After the meeting, Rusty, Rocky and Harvey were summoned to John’s office. Zeke stalled a bit before leaving the conference room, confused as to why he wasn’t asked to join them. He waited to hear voices to eavesdrop on the conversation. But after a few minutes, none of them said a word. So, he just left the club without a care. Perhaps the disagreement bothered John more than he thought.
“Coast is clear,” said Harvey with his ear up against the office door. “Zeke’s gone. Why didn’t you want him up in this piece? Still pissed at him for tryin’ ta play you earlier?”
“You can say that, but I’ll deal with him later. Now that we got the place to ourselves, we can get down to business.”
“So wazzup? Whatcha got lined up for us?”
“Just a few changes in our plan. First off Harv, I need you to go with Khalil to the FBI building, make sure things run smoothly. I don’t trust that son of a bitch as far as I could throw him.”
“Ah, c’mon man! I want to run up in the bank with you guys an’ flip sum Benjamin’s in my hands! Not babysit some wet-mop lookin’ egghead and his merry band of tightwads! Whassup wit’ that John?!”
“It’s got to be you, Mr. Gaines. You’re the only one tech-savvy enough to break into the FBI’s security mainframe.”
“Doesn’t Khalil do that computer wizardry, too?” asked Rocky.
“Oh please!” laughed John. “Installing a Norton anti-virus and writing code for blog pages hardly qualifies as a technological wiz. Besides, Harv’s my guy! With him in charge, at least I know this thing will get done right.” John handed Harvey two microchips, centered by blue glowing crystals. “These are called Ghost Bombs. Instead of planting some plastic device the size of a television, these two little friends will wipe out the entire building and ten blocks after. Those stupid agents will need to rip the entire building apart to find these babies.”
“You expect me to upload these bombs like software?” asked Harvey. “Exactly!”
“But what if the Angelite shows up before –”
“She won’t. I’ll see to that.” Harvey took the bombs and put them inside his vest pocket.
Happy to share the surprise of the evening, John wrapped his arm around Rocky’s curvy waist and walked her to the middle of the office. Rusty and Harvey followed, wondering what was next in-store. “Now comes the fun part,” he said, rubbing his hands together. “I have an early Christmas present for the three of you, my most loyal soldiers. You have yet to fail me or question my orders, so I feel you deserve this gift more than anyone.” The three cops smiled in excitement, expecting a bonus or a high-tech weapon to play with. “Are you ready?” His henchmen anxiously nodded. “ME – FISTO!!!”
After about a minute, their smiles dropped to frowns. “What the hell is ’My
– fist – yo?!’” asked Harvey. Rusty wore a confused look, wondering if he heard that word somewhere before. Rocky just shrugged.
“I want you to chant that word - separately or as a group - and it will practically guarantee you victory, compliments of our sweet old Grandpa. He’s given us power my friends. Raw power!”
“Bloody hell!” an enthused Rusty shouted. “Ya mean I can have twenty
guns on my back and feel like I’m carrying a paperweight?! Hell yeah!! I’ll have the money and the power without releasing a stupid rap record! Thanks, mate!”
“Is this power just for us or are you sharing this with the group?” asked
“Oh, hell no! Those cops downstairs know what they signed up for,” said John. “Their lives are now owned by the Clucifix, so they’ll be getting nothing but a pat on the back if they manage not to get themselves killed.”
“What about Khalil?”
“That goofball’s lucky to still be alive after he lied to me about hiring Cat Strutter. He’s now in the same category as Randall: he’ll be kept around until he’s outlived his usefulness.”
“Zeke…he and I were the first ones to embark on this journey. At one time, I thought of him as my brother. But I haven’t recognized him lately. His lack of focus has been bothering me. I promised that he and his wife would be taken care of at the end of this, but that doesn’t seem to be good enough for him anymore. I fear he might turn on us. With that said, would you reward someone who you think will stab you in the back if given the opportune moment?”
The three cops shook their heads no. Even if John was wrong, they would agree with whatever outlandish thought that entered his head, follow every command he ordered. They were true believers of the cause, so blinded that they would sacrifice their lives for John’s vision to come true. And knowing this,
John took full advantage of their naiveness.
“If it were any other cop, they’d be dead by now,” John continued. “But Zeke is like family. He just needs some time to come around. Still, I’m keeping one eye on him and the other on my back. If he wants this power, I’m afraid he’s going to have to earn it.”