor cocked the safety and placed the gun to the side of his temple. “We prevail.” As the last hostage met his end, the activist group gathered around their prize and praised their fallen sultan.
The world was waking up to the horrible truth. The countless lies our heroes, our officials, have fed us for their good were now coming into light. Lines were drawn, sides were declared; each desperately fighting for control. Both side failed to realize whose end was approaching. Only those who have not yet met an end were at stake for the rest have already met theirs, caused by those who fear their own. The end is coming, no amount of money could prevent that no matter how loud money screamed; but it sure loves to run its mouth.
The assailants mounted their helicopter then flew away, shouting victoriously while chantingly mocking their hostage's song, “We shall overcome!”
Higher did the number rise as a fist full of vengeance consistently collided between ribs, face then chest. A bat swung, spinning the room all around. A battered man held up by his arms hung defensibly as five guards beat him relentlessly. A small plastic tube ran up his rear end. Electric wires connected to his genitals sent shockwaves up and down his body periodically. The guards would stop every so often just to see him jolt from the shocks. Torture had a new toy to play with and they loved every minute.
            Two expensive black leather heels strutted the empty hallways of an underground chamber held at the Detention Center where prisoners of war are detained. Her bright red lips radiated through the florescent lights above. Her tailor made power suit, steamed and washed, smelled of rare gardens. The vivacious vixen removed her sunglasses as the scanner read her retina. She entered a series of codes then placed her thumb against the wall and waited for the doors to slide open. “Greetings General,” welcomed the voice automatic computer.
            “I can take it from here boys,” she instructed as she entered the room. The guards left, leaving behind a man to hang in a pool of his own misery. Blood leaked from his face. His swollen eyes prevented him to see who stood before him but the scent was reassuring. “Agent Milestone,” she began as she settled in her seat, “The troubles you put yourself in.” She shook her head lightly as she read through his file while he gasped for air. She skimmed through every successful mission he has ever achieved and more throughout his career as a spy. “Was he worth the troubles?” She asked once she closed his file.
            “You tell me,” he mumbled through his swollen lip, “Are the tables still turning on you?”
            “Let’s pretend shall we,” she exhaled, “That you’re the good guy and I’m the detective trying to sort out this mess. We didn’t have to resort to this kind of interrogation but you chose to remain silent, what a useless right.” He coughed out blood that landed on the side of the table, not knowing where it had fallen; feeling a sting on the side of his rib all the while. “Agent, I’m sure a man of your stature can be reasoned with. Let’s not get too radical. Have you not suffered enough? We both know no mission is worth the pain when there’s no gain.”
            “Whatever it is you think I know, I don’t.” Milestone replied as he took a breather from the beatings. “No matter how many times you ask, my answer is final. Besides, what would you want with him?” He tilted his head as blood dripped down his chin.
            “I could be asking you the same thing,” she laughed. “Your client became a person of interest on his own accounts. Then we come to find he made a deal with you. Why would someone be doing business with a spy? What does he have that we need? So, as you are well aware, we did our research and found it is not a matter of what he knows but what he could see.” Milestone hung confused, puzzled.
            “What?” He questioned, steading his spinning head. “Don’t tell me you’re still with that, still? You know for a self-appointed mind reader you sure are very doubtful. What, do your powers not work if the reception is off?” She looked away and scorned. “Sweetie, you’re as delusional as he’d predict. If he’s convinced you otherwise then doll that’s on you. What makes you think he’s capable of anything at that? Don’t forget who you’re monitoring; you’ve already made that mistake once.”
            “Was that a confession, then?” She questioned teasingly. “Retaliating won’t get you down from those chains any faster Agent.” A jolt of electricity ran throughout his body, electrifying his tender flesh. “If you’re client has nothing to hide, where could he be? What further instructions has he given you that you are still following? Or was this part of his plan?” They both laughed. “Did he join some terrorist group like the others? No one has gone on a shooting spree thus far, so what are we missing? What has he devised that we haven’t already been aware of?”
            “Who am I to correct you on your own opinion?” His vision was clearing. A lump on top of his right eye hid her face while the lights above burned his eye. “If that is what you chose to believe then you have every right to seek him because I guess we both know what’s at stake, or has he not clued you in on that yet?” He smirked, “You and your cult keep forgetting that your enemies are bigger. You all forget the consequences of your schemes. You don’t have to be psychic to know what’s coming, but it helps. He won’t go as a hostage, spoiler alert, because he doesn’t join the losing side; that much I know. And that’s all you need to know.”
“So maybe he did join their ranks,” he concluded, “After all he sees what you cannot, am I right?” Begrudgingly, he mustard a grin as he hung in defeat.
            “Is that your final answer?” She asked, irritated. “Let’s be clear on one thing Agent, we’ve been around longer than you can imagine. You are in no position to make negotiations, tell us where he is and maybe, just maybe, will I let my Family keep you alive.” She collected herself as he spat beside her, aiming for her suit. His face burned from the slap she gave him, resurfacing the pain from his bruised face. “Life is full of choices,” she finished, “It’s a shame people always chose the wrong ones.” She looked at him, “And I guess you’ve made yours.”
            “What do you plan on doing then?” He replied. “Send your ‘Family’ after me? Close my world? Diminish all hope?” He smiled, blood oozing from his open wounds, “You can’t turn the world against me any more than it already is, doll. My world can’t be closed, it’s an open book.” He referred to the file she had brought. “I guess all those years your family faced in the concentration camps taught you a thing or two about oppression. It’s a shame they taught you nothing about accountability, justice for that matter; but to you it’s a whole different story. God hands you nothing you can't handle, remember. It's only oppression when it's done physically, did the camps not teach you that too?”
            One swift kick to the face and blood splattered on the walls. Milestone discrediting the suffering her relatives, family, faced in the camps boiled her temper. “I got what I needed for now. You’ll talk eventually, they always do. Thank you Agent, for your shares.” She gathered her things and made her exit. “Have fun with this one,” she instructed the guards as they entered, “Make sure he’s barely breathing, but barely.” As the smell of fresh gardens replaced the bitterness taste of iron blood, the beatings would continue relentlessly and mercilessly only this time things went different.
            As the guards raised their fist, Milestone waited for the doors to close before he could set his training into action. Once the doors locked, Milestone kicked one guard to the ground as he climbed his way up the wire; balancing himself all the while. One guard aimed for the button that would render him immobile but he was too slow. Milestone yanked the wire from its socket sending him down to the ground. He landed on his feet then wrapped the loose wire around the guard while fending off the other two.
In an instant, the guards were out cold while he stripped one for his clothes. He then used the nametag to open the door. “Sick fucks,” he commented as he made his exit, leaving the guards behind locked in his cellar.
            Agent Milestone carried out his first mission, to gain intel on the general who goes by the name of Sister. Unbeknownst to Sister, that was indeed Milestones’ clients plan all along; to get captured by The Family in order to gain information on their interest towards his client. Once Sister spilled the beans, once she validated his conspiracy, he had everything he needed in order to proceed to his next target. He limped across the halls, shedding the pain in his ribs. He pulled through for he knew they would soon be looking for him.
            He stood by the exit and pulled the fire alarm. He waited for the doors to unlock before making his escape. Only a skilled, highly trained private agent could manage to get captured in an unescapable cell then walk out in broad daylight. He hacked a nearby car then drove off. His next location where his next target resided was at the heart of the city, his favorite playground. He looked towards the rearview mirror and couldn’t recognize the man who reflected his image. Those fuckers did a number on him, but even they knew good guys always get the last laugh.
            Before entering the city, Milestone made a quick stop by the convenient store to exchange the license plates of another car before the owner reported it missing. A simple hat and oversized shades saved on the glove compartment help conceal the bruises on his face. As he licked his wounds, Milestone boarded the car and drove to the Family’s Tower. He was about to enter the enemy’s domain but no intimidation could spark fear within him for he has seen worse, experienced for that matter.
            There was but one thing he knew, and only needed to know, about his next target. Brother was his name, a typical player posing as a knight in a checkers game. Brother lived for the rush built on deceit. Invisibility was his power, unseen before his enemies as he makes his strike. Master of the martial arts, invisibility was merely second nature to him. Their tower soon approached his view. The Family’s Brother would soon know what it truly means to be invisible.
            Milestone parked a few feet away from the Family’s Tower. Like the spy that he is, he freely stepped into his enemy’s front door without raising detection. He was but another face in the crowd, blending among the rest. Guess this is what it feels like to be invisible, he thought to himself; relating to his enemy. Two guards welcomed him in as he passed through the front doors. He made his way to the elevator and waited until he reached the top floor. Calm music sooth the pain in his ribs as he pushed the throbbing aside. He gathered whatever strength he had left and pulled through for his training knew no weakness.
            The doors opened to a deserted floor. Lights flickered to a renovation left at a still. Milestone knew Brother was watching, but where could you be? He stepped out into the empty floor and looked around, cautiously. No sign of entry revealed clues as to Brothers whereabouts. Milestone knew Brother was near, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. He calculated every step as he crossed the empty floors.
            Milestone entered another open room where blueprints lay on a table under a single lamp post. “Hiding is your best asset.” Milestone said to the air, knowing Brother was listening. “Power, I guess.” He looked around, “Sister told me everything I needed to know, will you make that mistake?” In the corner of his eye, a shadow ran across the room. He turned to find a plastic cover moving with the wind. Milestone followed Brothers trail not knowing he was leading Brother into a corner.
            “She is not of blood,” Milestone continued as he followed the ruckus, “So maybe you two don't have that in common, but she is family.” He mocked reeling Brother out from his hiding spot. Footsteps crossed the room on the other side. Milestone drifted towards the noise, Brother did not scare him. “Will Mother and Father be joining us, or do I have the pleasure on taking you out all on my own with no audience?” He paused, “Where’s the fun in that?” Another ruckus led him to another open room.
            There, in his throne, Brother sat awaiting his prey. “Sister informed me you had escaped,” Brother began, “She told me you might show up but she didn’t tell me you were injured. How fair is that?” Brother was turning the tables on Milestone. “Why don’t you come back when you’re fully charged? I wouldn’t want to make this fight unfair any more than it already is.” Milestone blindly embraced Brothers presence while Brother simply jerked. “If it’s a fight you want then a fight you will get, only not with me.”
            “But you love rigged games.” Milestone replied. “It’s you’re forte. How else could you win?” Milestone kept his embrace while Brother sized him up. Brother knew what Milestone wanted and did whatever he could to divert the question. “I’m ready as you’ll ever be. I’m at my weakest, Sisters henchmen made sure of that.” He inched his way closer to Brother’s throne, standing his ground. “You’re prone to win, see, my ribs are broken.”
            “Sister may have weakened you,” Brother commented, “But I at least think I’m deserving of a better opponent.”
            “Deserving?” Milestone repeated, “Because the people on your list were.”
            “And they were very much so,” Brother praised, “Future stars, philosophers of the unpublished world. They dare dream where they are not welcomed. They poured their hearts for me to decide their fate. They never saw me coming. They didn’t even know I was there. Big brother is everywhere.” Brother got up from his seat. “That’s the beauty of my power, invisible but not transparent. The game may be rigged but so is life. The world is a scary place and we’re only looking out for each other, well at least our own. You’re doing the same, don’t deny. If the rest didn’t know that then well let’s hope they’re prepared to pick a side.”
“But who better to prepare and protect them than the Family?” Brother questioned. “I won’t fight you,” he later added as he inched his way to an open window, “But Father will.” Brother jumped from the window and disappeared into the night. The elevator opened to a swarm of F.B.I. agents armed and lethal. A smile appeared on Milestone’s face for he had finally had the privilege of meeting the grand master himself. A row of agents kneeled before Milestone with their toys aimed at his head. Milestone waited for Father to emerge from his wall of expendable puppets.
            “Agent Milestone,” came a firm man from the team of armed agents, “What accomplishments you dare fulfill.” Father stepped into the light as Milestone sat on Brothers throne; a rightful heir for a kingdom left to perish. “Still fighting that lost cause are you or have you come to your senses? Before you answer,” Father raised a hand, “Take this in consideration. We don’t have to resort to this, do we? Must we declare war or can we rise above? The Family and I are well aware of your talents agent Milestone; it would be a shame if the world misses out on your gifts.”
            “The world is missing out on the truth.” Milestone replied. “But I’m guessing that’s why you and your family are after my client, oppressing the others. The world isn’t missing out on no one’s gifts because you and your cult emulate what you find, what you do. You say you’re helping but you’re only helping yourself. Those people you’re exploiting, stalking, know the truth then you wonder why they flock to them? The world is waking up to your lies, to my client’s truth.”
            “It’s a shame none of you will be around to see that revelation come into fruition.” Father used his power, the force, and ordered his body guards to kill. Milestone hid behind Brothers throne and waited for the barrage to reside. A long minute passed before Milestone sprinted to the other room. Again, Father used his force and ordered his puppets to seek and destroy. Milestone was running out of places to hide while dodging fatal blows to the head. He hid behind a desk when suddenly a chime rang in the commotion.
            The elevator opened to an elderly woman dressed in white. Mother, whose only power is but her own free will, stepped into the renovation floor tampered by the chaos that ensued. “I told you,” she said, “No agents in this level.” She instructed the swarm of F.B.I. agents to exit but they did no such thing. The agents stared at her, mindlessly waiting for further instructions from Father. “Tell your guards to step down, immediately.” She pushed among the crowd, looking for the remote.
            “Listen to Mother.” Father instructed.
            “You know we’re renovating,” she nagged, “Why would you bring them here?”
            “Ask him.” Father pointed to a desk riddled in holes and bullets.
            “You can come out now, Agent.” Mother called. “We won’t hurt you. His guards left, we’re unarmed.”
            “Am I supposed to believe that?” Milestone replied, looking around.
            “You can trust her,” Father answered, “She never lies.”
            “Coming from Father.”
            Bang! A shot was fired and a body soon fell, "Now you can.” Mother replied as she slid Father’s hidden gun towards him. “Use that if you don’t believe me.” Milestone took the gun, checked if it were loaded then slowly got to his feet. Mother remained arms up with Father dead on the floor, his blood staining the carpet. “I’m going to have to clean up all of this eventually.” She addressed the mess Father had made. “You win okay. You don’t have to run anymore. It’s over. It’s all over.”
            “Explain.” Milestone demanded, still aiming the gun to Mother’s head.
            “Because contrary to what you and your client believe,” Mother answered, “There are still good people around, only you won’t hear about them.” Because even they answer to the enemy. Milestone raised a suspicion in disbelieve for he knew too much. He knew he couldn’t trust Mother or the Family but gave her the benefit of a doubt. He wanted to know why she killed Father. “I may not be the best candidate but if you knew my truth you’d lower that gun.” Mother kept her arms up, hoping he would see the honest defeat in her eyes.
            “Enlighten me.” Milestone replied.
            “I married him thinking I could control his madness.” Mother began, “I knew he couldn’t be defeated unless someone got close enough, so I did. I bared his children to gain his trust. I figure if I stay with him I could change his way, direct him to a better path.” She paused, “I should have known better than to think evil could be controlled. I should have known better than to think I could alter his ways but deletion is the only resolution when dealing with people like him.” She looked at Milestone, “I know that now.”
            “And my client,” Milestone added, still aiming the gun to her head. “The others?”
            “A sacrifice we had to make.” Mother confessed. “I,” she corrected herself, “Figured a man like your client, like the others, could see past the deception and help us right our wrong. To help us elevate this nation back to its formal glory. I only hoped they could free us from Father’s reign, since I failed every time and time again. A burden such as that is heavy for one to carry but your client is not one of us. He is of a special breed. He is more than we could ever hope for but I see now where we went wrong.”
“Where I went wrong,” Mother finished. “Let me help you, Agent. I can assist your client with his gift, along with the others. Help me right all of my wrongs.”
“You and your family have taken from others numerous of times.” Milestone finally answered as he debated in his head. “You mean to tell me you’ve failed time and time again at stopping your own family from themselves? Unfortunately for you, Mother, we know better.” Mother stepped back, feeling the heaviness weakening her knees. “I am my client,” Milestone confessed, “And we decline.” Milestone fired but was shot in return by Mother who kneeled on the floor holding her own hidden gun.
            “Its unfortunate people always make the wrong decisions.” Brother wearing a vandalized Guy Fox mask soon appeared near the open window from where he’d left. “My wrong was believing in the person you thought you were.” Mother read his pulse, “The world will not forget your gifts, your legacy. We will carry out your hopes and dreams for no spark will be left unnoticed.” Mother stood up as Brother waited in the shadows. “If I could only have convinced you otherwise that we are not the forces of evil.” The elevator opened to Sister as she joined the team; wearing her own vandalized mask.
“We no longer operate anonymously for we have evolved,” Mother said as she slid her mask, “We are unanimous and we thank you for your shares.”
Together, a new family was born. With Father out of the picture, Mother had all the votes she needed in order to gain control over the rest. A new order was on the rise. A new world dawned on civilization as power shifted to the wrong side of history. Exploitation became sitcom gold as lies gained political power. Who would believe in the truth when all we’ve grown to know are lies? Justice has been eradicated from the constitution, only to be replaced by strings and ties.
Milestone bled on the floor as another unsung hero caved to the deity.