“You keep this up, and I will kill your family, slowly…while you watch.” David’s threats rang true, and he had the power and resources to deliver on these threats.

“Kill me, that’s fine, but don’t you dare threaten my family…” his name was James, but he was better known by the code name ‘Raven’. His wrists were raw and beginning to bleed from the ropes tied perhaps a bit too tightly, which was probably the point, and his face and body were beaten. Shirt ripped and tattered, his body bore the same marks as his face, the bruising visible in dark blue blobs, and it was possible there was a broken rib or two.

“Raven. Raven, Raven, Raven… Do you even realize what you’ve already cost me? Your little movement has created quite the stir, and my counterparts and I are hardly gleeful about your quaint attempt at a coup. So here’s how it’s going to be: you disband your group, stop the movement, and I’ll allow you to luxuriate in a dark cell for the remainder of your pathetic life. Should you refuse, I will personally kill your family in ways so intimate you will be unable remove the images from your mind for the rest of your life, which will be a very long time, which I will see to personally.

“Your suffering will be my joy. But make no mistake, either way, I win. You may not know how this little game is played, but it goes like this. You shut the fuck up and get out of my way, and I continue to run this ridiculous country however I damn well please. So long as people are afraid my power will remain in check. Your uprising is over, your voice quelled.”

James sat quietly, no emotion on his face, eyes boring through David’s. “You don’t get it, do you? What life is there for my family if I give up, anyway? Living isn’t about converting oxygen to carbon dioxide, or serving your ridiculous notions. This is bigger than me…” and James looked down, contemplatively, as he thought about his next words and their ramifications, “…or my family.”

“You just signed the death warrant for everyone you ever loved.”

At this, James began to laugh. “You still don’t get it. My loved ones are safe, but you…” he trailed off, a grin forming at the corners of his mouth, “you have now lost everything. Your family is dying, they’ll be dead within the hour, for out of the mouth of my enemy comes their punishment.”

And as he ended his sentence, the bruising on his body and face disappeared, the ropes and chains holding him in the chair vanished, and then, without touching David, lifted him up with a power never before seen, as David yelled, “What witchcraft is this?”

James just remained silent as he searched David’s mind. As soon as he got the information he needed, he placed images within David’s mind, of his family dying before his eyes. David would remember these things as memories, but the truth is that James would never kill innocents. Instead, the family was being moved at that moment to a safe house.

It was done, James now had knowledge of every assassin at David’s disposal, and some of them were incredibly dangerous. Possibly with more power than he had. With this final thought he launched David through the air with but a thought and a flick of the wrist, and he turned around to walk out as David crashed into the wall and crumpled unconsciously into a heap behind him.

Next step: eliminate the assassins.


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