Chapter Twenty-two=Foolish Words
Zane discovers that Zane does not need to be woken up by Marshall, because Zane wakes up on Zane's own. Zane doesn't know what time it is when Zane awakens, neither does Zane care. Zane needs not to worry about time, because Zane has foreseen everything. Time is of the essence, but the essence is under control.
Zane sucks in some of the cold air through Zane's teeth, and lets it out with a refreshing exhale.
"Marshall, I have awakened." Zane announces redundantly, standing up and out of Zane's seat, stretching his cold limbs.
Marshall is there, just as Zane predicts. Zane could hear him from the other side of the room.
"Would you like something to eat, Commander?" Marshall asks plainly, his arms behind his back in that ever-so amusing posture that reminds Zane of a butler.
"Oh, perhaps I will, but later." Zane says cheerfully, somewhat energetic after Zane's time to rest. "Come now, Marshall, is there anything new and exciting to report?"
Marshall sighs, somewhat hesitant. "Prince has been doing well. He's been fast asleep for a while now, after he'd been preparing so intensely. It seems like he's been going through every practice session he can to get this right."
"The boy strives for perfection. Very good. He has learned well." Zane decides, and glances towards the monitor that watches over Zane's cousin's barracks. Sure enough, Zane's cousin lies fast asleep on Zane's cousin's bunk, and Zane's cousin had moved only slightly since the last time Zane had looked. "How long has he been out like this, may I ask?"
"A good part of the night up till now, Commander. Most operatives don't sleep for this long. He must be exhausted." Marshall purses his lips slightly. "I can't imagine that this is good for him, Commander. He is your cousin, after all. We need him well-prepared for this mission, not keeled over in his bunk."
"Oh, don't be silly, Marshall, he'll be fine after this rest of his." Zane reassures him. "After all, he is my cousin. If he has any relation to me at all, you should know that he is strong-minded. He will push through this, just as I have planned. He has to remain useful to me, after all. He will be fine once he awakens."
And break when I want him to. Zane licks the insides of Zane's teeth out of anticipation.
"If he is related to you at all, he'll be out of his mind by the time you're through with him." Marshall says, and Zane twists abruptly to glare at him. And Zane glaring is something you would rather not imagine.
"Marshall." Zane hisses pointedly. "Do you dare to test me?"
"I'm only trying to prove a point, Commander."
"Your point is useless to me. You're my servant and nothing more. Do you understand that, my dear?" Zane snarls.
Marshall bows his head slightly. "Acknowledged, Commander. But may I also remind you of this: You wouldn't even be here if it weren't for me—"
"Shut up, just shut up before I decide to kill you in some unimaginable way. I got here because my brilliance is unmatched, and those monsters were imbeciles to try and subdue it, hide it. They've paid their price. Now look at what I've become." Zane bares Zane's teeth threateningly, like an animal. "I got here on my own."
"Calm yourself, Zane." Marshall calls Zane by Zane's name, which abruptly stuns Zane. Zane hasn't heard Marshall call Zane Zane in what seems like ages.
"Oh, you're daring. You test me, Marshall, you truly do. You've no idea how much I want to kill you right now." Zane lets himself relax and settle down into Zane's definition of an average mood. "But I suppose I do owe you your dues. You have managed to have me not kill you all of this time, and that is a very difficult thing to accomplish."
"I'd like to assume that that was a compliment, Commander," Marshall says with just the slightest hint of humor in his voice.
"Why, I believe it was! Take it and indulge yourself in it, Marshall, you won't be hearing another one for a good long time; I can assure you of that. I positively detest giving compliments."
Why does anyone else deserve them anyways?
Only Zane and his brilliance were worthy of complimenting. The rest of the earth's population was scum compared to Zane and Zane's magnificence. Like that annoying sticky substance that clings to the bottoms of shoes.
Marshall chuckles as much as he dared to do so.
"I will indulge myself accordingly, Commander."
He strides through the cold air towards the door to Zane's sanctum. Before exiting the sanctum, he adds, "Farewell, Zane. I shall see you when I see you."
"Indubitably." Zane agrees, and the door clicks shut behind Marshall. Zane is left alone in the cold air of Zane's sanctum once more.
Zane clicks Zane's tongue, turning again towards Zane's desk. Zane felt refreshed after sleeping, as if Zane had just woken up after a fantastic dream.
Zane doesn't truly dream, of course. Zane hasn't dreamed for an extensive amount of time. Rather, Zane remembers things. Zane reminds himself of past killings, the murders Zane had committed in the past. Murdering makes Zane happy, and a happy Zane is a very good idea.
And now that the Organization has taken flight, getting a large sum of income for each assassin's hit wasn't too shabby, either.
Zane had remembered back to the days when Zane killed simply for the pleasure of the act. Zane reminisced about the power that Zane feels behind a gun, the control that Zane craved. Zane could end lives with the slightest of spasms of Zane's fingertip. And, Zane had no need for a silencer; it only decreased the accuracy and reduced the explosive sound of the bucking gun, the sound in which Zane took great comfort. And now they had trained these operatives into the same likeness.
And so Zane recreated them in Zane's own likeness.Oh yes, Zane likes the sound of this very much. Zane debates silently about whether or not Zane should write this down. Zane sets himself down into Zane's desk chair and decides that this is a good idea, pulling out a never-before used journal. Zane writes in Zane's elegant cursive that almost appears italicized, its letters small but sweeping in loops and curls that gives it a sort of splendor all its own.
In the beginning, there was Zane, and Zane was kept from Zane's potential in the beginning. Then, Zane destroyed those who stood in Zane's way, and Zane was there in the beginning.
Zane pauses, pleased with himself. Zane resumes writing.
And so, Zane continued to grow in the ways of the world, and the world was oblivious to Zane's true intentions.
Zane skips a page, deciding that Zane would reorder Zane's writings into a more orderly fashion later.
Zane disposed of more opposing forces along the way, and the Organization was created in their destruction's wake. Zane called Zane's disciples together to create the perfect line of assassins; the Organization. They left everything behind, casting off their old selves, to become members of the Organization.
And so Zane recreated them in Zane's image. Zane called them candidates (who would later be called operatives, if prooven worthy), and Zane saw that it was good.
Zane almost stops there, yet another idea producing itself in Zane's mind. Zane remembers Zane's metaphor from earlier, and ponders about whether or not Zane should add it to this collection. Zane decides that it couldn't hurt. Zane skips a few lines and adds:
Because to them,
Zane is like God.
Zane decides that Zane enjoys this. Zane will have to return to this sometime soon. For now, Zane puts the journal away in the drawer of the desk. Whilst Zane was pushing it shut, a notebook slid towards the front of the drawer. Zane cocks Zane's head in slight surprise; Zane has not seen this particular notebook in quite some time. However, Zane still knows what it is, because Zane is, as mentioned many times before, brilliant.
This particular notebook is a collection of information that Zane himself compiled, a compilation of all of Zane's past acts of murder. Zane's victims.
Zane pulls out the notebook, laying it upon Zane's desk. The notebook is worn, a tad bit battered. The notebook is small and fat, tabs and corners of photographs sticking out at random intervals.
Zane opens it casually, flipping through the slowly yellowing pages. Zane pauses between two pages that are adjacent to one another. Zane's eyes skip over the first page; they had been far too easy a kill. The page adjacent to it provides more interest for Zane.
The picture pasted onto this particular page is of a somewhat tall man with dark hair and eyes wearing casual clothing, a college man at school. The picture had been taken from what looked like a yearbook, the photographer capturing the man in between strides as he walked underneath a pathway that was shaded by trees. Zane glances at the name of this particular victim of Zane's.
Nathan Taylor Senior
Zane smiles. Zane remembers this victim rather well. The cheery man had turned the corner of the man's office building, whistling a strangely cheery tune in the dark and damp weather that it had been that fateful day. The man had been totally and completely oblivious to Zane's presence, making him an easy and unaware target. That was when Zane had struck. Zane's gun had recoiled towards Zane as the bullet had shot through the cold air and into the man's body (Zane could not miss at such a close range, of course), sending the man stumbling to the pavement. Zane remembers standing over the now-dying man, hearing the man's foolish last words.
"You...you're..." The man had feebly said after the initial shock and pain of the impact of the bullet entering his body. He already was drained of any energy to move, and blood poured from his wound steadily.
"The one and only, dear sir. And I believe you've made a dire mistake in muddling with my affairs."
The man had trembled from the excruciating pain that Zane was sure he was going through. The look on the man's face gave Zane the satisfaction of seeing Zane's victim's defeat. Zane liked this.
The man, who had previously been grasping at his wound with his hand, looked down and pulled away his hand. Both his arm and his chest was stained with his own crimson blood.
The man looked up weakly, strength waning. "You're more dangerous than even I...had expected." The man almost sounded impressed.
Zane's lips had curled back in a cynical smile. "Well, dear sir, how dangerous did you think I was, besides the fact that I am creating the world's perfect assassins?"
This time, the man had smiled, and there was almost a sort of challenging factor about his eyes. Zane detested it. The man wanted to believe he was a fighter.
"I suppose you're...right." The man sucked in air desperately."Please, I only ask...one thing."
Zane somewhat admired the man's courage to even suggest such a concept, though Zane would never admit to admiring someone so pathetic as the dying creature before Zane. "And what, my dearest sir, is that thing you ask?"
The man wheezed, and his body showed signs that his moments were numbered.
"Speak quickly, my dear, or I fear you will not speak at all." Zane chuckled, putting Zane's gun back on Zane's belt.
The man, to Zane's surprise, chuckles as well. The man had more...spunk...than Zane would have thought previously. Most of Zane's victims simply screamed themselves to death. Or at least something of the like.
"I only ask that you spare...my son."
Zane had smiled Zane's omnipresent smile, bowed somewhat dramatically, and replied.
"My dear, I am a man of my word."
The man's eyes narrowed and widened in pain before he went into his last fits of pre-death pains.
The man had died moments later, and Zane had used the man's key to open the back door to the man's office. Zane had slipped in to destroy the information the man had had about the (then-forming) Organization.
Zane's gun had then hung lazily on Zane's belt, as if it were satisfied with its kill.
"I apologize, my dear, but you came much too close for comfort." Zane had said to no one in particular as Zane shuffled through files in the man's desk drawers.
"And those who get too close to the flame will indefinitely be burned."
A crunch of gravel underfoot caught Zane's attention, and Zane froze, looking up to glance out the door, which was left slightly ajar.
A young boy stood outside, eyes widened in fear. As Zane locked Zane's gaze with that of the young boy's, the boy's eyes only grew larger in fright.
Zane just stared at the boy.
The boy looked almost as if he wished to fight Zane, and Zane found this to be a very humorous sight. Zane let Zane's fingers drop to Zane's gun, ready to swiftly draw and silence the boy before he could run off.
Zane stopped, getting a better look at the young boy. Further investigating showed that the young boy was a resemblance of the dead man, Taylor.
The young boy was the man's son, no doubt. Zane remembered the dead man's feeble last words, his desperate plea for this pathetic soul's life.
My dear, I am a man of my word. Zane thought as Zane continued Zane's stare-down with the boy.
Moments later, the boy cautiously stepped backwards before turning tail to run. Zane chuckled low under Zane's breath, and spoke quietly to himself before pulling out the files that Zane had been looking for.
"There. The boy has been spared." Zane said. "But make no mistake, Taylor, this is not the end of my story, oh no. No one encounters Zane Stone and lives to tell the tale."
Zane licked the insides of Zane's teeth menacingly.
"And now, your boy's fate has been sealed. The poor dear."
Marshall disturbs Zane's train of thought which Zane finds quite aggravating, but Zane restrains himself and stands up, closing the notebook and pushing it to the far corner of Zane's desk. Marshall approaches Zane professionally, bowing his head slightly out of respect for Zane.
Or, out of the fear that Zane will kill him if he doesn't. Either way works for Zane.
"Greetings, Marshall! What news do you have for me this time, may I ask?" Zane says with a smile. Zane's memories have put Zane in a good mood.
"Prince has awakened, Commander. Would you like him to come to you now?" Marshall speaks robotically. He is not normalized.
Zane's mood skyrockets. "Certainly, my dear! Send my dear cousin to me at once."
Marshall nods his head, turns back out the door, and exits Zane's sanctum swiftly, leaving Zane alone in the cold once more.
Prince woke with a start, surprised at the fact that he had actually slept. He had always slept in-focus at the Organization before, but last night he had really, truly slept. He'd woken up on his belly with his arm being used as a pillow, other arm half dangling over the edge of the bunk.
Prince remembered the first night he had slept out of focus out in the field and growled at himself. The very thought of his initial failure irritated him, aggravated his very being.
This time, there will be no failure. I will not allow it.
He pushed himself up to sit upright on the bunk, letting out a yawn. He had fallen asleep wearing a plain sleeveless shirt and simple pair of jeans. Right now, he was shoeless, but under further examination of his surroundings he found them kicked underneath his bunk. Prince pulled them out and began to put them on his feet.
In the middle of tying them, the sound of someone clearing their throat abruptly startled Prince and made him glance around quickly.
"Azriel." He said, relieved that it was someone familiar to him. Azriel leaned against the wall in a casual manner, though he peered at Prince with an odd look in his eye that perplexed Prince.
"Prince. That was an odd awakening for you." Azriel eyed him strangely.
Prince felt himself flush only slightly in embarrassment. "Oh...yeah. It was weird for me, too." He was being truthful. It was an odd feeling to truly sleep deeply and then awaken in the Organization. Prince decides he has a question to ask, and asked it. "What time is it?"
"It's Monday afternoon, last time I heard. It's easy to loose track of time down here, away from the sunlight." Azriel said in a low voice. His emerald eyes seemed darker; worried, or something. It was beginning to bother Prince.
"I slept through the entire morning?" Prince asked incredulously.
Azriel simply nodded. "You practically collapsed yesterday from training so hard. I'm surprised you managed to make it to your bunk. You looked like the undead, walking."
Prince looked downwards, profoundly distraught with himself. Perhaps training more would help. "I still should have been able to sleep in-focus." He paused before adding quietly, barely more than a breath. "I must've just...been exhausted, I guess..."
Azriel just stared at him with that strange expression, his emerald eyes peering out from behind blonde locks of hair.
The intercom crackled to life. A monotone male voice speaks.
"Operative number thirteen, Prince. Report to the infirmary. The Commander has requested your presence at once."
It crackles a little more before leaving Azriel and Prince in uncomfortable silence.
"You should go. Don't keep the Commander waiting." Azriel said pointedly, a stern murmur. It was almost more of an order than anything else.
Prince swallowed and began to focus his mind. He vaguely searches for Ryan, but finds him nowhere to be found.
He stood, put on his jacket, and strode quickly out of the room, leaving Azriel alone in the barracks.
A/N: This chapter is shorter, but it's all Organization and (mostly) Zane. Yet another revelation, and the reason why Zane "spared" Nathan when they'd made eye contact. It's also now known that Zane is the one who killed Nathan's father, but Nathan doesn't know this yet.
Poor Prince is still just confused. Azriel is also concerned about him (as revealed beforehand) and that's why he's acting strangely, too.
Also, Zane's writings are twisted versions of Bible verses, if anyone out there noticed. I believe all of the verses that are twisted are in the Gospels, but I can't remember. If you aren't Christian and don't understand a word of what I'm blabbing on about, then just accept this as yet another example of Zane's arrogance. ;P
Um, yay :D I'll update as often as possible!
Reviews? I love feedback :D