Chapter Thirty-Three - Abby
Our motorcade pulled into a large clearing. It looked like an abandoned factory, a falling down brick building in the distance. Large pieces of metal were scattered here and there around the grounds, rusted from the exposure of rain and sand. Near the buildings, a line of green military vehicles were parked. Men sat in the front seats and stood around them, rifles in hand. They were not dressed in uniform but rather regular clothing. Unlike my father’s men, they didn’t seem to have a military style to them I noticed as our car came to a stop. They were also a mix of Hispanic and white men, standing together. When we came to a stop, the men began to walk in front of the line of vehicles. My father’s men did the same, spacing out enough to cover the span of our convoy.
“Lucas, if things should turn for the worse, see to it that Abby and Alexz get escorted back to the plane.” My father said, leaning forward in his seat. Lucas nodded, opening the car door. He climbed out, holding the door open. Alexz followed behind Lucas, adjusting her skin tight black dress. She apparently thought we were going to a formal event rather than a standoff between drug lords. Scorpio turned and looked at me, holding his hand out. “It’s show time. After you, dear.” I shot him a glare as I hopped out. Lucas grabbed my arm, ensuring I wasn’t going very far. I stood next to him as my father stood from the car. He took in his surroundings, buttoning his white blazer. The dark red shirt he wore under it seemed to pop out in the bright Mexico sun. He looked as if he was getting ready for a holiday away, sunglasses covering his eyes. Reaching out, he wrapped an arm around Alexz waist and headed towards the space in between the two groups. Lucas pulled me to follow, my white heels digging into the dry earth below me. It was cracked, looking as if it hadn’t rain in months.
From the military vehicles, a Caucasian man with a bald head stood from his spot on the back of a jeep. He wore a red flannel shirt and dark brown khakis but carried no weapon. He walked over to a truck behind his vehicle and opened the passenger side door. I watched as a taller Spanish man with dark hair walked around the front of the truck. His torso was dressed in a blue blazer and it made his jeans appear darker than they were. Three men followed behind him, two holding rifles. The third stood at the back, a handgun at his side. Each were dressed roughly the same, blue jeans and t-shirts. The one without the rifle had a baseball cap on his head and his face hidden behind dark sunglasses. Like the bald man, he was Caucasian as well. The rest of the men were mainly of Hispanic descent, dark skin that was kissed by the sun. They lined up in front of the vehicles, roughly twenty men, as the man in the blue blazer and his small group approached us.
“Scorpio, it’s good to see you again.” The man said, his eyes gazing at my father. They flickered on me for a moment as he placed his hands in his pockets. His eyes were green, a similar shade to my own. “I hope you are having a good Christmas.”
“I am. Thank you for meeting with me today. I did not mean to pull you from your family on such a rather important holiday.”
“Holidays are about family. I could not deny my only brother a meeting.” A shocked silence fell over the group as the realization of what Pedro had just said dropped like a bomb. My father’s jaw clenched but the smile he wore remained. Brother? The only family I had ever known my father to have was his parents. He had been an only child to my knowledge and both had died before I was born. Did he have siblings I didn’t know about? Is this what was fueling the feud between the two of them? I was beginning to see why it was so important for us to get here as soon as he had the crystal in his possession. The longer he waited, the more of a chance of him having a brother would spread. It would provide the CIA with an in on his corporation as well as a target from others who were wishing to attack him. But why hide the fact he had a brother? If the two joined forces, they’d be a force no one would be able to wipe out. Both had practical armies behind them and both seemed to be men of action rather than letting others do their work for them. I knew my father was, proving the fact yesterday.
“Half-brother.” He responded, holding up a finger to prove a point.
“Of course. My apologies.” Pedro said, smiling at him. “Who are these fine people with you today?” Pedro’s eyes seemed to linger on me for a moment, giving me a reason to flinch. I wanted so badly to tell him of the plan so he would kill all of us. It would stop the plan and take care of the three monsters that were forcing me to do this. His gaze turned back to my father though, listening as he spoke.
“This is my new wife, Alexz. This is my son-in-law and first in command, Lucas. And this,” Stepping towards me, he wrapped an arm around my shoulders. “This is my daughter, Abigail.”
“It’s nice to meet you, Abigail. My name is Pedro Santiago. I am your father’s half-brother. We have the same father. I believe that would make you my niece.” He flashed me a genuine smile before turning back to my father. “You have a beautiful family, brother. I do not think that is the reason why you wished to meet today, however.”
“You’re correct, Pedro. I’ve come to discuss a truce with you. I feel as if this has gone on long enough. Too much blood shed has occurred and enough is enough. We should be able to set our differences aside and come together as one family. There is no reason for us to not behave as such.”
“I agree.” Pedro said, nodding. “I’ve asked this of you many times, Scorpio. Why have you suddenly changed your mind? You must understand why I do not have much faith in you now. You’ve neglected to consider this over and over again in the past.”
“Understandably. I know our past has been difficult. With my daughter’s recent marriage to Lucas, I’ve come to realize the true importance of family and my own mortality. I wish my daughter to have a strong ally when she takes over for me. I know you will provide her with one.”
“You wish to take over for your father?” He asked, looking at me. I was surprised by his question and his attention towards me. He seemed kind in the face and concerned when his eyes looked at me. I did not feel uneasy when he looked at me. I could see the resemblance between him and my father now as I looked at him. They both had the same round found and green eyes, both traits I have. His hair was thick like my father’s, less grey in his however. When he smiled, wrinkles appeared in the corner of his eyes. He must be younger than my father but not by much. What had happened between the two of them that caused such tension among them?
“She does. She’s accepted the role as my successor with the assistance of her husband. Can we agree on terms that will end this war between us to begin a civil union of our families? With Abigail comes a new world order, one of which will not need violence to reign.” My father’s grip on me tightened as he pulled me against his side. I wanted to pull away from him but I knew better. I bit my lip, glancing at the armed men behind Pedro. The man with the hat and sun glasses seemed to be highly agitated. He kept moving his hands from his hips to a crossed position on his chest. Was this man aware of something that my father didn’t know? Or was he just nervous about the confrontation happening at the moment?
“I believe we can. Are you sure you are certain about this?” Pedro asked, eyeing my father.
“Yes. I no longer wish to fight with you. I come, looking for a peaceful solution.” Scorpio held his free hand out to my new-found uncle. Pedro looked between it and me for a moment, deep in thought. Sighing, he reached out and accepted my father’s hand. They shook, shooting what seemed to be forced smiles at each other.
“Scorpio, I do pray that you mean what you say.” Pedro said, releasing my father’s hand. “I’ve wished for a relationship with you since we were young men. I hope you understand how important it is to me that you are agreeing to this today.”
“I do and to show you my compassion, I’ve brought you a present.” Scorpio nodded towards Alexz. She pulled something from the space between her breasts and walked over to me. Picking up the cube holding the crystal, she quickly unlocked it with a small key. She tucked the cube in her cleavage, winking at me in the process. As soon as the crystal was released, the air suddenly changed. Everything felt alive, static electricity causing everything to stand on end.
“NOW!” The bald man on Pedro’s right yelled. Around us, men popped out of what seemed like nowhere, assault weapons in hand. There was lots of yelling and bullets began to fly, Alexz and Lucas running for cover behind the guards. People were scattering everywhere as the air around us continued to fizzle with energy. My father grabbed me by the shoulders and shoved me in front of him.
“Do it now, Abby!” He demanded. Closing my eyes, I began to imagine all the energy inside of me. Since the crystal had been locked up, it’s powers were already begging to be used. My entire body felt like it was tingling with an amazing feeling. Almost as if every nerve ending in my body was laughing at once, joy and bliss coursing through my veins. I could hear the bullets whizzing passed me but they couldn’t touch me. It was like a forcefield had formed around me, preventing any harm to me or my father. Under my feet, I felt the ground start to trembled and thunder roared above us. Opening my eyes, I could see anything but blinding white light. It was everywhere I looked, blocking my vision. I felt so alive, my heart beating loudly all around me. The sound of falling rain came to my ears and I knew it was pouring now. I couldn’t feel the wetness from it but I could feel the temperature in the air drop. The sound of the bullets vanished along with the cries of the men as they raged war. All I could hear were the sounds of mother nature that I was creating. Everything inside of me felt at peace, the crystal powering through every cell in my body. It wanted to do what my father told me to do; to send massive flooding and destruction to this town. It had seen the images in my head and was delighted to complete them.
I knew what I had to do now. Even if the crystal was against it, I had to find a way to cause harm to myself. It was the only way to stop the destruction it was going to cause. Envisioning a bolt of lightning, I pictured it hitting me. I heard the loud crash of something on my right, knowing it was the bolt. The crystal was fighting with me, trying to protect me from myself. I tried again, this time, the strike coming closer on my left. I squeezed my eyes shot, picturing it harder. If this was going to work, it needed to hit me. There was no way I was going to let this happen. A loud crack came from above and I felt the bolt come from the sky, straight towards me.