Prologue (4) Fall and Ascension

It was a night like any other since Derek had quit his job. He would wear one of his new handmade suits and wander off into the city. He was curious to see what would kill him first: if the cancer or a random crazy head.

When he got bored or simply exhausted due to cancer and medication, he would just take a cab to return home.

Derek was walking with quick strides, high on his pain killers when he saw him: Chris Wainright. He was holding a bottle of liquor, poorly-hidden inside a paper bag, from which he would drink in big gulps.

Chris was talking and laughing loudly with a teen girl who was showing a lot of skin. She held a joint, taking big puffs until the two of them traded and got into a car.

It was a custom-painted muscle car. Though not the same Camaro that Chris had used to kill Carl. It was an even bigger and more expensive car.

In that moment, Derek wanted to puke blood. How could he possibly have forgotten about that little b*stard? Had his cancer really screwed up his brain so bad that he was willing to die without taking care of such a loose end?

The tires screeched as the car moved, almost running over a woman that was crossing the road in the process. The skimpily dressed girl rolled down the window, yelling insults at the woman who was still frozen in fear.

Derek could almost hear the couple of idiots laughing. While gritting his teeth, he called a cab and started to plan his final act.

First, he started to stalk Chris on all social networks, learning about all of his routines and habits. Then Derek began to follow him and planted a GPS tracker under the Camaro so he'd always know Chris' exact location.

Simply skimming through Chris' Chirper account, he found at least fifty violations of the parole deal. While following him, Derek took many photos of Chris abusing alcohol and drugs.

However Derek had no intention of submitting the evidence to the police. What could he possibly gain from that? Chris would just get another slap on the wrist and then he had just to be more careful.

Derek didn't have the luxury of time, nor the willingness to do what the so-called justice system said he should.

Less than a week later, by checking Chris' Bookface page, Derek learned of a rave he would show up to. Derek double-checked his equipment and jumped into his new car, a black 1967 Chevrolet Impala.

The best car to hunt monsters with. The rave was "secret, hence it would take place in some run-down, abandoned location.

Derek followed Chris closely and as soon as they were away from traffic cams, he ran into the Camaro from the side, forcing Chris to halt.

As soon as Chris stepped out of the car, Derek took him down with a stun gun and then quickly proceeded to check if the Camaro had more passengers.

It seemed to be his lucky night, Chris was driving alone. Derek searched him and crushed every electronic device he could find: bitfit, smartphone, even Chris' keychain.

Derek tied his hands and feet before ball gagging him. Then he destroyed his own smartphone and the GPS tracker, tossing everything off of the road.

He moved Chris into the trunk of the Impala and headed toward a party for just the two of them.

Derek drove to an abandoned warehouse in the old industrial area. He had already gotten rid of the lock and chain that kept the big metallic doors closed, replacing them with his own.

Inside the warehouse there were two chairs, both bolted to the ground, a bucket, and several water tanks.

Derek opened the trunk. Chris had regained his senses so Derek tased him again. He took Chris to a chair, binding his arms and legs to it.

Finally, Derek splashed him with a bucket of water, forcing him to regain consciousness.

"Hello, Chris. My name is Derek McCoy and you killed my brother. We need to talk." Derek said, standing over him.

Chris gargled something as he tried to get rid of the restraints. While commending his efforts, Derek violently hit him in the groin with a nightstick. The pain paralyzed Chris.

"Where was I? Oh yes. The last time we saw each other was during your farce of a trial. Do you remember me?" Chris's panting intensified.

"Good. Let's get straight to business." Derek took two digital timers out of the car, setting the first to 30 minutes and the second to two hours, 47 minutes and 17 seconds.

Then he pulled out a gun and double tapped Chris' liver. His scream was muffled by the ball gag, whereas the shots echoed loudly in the empty warehouse.

Derek started both timers simultaneously then came in close, checking the blood. It was dense and black, a clear indicator of a crushed liver.

"Now, before the real pain settles in, I need you to take a good look at the timers. They are really important." Chris was crying and screaming, so Derek had to splash him again and pull him by his hair to get his attention.

"The first timer marks how much time you have left. After it rings, even if someone should miraculously break through that door and rescue you, you would be dead anyway.

"You have only so much time until your system gets flooded by toxins unfiltered by the liver. Past that point, no transplant can save you. The second timer is a surprise. We'll get to it later. For now, your only task is to stay awake and savour every moment of pain like Carl did."

The time flew, Chris kept screaming through the ball gag and soon the first timer rang.

Chris started sobbing even stronger, the only times he remained silent was because he was overwhelmed by the ever-rising pain.

Derek spoke to him no longer, he would just pace back and forth while occasionally checking the second timer.

Every time Chris fainted, Derek would splash him and force him to stay awake before refilling the bucket.

When the second timer rang, Derek finally spoke again.

"I have bad news and I have good news. The bad news is that I lied before. I thoroughly researched liver injuries and with such a crushed liver, you had no hope to begin with.

"Even if I had shot you in front of the best hospital in the US, unless they had a compatible liver at hand, you would have died. I wanted to give you false hope, the same that my brother experienced while waiting for help.

"The good news is that you just suffered as long as Carl did. I may be many things: unrelenting, vengeful, a liar, a murderer, but I am also fair. Your suffering ends now."

Derek pointed the gun to Chris' head and double tapped him.

Then he pointed it to his own head.

"Little brother, I'm coming. Wait for me."

He pulled the trigger one last time.

While Derek's body was still falling, his consciousness was bathed in light and he felt as if he was being pulled toward the sky.

After months of grieving, after a whole lifetime of misery and pain, Derek felt that all of his traumas and hatred were fading away.

Derek had never experienced such bliss. In this new form, he felt no negative emotion. He was at peace with his past and unafraid of his future.

Derek was enjoying a present that he felt could lead to endless possibilities. There was no right and wrong, success or failure. He would simply be, no strings attached.

That intoxicating feeling lasted until he suddenly woke up, alive and breathing.

All his negative emotions returned, plunging him back into despair. Derek inwardly cursed while he tried to focus his eyes. Maybe it was because of the shot to the head, but his vision was blurry.

'So much for the perfect plan. Some idiot must have rescued me and somehow I survived the journey to the hospital. I am still alive. I still have cancer. I am still alone.'

But when his eyes finally cleared up, they strongly disagreed with his reasoning.

Derek was in some kind of huge metal corridor, surrounded by dead bodies. Alien dead bodies to be precise. They were all wearing some kind of full-body armour that resembled a sci-fi space suit.

"Where the f**k am I? What the hell does this mean?" He screamed while trying to get up only to fall back to the floor.

He fell hand first and only then did he notice that he was wearing a space suit too. Also his hands, all four of them, had three fingers each.


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