Chapter 10: Martyr Attucks
The man I cared about shut me down. I am standing there on the balcony. I am looking out at him flying. Then I realize that Piece left a note. It’s right on the ledge. He must have written it. I don’t know who it’s for but it’s just sitting there…
It had to be him that left the note.
It reads: Nothing comes from nothing. Slow down.
I don’t get it. Slow down?
I walk back into the club a little lost and confused. I see Tonnet back on the main floor. They are standing off to the side. Some people are dancing. They are carrying on. I’m lost in this. I’m trying not to show it on my face.
“Well?” Tonnet asks.
She looks over at me. I can barely focus. Piece just shut me down and literally threatened me. That’s just not like Piece. He didn’t even seem like a violent person like that. Something was wrong with Piece and I didn’t understand it.
I had to figure it out.
“Well what?” I finally ask after a few awkward seconds.
“Did you guys find Piece?”
Bombard shakes his head, “No…”
Tonnet looks over at me. I can tell them I found Piece. I can tell them about the conversation that we had. What good would that do though? Bombard will probably throw it in my face. Tonnet will probably let me know how much “trouble” he is. She’d probably be right.
Tonnet sighs, “Waste of time. Luckily, I did find Pa Cooley. Follow me.”
We begin to walk at that moment. We walk towards VIP. A security guard tries to stop us. He doesn’t get far. Tonnet raises her hand and the man goes flying across the room. She continues to walk up the stairs. Pa Cooley is in sight.
Look at him squirm,” Bombard states.
Bombard is right. Pa Cooley has spotted us. He looks nervous all of a sudden. He’s looking around. He must know his security guards are going to be useless against us. He doesn’t send them. He is already sweating like a stuck pig. Tonnet and Bombard are eyeing him down. It feels good honestly right now to have someone afraid of me. After what happened with Piece I’m looking to let off a little steam.
I am halfway up the stairs but then I feel an arm grab me.
I think it’s the security guard. I am about to use Psychokinesis to push him away. I turn and realize it isn’t the security guard though.
“What the hell are you doing here?” I ask him, “I told you to leave.”
“I had to warn you.”
Tonnet and Bombard stop cold in their tracks. All three of us are looking over at Cedric right now. I’m confused on what he’s talking about. He looks really serious right now though. What the fuck is his problem? Why is he hesitating?
“She told me that she’d make me a millionaire if I told you to come to this club when I saw you. She told me she’d give me so much money. I could use the money, Jamison,” he tells me, “You know I could use the money Jamison. Don’t you?”
“What the fuck is he saying?” Tonnet asks.
My heart is beating fast. I have never seen Cedric cry like he is right now. Tears are streaming down his face. I’m confused on what he’s done. What has he done to make him start tearing up like this all of a sudden?
“Who told you this?” I ask Cedric.
All of a sudden strange music starts to play. The fire alarm goes off. People are running out of the club. Even security is running out. It’s like everyone is abandoning the place. The fire alarm is just ringing loud and clear. It’s so distracting.
“It’s a trap…” Bombard states.
He’s right. The small queen somehow convinced one of the people I trusted most in this life to turn on me. I trusted Cedric. I’m looking at Cedric right now and shaking my head. Victoria Cass knew exactly where I was. She set this up. Cedric sold me out for money.
“You dumbass,” I tell Cedric, “If Victoria gets her way…you won’t be alive to spend that money.”
Cedric is lost and confused, “What?”
“Get the fuck out of here Cedric. NOW!”
I push him with psychokinesis away from me. He’s confused when I use the ability. He turns and starts to run. I don’t know how to feel about him.
He came and warned me, but is it too late?
“We should probably leave too,” Tonnet states.
“Fuck that. Piece may be in here somewhere,” Bombard replies.
Tonnet is about to say something else but Bombard isn’t listening. He’s running up the rest of the stairs into the VIP section. It’s just like Bombard. He’s trying to prove something. He’s trying to be Piece’s knight in shining armor. Little does he know Piece left the building.
We run after Bombard trying to calm him down and stop him. The club is empty now. We are in VIP looking over at Pa Cooley.
He sits there completely alone. His security guards are gone. His secretary is gone. Everyone is fucking gone.
It’s just us looking back at the obese man. Our eyes glare at him.
We are trying to stop Bombard but we realize he’s stopped already. There is laughter from the DJ booth. It’s on the speakers. It’s a low sort of rumbling.
Pa Cooley joins in the laughter. My heart is beating faster and faster. I’m not the only one nervous. Tonnet is standing next to me. She gives me a look. I can tell she’s a little afraid. Bombard is standing in front of us as though he is the bravest person in the world. The way he stopped though I can tell it’s hesitation. He isn’t approaching Pa Cooley.
For such a weak man Pa Cooley seems very relaxed in the presence of his enemies. He’s literally laughing standing there alone.
“Martyr Attucks…” Bombard states.
“It can’t be,” Tonnet replies
“I know that laugh anywhere.”
He’s talking about the laugh on the speakers. Pa Cooley is laughing as well. He’s looking down at us laughing. The giggles are killing me. They are making me nervous. A cold sweat runs down my back. I feel Tonnet pulling at me right now. I feel her pulling at my shoulders. She’s panicking. I turn and see a look of straight up fear in her fucking eyes. She’s scared as hell.
Bombard is taking a few steps back. He looks me dead in my eyes and he offers me a warning, “Run.”
That’s all that comes out of his mouth.
We start back towards the stairs of the VIP section. Tonnet is ahead of me. Bombard is sprinting to my right. I’m running as hard as my feet can take me. I’m confused on why we’re running.
“Who is Martyr Attucks?”
“Another one of Victoria’s henchmen. Remember how we said Pa Cooley was the weakest. Well Martyr might be the strongest. “
“It’s still three of us…”
“He can create fire. They call him the Burn experiment.”
“I thought Receivers can only move things with their minds. How can he create fire?” I ask.
“He does it like that,” Bombard replies with a smart-ass reply.
I want to blame Bombard for the fact that we stayed in this fucking place anyway but I don’t have the time. We are almost to the exit when flames start to spark up. They are spreading across the room. The flames are growing. They are growing higher and higher. A ring of fire forms around the exit blocking us from going that way.
Holy shit. This man controls fire.
There is more laughter.
A victory laugh almost, this time it’s coming from right behind us. I turn and I see him. He’s a lean, tall handsome man. I remember him from Olympus. He was standing right behind Kenicky. He must be in his mid 30s. He has a gray goatee and pearly white teeth. He’s dressed in a form fitted expensive looking suit like Piece wears. His shoes look Italian. When he steps I can hear them even through the cackling fire behind us.
It’s hot. It’s so fucking hot.
The sweat is draining down my back.
“You sewer rats amaze me with your fucking stupidity,” Martyr Attucks states, “Do you think we’d just let you run around the city. Discover our plans. Do you think Victoria is that stupid?”
“Holy shit…guys look at the floor.”
The floor was…melting!
My shoes were literally sticking to the floor. The entire floor we are standing on was becoming this sticky mess. Tonnet is the first one to notice it. There’s nowhere to run. There’s nothing to do.
“EAT THIS BITCH” I hear Bombard scream.
He’s desperate. He’s raising stools, sofas and everything he can in the club. He’s attempting to toss them at Martyr. He may have the right idea. I find myself focusing on the biggest couch I can. I raise it high in the air. I’m sure Tonnet is doing the same.
All the objects we have start flying across the room towards Bombard but within an instant the objects engulf into flames. They burn into ashes right in front of us.
“You think your petty tricks will work against me?” Martyr Attucks asks in this pompous way, “I’m not some sewer rat. You know that, Jamison—I knew your father. He was actually the one who discovered my receiver. He brought me into the Corporation. He did his tests. A part of me felt disloyalty to him when I decided to join Adam Aniston’s cause.”
“You betrayed my father?” I ask.
I don’t know if I care or not. I’m trying to stall him. I’m trying to figure out something to do. We don’t have much time. The floor is melting. The heat in the room is unbearable. I feel like any moment my body is going to combust into flames like those objects we aimed at Martyr.
I feel how sticky my shoes are. The soles of my shoes are sticking to the floor. Sweat is rolling down my back. I can hardly focus. It is literally just like hell all of a sudden in this club.
Bombard isn’t giving up. A chandelier above Martyr Attucks breaks. The chandelier starts to come crashing down over him but Martyr flames sweep the glass pieces aside.
Whatever we do is useless.
“Humans annoy me, this club, these people, they all irritate me,” Martyr Attucks explains, “They talk and talk and talk about shit that doesn’t ever matter. They repeat themselves over and over. They repeat their mistakes. Just like parrots. You know what parrots are called, Jamison?”
“No…” I respond.
I wonder why he’s just talking to me. Maybe it is because of who my father was to him. I don’t know. Bombard’s attacks aren’t working. Tonnet looks out of it. She’s sweating so bad. She’s getting lower to the ground. She’s starting to have difficulty breathing. He’s killing us. We all know it. It’s so hard to breathe in the air around us.
The flames are spreading. I’m coughing.
I wonder what I should do. Should I bring this entire roof down to get some air? What if I can’t control it? What if I end up killing all of us anyway?
Bombard tosses one thing after another at Martyr Attucks. Nothing works. We are sitting ducks.
“A group of parrots is called pandemonium,” Martyr Attucks explains, “I gave Pa Cooley the name for this club. Because they aren’t original thinkers. None of them are special. We are the new world order. Don’t you idiots get that? We are originals. We no longer have to repeat the shit you humans have done. We are something brand new. Out of Pandemonium comes a symphony.”
“Are you really are here trying to justify genocide?” I ask.
That’s exactly what it was, genocide of the human race.”
“Hey. The way I look at it. I’m like flames. Once a flame is sparked it only cares about growing. Growing and growing.”
All of a sudden, Tonnet, Bombard and I are engulfed in a ring of flames. He’s done talking. He’s ready to kill us. He’s ready to burn us. He wants to take his time with it. He could have easily set us on fire if he can control flames. But no, He wants to do it very slowly.
“Guys, flames don’t come out of nowhere,” I find myself telling Bombard and Tonnet.
“So the fuck what?” Bombard asks.
“I’m telling you that I don’t think he’s just making these flames out of nowhere,” I explain, “Remember. This isn’t magic. This is science.”
“I can’t breathe…” Tonnet starts saying.
She’s lower to the ground. She looks like she is about to fall over.
“Guys, focus, please. Just a few more seconds,” I say, “Listen to what I have to say. Piece left a note when I saw him. It’s got me thinking.”
“I thought you said you didn’t see Piece,” Bombard responds.
“Listen!” I respond, “I need you guys to trust me on something. Work on slowing down everything in the room. Instead of moving things with your mind…reverse that. Try to keep everything as still as possible…”
“Why the FUCK would we do that?” Bombard asks.
“I’m with Bombard that’s dumb as hell…”
“Trust me. I can’t do this alone. I need you guys to work with me. Slow everything down in the room. STOP everything around us from moving.”
Bombard is skeptical. So is Tonnet. I don’t have time to wait for them though.
“Fine,” Tonnet states, “If we are going to do it we should hold hands. I feel like group psychokinesis works better if you feel attached to others.”
I’m not sure what she’s referring to but it doesn’t matter. She comes over and holds my left hand. I look over at Bombard. He’s still being a dickhead but he does it. He comes over and holds my other hand. All of a sudden we are focusing.
I can feel everything around me. Where I usually would want to move things with Psychokinesis I am trying to stop things from moving with psychokinesis.
For a moment there is silence.
Together we make everything slow down more and more…until everything comes to a stop.
The fires are dying. Everything is slowly dying around us. As the fires die, I turn and look over at Martyr Attucks. He’s confused. He tries to spark something again. I can tell by the twitch in his eyelids. Nothing sparks. Everything is so still. Everything is completely still.
Martyr Attucks is confused.
“What the fuck is going on?” he’s asking.
“Your powers are no more special than the rest of ours,” I explain, “When I was just a kid my father explained molecular acceleration to me. It is the ability to make molecules reverberate at a speed which causes them to become disordered. This causes an object to rapidly heat up, and as a result, the power can cause objects to melt or burn. Your flames are produced by you just making molecules move really fast. We just worked together and slowed them down.”
Martyr Attucks looks at me. He smiles a little bit.
He starts to laugh but this isn’t the same laugh from before. This is a nervous laugh. All of a sudden, he is making a mad dash to the door.
He doesn’t make it anywhere before I see Bombard step forward. Bombard lifts Martyr Attucks into the sky and he throws him back towards the wall so hard that Martyr’s neck snaps hard against it.
He’s dead before he’s hit the ground.
I look at Bombard not knowing how to react to the fact that he just killed a man so quickly. Bombard has no sense of regret though or sympathy.
“He would have killed us,” he tells me almost as though he’s reading my mind, “This is war.”
He may be right. At least Bombard killed Martyr Attucks fast. He wasn’t playing around with him. Martyr Attucks underestimated us. It doesn’t make it any less awkward and scary to see a man on the ground with a broken neck.
I hear footsteps and turn to my right to see Pa Cooley standing there. He’s scared. There is no more laughter. He doesn’t expect that we could have defeated Martyr Attucks like that. He thought we would lose. He thought we would be dead. This man looks at us like he’s the most innocent man in the world right now.
“You—you killed Martyr Attucks.”
“Same thing will happen to you if you don’t tell us what we need to know,” Tonnet says.
“May happen even if you do. This just gives you a fighting chance to cooperate,” Bombard adds at that moment.
He is really putting a fear into Pa Cooley. Pa Cooley isn’t even making an attempt to use psychokinesis. He isn’t even making an attempt to run like Martyr Attucks did before he died. He just stands there literally shaking looking at Bombard. Bombard is heartless right now. He’s a soldier in this war and Pa Cooley is no match for him.
They are enjoying scaring him. I can tell. It seems like for once they realize they aren’t the sewer rats running away to a dark corner when an Olympian comes around. I find no joy in scaring this man however.
“We need to know how Victoria plans to kill off all the humans,” I ask, “There are billions of them…”
“She’ll kill me if I tell you,” Pa Cooley states.
He’s sweating. He’s scared shitless. I look down at his pants. There is a moisture happening down there. Is he pissing himself?
“You can die now…or die later. It’s up to you?” Bombard threatens him, “What is it? You want to live another day fat man?”
Bombard isn’t playing around. Martyr Attucks is an example of that.
Pa Cooley realizes that. Tears are running down his heavy cheeks. He speaks slowly, “Adam Aniston discovered a way to manifest psychokinetic energy into a bomb. A bomb capable of releasing a kinetic wave of energy particularly used to target homo sapien genes.”
“Fuck,” Bombard states.
Pa Cooley isn’t lying. He’s too afraid to be lying.
“Did he make it before he died?” Tonnet asked.
“He more than made it. He armed it. It’s already counting down.”
Tonnet looks at me. I don’t know how to react to this. What the fuck? How long? How long did we have until the bomb went off?
“When does it go off?” I ask Pa Cooley.
He shakes his head, “I don’t know.”
“Where is it?”
“I don’t know.”
Pa Cooley is raised into the air. I turn and notice that it’s Bombard who is raising him in the air. As if the man isn’t scared enough. Bombard is no better than Martyr Attucks using these fucking scare tactics to get what he wants. Martyr Attucks did his slow flames and long speech. Bombard is threatening this man over and over.
“He’s lying,” Bombard, tells us.
“I’m not lying,” Pa Cooley replies, floating inches above of the ground grasping onto his neck, “Not even the Small Queen knows where Adam Aniston put his bomb and when he set it for. The only person that knows is Piece.”
“That’s why she’s kept Piece alive all this time…” Tonnet crosses her arms, “No matter what Piece does she keeps him alive…”
“He knows where the bomb is. His father told him,” Pa Cooley explains to us, “He’s not telling though. He’s not telling anyone. Not Victoria. Not Antietam. He’s keeping it to himself. I promise you the Olympains don’t know. If we knew, we would have set the bomb off in advance. Our goal is to just make sure that the Sewer Lineage doesn’t find the bomb and stop it. That’s what Victoria wants.”
“He’s lying,” Bombard states.
Pa Cooley is putting his hand around his neck as though trying to remove a hand choking him. It’s Bombard. Bombard is strangling him slowly with psychokinesis. Pa Cooley doesn’t have the talent to fight back.
Luckily I do.
I push Bombard off his feet causing him to lose his focus. He falls flat on the ground and Pa Cooley does as well.
“We’re done here.”
“We can’t just leave,” Bombard says.
“He doesn’t know anything else,” I reply, “We’re done here.”
By the time we return to the Sewer Lineage things don’t seem much better. We should be happy. We were able to complete our mission. We scored a huge move against the Victoria and her people. We got valuable information from Pa Cooley. We should be excited. We should be happy. That’s not the case however.
By the time we tell Antietam what happened it clear things have gone from bad to worse. She paces around the room. She doesn’t know what to say.
I’m surprised when Old Man Keeper talks, “We always knew they had a plan. What we didn’t know was that the plan was in motion for years.”
“How are we supposed to stop a bomb if no one knows where it is or when it goes off?” Antietam asks him.
“Piece knows,” Tonnet adds.
“That’s the point. Adam Aniston didn’t trust anyone with that information. Anyone but Piece. We need to find him,” Antietam states, “We need to find Piece.”
Now all of a sudden they cared about where Piece was.
“If he didn’t tell Victoria what makes you think he’ll tell us?” I ask.
“Victoria was nice to him. I won’t be afraid to torture it out of him,” Antietam explains.
“Piece saved us, again today,” I explain, “He left me a note. That note was warning me about Martyr Attucks. He told me to slow down. He was giving me a clue on how I could defeat Martyr Attucks…”
I’m surprised when Bombard steps in to my defense, “The kid is right. Without Piece we would have all been dead today.”
He’d always rather give someone else credit for it. He doesn’t even recognize the fact that I was able to put Piece’s clues in with information that my father gave me when I was just a child. Bombard is so reluctant to let people know that he’s alive right now because of me. Luckily I’m not looking for his recognition.
The fact that he’s helping to defend Piece is good enough for me.
“He’s still trouble,” Tonnet argues.
She always thought of him that way. Right now nothing is changing. I look over at Antietam.
I’m begging her. I know she’s my mother. I also know she has this war to win. She’s willing to do whatever it takes. Torturing Piece may just be another part of that. There has to be another way though.
“Give me an option then Jamison,” she replies.
She’s giving me a shot.
“Help me find him, but let me talk to him. Peacefully.”
I don’t mention to them that Piece doesn’t want to see me ever again. I don’t mention to them that he threatened to kill me if he saw me again. One thing at a time though. I cared about this boy. I needed to find a way to make this work without him getting hurt.
“Fine…” Antietam stated, “We’ll start looking for him tomorrow and I’ll give you some time to talk to him. If that doesn’t work though…”
“There is a problem with your plan,” Old man Keeper interrupts us, “You kept Pa Cooley alive, did you not?”
“Yes. Of course.”
“That was a mistake. He’ll run to Victoria. He’ll tell her everything. Now that she knows we are aware of what Piece knows she’ll be more careful. She won’t stop until she finds Piece and she’ll probably hide him away…far away from us…”
“I told him,” Bombard adds pointing his finger directly at me, “I told him that we should kill Pa Cooley.”
“I’m not a murderer.”
My reply is genuine. I don’t care if Antietam, Old Man Keeper and Bombard are giving me death stares right now. I didn’t plan on killing anyone that I didn’t have to in this war. I know they are right though. I saw the fear in Pa Cooley’s eyes. He’s going to run back to Victoria and let her know everything. He’ll let her know what he told us.
Suddenly there a knock on the door.
We all look at it.
No one answers.
Has Victoria found us? Who the fuck is knocking?
The door opens by itself. Piece walks in. He has a box in his hands.
“Speak of the devil and he appears,” Tonnet explains.
It saved us the energy of having to look for Piece. He’s here. He’s here now. The thing about Piece though is when he appears…so does trouble.
Piece puts the box on the table, “So I go back to the Club Pandemonium. And I see Victoria and her people leaving it right before I get there. I think…that’s odd. Victoria doesn’t go to the club that often. Unless she’s called there by someone. Someone like Pa Cooley. And you know I think Pa Cooley had something to tell Victoria. He has a big mouth…Pa Cooley. So do I though. I’m not blaming him. And I think Pa Cooley has been talking. And he probably admitted this to Victoria. You know…that he has a big mouth. Just a guess. And it’s also a guess that Victoria didn’t like what Pa Cooley had to tell her.”
We are all looking over at Piece. He has no idea that we were just discussing him. He has no idea we were just discussing Pa Cooley running back to Victoria.
This shit is beyond ironic.
“Why do you guess Victoria didn’t like what Pa Cooley had to tell her?” Antietam asks Piece.
Piece opens the box.
Pa Cooley’s head is in it…
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