After all the attackers, or as Jiling Miyu called them “Hatchmen”, had been arrested, they were put into interrogation; however, the Hatchmen were still woozy after they had been arrested so they were not interrogated until their lightheadedness had worn off. Not only had they been lightheaded but they had vomited and fainted a few times. Also, what spooked Interrogator Akiyama was that the Hatchmens’ irises were grey, their pupils were vertical, cat-like slits, their skins had become pale as a corpse, and their hair were as white as paper Also, they all had S- shaped scars on their cheeks, a signature from Dr. Damian Smok, and a tattoo of an S-shaped dragon.
They had become albinos like Officer Ratownik except that Albina does not have black vertical slits for pupils. thought Akiyama in Japanese as he was standing outside the interrogation room while drinking bitter black coffee. These ‘Hatchmen’ act very absentminded. I have been told that when they were breathing gas their ‘IDV’ tanks they attacked and killed a lot of people but now that they are not inhaling the ‘IDV’ gas, they are acting scatterbrained and are ailing. Filipina Pajdak did explain that one of the two IDV gas tanks contained indoctrination gas.
Perhaps they had no idea what was going on the entire time and they really were brainwashed. Hmm… the tanks that one of our officers confiscated explained that the indoctrination gas is supposed to last six to twelve hours…we will all just have to wait until that time is up. Indoctrinated or not, they will probably be held guilty for their actions. I don’t care what happens to these so-called ‘Hatchmen’, Jiling Miyu, or these cousins that claim to be innocent of any wrongdoing from the train explosion, I just want this madness to end and my paycheck.
After the indoctrination gas had lost its side effects as promised on the note “Dr. D. Smok” had left behind on the tank, the Hatchmen had cried like newborn babies and begged for mercy. Everyone had broken down: men, women, children, and teenagers of all ages! Some of the Hatchmen ran to the police officers, tugged on their clothes and got down on their knees. The interrogation and waiting room was crowded with all these blubbering people, police officers, three of the cousins (Cecylja was in the hospital), the detectives, the psychologists, and Chief Kovalenko.
“Dr. Smok…had experimented…taken us…horrible images…horrible places…couldn’t control myself or think or act on my own free will…too much…it was horrible!” panicked one middle-aged woman as her voice talked in the speed of a rushing bullet train and she grabbed the shoulders of a police officer called Singh.
“Woman!” he shouted “Get off of me and calm down!”
“All of you!” shouted Interrogator Akiyama “Stop blabbering and talk in a way that we can all understand what you are saying! We can’t help you if we don’t understand what’s going on!”
They had all finally kept quiet but some whimpers were heard. One teenage boy with curly, dark brown hair, thick eyebrows, and tan skin had stepped forward as all the seemingly weak “Hatchmen” parted a passageway for him. He stepped close to Akiyama and made eye contact with him. He gulped and sweat dripped from his eyebrow.
“I…I am Romano Castellian,” the teenager introduced himself with a faint Italian accent. He had dark brown curly hair, thick eyebrows, and tan skin. Like the other ‘Hatchmen’, he had an S- shaped scar on his cheek, a tattoo of an S-shaped dragon on his shoulder, and a signature that spelled Dr. Damian Smok. “Please, I know that what we did to those innocent people was wrong but we did it against our own will. Only now did we realize how we...messed up.”
“So it was against your own will?” asked Officer Singh crossly as he straightened his posture and folded his arms. “How? Tell me everything! I want answers right here, right now! Not tomorrow, not next week, right now.”
“All right…” answered Romano as he quivered and his Adam’s apple bobbed out of anxiety “All of us here, we were all kidnapped from many places - from our schools, from our universities, from the city, from a train that was headed here in Philadelphia, and...some of us from taken from our homes. In Chicago, my neighbors, my family and I were also taken from our homes and to a strange place. Even some police officers and military men were kidnapped and their gear was confiscated. We were blindfolded so we had no idea which state, or city, or whatever we were in.
“This man, he called himself a doctor but he did not act like a doctor because he, along with other ‘doctors’, had performed experiments on us and removed some of our body parts. Oh! This man, he calls himself ‘Dr. Damian Smok’ or simply ‘Dr. Smok’. I overheard that the organs he stole from our bodies, he plans to sell them for money and use it for what he calls his…’campaigns’. He says he has a plan for this world and he needs us to fulfill it. He calls us all ‘Hatchmen’...I am not sure what that really means but he said that he is the dragon and we are his children, and once he finishes operating on us ‘hatchlings’ we will grow into ‘Hatchmen’.
“Then with his abnormally large canine tooth...it looks a lot like a fang...he carved this scar on to all of our cheeks, signed his name on our arms, and gave us a tattoo of this...dragon. I don’t know why he did it but I think maybe it is because...he wants to show us that he is our...master. Then I started to feel sick and we all had these symptoms, our pupils were different and our eyes lost their color and we were pale. I heard Dr. Smok saying that the first poison he inserted into one of his patients, using the fang while carving us of course, that a couple years ago, it was meant to preserve our organs but kill us slowly but this one was meant to...help the gas control us. The gas and the poison or whatever it was...were both meant to...I am not good with words but…but…to create a reaction...and to be submissive to Dr. Smok and let him indoctrinate us into his ideals.
“The poison to put us into physical agony so that we could be...to weak to resist and be submissive to him and the poison to tamper with our brains and let the Doctor brainwash us. It is not until the IDV gas wears off that we can think on our own free will and we are not pale, or have grey eyes, or strangely shaped pupils.”
“I see..” responded Akiyama while maintaining an impassive expression “How do you know all this stuff? Did Dr. Smok tell it to you?”
“Let me explain this briefly this time,” replied Romano “Dr. Smok does not tell a lot of stuff to anyone because he trusts no one so I snuck into his office, I was expecting to find folders or files but I found his diary instead. I guess...since he has no one to vent or talk to he writes it down. I was caught sneaking into his office and I tried to escape but I didn’t have a plan so I failed. I was tortured physically by Dr. Smok and tortured emotionally by a man named Jiling Miyu. Unlike the ladies, Jiling Miyu did not flirt with me or rape me or take my blood, he is straight but he did torture me emotionally like he did to the ladies.”
Then the teenager started to cry and his face grew red as an apple. He buried his face in his hands and got down on his knees. All the police officers, the Chief, the cousins, and Akiyama stared at him with varying expressions of pity, anger, shock, and fear; some of them stared without any hint of facial expression. Romano’s fellow ‘Hatchmen’ gazed at him with looks of understanding; it was clear that they all had gone through a similar experience.
“Quit your bawling and keep talking,” said the annoyed Akiyama as he rolled his eyes and grabbed the boy by the shoulders, forcing him to stand up.
“I’m sorry,” apologized Romano as he wiped his face “but my...my...mother...she was emotionally tortured, raped, and killed; also, her blood was extracted. That....that...monster Jiling Miyu! He did this to my mother! MY MOTHER! Miyu...after he did this to my mother...he just threw her away somewhere like a used toy! My beloved mother! My brothers Abele and Alessandro, and my father were kept alive but they had to be turned into Hatchmen like I was! Dr. Smok, Jiling Miyu, the man in the Lil’ Wayne Hoodie, and all their workers ARE ALL MONSTERS! I know that Smok said in his diary that he had a rough childhood and he wants revenge on all humanity but that doesn’t justify what he did to my mother and to all of us ‘Hatchmen’!”
“I may not know how you feel,” said Officer Ratownik as she stepped close to Romano “but it breaks my heart to know that happened and you have my sympathies.”
“…Th…thanks…” he muttered as he wiped the tears from his crimson eyes. He did not make eye contact with her.
“Do you want a hug?” offered Officer Ratownik as she spread her arms open.
“No,” he answered. “not right now.”
The policewoman then let her arms fall to the side but she did not step away from Romano because she did not want to leave his side. The interrogator tapped his foot in impatience and crossed his arms. Romano looked up to him with a confused face.
“What is it sir?” asked Romano.
“Go on,” answered Akiyama “Tell us more.”
“I told you everything,”
“No, you didn’t”
“That’s all I know. What else is there?”
“Why did Dr. Smok want you to attack the city you attacked today?” questioned the interrogator “And the other cities? What was his purpose?”
“Oh!” the teenager remembered as he slapped his forehead with his palm. “Um…well…here is what I know: Dr. Smok sent a division of his Hatchmen, which is all of us Hatchmen in this room, to go into – “
“Hold on!” interrupted Akiyama as he held his hand up “All of you here in this room are a divison of Hatchmen?”
“So there are other divisions of Hatchmen out there?”
“So there are more Hatchmen out there?”
“Of course,” answered Romano “One or two divisions per state.”
“Kuso![i]” muttered Akiyama in frustration and surprise. A buzz occurred among all those who work for the law enforcement, including the three cousins. The rest of the Hatchmen in the room were not surprised at all because they already knew this. Chief Kovalenko loudly tapped a wall in the room with his nightstick and called for attention; then pointed to Interrogator Akiyama with his thumb. “Thank you Chief Kovalenko! Now, um…Roberto…”
“Romano Castellian sir,” corrected the teenager as he finally stood up and gave the interrogator eye contact.
“Whatever your name is,” said Akiyama “tell us what is the purpose of you and this division of ‘Hatchmen’ coming in and destroying the city?”
“We were sent to kidnap as many people as possible presumably so that Dr. Smok could gain more divisions of Hatchmen,” he explained with a confident voice “also, we were ordered to kill people as well to increase the disaster and lure all the police officers of the Philadelphia Police Department come and try to stop us. This was all done on purpose to kidnap more people for Dr. Smok and to kill every single one of the police officers of the Philadelphia Police Department so that after you were all dead, we could storm into the department to search and destroy – “
“Search and destroy what?!” boomed Chief Kovalenko as he stepped closer to the teenager.
“Chief,” said the boy as he got down on his knees and put his hands up “please remember that we were all indoctrinated and we could not think or act on our own will…please sir!”
“Alright, go on,” signed the chief as he crossed his arms in impatience.
“We were all ordered to search and destroy all the evidence and the entire story of the train explosion in Philadelphia, kill the four survivors, kill any other people who received the information about it, and force the media to tell everyone in the world that it was all a hoax so that Dr. Smok could cover up his tracks. We were all ordered to kill the assassin Armando Suarez, Daquan Espina, and his men in case they revealed any information about the gang organizations ‘Blades N’ Bullets”, the Hatchmen, Dr. Smok or anything else. Such leaking of information would weaken Dr. Smok and everything that he is planning out.
“We were ordered to kill the survivors ourselves but the man in the Lil’ Wayne hoodie and Jiling Miyu volunteered to kill the survivors themselves. Dr. Smok then told us that Miyu and Lil’ Wayne Hoodie could kill the survivors if they wanted to or turn them into Hatchmen but if we Hatchmen found them, we had to kill them first. The four survivors were not supposed to survive, in fact, Lil’ Wayne, Jiling Miyu, and all those other people were supposed to take the people in the train hostage and leave the four people in the train to die in an explosion. The assassin Armando Suarez was supposed to watch them to make sure they didn’t escape or survive and kill them if they tried. The four survivors were supposed to die with the rest of the train passengers missing to confuse and frustrate the police…”
“I knew it!” shouted a detective from the crowd. Almost everyone stared at him and he blushed in embarrassment. “Right, go on!”
“I don’t have much to say except that Jiling Miyu, Lil’ Wayne Hood, and all the other crooks are part of ‘Blades N’ Bullets’ to do some of Dr. Smok’s dirty work and the ‘Hatchmen’ are also supposed to do his dirty work. Once Smok has enough numbers our purpose is to also keep those who have not been kidnapped under control so that Dr. Smok could create a country of his own, spread his influence, and then own the world. I am not sure why he wants to create this world but now that I have my mind back, I think this idea is just insane.”
Everyone except for the Hatchmen looked at Romano as if he had spontaneously combusted.. No one spoke a word to him. These irrational ideas flew into their ears and echoed inside their heads. No one easily believed Romano right away; they wondered if he was lying or playing a practical joke but his face was serious and his eyes reflected anguish. The teenager reached his hand into a zipped pocket, unzipped it and pulled out a small notebook. He took it in the air and displayed it so that everyone could see. The notebook was a diary the size of a human hand, had a brown leather cover, and was as half as thick as a large dictionary.
“This is Dr. Smok’s diary?” asked Officer Ratownik who was still standing beside him.
“Yes it is,” replied Romano as he handed the diary to the policewoman. “Most of the information I told you all is in there.”
Officer Ratownik examined the diary’s cover but there was no title so she looked at the back of the front cover and saw “Dr. Damian Smok” written in red color pencil. She flipped through the pages and found that half of them were written in red ink. She skimmed through some of the words and found the information that Romano was talking about; she had to admit it that what Romano said was completely accurate. Even though the rest of the pages were blank, at the back of the front cover was a symbol of an S-shaped dragon with a red, Polish quote below it.
“Jestem Smok. Tak jak Smokiem Wawelskiego ja zawsze głodze ale nigdy nie jestem zadowolony. Porwam i jem dużo krowy. Kiedy moje wspólnik stworży jajka i jajka sie wylęgą, zrobią sie pisklęty. Mój wspólnik, moje pisklęty, i ja będziemy razem rządzić krowy. Jestem Smok ale nie jestem Smokiem Wawelskiego.” [ii]
The room was dark and the desk lamp was the only source of light in the interrogation room. Jiling Miyu’s hands were handcuffed yet he kept them folded neatly on his lap. He sat on the creaky, wooden chair with his two legs close together and with a straight posture. He was still wearing his black fedora that had a white ribbon in the middle, his white gloves, and his tuxedo; however, his bazooka and silver, golden-spiraled gun were confiscated. He kept a poker face and did not speak even though the interrogator was shouting questions at him.
“Are you listening to me?” asked Akiyama wrathfully as he slammed his fist on the table “Don’t pretend you don’t understand English or that you are deaf or mute! Don’t even pretend that you don’t know anything because that teenager Romano Castellian told us what happened!”
Miyu did submit to Akiyama’s demands. He just tuned out his irate gabble by daydreaming about random scenarios…particularly spicy ones. Every couple minutes his reveries would collapse by worries of how the High Boss would react to learning that one of his best lieutenants (Jiling Miyu, of course) was captured by the police. The “Blades N’ Bullets” code stated that if a member was arrested by the police, their membership was revoked, they could not reveal any information, and they would have to commit suicide.
Also, he had failed the Doctor; he was supposed to kill or take in the four survivors, and eliminate the evidence of Dr. Smok, his organizations, and plans but he did not execute that order. A great pile of rocks had fallen on his shoulders and in his stomach and he could not find the strength to carry them. Shame had fogged his mind and shot through all his thoughts. It was too bad that the man who always wore the Lil’ Wayne hoodie had not been around Miyu to share the burden with him.
I need to carry out a few final acts before I disappear. Miyu thought to himself in Chinese.
“….dishonorable acts!” shouted the Asian interrogator.
Jiling Miyu then stood up from his chair and walked towards the door that led to the room that had people watching him with a two-way mirror. The interrogator shouted after him, asking him where he was going but Jiling Miyu ignored him. Luckily for Miyu, the door was unlocked so he turned the knob, opened the door, and stepped into the room. There were people in the room watching though the mirror but now they backed away from him.
“Stay away Miyu or you will be accountable for heavier charges!” shouted one of the spectators. Miyu saw that one of them was carrying the key in their hands so he roundhouse kicked the guy with the keys in the groin. The man moaned in pain but he dropped the shining keys. “What are you doing?”
Miyu rapidly, bended his knees and grabbed the keys before stepping away from them. He inserted the keys in the keyhole, locking the door and hastily slammed the door. Luckily for Miyu both sides of the door knob needed keys to be opened; he liked these new-fangled door knobs. Behind the door he heard frantic shouts and banging of the wooden door.
“What…have…you…done?” asked Akiyama frenziedly as he backed away from Miyu who was coming closer to him. “Get away from me?”
Miyu looked up to the ceiling, seeing a security camera so he climbed on the wooden table and kicked the camera straight up five times. Akiyama then shoved him off the table, causing the criminal to fall flat on his belly to the ground. Too late for the interrogator, the security camera was already damaged bad enough to revive; knowing this, his enemy sardonically chortled.
The interrogator climbed on the table and attempted to jump on the criminal in the tuxedo but Miyu rolled away. Thump! Akiyama was on the dirty floor, groaning and grumbling with a bit of pain. He tried to get up but Miyu quickly ran and jumped on top of him sideways. As Akiyama muttered a string of dirty adjectives, Miyu got up but then he sat on the interrogator like one would sit on a stump of wood.
“You’re…crushing me!” sputtered Akiyama.
“Oops, sorry mister,” jeered Miyu in singsong. He reached for the keys in the interrogator’s pocket and unlocked his handcuffs. The cuffs and the keys fell to the ground with a cling! The Asian then massaged his wrists before wrapping them around Akiyama’s neck. “I’m afraid you need a time-out.”
Less than two minutes passed by and the interrogator stopped struggling. His eyes closed and he no longer moved. Miyu took Akiyama’s wrist, pulled off the glove on his left hand, and touched the man’s wrist. He was still alive but he was knocked out. That was fortunate for both of them. Miyu then took out his cell phone and dialed a number. After calling three times, there was no answer so he stopped calling; annoying Dr. Smok was a dangerous idea unless one had a torture wish. Then a country song was singing from his phone – it was Dr. Smok! He answered the call.
“Good dawning to thee my lord!” greeted Jiling Miyu in a Chinese accent.
“Cease the Shakespearean mumbo-jumbo Jiling Miyu!” ordered a husky Polish accent on the other line “Did you succeed on the mission?”
“I regret to inform my lord and master that I have failed,” spoke Miyu bravely “All the Hatchmen were captured, I was captured but your servant and his gang ran away, avoiding arrest – “
“You failed?!” hissed the voice with a line of curses “Then how did you carry out the mission in a way that you failed?!”
“Forgive sir,” sighed Miyu “I have let you down. I have been arrested by the police and now I am in the police department. I was interrogated but the interrogator is…taking a break. I did not destroy the files as you ordered me to but do not worry, I have not revealed any information. I will now proceed to commit suicide – “
“Hold on!” shouted the voice “You are in the police department right now?”
“Good. Listen I do not want you to kill yourself because I need you to do something right now.”
“And what would that be?”
“Sneak into the files or computers or something somehow, destroy and delete the files and any other evidence that contain information about us.” commanded his superior “Also, the police officer Albina Ratownik do you know how she looks like?”
“Yes,” he answered.
“Bring her to me,” he ordered “I haven’t seen her in a while. Also, do not kill yourself because I will need you in the future.”
“Yes Dr. Smok.” said Jiling Miyu with a smile and a great wave of relief overcame him.