Sergeant Michaels watched Akerman and Seward tie Angel down to the rickety wooden chair. They were in some husk of a factory not far from the corner where Angel slung drugs. In a place like Lynwood it was easy to find some relic of the times back when America actually manufactured things.
“I don’t know what the fuck you’re doing,” Angel said as Seward zip-tied his wrist together before he zip-tied them to the back of the chair. “I been paying my fucking tribute, pendejo
. You got no right!”
“Shut the fuck up,” Akerman shouted.
He whipped out his telescopic nightstick and was preparing to bring it down when Michaels reached out and took him by the wrist. The sergeant’s stern look said it all. It was not Akerman's place to punish Angel. Akerman looked at Seward and held out the nightstick.
“You do it, Andy.”
“What?” Seward asked. He looked from Akerman to Michaels.
“Do what?” Angel yelled. “What the fuck are you doing?”
“We need to know we can trust you,” Michaels said to Seward. “You say you’re with us but you haven’t gotten your hands dirty.”
“Not good and proper,” said Akerman. “You talk a good game, sure. But so far it’s all just been talk.”
“You know who I’m with,” said Angel. “You fuck with me, you fuck with him.”
“I don’t give a fuck with Raul thinks,” said Michaels. “He only thrives because we beat the competition into submission. You think just because you pay us you own us? This fucking spic motherfucker need to learn a lesson on who runs things.”
“Take the fucking baton,” Akerman said to Seward. “Either you beat him, or we beat him and then beat you.”
Seward swallowed hard and took the nightstick. Michaels could feel a small smile creeping on to his face as Seward started towards Angel. Seward’s fear was palpable, but not quite like Angel’s. Gone was the gangsta bravado he’d had from the time they picked him up until just now. He couldn't threaten or bully his way out of this. That shit might work with the cholos, but not against proper white men.
“Please,” Angel said softly. “You don’t have to do this.”
Michaels felt rage bubbling up inside of him at Angel’s words. This piece of shit, this scumbag who poisoned the community, was suddenly dictating terms to them. Fuck him, thought Michaels.
“Do it,” Michaels shouted. “Cave his fucking head in right now!”
With tears forming in his eyes, Seward swung the nightstick at Angel’s head.
Lieutenant John Milford leaned back in his chair and sighed. It was a sigh of contentment. He could feel the anger and fear coming from the three deputies as they executed his orders. So much pain and so much confusion. It was almost orgasmic. They didn’t know it, but the four of them were linked together. Milford fed off their base emotions. It gave him strength. And like a conduit for their fear and rage, Milford’s master fed off of him.
Little whispers filled his ears. The whispers began to grow louder and Milford sat up behind his desk. The whispers always heralded His arrival. Just like that, He was there in front of him. The office was dark and He was hidden in the shadows, but Milford could see His glowing blue eyes clearly in the dim lighting.~Milford, Milford, Milford.~
He spoke without opening His mouth and His voice was right in Milford’s ear.~I can feel their anger. The little drug dealer's pain and fear. It’s so potent… it feels so good. But, Milford, I need more.~
“More?" Milford furrowed his brow. "What else can I do? Please, tell me what do you need?”~I need a sacrifice. A death in my honor.~
A death? They had never gone that far. Ripping off and torturing little spics was as far as they'd gotten. He wanted to punish all those subhuman motherfuckers, but death had never crossed his mind. Milford started to resist. But he felt that pull that only He was capable of. A deep emptiness and longing, a void somewhere in his chest that so severe that Milford had the sudden urge to pull out his service weapon and blow his brains out. This is what He was capable of. Euphoric highs and manic joy on the upswing, suicidal lows on the downswing. It started to fade and a terrified Milford gulp.
“Yes… yes, my lord. Whatever you need.”~Good.~
The whispers roared in Milford’s ears and just like that, He was gone. Milford wiped sweat from his forehead and started to look for his phone. His hands were shaking as he rifled through the bottom drawers of his desk. Someone had to die tonight. That was the only way He could be satisfied.
The rode in silence, Michaels driving while Akerman rode shotgun. Seward sat in the backseat and looked out the window. He hadn’t made eye contact with them since they were done with Angel, hadn't even spoken once he started swinging. Akerman hadn’t killed him, Michaels had seen to that, but what was left wasn’t much of a person. They put Angel in the trunk of the car and dropped him off a block away from the closest hospital. Someone would find him and get him to the ER. Michaels wasn’t worried about him telling people what happened to him. If he ever ended up as something more than a vegetable then Michaels would be very surprised.
Seward had almost cried when they were dumping him on the sidewalk. It was a little half gasps that he managed to hold back, but by then the damage had been done. That was when Michaels made up his mind. Whatever he was, he sure as hell wasn’t one of them. He’d have to let the lieutenant know and plan the next move. The best outcome would be to shun Andy and ice him out, but Michaels was worried about what Milford would do when he found out. If what they did tonight was the lieutenant’s idea of a test, then how did Milford treat failure?
Michaels looked down when he heard his phone chime. He kept one eye on the road while the other opened his phone to see the message. It wasn’t his personal phone, instead a flip phone burner all the Vikings carried. The number was listed as RESTRICTED. But only one person would be texting him on that number.
Michaels texted back a simple N. A few seconds later came Milford’s reply.
TAKE CARE OF HIM
Michaels cursed to himself and started to type back a reply when he heard Akerman yell. Michaels looked up just in time to swerve and avoid a man standing in the road. He skidded to a stop and jumped out, the other two cops following him as he started to reach for his gun.
“You son of a bitch,” Michaels yelled. “What do you think you’re doing, standing in the road?”
“Just enjoying the night air,” the man said with a smile. He had a British accent. It threw Michaels off for a moment. You saw foreigners in Hollywood and the nice parts of town. Here in Lynwood it was all Mexicans.
Michaels could smell booze before he even got within two feet of the guy. Fucker reeked of it.
"You been drinking tonight?”
“Have you?” the man asked. “Way you’re all over the place, squire. Maybe you had a few?”
He winked and that pissed Michaels off. Within a few seconds, the man was on the ground with Michaels knees pressing into his back. Michaels had his gun pressed to the back of the man’s neck. Michaels could feel the adrenaline coursing through his body. He wanted so badly to pull the trigger and end this man’s life. Something was in his head, screaming at him to pull the trigger.~Do it for Him~
said a soft voice somewhere inside of him.
“You wanna die tonight, fucker?”
“Depends,” the man said. “You want Raul Garcia to know you beat one of his best dealers brain dead?”
“What the fuck did you just say?” Akerman asked from over Michaels’ shoulder.
Michaels flipped the man over. His face had scratches on it from where he’d been pushed to the ground, but he was smiling wildly at the three deputies.
“Gentlemen,” he said. “Let’s talk.”