"Rigor Mortis"-The life after death RP(Started/PM for participation)-Arc 4: Closing Loose Ends

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Frank was surprised at the response he received from his employees. Not many stay silent in the face of death, and even fewer say such bold statements.

"You signed a contract"

Frank walked into the apartment and past the others. He went around the table and stood in front of the cupboard. He opened it and looked at its content. Good, it's here

"You will be working for me from now on. No contact with the living. Dead Men tell no tales"

He crouched and looked at the bottom of the cupboard. He pulled out three large, sealed brown envelopes, stood up, closed the cupboard and placed them on the desk. Frank looked at the man that spoke to him earlier. "You are allowed to kill. You need to collect a debt.", Frank pushed one of the sealed envelopes towards Ben, "Pick one".

He turned to the rest of the group. "Pair up. Each take an envelope". He began walking towards the exit. "When you ask for the debt, tell him Alice sent you."

Frank turned around after he had left the front door of the apartment. "I forgot to give you something sweet. A welcoming gift. Each take one. It'll keep you alive". Frank pulled a plastic bottle filled with six pieces of candy. He threw it towards the Table, hoping that Ben would catch them.

I hope they won't die like the others

Hesitation clogged Mira's head as their new employer laid out the plans to recovering the "debt" that they had supposedly had when they signed the contract. Mira knew that in one way or the other their employer would demand something from them and there it was. Not only that but he was forcing a cooperation with the group, a bunch of people that Mira had just met.

"You are allowed to kill. You need to collect a debt."

Mira swallowed a lump in her throat and realized the bitter irony of her being a paramedic with a license to kill. All her career she had to save people's lives now the exact opposite was expected from her. She curled her fist even after Frank left wondering what would happen next as she looked at the brown envelopes.

"You are allowed to kill. You need to collect a debt."

No complaints here. If he was already dead, Spencer had nothing to lose.

"Pair up. Each take an envelope."

Pair up. Spencer knew this wasn't going to be easy from the moment he heard the sentence. He had no intention of working with Brendan, and he still wasn't entirely sure he could trust the others. He barely even knew their names, and the pale girl didn't even give him that much to go on.

"Tell him Alice sent you."

Spencer took note of the name, took the bottom of the two remaining envelopes and a piece of candy from a bottle the stranger left them and decided to see if anyone would approach him. If not, he would pair up with the last person left in the room.

"Pair up. Each take an envelope".

Finally we're getting somewhere Marcus thought, but again he was frustrated by the circumstances he was being placed in. Despite his earlier anger and bravado, he felt dirty having to do this man's bidding, and sick with himself over what he might be forced to do. But those feelings would have to wait.

Right now he had to work out who he should pair himself with, no easy task. Brendan was obviously a smart operator, and would probably be the most willing to kill when necessary, but Marcus still wouldn't trust him.

Adrian, on the other hand, was both trustworthy and intellectually capable, and yet he doubted the man's nerve and physical abilities.

He had yet to see anything useful for this sort of thing come out of Spencer, but the kid was no danger to him, and could still surprise him yet.

The younger girl he did not know enough about yet to be willing to trust her, though she would most likely be a natural if they ever needed to blend in to a crowd.

He eventually settled on Mira. It was her response to Adrian's question that sealed it from him. He had expected someone of her position to choke at the very idea of possibly having to hurt people, and yet she had seemed, if not entirely willing, at least open to the idea when there was no other option. Marcus also figured that a paramedic would be able to hold her nerve, and remain physically and mentally alert in a high stress situation. She was also one of the more trustworthy members of the group.

Ideally he would have preferred to work alone, as he wasn't entirely comfortable around any of them yet. However, he knew he would feel a lot more confident with her watching his back than Brendan. He took two pieces of candy, handing one of them to Mira as he said as sincerely as he could manage, "I trust you. Can you trust me?"

Evey remained where she was while everyone entered. Not sure how she wanted to react, or if she wanted to react at all. When the final man walked in, it took her a moment to realise he was the man who had brought her back to life. She didn't like the man almost from the outset. No man should have power over life and death, no human ever should. They'd misuse it and bend it to their will, just as this man had. When he declared himself the gathered souls' new boss, her dislike matured into hatred. A cold, low hatred that took her mind to dark, planning, plotting places. She had never liked being told what to do, even if it was something that made sense, and now it was something she had to do, she liked it even less. She decided to put that to the back of her mind for now, and focus on staying alive for now. Something she hated herself for.

"What would happen" she asked, as if posing a hypothetical situation to a physics teacher "if we didn't collect the debt? I assume we'd die, that much is kind of clear, but what about them?" she walked to the table "And what about these?" she asked, tentatively taking one from the bottle and inspecting it. "How do they work? Technology? Magic?" she eyed the brown envelopes with internal distaste, deciding she wasn't going to choose one herself. "How can you even bring someone back from the dead?"

"What would happen if we didn't collect the debt? I assume we'd die, that much is kind of clear, but what about them? And what about these?"

Spencer tried to answer the question.

"We don't know that we're the only ones. For all we know, there could be an entire army of people like us, just waiting for their new orders. The people we need to collect from, they're doomed, one way or another. And the candy, I can only assume it keeps us alive. It's probably some sort of reward for doing what we're told."

He was clutching his envelope tightly in his hand. Brendan already got the second one, probably still considering who to pair up with. Marcus offered his help to Mira, meaning one of them will probably pick up the last one off the table.

The only remaining partners were Adrian and the girl. He already knew who Adrian was, so he turned to the girl, trying to find out more about her.

"By the way, what's your name? What happened to you?"

"Obviously it keeps us alive, that's why he said it." Evey said, a touch of derision in her tone. "I'm Evey though" she said, holding out a hand to shake with a smile.

"As for how... It happened? I stabbed myself. Accidentally." she said, shaking some hair in front of her face, focusing on that as she talked. "I was clearing up, and I tripped and just sort of fell onto a kitchen knife."

The professor watched intently as the others began pairing off. He found that he was able to make several assumptions about his new "co-workers" by the way were interacting.

The envelopes had been taken by the younger men, as was to be expected. Adrian was not surprised at all that they had tried adopting an assertive position within the group. Brendan was just standing and observing the others. Marcus had walked boldly up to Mira to recruit her aid. Spencer was chatting (a little eagerly, he noted) to Evey, the girl who had been so thoroughly in the shadows since everyone's arrival. She had been posing the questions that were already on the front of his mind. Adrian didn't feel the need to reiterate them.

Brendan seemed strong and intelligent, but his brashness and lack of tact was certainly an issue. But the detail that struck him as the most odd was that the others seemed to be shying away from the student, as though they were vaguely afraid of him.

Adrian could not figure out how that came about. Although Brendan had been quietly thoughtful and judging of the others, he didn't feel as though that was any reason to discount him.

The geologist quietly moved in beside the chemist.

"Looks like we're in this one together."

"It would be stupid of me to say no." Mira said to Marcus. He looked certainly younger than her but not by much. "By the looks of it we have to team up now that our "employer" has made us. I hate being bossed around too, something about having no say things or always having someone watching over your shoulder gets to me."

Mira grabbed the piece of candy from Marcus and put it in her pocket for now. Mira got up from the couch and fetched the envelope for Marcus but most importantly for her. She was about to open it until a thought crossed her mind. She held it out for Marcus.

"Care to do the honors?" Mira asked him.

"Care to do the honors?"

Marcus' instinctive thought was that he didn't even want to touch the envelope, let alone open it and put the responsibility of what was going to be asked from the pair of them on him. However, a voice inside his head squashed that thought with a very decisive "man up!"

The envelope contained an address, the last part of which Marcus recognized as being from a leafy suburb not to dissimilar to the one where his adoptive parents lived. Good. A residential area meant that they probably wouldn't have to break into a high security facility or face down a bunch of thugs, as he had feared. Second place was the address of an office block downtown. He just hoped there wouldn't be much security to speak of. Marcus didn't want to take any chances. The man had said they were free to kill and he didn't want to go unprepared for such an eventuality. He needed something, anything that he could use to defend himself, yet they didn't seem to have been given anything. The flat was empty. He crouched own and took off his shoelaces (the shoes were a little small for him anyway, so they were still going to fit). It was crude, but it would have to do. There was also a photo of his target and a name. The photo showed a man who looked to be in his early thirties, who's facial features looked a little disconcertingly similar to his own. Marcus had a talent for estimating other people physical abilities, and this was a man who could probably count on one hand the amount of fights he had been in in his life, and had probably won even less. If things got ugly, there would be no contest.

He turned to Mira. "Well, we have our orders" he joked, but the hint of bitterness in his voice was real. "Let's go."

As they left the room Marcus wondered about something Mira had said to him.

"I hate being bossed around too"

Strange, he'd never mentioned how much he disliked authority being forced on him. She must have figured that out from the way he'd been looking at their new boss. It seemed the carefully constructed wall he'd built to hide his feeling from others was cracking in places...

It looked like he had caught the others off guard with his sarcastic statement- even maybe stunned the odd man too for a second. Ben had grabbed the envelope and started to twiddle with the seal. He looked at the candies in the bottle on the table. He picked up the bottle and poured one into his hand.

He had no issue with the killing- he had already guessed that that was what they were going to be doing, who else brings people back from the dead just to do something small-time like a bank robbery. Now, he was a debt collector with full license to kill, though he thought death was probably part of the deal.

Brendan decided on the name for the odd man, Charon. He seemed to be just like the boat keeper of myth, with full power over who crosses, and who doesn't.

"Looks like we're in this one together"

Ben snapped out of his thoughts, looked at Adrian and nodded.

"Looks like it."

He heard the pale girl give her name- Evey, and she stabbed herself with a kitchen knife accidentally? Definitely wouldn't be a good use as a knife.

Ben passed the bottle of candies to Adrian, then opened the envelope and started to pull out the contents and popped the candy into his mouth.

"Let's go, we need to do recon of the place, do you need anything before we go? I have everything I need in the trunk of my car."

Frank had always loved hearing the response of dead men speculating what brought them to life. All tried guessing what had happened, some assumed things were made by request from a higher being. It really was, but of the other sort. "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". Frank answered the girl, "But I can't tell you much. You ought to take it now or you'll drop dead on your way there".

He looked at Marcus opening the envelope as per instructed. "Inside is a home address. A name, a picture. The address of his workplace. The third one should be in his office at this time of day. The Accountant, Mr. Mark" Frank continued talking, but it seemed like it hurt his throat.

The other two envelopes contained the identities of an Edger M. Larkin, a property lawyer who lives near the shopping mall uptown, and Jeremy Higgins, a bank clerk that lies in a crummy apartment downtown, a walk of ten minutes from the apartment he stands in.

Marcus turned around towards the stairway. "Don't die"

Mira off-handily watched as Marcus removed his shoelaces and was reminded of something in her pocket as well. She fished around her pockets in her cargo pants until she arrived to the point. They were EMT scissors, made for cutting through cloth or other similar materials. The point of the blades were rounded out except for the drop into the blades. It could function as a stabbing weapon but whoever held had to have the strength to shove into flesh. She took note of that and of Marcus.

"What does it say?" Mira said, curiosity dripping from her speech because after all this was who they were supposed to kill. She tried to act nonchalant to the revealing of who they would kill but Mira couldn't stand herself by doing so. She wanted to see the good in this but so far it wasn't really working.

Spencer looked around the room. Everyone else had already left except for him and Evey. He only knew how she died, and he wasn't sure if she was cut out for this kind of work. He wasn't even sure if he was cut out for it, but choices were made and they had work to do.

"Looks like we're the only ones left."

Evey seemed wary of the envelopes since the stranger put them on the table, so he decided to open it himself.

"Seems to be the address of a Jeremy Higgins. It's not far from here. We can walk."

He turned towards the door and ate the candy.

Halfway down the stairs, a thought popped into his head. There were only three things in his backpack, and none of them were even remotely deadly. He turned to Evey.

"You got anything we could use as a weapon... if it comes down to that?"

Anything but a knife, he thought, but he kept that comment to himself.

Adrian studied their superior as he pulled his sweet from the bottle and passed it on to another. He could detect a hint of grim satisfaction on the man's face that heavily contrasted with his painfully scratchy voice. Something told Adrian that this man took a little more pleasure in his work than most.

"Let's go, we need to do recon of the place, do you need anything before we go? I have everything I need in the trunk of my car."

Adrian shook his head as Brendan spoke.

"Well, I doubt we'll need anything too elaborate for some simple extortion."

Simple extortion? Wow, that's a phrase I never thought I would hear myself say.

He followed Brendan out the door, quietly swishing the candy around in his mouth. He knew that this day was only just beginning.

"Which target are we after?"

Frank had left the apartment and began walking towards the house of Jeremy Higgins. He appeared again on the other side of the sidewalk, looking up at the window of his apartment. The man is old and frail... but he still resists. All about values

Frank had to deal with Higgins once, even though it wasn't his responsibility. One veteran to the other. He asked him to cooperate, that he'll be rewarded. The old man, in his late 60s refused. The bald and short Caucasian seemed so fragile at the time, but when Frank pushed, he pushed back. Such unnatural eyes

Frank reached for his right pocket. He grabbed a packet and took out a cigarette and returned the packet to its place. he placed it by his mouth and sighed. As he looked up at the dark, star filled sky, he snapped his fingers and ignited the cigarette. He inhaled it into his lungs, took it out and exhaled the smoke. Beautiful Alice

Ben looked at the contents of the envelope, the target was a man- Edgar M. Larkin, a property lawyer, with both his work and home addresses. A photo was attached to the dossier, Ben studied the photo as he walked down the hall, the passed the sheets to Adrian.

"We'll hit his house first, hitting him in his private location is better than confronting him in public. We need to know what his house is like and if there is collateral that we have to worry about. I want to make this quick when we do it, an in-and-out job. We'll get the intel we need from his house, try not to make too much noise though. I have various general anesthetics, some sodium pentathol, and about four pounds of Potassium Chloride in the trunk of my car. Let's get to work."

Brendan opened the door to the outside, taking in a breath of fresh air, and waited for Adrian to come out.

Frank threw the cigarette to the ground and left the scene, hoping that the others could handle themselves. He went to the house of one Edger M. Larkin, a large house with a front and back yard, coupled with a dog and two kids. All that was missing was a white fence. Frank appeared again in front of the house. The last light in Edger's office was turned off.

He grabbed his packet of cigarettes again and placed one in between his lips. If only I could have you, Alice. If only . Frank tried to remember how Edger looked like. He hadn't dealt with him himself and Alice didn't give too many details. A man in his early 40s, tall and overweight. A balding man with little brown hair and a terribly feminine voice. At least that'show he sounded when Alice mocked him.

Shouldn't be that hard , Frank thought to himself. He snapped his fingers one more time and lite his cigarette. After he had finished he threw it to the ground and left, heading towards the workplace of Jeremy Higgins.

"You got anything we could use as a weapon. If it comes down to that?"

Evey thought for a moment, going over the items in her backpack as she sucked on her sweet resentfully, wishing she'd had time to return . Two changes of clothes, a hairbrush, shampoo, antiperspirant and perfume. "Not unless our guy has really bad hair" she said. "I think the best thing is to plan ahead so it doesn't come down to that. I could probably kill him if we need to, but I don't know if I'd quite be able."

"What does it say?"

"We've got a name, a photo, and two addresses" Marcus replied, handing her the envelope and putting the candy in his mouth. "Boss just said he should be at his work address, so we'll head there first. The guy doesn't look like much of a challenge, the hard part will be getting in and out without drawing attention to ourselves."

Marcus studied her EMT uniform, it was covered in blood. "You're going to need to change." He informed her. "and I reckon I probably need to clean myself up too. I have a car, so just tell me where you need me to go."

As they went down the stairs Marcus' thoughts turned to Boss (for that was what Marcus was content to call him. Giving him a name made their interaction personal, which was the last thing Marcus wanted). There was something off about him, besides his ability to apparently raise the dead. He looked young, not that much older than Marcus himself in fact, yet he sounded like a man creeping towards his deathbed. What was that insignia he had seen on Boss blazer when he woke up by the roadside? Is he acting alone, and if he isn't, just how high does this thing go?

ignore this post.

"I have various general anesthetics, some sodium pentathol, and about four pounds of Potassium Chloride in the trunk of my car."

Adrian eyed Brendan suspiciously. It seemed as though his partner had quite a pharmacy sitting in the back of his vehicle. He briefly considered inquiring as to where Brendan had acquired all of these chemicals before deciding it would just be better to let it go for now.

"So we'll be able to dull the pain, stick him in a coma, or just kill him outright, eh? Seems like you've got the bases covered."

He hadn't even realized that he was speaking until the words had flown from his mouth. It was just too suspicious to let go without any comment at all. Still, he was glad that he had phrased it as a complement.

One thing was certain: he had picked a good partner for this kind of work. He just wasn't sure yet if he should be pleased by that fact or not.

The air outside was stale with the emissions from the nearby factories. Adrian briefly longed for the fresh air of the country before focusing back on the task at hand as he moved with Brendan to the car. As they walked, he read over the information about their target.

A lawyer, huh? Well, I have a hard time feeling too guilty about working over a scumbag like that. Maybe this won't be so bad after all.

He looked up from the dossier at Brendan.

"I can't imagine he will need too much persuasion. This shouldn't be too hard."

"I could probably kill him if we need to, but I don't know if I'd quite be able."

Spencer knew exactly what she meant.

They arrived at the address with in less than 10 minutes. It was an old building in the same neighborhood as the one they were in just some time ago. The light in the apartment was on. Jeremy Higgins was obviously not one to go to sleep early. He looked around. There seemed to be no fire escape or anything of the sort.

"Maybe we can wait until the lights go out? Who knows how this guy is going to react once we mention the debt. I can pick the lock or break in if necessary."

I could have phrased that a little better.

"What I meant was... I'm not a thief. Though I suppose it doesn't matter now. It's just something I had to learn after breaking an important key."

He turned to Evey, waiting to hear out her suggestions. A job like this required careful planning and teamwork.

"To answer the unspoken question, I lifted them from a chem lab that I worked at. But I don't have everything, most of the acids and chemicals that require refridgeration or freezing temperatures were left back at my old apartment."

Ben stopped at his car, it was a 2001 grey saturn SL2, not exactly new, but in fairly good condition.

Ben motioned for Adrian to get in the car as he pushed the clutch down and started the car, Metric's Monster Hospital playing over the radio.

"The neighborhood he lives is pretty white collar, the address looks like the house as well, we might have to deal with family."

Brendan shifted the car into first and pulled out onto the street, in the direction of the target's house.

Evey frowned at Spencer. "And you couldn't ask for a new key? she asked. She paced a little down the road, trying to get a better angle through the window. Without a fire escape it would be hard to get away, but it would also be hard to get anywhere as a surprise.

"My best guess is go up and talk to him, say we're from the bank or something -That was what the address was, right?- and say we're doing work experience or something, and we're following up on some kind of filing error that has to be sorted right away, ask for a cup of tea before we head back, then lock the doors and windows and confront him." she said, making the plan up as she went. "Does that sound OK to you?"

"Well, it's better than my plan. I like the idea of having him invite us in. Although if there was a filing error in the bank, he might be wondering why we didn't call him on the phone at this hour. Or why we didn't wait for the morning."

Spencer sighed, wishing his phone wasn't dead right now. He had no idea how late in the night it was, but looking at the building, Higgins' apartment was one of the only ones with the light on. The streets were almost empty. They might have to improvise a little to convince him to let them in.

"Well, I'm out of ideas. Unless you have something to add, we should go up and speak to him before he goes to sleep."

He entered the building and started walking up the stairs, waiting for Evey to follow him.

Around half an hour later Marcus and Mira were outside the offices where Mr Mark worked. Waiting in Marcus' car (a black Ford sedan, he didn't like anything too flashy). Marcus had taken a small knife from the kitchen at Mira's place, which seemed like a big improvement on his shoelaces, and which he now hid in the pocket of his hooded sweater. The hood, combined with the scarf he had been wearing and had now pulled over the lower half of his face, made him almost completely unidentifiable.

Finally, he had also taken a roll of duct tape for restraining the package (he didn't like using his name, it reminded him that he was hunting a real human being, who might have a wife and kids for all Marcus knew) if he needed. Marcus wasn't planning on just killing this man and walking away. First, he wanted answers. What was the 'debt' they were supposed to be collecting? Who was Alice, why did Boss give then the green light to kill, and just what the hell had they all been sucked into here?

Mira hadn't spoken in a long time, and Marcus guessed that she was sharing his anxieties. They'd decided it was too risky to try and break into the Office. Neither of then really knew what they were doing and their was too much risk involved. Ideally, they didn't want to get him at home either. If he did have family then Marcus wanted this done clean, no collateral damage unless absolutely unavoidable. The best strategy was to get him as he left the office. That way he'd be out in the open and on his own. It would be where he was most vulnerable. Luckily, Marcus knew this area well. He'd worked in a gas station not far from here for around 4 months last summer, and had passed this building on his way to a from work every day. As a result he knew exactly when and where the package would appear, as well as having an extensive knowledge of several places they could take him where they wouldn't be seen and would have all the time they needed to question him. Marcus had already taken great care to check for any outside CCTV watching the building, and it was clean. For once, it seemed like his luck was in.

It was almost time. He turned to Mira...

"Stay here. I need you to keep the car running just in case we have to leave in a hurry." He said, before picking up the knife, the tape, and the photo, and then exiting the car.

Evey quickly followed on after a moment, and tried not to touch any of the walls in the stairwell. It wasn't that the place looked dirty, or at least, not very dirty, but it just looked old and unpleasant. Like the paint on the walls would peel off, or the bannisters would fall if she put too much weight on them. When they reached the apartment, Spencer raised his hand to knock on the door.

"Wait" she said, in a sharp whisper. "He's not all that likely to open up to a young man at his age. You might be about to rob him or something. People are much more friendly to pretty young girls. They're less likely to beat you and steal all of your valuables."

Spencer lowered his hand and stepped back with a curt nod, moving out of view of the peephole. Satisfied, Evey smoothed down her hair, shifted her clothes a little bit and knocked sharply on the door three times, waiting for the door to open.

After a short wait, she was rewarded by the sound of a bolt and a chain being undone, and the door opened a short distance, the face from the picture given appearing in the gap. "Hello there, Mr Higgins" she said brightly, with a practised fake smile. "I'm Sarah, and this is Tom. We're doing work experience at the bank, and apparently they've had some sort of filing error that they need you to sort out. I don't really know or understand the specifics of it, but apparently it's all hands on deck, so could you possibly come down with us and help sort it out. I know it's late, but they it's really urgent."

"To answer the unspoken question, I lifted them from a chem lab that I worked at. But I don't have everything, most of the acids and chemicals that require refridgeration or freezing temperatures were left back at my old apartment."

Brendan was not one to dance around the issues. He cut straight to the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it was to others. Adrian was able to appreciate his frankness, even if he was a little concerned about how flippant his partner was about the crimes.

Adrian stepped silently into the sedan, not acknowledging his concerns our loud. Life was going to be foreign to him from here out. The laws and morality of the outside would did not really apply to any of them anymore.

Still, this realization seemed surreal to him.

"The neighborhood he lives is pretty white collar, the address looks like the house as well, we might have to deal with family."

Adrian shook his head.

"If it comes to that, we need to use subtlety to get at him. I don't want to involve anyone more in this than we have to."

It seemed like a fair strategy. It would keep unwanted attention off of the the pair and it would minimize any collateral damage. He glanced at Brendan briefly to gauge a response.

Mr. Higgins did not received many visitors this year. A man walked up to him and offered him to accept Jesus Christ as his lord and savior. Some hooligans tried to break into his apartment, but they left shortly after they heard the sound of bones crack. His children and grandchildren didn't call and probably only cared for his inheritance, and he retired from the bank only a few months ago.
He was surprised to hear that a young miss had knocked on his door, asking to come in. Ignoring her flimsy excuse, Jeremy kept the door open but didn't let her in yet. "What do they need me for? I settled everything in October, I'm already retired.", Jeremy said in a tired sounding voice. He opened the door and took a step back, revealing the contents of his apartment. His bed laid near his window overlooking the dimly lit street. Next to it were the closet and desk, a small lamp , a letter opener and a few pieces of paper on top of it.
"Do it quickly. Do I need to sign anything?" he said and turned around towards his desk to get a pen.
.
.
Frank viewed the car Marcus and Mira were in from around a dimly lit corner leading to an alley. His eyes shifted to the offices where the young and dashing Dan Mark worked tirelessly. He looked at his watch again. It was time for him to leave. He usually walks home from work. Shouldn't be much trouble following him home or even confronting him on the street.

Frank began looking for his packet of cigarettes again. He felt his hand was stopped by something. "Alice" he said, "Why are you here, dear?" he asked her, desperately trying to make his voice sound appealing. A red silhouette appeared behind Frank. "I'm waiting for a progress report", Frank could hear a sweet fruity voice coming from the shadows. "Nothing so far. Still trying their first." Frank pulled his arm forward and reached for his cigarettes again. He put one in his mouth. "I still want to be-" Frank said , but he stopped the moment a sudden breeze went by and dropped his cigarette. Frank walked a few steps forward and crouched, picking up the cigarette. "You know I can't stop", he told Alice.
"You know I can't be with you", she answered.

Higgins turned around and started walking towards his desk, leaving the door open behind him. Spencer and Evey exchanged a look and quietly followed him inside. If something was to be done, they should do it now.

Spencer's mind was going into overdrive as he scanned the apartment for something they might use to incapacitate Higgins. He noticed Evey was doing the same thing.

If she can get his attention for just a moment, I might be able to take the lamp from the desk and knock him out. Once he's down, we can restrain him and ask him about Alice and the debt, and maybe even avoid the worst.

The plan, while a bit crude, was the best he could think of right now. If he had more time, he would have already taken his laptop out of his bag and knocked the man out with it. There were some sheets on his bed with which they could tie him up. As a last resort there was a letter opener on the desk. Spencer felt a shiver run down his back as the thought popped into his head.

He gave Evey a meaningful look while the old man was going through his desk, apparently searching for something, and motioned slowly towards the lamp on the table, hoping she would understand him.

Higgins had found what he was looking for and turned around to catch the miss he let in exchange glances with the young man she mentioned earlier. He knew something was off. Without even questioning the two he quickly reached for his letter opener and held it firmly in his right hand. He waved it around and aimed it at the young man. "Get out, NOW" he screamed at the two, "You won't kill me in my own home, you hooligans!" he shouted at the two, swinging the knife forward. Higgins just wanted to be left alone but others had plans for him. He had left the bank months ago and settled all of his affairs. He had moved to this new apartment and did not disclose his location to anyone he had worked with. "You're not from the bank", he said as he eyed the pretty girl that tricked him. He held the letter opener expertly, retaining his training in close combat from his days in Vietnam.

"Mr Higgins please." Evey said, balancing on the balls of her feet, ready to run if necessary. "We don't want to kill you, we don't even want to hurt you. We just want to collect a debt so we can stay alive. Please, just put down the weapon." she continued, trying to maintain a calm, reasonable tone, and appeal to his better nature. "I've already died once today, and I don't think you want to kill a seventeen year old girl, Jeremy. It's not clean, and it hurts a lot."

He faltered, and lowered the letter opener with a grimace.
"Thank you." Evey said, relaxing a little. "Alice sent us. Does that mean anything to you?"

Ben briefly glanced at Adrian, then put his eye back on the road. The older man obviously was struggling with the fact that they were going to be working outside of morals that society had deemed as normal.

"I agree, we need to keep it subtle, I don't think we're being employed to start mass murders. At least, not yet. That being said, we will need to plan for Murphy."

Ben drove by the mall, turning into the neighborhood where the target lived. It was upper class, almost sickening it's generalization of the American nuclear family.

"Christ, it looks like we took a trip down into a fifties sitcom. Anyways, we're about to reach our destination, how do you want to go about this? I'm thinking subterfuge, you know, knock on his door and ask for his services like a jolt to the car, something like that."

Mira nodded slowly. It had been a blur in Mira's eyes the entire time. From going to Mira's place and silently watching the event unfold. She kept her heart busy by having it beat to the rhythm of David's Piano Recital and not to the lowly hum of the Ford. Her mind was absorbing the area around her, taking in every piece of the surrounding area but keeping an eye on Marcus in case things go afoul.

Her hands tensed up against the dashboard, caressing the bumpy polyurethane foam. Her eyes wandered from the street lamps to Marcus, marching off to confront their target. It was initially awkward leading Marcus into her apartment earlier on but it was because of this situation that they were forced into that made her slowly adjust to his presence. She only allowed friends and boyfriends into her domain but she had to make an exception.

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