Chapter 25: The Hopeless Ones.
“Well... you did kind of shoot Isaiah right in front of him, dude... and I’m pretty sure they were close or gay or something...” Aryan said nervously.
Tommy took a frustrated breath when he noticed Victoria with her hand raised. He buried his face in his hands and sighed, “Vic, as part of the council, you don’t need to raise your hand to say something.”
“Sorry,” she said, embarrassed, “I just don’t really know why I’m here, I’m just the doctor, I don’t know how to contribute to y’all’s battles or anything...”
Tommy breathed heavily as not to be a dick, “Ok, I’m gonna keep it real with you, we’re running out of named characters because everyone keeps getting killed off, and you just happen to be in Rowlett, so can you shut up and just accept that you’re part of the council right now?”
“Oh... right... ok”, Vic said, sulking back into her chair.
“Fuck will... start meeting...” Tito stuttered out depressingly.
“Tito, are you still moshing around?” Tommy asked angrily.
“Leave... alone”, Tito said, not catching his eyes.
“I hate it to break it to you, Tommy, but this is a fight we can’t win,” Aryan explained, “Jacob marched on us with half his total forces, if that, and we barely won. We got lucky, and this time he won’t be holding back. We have thirty people here if that! Not even counting half of them are injured and not physically able to fight! Plus, Vic over here helped shoot Jacob in the face, so I don’t think he’ll be taking it easy on us.”
“You don’t have to be an asshole about it. I said I was sorry”, Vic snapped back solemnly.
“Well, what do you want me to do? Take everyone and run? Get slaughtered out in the wilderness by some mutated animals or the retards? We’ve fought through so much shit this is our home, dammit!”, Tommy shouted slamming his hand on the table.
The room sat silently as nobody seemed to have a solid solution.
After several awkward moments, someone spoke up, “Have... idea...”
Tommy sighed and gestured to the oaf at the end of the table, “Let’s hear it then.”
“Can’t win against army...” Tito began.
“Yes, we know that. Anything else to add on?” Tommy said dickishly.
“Don’t need... beat army.... need beat Jacob. No Jacob, no army”, he said, breathing heavily from talking so much.
“That’s not a bad idea!” Aryan said in support, “cut the head off the snake, and the body will follow. After being shot at, Jacob must know that he’s not as immortal as he once thought. There’s no doubt in my mind he’ll Hull up in his castle while his army does the dirty work.”
“Wait, so when I want to kill Jacob, I’m the bad guy, but when,” Vic began to say as she noticed everyone giving her a dirty look, “whatever, never mind...”
“So anyway, I’m going. Jacob has to die, and without him, the rest of the kingdom will fall; they worship that bum like he’s a God, they’d be lost without him.”, Tommy said.
“You realize that it’s probably a one-way trip? Right man?” Aryan questioned.
“Yeah, I realize that. I’m prepared to die if it means saving everything we’ve been protecting here”, Tommy said proudly.
“Well... you know I can’t let you go alone”, Aryan said.
“No, Aryan, this is my journey. I can’t bring anyone else down with me. I’m going to kill Jacob and end this. Alone”, Tommy said firmly before turning to Tito, “Tito, I need you to help Aryan. Keep their forces distracted by any means necessary; they’ll be here in a few days max. You have to avoid a fight; we can’t handle it but try and buy us some time.”
“Tito... in charge”, the big man questioned with excitement in his eyes.
“Yes, Tito in charge,” Tommy said.
“No... me no deserve it!”, Tito said standing up and fleeing the room.
“I’ll check up on him in a little; we have to discuss what to do with our prisoners from the last battle, mainly Carly.”,
“Can’t we like, torture her for information or some shit?” Vic questioned.
“You’ve been spending too much time with Chino,” Tommy replied.
“I wish I was...”, Vic said sulking back in her chair again.
“Alright, now isn’t the time for Victoria’s relationship issues; give me the opportunity to talk to Carly... I feel like she could be a valuable asset to us”, Aryan pleaded.
“Very well, I’d much prefer killing her before their army gets here, but whatever you say, I trust your judgment,” Tommy said.
Suddenly, a small boy ran into the room and shouted for them, “Mr. Ngo, sir, it’s Chino, he’s back.”
Hayden was a slim man mixed with Japanese and Hispanic heritage. He had been a member of Chino and Ronnie’s squad for years, and with a heavy heart, followed his slit-eyed commander back to Rowlett.
The gates opened as Vic was the first to greet them as she wrapped Chino up in a compassionate hug, which he didn’t reciprocate.
“Where is everyone? Where’s Ronnie?” she questioned.
“It’s just us.”, Chino said, pushing her away and walking into town, not responding to anyone along the way.
She tried to run after him when a hand on her shoulder stopped her, “Let him go; I think he needs some time to himself.”, Hayden told her solemnly.
“How did it happen?” she asked him as Tommy, and everyone else had circled them, listening intently.
“The Executioner. He recaptured Trang and Naydelin; the rest of the squad was killed or captured, I really don’t know. Ronnie, however, I know he’s... dead.”, he said as the crowd gasped in response.
“Hey guys, I’m here too... good to see y’all again”, Mohamed said, waving to the crowd. To his disappointment, nobody seemed to care.
“Alright then...” Mohamed said sadly, following Hayden into the high school.
Tito sat on his oversized bed crying when a knock on his door could be heard.
“Come... in...” he said solemnly as Tommy entered and sat beside him.
“What’s wrong, man? I need you to be all here for me”, he said, laying a hand on the oaf’s shoulder.
“Me... failed... can’t beat... Tank”, he said angrily, punching the wall at the mere thought of Tank.
Tommy stared worryingly at the gaping hole in the wall before refocusing his attention on Tito, “Look, dude... we’ve all lost before, and you need to move past this, alright?”
“What if... fight him again... and I can’t win?”
“I’m sure you’ll find a way. Besides, this is your time to shine. You’re in charge now. That’s not the only reason I came in, though... I’m leaving tonight. And I can’t bring anyone with me. I have to do this alone”, Tommy said.
Tito looked at him sadly for a moment, “I... understand. It was great, being friend... with you”, Tito said, embracing his friend in a bear hug.
“Take care of everyone, Tito... I’m afraid I may not be able to”, Tommy said as he dapped his old friend up one last time before exiting the room.
Later that night, Tommy snuck out of his house at the edge of town, cautious about making sure nobody sees him leave. At long last, he reached the gate and ordered the man on patrol to open it for him.
“You were just gonna leave without saying goodbye?” a familiar voice said from behind him.
“Aryan, I already told you. I have to go alone”, he frustratingly blurted out.
“You’ve been trying to fight every fight on your own. You have to realize that you don’t have to be a lone wolf all the time”, Aryan said, “I’m coming with you.”
“Well shit, we’re coming too then!” a voice said as two figures emerged from the shadows.
“I mean, if we’re not gonna fight here, then might as well bring the fight to the fat ass ya dig?” Chino said as he and Hayden approached the leaving company.
“No, no, no. I can’t ask any of y’all to come with me-“Tommy said.
“Well, lucky for you, we’re not asking,” Hayden said with a laugh.
“We all know the risk we’re taking,” Aryan chimed in.
“How’d you even know I was leaving?” Tommy asked towards Chino and Hayden.
“You’re not near as slick as you think you are,” Chino said, “now what do ya say? Chinky alliance? One last ride?”
Tommy sighed, “One last ride,” and the company took off towards Jacob, hoping to end the war from the inside.