They marked her ass with a piece of steel. A cattle brand with the gang’s symbol, a grouping of five eyes, one for each leader.
Andy stared at his phone dumfounded as the text messages continued to appear.
Help us McCormick!
We know what you did!
Help us or we’ll make your life a living hell!
Help us or you’re fuckin’ dead!
Andy deleted the messages and closed his eyes. A chill went up his spine.
It’s been three years he thought.
But the message was undeniable, he let out an anxiety laced sigh.
Somebody knew what he did.
He always thought about the incident this time of year. Halloween 2019 and his revenge against a street gang called the Second City Dragons.
He had just turned sixteen when his family moved into the apartment complex across the street from the Dragons.
It had been a difficult year; his father had been killed in a construction accident for which he was found liable. He’d been drinking on the job. As a result, no benefits were paid and Andy’s mother moved the family to the only place they could afford, a two bedroom apartment in the city.
If adjusting to a new high school wasn’t bad enough, he discovered his dwellings were gang infested. Just two miles from Chinatown, the Second City Dragons claimed the area as their turf.
Drugs, gambling and prostitution inhabited the street corners in a four block radius. Andy wouldn’t have had a problem with any of it, except some kids in the gang raped his thirteen year old sister. They’d broken into their apartment while Andy was at basketball practice and his mother was at work. Tracy managed to fend off the three attackers by herself for over an hour by locking herself in the bathroom but they eventually took the door off the hinges and got in. They marked her ass with a piece of steel. A cattle brand with the gang’s symbol, a grouping of five eyes, one for each leader.
Although the gangs’ true numbers swelled past fifty it was these five who ran it all:
Miko – A skinny punk who always wore a suit, in charge of the gang’s finances.
Lola – Miko’s woman. Always dressed in black, known to keep a knife between her tits.
Petar – A hulking man in charge of theft, drugs and prostitution.
Gracie – A busty tattooed woman who always wore pigtails in charge of weapons and murder.
Lastly was Intrinsic – A mohawk wearing bastard, the gang’s leader. His claim to fame was cutting off the head of a rival gang leader with a pocketknife.
Andy planned his revenge for several months and finally got his chance on Halloween. There was a vacant lot between the two apartment buildings. He quietly dug out a 40×40 trench and loaded it with all the flammables he could get his hands on. Kerosene, flammable liquids, alcohol and gas. He covered the plot over with dirt and bided his time until Halloween night.
He knew the gang leaders would be drunk. Dressed like The Baseball Furies from the classic gang movie The Warriors, it wouldn’t take much to provoke them.
He stood over the stoop outside of the apartment building where they hung out, whipped out his dick and took a huge fucking piss.
“You! Muther Fucker! You’re fucking dead!” screamed Miko tearing off his baseball uniform and throwing it to the ground. “You just ruined a two hundred dollar baseball jersey!”
“EEW! That pee pee feels warm in my bosom!’ said Lola, shaking her custom fitted black jersey.
“Are you telling me that cocksucker just pissed on your tits?’ asked Gracie with a scowl on her face.
Andy dove off the platform and started running.
Miko pulled out his pistol and starting firing, but Andy made it past the fence and into the vacant lot unscathed.
Intrinsic pushed the warm urine through his mohawk. He stepped over to Miko and put his hands on the gun.
“Stop firing, there’s kids with parents out trick or treating. They’ll call the police.”
“That muther fucker! What do you expect us to do?”
Intrinsic smiled. “Let’s go after him fury style.”
The gang ran after Andy carrying their newly purchased baseball bats.
Petar laughed deviously “I wanna bash in his fucking skull!”
Andy made it to the other side of the vacant lot just as the gang reached his ‘Danger Zone’.
The group stopped as he pulled out a signal flare and spun around, prepared to stand his ground.
“We’re gonna brand you bitch, just like your slut sister!” Miko screamed.
Andy calmly stared at the group then ignited the signal flare.
Gracie looked around sniffing the air, she leaned down and sniffed a patch of dirt. “What the fuck is this?”
“It’s over you sad fucks. This is your last Halloween” said Andy. He calmly tossed the flair onto the ground.
The area around the Dragons ignited with a giant WOOOSH! They never had a chance. The gang leaders were little more than ash by the time the fire department arrived.
Nobody was ever charged with the crime. Considering the extensive rap sheets of the victims, law enforcement was in no hurry to pursue it.
This spring a brand new cell phone tower had been erected in the vacant lot, erasing the crime seemingly forever.
Eight days until Halloween and the texts had been coming non-stop. He was blocking texters left and right. He even changed his phone number, but it wasn’t any good.
They’d accessed his contacts list and began to systematically ruin his life. Ex-girlfriends, high school acquaintances and business associates began to shun him unknown bridges had been burned.
He’d turned away numerous Uber drivers and pizza deliveries which seemed to arrive every hour. There’d also been two domestic violence calls which sent the police to his apartment and his mother nearly to jail.
He arrived this afternoon to find he’d just missed a visit from the FBI regarding some unknown case his name had been dropped into.
They even hacked into his Wi-Fi and began similar assaults on his computers both at home and work. Andy was so freaked out he’d shut off the power to his cell phone.
He’d been racking his brain for days trying to figure out who was after him. He’d never told a soul about his crimes, not even his sister. As far as he knew only the Dragons were aware of his deadly deed.
Two nights later he was flipping through channels when he came across an old Wes Craven movie on television. Shocker was about a serial killer who traveled around via electricity. The film gave him a thought, a terrible thought he just couldn’t shake.
The gang had died where the cell phone tower had been erected. There were no bodies because the fire had reduced them to ashes. Had the souls of the deceased been trapped in the vacant lot?
Maybe the signal beacon had given them a means of communication, a newfound power. Could it lead to a possible means of escape?
There was only one way to know for sure. He turned on his cell phone and waited for it to ring.
The phone rang in a matter of seconds.
Andrew answered it with clammy hands and a bit of sweat forming on his brow “Hello?”
“Hello Andy, glad you finally figured it out” the digital voice on the other end startled him.
It was emotionless but somehow calculating, as if every word was heavily weighed.
“You’re all dead. I killed you! What the fuck do you want?”
“We want your help. We want our lives back!”
The answer startled him. “But you don’t have bodies anymore?” It was an opened ended question.
Maybe if they understood the complexity of the situation, they’d leave him alone.
“Hahaha. With the advancements of technology. We no longer need them.”
“What do you mean?”
“Arrangements have already been made. Our replacements have been delivered. We just need them assembled and prepped.”
“Delivered, where? how?”
“The world wide web. A warehouse two blocks away has all you need.”
“Fuck you, get one of your goons to do it! Leave me alone!”
“You owe us Andy. Since you took our flesh, our souls are connected to you! Help us or we will haunt you to the end of time!”
“You’ll do worse if I help you!”
“You don’t have a choice. The internet will let us ruin you. We’ve been generous so far. Fast food deliveries and jail threats are only scratching the surface.”
The microwave suddenly turned on, raised its power level beyond acceptable limits and began to spark.
“It will start a fire and we’ll make sure the fire department doesn’t know.”
“What if your mother’s home alone or your sister? They’ll die! Everyone you’ve ever spoken to will die!”
“Alright you vengeful bastards. Give me the fucking address!”
The pristine warehouse seemed out of place on a city block laced with abandoned storefronts and condemned brick monstrosities. The five eye symbol of the gang on the entrance door was professionally stenciled not tagged on with a can of spray paint.
The gang had been busy. Numerous packages were neatly stacked in a high-tech office.
Although their overall intelligence had obviously increased a hundredfold, it was easy to see their limits ended in the physical world.
Unable to contact any of their former family or friends they needed him pure and simple. His role was to open the packages and assemble the items. He could see immediately what their devious aim was. Inside the boxes were enough mechanical parts to build five robots!
A cell phone connection served as his anchor during the process. Communication was constant.
“The online world has made theft easier than expected” said the digital voice of Intrinsic.
“I can see that” said Andy holding up a mechanical arm. “This shit looks state of the art.”
“Beautiful yet deadly” said Lola.
“Additional modifications will be made once we inhabit our new bodies” added Gracie with a delivery so cold it made Andy’s skin crawl. He knew the additional modifications meant weaponry. These souls had a thirst for blood.
Intrinsic seemingly read his thoughts, “With the street smarts we acquired as humans and the technical knowledge we’ve obtained in the spirit world. We will be unstoppable!”
Andy went home that night knowing he had two maybe three days to resolve the issue. Somebody needed to save the world from these technical terrors and nobody would ever believe him. He made this mess. He was going to have to resolve it all on his own.
In the end he decided ramming the tower at high speed would do the trick. Since using his own transportation was out of the question, he hung out in a local rental vehicle parking lot and waited for a would-be mover to car jack. Eventually, he came across a vehicle that fit the bill. Minutes later he was fire balling away towards certain destruction. He’d left the final accessory, a microchip, uninstalled. He told the Dragons he’d be back in the morning but he’d intentionally blown them off. It was now or never…
It was two minutes past ten when Andy jumped from the speeding truck. It crashed into the tower with an enormous bang. The metal construct wobbled then fell to the ground with an ear shattering crash. Thankfully nobody was on the street.
Andy ducked behind a nearby building and waited for the cops to arrive.
He was relieved he’d stopped the gang from a certain reign of terror.
Suddenly a metal hand wrapped around this throat.
“You really think we’re stupid? We’d let you stop us twice?” said Miko.
“Having you take out the tower was all part of our plan. Now we are free forever!” added Petar.
“But the chip?” asked Andy but he already knew it was too late.
“A ruse you stupid fuck!” screamed Intrinsic.
“Let’s this revenge over with” said Gracie.
The mechanical monstrosities came out of the darkness. One of them was holding a red hot brand with the gang’s symbol. Andy felt the tears streaking down his face as the hot poker drew closer. He felt the grip on his throat tighten followed by the bliss of darkness…