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09 April 2007 @ 06:56 pm
Power and Control- Chapter 14 part 1  
Well, here it is.  For real this time.

Power and Control- Chapter 14





Amon watched the tall figure pause for a moment to light his cigarette and then resume his nonchalant perusal of the area.  The man walked along sidewalk slowly, trying to make it appear as though he wasn’t looking or waiting for something to happen.  At three in the morning, this was a hard feat to pull off, but thankfully this part of town was mostly industrial and devoid of people.  There were still a few hours before the dock workers showed up to unload the morning’s catch and the air would once again be filled with the pungent aroma of fish guts.    


Keeping his head down, the man began to walk towards the shadowy area Amon was using as his hiding spot.  Amon slinked back into the darkness and waited for the other to pass by.  At a glance, the tall man looked highly suspicious, someone the police would most likely stop and question.  He was dressed too sharply for the average person, but not nearly as impeccable as say, a Yakuza boss would.  The ridiculous white shag-fur coat was not something Amon thought of as appropriate underworld attire. And the retro pompadour hairdo, complete with stylized sideburns, was the final nail in the coffin for this over-the-top look.  If the man was Yakuza, he had lackey written all over him.     


Creeping out from his concealed location, Amon quietly came up behind the man.    “I thought I told you not to wear that coat, Nagira.  It’s too recognizable.”


The other man jumped like a scalded cat and nearly tripped over his own feet as he turned to see who his assailant was.  “Jesus, Amon!  Don’t sneak up on me like that.  I nearly swallowed my cigarette.”  He coughed a few times and then took a long drag.  “You need to teach me that melting-out-of-the-shadows trick,” he said as he blew the smoke out of his mouth sideways.  “It might come in handy one day.  And why are you always hating on my coat?  This is high fashion, you know? Not the I-can’t-wear-anything-other-than-black wardrobe you have.”


Amon scowled at his half-brother through the haze of cigarette smoke. If he had been in a lighter mood, he may have actually smiled at the playful jab.  When their eyes met a second time, he could already see the gears in Nagira’s head processing his appearance.  Amon looked away.  Nagira was probably the one person on the planet he couldn’t fool.  “Walk with me,” he said flatly and turned to walk towards the piers. 


From the corner of his eye, Amon could see the questioning look on the other man’s face as he fell into step beside him. That age old, hollow pain throbbed in his stomach.  He hated, absolutely hated that he was going to once again involve his brother in his tangled web of lies.  And for all his bad fashion sense, Nagira was far from stupid.  He would see right through Amon’s request.  Maybe not for what it really was, but he would know something bad was going on with his baby brother and he would want to help.  Nagira must never, ever know what Zaizen and his cohorts did to him.  The mere thought of it had sent him into a blind panic earlier in the evening shortly after he asked his brother to meet up with him.  It seemed like a lifetime ago since the last panic attack, but the concerned tone in his brother’s voice had been enough to reduce him to a hyperventilating wreck as soon as he disconnected the call.  He wasn’t worth it.  He didn’t deserve to have someone care so much about him. 


When they reached the harbor’s edge, the two men stood quietly, staring down as the tide lapped against the barnacle encrusted dock supports.  Amon leaned forward onto the railing and took a moment to calm himself before pulling the carefully folded papers out of the pocket of his trench coat.  There was a slight tremor in his hand as he passed them over.  


“I need you to look into something for me,” he said softly.  Nagira cocked his head to the side; one questioning eyebrow arched as he accepted the papers and opened them up.  “I know you have contacts you can bring that to.  I need to find a way to bypass this type of security lock.”


“Is this a numerical lock or does it use a proximity swipe?” Nagira asked without looking up as he perused the documents.        


“Both,” Amon said with a weary sigh. 


“And can I assume that you have neither of these items?”


Amon nodded slowly, as though it took a great effort to do so. 


Nagira made a pained face as he refolded the papers and tucked them into his own pocket.  “This isn’t going to be easy, but I’ll see what I can do.  I should have something for you in a few days.”


Hazel eyes stay locked on a large carrier ship floating on the horizon.  “Thanks, Nagira.” It came out unintentionally clipped and forced and his shoulders sagged with frustration at his social ineptitude.  The other man nodded his acceptance casually as though he were being thanked for giving him a ride home from work. It made that little place deep within Amon, surrounded by acres of ice, ache.  Up until recently, the stoic man couldn’t recall a time when he’d felt non-physical pain, so acute, so frightening in its intensity, stabbing right though his defenses and into the meaty part of his soul.  And to feel it twice in as many days was almost maddening.  Damn it, brother.  Why do you have to be so understanding?  Why are you so willing to break the law at nothing but a request from me?


Scowling down at his gloved hands as he curled them into tight fists, Amon fought back the urge to throw his brother’s hospitality back in his face, like he had done so many times before when they were younger.  Without much effort, Nagira’s open and friendly demeanor began slipping through his carefully erected wall.  After all these years, after all those times, the knee-jerk reaction was still to spurn his older half-sibling’s attempts at friendship with an air of condescension and well-placed derision.  But not anymore.  The benefit of time had given Amon the realization that his anger was directed at the wrong person.  Nagira was not to blame for the actions of their less-than-respectable father anymore than he was.  Taking his anger out on him had been an act of selfish immaturity.  Yet through all that, Amon found the hand that he had slapped away so many times before still being offered.           


“So,” the other man inquired after another round of silence stretched out between them.  “Do I get to know what all this secrecy is for?  That system is pretty high-tech, not the usual in office security.”


Amon’s eyebrows furrowed ever so slightly.  “It’s better that you don’t.”


“I knew you were going to say that,” Nagira said through a soft chuckle.  He brought the cigarette up to his mouth and puffed on it quietly. 


From the corner of his eye, Amon could see the scrutinizing look he was being given.  Unconsciously, he licked at his split lip.  To his credit, Nagira had yet to say anything about the bruises that mottled his pale complexion, but the wheels were definitely spinning in his head.        


Don’t ask, Nagira.  Please don’t ask. 


“Do you have court tomorrow?” Amon asked, part deflection, part apology for dragging him down to the waterfront in the wee hours of the morning. 


Nagira exhaled the lungful of smoke slowly.  “Nah, workload’s been pretty light these last few weeks.  You look like you’ve been keeping busy though.”


“Yeah,” he answered sardonically.  His brother was giving him an opportunity to come clean, but Amon knew better.  To take it and let Nagira know all his dark secrets would not only place him in danger, but would change whatever opinion the older man had of him.  Amon surprised himself by being equally adverse to both.  The distant horns of mooring ships punctuated another span of uncomfortable silence until it was broken by the ringing of his cell phone.  In his line of work, a call at this hour wasn’t unheard of, but something in his gut told him that wasn’t going to be about a case.  He pulled it from his pocket and checked the display.  It was the office number.  Michael.


“Yes,” he said gruffly into the receiver, turning his back on his brother.  The voice on the other end immediately launched into a hyperactive tirade.  “Sakaki, slow down.  What happened?”


Hazel eyes went impossibly wide as he listened to the other teen’s near-hysteric account of what happened after he left the office.  “Okay, calm down….I know, I know…Is he alright?   I’m on my way now; I’ll be there as soon as I ca--  Just go be with him.”  There was a loud crash followed by a repetitive dull thumping.  God have mercy on what ever inanimate object the hot-headed blonde was unleashing his fury on.  “Stop that, Sakaki,” he said with a parental tone.  “He needs you calm right now.  Take a deep breath.”  Amon waited, counting off the seconds in his head.  “Better?  Good…I’ll be there in twenty minutes.”  He ended the call and turned around slowly to face his brother.  A sudden feeling of guilt panged his stomach.


Nagira was leaning back against the railing casually, the cigarette held tightly between his lips.  Amon didn’t want to look him in the eye.  “I have to go now,” he said quietly, sounding abnormally meek. 


The older man nodded as he reached up to clasp the cig between his index and middle fingers.  “That have anything to do with it?” he asked, gesturing to Amon’s busted face with a flick of his wrist. 


Unconsciously, Amon’s hand flew up to his face, fingertips ghosting over his swollen cheekbone.  He had been expecting that question the entire time, but it still caught off guard when it finally came.  “I…I,” he stuttered, realizing that it was too late to cover up his reaction with his normal unwavering stoicism.   He pursed his lips together tightly, jaw clenched to keep him from disclosing any more. 


Nagira’s eyes narrowed momentarily, but if there was something he wanted to say, he held it back.  “Yeah, yeah, I get it.  You’ll hear from me in a day or two,” he said tiredly as he pushed himself away from the guardrail. 


“Thanks again, Nagira.”


The other man waved his acknowledgement over his shoulder, not bothering to turn around as he headed over to where he left his car.


Once inside the sanctuary of his sports car, Amon let out a shuddering breath.  Gripping the wheel tightly, he leaned his head down onto his arms as waves of relief mixed with disgust drained all the energy from his body.  He had managed to keep himself from losing it in front of Nagira.  The hard part was over.  Now he just needed to be careful not to involve his brother any more than he already was.  His body trembled at the memory of what it cost him the last time.  Unwanted hands touching intimate places, the burning agony of a tattoo needle scoring his back, the beatings, the never-ending humiliation, it all stampeded to the forefront of his mind with crippling force.  He squeezed his eyes shut as tight as he possibly could, sucking gulps of air into his lungs.  It was so utterly frightening how quickly he reverted back to this state. The years in-between melted away as if they had been nothing but a dream.


Mocking voices overlapped in a symphony of hysteria, each one adding its own texture and melody to the tune of Amon’s agony.  He felt the tenuous hold on his craft slipping and he tumbled down that dark, dark precipice. The tips of his fingers tingled with energy and he gripped the steering wheel, white-knuckled, as though it was his only lifeline.  The headlights as well as the dashboard display illuminated suddenly as the very air around him seemed to become charged with electricity.  Static crackled loudly out of the speakers causing the sub-woofers to vibrate so hard it seemed the car doors would be blown off their hinges.  Every muscle in his body, every pore in his skin felt alive and brimming with power.  So easy, it would be so easy to give in and allow the sinfully delicious power to surge from within.  He was so tired of the painstaking efforts he had to go through to keep himself in check.  Just once, he wondered, what would it be like to let it all go?  His pupils contracted to nothing but a speck of black.  The energy crawled up his arms like a thousand ants under his skin.  So good, Amon felt almost giddy from it. 


The Orbo flared neon green as it boiled in its glass casing.  The building power surge was cut off so abruptly it caused a whiplash effect, slamming the euphoria out of his body.  The car fell quiet and he sagged boneless in his seat, feeling his heart pound against his ribcage.  If not for the Orbo counteracting the effects of his craft, it would reach critical mass.  If that were to happen, he knew the hunter would fast become the hunted.      


Keep it together.  Come on, keep it together.  You’ve come this far.  You can’t lose it now.  You can’t let them see you like this…they need you.  They’re counting on you to be strong.     


It took a Herculean effort to reign in his craft when it got the better of him like this.  But years of surviving the maelstrom had taught him how to repress and how to bury.  Once the worst of it passed, the remainder of his tattered emotions could be balled up like a piece of discarded paper and shoved down into the deepest, darkest recesses of his tortured soul.  Ignore, deny, and eventually the pain subsides.  Rub a patch of skin in the same place enough times and a callous will form.  Attack a person’s spirit, and the same thing will happen.  Besides, who could ever want a used up, barren person like himself?  And to be a Seed on top of it all only devalued any worth he might have had. 


The sudden, warm memory of laughing violet eyes floated in his mind’s eye.  Sakaki, despite everything he had done or more to the point, not done, still extended his hand in friendship.  The teen had been surprised about his revelations, but had not recoiled in horror as he anticipated.  That reaction had been causing a curious side effect since the other night.  Amon tried to ignore the growing fire of what one might call affection in his belly that seemed to be happening with an alarming frequency.  This new fondness for the rookie hunter was dangerous.  He couldn’t allow it to grow.  No good could possibly come from it.     


The sleek black sports car groaned and complained a few times as he turned the key in the ignition, but eventually the engine kicked over with a loud roar. With his face as impassive as always, he fastidiously ignored the scorch marks on the vinyl steering wheel cover and headed back to Raven’s Flat.   



Current Mood: tiredtired
apprentice_yume: tired.stolenapprentice_yume on October 29th, 2007 07:34 am (UTC)
New Fan
i just found this on aff.net & i'm COMPLETELY hooked!!

i see your real life has gotten more intense lately. ^_^ (congratulations)

but i was wondering if u plan to continue this anytime soon? it would be a shame to let it go too long... *drooling for more*

-Bards Apprentice
evilkat_meowevilkat_meow on October 29th, 2007 11:32 am (UTC)
Re: New Fan
Hi there!

Yes, as you can see real life has intruded into my writing time, but I don't have plans on giving up on the story. It just might take longer for me to finish. As for when that will happen, I can't say, but stick around. Good things can happen at any time.

Thanks for reading and dropping a line to let me know what you thought.^^