Alpha, p.27Daniel Schmidt
I awoke in a small concrete room. It was no bigger than a bedroom, the only fixtures being the metal chair I was sitting in and a fluorescent light on the ceiling. There were no windows, just a heavy metal screen door across from me. I saw one of Luke’s men sitting in a chair on the other side of the screen door.
I tried to stand but realized I was handcuffed and my legs were chained. I was also strapped to the chair by thick leather bands that ran over my wrists and ankles. I still wore my fatigues but all my pockets had been turned inside out and my gear and weapons were gone.
My skin didn’t look any different. I didn’t feel any different and felt somewhat relieved – maybe I wasn’t going to turn into a monster. My thoughts then went to the men; they were probably sitting in a similar chair. They were probably terrified and confused, so much more than I was.
Luke’s man saw me moving around and he was on his radio quickly. A few minutes later Luke himself stood at the screen door. He wore a dark-colored suit, freshly pressed. It looked like he was wearing more makeup since the last time I had seen him, and he had several more rings on his fingers.
He unlocked the door and stepped inside with two of his men. He looked me up and down and a small smile formed on his face. He raised his hands and clapped softly several times.
“Paul, you have done well. Very well.”
“I do what I can. Where is everyone else?
“They are just down the hall.”
“Are they okay? There was a man badly wounded, is he getting treatment?” I asked referring to Carlos.
Luke pursed his lips. “He is alive for now.”
“He needs to get to a hospital.”
“He’ll be fine,” Luke said sharply.
I shook my arms in the restraints. “Can we get these things off?” I asked.
“Just give me a minute.”
“I’ve done what you’ve asked. Everyone is in custody.”
Luke’s smile disappeared. “Yes, you did what I asked and you have made me a happy man, but Paul I haven’t been totally honest with you.”
I felt a tingling sensation in my face. “What do you mean you haven’t been totally honest with me?”
Luke’s smiled returned. “Paul, my agency works hand in hand with the Legion. We use them to eliminate the Alvar.”
I understood what he said, but like the pain from a smashed finger, it took a little while to settle in. “You’ve been working with the Legion this whole time?!”
“Yes,” Luke said softly.
I let him have more curses before asking. “Why is your agency killing the Alvar?”
“The Agency isn’t doing the killing – that would require too much red tape. The Legion does the dirty work for us.”
“Why didn’t you tell me this before? And why are you killing the Alvar?”
Luke clasped his hand together. “The Agency’s official stance is they are terrorists, but the truth is the Alvar want to take the reigns of power and there are a lot of people who don’t want to give them up, soooo…. we get rid of them. ”
“So you’ve just been using me to get to the Alvar? Why didn’t you just tell me that when we started? Why did all these people have to die?”
“Because I don’t want to kill the Alvar. I want them for myself.”
“What? Why?” I asked.
Luke smiled. “You see Paul, there are those who feel threatened by the Alvar, those who wish to bring the Alvar to power, and there are those who just want to make some money. I’m one of those people that just want to make some money.”
“What are you talking about? You work for the Legion, the Agency that kills the Alvar.”
Luke shrugged. “I’m a practical guy, I look out for number one. I don’t get caught up in power struggles and moral dilemmas. Yes, I work for the Agency, but I use that position and the information I have to get my hands on an Alvar every once in a while. Not all the time; most of the time I let the Legion do their thing. I built this little facility and keep these men on my payroll to look after the Alvars I catch.”
“You’re the one that took the Council, before the Legion got to them.”
Luke’s smile got bigger. “Yes. The Agency found out where the Council was and had plans to destroy them. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get my hands on that many Alvars so I had my men swoop in right before the Legion was scheduled to raid the place. The Legion thought the Council got wind of the raid and moved. They had no idea I snatched them right from under their noses. It worked out wonderfully.”
“What do you do with them?”
“I sell them for a handsome profit. There are a lot of people who pay a lot of money for them.”
I spat. “You bastard. You lied to me. You used me!” I hissed.
Luke rubbed his hands together. “Yes, I did and I could not have asked for more. You hit the jackpot Paul.”
“What are you talking about?” I hissed.
“Come now. I’m proud of you and excited to show you my facility.”
“Where are the women?” I asked.
“Don’t worry about them, I’ll be taking care of them from now on.”
“What does that mean?” I asked.
“It means they are no longer your concern.”
“What is going to happen to my men? That wounded man needs to get to a hospital.”
Luke held up a finger. “Well, that depends on you Paul.”
“You have proven to be one hell of a leader. My men told me you fought off an Alpha and escaped the clutches of a bunch more. I need a man like you around.”
I didn’t respond.
“The Legion is going to get smart to my operation sooner or later and I need a way to combat those Alphas. I think you’re just the man for the job.”
“What if I don’t want to work for you?”
Luke chuckled. “Then I kill your men.”
I nearly passed out. “Those men did nothing wrong! They were defending themselves. If it wasn’t for them, the Alvar would be dead and you would be left with nothing. Let them go. You can’t kill them!”
“Then come work for me. Lead and train my men,” Luke said with arms extended.
“You can’t just murder people! You’re a cop, a federal agent!”
“Technically I am, but I’m not acting in any official capacity right now.”
I let out a torrent of curses. “You’ll pay for this, either the Agency or my people will find out about this. My boss will come looking for me. He’s not just going to go away. How are you going to explain all these deaths? You can’t just sweep all of this under a rug.”
Luke pursed his lips again. “Paul, you have no idea the powers that are behind all of this. Your boss will learn to forget about you very quickly, trust me.”
I clenched my jaw and looked down at the ground. “How do you live with yourself? You’re supposed to protect people, to serve this country, not make yourself rich off the blood of others.”
“Don’t give me the guilt trip, it won’t work. I do what I have to do. Like I said, I look out for number one,” he said with a smirk.
I stared down at the ground for quite some time. “Luke, I’ll do anything as long as you keep those men alive.”
Luke clapped his hands together. “Wonderful! Sounds like we have a deal.”
Now what about the two woman?” I asked.
“They belong to me.”
“Why do you need both women? One of them isn’t even an Alvar.”
“You mean Christine? Oh, she is so much more than that,” Luke said.
“What does that mean?” I asked, wondering how he knew her name.
Luke just chuckled.
“Before I do anything, let me see my men and the two women. I want to make sure they are okay.”
Luke moved his head back and forth as if physically rolling this request back and forth
As they pulled me up to a standing position I spoke. “Luke, you said Christine is more than a Alvar. What did you mean by that?”
Luke smiled big. “Oh Christine… Come to find out Christine is the Prophet.”
Alpha by Daniel Schmidt / Actions & Adventure / Thrillers & Crime have rating 4.8 out of 5 / Based on19 votes