High Octane

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Chapter 15- Deciding fate

Natasha pulled the hoods off of Lillian and Hugo. Mr Voodoo, Krypto, and her now stood before the two- one a traitor. The other, an accomplice. The three stood like judges- silently deciding their fates. Hugo soon looked up at the three- eyes wide with fear. Not for him. But for the woman beside him. The vast sands of the Dead Zone spanned out behind them- dusty wind billowing, almost mummifying Hugo’s eyes.

“Lillian’s innocent in this. Spare her, at least.“, Hugo pleaded. He was knelt down upon the floor- cuffed around the arms and legs. The steel rubbing against his ephemeral skin- leaving painful red marks. The three Ghosty Boys stood before him. Mr Voodoo had his arms crossed. Natasha stood with her arms behind her back. Krypto just leaned on a nearby rock. Hugo knew all too well where they were. He recognised the Dead Zone’s iconic landmark almost immediately: Mount Cyanide. The place where unfortunate souls went to perish by plunging into the valley of jagged rocks below. Hugo suddenly felt a wave of fear overwhelm him. The thought of plunging into the valley. Just to be forgotten. Left to rot. Left to die. Alone.

“We’ll see soon enough.“. Voodoo spoke with a spiteful, scornful voice. It wielded venomous power- as if it pierced Hugo’s heart like fangs. The man had no sympathy left to give. No encouraging or loving notions of family. Just scorn- like a father speaking down to his son.

“But you... you’re gonna die, Hugo. You betrayed our family.“, Voodoo confirmed. But his voice... appeared to falter. As if he was tearing up underneath the helmet. Was it... regret? Guilt?

“You used to be like a son to me, Ace. We were real close... until you threw it all away. For her. I respect that. But that doesn’t change what you did to us. To me.“, he continued cathartically- reflecting upon Hugo’s actions- weighing them up upon judgemental scales. Everyone else sat silently. Lillian had woken up, and tears now rolled down her cheeks, as she sniffled and sobbed loudly. She stared down at the floor. Broken. Defeated. Lost.

“Why does he have to die? Let me... take his place.“, Lillian pleaded. Hugo shot a look at her.

“It’s okay, Lil. You’re innocent in this. Just... remember me.“, Hugo responded- his voice filled with pain. Agonizing pain, dread, and suffering. Mr Voodoo took little sympathy on Hugo. He had brought this upon himself. There was no going back. But he used to be family. Whatever decision they took would be painful and difficult. As painful as being shot. Maybe more.

“You can’t do this... please.“, Lillian begged- like a preacher before her god. Voice filled with suffering.

“Why not?“, Mr Voodoo asked bluntly.

“Because... if he dies... I will hunt you down. For the rest of my days. You... won’t... live.“, Lillian threatened- painful voice undercut by venom, spite, and hatred. She looked up at the Ghosty Boys with bloodshot eyes- filled to the brim with scorn and anger. They still glistened with crystal-like tears. Mr Voodoo and the others remained silent, seemingly humbled by the threat.

“So... what’s my fate?“, Hugo asked from defeated eyes casted down to the floor. He had given up all hope. He had no choice but to face death with a brave face. No choice to retaliate, protest, or plead. This was the end.

Or so the Ghosty Boys thought.

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