"It can't be..."
Quest was alive. I don't know how to react to him when I see him staring back at me. I don't know if I should punch him or kiss him. I decide to do neither. I just stand there looking at him. He looks back at me. It's really him.
"I need to explain..." he states taking a step towards me.
I take a step back.
"Don't come near me."
I'm so upset. My heart burns at that moment. He looks over at me and I know that everything he's ever told me in my life has been nothing but a lie. This was my best friend. We had no secrets. We shared everything. Right?
I was wrong. I was dead wrong.
Quest crosses his arms, "Sacrifice. Have you ever wondered how much some people would give up to be a part of a plan bigger than themselves?"
"You're preaching to me about sacrifice?" I ask Quest.
"I'm telling you a story," Quest explains, "I'm telling you a story about sacrifice. There was once a couple and they had a young son. And they loved their son so much that they decided to make the ultimate sacrifice to provide their son with a better life."
Quest nods, "I never told you how my parents died did I? Well they sacrificed for themselves to the One-Eyed God. The only god there is. And I became a vessel for the one-eyed god. I was given the vision. I was able to see the light."
At that moment I realize just how deep this is. Quest was completely brainwashed. He was no better than Joaquin's mother or Prairie. He was believing every word that was coming out of his mouth.
"It was all fake?" I ask, "All of it? All of it was some plan that you designed."
"Not all of it," Quest explains, "In the beginning it was the plan. I befriended you. I wove you into my design. I called you my brother. I taught you how to long for someone. I teased you just enough so that you would understand what love was. I got you the job as an intern. I prepared you to seduce Joaquin."
I stop. I stop short. No matter how upset I was, I had to realize who Quest was. He was the source. I'd have to respect him.
"It was all the plan at first, then things changed," he tells me once I calm down, "I gradually realized I actually had feelings for you. I compromised my own plan. So I had to remove myself from your life so that you could complete your goal."
"To bring Joaquin here."
That was all it was to Quest. He played with my feelings. He faked his own death.
"I mourned you," I state, "Do you realize that? I fucking mourned you when I thought you were dead? You broke my heart."
"It's fine," Quest explains, "It's all better now. Joaquin is here. The plan is underway. Now we can be together."
I almost laugh at the thought. This motherfucker played me this entire time and now he thought we were about to be together? I am so lost that Quest could be so na´ve as to know just how much I hated the Illuminati.
"I meant what I said before," Quest explains, "I meant when I said I wanted to leave with you. I just couldn't leave with you without finishing the plan. I had to make sure you were willing to leave with me though. Now that my plan has been complete, I can write us out of the plan."
"You have the power to do that?"
Quest smiles, "I am the source. I have the power to do anything."
My heart is hurting at this moment. This whole time my life had been upside down. The person who was the cause of all of it was my best friend. The person who gave me a fake cancer diagnosis was my best friend. The person who killed Ashley. The person who threatened my freedom at every turn. It was my best friend. Now he had the nerve to say he still loved me and he wanted us to leave...together.
I don't know how to respond to any of this.
"I'm married Quest," I tell him.
Quest looks at me hard.
"Whatever I say goes. If I tell Joaquin to divorce you. He'll do it."
"Why would I want him to do that?" I ask.
Quest gives me a look at that moment. He wasn't expecting me to say that. Hell. I wasn't expecting myself to say that. I'm just so angry now though. I'm just so angry that I had been betrayed for this long. I don't know how to react but to show anger at that moment.
Quest tries to take a step towards me.
Yet again, I take a step back to avoid him. I can see pain written on his face when I do it. It is legit pain. Maybe he wasn't lying. Maybe there was really a part of him that was real through all this fake shit he did.
"Memphis. I love you," Quest explains to me.
"You story. How does it end?" I ask.
"What do you mean?"
"With Joaquin. How does your story end?"
Quest sighs a little bit, "Mass hypnosis..."
"To what end?"
"We enslave the next generation. They sing our songs, they buy our products and in the end...they worship our god. They will put nothing above the All-Seeing Eye. They will know no god but the one eyed god."
Jesus. It was worse than I thought. They were going to do all of this through Joaquin. They were going to achieve all of this through Joaquin.
"Quest...what have you done?" I ask.
Quest squints at me.
"What did you think you were involved in here?" Quest explains, "This is world domination. Memphis, welcome to the light."
There is a knock on the door at that moment.
"What's happening?" I ask.
"The initiation is about to begin," Quest explains.
Quest reaches up on the ledge at that moment. He grabs his mask. It's a black mask. It has a single eye hole in it. It's the one-eyed mask. The mask of the Source. He puts the mask on, securing it around his face.
"It's almost over," he tells me, "Once Joaquin is a member there will be no stopping us. But it's OK. We'll be together in the end. I just changed the plan a little. That's all. In the end the story will still work out in out in our favor. Welcome to the light, Memphis."
Quest walks over to me. He plants his lips up against mine. He kisses me. I don't kiss him back. I can't. His cold kiss lingers at that moment. I don't know how to respond to what he's saying.
How else can I respond?
"Welcome to the light," I respond with the Illuminati saying.
With that Quest turns and leaves me. I have never felt so cold in my life.
I find Princess in the room she told me to meet her. It's the room where she has the gun hidden. The gun has a silencer on it. Did she expect me to use it in stealth? How the fuck was I supposed to get to Quest without anyone seeing it even if I wanted to? When I see her I'm almost hyperventilating. I lean over. My heart is racing. Tears are streaming down my face. I don't know how to react to what I just saw. I can't believe I just saw what I just saw.
"What's wrong?" Princess ask.
"Quest. He's the source."
Princess swallows at that moment. She's horrified. I can tell.
"How is that possible? You have to be mistaken. I thought he was dead..."
"He's the SOURCE!" I scream at the top of my lungs, "I wouldn't fucking get this misconstrued. My best friend is alive."
Princess gets quiet. The concern is written all over her face. I'm having a panic attack and she doesn't know how to stop it. A few minutes pass before my breathing gets back to normal. I lean up against the wall and just focus on breathing.
Nothing is going right at this moment. Nothing is going the way that it should have gone.
"Wait...you're still going to do it right. You're still going to stick to shooting him right?" Princess asks me.
She puts the gun on the table.
"He's my best fucking friend," I state.
"He's the Source," she explains, "He has to die."
I look at the gun. My heart is getting heavy. It's getting so fucking heavy at that moment. I don't know if I can do this. I don't know if I can kill Quest.
Just at that moment there is a knock on the door. Princess and I look at each other. The surprise each one of us shares at that moment is deafening to say the least.
"Who is it?" I ask.
I sigh at that moment, grab the gun from Princess and shove it in my shirt. The last person I want to see is Prairie. He opens the door at that moment and I can see that sinister smile on his face. I don't trust the fact that he is here at this moment.
Princess looks over at me, "I should be getting to the initiation. Hope to see you there."
I nod at that moment. Princess leaves. She leaves me alone with Prairie. He looks over at me and smiles again. He is looking so fucking weird.
"I wanted to let you know I had no idea until recently that Quest really was the Source," he explains to me at that moment.
It's weird that he is in my dressing room telling me this.
"You felt it necessary to explain this?" I ask, "Why?"
"I just wanted to make sure we were in good standing," he explains.
I don't trust Prairie. He's up to something. I'm not sure what it is but I can tell he's up to something. I've never trusted the guy. There is something about his weasel-like demeanor that always leaves me so fucking unsettled. He wanted something. That was the only reason he was here.
"It matters to you if we are in good standing?" I ask, "That wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that my best friend is the Source...now would it?"
Prairie smiles at that moment.
"Quest let me know that he plans on leaving with you after the initiation. After he leaves, there will be an opening. He's already decided who that person is. It has to be someone in the music industry. It has to be someone who is familiar with Joaquin's work..."
"You want me to tell you if you are Quest's replacement?" I ask.
Prairie smiles, "I think I should be...don't you?"
I laugh at that moment, "No."
"I figure whoever he picked as his replacement has to be smart. They have to have a backbone. They have to be able to plan. What is your plan? You just want to be a pathetic kiss-ass all your life? You think that will accomplish anything for you?"
"I'm sorry to have upset you..." he states.
Just as I thought. He was pathetic. Now that he knew Quest was the Source, Prairie couldn't help but to act like a kiss ass.
"Excuse me. I'm late for the initiation."
"Wait...let me get a hug..."
The kiss ass reaches over to me at that moment. I'm not expecting it. I jump back but it's too late. Just at that moment he pulls at my coat and we both watch the gun fall on the floor. It happens almost in slow motion. Prairie doesn't seem to know what it is at that moment but then he does. Just at that moment we are both staring hard at the gun and he seems shocked that I have it there.
He must put two and two together though because his eyes widen. His eyes focus on the gun. I focus on the gun.
We both dive for the gun at the same time!
I find Princess in the main hall with all the others. There is one light and that light is on Joaquin. He is doing his initiation and the rest of us are staring at it in complete darkness. All I can see is Joaquin and not too far from him is Quest with his one-eyed mask.
"What?" she whispers back.
"It was an accident. I didn't have a choice. We would have been discovered," I let her know.
"I didn't have time to clean it up."
"Shit. We can't wait. It will be discovered," she whispers.
"We have no choice."
"You have no choice," Princess tells me.
I look over at Quest. He had betrayed me. He had ruined my life. He was supposed to be my best friend. If anything I should be doing this to get revenge. He deserved this more than anyone has ever deserved anything before.
Joaquin is standing not too far from Quest. He's completely naked.
The chant begins.
"We are shepherd that lead the sheep
We are the strong that lead the meek
We are the many that act as one
We are the return of the prodigal son
WE are the webs that catch the fly
WE are the all-seeing eye."
Quest looks over at Joaquin, disguising his voice under his mask as he speaks, "We can change your life. Joaquin. What do you want? Announce it to us. Don't be shy?"
"Now," Princess states again, "Now or never."
Quest has his back turned to me. I have the gun. I start moving. My heart is racing. I had killed Prairie by accident. I didn't have a choice. This was going to be on purpose. This was the cost of freedom. The death of someone who I had once loved. The death of someone who pretended to love me.
"I want a life with Memphis Hill," Joaquin states.
I'm standing behind Quest when Joaquin says it. He doesn't know it's me. I have my mask on. When he says it I'm shocked. I stand completely still. I'm not the only one who is shocked. I'm sure others have said they wanted love. I'm sure others have said they wanted money or fame or something else that meant the world to them.
No one had said they wanted something they already had.
We were already married. What was Joaquin getting at saying something like that?
What's more surprising than Joaquin's request is Quest's refusal.
"No," Quest states, "Say something else."
"That's what I want. That's the only thing I want," Joaquin states.
"Say...something...else..." Quest responds.
His voice is almost threatening as he does it but he is no longer disguising his voice. Joaquin seems to recognize it. He knew Quest. He had sung with Quest. They were in a group together. Joaquin quickly stares at Quest and seems just as surprised as I was when I realized it.
"Quest?" Joaquin states.
Quest removes his mask quickly. He grabs Joaquin by the throat. I watch at that moment as Quest completely seems to abandon any sort plan that he had. Emotion had taken over and Quest was using that emotion. He is choking Joaquin in front of everyone.
Whispers and gasps fill the hall. Everyone is confused.
Quest is choking the life out of Joaquin.
"SAY SOMETHING ELSE!" Quest demands.
"Let go of him!"
I'm standing behind Quest. I remove my mask. Quest turns to see me and he realizes that there is a gun pointed at the back of his head. I hold the gun. I'm shaking. I'm so fucking scared. It's so dark in the hall save the spotlight that is on the three of us. I'm surrounded by enemies and I realize that. I don't know how I'm going to get out of here if I do this.
That's not even my biggest worry though.
My biggest worry is I don't think I can do this.
"Baby...what the hell are you doing?" Quest asks me.
He seems confused. He seems hurt. I'm hurt as well. Immediately tears are flowing down my face. I can' t believe I'm in this position.
"Let go of him," I state.
Quest does the opposite. He seems so upset that he begins to choke Joaquin even more. Joaquin fights back but Quest had already caught him by surprise. The harder he fights back the stronger his hold on Joaquin's throat gets. I watch as he wrestles Joaquin to the floor, using his knees to pin Joaquin down. Joaquin struggles to fight back pushing and attempting to break Quest's hold. Nothing is working. I have the gun at Quest's back.
I keep screaming.
I can't do it though. I can't pull the trigger. I love Quest. He was my best friend and Quest knows that I can't do it. Other people know as well.
I watch one of the members run up behind me and push me down. They grapple the gun out of my hand. I cover my face at that moment realizing that I was about to die.
I hear the shot.
"Oh shit..." Joaquin states.
I'm not dead! I'm not fucking dead! I remove my hands from covering my eyes and realize that someone is dead. It's Quest. The person who wrestled the gun away from me just so happened to shoot Quest.
I look up and realize that it's Princess.
"We got to get out of here..." I state panicking all of a sudden when I realize she shot the gun.
The figures in the dark are moving closer to us. The dark figures are descending on us. They are going to tear us apart. They don't seem to care that Princess has a gun. We are completely cornered. I watch Joaquin make his way over to me. His naked body holds me tightly.
"Let him pass..." Princess states.
She pulls out a piece of paper. I'm surprised when I see it. It is a decree. It has a seal on it. A seal that is written in blood. When people see this they stop completely.
"What is that?" I ask.
"It's Quest's will and testament," Princess explains, "I was next in line to be the Source."
My heart stops at that moment.
"Leave...while you can."
I realize all the people looking at me. They listen to Princess. She makes the plans now. She is the Source now.
It hits me. Princess was never afraid of the Illuminati. She was never planning on leaving. She was using Ashley and I. She just wanted Quest gone because she knew she was next in line. She was using us to get rid of him.
This whole time we were nothing more than a part of her plan. I get up. I look over at Joaquin. He's laying there completely naked.
"Go..." he tells me, "I love you..."
I look over at him. I look at Princess. I wasn't going to get another chance at this. She was allowing me to leave the Illuminati. She was the source. That meant I wouldn't be followed. I wouldn't be chased. She would let me leave.
I turn and start walking. The dark masked figures let me pass and I escape...slowly into the darkness.
Five years have passed.
"Damn it feels so good..."
He pushes his dick deep inside of me. Five years have passed and I live in the mountains now. I moved far away from New York. I moved far away from civilization. The mountains are calm. They are peaceful. They are tranquil.
I turn behind me and there he is. My lover. My husband.
"Damn you're so tight," Joaquin tells me.
Joaquin escaped the Illuminati a day after I left during the chaos that ensued from Quest's death. I remember standing at the airport and meeting him. I remember him telling me that he would give up everything. I remember him telling me that nothing else mattered more than being with me.
"If everything golden goes...that's how I choose to live," Joaquin had told me.
And everything golden left. We live in a small cabin in the mountains and we've never been happier. Joaquin makes love to me every morning like this. His arms hold onto my chest. His cock pummels inside of me as he holds on securing my hips rocking me gently into him. He's close to orgasm when all of a sudden the bedroom door opens.
"SHIT!" I scream.
We hustle to get off of each other when the door opens and someone walks into my room. I'm horrified.
"Are you guys wrestling again?" a gentle voice says.
We turn and realize who it is. It's our daughter.
"Eva...what did I tell you about knocking?" Joaquin asks her.
Eva giggles at that moment running out of the bedroom again.
"She learns her stubbornness from you. You know that right?" I ask.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm late for work anyway," Joaquin states, "We better finish this tonight."
I laugh at that moment. It's been five years that I've had my little family. We adopted Eva two years ago. We haven't heard about the Illuminati. We figured it would be hard to evade them but we covered our tracks. We changed our names. We changed our identities. We made sure that we started our lives completely over. We stayed off the grid.
They couldn't find us. Joaquin liked to believe that they didn't want to find us. He said that maybe Princess was honoring his wish to have a life with me. Maybe Princess felt like she owed me something for me giving her the power she wanted, whether I meant to give it to her or not.
I hoped they weren't looking for me.
Joaquin kisses me goodbye and then he kisses Eva. Every time he leaves I get a little scared but I think it will be alright. I pray it will be alright. I pray to my God and it's not a god that has one eye either.
"Eva, make sure you bring out your homework so I can check it before school," I tell my daughter as I prepare her lunch.
She sitting at the island in our home drawing pictures and listening to music when I speak to her. She doesn't even seem to hear me talk about her homework. I walk over and remove the earphones.
"Did you hear me?" she asks.
"Sorry...I zoned out for a minute."
"What you drawing?"
I laugh at that moment, "Eyes? That's silly. Let me see..."
I look at her drawings on the paper. All of a sudden my heart drops. They were single eyes. Never two. Single eyes drawn all around the sheet. Pyramid shapes were also scribbled on the sheet. I shouldn't be scared. I shouldn't be thinking the worse at this moment but for some reason I am scared.
"Eva...honey. What are you listening to?"
"Some song all the kids at school are listening to," she states, "You won't believe it. This person's name is Joaquin. He sounds just like Daddy."
My heart drops.
I grab the earphones from my daughter.
"Oh my god..." I drop the earphones.
It's the song! It's Joaquin's unreleased song from all those years ago. It's the song with the subliminal messages in it.
My daughter smiles at me. Her innocent eyes don't realize they are being corrupted.
"It's OK daddy," she tells me, "Welcome to the light..."
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