The Hollow and The Saint

In a world filled with agony and despair, Logan, a master assassin embark on a journey to change reality in order to create the perfect society for his beloved Elizabeth Rose, where they can live together. Struggling against his bleak destiny and haunted by the demons ravaging this world enslaving people hopes and minds, all while fighting with a rage that might strip him of his humanity, will he be able to succeed in creating this perfect world?

Cover by INFINITE_EXHO

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19. Bunya

    In the last couple of years, the war between the Chinese and Italian mafia had reached its conclusion, with the latter being exterminated. The Italian empire had finally fallen. Divided and weakened, several ambitious gangs climbed the ladder, taking over the Italian dealers and businesses, like a big cake ready to be partitioned.

    A new era began, with the Chinese creating their own territory almost like an independent country, they called it China Town. The Japanese now took control of the narcotics business, under the banner of the Yakuza.

    As a result of many acts of discrimination, the Black mafia was born, along with isolated communities dedicated for African Americans. They ruled the streets and dealt mostly with smuggling drugs and people from Mexico.

    Finally, we have the Russian mafia. They gained power recently, especially after the Cold Par had reached its peak. Arms dealing, prostitution, and gambling-they were the kings of the underworld.

     With so many heads on just one body, a war was drawing near, and I didn’t want to be caught in the middle of it.

***

    I was scouting the perimeter of the casino. There were two exits-one by the front door, and the other from the kitchen side. I rigged the outer kitchen wall with explosives.

    This will create a nice diversion.

    The front door was guarded by two men. I had to dispose of them silently. I acted like I was going inside as a customer, I had my knife ready under my sleeve.

    "Hey - stand still and put your hands up," one of the guards demanded.

    He wanted to search me, I quickly stabbed him with my knife. The other guy was under shock, which rendered his reaction slow. I managed to wound him before he drew his gun. Nobody saw me, I carried the bodies and placed them behind a tree. I had successfully entered the casino.

    Guards were at every corner, overseeing all the angles. I sat down and waited for the explosives to go off. I looked at my watch.

    One-minute remaining.

    I had to find Vlad fast, so I could know where to strike amidst the chaos.

    Thirty seconds remaining.

     The guards began to look at me. I probably looked pretty suspicious, I was looking around too much, and not playing cards or spending time with strippers.

    Ten seconds remaining.

    Two guards were on their way to me.

    This is not good; I have to move. Five seconds remaining.

    A foreign man with an expensive suit entered the room alongside two bodyguards.

    It must be him!

    Quickly, I flipped the table in front of me and took cover behind it.The bomb went off, causing a strong shockwave, knocking everyone to the floor. I could only hear beeping sounds inside my ears. Slowly, I began to feel what was going on around of me.

    Screams were everywhere.

    ‘In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.’

The Art of War by Sun Tzu. 

    Everyone was rushing towards the exit door. The kitchen was swallowed by fire. I could hear the screams of the workers burning inside. It was absolute chaos, the perfect opportunity for me to strike. I had to act fast, as time was not on my side. I took out my RPK and started shooting the guards in front of the room.

    Just like I predicted, the guards on the second floor also began shooting at me, pinning me down. I threw a grenade at them, they ran away. So I dropped my gun and rushed at the door.

    I knew that there should be three inside, including George, ready to shoot the moment I opened the door. I stepped aside, opened part of the door, and threw my last grenade inside. The door blew away. I had dual Colt pistols ready in my hands, I took a deep breath, and breached the room.

    One of the guards was still breathing, I finished him up, as for the other one, well, let's just say he wasn't feeling complete. George was on the floor. It seemed the desk shielded him.

    I was walking towards him, I had to make sure he was dead. Suddenly I felt a severe pain in my chest. That bastard was actually alive, and had a pistol hidden under his body. He shot me at me. I could barely stand on my feet from the pain or even breathe properly.

    Luckily, I was wearing Kevlar armor, but that shot broke one of my ribs. Only two of the bullets actually hit me, the third one went through the wall. He stood up, he wanted to finish me off. The moment he approached me, I disarmed him from his gun. He fended me off with a headbutt.

    I was weak from the pain, the fire’s smoke made it even harder to breathe, and I was feeling dizzy. He went to grab his gun, picked it up, and aimed at me. My gun was also beside me. I rolled onto the floor dodging the bullet and grabbed my gun. With extreme focus, I steadied my aim and hardened my grip. I shot him right in the face. I stood up to check on him. At last, that bastard was finally dead.

    "That's for picking up on Emily and breaking into my home!” I spat on his bloody face.

    The fire that started from the kitchen was spreading throughout the casino. I could hear the firefighter’s siren as I tried to go through the door. What remained of George’s men were still gunning at my ass from the second floor. I took cover quickly, but I was trapped inside the room which would shortly be eaten by the fire. Police were about to arrive. I was running out of time. I started to look around.

     There!

    I spotted a ventilator shaft above in the corner. I collected the wood rubble of the chairs and desk and stacked them so I could climb up. The shaft was narrow, but luckily I was able to squeeze myself in. The pain in my chest wasn’t helping, though.

    As I crawled my way out, I didn’t know if this was the pain or the fire fumes in my head, but despite all that happened, for a second I felt… joy. It was like this was where I belonged - amidst the pile of corpses and the smell of gunpowder, with strips of blood decorating the walls. For me, the battleground was my stage, with such perfect tableau, and a wonderful performance, all the other actors shall fall, only witnesses till the end.

***

    I fled the area, successfully unnoticed. It was almost dawn.

    I guess it is time to take Emily somewhere safe.

    I returned home.

    “Logan! Are you alright? Your face and clothes are all black! And what is that wound under you eye?” Emily hammered me with questions.

    "I just tripped on the stairs while holding the rubble the thief left behind inside my apartment, he messed up the drawers and cabinets so hard, they’re useless now."

    "Is it over?" she asked with heavy breathing.

    "Yes, you can relax now," I replied.

    Looking at Elizabeth, she didn't open her mouth. She was just sitting right in the corner, speechless, like a statuette.

     Did she found out about me?

    "Elizabeth, are you alright?" I asked.

    She moved her head towards me like she was looking straight into my eyes.

    "Logan, you promised me that you won't ever use your gun. I am not an idiot, I heard the gunshots when I was on the roof," she replied.

    For a second there I was worried. It's a relief that was what was bothering her.

    "Eli, I swear, I didn't use my gun. The burglar was the one who shot at me, but luckily he missed. I even gave my gun to Emily. You can ask her if you want," I responded.

    Tears ran down her cheeks, her face turned red, no, it was pink more like a strawberry. Suddenly, I felt like someone stabbed me with a hot knife, right through my heart. I couldn't resist, I just found myself embracing her, my left hand at her back and my right behind her head.

    "Please! Logan! Don't put yourself in danger again like that, I beg you. I don't care if my house burned down with all of our money! I just want to be with you. Always." she said, sobbing heavily.

    My eyes turned red, maybe it was due to the smoke, or maybe it was because I couldn't stand the sight of Elizabeth crying like that.

    "Sorry Eli, I promise I will be careful from now on. Just...can you please stop crying? One more drop, and I will be the one with tears," I said, a tear forming in my right eye.

    Emily and Elizabeth started laughing at me. Embarrassed as hell, I just stared at the two. Despite everything that happened today, they chose to move on. I felt peace inside my heart.

***

    I took Emily and went off on a Ducati Scrambler motorcycle that I bought not too long ago.

    “I don't know what you did, but I know that you went through a lot because of me,” Emily said.

    “Don't worry, it's just a broken rib, nothing too serious. Besides, I am going to dump you in the nearest river my eyes lay on. Seriously girl, you are nothing but bad luck, ” I joked.

    “Damn you! Do that and I will haunt your dreams for the rest of your life! I know you won’t do it though, you like me don’t you?” she taunted.

    “Well, I don’t hate you, if that is what your asking.”

    “By the way, where are you taking me?”

    “I am taking you somewhere you can call… home,” I responded.

     Oh! That old hill. It has been such a long time since I came here.

    I think you already know that place don’t you?

    “Oh, it’s you Logan. Long time no see, come on in,” said Alex, the gatekeeper. He was still as sharp as ever.

    “Emily, inside you will meet a butler. His name is William Adams. I talked with him on the phone, he will explain everything to you, I said.

    William, or Will for short was not just The Doctor’s personal butler, but he was more like his right hand. Despite having different servants at the mansion, Will was his favorite, and for a good reason. He was African-American. Back then racism was getting more and more attention. Despite all this ruckus, William was smarter than any white man I ever knew, not to mention his absolute loyalty to The Doctor. I don’t know the details but it is said that he saved Will’s life back in the day when the Italian mafia was at its peak.

    Suddenly, Emily grabbed my hand. Her touch was soft, yet heavy.

    “Hey, I don’t like these farewell moments,” I said.

    “Logan, despite what you say about yourself, and despite the demon that resides within you, for me, you are a true hero,” she said, looking straight into my eyes.

    “Aren’t you afraid of that demon?” I asked.

    “I have seen so many demons in my life, by far yours is the cutest one I've ever encountered. Farewell, and I hope we'll meet again,” she responded.

    Her words were not of a teenage girl. She was… interesting. I can tell that The Doctor will have a good time analyzing her.

    “Hey Logan, before I forget, come down a bit, I want to tell you something,” she asked.

    I lowered my head, as she was trying to whisper something in my ear.

    "You have navy eyes did you know that?" she said, staring at my eyes.

    Without any hesitation, she kissed me on the cheek and went running towards the mansion.

     That sneaky girl!

    "Don't be shy! Come and visit, maybe I will do more next time!" she joked.

    Everybody was looking at me, and somehow I felt kind of embarrassed.

   That little squirrel made me blush, it seems I am losing touch. Hopefully, she will have a better life here.

    I was about to leave. I wasn't yet ready to meet The Doctor again, not yet. I took a glance at the window, there he was, looking at me. Just by looking at him I felt a chill down at my spine. A mysterious man was standing by his side, he was looking at me too, it was too far, I couldn't make up his face. I went on my way home.

    “Well, he grew up into a strong capable man. He resembles you so much, don’t you think?” said The Doctor.

    “No, he takes more after his mother, Hale. Still, I hope he doesn’t turn out like me in the end. The path he chose won’t be easy, I think it won’t be long now, he will finally face his destiny. What do you say, old friend?”

    “Do you really think that he chose his path? Or was it already chosen for him?” The Doctor pondered.

    "Well, it doesn't matter right now. I think only time will tell."

 

**End of Part 1**

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