A Digression : ‘Doug’’s Tale
‘Doug’ walked briskly down the street at 3:30AM trying not to look suspicious (Fail!) as his mind raced. He never realized there would be gunfire and screaming from one simple text message. Private eyes and bounty hunters he dealt with in the past tried to keep as low a profile as possible during a takedown, but not this guy. He shows up with a high-powered sniper rifle and blows a big hole in one of the rooms and then charges out and gets chopped into kibble. And there was no way he wasn’t going to get taken in for questioning and if that happened they would find that outstanding warrant for that grow-rip from a few years back. Damn it! Now what do I do?
As ‘Doug’ had that final thought a stretch black limo pulled out of the alley in front of him and stopped in his path, the tinted back window slowly sliding down to reveal the deeper darkness of the interior to him.
A mellifluous voice spoke from the interior, “Hello, ‘Doug’, I am… was… will be Pearson’s employer and I have an offer for you. It involves another large sum of money if you would mind getting in so we can discuss it.” The automatic lock clicked open and the door swung ajar to admit ‘Doug’ into the vehicle.
‘Doug’ realized his options were limited and better the back of a limo than the back of a patrol car. He pulled the door all the way open and leaned in to enter the vehicle and stopped halfway as he gasped in surprise.
“‘Andy’!“ ‘Doug’ held up both index fingers in a hooked motion as he shouted.
“’Doug’!” ‘Andy’ exclaimed in return as he also hooked both index fingers in air-apostrophes in front of him.
“What the hell are you doing here bro?” ‘Doug’ exclaimed in surprise as he took in the site of his big, bald, bearded and heavily tattooed brother sitting across from the possessor of the smooth voice. He was still wearing his dirty orange overalls from his job at the body-shop slash chop-shop he worked at. Then he noticed the look of terror on his brother’s mug, nothing ever scared him. Next he spotted the large pearl handled gun held lightly in a black gloved hand and resting on the man’s thigh, nonchalantly pointed in his brother‘s direction, as if bearing arms during casual conversation was perfectly natural for this person.
“Just get in the car ‘Doug’ and we can discuss how you can keep your brother alive. Oh, and how to make another five grand.” And with these words the man waggled the gun to encourage ‘Doug’ to get in. ‘Doug’ did as he was asked and sat down next to ‘Andy’ across from the man. He looked him over with fearful eyes; a man of average height in a black silk Nehru jacket and black silk dress pants, a full head of slicked-back stark white hair and a perfectly uniform bronze tan from what he could tell, and most frightening of all were the unnaturally steely grey eyes peering at him. As he smiled to show small but perfect teeth he tapped on the glass partition with one gloved knuckle and the unseen driver pulled the limousine smoothly onto the street and began to drive to who-knows-where.
“Allow me to introduce myself. I am Vilayne Lakritz and I am either your saviour or your doom, I leave that choice up to you. Okay to be honest you don‘t have a choice if you want to live to get out of this car.” As he spoke a slightly manic grin creased his features as if the only time he smiled was when he was killing or eating meat. He held out a hand to shake, ‘Doug’ took it and despite the slim almost feminine look of the hand it gripped and squeezed his firmly, taut and strong as if all his tendons were made of steel cables.
“Uh, nice to meet you, Sir.” As ‘Doug’ took his hand back and flexed it a couple times.
“Oh, you can call me Mister Lakritz from now on ‘Doug’, if you are going to be working with me. Otherwise, you won‘t be saying anything at all.” Vilayne nodded and smiled as he settled back in his seat, the gun still idly pointing in ‘Andy’s’ direction.
“Certainly, Mister Lakritz. So how can I help you and could you stop pointing a gun at my brother?” ‘Doug’ nervously asked as he cast a sidelong glance at his much bigger older brother sitting rigidly next to him.
“Not quite yet my boy. You see, I have to explain a few things first. You need your eyes opened to reality ‘Doug’ and I am afraid that will require ‘Andy’s’ assistance. But rest assured that once I am done I promise to give your brother the gun for safe-keeping.” Vilayne gave him another reptilian smile and then playfully winked in ‘Andy’s’ direction.
“Imagine that you are a chess master. You have never lost a game no matter how skilled your opponent is, not even if they know all the moves you are going to make. You simply. Never. Lose. Now imagine that once every million games you come upon a player that has a chance to win. Not a very good chance but a chance nonetheless. Wouldn’t you give anything to experience that challenge?” Vilayne leaned forward as a tinge of excitement entered his voice. It was almost as if he was almost confused by the concept of loss as he spoke of it.
“Uh, no I think I would prefer to keep on winning actually, Mister Lakritz.” ‘Doug’ nodded vigorously as he tried to understand what chess had to do with a gun pointing at his bro.
“And that’s why you won’t ever be more than a mere pawn, ‘Doug’. You see the great game has begun once again and even though the low-probability first move you witnessed was sadly unsuccessful, it did leave you alive and breathing and thus a resource for me to employ. I need to place you in harm’s way once more so you can distract my sister long enough for my plan to be completed. I know that you gave her the money and I know that she spared your life so I shall use you to feed her faulty info.” Vilayne grinned to himself in self-satisfaction at his complete belief in his own genius.
“Wait a minute, that crazy psycho bitch is your sister? No wonder you want her out of the way… for whatever it is you are planning. But now I get it! You are going to keep my bro hostage until I finish your dirty work right?” ‘Doug’ felt almost a sense of relief knowing that he and his brother could get out of this alive and with a big bundle of cash.
“No no no silly boy. Why would I want to waste my very precious time keeping an eye on someone like ‘Andy’? No, he is here for an important purpose. He shall keep an eye on you for me.”
At this the brothers exchanged looks of confusion and dawning hope, thinking that this gun-wielding nut job was going to make a monumental cock-up. Thoughts of money and shooting this crazy bastard with his own gun raced through both their minds.
“Oh, that is so very quaint boys. You honestly thought I was that stupid. I guess its time that I demonstrate how truly screwed you are. You see ‘Doug‘, your brother is already Entangled.” With that Vilayne brought the fingertips of his left hand to his temple as he closed his left eyes as if looking through a telescope.
‘Doug’ was just about to ask what he meant by Entangled when his brother screamed in agony and clapped his hands to his bald skull and doubled over in his seat. The scream rose through the octaves until it was a high-pitched keening as ‘Doug’ reached towards his brother. Ten seconds passed and then the scream stopped and his brother leaned back in his seat, a passive look on his face as he nodded at Vilayne.
“Damn boss, I will never get used to that. Didja have to fucking shoot me again? That’s three times so far.” ‘Doug’ looked confused at the calm almost slithery tone to his brother’s voice.
“’Andy’ are you okay? I thought you were having a seizure or something.” ‘Doug’ placed a hand on his shoulder as he spoke with a note of concern in his voice.
‘Andy’ slowly turned his bald head on his thick neck and glared at ‘Doug’ with pure loathing as he put his hand out and took the big gun from Mister Lakritz and easily swung it to aim at ‘Doug’.
“Who the fuck is this Mister Lakritz? Would you like me to end his pathetic existence now?” The seething anger a constant undertone in his voice as he spoke.
“I’d like you to meet your brother, ‘Doug’. And no, Malthus, he will prove a useful pawn in the great game. I want you to keep an eye on him for me until I can put him to use later today. Take this cell phone too so I can contact you when I need him.” Vilayne then handed him the phone which Malthus slipped into a pocket in his overalls.
“What the hell did you do to ‘Andy’, you asshole?” ‘Doug’ began to hyper-ventilate as he screamed at Vilayne.
“Shut the fuck up and stop calling me ‘Andy’, asshole! I ain‘t your brother and you have no right to speak that way to Mister Lakritz.” And with that Malthus swung the pistol around and cold-cocked ‘Doug’ across the jaw with the barrel, knocking him out instantly as Vilayne giggled maniacally to himself.