In the dead silence of the darkened subway station, the maddening darkness is drawn back to its source, bringing the nightmare to an end. Light returns to the dreary subway, casting its faint glow on those who stand on the tracks. Gamma stands with a small grin underneath his black hood. The childish karayan enjoys seeing the product of his terrible power.
Across the rails stands the shaman who attempted to take Raphael’s life. His legs quiver under his robes, appear as though they will give out at any moment. At his feet are a pile of rags and crimson colored cotton. It is the remnants of his minion, the human sized rag doll. Of course, Grim is just as battered. A steady drop of blood comes from his shoulder where his arm was violently ripped from his body. Bruises cover his body, and the hoarse breathing suggests a number of broken ribs.
“It appears that you can no longer complete our agreement,” a voice calls out from the shadows.
Emerging from the darkness is Mr. Red. A carnivorous grin spreads across the karayan’s lips, as he steps closer to the wounded shaman. He stops next to Grim, adjusting his tie while looking with a hungry stare.
Seeing him there makes the shaman’s eyes flare in anger, “This is not what we agreed upon!”
Mr. Red only gives a devious smirk, which sends Grim over the edge. Seething with fury, he reaches into his tattered robes, grabbing an ancient dagger. With a blood-boiling battle cry, he drives the blade into the chest of the well-dressed karayan. Steel digs deep into his heart, burying up to the hilt.
Crimson eyes fall upon the dagger jetting out of his torso, appearing slightly amused. Grim looks the karayan in the eye, but finds no fear in his gaze, or sign of death. Growing fear propels the shaman out of his furious mindset, as he backs away.
“I grow tired of this game,” Mr. Red speaks calmly.
As if on cue, the dagger begins to move around in his chest. Strange, yet loud crunching sounds come from the wound, as the weapon is pulled deeper into his body. Grim stares dumbfounded, horrified by this supernatural sight. The sound of gnashing continues as Mr. Red tears a hole in his dress shirt. He reveals that where his heart should be is a beast-like mouth filled with razor sharp teeth. It finishes eating the dagger, and then growls at the shaman.
Grim is frozen in fear, but gasps, “Y-you are not human. Y-you are like Gam…”
Before he has a chance to finish speaking, Mr. Red has a firm grip on the shaman’s throat, tightening like a vice. The karayan’s crimson eyes flare, “Do not compare me to him!”
Growling from both of his mouths, he slams the strangled Grim into the tracks. The shaman’s body creates a crater three feet deep, causing the metal rails to twist and break from the rest of the track. It reveals the brutal strength a karayan possesses.
Dusting his hands off, Mr. Red looks down the tunnel, expecting to see Gamma waiting for him. He sees no one there. Scanning the entire station shows it to be empty once more. The childish karayan has given him the slip. Mr. Red snarls, looking down at the body of Grim with a greater anger. But then, all that fury disappears, as he returns to his collected self.
“I will have to report this to Mr. De Phial,” he says, adjusting his tie. Before he walks away, looks at the corpse one more time. The carnivorous smile returns to his lips, “After I grab a small bite to eat.”
On the other side of the city in a penthouse suite sits Raphael Fantassa, relaxing on the couch while fooling around on his laptop computer. The screen jumps from one story to another, as he conducts research of strange occurrences around town as of late. After finishing another story, he rests his head on the cushion, his brain processing everything he has witnessed today.
Unfortunately, his thoughts are shattered when the door to his penthouse opens. He looks to find a young woman standing at the door. She dresses in formal business attire, with a folder of files fitted under her arm. Seeing her brings a smile to Raphael’s face.
To someone else in the suite, she is unwelcome. From the shadows, darkness stretches toward her like many blackened tendrils. Before the young lady realizes what is happening, she is surrounded by a strange darkness. Maddening eyes open one after another, all trained on her.
“Gamma stop,” Raphael scolds in a calm, yet stern voice.
The violet eyes look to him, looking surprised. Slowly, they return to the shadows from whence they came, coming back to Gamma. The silhouette of the karayan can be seen in the corner of the room, the body surrounded by the eyes. They appear to quietly judge her.
“I’m sorry, Ms. D,” Raphael says, looking at her, “Gamma is a bit overprotective.”
“I understand,” she answers, showing no signs of fear. “Anyways, sir, I’ve brought the files you wanted.”
Raphael gets up from his seat and eagerly snatches the papers. Without saying a word, he pushes Ms. D out, slamming the door behind her. His total attention turns to the documents, which he excitedly flips through. The papers hold information about three individuals that have been under surveillance. First is an older male by the name of L. Strider. Next he reads over the file of a teenager called Arron Fellmind. And lastly, he flips through the papers on a strange girl, Rune. Twenty minutes pass before he sets the files down, and he takes a seat.
Sinking back into the couch, he ponders aloud, “I think any of them will do, but who to send Gamma after? And then there was that pale fellow you saw. What was his name, Gamma?”
The chorus of voices sings in harmony, “His name is Mr. Red. He is dangerous.”
“And you know who he has a contract with?” Raphael questions.
Gamma’s silhouette nods, “Vance De Phial.”
Raphael Fantassa sits upright upon hearing that name, “Is that so? Well, I guess I need to pay my old friend a visit.”
A rush of energy fills his body, as he leaps from his seat. Steadily, he walks to the window that overlooks the city. Behind him, Gamma’s darkness follows; all eyes on the young man.
“Now then,” Raphael grins as he looks down on New York, “What shall be my first move?” What shall Raphael do? Please return to the top of the page to vote!