Rick was on a rampant path of destruction. He had ripped his own office to pieces. He then proceeded to tear the entire lab apart when he found that the blood that they had taken from Rose was not human blood at all.
Everyone that made contact with him, cowered. Even the military men that he surrounded himself with were off to a side, staying out of the way from the man.
Rick was seeing red. He had to take a moment to calm himself. He tried breathing in and out, his eyes closed as he tried to concentrate on something else other than his anger and John Montgomery.
“KEMAR!” He screamed. Nope, nothing would calm him down until he either killed John and had some vengeance against the bitch Orpheus Blue. He gritted his teeth as he straightened himself and smooth his thinning hair, pulling his fitted blazer and smoothing the wrinkles that had formed during his upheaval of furniture.
Kemar met him in the hall in front of the lab.
“How did they escape?”
Kemar swallowed before he replied, “Through the forbidden daylight corridor.”
Rick punched the wall, leaving a perfect imprint of his fist. He neither flinched nor caressed his hand. He simply folded them behind his back and turned to Kemar.
“Are you sure they made it out from there?” He asked.
“No, but with John leading the way..”
Rick nodded, cutting Kemar off, “Yes yes..the son of a bitch knows the way perfectly.”
He walked past Kemar before stopping, “Have someone fix up this mess and my office. I have a lot of work to do.”
Kemar nodded and began walking away, eager to leave the presence of Rick Black. He was not the type to be intimidated, to be scared; but to be at the other end of Rick’s fury like John was, he was glad he wasn’t. He was pleasantly surprised that Rick did not throw him in a dungeon and let him rot for his failure of finding John and Rose. But then, maybe the big man knew he would not be able to do that to Kemar, or maybe he was just saving Kemar for something worse. The thought made his throat dry.
Rick rubbed his forefinger along his bottom lip, his brow furrowed, deep in thought.
He then laughed; it would have surprised anyone that was in the room, except he was alone. He had to hand it to Orpheus…she was damn good…always was. For a moment Rick’s anger disappeared and appreciation for his long time enemy replaced his expression. Long time enemy….
He took a swig from his drink, though not feelings its effect. Drinking used to give him such pleasure, now it was but a mosquito bite to his system.
Memories swirled around his head as he thought more and more about Orpheus Blue. They weren’t always enemies..in fact they knew each other…before.
They were partners together, marketing new products and running a business.
Rick shook his head, clearing away the cobwebs of the past. That was over 200 years ago. They were no longer like that. Once he released Project DNA, she was against him.
Rick moved around his penthouse suite. He would prefer to lounge in his office, but it was a wreck from his own two hands. He sat in the silence for a while.
Thoughts swirling around his head. There was no smile on his face anymore. Orpheus has the upper hand now, she has got the girl. But Rick…he had some cards in his deck that he was just itching to play. So many ways he could turn this…so many directions he could go. He sat there in that dark room for a while, contemplating which action he could take. He picked up his cell phone from the table then. His fingers punched in numbers that came easily to his head. The line thrilled once before it was quickly picked up.
“Turn her…and video it. Send it to the Sectors..make sure that it reaches Madame O’s lair.” There was a muffled voice of affirmation on the other end of the line before it clicked off and there was static.
He slowly removed the phone from his ear and looked at it for a moment.
He was throwing down his King card…
He knocked back his drink and closed his eyes, letting the effect of all of it hit him. Within a minute, the alcohol was rendered useless.
Rick reopened his eyes and dialed another number, time for his Ace.
His fingers dialed a number that they haven’t dialed in a long time.
There was no ring at the end, there was no breathing; but he knew that there was someone there.
“Put me through, tell her its Rick Black and Ive got some interesting news for her.”
John sat on the cold ground; his arm was shredded, bones broken in various places. His coat was splattered with his own little blood that he had consumed earlier. His breathing was shallow. He was not dead yet. But those creatures were relentless. He was God knows where, lost probably in this forbidden maze. He did not have time to catch his breath, the blood was dried but its scent was still high in the air calling to the Failures. They were hungry; they have been down there without fresh blood for weeks. Rick usually threw people down here that did not do his bidding to satisfaction, but it must have gotten around as no one wanted that fate.
John stood up shakily as he strained to listen in the darkened corridor for any sound that was unnatural. He began walking, limping more like it as one of them had taken a big bite out of his leg. His body was near broken, but his mind was still sharp and intact. He was calculating his location, if he was in the darker areas, then he must be farther away from an exit point. He needed to return to where the light was, the closer he got to the lights, the easier it would be to find his way out. He had waited a near half day in that dark, letting the horde thin out…go their separate ways as they tried to follow his scent. He had rubbed his dried blood everywhere he touched, confusing the creatures as they tried to find him. He hoped it had worked because he did not think he would survive if they found him again.
The only noise he could hear was his own feet shuffling, his own heart had ceased it beating a while ago since his body was devoid of blood, and his breathing lungs required nothing as well. Who would think that being so wonderfully evolved would be a welcomed low maintenance sometimes?
There in that darkened underground maze, John thought he was walking for hours, partly because of his shot to hell leg, partly because time seemed nonexistent down there. Either way he was only walking for about an hour, not realizing that his impressive mind were actually making the right turns. He soon found himself illuminated with dim lighting.
Normally it would take a minute for his eyes to adjust, but being the being that he was, it snapped back into its required frame as soon as the light hit them. As a form of habit, hard to break even with him being 70 something years old, he breathed a nonexistent sigh of relief.
It took him another two hours of caution before he could reach the ladder that provided a sense of relief and a renewal of spirit. He could hear voices, arguing voices just atop. And he listened,
“I can not let you in there, you know that.”
“I do not care what you can and cannot do Billy. I am going down there and Id like to see you try and stop me.” Came the defiant voice that was all too familiar and dear to John. He half smiled.
“Allegra! Don’t make me hurt you! You cant go down there! Its not safe, and for all you know he could be–” Screamed the man that tried to grab the redhead.
John could hear the slap she laid on his face.
His pace quickened as he could hear the shuffling of feet and the grunts of restraint as Billy tried to hold her back.
“ALLEGRA!!” John shouted as he half ran, half limped to the ladder. “ALLEGRA!!”
He grabbed the iron bars of the ladder, waiting. The fighting above stopped for a moment, listening.
“OPEN THE GODDANG HATCH BILLY!” John screamed.
He did not wait long as the hatch opened and Billy’s rough bearded face stared at him.
“No, it’s fucking dalai lama.” John said sarcastically shaking his head, “Help me out of here, my leg is not bending well enough to climb.”
Billy half climbed down, his eyes shifting cautiously around the empty area.
“Theres none of them here, but they could easily find us if we don’t get out of here faster.” John replied, taking the other man’s arm. It was a struggle to get out of the small hatch opening, but it only took a few moments before they were all clear and the hatch to the underground hell stood locked and secure once again. They were in a small run down house in the Sectors. It was unused and one of the many under Madame O’s property holdings. It was a disguise though, not many knew that it led to the forbidden corridors…it was the only one that was used for secret passage into Synthesis.
John lumped himself on to the ground, his eyes closed as he tried to position his broken body comfortably. John was still collecting his bearings, enjoying the cool fresh air on him before his eyes locked onto possibly the only other person who he thought about during his near death experience.
There was a moment that passed -unbeknownst to Billy- that was full of sheer relief. It was as if that moment they both read each others mind of that deep fear of perhaps never seeing one another again. And it helped them to realize that they meant more to each other than they previously believed.
Allegra wasted no time, she rushed to him and kissed him feverishly. Tears had managed to escape her eyes and she hugged him fiercely. “Oh you brave, stupid…beautiful man. Don’t you ever do this to me again.” She whispered to him.