High Octane

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Chapter 13- Family feud

“What’s our plan?“, Krypto asked as Natasha and Voodoo stood around his chair. He looked up at them with anxious eyes from underneath the mask. Voodoo sat silent for a moment, with crossed arms, pondering over their next move. The plan he then explained sickened Krypto to the core. It was just... wrong. Every fibre of Krypto’s body was against it.

“We kidnap Lillian, bring her out to the Dead Zone. Hugo comes along, we kill ’em both. Loose ends tied. Simple.“, Mr Voodoo explained with sheer dysphemism. He was no longer the noble street racer Krypto new and loved. He now appeared as a monster. One which had no care for morals. No care for honour. No care for the fellow man.

“Why do we need to bring Lillian into this? She ain’t done nothin’ to hurt us...“, Krypto pleaded- trying to leave her out of it. She felt she didn’t deserve it. Not after all she’d been through. Lies. Heartbreak. And now this. Mr Voodoo sat in silence once more.

“It gives us easy leverage. The emotion and panic will cloud his judgement. Hugo’s more likely to trip up, in that case. Makes this a whole lot easier.“. Krypto was simply taken aback by his instinctive duplicitousness. Even Natasha appeared off-put by his plan.

“We can just kill ’im, choom. One bullet to the head-“, Krypto began to protest, but Mr Voodoo briskly cut him off.

“You gonna betray us, too, Krypto?“, he asked. Krypto sat in his chair with a glum, dumbfounded look. Mr Voodoo had stopped him dead in the water- as if he had been hit by a freight truck.

“I- no.“, Krypto responded bluntly. Natasha then spoke up- standing by Krypto’s chair as she did so.

“I agree with him! Why does Lillian have to die? She’s innocent here!“, Natasha pleaded. She knew Mr Voodoo would listen to her.

“Because she’s a loose end! Don’t you get it? If she’s alive, she’s a threat to us!“, Mr Voodoo responded- raising his voice in frustration. “If you two don’t wanna help find her, then I’ll track her down myself!“.

“If you bring Lillian into this... we’re against you, Voodoo.“, Natasha said- planting herself firmly next to Krypto with folded arms. Those words sent stab after stab of shock, pain, and panic through Mr Voodoo’s heart. Every beat it took was now painful and laboured. Believe it or not, he does have one. He didn’t want to lose his family. Krypto and Natasha... were like his children. He couldn’t afford to lose them. He couldn’t bare to lose them. He couldn’t allow himself to lose them.

“Fine. Lillian stays out of it. Krypto, can you track Hugo down?“, Mr Voodoo eventually responded. Natasha hugged her father figure tightly. That action spoke a thousand thank you’s to Voodoo’s heart and mind.

“Glad to see you still have a heart, choom!“, Krypto let out enthusiastically- enlightened by Voodoo’s good-willed decision. “As for tracking Hugo down, I’ve already done that. Got a live feed of his exact location on my phone!“, he continued to explain.

“So our plan is just to... kill him?“, the kid asked hesitantly. Deep down, he didn’t want to kill Hugo. But Mr Voodoo couldn’t be steered from that path. He always said revenge was the best motivation. However, he appeared a little hesitant.

“Hugo used to be family... but he betrayed us. I don’t know what else we can do.“, Mr Voodoo responded bluntly. “If we leave him to his own devices, he’ll keep sabotaging our jobs. And that puts us in danger.“. Voodoo continued. “Best not to ponder on it for too long. Overthinkin’ it just makes it worse. Krypto, where’s he at right now?”

“Emerald Palace bar, Japantown. That’s pretty stupid of ’im.“, Krypto mocked. He knew why he was there. That place meant a lot to him and Lillian by now. But seriously? After sabotaging the Ghosty Boys? Krypto tried not to question it for too long.

“We don’t want there to be a shoot-out. We need to take him somewhere else. And chances are, Lillian’s gonna be with him.“, Natasha pondered- a clear look of concern on her face. “She’ll probably get in our way...”

“Look, whatever plan we go with, we gotta commit to it 100%. All we need is Hugo. If Lillian gets involved, then I guess we have no other choice.“, Mr Voodoo announced- appearing to lapse back into his previous inhumane tone. But... he made sense.

“No other choice...“, Krypto echoed. “He’s right. As much as I don’t like it, Lillian’s a variable we have to consider. She won’t allow Hugo to be taken quietly...“. Krypto seemed to be going back on his own word earlier. Out of a realisation that there were no other options. Lillian would be involved in this no matter what. No matter how hard Krypto prayed, pleaded, or tried to avoid it. Natasha looked down at the floor- weighing up the options upon neurological scales. She let out a heavy sigh before speaking.

“If Lillian gets in our way, then she’s a danger to us as well. We take them both if necessary.“, she realised- hesitantly coming to terms with the idea of involving Hugo’s girlfriend. It was dirty work. Bloody work. But that’s how ghosts are. They don’t live a life meandering on the earth without purpose. They do the shit they need and want to do- even if it’s unpleasant, dirty, or wrong.

“Fine. That’s our plan. We’ll wait for ’em to move to somewhere secluded to grab Hugo. If Lillian’s there, she comes with. Understood?“, Mr Voodoo finally summarised. His two crew members nodded solemnly- a symbol of coming to terms with it all.

They couldn’t change the hand they were dealt.

They could only change how they played the game.

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