Falling Beneath the Magnolia

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Rescue attempt.

Chapter 20: All or nothing rescue attempt.

Bruce’s Recollection:

The war is well underway, gunshots could be heard coming from the Quarter several times a day. Two days past, Lucifer visited a hideouts for one of Marcello’s outfits. He had made a nasty batch of mustard gas, two days before the mustard gas is let loose, Lucifer slipped in the vents from the outside under the cover of darkness.

He wired a portable radio to a small amount of a highly combustible material known as Semtex. The Semtex was placed on the ten-gallon water container of poison.

Lucifer watched and waited, the radio’s battery had a life of two days, he wanted to inflict the maximum damage possible. That’s why he added ammonia to his mixture of mustard gas. Not only did he want to cause severe burns to the lungs. He needed the men to pass out inside the room, his hope is the longer these men stay in the room with the gas, the more likely they are to die from the exposure.

The Pale Death got lucky on the second night, at least 20 men gathered inside the building unfortunately there isn’t a single heavy hitter among the men gathered. One captain and two lieutenants, Lucifer takes what he can get…

When the time came, Lucifer walks to the building, he made quick work of the two sentries posted at the front and back door. He preps the doors with a small tube of cyanoacrylate, or super glue as it is marketed. He lays the glue on thick in the gap between the doors. He sees a rubber door stopper at each door, he kicks the rubber wedge under the door further trapping the men.

With his prep work finished Lucifer walks to the side of the building. He stands on several cinder blocks, the boost allowed him to see into the room from a small window. Lucifer took a second portable radio from the pocket of his trench coat. He turns on the radio, and tunes it to the station, he then presses the side button, for a second there is static, then a noise is heard. The noise is equivalent to the sound of a slamming car door.

The gas begins to fill the room it didn’t pool at the top of the ceiling like smoke from a fire. No, instead the mustard gas falls heavy like rain. Lucifer learned this during the first world war. It was a favorite concoction of his. Because of the potency of the gas, instead of the usual yellowish-brown color the gas usually seen in, the color is rust brown. At first the men sit still in the gas, then some of the men, Lucifer speculated were in the war noticed the spicy scent of horseradish and onions.

The men struggle to the door, but when they slam into it nothing happens, the men ran to the back door to find the same thing. The gas with nowhere to go covers the room in a rust brown, the men cover their mouths but it’s no use, the gas ruptures the capillaries in their lungs, soon blood comes up their throats, mixed in are thick and charred pieces of organ tissue.

Several of the men still standing notice the window Lucifer watches their torment through. One of the men climbs a chair and puts his hands on the window, he slides the latch back and pushes it open…

Lucifer closed it and with his superior strength he keeps it closed. The man trying to escape looks for the source of the resistance. Upon seeing the terrifying eyes of the Pale Death, the man allows blood to drip down his face, his eyes roll into the back of his head as he collapses to the ground.

All the men inside the building died within 45 minutes, the law didn’t catch wind of it. Bruce speculated this was for one of two reasons. One, Marcello wouldn’t want the law sniffing around twenty corpses. The second reason is if the papers broadcasted the slaughter than Marcello would look weak around the city. Other rival gangs might try them.

What happened to the bodies? Bruce could only guess, he assumed that they used their ample acid stores to melt the bones and flesh. The thought made Bruce sick; he knew what it sounded like to hear a body sinking into a barrel of acid.

20A, Bruce Point of View.

In the present it is around midnight and Bruce is dressed in all black as he makes his way down the street. His body is numb to pain. Bruce took many painkillers to hold himself over, along with a handful of speed to stay alert, the only thing Bruce can feel in his body is his heartbeat, which due to the speed he feels is wild…

His head is covered by black trilby hat, his trench coat is wrapped around him. Several heavy objects inside his pockets cause the jacket to hang heavy on his right shoulder. Only one of his arms hangs out of the sleeves. To prevent as minimal contact with his injured arm as possible Bruce taped his arm in the sling to his body with plenty of cotton padding, the cotton didn’t breathe well and causes him to drip sweat despite the 30-degree weather, then again the drugs could also be causing the sweats.

The street he walks down is empty, this area of the Seventh Ward belonged to Marcello. Beads of sweat continue to pour down his face, as soon as the bead of sweat runs down his chin, another takes its place. His body still remained numb, and he smiles at his feeling of invincibility.

Bruce takes a left onto Allen Street, he is heading for an apartment building near Hardin Park, he needed to get something… Allen street covers many blocks, Bruce encounters a district of taverns and bars that play music. Because of the war, most people stayed home. A jazz musician plays on his trumpet. Bruce faintly listens to the blues; he walks next to the man and uses his right hand to lower the brim of the trilby hat.

He becomes more determined than ever with each step. He can’t stop thinking about her and hoped she was okay?

After the attack by Lucifer, Marcello lashed out, Breeze Street had lost ten men to brazen midday assassinations. Marcello’s underboss had been using the inside information that Albert had provided him. Albert had unfortunately survived the shootout outside the Monteleone, since then he had given up several people from Breeze Street. The little shit even told them about Callie Bee.

That is why Bruce is out tonight, somehow, someway they had gotten her. They sent Bruce a picture of a bloodied face and jet-black hair. In the short time he had, Bruce tried to verify the information. Carter wouldn’t take his calls true to his word. Bruce had no way of knowing what happened to her, all he could do now is make it right.

During the middle of the night, Bruce snuck out of the safehouse. He put three sleeping pills into Vinny’s cup of decaf, Vinny had pulled guard duty that night. At five am he was to walk to the end of Breeze street and step into a car, if he didn’t they would send him Bee’s head. He had no intention of going quietly, it seemed that this would be his last night on earth, he would burn the entire city to the ground if he had too.

Soon he stands before two apartments buildings, they are very close to one another. Outside the entrance to the building are two men in suits, not wanting to start off the covert mission by whacking a pair of Italian’s, Bruce walks to the building next door.

The distance between the two buildings is less than four feet. Entering the building Bruce begins his long climb up five flights of stairs. He is winded by the time he reaches the summit. Once on top of the building the cold air, makes it hard to catch his breath. Ignoring the feeling, he looks around, he sees a utility shed on the other side of the building.

On his way over to the utility shed, Bruce picks up a cinder block in his right hand. The shed has a padlock on it. Bruce drops the heavy cinder block onto the base of the lock, it snaps dropping to the floor in a thump.

Inside the shed he finds an extension ladder and several planks of wood. It took him three trips to bring the wood, ladder and several cinderblocks to the edge of the building. He uses the cinderblocks to make a set of stairs, being one handed, he would not be able to hoist himself onto the ledge.

Next he takes the already extended ladder and lays it between the two buildings. On top of the ladder the planks of wood are laid to cover the gaps.

Stepping onto the cinderblocks he holds at the edge of the building, looking down he gulps at the height. He takes a step.

The makeshift bridge sinks down the center with the burden of his weight. If he wasn’t high as a kite, than balancing on a ladder between two five story buildings would be very unsettling.

On the other rooftop he breathes a sigh of relief, he shakes his head at his stupidity. He moves to the rooftop staircase and begins his descent into the building.

The staircase it pitch black, to see he sticks his right hand into his slacks and feels the metal case of his silver Zippo. He flicks the flint and the heavy smell of lighter fluids fill the air as the staircase becomes slightly illuminated.

He descends further into the building and finally pauses at the third-floor landing. Snapping the Zippo closed, Bruce releases the straps on his coat, he unbuckles his suppressed pistol in its holster, the entire time he had been laid up in the safehouse Bruce kept his 1911 in his right hand.

Bruce knew if this war was to continue he would have to fight with his right hand, easier said than done for a person who spent a lifetime as a lefty. Determined to learn quickly Bruce had even gone to the center of the safehouse, it was an enclosed space the muffled the sound. He took five target shots per day. His groupings were as good as they were going to get. Tonight, he would see the results of his training.

Opening the door to the stairwell Bruce spots two more sentries in suits standing in front of a doorway halfway down the hall, Bruce closes the door gently, he keeps his foot in the way to kick the door open.

His hand closes around a dense shell, Bruce had brought two grenades with him tonight. Placing the pin on top of the hammer to his 1911, Bruce rips at it, while still holding the pump of the grenade. Bruce waits five seconds before kicking the door open and rolling the shell down the hall.

The grenade lands between the two guard, the explosion blows apart the knees of the men, the door is reinforced and took the brunt of the explosion with no outward damage. One guard is still alive as Bruce approaches, his leg is missing he dies while bleeding out.

Bruce kicks his gun from his hand and slides the piece across the floor, he left the man to bleed to death as Bruce walks to the apartment next door.

Summoning his strength his pistol is out, Bruce smashes his foot into the doorknob, the door bursts open with a loud thump on the other end.

An old man had been peering out the peephole to see the source of the commotion. The balding man of 70 lays sprawled on the ground holding his nose.

Bruce squeezes the trigger once and the round stops the old man from moving. His pants and shiny shoes become speckled with the departed’s blood.

An ancient woman wearing a white night gown comes padding down the hallway in her slippers.

“Mark, honey what was that crash!”

The woman entered the darkened hallway to find her husband’s corpse, she saw a man in a fit of sweats in her path firearm raised. The woman blinks once and sees nothing after.

Bruce steps over the two corpses as he retrieves a serrated kitchen knife. Bruce goes into the bedroom that shares a wall with the apartment next door. He opens the closet and rips down the clothes.

He begins cutting a hole into the drywall, Once the hole is large enough Bruce slips through. Inside the other bedroom closet Bruce draws his pistol again, he places his ear to the door and hears nothing. Placing his gloved hand onto the hand he turns it slowly.

Inside the apartment bedroom, Bruce can hear noise coming from front door. The door to the bedroom is open, he creeps to the doorway, but stays in the shadowy room as another guard in a suit passes by the room towards the front door.

Unnoticed Bruce slips out of the room into the hallway.

“The fire escape is clear I saw Ben he says he saw nothing” Says the guard on his way back.

Bruce figured they would put a guard on the fire escape hence his high wire trapeze act. He follows the man in the hallway with his right arm raised. Squeezing the trigger once the round is fired into the nape of the guards neck dropping him to the carpet.

He nears the main room, there are three men huddled near the front door looking for the source of the explosion obviously they are too hesitant to step outside and investigate. Pacing in a circle is the large body of Carlos Marcello’s underboss.

Giambi looks a wreck; he is not the kind of guy to be scared easily.

“What was that noise Stan?” Giambi shouts into the hallway, he can’t see Bruce in the darkened hall as he creeps ever closer.

“What do you mutts see out there? Are Hector and Billy still alive.” Giambi’s voices sounds more panicked by the seconds.

“Hector and Billy are dead, I guess Stan is dead too now that I think about it.” Shouts Bruce loudly.

He fires on the two men at the door, he fires four rounds, the 1911’s round drop the men never to raise again. His immediate guards depleted Giambi starts to backup.

Bruce looks at him with a serious look.

“I got your letter tell me where the girl is?”

“I will not, just, just kill me here” Says Giambi stuttering

“Relax you are not going to die right now, the Pale Death is outside he should be up soon to question you he just sent me in to see if I still had some fight in me, turn out I do.”

Bruce didn’t let Giambi speak he kept spinning his tail.

“I spoke with Dellara, despite my objections he wants to pardon you but before that happens Lucifer will question you.”

“No please I will tell you what I know. She is being held by a captain named Simon.”

“Simon Cestler?”

“Yes!” Pleads Giambi.

‘Shit’ Bruce thought to himself knowing who the man is.

“Where is he keeping her?”

“Wearhouse 124.”

“How many men does he have guarding?”

“1”

“You are telling me Marcello only has one-man girl guarding this girl”

“Man is an overstatement; he is more like a creature”

Bruce could tell there is something Giambi is not telling him. He raises his gun.

“You said I was pardoned?” Pleads Giambi.

“Looks like we both lied to each other.” Says Bruce sentencing Giambi to death.

Giambi takes the round to his heart!

Bruce’s work is far from over, he retrieves the kitchen knife and sets to work sawing off Giambi’s head. Bruce finds a messenger bag at the front door hanging from a hook above the umbrella stand. He leaves via the front door and uses the staircase to exit the building unnoticed.

He crosses the street heading towards the docks only one hour had passed he still had three to save Bee.

As Bruce cuts through an alleyway his nose picks up the scent of something linen fresh, clean and if possible pure. Theses scents are all foreign to this dirty city. The only other time he had smelled this is the night he got shot.

He felt something move behind him and he turns with his pistol aimed, the sight of silver hair catches his eye.

“Oh, it’s you, um Stacy”

“It’s Farrah”

“That’s right, that was my next guess, I am little high tonight to deal with the pain.”

“You murdered someone tonight…”

It was a statement out of Farrah’s mouth not a question.

“How did you know that?”

“Since you became my charge I can sense anytime you kill, fight or murder someone.”

“I am not your charge, why are you here?” Asks Bruce.

“I have been trying to find you since the night of the Monteleone”

“Hey, bitch I have been hoping to run into you again, you could have told me I was gonna be ambushed. My best friend died because of you!”

“I told you that if you went into that hotel you would not like the outcome, I had no idea what actually was going to happen, I just heard from a teller what might happen. But as they keep telling me everything you are doing fate has predicted.”

“You, you murdered two people, was it a boy and, an old man within 24 hours of each other?”

“Not it was an old man and his wife… I need to be on my way.”

Bruce tucks his pistol awkwardly into his shoulder holster. His vision is blurry, the sweat continued to pour down his face. He turns and begins walking at a faster pace through the alleyway. Farrah sprints after him.

“Bruce wait I can help you; you are headed towards the docks?” Bruce stops in his tracks.

“How do you know that?”

“Because I sense the thing you are headed towards, Bruce you need my help.”

“I don’t need the help of a woman. I interrogated someone who said there is one man in that warehouse. Now I am pressed for time get out of my way.”

“You can barely stand!”

“I said stay out of my way!” Screams Bruce, he turns with a closed right fist.

His swing is wild and off base he topples to the ground. He felt the warm trickle of blood sliding down his stomach. He tries to get up, but he could feel that he tore his stitches at some point and only just noticed the blood soaking his shirt..

“If you are going to do this on your own let me at least clean you up. You look like your burning a fever and your heart rate is like you have run 10 miles. Give me your right hand”

She blurred in and out of his vision, he remembered how she cleaned him up before he met Bee.

He extends his hand to her, Farrah flips his palm up, she then spits into the palm of his hand! Revolted Bruce pulls his palm away.

“You filthy skank…” Bruce angrily retorts.

The spit suddenly absorbs into his hand, he felt warm and tingly all over. The warmth is similar to the feeling of sinking into a hot tub without becoming wet. He blinked and suddenly the cloudy vision is gone, the sweat and burning headache felt like cold water and the only sign of the internal battle inside his body is red mark on his forehead.

He opened his trench coat and lifted up on his black shirt. His wounds were still ghastly, however they looked like they had aged several months. There is a layer of scar tissue, it is not as thick as his dermis of his normal skin, but he could easily submerge it or shower with no issue.

His left shoulder however is still on fire when he touches it.

“Sorry I did not have enough power to heal you more than this”

Bruce looked at her, Farrah breathed heavier than a moment ago and is covered in large amount of sweat.

“Hell, I am better than I was before we met tonight, well thanks, let me ask you something. If we fucked and you finished me off, then you spit in my face would I be good to go again?

“I have never met a more foul-mouthed human, one more word and I will”- She is cut off by one of Bruce’s actions

When he got to his feet, Bruce took a bottle of pills from his pocket, he swallows two pills dry mouthed, he would rather be slightly fucked up for this fight.

“You are incorrigible, I give you half my energy to heal your sorry ass and you get high again.”

“Best way to fight is when you can’t feel it.”

“Idiot, hold up a minute I have something for you.”

She tosses it the distance of ten feet, Bruce catches the dense object.

“This is ivory!” He exclaims.

“Sumatran Rhino actually it took a witch doctor 8 male Rhino’s to make that handle. It’s infused with blood to give to special qualities.” Replies Farrah

“Oh, don’t tell me it has to do with any Albino children?”

“No, wait you know of something? You should note that has been outlawed by both gods and men. It is an unforgivable sin, the sale transport and distribution of any children for the purposes of blood magic is a straight shot to hell!! Albino blood is rarer than unicorns and a most volatile substance…”

“If it’s not thankfully children’s blood than do I dare ask who’s blood it is?”

“It is infused with angelic blood, mine to be exact.”

“I hope to god you used blood from your hand and not your twat?”

Farrah raises her hand; Bruce had been bested by her before. He expected her to strike him therefore he flinches. Nothing happens, he only hears the snap of fingers. When he opens his eyes, he looks for the silver haired minx, but sees nothing but his own reflection in a puddle of dirty water.

Turning around he starts back down the alley, tucking the pearl handed switch into his back pocket of his slacks. It was only one man he told himself, he could handle that…

Arriving at the warehouse he looks at the time on his watch. He had 30 minutes before he was to be at the end of Breeze Street. He crept towards the end of the dock he could smell the river, he sees a row of crates arranged along the wall against the warehouse. Bruce climbs up the boxes, if it wasn’t for Farrah’s help he would never have been able to do this.

He had no choice but to knock the glass out with the back of his pistol. It is only an eight-foot drop into the warehouse, he lands on the balls of his feet, his shoulder gives him painful reminder of his limitations still, it throbbed with pain.

Taking out his pill bottle his hand, shakes while he pops the lid off, he shakily dumps two pills into his hand, without water Bruce’s sucks them down his throat.

Something out of the corner of he sees something move between the row of crates. Bruce can’t get a good look, with his pistol hammer cocked Bruce takes off.

Turning the corner into a vacant space, he isn’t prepared for what he sees. There are 16 cages, inside the cages are eleven children. All Albino, some had dark hair, others had blonde. There was one child who was ginger as wells as Albino.

All the children were whiter than normal. They had tubes coming out of their bodies, the tubes dripped blood into a basin. To prevent them from moving or pulling out the tubes they had been chained to the bars of the cages by their necks, midsections and wrists.

They all barely acknowledged his presence. Left to rot and stew in their own shit, they all looked as if they wished for death. He couldn’t leave them like this, but he needed to find Bee first. She was the reason for being here.

Bruce leaves the children and moves behind the row of cages towards an office. The office has a large solid black piece of glass dividing the room from the warehouse. Bruce aims his suppressed pistol over the lock to the office door. He squeezes one round into the lock and turns the handle entering the room.

On the other side of the room he sees a slender body tied to a chair. Bruce bounds across the room. He holsters his pistol and removes his pearl handled switch to cut her restraints.

“Bee! Its Bruce are you okay?”

He pulls her blindfold off her face.

“What-“ He says in astonishment.

The person in front of him is not Bee, it was Marie!

“Albert was so sure you would find a way here! Guess that shit-heel was right about something for a change.”

Bruce looks in the direction of the doorway. Leaning against the wall is a tall Italian. The man is dark haired, comely with a ponytail. His long chin matches his hard stare, on his cheeks he has mutton chops reaching below his earlobes. He leans in the doorway arrogantly; he has a short sleeve black shirt that shows his layers of muscles. Despite getting the drop on Bruce, Simon’s gun still remains holstered.

“Who are you?” Asks Bruce stepping protectively in front of a now standing Marie.

Bruce itches to draw his weapon but resists the urge and remains cool.

“I am Marcello’s number one man. I am Simon Cestler, the last man who’s going to see you alive.”

Simon lifts his hand up and shows Bruce his wrist, he sees a shitty wooden bead bracelet.

“That nice sweetheart did your niece make that for you in crafts?”

“You are as your reputation eluted too. But being smug isn’t going to help you.”

Bruce lifted Giambi’s head out of the messenger bag.

“I took out half a dozen of his men to get him, wait until you see what I am going to do to you!”

Bruce places the head back in the bag and tosses the bag to the side.

“Well you have made this easier. Get him!”

Bruce didn’t know who Simon was talking too, then he heard a loud roar coming from the shadowy part of the room. A seven-foot creature covered in black fur the length of a bears, it had razor sharp claws similar to a set of kitchen knives. The black fur covered its body, its head has a long snout with ears. It’s eyes were a blue like Lucifer’s and its powerful hind legs look poised for attack.

Bruce had tucked his knife in his pocket when he took Marie’s blindfold off. Bruce reaches for his pistol with his right hand, the monster charges towards him. Firing the 1911 three times his rounds strike the creature but do nothing to slow down its charge.

It felt like the force of a train hit him, he is propelled backward, the creature had a barely touched him, but still launched him through the black window!

Bruce lands with a hard crash in the warehouse near the children’s cages.

Looking up, he rolls out of the way as the creature jumps through the window breech after him. He is standing facing the monster and he aims his weapon at the creature’s face. One of the shots hit it in the eye! The monster reels in pain, it swipes him with it’s massive forearm.

He flies back, his pistol slips from his grip and he smashes into a wooden crate as his back stop. He crushed the crate falling into the center of it. He struggles to his feet; the monster still stumbles around holding it’s right eye.

Bruce looks for his gun and it is ten feet away on the ground. He draws his switchblade and flicks the switch…

The monster took it’s claws away from its face, Bruce shot it’s eyeball out. ‘Good’, If this thing felt pain that meant it could be killed. Bruce charged forward...

The monster took a powerful swipe at Bruce who steps out of the way, he steps back to avoid another swipe. He has stepped into the monster’s reach, Bruce gets his blade under its ribs and slides the knife in, he pulls the knife out as quick as he slipped it in. He is quick enough to get another stab in, this one to where he suspected the creatures heart is at. But the blade just sat there, and the monster did not die.

Bruce is thrown back to the ground striking the hard concrete on his good arm. Bruce struggles to his knees, he grips his knife as his shaking legs struggle to support him...

That’s when he saw the blue flame! It built Inside the creatures mouth. Then the blue flame burst flies from its mouth.

Pushing of his back foot, Bruce charges towards the monster, at the same time it releases its flame, he feels the searing heat coming closer, he dodges out of the way as the flame strikes the concrete where he was standing moments before.

With the concrete a blaze Bruce doesn’t slow his pursuit.

Bruce had to be quick to time this, ten seconds is a long time, he would only get one shot. He slipped under the monster’s legs. After the flame attack the monster stumbles around like it has to recharge. With his adversary slowed from exhaustion Bruce swipes the blade through the tendons of its hind legs!

The monster bellows in pain, Bruce closes the knife and places the blade in the trench coat pocket, and he grips something else in his pocket....

Bruce sprints to the left hard, the monster follows his movements. Attempting to impale Bruce with its claws, without a stable leg to pivot on, the creature goes toppling to the concrete.

The monster opens its mouth to let a roar escape…

Waiting Bruce pulls his hand from the trench coat, he got the shell into the monster’s largemouth at 8 seconds. The grenade just dropped into his stomach as it exploded, Bruce tried to back up but is unable to escape the blast radius.

Bits of the creature are everywhere, Bruce is thrown to the ground, sliding across the floor, he stops after several feet, he feels something dense under his leg. His whole body stung from the explosion. He lifts up gripping the pistol with his right hand.

Standing up his pistol is still in his right hand.

“I would drop that…”

Simon had left the office; he had his forearm wrapped around Marie’s neck…

“Well” Urges Simon.

Bruce just stood there; he held his gun at his side.

“I don’t think so” Mutters Bruce.

“Didn’t you hear me I will splatter your girlfriend all over this warehouse?”

“Albert was right that I would come for her. But he fucked up somewhere down the line, that is not my girlfriend just some upper-class ass I took to the Opera. Albert’s plans are always half assed, your plan is no exception. You picked the wrong backstop I am sorry Marie…”

Bruce lifts his weapon and squeezes his trigger until his weapon is empty. His remaining rounds punch through Marie’s chest and riddle Simon, both of them fall back in a bloody mist...

Placing another magazine into the 1911, he presses the thumb hold sliding the action forward placing a round in the chamber.

Bruce approaches the bodies on the ground. Marie lays on her back, her lifeless eyes stare endlessly towards the ceiling. It pained him to do it but, he held nothing for this woman.

He hears laughter coming from Simon, Simon lays face down on the concrete, blood leaks out of him forming a sticky puddle around the goon. Bruce kicks him over.

“What’s so funny? Laughing about your own blunder?”

“No, look at the time. If you didn’t show up we had a backup plan. By now your entire crew will be searching for you. Marcello gave the order to take Dellara’s daughter. In exchange for her life you are to be delivered to him in twenty-four hours.”

Simon begins to laugh again to himself and then there is nothing in his eyes…

“Shit” Says Bruce out loud.

“You, you killed her…” says a now familiar voice.

It was Farrah who stood behind him.

“I came once I sensed the monster’s life force gone… But you shot her… Why?”

“There’s only one person on this planet I would drop my gun for, and she was not it…”

“You are one of the most despicable and selfish humans I have ever met.”

“Then maybe this can be your hint to fuck off.” Begrudges Bruce.

Farrah ignores him and spots the head of the monster.

“Yet you still killed that creature without powers, my last charge met his end because one of these creatures and you kill it like it was nothing.” Marvels Farrah.

“It wasn’t fucking easy I can tell you that…” Snipes Bruce.

Bruce motions to Farrah to follow him, Farrah is silent as she stares at the cages.

“Those children you were speaking about I found a bunch of them. looks like they have created a blood mill.”

“Oh my gosh, I have never seen something like this we need to get them out now!” Frantically cries Farrah.

Bruce walks over to the cages and tries to look for a latch. At the back of the cages he sees a master lever, he pulls the lever and all the cages open.

Farrah kneels down by the cage with the Albino Ginger. The boy tries to use his legs to back away from her, but he is too weak.

“It’s okay sweet child I am here to help you. Let me see your hand.”

Farrah has a light golden glow encircle her body. Bruce must have been too high to see the glow earlier in the alleyway. The boy looked into her angelic smile and kind eyes and weakly extends his hand. She lifts it an inch from her lips and spits into to his palm.

Some color returned to his eyes, Farrah removes the tubes, While Bruce picked the padlocks of the chains binging the boy’s body. When the chain moved from his neck a red outline from where the chain chafed his skin is left behind.

They repeated the process with the other children, when it had finished Farrah looked very weak, she looked ten pounds lighter.

“What do we do now?”

“We should get the children and leave the city.”

Bruce shook his head.

“No can do, I will see this thing through. You can sense people right?”

“Yes, but it is better if I know who they are”

“Look for a group of evil men, Italian’s they will be standing guard over a girl no older than fifteen. She will be scared and bound.”

Farrah closes her eyes then opens them.

“Yes, I found her, but… are you sure you have the fortitude for this?” Questions Farrah earnestly.

“Yes” Replies Bruce simply.

“She is under guard at the Dellmore shop. There are Italians, half raced blacks and some members of your crew three of them.”

“Can you manage these children?”

“Yes, I have just enough energy to transport them to the “in between” to recover… I don’t know why fate chose you, but I can’t argue that your methods are effective. That said, I hope we don’t meet for a while.”

“Likewise,” Says Bruce digging in his pocket.

Bruce takes the pearl handled switch from his back pocket and holds the knife out for Farrah to take back.

“Thanks for this”

“Keep it, okay children everyone gather around we are leaving this awful place”

All the children hug or held Farrah’s body in some way. Farrah weakly snaps her fingers and all twelve bodies disappear.

Gathering up Giambi’s head inside the messenger bag Bruce leaves the warehouse. He draws his trench coat tighter to his body as he sets course for Purdue Street…

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