The Hollow and The Saint

"The world we live in is no different from Hell; there are those who are tortured by the fire, there are demons who carry out orders, and then, of course, there is the devil himself. Well, I plan on turning hell into heaven."

Wounded, heartbroken with a hollow void filling down his soul, Logan Hayz is lying down on the ground, in front of him the corpse of his son, with a bullet stuck in his skull painting such beauty on his face. A bullet fired from the same Glock pistol Logan is holding in his right hand. Blood covering his left mechanical arm giving it an exquisite look with the rust of steel. Water drops touching down his flabby skin, in one eye he can see the past along with all the hardships and sufferings he had to endure to achieve his ultimate dream of creating the perfect world. In the other, he saw the reason he pursued that dream, Elizabeth Rose, his long-lost beloved.


Cover by INFINITE_EXHO

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25. Mirage of a Storm - Part II


     

When you try to defuse a bomb, all you have to do is cut the right wire to save the day. But when facing dozens of wires in front of you, finding the right one needs focus and nerves of steel, and at the moment, I lacked both. That’s why I needed him - the only person I knew who always had the answers.

It was around 4 a.m. in the morning. “Oh, it’s you Logan! Come on in, I will call The Doctor for you immediately. Timothy! Prepare the operating room!” Said William as I entered the mansion.

I never thought that one day, I would be a patient in this mansion. Emily showed up. She was now working as a nurse for The Doctor.

“Logan! Are you alright? Don’t worry, The Doctor will be here any second,” she said with a caring voice after she rushed to my side, holding my wounded hand.

The last time I saw her, she was so skinny her bones were showing, but now she seems way healthier than before, I was so glad.

“Hey Emily, don’t worry. I am fine, it’s just a flesh wound,” I reassured her.

"Flesh wound?! Look at yourself! Not only you lost too much weight, but your face looks like a zombie!" She was freaking out.

"Ouch! Your words really hurt, young lady."

Then he came in. It had been ten years since I last saw his face.

He looks so...old.

Besides the wrinkles in his face, his body became so skinny that he literally resembled a walking skeleton. His skin color was between yellow and blue. The last time I saw him he had grey strips on the side of his hair, now it was all white as snow. The top of his head was slowly becoming bald, brown circles appeared at the hairless spots.

The rumors were true. The almighty Doctor succumbed to illness. Despite all of that, I could still feel his strong presence and that creepy aura of his was as sharp as ever.

“At last, I get to see you on my table. What a lovely sight,” he said jokingly, standing before me, desperately trying to keep his straight posture.

“Nice to see you too, now how about you take out that bullet?” I wiped out the sweat off my forehead. The pain was beginning to take its toll on me.

“Now now, don’t be hasty young man. Putting a bullet in someone is very similar to taking it out. You need to be fast and precise, and there is no room for mistake.”

As I laid on the table inside the operation room, I l felt as if I was in another world, his world. Without even noticing, he took out the bullet from my arm while talking with me. If not for the sound of the bullet hitting the bottom of the steel plate, I wouldn't have even noticed. It’s true that I had local anesthesia, but just like he said, he so was accurate and pretty damn fast. Finally, he bandaged my wound, and laid me to rest.

***

Three hours later after I woke up, I went up to see him in his private room. I just sat down, and drank a cup of coffee without saying any word. I was filled with anger and anxiety, lost in a maze of thoughts. It was like the whole world was laughing in my head, and I was the bad joke. It was so irritating that I began to question my crusade. In the last ten years, I wasn’t able to take advantage of the Illuminati’s unlimited resources. Or even climb my way up the ranks. It got me thinking.

Maybe I am just a failure.

“You know Logan…” He rarely calls me with my first name, he usually uses kid or boy. “From when I was a little kid, I used to look down on this world, as there was nothing that interested me. Do you know why?” he asked, sitting behind his desk.

It’s unusual for him to talk about his thoughts or feelings like that. Maybe his age or sickness have gotten the best of him.

“No,” I replied.

 “It was because there wasn’t anything I wanted that I couldn’t have. If I wanted, I could have any woman that grabbed my attention, I could buy anything I desired no matter the cost, and I could wear, drink, or eat anything. Even the people around didn’t interest me. They all shared that egocentric personality, like empty shells with no souls or free will. They were just subjected to someone they idolized who was just like them is an empty vessel but instead, he knew how to act all mighty in front of them. To me, they were the blind sheep. There was a time I even lost purpose, and I began to ask, what is my goal? Why am I even born? Even my soul existence was a question. But then, you know what? I met three people that changed the way I perceived at life. They were like the core that fueled my desires, they made me regain purpose. Those people were your father Michael, my beloved Jennifer, and you!” He was looking straight at my eyes with an unraveling stare.

It was the first time that I saw what appeared to be tears in The Doctor eyes. Normally, he wouldn’t talk about his feelings not to me, not to anyone.

“Me? Why? I don’t find myself so inspirational or unique, and I haven’t even done anything of significance,” I replied, yet he responded with a laugh.

“Do you remember when we first met at the orphanage? I asked you then what you were willing to do to achieve your dream, you said to me then 'My answer is, for the sake of my dream, I am prepared to face even the devil himself.' Hearing these words coming out from a seven year old generated a chill that ran down my spine. These weren’t the words of a child, they were the words of someone who with strong determination. Your eyes were raging with fire, and I knew then that when I took you in and trained you, this world might again look different in my eyes. I even told you that you must become beyond human.”

“Yes, I still remember those words.”

I was so determined back then. My eyes were set straight on tomorrow.

“Well, it seems I was wrong. I thought if I made you like them, those who manipulate the world from the shadows, then you can realize your dream. I am sorry, but I shouldn’t have said those words, I shouldn’t have stuck to the plan, it was all wrong! Sadly, now it’s too late, everything is set in motion-” He was interrupted by a series of coughs. 

“Hey are you alright?” I asked with a worried tone.

"Logan, Listen carefully, you have the potential to change the world, you can shape it the way you want it to be, you can either be its savior, or you can be the one engulfing it into flames, but first you must-” He was again interrupted.

“Hey, I will get you water!” I stood up.

He was barely breathing. He used all his power to tell me those words. Quickly, I carried him to the emergency room. We managed to stabilize him, but, his lungs were deteriorating fast. He was only alive because of the oxygen tubes attached to his nose. Seeing him like that made me feel even worse. But his last words, they sparked a light inside my soul. It made me warmer. He believed in me when I lost faith in myself and my potential.

But what did he mean by ‘The Plan'? And why did he regret saying the words that drove me all the way down to this point? Me, a savior?

Sorry, but I not that kind of person. I want to create my own world with my own rules. There is no black and white. Still, thanks to you, I have regained my confidence. Now, I can concentrate on the matter at hand.

Thinking back at the past incidents, I began joining the dots. Then I remembered.

The file! This is the key, the missing piece to my puzzle.

***

I went to my apartment on Beacon Street, the file was stored in the empty water tank on the top of the building, but first I wanted to check on Elizabeth.

The keys aren’t working, maybe she changed the locks after the Russian mafia incident.

Then I remembered that she was staying the weekend at Ms. Anderson's house.

I guess this is for the best.

I turned left to my apartment and grabbed the keys of the rooftop from the drawer inside. Suddenly, I heard the sound of broken glass followed by a weird roar inside my apartment. I went to take a look, only to find out a fire raging in front of my eyes.

 

 

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