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Rogério SkyLab

The Crow's Path

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"Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;

But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token"

- Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven

[align=justify]"Ah, for fucks sake lad. Where we goin' with this, eh?"

[align=justify]Said the British man. His name was Frankie. Even though he was a good man deep inside, I didn't like him. For some reason, he was acting like a child towards me. Almost fifty percent of what came from his mouth was a swear that I couldn't really understand due to his accent.

[align=justify]"You're a fucking dumb-ass, hear me? A fucking, dumb, ass!"

[align=justify]I stood there, looking at his face, as he spat on my shoe. He was rude. Never the less, he was weak, and I could feel the fear coming from him. By the time he woke up with a tight rope tying his hands, he entered in 'panic mode'. Humans change personality really fast when they're in danger. It was easy to see how he was afraid of-

[align=justify]"Hey kid! Whatch'a looking at? Ya gonna untie me or not?!"

[align=justify]I came closer to him, and I saw his weird smile fade off his face in seconds.

[align=justify]"Would you please, shut up?" - I politely asked -

[align=justify]What an idiot. I turned around, and grabbed my radio. Turned it on, and took it close to my face, pressing the 'transmit' button, followed by a 'beep' while I started talking:

[align=justify]"Alright. I'm tired of this idiot. Can you call Joseph to take care of him?"

[align=justify]"Why?" - a chernarussian accent came as response - "He already pissed you off? Haha! I guess I won the bet, Crow!"

[align=justify]"Yeah, whatever"

[align=justify]"Okay. I'm sending Joseph to the warehouse now." - he took a small breath, and said another phrase- "Did you at least ask him the question I told you?"

[align=justify]"Ah... Yeah..." - I looked at Frankie, and finished my sentence - "Will do..."

[align=justify]"Great! I will see you soon!"

[align=justify]As the radio turned off, Frankie was staring at me with a terrified face. Ah... As much as I liked that face, it was just shameful for him.

[align=justify]"Ok Frankie..." - I picked up my butterfly knife, and started playing with it in front of Frankie's face, while deeply staring at his eyes - "I have only one question for you, since you already annoyed me with your... Ah... You are just an idiot."

[align=justify]The man had no facial expression what-so-ever, and I could see the fear in his eyes. I thought he was paralyzed, until he blinked, so I continued.

[align=justify]"We know that you have been working with that group of people that we have just killed" - I thought that maybe a small lie would make his body confess the truth, and he did. As soon as I spoke about the group, he widened his eyes, and when I said we killed them, he instantly looked down, and lost eye contact - "So I will only ask you one time, since I don't have time for bullshit..."

[align=justify]I took at small breath, stopping the butterfly knife's blade right in front of his nose, in the middle of the eyes, as he came back into staring me.

[align=justify]"Where... Are... The hostages?"

[align=justify]Frankie had no choice, and I knew that, so did he. There was nowhere to go, no one to save him, and plenty of reasons for me to kill him, which I really wanted to do. He stared deep into my blade, and then, at my eyes. He was having a mental conflict, and it was better to wait, otherwise he might just give the wrong answer. I wasn't blinking for over forty seconds now, but he was blinking a lot, looking around for any escape, but there was none. In a question of six seconds, he turned his eyes back to me and started to move his mouth.

---|Minutes Later|---

[align=justify]I entered the room, and there was that chernarussian guy. He was overly excited for someone who just murdered two people and held another hostage for a one entire night. He stood up from his table, showing off his fat belly. Oh... I wish to not see that again. He welcomed me with his arms open, saying, as he approached me:

[align=justify]"Good job, Crow! We can finally rescue our friends now, thanks to you!" - he reached in for a handshake -

[align=justify]"Yeah. I know" - I accepted it just to be polite, and not get shot in the face by a mob boss -

[align=justify]"It was good making progress with you. We don't see people like you around the wasteland this often!"

[align=justify]"Hmhm..." - I turned my eyes around the room, and asked, leaving his hand - "And where's my food, ammo and map?"

[align=justify]"Ah yes, yes! Wait here!"

[align=justify]He turned around, going inside another room. While he was there, I took a quick look at the room I was at. That guy was surely patriotic. There was about... Two... Three... Four. Four chernarussian flags on the room in different locations. Apart from that, there were at least three portraits of himself next to his desk, and a small hand-mirror. Not only was he patriotic, but also, a narcissist. Interesting.

[align=justify]"Here you go, Crow!" - he came out of the room, holding a small black box, and a piece of paper - "The ammo is inside, and this is the map you asked for!"

[align=justify]I took the box into my hands. It wasn't bigger than a small lunch box. When I went for the map, and held it tightly, and stared at me, changing the look on his face. It looked like he was going to make a proposal or something.

[align=justify]"Listen, Crow. I believe you are a man filled with talents." - as he said that, I knew I was right - "And I would really welcome your talents on this syndicate. What do you think? Would you be part of us?"

[align=justify]I didn't wait long to answer, as it would sound like I'm considering the offer, which I'm not.

[align=justify]"No, thanks."

[align=justify]"Well" - he released the piece of paper - "In that case, safe travels!" - he turned around, and started walking slowly to his desk - "You food is outside. Ask one of my guards to give it to you."

[align=justify]"Yeah, sure"

[align=justify]I turned around, while inserting the map into my bag's left pocket, and started walking to the door. As I opened it, the fat guy said something.

[align=justify]"Take care, Crow! I will stay in touch!" - he waved - "Don't get yourself into trouble!"

[align=justify]"Uh... Of course." - I threw my hood over my head, covering my hair, followed by pushing my bandana up to my nose - "Oh... And, by the way. The trouble follows me. Can't escape it."

[align=justify]I smiled behind the mask, as I closed the door behind me.

"But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,

And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,

That I scarce was sure I heard you; Here I opened wide the door;

Darkness there, and nothing more."

- Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven

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