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Closure

Earlier...

The engine purred as he pulled into the hotel parking lot. According to Simmons, Vasquez's current residence was a few miles away, and one his pals owned this seedy roach motel. A seemingly inauspicious move to be in plain sight, not to mention driving the souped up beast which screamed competition, but what better place to bait the infamous I-95 courier.

With Simmons wanting to put a stop to the regularity of narcotics hitting his neighbourhood, and already convincing the locals to stay out of his territory, all that was left was to convince the tourists.

He killed the engine, popped the trunk and stepped out of the 'Cuda. Pausing to grab the Brownings and the SG552 off the seat, he made his way to the back of the car. Holstering the semi-auto's, he placed the combat rifle in the trunk, hoisted the duffels, and closed the lid with his elbow.

The ride down had been nearly uneventful, but he'd noticed a tail just outside of Cedon. Simmons hadn't mentioned suits, and the Lincoln Town Car they were driving stank of feds. Well, they hadn't outright stopped him, so he added them to the list of things to keep watch for.

Stepping into lobby, the proprietor tossed his latest issue of Swank under the counter and stubbed out his cigar. A balding man in his early forties, his beer gut was his most prominent feature. The grungy wife-beater he wore exemplified the ambience of filth that permeated the room.

"Best Western too good for ya?" he greeted the young man who had entered his abode.

"If I wanted to be a celebrity," the man known as Khai replied, "I'd stay there. I prefer my privacy, however."

"A'righ, a'righ, what'll it be? An hour or a nigh--" He coughed violently, phlegm ejecting from his lips onto the counter in front of him. Quickly wiping it up with a rag, he continued. "Sorry, that was for how long?"

Khai grimaced at the scene and withdrew his billfold. Extracting 4 bills, he placed them in front of the owner. "3 days. No questions."

The glint of greed filled the old man's eyes. "Sure, sure! I'll make sure no one bothers ya. 'Course, I'll have to ask ya not to do anything that'd bring the cops on me.'

Opening his jacket to put the billfold within, Khai let slip a glimpse of his weapons. "I said, no questions. I don't plan on having the law anywhere near me or this place."

"Fine, fine. Don't expect any room service or nuthin tho'." Grabbing a set of keys from the shelf, he tossed them to the new occupant. "Room's 9A. Down the right side, last one. No long distance calls and no pay per view without telling me first."

With a nod, Khai hoisted the duffels and walked out of the office. Continuing to his room, he realized, by chance, he had parked in front of it. Might've only shaved a minute or two off a getaway time if need be, but it's better than nothing. Opening the motel door, he made his way inside.

--

A voice answered the line with a calm voice. "Yes?"

"Um, uh.. I know I'm only sappose ta call ya in 'mergencies, but.."

"Hurry up, Holden. I don't have all day, and you're interrupting a very important meeting."

"S-sorry, sir. Uh, sir, do you have anyone working with your firm from New York? I may be mistaken, but he looks like he's involved."

"Understood. Do nothing until you hear from me again." Click.

--

-23:30-

Packing the duffels back into the trunk, he drove to an all-night diner a few blocks away. The text message on the cell phone had been simple enough. Boss meet n greet. Play cool.

Grabbing a seat near the windows facing the lot, he ordered a coffee and a slice of strawberry cheesecake. He didn't have to wait long, as the suits stepped into the eatery and took seat within the booth he was seated.

"Pardon me," Khai spoke. "I hadn't known I'd invited anyone to my table."

"Oh," the shorter operative replied, "I don't think we need your permission, scumbag."

"What Agent Devlin is eluding to," the other man commented, "is that when dealing with the dead, there are no formalities."

--

Elsewhere...

He dropped the speed down to 55, keeping tabs on the silver BMW 3 series sedan, which was five cars ahead of him. His own Lincoln LS kept up without difficulty. He'd found a Ford dealership willing to make a cheap sale in exchange for their lives.

Tommy had tailed Vasquez from Miami, and if his target suspected a tail, he wasn't reacting to it. Tommy's own philosophy was deal with the lead figure in the chain of command. If one of the prick's lackeys was mouthing off, a heart to heart with Vasquez himself should put an end to any bullshit.

--

The City

A flash of white light erupted from a wall near Simmons' chair, the lone figure stepping out lithely as it closed silently behind her.

"Angela?"

"Hello Al. It's been awhile." The freelance angel stood her ground, surveying the inhabitants.

"You know I don't have time to play," Al countered. "The truce is still in effect, is it not?"

"No worries, lovely hellspawn, I'm not here to take you down." She took a seat on a nearby crate, her luxurious red hair spilling upon her shoulders.

"Politics then? Don't tell me Heaven is aiming to curtail your wanderings.."

"Nah, nothing of the sort. I've got the beauty of being able to travel the Flux as I see fit. Therein lies the issue I've come to talk to you about."

"I've kept to myself lately, Ang." His cape fluttered about, its inherent dislike for heavenly creatures evident.

"Oh, it's not about you," she replied. "In fact, it has to do with someone you've recently had contact with."

Stepping out of the shadows, the glow from Cog's cigarette cast a dim light on his elderly features. "The boy."

"An a good evening to you, Cogliostro. I hadn't realized you were in the vicinity." She laid down her staff and placed a friendly peck on the old man's cheek.

"Cog will do. If we were to use age-defining terms based on our own existances," he spoke after taking a puff, "then I suppose you could call the boy merely an infant. He does have a name, however."

"Ah yes, Khai." She pondered the name for a moment. "It sounds a tad familiar, though I can't place it at the moment. Strange that it should be given to a mortal."

"Correction," Simmons offered, "former mortal."

"Semantics aside, " Cog insisted, "why is he of any interest to you, Angela?"

Brushing her hair away from her face, she smirked. "Not to me personally, Cog. At least not yet. Though I've a hunch that he may cause, or at least be a cause in a series of events about to unfold. The Flux, as you know, allows me to travel vast planes of existance, and within I see a common thread."

His boredom for trivialities showing, Simmons rose from his throne of bones. "Does this involve us or not?"

"Tch, you're cold-hearted at times, Al," she replied.

"Only when it's ripped out of my chest in subzero temperatures," he quipped.

"Fine then. I can always leave it up to your super-sleuthing abilities." She gathered her staff, but Cog moved to block her path.

"I certainly don't need the headache you two are producing," he said. "Al, shut up a moment and let the girl talk. If you will be so kind as to continue.."

"For you, Cog, I will." Glancing defiantly at the hellspawn, she told her tale.

--

Pat's Diner

He stopped to watch the news broadcast which featured what looked to be Disney under full assault.

"...police have yet to comment on the bizarre mishap which occured this afternoon, stating the matter is under investigation by federal investigators. Those hurt in the blast, which Disney representatives are calling a freak natural gas explosion, have been taken to nearby hospitals for treatment and..."

Heh, the fun never stops for you guys, does it.
Khai chuckled softly and looked at the man sitting opposite him.

"I'm not sure I heard you right, Mr.--"

"Agent Forrester."

"Ok, Agent. What's the deal with your partner?"

"He seems to be troubled, as I am, by who you are. Rather, who you appear to be, not to mention who you associate with." He opened his briefcase and withdrew a folder half an inch thick. "Your association with a creature who calls himself Spawn, a shadowy person who has, shall we say, talents, that keep trouble off his domain, unless its someone out to kill him. He goes after the mafioso and even the CIA when it pleases him. He meets with someone we don't know, gives this person a car and sends him packing to Florida. We know he's curbing the drug trade in his area, and this just reeks of a contract. What do you expect us to think?"

Khai chuckled softly. "It's not."

"You expect us to believe the word of a slimeball?" Devlin spouted.

Turning his gaze to the younger agent, he merely gave off an indifferet look. "Believe what you want. It makes no difference."

"Well," Forrester interjected, "this does." Taking four photographs from the folder, he laid them out on the table, facing Khai. "The first three photographs are surveillance photos. You'll notice they all have the same subject. They of course were taken to ascertain any new players into Spawn's game of chess. We sent them to Washington to find out who you are. The fourth photograph is actually a clip of the service record of someone who looks identical to you. We dusted your car for prints while you were in the motel, and apparently you are the man in this picture, even though we know it's physically impossible."

Khai glanced at the pictures laid out. Three were headshots of himself speaking with Simmons in New York. The fourth... "Right, that's me then. What's the problem?"

Devlin gave his partner and incredulous look. The latter merely collected all but the fourth and slid them back into the folder.

"You'll fogive me for feeling like you're treating us like complete imbeciles," Forrester spoke. "We know you cannot be the man shown in this picture. Lieutenant Stephen K. James of the Canadian special forces unit JTF-2 died 8 years ago. So, dead guy, what's the scoop?"

--

He'd been patient, and it was with a mild case of alarm that he watched Vasquez's car suddenly squeal its tires and head off as though he was being chased by the cops. He must've seen something in that diner they'd been parked at for the past 15 minutes. Noticing the cars, in the parking lot, he spotted the government-issued vehicle.

"Shit! Not, not, not what I need tonight!" Slamming the car into gear, he sped after his quarry.

--

"I regret to inform you you are mistaken in this matter. I am not Lt. Stephen James, and I certainly do not reside in Canada." He'd caught site of the BMW speeding away and knew time was of the essence.

"Listen, asshole," Devlin raged. "We've got fingerprint matches. We want some answers now or things will get ugly real fast."

"I'm sorry, I don't speak fed. Now if you'll excuse me--" Rising from the table, Khai heard the click of the handcuffs as its weight fell upon his wrist. "Ah now, this is unpleasant."

"We'll be taking you in for some questions at the field office," Forrester said. "If you have a lawyer, I can call him for you."

"Unnecessary, but thank you," Khai replied as they stepped out into the warm night air. "As well, I apologize."

"Apologize?" Devlin asked.

"For this, sir," Khai said as he slammed his fist into the man's stomach, the followed up with a resounding knee to the face. Devlin was out cold before his partner had time to react. Grabbing the man's gun, he pointed it at Forrester.

"Now we don't want to be hasty, James. This is definitely the wrong way to go about things."

Khai motioned Forrester to the back of the Lincoln Town Car. "Open the trunk. You pull your gun and it only gets worse." The trunk opened and Khai motioned the man to get in.

"You realize this only makes your life harder. Killing us would have every cop in the country after you and there are plenty of witnesses."

"Look, agent. I've no interest in killing you, nor evading you per se. I have a deadline, and you're cutting into it, simple as that. I'll call the diner once I'm far enough away to let them know you're in here. Please, just let it go. This Stephen James you mention is a dead man. Stop wasting my time and yours." Closing the trunk, he ran towards the 'Cuda, dropping Devlin's gun on the pavement.

Revving the engine, he peeled out of the diner parking lot, intent on reaching the motel before it too much time had passed.

The couple seated in a booth nearby to where the conversation had occured only went about their eating.

"Kat, what say you and me take a tour of somewhere less eventful," Lindsey said. "Like Idaho or something."

But his words fell on deaf ears. K'Trina's mind was elsewhere, deciphering the information she had overheard about the strange man and his would-be assailants.

--

"You're saying it's actually possible?" Spawn asked, the glow of the Flux surrounding the three of them.

"Anything is possible, dear," Angela said, "even a hellspawn rebelling against his own master."

"Touché."

"The fact of the matter," Cog spoke, "is that Khai achieving his goal could produce some longterm consequences. Funny that Elysium hadn't mentioned it to anyone."

Angela smirked at the arcane terminology for her former abode. "Heaven knows plenty of things, Cog, but it's a matter of processing that information quickly enough to be useful. Even then, it is possible that this is an unknown series of events on the multi-planar scale, reaching quietly under the nose of the Almighty One himself."

"So what's the plan then?" Spawn queried.

"Above all else, this info stays between the three of us for now. If we can arrive in time, we may very well be able to stop anything from occuring." She checked her watch. "Only another 20 minutes to go."

"If the Flux is an extra-planar transportation system," Cog mentioned, "why exactly does it take 45 minutes to get from New York to Orlando?"

"Planar laws of physics, plus a host of intergalatic affair bullshit," she replied.

"And by any chance does anyone know what happens if we don't reach him in time?"

The question went unanswered, and they travelled in silence.

--

Tommy Vercetti sat quietly, smoking the last bit of the cigar before tossing it out the car window. Vasquez was yelling at the owner over something while they ran in and out of the room near the right edge. Tommy didn't know what trouble Vasqeuz was in, but if it involved the FBI, it wasn't a good thing. Although he could barge right in at this point, subdue the motel manager and take matter into his own hands, instinct told him to hold off. Something stank here, and it wasn't the garbage dumpster down the block.

The scene was interrupted by the growl of a car engine. Tommy saw a black Chrysler 'Cuda pull into the motel lot, the driver's side car opening even before it had stopped. The driver got out, opened the trunk, threw two duffel bags across his shoulders and pulled out a fucking assault rifle! Spraying the motel wall with bullets, forcing Vasquez and the owner to the ground to avoid getting hit, the young man walked towards the two.

Grabbing his Tec9, Tommy opened his own door and jogged over to the ensuing nightmare. Christ, last thing I need is for this punk to kill Vasquez before I've had a chance to talk to him!

"HEY, YOU DUMB SHIT!," he yelled, hoisting the weapon.

--

Khai turned to see an angry Soprano wannabe pointing a submachinegun in his direction. Wonderful.

"For what do I owe this honor?" he said, keeping the rifle, with one hand, pointed at the pair on the ground, while his other hand pulled a 9mm from inside his coat and aimed it towards the visitor.

"Oh kid, this is surely some bad shit you're causing," the new arrival answered. "One of the men you're about to waste is someone I need to speak with first. I'm going to be quite pissed if you ruin that chance for me."

"I don't know you," Khai said. "I don't want to know you. If you want to speak with Vasquez, make it quick."

"Listen, I don't know who the fuck you are, pal, but messing with Tommy Vercetti is-". The sentence was left unfinished as Tommy fired 3 shots. Willing himself to become ethereal, the duffels upon Khai's shoulders, as well as the SG552-2 assault rifle and the 9mm, dropped to the ground. Hearing a thump behind him, Khai turned to see the motel owner slumping to the ground, blood pooling from his neck and face.

"What in christ, Vercetti?!"

The other man shrugged and pointed to the pistol in Holden's clenched fist. "Got him before he got anyone."

Walking towards Tommy, Khai felt his rage building. He knew the other man could see it as well.

"No you don't, you lousy prick," Tommy shouted, firing the Tec9 again. The bullets hissed through Khai's ghostly form and struck the motel door. "W-Wha-what the fuck is this?"

Khai's willl extended through his arms to only his hands, which phased back into physical space. Grabbing the weapon with one hand, he threw it to the ground. His other hand grabbed Tommy by the shirt, twisting it his own fist. "WHO TOLD YOU TO KILL ANYONE?!!!"

His tone changing from ultra decibel to a mere stern, cold, and intense vocal range, Khai glared at the self-made gangster. "I've seen more death to fill not only my lifetime, but your lifetime, and your fucking family's lifetime, and their friends' lifetimes. Unless you want to live some seriously unreal shit, Mr. Vercetti, I suggest you heed my next words. There will be no killing."

"B-But, didn't you plan on-" Tommy motioned towards the assault rifle.

"No, you dumbfuck. The rifle was merely-" Khai was cut off by the squeal of tires as Vasquez's BMW fired out on the street and into the night. "-a scare tactic, which you've now applied in a very different fashion than the one intended."

Sighing, Khai released his captive. Pointing to the bags, he continued. "The duffels contain 3 million bucks. Enough cash to make Vasquez think it'd be a great time to retire. A friend in NYC wants his courier business to stop."

Tommy eyed the bags then answered slowly. "Does your friend also realize the major bosses in the area would've found a suitable replacement, leaving the courier business intact?"

"Not for a couple of months, I imagine. My friend had planned a little incursion to ward off anyone stupid enough to attempt it." Khai lit a smoke and offered one to the mobster.

"Well, now," Vercetti spoke, lighting the smoke, "you've got a backup plan?"

"His house, of course. I imagine he's geting ready to get the hell out of the city, if not the state."

"Try country, pal. He's got a house in the Bahamas."

Khai retrieved the duffels and assault rifle, placing them back into the trunk. Grabbing the Browning 9mm off the ground, he holstered it. "Well then. Shall we change his plans?"

--

somewhere

It begins, child. We ease one pain, increase another, and turn the attention away once again.

"Yes, Almighty. I shall spin the first wheel." She wasn't used to the hissing voice of her new master.

proceeeeeeeeeeeeed

--

The 'Cuda sped across the streets, the roar of the engine scaring pedestrians from entering his path. Behind him, Tommy's Lincon LS kept pace with fervor.

Hope for the best, expect the worst. Hadn't that been his motto for ages now? Focusing on the street, a figure he recognized suddenly stepped into the street ahead of the car. Pulling the wheel hard to the right, he felt the 'Cuda's grip on the street falter. The front catching the ass-end of an old Pontiac Fiero, the machine flipped up into the air, spinning twice full circle before coming down hard upon the newly cut grass of a football field, flipping over several times. It finally came to rest upside down near the 30 yard line.

Tommy's Lincoln screeched to a halt. He stepped out and ran to the crumpled wreckage to see Khai climbing out, battered but alive. "Jesus, man. I don't know anyone that can say they lived through something like that outside of Evil Knevil."

"Still getting used to changing state at will," Khai replied. "Your concern is noted."

"What in hell where you doing. Actually, what are you looking around for?" Tommy had noticed his new acquaintance scanning the area.

"I-I saw someone. Someone that shouldn't be here, but is."

"More of your freaky friday friends, huh?"

"Don't start with m-" Khai paused as he caught sight of the figure walking towards them. "Tommy, grab the bags from the trunk and continue with the plan. All you have to do is convince Vasquez to take an early retirement."

"What, and leave you here?"

"Do it! Now! Go already!"

Without another word, Tommy did as instructed, leaving Khai alone with oncoming person.

"You aren't supposed to be here," Khai whispered.

"Ah, we knew that little mishap would get your intention."

"If not killing me in the process."

"Considering you're already dead, I don't see that happening."

"You can't be who I think you are." He glanced towards her features, taking sight of all he had wished for for so long.

"Why yes... love," she spat. "Your darling Rei has returned to you."

--

Flux

"Really, this thing could move slower," Simmons commented.

"Shut up or walk," Angela replied. "Why do you have to be such an ass?"

"Both of you keep it quiet," Cog said. He turned his head from side to side, listening carefully, attuning himself to forces unknown to mortals. "I think the cavalry may be.. late."

--

"Oh, but this is the cosmic jest upon jests, is it not," she spoke, the venom in her words piercing his soul. "We waited for an age, an eternity, each day a torture upon tortures. You said you'd save me, Khai. WHY DIDN'T YOU??!!" She paced back and forth.

"I-I tried, Rei.. god, I tried so hard."

"You lied to me! You said you'd do everything to be with me, and it. Was. All. LIES!"

"It wasn't, dammit! I did all I could to s-"

"You did nothing, except mourn a loss that had yet to fully occur."

"What was I to do, Rei? Not even God knew how to reach you! If He couldn't.."

"shutupshutupshutupSHUTUP!!" The anger in her voice was nothing he'd ever felt from her before. "I waited, I perservered through the pain and loss, only to find that my 'love' was dead."

"Yes, I did die bu-"

"Not you, moron. My love for you! HA, what an idiot I'd been to think that my Marty Stuart here could rescue me from the worst possible thing ever to exist through."

"W-what?"

"Enough. I've no time to waste on you or your pathetic half-existance. I've only come to deliver a package." With a wave of her hand, a crimson red portal opened beside her. With a yank, she pulled out the ragdoll form of another female. "Your.. sister.. kept hold of your vow. She never faltered, and you've been granted her life in return. I suppose you'd enjoy it more if you were alive. I bet the 'being dead' thing will be too strange for her to completely accept, but hey, at least it's better than nothing, eh?"

"Kat-Katarina?" He moved towards his unconscious sister.

"That's enough banter," Rei continued. "Consider your stupid 'search' completed. You got something out the deal." She stepped partway into the portal. "A last warning, Khai. Don't follow me. If I see you again, I'll kill you myself." She finished her ascent into the glowing tear in space, and it winked out of existance.

"REIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII !!!!!!!!!!!"

--

Moments later..

"Last stop, Grand Central," Angela joked. "Please wait until the doors have opened before proceeding."

The Flux evaporated around them, leaving them standing inches away from the Khai, huddled over his sister.

"She alive, Khai?" Cog asked. "Never mind, I can see her breathing.

Tears streaming down his face, Khai turned towards the three.

"Sorry, kid," Simmons spoke. "We only somewhat figured some things out a half hour ago."

Cog took his cellphone from his jacket and dialed a number. Stepping away from the group, he motioned them to keep talking.

Angela looked upon the girl. "She's unhurt, and her soul is intact. I take it this is your.. girlfr-MMPH!" her mouth was covered by Simmons' hand.

"Ang, look at the similarites in bloodlines. It's his sister, dammit!"

"Uh, ah shit, sorry."

Cog returned, ending the call. "Well, that settles it."

"Settles what, Cog," Khai said. "The fact that my sister is back, thank god, but that my love despises me to no end?"

"Sarcasm noted, and I don't fault you for it, son. A pissy situation if there ever was one." Handing a vial to Simmons, he continued. "I just got off the horn with Elysium. In light of recent events, they've granted an unstay of execution."

"What are you babbling about, old man?" Khai's anger was held barely in check.

"Simply put, we can't have you traipsing all over the Afterlife in your condition. Not with a sister to get back in touch with. Say goodbye, Khai."

"What are you- ungghhh" The needle was fast, Simmons hand piercing it into Khai's neck. He blacked out without a struggle.

"As the saying goes," Cog said, "life goes on. Now yours will too."

-FIN-

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
dustyfedora
Sep. 8th, 2003 11:17 pm (UTC)
What the-? What happened to Khai? He can't hang out with his sister? Dammiiiiiiiiiiiit.

Cool stuff, man! Nice wrap ups! Especially tying the Tommy story into Khai's story.
mystra
Sep. 9th, 2003 01:18 am (UTC)
*giggle*

Marty Stuart.

Heee.
prophet_iv
Sep. 9th, 2003 02:07 pm (UTC)
Knew you'd catch it.
dustyfedora
Sep. 9th, 2003 06:00 pm (UTC)
Must be the tight jeans, rhinestones and hairspray. You rock star. :D

tennis_borg
Feb. 26th, 2004 05:32 pm (UTC)
we_r_borg. We have assimilated this abandoned community. Resistance is futile.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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