Another CE story

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A second story for those who wanted more! This story is shorter than the first, but still has the same amount of action and mystery!

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Another CE story

  1. 1. Another CE Story<br />Contents TOC o "1-3" h z u Chapter 1: A Midnight Drive PAGEREF _Toc280264503 h 2Chapter 2: Lessons Learned PAGEREF _Toc280264504 h 2Chapter 3: Showtime PAGEREF _Toc280264505 h 4Chapter 4: Serious Business PAGEREF _Toc280264506 h 5Chapter 5: Truth on Trial PAGEREF _Toc280264507 h 6Chapter 6: Premonition PAGEREF _Toc280264508 h 7Chapter 7: Conquest PAGEREF _Toc280264509 h 8Chapter 9: Connecting the Pieces PAGEREF _Toc280264510 h 11Chapter 10: Infiltration PAGEREF _Toc280264511 h 12Chapter 11: Intervention PAGEREF _Toc280264512 h 14<br />Chapter 1: A Midnight Drive<br />Annaesthetic stepped out of her friend's house late at night. Waving goodbye to her friend, she headed out to her car, tired and anxious to go home. As she looks up into the sky, she sees the night clouds forming a blanket over the horizon, engulfing any trace of light showing from the moon or the stars. This night was a dark night. Illuminated only by every other working streetlight, Annaesthetic maneuvered to her car to get in. She winced as she reached for the door, and a jolt of static shock traveled through her fingers. She reached for the car door again, and quickly went inside.As she pulled out of her friend's driveway, she reached onto the road. She was very tired, but she felt she had just enough energy to make it back home. Two blocks down, she made a left. She kept driving down Patterson St., then Leaf St., only to stop at a red stoplight. As she looks at her rearview mirror, she notices the dim headlights of the car waiting behind her. All of a sudden she remembers seeing this same car a few blocks back. Right behind her.I'm so tired I'm imagining things, she thought to herself. As the light turned green, she continued driving down the road. The car with the dimmed lights drove forward as well. Still with a sense of uneasiness, Annaesthetic gave a sigh of relief as she reached the next corner where she would turn. She turned right, then looked behind in horror as the vehicle turned right as well afterwards. Annaesthetic felt by now that this was no coincidence. She was being followed. In her exhausted state, and senses heightened by the adrenaline rush, Annaesthetic was not thinking straight and began to speed up. She began to drive faster and faster down the desolate, dark roads. The vehicle began to speed up as well. As she kept driving and driving, the street lights became more infrequent, and the road became darker, only illuminated by her car's headlights and the dim ones of the car behind her.Annaesthetic began to panic, and she floored her gas pedal in a sense of exasperation. The car began to rumble as she drove past 70 miles per hour, then 80. The car behind her also sped up, gaining on her with every hundred feet. Looking around for a cop, Annaesthetic did not notice as she was approaching a curve on the road. She quickly looked forward and saw she was headed right onto a building. She quickly swerved just in time to avoid it, but drove her vehicle straight onto a telephone pole. With one violent motion, she sprung forward, only to feel the counter force of the deployed airbag knock her back onto her seat. She didn't pass out, but she was so shocked and delirious she could not move.The other vehicle parked behind her, and with the dim lights on, opened the door and stepped outside. The figure then took steps toward's Annaesthetic's vehicle. Annaesthetic could hear the footsteps of his boots as they approached the side of her car. With one strong move, he broke her window, unlocked her car door, and looked inside. Annaesthetic sat there in horror, with a piece of glass lodged on her arm from the window, minor bleeds from several places, looking out at the man outside. He reached out his hand and pulled her out."What...what do you want from me?" Annaesthetic pleaded as she coughed. The man sat helped her gain her balance. "I was following you to protect you," he said. With that, he guided Annaesthetic towards the back of her car. "Your crash actually saved you. He was going to kill you when you got home." As Annaesthetic looks into the window of her back seats, she gasps in horror as she sees a dead man lying on the floor, with a knife in his chest that was meant for her.********************************<br />Chapter 2: Lessons Learned<br />Magus the great opened his eyes slowly. He could feel the trail of sweat flowing down his forehead. He began to get up, head throbbing as he wiped the drop of sweat from his forehead. He looked down at his hand. It was red. He realized that it wasn't sweat on his head. It was blood. As he looked around, dazed and confused, he began to regain comprehension of his surroundings. Once his vision refocused, he saw the older man standing by the doorway. "It seems you will not stay down, Magus. Very well. Let's see what you can do," said the older man.Magus began to get angry. The man's coy attitude infuriated him to no end. His bare arm muscles began throbbing from adrenaline. His torn wife-beater soaking with the over-running stains of sweat and blood. What more did he have to live for? With one swift move, he sprung forward, dashing towards the man with all his strength. The man quickly jumped up and landed a downwards kick right towards his head. Magus quickly high blocked the kick with his right arm, knocking it out of the way. The man did not give up. He quickly reached out with a lef jab and a right uppercut. Magus anticipated the moves and dodged them both masterfully. Magus then proceeds to throw a punch of his own. The man quickly reaches out and grabs his fist mid swing, and both men seem to come to a stop. Magus stands there, right fist in mid air, being blocked by the man's left hand.Magus becomes even more infuriated. As he stands there motionless for that split second, his thoughts seem to drown him with agony, as his painful memories began to resurface all at once. He remembered. He remembered the murder of his family. He remembered the fateful night when his entire family was assassinated, and he could do nothing to stop it. It was meant to be a celebratory dinner for his parents and their associates. It was one week before Christmas and Magus was happy to come home once again to visit. It had been almost two years since he had been away at college and hadn't seen his family. As he arrived in the airport, he excitedly hurried to the arrival terminal with 4 gifts wrapped in decorative wrapping paper, only to be greeted by his trusty limo driver. "Magus, ol' boy. My, you've grown," said the limo driver. Magus smiled and gave him one of the gifts. "Good heavens? A gift? For me? How thoughtful! I'll open this later. In the meantime, your parents and your sister are waiting for you at the party! Let's go!" Magus got in the limousine and headed to the party.The rest happened so fast it still felt like a blur. The car crash, the turnover, the men with guns. In the blink of an eye, Magus remembered his carefully-chosen gifts for his lovely family flying out the limousine window as the vehicle crashed into a truck. He remembered being pulled out of the damaged vehicle by the limo driver, pulling him over to safety behind a dumpster. He remembered staying conscious just long enough to see his limo driver limp back to his vehicle, reasoning with some men with guns, before they shot him in the head right then and there. With one final look of horror, Magus closed his eyes and passed out.<br />Suddenly, flashbacks began to scurry of Magus waking up in the hospital, only to be greeted with the news that his entire family was assassinated at the party. He wasn't sure if it was the concussion he suffered, or the news he just heard that made him snap. But from that point on, he left school and disappeared off the face of the earth from everyone.With this in mind, infuriated by his memories, he pulled back his fist, only to strike even faster and harder with the other one, catching the older man off guard. He felt the resistance of striking the man in the jaw, then went for another thrust into the solar plexus, knocking the wind out of him. With one loud shout, he ripped of his shirt and continued to pummel the man, only to unleash one final kick and knock him to the ground.Still breathing heavily, he looked down at the man, who in return, smiled at him. "Magus. I believe your training has paid off. You are ready. It is time to go forth and avenge your family's death," said the man. "Yes, sensei," replied Magus as he spit out some blood and walked out the door.<br />********************************<br />Chapter 3: Showtime<br />MhkaMAth was sipping his cup of coffee, leaning back on his favorite chair in the break room. He looked at the various safety posters lined up against the wall for what felt like the millionth time. He automatically ran every advert in his head, having memorized them word for word with the amount of time he has spent in that room. As he nonchalantly scanned his eyes across the room in boredom, he caught sight of the new plaque that was put up near the door. The glimmer in his eyes darkened into a distinctive glare as he stared at the plaque honoring WKCE's lead reporter. "Stan!," he uttered to himself. He put down his coffee cup and walked over to the plaque. He read the description in what felt like forced curiosity as the mayor congratulated Stan for being a top-notch reporter. Right under the mayor's signature he found his own boss's signature. Oh Stan! Everyone loves Stan! MhkaMAththought to himself. He knew that cocky ladies man Stan was just a show off. Real achievement comes from those who work hard for their own determination at every moment, MhkaMAth thought to himself as he leaned back into his chair and took a sip of his half and half creamer-filled coffee.As he looked at the clock waiting for his shift to end, he heard some conversing outside. "Did you hear the latest news story? Wow, that was quite a scene over there! I'm sure Bob's gonna need someone to cover it now! Too bad Stan's busy finishing up another story, or this would have been another to add to his all-impressive resume." MhkaMAth's ears perked up as the bells of opportunity began to ring. A breaking story! This is just what he needs to make it big! MhkaMAth threw his cup down, spilling some coffee on the table, and dashed out of the room past his coworkers. He was determined to cover that story. He just needed to make sure to get to his boss before any other reporter could get their sinking, predatory teeth into it.<br />He knew his boss hated him. He's been told countless times he's a lazy, good-for-nothing slacker. But he still has a job, so he must have been doing something right...right? MhkaMAth thought to himself as he ran through the cubicles. As he ran past the very ravishing Donna's cubicle, he suddenly saw Donna pulling her rolling chair back to reach for the phone, right into the path he was running to. "AAAaaahhhhhH!!!" he yelled as he came crashing onto Donna, knocking her out of her chair and landing on top of her on the ground. "Get your paws off of me!" Donna yelled. MhkaMAth quickly took his hands off her breasts as he got up and continued to run. However, his shoelace got caught on her shirt sleeve, and he quickly tripped and fell back down. Not stopping to think, he quickly picked himself up and put forth all his effort to run. A gasp was heard from behind him as he sprinted forward, and the force of his pulle ripped Donna's blouse off, with the blouse trailing behind MhkaMAth as he ran. "Hey! Hey you!" yelled a male coworker trying to grab his attention as he ran. But MhkaMAth would not hear of any distractions. He was going to have that story!He continued to run across another room, being chased by the lady covering her exposed bra with her hands and the gentleman attempting to get her shirt back for her. Still not realizing what he was lugging behind him, MhkaMAth pushed past a guy drinking hot chocolate, only to have the burning hot liquid spill onto the guy's shirt and his skin. After a loud cry of pain, the guy glares at the running MhkaMAth and chases after him with a look of rage. A few rooms later, MhkaMAth finds himself entering the news room. He quickly hesitates as he sees they are filming a live newscast, but realizes that that path is the shortest way to his boss's office. Seeing the group of people chasing him, he holds his breath and dashes through the newscast, running past the anchors and in front of the live cameras, being seen by national television as he is chased by an angry man, an angrier man with hot chocolate on him, and an angrier lady in a bra.Breathing heavily from running, he sees his boss exiting his office down the hall and heading outside, and quickly trips over some wires in the newsroom, knocking over the cameras of the live newscast. The entire newsteam looks over in unsurmountable states of anger at MhkaMAth as he exits the newsroom in pursuit of his boss. In a look of horror, he sees none other than Stan coming out of another room heading right towards his boss! "Noooooo!!" yelled out MhkaMAth. He used the last of his remaining breath to add one more jolt in his step, ran towards Stan and his boss, and in an act of desperation, tackled Stan to the ground right before he managed to tap their boss on the shoulder. He quickly gets up and brushes himself off. His boss, on his cell phone, turned around and saw Stan on the ground. He was unconscious. "MhkaMAth, what the hell are you and Stan doing? Stop horsing around! We have an important story to cover! Quick, take a vehicle and head over to this address. There's some major things going on there!" The boss gives him a piece of paper with directions and some car keys, then runs out while still on the phone.MhkaMAth smiles, then steps over Stan's body and walks in victory. However, his smile quickly fades when he sees the line of people he has pissed off ready to pulverize him. With one swift move, he makes a 180 and runs out of the building, keys in hand.****************************<br />Chapter 4: Serious BusinessCaptain_CE stood by his 27th floor window, staring out into the city as the sun's rays began to bathe the houses with sunlight one by one. Captain_CE liked those days. Each morning meant to him yet another day of opportunity to achieve something great. As he looked down to the city people from his self-made empire, a brief smile peaked out from his goatee before he heard a buzz at his desk. "Mr. CE, Manny is here to see you like you requested." Captain_CE's smile quickly fades. He turns around and reaches for the buzzer. "Bring him in," he said dryly.A caucasian, slightly portly man walks in the door, looking a bit nervous but trying to hide it with an unnerving smile. "Please, Manny, take a seat," Captain_CE said to the man as he himself sat down. Manny complied. "Now, Manny, I have one question for you. What would you say is the mission of our company?" Captain_CE asked him.Manny began to fidget in his seat as he struggled to come up with the most appropriate answer. "Well, umm, sir, our mission it to provide the latest advancements in technology to further our society, and in turn, our nation in the technological battle for dominance."Captain_CE remains silent for a moment. "Very good, Manny. You seem to know a lot about our company. You work as, if I remember correctly, our Public Relations consultant, am I correct?"Manny nervously nods his head."Good, that's very good. You really care for your position, don't you? I noticed you were quite busy last week publicizing out latest technological feat.""Yes, sir," Manny responded, not sure where the conversation was going."Well, Manny. Now, I am not an English major myself, but I certainly know the difference between the meanings of publicity and BETRAYAL!" Captain_CE said with an increasingly louder voice.Manny gasped. "Sir... umm, umm what do you mean?"Captain_CE pulls out some photos from his top desk drawer and shows them to Manny. "These pictures were taken last Friday at 5:32pm. Is that not YOU sitting at the coffee shop with one of Astrocorp's employees?"Manny begins to panic. "Yes it is, sir, but... but... I-""Listen Manny, when you signed the nondisclosure agreement, that meant that you could NOT talk about classified information to the public. That alone should have made it clear that you are not supposed to talk of our matters WITH OUR COMPETITION!""But sir, she's just a girl I met. I didn't know she worked there! Please!""Get your things Manny. As of 5 minutes ago, you are no longer a part of Cap Tech. Now get out of my face."Manny begins to plead for his job. "Please sir, it won't happen again-""You are now a guest who has overstayed his welcome in my office. Leave now before you become an intruder and I have to have you escorted."Manny quickly gets up and runs out of the room.<br />Captain_CE gets back on his chair and massages his temples from a headache he's starting to get. His buzzer sounds again. "Mr. CE, you have someone by the name of Gloria on line 3."Captain_CE's eyes widen as he stares at the phone. He looks out his door window to make sure no one is around. He quickly grabs the phone. "I told you never to call me here again! We're through Candace!"A soft spoken voice is heard from the other line. "Please, listen to me. I can't stop thinking about you. That night we had together was amazing. I never felt so alive. You really know how to treat a woman."Captain_CE became flustered. "Candace, do you not realize the gravity of the situation? Do you know what bloodbath will occur if ANYONE found out that the CEO of Cap Tech was having an affair with the wife of Astrocorp's CEO? This is madness! You HAVE to stop calling me. I don't care what alias you use to call. I don't ever want to speak to you again, I don't want to see you again, I don't want to know you exist. You hear me?"With that, Captain_CE slams the phone. This has gotten too far. He knew that something had to be done to stop this mess from going any further. The reputation and future of his company depended on it.The buzzer sounds again. "Mr. CE, that Gloria lady was calling all morning. Was it important?"Captain_CE shakes his head to brush out his thoughts. "On nothing, Liz, just someone who mistook me for someone else. I set her straight. The call reminded me, though, that I have lots more to do before the week is done."The buzzer sounds again. "Oh, Mr. CE, you've been quite a busy boy this week! Don't work too hard! I'm rather content with my job as a personal secretary to a CEO, I wouldn't want to lose it on account of a dead CEO from working to hard."Captain_CE smiles before he responds. "Oh, don't worry, Liz. I think I'll be just fine.... just fine..."<br />Chapter 5: Truth on Trial"And now, before we conclude for today, I turn to the defense. Do you have any closing comments?" asked the judge. Jimbiz fiddled with the tight knot on his tie before standing up. "Yes your honor." Jimbiz slowly got up from his seat and walked forward. He could feel the sharp stares of the whole courtroom piercing through his skin. He began to sweat as his black suit absorbed the court-room heat due to the inoperable air conditioners on that hot summer day. As he walked forward, he looked over at the plaintiff. She was young, could not have been older than 20. She had shiny black hair and a soft complexion. She stared at him with teary eyes full of hatred and betrayal. He turned away from her stare. He felt really bad about what he was doing to her, but he knew he was doing the right thing. Jimbiz became a lawyer to bring justice to the people, and that is a promise he inteded to keep.Jimbiz cleared his throat before uttering his first words. "Your honor. As you are fully aware, this is a very high profile case that has been ongoing for weeks now. Not only is this a case dealing with murder, attempted murder, assault, theft, arson, battery, and fraud, but the results of this case can affect hundreds of thousands of people. This case isn't just about the plaintiff and the defendant. It is about the massive amounts of people that would be affected by a wrong call on the defendant's behalf."Jimbiz begins to pace as he continues, bringing back recollections of events."Now, I understand that the jury is still undecided on the outcome of this case, but it is starting to seem to me that the jury is leaning towards my client being guilty. Now, I can understand why that is. When looking down at the bare bones of this case, it does come across that way. My client, Captain_CE, attempted to murder the entire family of the CEO of a rival company. The motives were plenty. Astrocorp, the rival company, had come up with a new technological advancement that would make transportation much easier and much more accessible to the public. The restructurization of airlines into space shuttles for space tourism is a pretty bold feat, and Astrocorp has managed to make it affordable. This made my client angry. And, adding to that the secret affair he was having with the CEO's wife, it seems like my client had plenty of reason to be mad at the Dawson's.But I look to you now, jury, do you really think this is enough cause for the murder of THE ENTIRE FAMILY? He is being charged for attempted murder of Andrew and Candace Dawson's daughter, Annaesthetic, who was almost killed 19 days ago when a guy was hiding in the back of her car. The murder was unsuccessful. Any logical killer would attempt to finish the job, but he didn't. He let her live! What kind of manic killer would leave a job this complex unfinished. Sure, the killer's body was found to be associated with Cap Tech, my client's company. But Cap Tech is a large company with thousands of employees! It is not enough to deduce a conclusion based on that. Plus, we have discovered that the Dawson family isn't so innocent, either. Andrew's wife was having an affair with my client, already an act of dishonesty. Annaesthetic has been found to break into Cap Tech to retrieve information and hope to destroy Cap Tech from the inside. And, a bunch of my client's men have been brutally murdered by what sources have mentioned a character that looks remarkably like Annaesthetic's brother, Magus the Great.<br />Magus's situation was another unsuccessful murder attempt. He was found on the same day his parents were murdered, and was taken to the nearby hospital. Shortly upon awakening, he disappeared from the hospital without a trace. The doctors did not know where he went. He has been missing since. And now, reports of murders of my client's associates by a man that fits his description? Your honor, I do not know what that family is planning, or what their intent is, but it seems to me they are out to get my client, Captain_CE, much more than my client is out to get them. There is an actual mass murderer out there, killing innocent people, meanwhile my client, who has only been charged due to loose associations and questionable testimonials from the murderers of the Dawson family, sits here facing the possibility of life in prison. Well I will not stand for this. The only witness I see with any credibility, Mr. MhkaMAth, has been seen by me on more than one occassion spending unofficial time with the plaintiff Annaesthetic. Can we really trust that what he tells us about what he saw Captain_CE doing isn't just a ploy to protect his friend? Please consider what I tell you today, grand jury of the court, for I will find justice here. I myself am not sure of what has happened, but I WILL get to the bottom of this. Please just give me the chance to do so. Your efforts will not go unnoticed. Thank you."Jimbiz walks back to his seat and takes a drink of water."Short recess while the jury makes a decision," the judge says as the jury walks out of the room.People in the courtroom begin to file outside for a bathroom break. Annaesthetic glares at Jimbiz once again before she steps out of the room.Jimbiz begins reviewing his papers. "I really appreciate what you are doing for me, Jimbiz," Captain_CE tells him.Jimbiz looks at Captain_CE in frustration. "Mr. CE, I want one thing to be clear. I am not doing this for you. The way that you have handled this entire situation disgusts me and has only made my job more difficult. I am only doing what I'm doing because based on my investigations, I have concluded that you are not guilty of what you are being charged. It's not looking good. Your employees either hate you or are afraid of you. The only person that will speak up in your defense is your secretary Liz. Now please, I have some papers to review."Captain_CE, with a slightly disgruntled look on his face, sits back down in his seat.Everyone settles back down into the courtroom. The judge stands up. "The jury has made a decision."All eyes pin down to the judge awaiting the decision that will be made regarding the case and the situation.<br />Chapter 6: PremonitionA big guy once again punched NotApplied in the face. Already injured to the point of feeling dazed, NotApplied spit out blood before glaring at his captors. "Alright, Mr. Applied, as much as I'd love to have my men beat the snot out of you all night, I am running out of time and patience. What do you know about Magus's whereabouts? You were the last one seen with him before he disappeared. Now I want you to tell me what you know about his disappearance, or I swear I will take this gun right hear and blow your bloody head off!"NotApplied continued to stay silent. The hooded man, only appearing as a silhouette in the dim lighting of the window-less room, gave a frustrated sigh. "Okay men. It appears this worthless fool knows nothing about Magus's whereabouts. He's worthless to us. I leave him to you to do as you please." The man begins to walk away."Wait!" NotApplied cries out. The man grins before turning around. He walks right up to NotApplied and looks him straight in the eyes. "I knew there was something of use lodged in that head of yours. Listen, Mr. Applied, many of my best men have been murdered by this piece of scum. And now he is after me. It is in your best interest to tell me how he knows of my plans and how he became so dangerous, as well as where I coud find him."NotApplied takes a deep breath. "I... I work with the EMT department. We were called to the scene of the limo accident to look for survivors. Right before we gave up, I found Magus lying unconscious behind a dumpster. As I picked him up, he woke up for a brief second to utter one single word: Revenge.I took him to the hospital, and checked up on him often. After he found out his family had been murdered, he went beserk. The nurses had to tie him down to the bed so he wouldn't hurt himself. I went in to talk to him, and he told me that he got a look at one of the guys. He said that he had seen him before, and that he would try to find him for revenge. He pleaded with me to get him out of there, knowing the amount of paperwork and questioning he would be put through once he healed. I know I shouldn't have, but I did. I just felt so sorry for him and he looked so determined. I... I snuck him out of the hospital, got him a cab and then he left. That's it."The man stood silent for a moment, pondering. "So, you WERE the one responsible for his escape." He looks at his guards. "Kill him." He begins to walk out."Wait!" yells out NotApplied again. "I know where you can find him." The man turns around once again and gestures him to go on. NotApplied smirks. "Now I'm not stupid. I know that you're going to kill me right after I tell you. You need to guarantee me my freedom before I let you know where he can be found."The man looks at NotApplied with anger as his cell phone rings. As he looks at the number, he signals his guards to leave. He walks up to NotApplied. "This is a dangerous game you're playing, Mr. Applied. You'd better watch out what to say and to whom, or death might be the least of your worries. Now I have to take this phone call." The man punches NotApplied in the stomach before answering his cell phone and leaving the room, locking the door behind him.<br />Chapter 7: ConquestAdeptmage added new rounds to his gun as he quietly maneuvered down the hallway. He looked around to make sure the coast is clear. He looked up. The security cameras were inoperational, just as planned. As he reached the end of the hallway, he looked out into the view of the party. From his second story balcony, he could clearly see the smug faces of the city's wealthiest entrepreneurs drinking champagne and putting on fake smiles to impress their company. He felt disgusted just looking at them. He started pointing his gun, trying to gauge the shot from different angles. As he fiddled around with his gun, he suddenly saw them. Andrew and Candace Dawson walked in through the large, double doors made of what appeared the finest blue-tinted glass he's ever seen. The entire banquet hall glimmered from the various diamonds that adorned it. Even the punch bowls looked to be out of his salary range. Adeptmage aimed his gun right at Andrew's head. He locked in for the shot. Steady. Andrew stopped walking as he stopped to greet some folks. Steady. Candace moved over to greet another couple standing by the appetizers. Sweat began to pour down Adeptmage's forehead as he kept his gun steady at Andrew's forehead. He then heard a small sound from behind him. he quickly turned around and aimed his gun directly on the intruder's head."Calm down, Adept. It's just me," Tropicmoon said. "Now put that gun down before you hurt yourself." Adeptmage gave him a glare and put his gun down. "I figured you wouldn't be showing your face here after your screw up earlier," he told Tropicmoon. Tropicmoon ignored his comment. "What were you doing with that gun just now?""Just practicing my aiming," Adeptmage responded. "Now stop avoiding the subject. What the hell happened back there earlier today?"Tropicmoon looked out into the hall full of well-dressed guests in their evening attire. "Things didn't go as planned out. The limo driver was on to us. As soon as we hit his car, he shot our driver and hid Magus's body before we had time to finish him off. We only had time to shoot the limo driver before we ran out of there. The cops were coming. We figured we'd get him later."Adeptmage laughed. "Later, huh? I don't think the boss is going to want to hear that! What about the girl? You gonna get her later, too?""We just recently found out she wasn't coming to the party and opted to go to a friend's house instead. I found out her location and sent a guy to get her when she left. Don't worry, she'll be taken care of before the night's through."<br />Adeptmage and Tropicmoon continued to watch as the room filled up with guests, mingling and conversing about who knows what. "Why are you doing this, anyway?" Tropicmoon asked. "You don't seem to me like the kind of guy that would fit the 'killer for hire' type. Now me, I've been doing this stuff for years, but you?"Adeptmage put down his gun for a second. "What's it to ya? Just looking for something different is all. Used to spend my share of days dealing with gangs as a kid, usually as a messenger boy. Mother needed money to pay the bills, was too buzzed to ever do something productive, so I had to be the bread-bringer. Eventually, I was caught, taken away from my mother, and put in a foster home. They raised me right, or so they say. Taught me to be a contributing member of society. Decent people, I suppose. But the gang member in me never left. I thirst for the thrill, the intensity. One night, when we went out of a dinner, some guys came to mug us. They shot my stepdad and my stepsister. They were gonna shoot my stepmom too, but I pulled out a gun stashed in my pocket and shot the guy. I shot him. The other two ran off. My stepmom gave me a look of horror when she saw that gun in my hand. I saved her life! And she had the nerve to judge me? I didn't say anything. I put the gun back in my pocket, and ran off as the police sirens got closer. I haven't seen her since. Does that satisfy your curiosity, prettyboy?"Tropicmoon looked a bit puzzled. He opened his mouth as if about to say something, but changed his mind as he saw Andrew Dawson go to the podium to make his speech. "Don't look now, Adept, but our target is ready. Get your gun ready. You know what to do. When the signal is given, we spring to action." Adeptmage nods as he looks into the banquet hall from above."Good evening folks," Andrew says to the crowd of wealthy businessmen. "I would like to sincerely thank each and every one of you for making it out this evening. This is a very important day for Astrocorp and all of its associates.They told us it couldn't be done. They said that space flight was costly, time-consuming, and impractical. However, we at Astrocorp take these sayings as challenges to prove them wrong. And that we did! With the new shuttle systems that we have created in our company, space travel will not only be easier, affordable, and convenient, but now, in these desperate times, we have managed to make it profitable! Space tourism is the next big wave in technological leaps! Traveling to other plantes, other moons, and hey, even within our own planet at unimaginable speeds! I wanted you to all be the first to witness the beginning of a new revolution! The space race that began decades ago, can now declare a new victor! And its name is Astrocorp!!"The audience applauded loudly as Andrew gestures an associate to unveil one of the new prototype engines for display for his new shuttle series. As he does this, however, the lights in the room began to flicker, then went off. Smoke bombs were then deployed and began to explode around the room, with cries and screams and coughing heard everywhere. A group of masked men ran into the room from all sides and began shooting around, destroying vases, chairs, injuring people left and right. As Andrew ran towards his wife to protect her, a red light was aimed at his chest and he was shot multiple times as he fell to the ground. His wife screamed in horror, and Tropicmoon ran in and grabbed her, knocking her unconscious and dragging her away. Adeptmage ran in and dragged Andrew's body away. "And now to take care of this," he said as he went out the door.People continued to scream and run away, trying desperate to escape as the room was quickly being exterminated.Chapter 8: A Ploy for RevengeThe judge looks around at the group of curious court members as he clears his throat and begins to speak. "As you all know, this has been a long and arduous case with many variables. The jury needed a unanimous agreement to charge our defendant, Captain_CE, as guilty. The jury has returned with a decision. Taking into account the facts and testimonials presented in this case, as well as Attorney Jimiz's -interesting- closing comments, the jury was not able to reach a unanimous agreement. Therefore, this case is still open and we shall meet again next week. Court dismissed.Arguing and complaining is heard from many people in the courtroom. Captain_CE smiles as he is escorted away from the security guard, He looks at Jimbiz. "Good work, attorney. It seems you've got some jury member there eating from the palm of your hands. Keep this charm up and I should be free in no time." Jimbiz gives Captain_CE a disapproving glare. "Mr. CE, I suggest that you keep your mouth shut. Because every time you speak, you seem to convince me more and more that you actually are guilty. Now please, let me do my job so this case can come to a close and I can finally go on vacation with my family." Jimbiz walks out of the courtroom.Annaesthetic leaves the courthouse and begins to walk down the side of the road. She is intercepted by MhkaMAth. "So, how did it go?" MhkaMAth asked. Annaesthetic gives him a solemn glance, then turns back in towards the direction she's heading. "That bad, huh? I'm sorry I couldn't make it today. My boss has slammed me with work. Ever since that story about your brother's accident I covered and the media coverage associated with it, my boss has seen me as the go-to guy for anything big.""Whoop de doo," Annaesthetic said sarcastically as she continued walking down the sidewalk. MhkaMAth look troubled. "Look, Anna, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make this about me. I know you're still hurting. But what else can we do? I've given them all the evidence you found in Captain's CE's office. The letters between your mom and him and receipts of their hotel nights together. But the fact that you were caught in the cameras sneaking into his building isn't really helping your case. I've even testified against Captain_CE's harsh and dodgy behavior when I tried to interview him for my story."<br />Annaesthetic stops for a second and looks at MhkaMAth. "MhkaMAth, you're the only person right now I can really talk to. Can I trust you with a secret?"MhkaMAth leans in. "Of course, Anna. Anything! Afterall, your family is what skyrocketed my career, no offense.""Look, my brother is out there. People aren't sure if it's really him, or what he's doing, but I know he's out there. I can feel it. And he's just trying to right the wrong that was done to our family. He left me a note the other night, telling me that he found some suspicious activity back in Captain_CE's corporate buiding. He said he would look into it, but I'm sure the building is heavily armed and guarded now that Captain_CE knows he's on to him. That's why I'm going back in. I need to find out what is going on in there. But I need some help getting in there with all of the security. Can you help me?"MhkaMAth begins to look flustered. "Really, Anna? You want to go BACK in there? Do you realize what will happen if you get caught sneaking in there AGAIN? That lawyer made a convincing testimony on how your family is out trying to get Captain_CE. You do not need to give him any more leverage.""Please, MhkaMAth, it's the only way. I'm either doing this with or without you help," Annaesthetic responded.MhkaMAth thought to himself for a second. "Ooooh, okay. I'll help you. I'll just have to get my station to attempt to get another news story from them so I'd have reason to be there. However, to get into the building, we have to have a special VIP press pass, which I don't have. Only a few selected members on out team have it. And... oh boy... I can't believe I'm saying this, but- there is one person I know that has the press pass we need. And that guy is... Stan..."<br />Chapter 9: Connecting the Pieces<br />You want me to WHAT?" Stan blurted out while spitting his coffee. MhkaMAth's face became flushed. He hated himself for doing this. Never has MhkaMAth ever felt so pathetic, asking his arch rival for help in his time of need. But he was doing it for Annaesthetic. He swallowed his pride and continued. "Stan, I know we have our differences, but it's our job as reporters to relay the truth to the public, and there is truth to this case that is waiting to be relayed in the Cap Tech corporate building. We need to get in there and find out what Captain_CE is hiding! You're the only person I know that can get us in!"Stan looks at him with a look of curiosity, then smirks. "So, little MhkaMAth needs my help. The same Mhkamath that tackled me to the ground the other day. This is such delicious irony. So delicious, in fact, that I think I'll have a second helping! Waiter, waiter, may I have some more of this irony? It's good stuff! Listen, I'm not convinced that you really want me to help you. I have to feel the passion, feel the need. And I need to feel it over here." Stan walks into the newsroom where everyone is getting ready for the upcoming newscast. "Now, if you can tell me, with feeling, how important I am to you and how much you need me, then maybe I'll consider helping you. Attention everyone, attention! Mhkamath has something that he'd like to say! Go on, Mhkamath."Mhkamath looks at the curious news people who stop and stare at the fabulous Stan, who is waiting for him to beg. Mhkamath's face begins to turn red. He's not sure if it's from embarrassment, or from the pure and utter rage he is feeling trying to constrain himself from choking Stan. Maybe it's a little of both. "Go on Mhkamath, everyone is waiting," Stan said with a coy smile.Mhkamath gritted his teeth as he began to speak. "Stan...it would be my... greatest honor... if you, the best news reporter in the city... would... take time from your marvelously busy schedule helping others... to help out a poor soul like me."'"That's a good boy, Mhkamath. I suppose I'll help you out," Stan said with a demeaning smile. Mhkamath clenched his fists before walking out of the room.Meanwhile, Jimbiz was in his office late at night, looking over the evidence he has accumulated during his investigation. He pulled out the transcripts of Mhkamath's testimony against Captain_CE and looked them over. Mhkamath apparently stopped by several times by Captain_CE's building and tried to stop him for questions every time he went in to work and left to go home. Captain_CE wouldn't budge. He also read about Mhkamath's interviews with the different employees when he snuck into Captech a few times. Employees mentioned him as a cold, soul-less leader, an uncaring supervisor, a mysterious figure, and a remarkable ladiesman. "Hmm," Jimbiz said to himself. He pulled out Liz's testimony of her boss. He read the various positive remarks Liz had for Captain_CE. Great leader. Smooth talker. Forward thinker. Jimbiz paused at the last one. Forward thinker.<br />Jimbiz pulled out one of the email transcripts he uncovered between Captain_CE and Candace Dawson. Oh Captain, you're such a forward thinker, it said. "Forward thinker?" Jimbiz said to himself. He continued reading. He began to see parallels between the conversations he had with the two women. Talks of business plans, financial opportunities, and a wealthy future. "Oh, God. Captain_CE was planning something. He was planning something big!" Jimbiz yelled. He quickly read reached for one of his legal books and flipped through the pages. "Holy ****! I think I know what's happening!"Jimbiz grabs his coat and his hat and runs out the door.<br />Chapter 10: Infiltration<br />Annaesthetic got ready at her house for a long evening. She put on her boots and her brother's under armor that she found in his room. She was determined to get revenge. She was pissed. As she headed out, her phone rang. She looked at the number. It was Jimbiz. "I have nothing to say to you," Annaesthetic said as she answered the phone. "Listen, Ms. Dawson, I'm terribly sorry for what you are going true. Honest. I'm not the bad guy here. I'm just trying to make things right.""Make things right? You're trying to let a murderer go free! Do you really have the nerve to be working on the side of my family's murderer and then call me to tell ME what's right?" Annaesthetic responded furiously."Look, I understand. Listen, I have found some documents that may help me solve the case. I just need you to please consider coming with me to vist Captain_CE at his cell and ask him a few questions.""Look, attorney, I honestly don't give a care anymore about that stupid case. I want to destroy Captain_CE. He will pay for what he did to my family. And no one is going to stop me."Jimbiz sounds worried. "Ms. Dawson? Ms. Dawson? What are you going to do? Please, think clearly! Don't do something you'll regret! Ms. Daw-" Annaesthetic hangs up her phone.A news van shows up in front of her house. Mhkamath opens the door. "Come one, get in, quick!" Annaesthetic runs inside. Stan is in there as well. "Okay you two. Here's the plan. I get in, show my clearance and tell them I'm going to do a feature on big business facilities. The two of you will be disguised as my camera crew and follow me in. You got that?" asks Stan. Mhkamath and Annaesthetic nod their heads. The news van pulls up into the shipping entrance for the Captech corporate building. The guard there stops them, but Stan shows his badge and the guard lets them through. Stan parks the van inside, then opens the door as Mhkamath and Annaesthetic put on caps and news jackets, then get the cameras and exit the vehicle. As they walk inside, the guard looks over at the crew and reaches for his phone. "Boss, it's Arc166. She's here. What do you want me to do? ... Uh huh... got it." He hangs up the phone.Meanwhile, at the prison, the prison guard comes to Captain_CE's cell. "You've got a visitor," h says. Captain_CE walks out of his cell to the visiting area to see Jimbiz waiting for him. "Jimbiz, buddy, how ya doing? Got a cigar on you? I've really been craving a cigar all day," Captain_CE said nonchalantly."Mr. CE, I do not have time for small talk. I have some questions and you are going to answer them. And you are going to answer these questions truthfully, every single one of them, or so help me God I will leave this prison and case and never look back, leaving you to rot here for life, you got that?" Captain_CE's smile quickly fades away as Jimbiz pulls out a pencil and notepad.Annaesthetic, Mhkamath, and Stan have taken the elevator to the basement. They're walking through the mazes of halls that each seem to lead to yet another maze of halls. "This place is huge!" Mhkamath uttered loudly. "Shhhhhhh!" the Annaesthetic said. "Do you want to get us caught? Listen, I've already tried the top floors, and I've found nothing but proof of the affair that jerk Captain_CE was having with my mom. This basement is the only other place where we can find out just what he has been up to and ruin him and his business for good."<br />As they continue to walk down the hall, Stan hears a sound back in the direction they came from. "Guys, did you hear that?" He turns around and tries to look down the dimly-lit hallway to no avail. He begins to walk back to see where the sound is coming from. Then, a gun shot is heard, and a scream. Annaesthetic and Mhkamath turn around, to see that Stan has been shot, and is bleeding profusely as he falls on the floor. "Oh my God!" Mhkamath yells. Suddenly, a group of men with pistols come running down the hallway towards them, shooting at them. Mhkamath grabs Annaesthetic and pulls her behind a wall at an intersecting hallway for cover. Annaesthetic reaches down into her boots and pulls out a pistol of her own. "What the hell, Anna? You brought a gun here? Did you expect this gunfire to happen?" Mhkamath asked in shock. "I bought this gun to off Captain_CE when I had the chance, but I guess that'll have to wait." She takes the gun and starts shooting at the guys as they are running towards them. They quickly begin to take cover. Stan is on the floor, wincing in pain. The guys with guns make some motions and split up. Annaesthetic takes cover again. "Oh no! They're planning on surrounding us! Oh crap oh crap oh crap!"The men begin coming in from all sides, and as they surround Annaesthetic and Mhkamath, the lights are shut, leaving it pitch black. The men turn on their flashlights after a moment of hesitation, and a scream is heard from down the hall. "Arc166! That was one of our men!" one guy says. Arc's voice is heard. "Don't let your guard down guys. Use your flashlights and cover each other." Then, another scream is heard, And another. "What the hell is going on?" Arc yells out. Suddenly, a figure is seen through the limited light on the flashlights running through and shooting and decapitating Arc's men. "I found the circuit breakers!" Arc yelled as he turns the lights of the hallway back on. However, when he does, he sees he is alone. All the other men are dead on the floor. And, standing in front of him, is Magus the great. "Oh ****!" Arc yells. "I don't get paid enough for this!" Arc runs down the opposite end of the hall towards the exit. Magus is about to chase after him when Annaesthetic yells his name. "MAGUS!!!! It's you! I can't believe it's you!" Annaesthetic runs towards Magus and gives him a hug. Magus hesitates for a moment, then carefully hugs Annaesthetic back.<br />"Boy, Magus, you sure have gotten buff since the last time I saw you. You been working out?" Annaesthetic asks. Magus remains silent, then walks up towards a cowering Stan on the floor. "Let me see the wound," he says. Magus looks over and sees that Stan was shot in the arm. Magus tears off a piece of his shirt sleeve and ties it around the wound to control the blood flow. He also takes out some first aid supplies from his backpack and treats the wound. "Stay here. We'll be back to get you on our way out. You'll be alright in the meantime." Annaesthetic looks at Magus with tears in her eyes. "Magus, aren't you happy to see your sister again? Our parents are dead! And until recently, I thought you were dead! Why have you become so cold?"Magus looks at Annaesthetic and takes a deep breath. "Anna, I am happy to see you, don't get me wrong. But my job isn't finished. Since their failed murder attempt of me, I have been driven to seek revenge for my family. And I can't get soft now after seeing you. Not when I'm this close. Now listen, we need to go find NotApplied.""Who's NotApplied?" asked Mhkamath. "NotApplied is an EMT who's life is in danger because of me. Back when I was in the hospital, he helped me get out and find a martial arts trainer who can prepare me for what I wanted to do. And now he's been paying dearly for it. I must repay my debt to him and find him." Magus replied."I'm sorry, but your trip ends here," Tropicmoon said while appearing from behind a corner. Adeptmage followed him in, both holding guns aimed at Magus, Annaesthetic, and Mhkamath. "Boss's orders. He says none of you are getting out of this alive."Magus starts to laugh. "I don't have time for this, you fool. Do you see the mutilated bodies lying around us? Do you want to be next? Anna, Anna's friend, head down the hallway to the left and find NotApplied. I'll take care of these chumps and meet you in a bit." Annaesthetic and Mhkamath comply and head down the hall.Tropicmoon looks over at Adeptmage. "Adeptmage, head on after them. I'll take care of this guy." Adepmage looks around at the corpses lying around them. "Are you sure, Tropicmoon?" he says worried. Tropicmoon nods, and Adeptmage heads down the hallway."Big mistake," Magus says."Don't be so foolish and overestimate your abilities, Magus," Tropicmoon responds. "My boss wants you dead at all costs. He has sources. He knows what you are capable of. So he hired me. I'm the best in the business. Gunsman and hand-to-hand combat specialist. In fact, I don't even need this gun to kick your ass." Tropicmoon drops his gun on the floor and kicks it away. "So you comin' at me, or what?"Magus looks at tropicmoon with a death glare as he clenches his fist. With his other hand, he drops the blood-stained sword from his hand and kicks it away as well. "Prepare to die."<br />Chapter 11: Intervention<br />Magus runs straight down towards Tropicmoon, then jumps and swoops in with a downward kick. Tropicmoon moves out of the way, grabs his foot, and flings him against the wall. Magus shouts in pain. Quickly, with his other foot, he kicks Tropicmoon's grip away and breaks free. He jumps back up into fighting position and begins to barrage Tropicmoon with punches. Tropicmoon easily dodges each punch, only to swoop in and attack him with an uppercut. Magus is knocked backwards and falls on his back."Hahaha, it seems you've gotten a bit overconfident, Magus. What's the matter? Can't handle someone who actually fights back?" Tropicmoon gloated.Magus smiles. "Don't worry, I won't make that mistake again."Magus quickly gets up, fakes a jab, and as Tropicmoon dodges, he hits him with a spinkick, knocking Tropicmoon off balance. Two right hooks and a jump kick later, Tropicmoon is knocked against the wall and spits out blood. With a nasty glare, he runs back into the fight.Annaesthetic and Mhkamath exit yet another empty room. They've unsuccessfully looked in over 10 rooms. "Wait! Did you hear that?" Mhkamath asked. He walks over to the next room and puts his ear to the door. He hears sounds. "Someone is in there!" he tells Annaesthetic. Annaesthetic pushes him aside, and with one swift motion, kicks the door down. Notapplied is sitting in there, tied down to a chair, struggling. "Oh my God!" Annaesthetic yells. They both run over and untie Notapplied. Notapplied falls to the ground, weak from the lack of blood flow and blood loss from being trapped in there for days. "Come on, let's get you out of here," Annaesthetic says. As they help him out the door, Adeptmage blocks their exit by pointing a gun to their heads. "You guys are not leaving this room," he says.Annaesthetic pulls out her gun and aims it at his head. "Your move," she says. "Do you really want to do this? Do you really want to test out who shoots first? I have lost my family. I have lost my pride. I have lost my sense of peace. And now, I have no reservation at all to pull this trigger on any sorry sucker who tries to make things worse for me." Adeptmage sees the fire in Annaesthetic's eyes from her anger. He then sees her unsuccessfully fighting down the tears as they trickle down her pale cheeks. Her hand begins to fidget as she attempts to hold her composure. Adeptmage pauses for a moment, then puts his gun down. "Get out of my face," he says, "before I change my mind."Annaesthetic and Mkhamath both help Notapplied out of the room past Adeptmage, who looks away from them and begins walking the other direction. They start running towards the sound of Magus and Tropicmoon's fighting. They suddenly see Magus sidekick Tropicmoon through a door and into a room. They then see him run inside after him. The three follow them into the room. "Magus, Magus, are you alright?" Annaesthetic asks as she runs in, only to see Tropicmoon lying on the ground, injured, and Magus staring to the other side of the room in horror. "Magus, what are you looking at-" she stops as she looks at what Magus was staring at. There, in the other side of the room, was standing a masked man holding a gun to a woman's head. "MOM!!!!" Annaesthetic yelled. Magus and Annaesthetic stared in shock as their mother squirmed in the hands of the masked man, being held at gunpoint."Captain_CE! How the hell did you get out of your cell? What are you doing here," Annaesthetic asked. "That's not Captain_CE," Magus responds.<br />The masked man laughs. "Listen to your brother, little Anna. He knows what he's talking about. In fact, he knows a little too much. Tropicmoon, get out of my face. You are a disgrace."Tropicmoon quickly gets up and runs out of the room. "As for the rest of you, drop your weapons, and move over to the corner over there, or the lady gets it." Annaesthetic prepares to move in with her gun, but Magus signals her to stop and to comply. She drops her gun, and Magus, Annaesthetic, Mhkamath, and Notapplied move over to the corner of the room. The masked man begins to move towards the door. With one hand, he reaches for his head and removes his mask."Dad?" Annaesthetic yells out. Andrew Dawson smiles. "Yes sweetie, it's me. Surprised? Why do you look so distressed? Shouldn't you be celebrating that your entire family is alive?"Annaesthetic is not able to come up with the right words. "But... but you... you died, and... the trials... what the hell?"Andrew ones agains smiles. "Allow me to explain, sweetie. My company Astrocorp has been rivals with Captech for years. One of my spies who I sent out to see what they were up to came back to tell me that they were up to something big. Something that might throw me out of business. Of course, I couldn't have that. I needed to do something to beat them to the punch. So I faked an invention. I faked a new technological leap. I paid off a few people to print me out some bogus documents and papers to fool people into thinking I came up with something legit.I advertised it, promoted it, and hyped everyone up with what could be the way of the future. And that's where the magic would start. See, once I found out about my wife's affair with that knucklehead CEO, I figured he would be the perfect fallguy for my plan. I staged an assassination attempt on our family, knowing full well that the evidence left behind would lead to the accusation of Captain_CE. The affair with my wife. The fact that I hired HIS employees to be the killers, who already hated his guts. My two, poor children who were victims of the assassination attempt. Now, you two weren't in any real danger. I purposely made it so that you survived. Anna, don't you wonder how that guy who was chasing you knew that someone was out trying to kill you? I sent him! And Magus, ever wonder why the car accident didn't kill you? I told them to crash into the front part so that you wouldn't get killed. Obviously, you were both injured, but I see the scars healed very nicely. And the shootout at the party? All staged by me. I pretended I got shot with fake exploding devices installed on my shirt, and my wife was taken away. Sure, a few lives had to be taken at the party to make it seem more convicing, but we're all okay."Magus looked infuriated. "You monster. You put our entire family at risk, killed dozens of innocent people, for what? For a grudge against one guy? What the hell is wrong with you?""But wait, there's more, Magus," Andrew said. "It's much, much bigger than a petty grudge. See, I looked up the legal ramifications of fraud and stealing another company's ideas. Since the world thought that Astrocorp had this great idea of the future and Cap Tech's CEO sent out a hit squad to off the family, it would only be assumed in the jury's mind that he was after that technology. And Captain_CE's arrogant, stubborn personality made it so much easier to have the court on my side. The only little damper in my plan was you two. I for the life of me did not expect your grudges to get you this far. Hell, if I knew the type of determination you two had, I would have told you about this plan much earlier!<br />That's why I come to you now with an offer. Magus, you have killed many of our men and I can't have that happening. I am offering you and Anna to join me on my mission. Afterall, I am considered dead by the media, so once Captain_CE is locked up for good, I'll need a beneficiary to receive all the money from their company for reparations to ours. Now, I have some men on their way to kill you all right now. If you two accept, not only will I spare your lives, but I'll spare your mom's, of course, and the two pathetic men you have there with you. And our family will be together again. And we'll be rich beyond our wildest dreams!"Annaesthetic and Magus both stare at their father with a death glare, unable to respond.Andrew looks at Annaesthetic. "Come one, Anna! I've seen you on TV show total hatred for Captain_CE. Now's your chance! Now's you chance to win! To destroy him! I've left enough evidence here in his building to have a search committee come down here and get everything they need to send him to prison for good!"Annaesthetic breaks her silence. "You steaming pile of crap! You're doing all... all of THIS.... FOR MONEY??? Is that all that matters to you? You're destroying the lives of all these people.. of your own children, threatening to kill YOUR WIFE, just for money? You're.... you're insane!!! You're not my father!""That's quite a shame you say that, Anna. Magus, do you feel this way too? Because really, if you're gonna be that way, then I don't really need you around. You wanna shoot me, then fine." He kicks over Anna's gun to them. "Go ahead and shoot me. I know you don't have the guts. But either way, shoot me! In a few minutes, a group of my men are on their way to take care of the rest of you. Besides, I have my own beneficiary lined up just in case my little... deal... didn't work out with you. Now SHOOT ME!"Annaesthetic picks up her gun and points it at her father. She pauses, her hand shivers, but she can't shoot."What's the matter, sweetie, you don't have it in you to shoot your own daddy? Of course not! You're weak! How about you, Magus? You wanna do it before my men come in here to off you? Just remember, you shoot me, and I shoot your mother, so you lose both of us. And will either of you be able to live with yourselves if THAT happens? The choice is yours."Magus takes the gun from Anna and points it at their father. His hand trembles and sweat begins to pour down. "Magus, don't do it, think of our mother!" Anna yells. Magus continues to point his gun at his father, deciding whether to pull the trigger, knowing in a few minutes they are all done for anyways. Andrew smiles as he sees Magus finally put his gun down, and puts his head down in submission. "Good choice, children. Now leave me and your mother while we get out of here. We have some money to collect!"Andrew is about to leave when a shot is heard. Everyone gasps as Andrew falls over on the ground, bullet hole on the back of his head. Out on the doorway, standing behind him, is Jimbiz, putting down a freshly-fired pistol back into his holster. Everyone stares at him in shock as he walks into the room.<br />"I had to do what was right," he said in a monotone voice. Magus and Anna run to hug their mother. Mhkamath walks over to Jimbiz. "What the hell? What are you doing here? Aren't you a lawyer?"Jimbiz nods. "I just came back from visiting Captain_CE. I found out recently that he was planning something big. A lot of the evidence against him proved this. However, people miscontrued the evidence. He wasn't out to get Andrew. He was planning on selling his company. He was tired of big business and of having to be the 'big, bad boss'. He was going to sell his company and retire on some island. That's it. Once he told me that, I put the pieces together, and when I found out Anna was coming here, I had to follow her. On the way here, I put the pieces together, and figured out that Captain_CE was the perfect target for a set up. I snuck in to hear Andrew's plan, and I knew what I had to do."But why then didn't Captain_CE just say so?" Mhkamath asked.Jimbiz smirked. "Captain_CE is too proud to admit something like that. Retiring early to him is a sign of weekness. Apparently he would have rather rot in prison than tarnish his image. But anyways, I called the cops, and they are on their way. Those guys Andrew sent in to kill you, if they're smart, will not be anywhere near here when the cops arrive.""But what'll happen to this place when they find the evidence Andrew was talking about? Is Captain_CE still in trouble?" Annaesthetic asked.Jimbiz sighed. "No, I'm going to explain it to them. Everything. Including who shot Andrew Dawson. That way he was taken care of, and you two don't have to live with the guilt of murdering your own father. Don't worry, Captain_CE will be freed now. No doubt about that.""But you do realize that you're going to be charged for murder, right?" Magus asked."Like I said, I joined this business to do what is right. And unfortunately, what is right is not always what is lawful. I did my part. We'll see where it goes from there." Jimbiz then walks out of the room.Magus looks at Jimbiz and smiles, then looks back at his group. "Come on guys, let's take Notapplied and my mother, and let's go pick up Stan and get them to a hospital immediately. Let's get out of here." He then walks up to Notapplied. "And you, buddy... thank you." Notapplied nods his head before Magus helps him up and all of them exit the room.Tropicmoon, on his way out, sees Adeptmage sitting on the ground with his hands on his face. "What's going on, Adeptmage?" he asks.Adeptmage looks over to him. "That girl, I have never seen someone so passionate to defend their family's honor. I- I- I just don't know what I'm doing with my life. All of a sudden I started thinking about my stepmother and what she's been doing all these years. I just don't know what's wrong with me."Tropicmoon sits down next to him. "Listen, buddy. I've seen you in this business. And frankly, you suck as a freelance assassin. Look, leave this job to the pros. Go home and live a normal life. There's still time for you. Not pretty much any more options for me, but there are still options for you. Just think about it."With that, Tropicmoon gets up and starts to walk away to leave a pondering Adeptmage sitting in the hallway.Tropicmoon goes outside and gets into a car waiting for him. He looks over to the driver. "So Arc, where do we go from here? Andrew left you as his beneficiary, didn't he? You could still pursue this if you want to."Arc looks over from the driver seat and smiles. "No, man, I cut it too close on this last adventure. Let's just quit this one while we're ahead. I have another little plan on my mind for some bucks that I think you may find interesting."Tropicmoon smiles as well. "I'm all ears."The two of them drive off.THE END<br />

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