Toxic Vol. 1 Susceptible States Part 12

The person holding a gun to DeMarcus’ back could open fire but so far they hasn’t. They must want something. Keeping himself under control DeMarcus knows if he’s going to get out of this he needs to find out if he’s right about what that chemical did to him. Ever since he got sealed in a lab with a massive dose of a new mood controlling drug everyone seems to do exactly what he says. Weird stuff that he can’t think of another explanation for. Jerry said it was possible he was made a conduit for the chemicals.

“Don’t shoot. Can you take the gun off my back?”

They don’t shoot, but the gun doesn’t go anywhere. “You’re not in control of this situation. Keep your hand away from your gun.”

DeMarcus doesn’t know why but he’s surprised to hear a woman’s voice. She speaks with confidence. Something didn’t work but he tries again. “Take the gun off of my back.”

This time she complies. He’s terrified but also excited. Turning, he finds a pretty blonde who can’t be older than twenty five. Her hair’s done up and she has pink nails that match a pair of pink combat boots she’s wearing.

The woman looks confused and starts to open her mouth. Before she can speak he says, “Don’t say anything.” Her mouth hangs open and after a moment she closes it. Now she really looks confused. Her hand shakes and she keeps pointing her gun at him. She still doesn’t fire. “Why don’t you give me the gun?” She makes no move to do so. He decides to rephrase. “Give me the gun.” Now she holds the gun out and offers it to him.

He’s starting to get the hang of this. They don’t do things he asks. Only things he tells them to do. “Walk to the far end of this warehouse, lay on your face, put your hands behind your head and stay there with your mouth shut until someone comes and get you.” Her eyes go wide and she looks angry but she does as she’s told.

Turning back down the aisle, DeMarcus sees the situation hasn’t gotten better. The accountant’s been forced to his knees and is openly weeping. His tie’s been removed and is tied around his eyes. The lawyer and Mr. Sarraf can’t look. The bull of a man is standing over him with his gun pointed and a grin spread across his face. “I’m giving you a last chance. Where are the chemicals I need? Tell me or you’re dead.”

Between sobs the man manages to say, “Do you really think I’d die to protect this place if I knew? I just do the books. It doesn’t matter anyway. Even if I knew, you’d still kill me.”

The big man’s jaw drops. “No, I actually won’t. You don’t have to believe me but I’m a man of my word. I don’t have time to check every box in this place before the cops get in here. I might luck into the stuff I need but there’s a good chance all of this was for nothing if you don’t help. I need you. I’ll reward your help if you help me.” He takes a moment to turn to Mr. Sarraf. “For the record though, no, I don’t think you have a clue where the stuff is. I think the big guy here does though. I’m hoping he’ll feel bad enough watching you all die that he tells me. I might be wrong though. Maybe he doesn’t know. Or maybe he’s just that cold.”

Knowing he can’t wait anymore, DeMarcus steps into the aisle. Both guns immediately swing toward him. “Drop your guns.” Both men’s eyes go wide as they release their weapons and they fall to the floor. They lean down to grab them. “Don’t pick them back up. Leave your guns where you dropped them. Stay where you are.” They do so, though both stand back up and look at each other with fear in their eyes.

Mr. Sarraf comes running his way with tears streaming down his face. “I don’t know if I’ve ever been happier to see anyone DeMarcus.” He wraps him in a giant hug.

The accountant’s jerking his head back and forth. “What the hell’s going on?” DeMarcus walks up to him and pulls the tie from around his eyes. Looking up, he sees who came to help and seems speechless. He puts his hands over his mouth and falls backward.

The two attackers look back and forth at each other. The big one has a sneer on his face. “Who the hell do you think you are?”

“Nobody you need to know. What are you doing here? What’s this about?” The two men look at each other for a moment but neither says a word. “We’re going to play it that way?” He looks straight at the bald man. “Tell me, what’s your plan?”

“Not that complex. We broke in hoping to steal a bunch of chemicals. A lot of the ones upstairs and some we were told would be in storage. Got most of what we need ready to go upstairs but these idiots weren’t any help finding what we needed down here.” Once he finishes the man’s eyes go wide and he throws his hands over his mouth.

Turning to Mr. Sarraf, DeMarcus gets a strange look on his face. “Did you really not know where this stuff was?”

The older man looks ill. “Not most of it. I might have led them to a few pieces if I really wanted to but they’d have likely killed us anyway when they realized I couldn’t lead them to the rest. Besides, you know the stuff we keep here is too dangerous to let them have.”

DeMarcus’ head slams forward into a metal bar. The world spins around him and he can’t clear his head. A fist punches him in the face. He raises his arms to try and block the next punch but it’s even harder and it feels like his left wrist shatters. He falls to his knees where he’s kicked in the gut. All the air’s forced from his lungs. He tries to tell the man to stop but he can’t manage a word. Everything spins as the lawyer screams. She tries to run and the accountant’s right behind her. Mr. Sarraf after a long look at DeMarcus follows.

The big guy jumps onto his chest and punches him again and again. “What the hell did you do to me? Why can’t I pick up my gun? If you don’t say something soon I’m going to bust your head open.”

Blows keep raining down so there’s no chance for DeMarcus to answer. He starts to feel light headed and fights to stay awake. The man relents for just a moment. “Tell me what I want to know.”

“Stop.”

That’s all it takes. The man freezes. His eyes go wide and he seems to realize something’s wrong. There’s a slight twitch in his arm as if he’s still trying to punch but his body won’t allow it. They stay like this for over a minute. DeMarcus doesn’t have the strength to get out from under the man and he’s got no interest in moving. Finally DeMarcus catches his breath. “Get off of me.” The giant man complies but when he’s on his feet he tries to get away. “Stay put.” The man stops walking away.

With his right arm DeMarcus wipes his head. When he pulls his hand back he finds it smeared with blood. Looking at his left wrist, it’s limp and he can’t move it. Anger rises in him. He almost messed this up. He has no idea where the last three survivors and the other attacker went. He needs to find them. He turns to the big guy. He wants to do sadistic things to the man, or even better make the man do sadistic things to himself. Now isn’t the time though. “Follow me. Don’t do anything to hurt me or anyone else.”

They take off down the aisles, searching for any sign of people. He finds the remaining three near the entrance to the storage area. The attacker’s chasing after them but without his gun he’s not that dangerous. It looks like someone got ahold of the lawyer’s red hair because it’s been pulled from the ponytail she had it in.

DeMarcus runs right at the attacker and tackles him to the ground. His wrist hits wrong and he lets out a scream. The man skids away. DeMarcus scrambles up first and looks right at the attacker. “Stay down.” The man looks at him but doesn’t do anything else. He looks over at the lawyer and Mr. Sarraf. “You two alright?” They each give a weak nod.

His attention returns to the attackers. “Tell me who you are.” They both start to speak at once. “Stop. Point at whichever one of you is in charge.” They both point at the larger man. DeMarcus turns to the smaller one. “Sit facing a wall. Don’t move, don’t speak.” He then turns to the larger man. “What’s your name?” It takes him a moment to realize why it isn’t working. “Tell me your name.”

“My name’s Rupert Corey, but everyone calls me Big Man.”

“Okay Big Man. Answer my questions from here on in. How were you planning to get out of here?”

“There’s a way to override the lockdown in some of the offices, for the real big shots. I just figured I’d force that idiot over there to let me out.” He points at Mr. Sarraf as he says it.

DeMarcus closes his eyes and curses under his breath. That was a better plan than he had and it won’t work. “Why are you doing this?”

“Because with what we get here we can start the process of taking back America. I’m also getting paid a lot of money. That doesn’t hurt.”

Realizing he doesn’t have any other questions DeMarcus decides to have a little fun with the man for all he’s done. “Bang your head against that metal shelving behind you until you pass out.”

Watching Big Man bang his head against the shelving repeatedly is cathartic. He looks at the lawyer, the accountant and Mr. Sarraf to see if any of them has a problem with it. The lawyer’s eyes are wide with excitement. The accountant looks a little queasy but doesn’t say anything. Mr. Sarraf doesn’t have much of a look on his face at all. Blood’s pouring out of the man’s head by the time he hits the ground and stays there.

Getting back to business, DeMarcus goes up to Mr. Sarraf. “Time to go. I have a question though. Do you happen to have keys for any of the offices except your own?”

“No, why?”

Looking down at his feet DeMarcus swears under his breath. “I may have locked a group of them down in your office. So if you were counting on using that to get out of here, we’re going to need a new plan.” Mr. Sarraf’s face droops. “Don’t worry, I have another idea. First, we need to get the three of you to safety.”

Taking the lead, DeMarcus exits the storage area, moving toward the offices. As they walk he informs them of Grady’s plan to blow open the vice president’s office. Mr. Sarraf doesn’t like it. “I know the explosives he’s speaking of, they’re very unstable. One wrong move and you’re dead. We’ve taken care of all of them. Why don’t you just lock down with us in one of these offices until help comes?”

He points at his left wrist. “Mainly because this hurts like hell and it could be hours. I also have a girl upstairs in one of the labs locked up with one of these maniacs. I can’t leave her longer than I have to.”

They nervously look at each other before the accountant stops for a moment. “Not that I don’t appreciate your help, but why are all these guys listening to you?”

“We can worry about that later Jack.” Mr. Sarraf looks nervous. DeMarcus wonders if he’s already figured it out.

“I don’t mind answering Mr. Sarraf. I got locked in one of the labs with a bunch of chemicals meant to alter moods. Now I seem to be able to alter moods or make people do what I want. Kind of weird.”

The accountant’s eyes go wide. “So wait, if you tell us to do something we’ll have to do it?”

Shrugging, DeMarcus doesn’t stop. “Seems like it. I haven’t gotten to test it out in that much detail so I don’t know how it works but it seems like people do anything I tell them to.” He raises his left eyebrow. “I guess I could test it out on you if you like.”

“I’m good.”

Reaching the offices, he picks one that has three chairs and a desk and leads them inside. Mr. Sarraf doesn’t like it. “Why don’t I come with you and try to help with the explosives? With your wrist it’s going to be very difficult to manage.”

“Appreciate the offer but my job is to keep you all safe. I’ll be able to focus better if I know you’re all locked in here.” He considers telling them to stay put so there’s no issue but he decides against it. They’re not fighting him, there’s no reason to force it.

Steel shutters close between them and once again he’s alone.

Part 11

Part 13

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