A to Z 2016 : VENGEANCE

She let whatever pull being experienced, one she was unable to explain, lead her. It wasn't quite intuition as it was some kind of built-in spiritual GPS tracking system. Spiritual wasn't the best description either. There was nothing divine, nothing enlightening. Nothing but fire and hatred burning through her soul. Just the drive to hunt.

There was only one goal flaring in her mind, tunneling her vision. One focus. And she knew she was close, she could feel it. All of the law enforcement must have been called off the chase, except for a helicopter that scouted from above, not far from where she pulled off the highway. The death toll was already too high, among civilian and civil service personnel alike. But Molly knew the count wasn't over, more would be added before the night ended.

The sun beat down as she veered towards an abandoned warehouse district. It was almost too obvious and she was certain the police would eventually scour the area, once recovering and reassessing the situation. Yet that's where the tug was leading her. Molly maneuvered the grey Honda Civic she had hijacked from the scene only hours before. It was undamaged and abandoned during the chaos by whoever owned it, likely a young adult by the condition of the interior and music selection displayed in a CD holder attached to the driver's side visor. She told herself the owner wouldn't mind, just happy to be alive, and that it was being used for a good cause.

The roads were littered and unattended, surrounded by large, imposing windowless monstrosities. Buildings long since left to the cruel, unforgiving passing of time, dilapidated and barren. Sporadic greenery attempting to spring forth whatever life it could muster through cracks in the desolation. It was failing miserably.

A tug called for her to make a sharp right, then another two streets down. And there she saw something. Someone standing near the street with their back to her, wisps of smoke wafting above them. With the sun being blocked by the towering buildings, she snapped the visor back up, tightened her grip on the steering wheel, and barreled towards the unsuspecting figure. Only when half a block away, after depressing the gas pedal as hard as she could, did the man turn his attention towards the oncoming force of metal.

Surprise asshole.

She could see the cigarette drop from the man's lips as his mouth opened in a confused expression, his eyes hidden behind a pair of sunglasses. Molly was certain he was attempting to pull a gun from behind his back, strapped around his shoulder, but it was too late. She hoped he could see her gleeful smile as the Honda made contact, his body buckling, head slamming onto the hood of the car with crushing force, caving it in, before being dragged underneath it. An unnatural chill flowed through her entire body, giving her goosebumps.

One.

She came to a stop, avoiding slamming on the breaks, not wanting to attract any more attention than she already may have. She left the engine running, placing the gear in park, as she opened the door and exited the car. As badly as whatever was fueling her actions to such an extreme wanted Molly to examine the front end of the car, she forced herself to focus on the task at hand.

Not far behind the car was the mangled body of the smoking man. He had been dragged under the car for a short distance, exposed skin that wasn't completely ripped from his body was darkened red and black with road rash. A trail of blood stretched out behind where the twisted body rested. The scene was going to have to satisfy her inner demon for the time being.

Molly felt like she was encapsulated by a strong electric aura, pulsing and energizing her desire for revenge. The loss of love. That inner rage demanding payment in blood. Another tug.

Keep moving.

She passed by a pair of garage doors before coming to the entrance the man had been standing next to. The sound of music wafted in the air from inside. Turning the knob, she pressed against the door and slowly opened it just enough to slink inside. The music was more penetrating once entering the large, hollowed chamber, the source being a white van situated in the middle of the room. Its front end was facing one of the garage doors, where it was likely backed into. Both doors were opened for what seemed the sole purpose of amplifying the thrash metal emanating from within.

Directly behind the van was a folding banquet table, circled by a handful of empty chairs, with a number of duffle bags sitting on top of it. They were open and overflowing with cash, some of which was pooled in piles around the bags. Beyond that, the room was empty, a pair of doors behind the table. As she got closer to the van, Molly instinctively reached out a hand to feel the hood, checking if it was warm — something she had seen in countless movies and crime procedurals. It was cool, but she knew they couldn't have been there long.

The music blaring from the van became unbearably deafening as she made her way around it. How can anyone stand this shit. She was about to head for the piles of cash, when she felt another tug deterring her. She spun around the back of the van and opened the double doors. Her mind suddenly went into a fever pitch, flashing back to the massacre on the highway. The moment she lost Thomas and, in a way, herself.

The very nature of the trauma should have broken her, but instead it only served to solidify her embrace on what carnage-driven force was yearning for payback. Her ability to survive the assault, managing to track those responsible with supernatural feelings and awareness, being there at that very moment in time. It couldn't have been coincidence.

It was destiny, not luck.

*     *     *

Richard threw the door open, leading his troop back into the music-filled warehouse. To his left copious amounts of money was stuffed into duffle bags and strewn across a table. His money. Or at least it would be once he had help transferring it to the next rendezvous point. It was a good crew. His father always did have a knack for putting together decent jobs, finding individuals specialized for certain roles. He wouldn't be happy losing most of them. He'd spare Tommy, he was good people.

"Hey, Tommy!" Richard shouted over the metal reverberating throughout the room. "Hurry up, would ya? We have most of the charges set. Ten minutes until we go underground!" He couldn't understand how some people could chain-smoke like Tommy did. Smoking in general did a number on your health. It was a miracle the guy could handle something as intense as a bank heist.

"Yeah, time to light this bitch up," Franklin, the getaway driver, said as he hovered over the score. Richard respected the larger man's simplicity. Probably the least greedy of them all, anything that fulfilled his eagerness to blow up or burn shit was enough to make him content. He'd probably even give up his share willingly if it meant that he secured a spot in the next job. There was always a job in the works.

"We should split it up now," another member of the group, Phil, suggested. Phil's best friend and right-hand man, Roger, was nodding in agreement. Figured. They would definitely be removed from the picture when the opportunity presented itself.

Richard watched them as they swarmed around the money. Vultures. "Don't get too attached, we aren't in the clear yet." He joined the rest of them, standing behind the table. "They have at least one bird in the air. We have some time, but not that much." He started shoving the loose bundles of bills that were spread on the table into the bags. "There will be plenty of time to divvy up the cash at the next rendezvous."

"Music to my ears." Franklin began helping collect the cash.

Richard became aware of an eerie silence. The whole group seemed to catch on a moment later. Suddenly the chamber was devoid of music, replaced by the echo of a high pitched whirring sound. Realization struck and he attempted to dive to the ground, but the peculiar sound had already transformed into the thunderous chorus of a bullet storm.

He was hit in the shoulder and thrown backwards. Another projectile just grazing his temple as he was still in midair. bullets ripped through the back doors of the van, until the force of the barrage flung them open. Richard felt another impact in his abdomen as he slammed back against the wall and slowly began to slide into a sitting position. He was wearing a vest, but he could still feel his life blood spilling from where he was torn open.

Chunks of metal, plastic, and money was launched into the air in a cloud of debris as the mounted gatling machine gun, being controlled by some unknown assailant, shredded through anything and everything in its line of site. He watched as the rest of the heist crew went down in blur metal and red showers. Franklin's lifeless, half torn apart body lay sprawled barely a foot away from Richard, his eyes staring, but seeing nothing. He thought he saw his mouth moving as though attempting to speak.

The chain of flashes stopped and the whirring returned, until it too slowed and dissipated completely. Richard's eyes scanned his immediate proximity, pieces of his money still fluttering to the floor, the rest of his crew slaughtered. He assumed Tommy was as well, he was loyal. But they had been double crossed. If he was certain of anything, it was that.

He heard someone approaching, their footsteps slow and methodical, and attempted to remove his gun from its shoulder holster. His arms, however, weren't complying with his demands. From around the table, the slender form of a woman with long, flowing blonde hair came into view. She approached and crouched over him, her hand reaching down and gripping his handgun. Eyes locked with his. He felt the slight tug of the piece coming loose, as the woman took a step back, staring down at him.

His breathing was haggard and he knew he was coughing up blood all over himself. Richard was searching for the words to say. Something. Anything that may save his life. He could tell, though, from the look in her eyes, aglow with a dark flame, that there would be no reasoning with the woman. He couldn't help but revert to what he did best. Giving threats.

"Do... Do you have any..." he drew in a shallow breath and was wrought by a spasm, red trickling down his chin. "Do you have any idea who my father is, you bitch?" The woman didn't pay any mind as she raised and pointed the gun at his face. He couldn't help but laugh raggedly at such brazen stupidity. "He will hunt you do..."

A flash from the gun's muzzle was the last thing Richard saw before passing into darkness.

 

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