Like Father, Like Son
(a story by madforfigs) – 2010.8.2
I had a gun shoved in my face and was told that they were using my house as a command center. How was I supposed to know that they were actually the most sought after mercenary group in the country? More importantly, how was I supposed to know that I'd end up falling for the son who had no soul?
"Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose."
That was essentially my life in a nutshell. Four months and thirteen days – that was how long they spent in my home. Four months and thirteen days – I formed new memories; new experiences that have made me doubt everything I once stood for. Four months and thirteen days, I found myself choosing between love and hate, family and friends, right and wrong.
I tried so hard to make things normal again. But it seemed that no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't seem to get it right.
September 1, 2012
I grabbed a loaf of bread, quickly spreading butter on it as the news blasted on the television in the background. It was always the same again and again - another suicide bomber in Pakistan or Afghanistan, killing at least so-and-so many innocent lives, another group of mass murderers on the lam, after making a hit on a renowned senator. I hated listening to all of this; it simply brought back to many unwanted memories.
My father had left as part of his tour with the National Guard. He had come back from Iraq after a six month deployment, only to be called back to Afghanistan when the violence began to escalate. That was August of 2007. Five months later, I received that dreaded message from one of his superiors.
He was a damn good soldier. He was always willing to put himself on the line, for the sake of his comrades. He never thought of himself when it came down to the safety of the others. You should be proud of him. He was one of a kind. No one can ever replace him.
And the officer was right - no one could ever replace my father. I had lost him to my country, a country that was willing to sacrifice people for what? No one could even pinpoint the exact reasoning. To me, war and killing was senseless. There was no logic behind it. All I knew was that I had lost my father to an improvised explosive device, killing all six people in the Humvee.
Imagine the simplicity of the situation had America simply not gone to war in Afghanistan for some godforsaken reason.
But who was I to judge? I didn't know anything. I was just another citizen.
My mom? Well, they had gotten a divorce before my dad left for his final Afghanistan tour. She said that she couldn't stand his fleeting presence, as he disappeared for his multiple deployments. But then, ironically, after filing for divorce, we discovered that the reason she had given up custody of my older brother Patrick and I was because she wanted to pursue an on-field job in Afghanistan with the New York Times.
Essentially, Pat and I were left with nothing. More specifically, I was. When both my parents were gone the summer of 2007, I had no one left in my life. Pat had just graduated from Elon University and had an apartment in New York City so he could maintain juggling his girlfriend and his internship. I, unfortunately, was then left to endure my senior year by myself, with no support system.
Sure, Pat was there for me every day during the college application process itself, but there were other times I wanted him there. My acceptance to Princeton, my senior awards night, my graduation... no one was there for me during those times. All I wanted was for someone to be there with me... someone for me to share some memories with me.
But I had no one left.
I was simply alone.
In the end, even with all my scholarships and financial aid, I was simply unable to pay for a full-time college tuition. Reality struck me, as I realized that there were basic utilities, property taxes and the need to save for a future. I declined admission to Princeton and instead, enrolled in the local community college.
I was well on my way for an associate's degree and Pat had even agreed to move into the house after I was done so that I would be able to get my bachelor's at a private institution. He even agreed to foot the bill with me.
September 2012... This was the moment I decided that I would turn my life around. I would graduate top of the class so I could receive more grant money when I turned my sights on another Ivy League. I was determined to make the most of the year, enjoying it with my friends instead of insisting on spending nights in.
I grabbed my keys from the hook and swung my backpack over my shoulder. As I stepped out the front door, the cool morning air filled my senses. I tossed my belongings into the passenger seat and slammed the door shut. As I made my way to the other side of my car, I heard some rustling from the trees next to my driveway.
I turned around warily, expecting to see a woodland creature. But imagine my surprise when I saw a guy sitting on a tree stump with a pistol in his hand. I rubbed my eyes, and looked back up, only to see he hadn't moved.
"Uh," I said cautiously, slowly inching my way towards my car, "you know you're in broad daylight right now. Waving a gun around like that probably isn't the smartest thing to do."
"I'm not waving it around." The guy retorted, staring me down with his bright blue eyes. "I'm just sitting here. So," he pushed himself off the stump and began walking towards me, while sticking the gun into its holster, "you live here?"
"Yeah?" I replied hesitantly, opening the door to my Prius. "Listen, I have to get to class. I really don't have time to talk."
"Class." He laughed taking a step towards me. I immediately tensed as he stood a few inches in front of me. He raised his hand towards my face as I flinched automatically, waiting for the slap. Oddly enough, it never came. He gripped my chin with his hand and turned my face towards him. "I wouldn't hit a girl." He laughed, tilting my face up so that he could inspect me from both angles. "You look a little old to be in high school. How old are you?"
"I'm twenty. I go to community." I replied, attempting to cover up my anxiety. With years of practice under my belt, I could practically mask my true emotions to everyone. But when it came down to trying to hide it in the presence of an armed, and potentially dangerous, man, I didn't know how successful I could possibly be. "I really do have to go though. Um, so yeah."
I pushed him away and the guy backed away a few steps without protest, much to my surprise. I gave him one more look-over before turning towards my car.
I opened the driver side door and leaned down to sit. But before I could go anywhere, I was immediately pulled out by my collar and thrown against the side of the car. Panic was coursing through my body as I stared up at my assailant. An unfamiliar man was towering over me, his dark eyes glaring down at me, both physically and mentally pinning me down.
Who in the world were these people?
"Where the fuck do you think you're going?" the man hissed, pulling me up closer. He had a death grip on my shirt, yanking my face close to his own. I tried to squirm away, but it was to no avail. His hold merely tightened and I thought he was about to throw me to the ground and pound my face into the pavement until another voice interrupted our stare-fest.'
"Peterson, let her go." This voice was grittier, more intimidating than this Peterson's and the first guy I had heard. If anything, it definitely seemed to be the voice of the man who was in control of everything because as soon as he spoke, Peterson let me go. An older man, approximately in his mid-fifties came into view, a stoic look plastered on his face. "Let's go inside and talk shall we?"
I hesitated briefly and looked over my shoulder. No one was outside at the moment, no one ever was. It was nine in the morning on a weekday; everyone was already at work and every teenager was already in school. I looked down at my car and gestured with my thumb towards the general direction of my community college. "Yeah, uh, I should actually probably be getting-"
"No, I don't believe you do have anywhere to go. I think it's in your benefit to come inside with us now."
If looks could kill, I'd be a hot mess on my driveway right now.
"Okay." I replied obediently and led the way into my house.
I heard the man open his cell phone and type away numbers as he spoke. Before I knew it, a van had come from the other direction and pulled swiftly into my driveway behind my car. Seven other men piled out of the car, slamming the door shut after them. I turned away from all of that, and resumed walking. I quietly unlocked the door and made my way into the kitchen.
I heard the rustling and grunting of men as they slowly flooded through my front door. I didn't dare to see what baggage they were carrying into my house. For all I knew, they could be filling my living room with corpses or nuclear weapons. Only when the front door slammed shut did I dare to venture out into the now bustling room.
Nine men were situated around the room, a few of them setting up wires and laptops into the unoccupied outlets. The first guy I had seen that morning sitting on the tree stump was now kneeling behind a big black duffel back. I leaned against the door frame as he unzipped it quickly.
But as soon as I saw what he had pulled out, I nearly fainted. What appeared, to me, was an M14, sitting in his hands. He cocked it and quickly inspected it, before looking through the scope. "It's looking good, Jack." He said to no one in particular, until I saw the older man who had saved my life earlier, appear next to him.
"Alright, sounds good." Jack said, clapping his shoulder. "Alright, men. This is what's going down. Peterson, Jay, Lance, Rusty, Matt and I will be moving out at oh-five-hundred tomorrow. Nick, Corey, Garret and Danny, you guys will stay behind and man our new command post. With the FBI on our trail, we can't go back to our original place. Got it?"
The other men nodded silently, but apparently this Jack-commander figure didn't like their meager response. "I said, do you all fucking understand what I'm saying, you fuckheads?" Jack snapped, instantly catching the attention of the other nine men.
"Yes, sir." The nine chorused in unison, as I merely stood in silence, trying to understand what was going on around me.
"Now you, girl." Jack said, suddenly turning on me. "You will supply my men with sleeping accommodations. You will keep the food supply available. And most importantly, you will not turn us into the police. If you do, I promise you that you will not want to live another day." He ended coldly. "Do you understand?"
I merely nodded as Jack laughed at my clear and apparent cowardice. "You shouldn't be scared of us; we're the good guys in this world."
At that comment, I couldn't hold it back. I immediately let out an unattractive snort, attempting to hold back the sarcastic laugh from his lame attempt at humor. But as soon as I did, I immediately covered my mouth, in fear of my own life. If there was anything I didn't want to do, it would be to piss off this extraordinarily violent man who was probably going through his mid-life crisis at this very moment.
But instead of the .45 Colt I expected to be shoved in my face, he merely laughed and approached me cautiously. "Girl, you've got some balls to be laughing at me. Haven't you figured out who we are?"
I shook my head as he continued to laugh. Something deep inside of me was telling me that I actually probably did not want to know what his answer was going to be.
"Senator Ridge, Massachusetts." He said, a deadly smirk on his face. "Does that name ring a bell?" Of course it did, it was the senator that CNN had just mentioned this morning that had fallen victim to a mass murderer's assassination – wait.
"You...?" I finally managed to say, the first words I brought myself to say to Jack this entire time.
Jack merely laughed bitterly, a cold expression taking over. "Yes, it was me. It was all of us. Welcome to the world of Die Moerder."
I stood stock still for a moment, taking in the severity of my current situation. I was housing the deadliest and most sought after group in the nation. I might only be twenty years old, but I wasn't stupid.
All I knew was that right now, I was in some real deep shit.
Wow, so it's been a while and I really do apologize. I suddenly got back into the swing of things, and I realize how much I hated this story. However, I did like the last 3 chapters, no lie. That's because they were written in the senior year of high school and that was actually the peak of my writing. The earlier chapters however... I despise them with all my heart. I couldn't bring myself to write anymore of this story with those first 7 chapters being there. So I am redoing the first few chapters. I will however, keep the same plotline, and the last 3 chapters will be essentially the same, give or take some grammatical and political corrections.
So fear not, most of the characters will STILL BE THE SAME.
I'm just revamping it, and making it more to my taste.
It will take a while before I get back to wherever chapter 10 ended, but I will reach it eventually! Please bear with me while the story goes through some minor tweaking.
And I apologize now for my HUGE absence. BUT I am back!
Enjoy, peeps ^^