02a.06.01: “Let loose the dawgs of war”

>> DATASTREAM 02a.06.01 commences
>> HEADER:
After surviving death against all odds, Tyler Burrell has come early out of his downtime to go into undercover operations with a highly successful hip hop enterprise called the Hellions. His accident left him badly wounded, to the extent that he has been totally reconstructed as an individual. Now with memories not his own, and someone elses face, Tyler struggles with his work, and his identity.

~

The explosion blossomed with an almost beautiful intensity, tearing the street apart. At one moment, Tyler had been sitting, distracted. The next, he registered the complete absurdity of the small details. He caught the sight of someone flying, rag doll head over heels. The line of conveyances along the street bounced, some of them flipped like children’s toys. Great chunks of the close knit buildings were flung, cutting seamlessly through the countless neon images hanging above the street, rippling in their wake.

The heat hit him like a slap, the force just as brutal. Threet had fallen into the sidewalk table with the intensity of the blast, his weight crushing it beneath him. Tyler felt a sharp pain in his shoulder, but forced himself into action as the fallout crashed down about them. As the explosion pealed back on the damage it had caused, Tyler began dragging Threet to his feet.

“Get your fat fuckin’ ass up off the ground!”

Threet began to right himself. The man was huge. No way he would be going anywhere unless on his own ability. Islander stocky, bordering on obese. Tyler heard the screams and cries, forced himself to focus only on himself and the man as voices babbled in his head. The smell of burnt meat touched his nostrils. A smell that made one hungry until he realized what it was.

“Get to the fuckin’ car,” Tyler said, finally getting the man on his feet. Threet was dressed almost military black, head to toe. Street styles punctuated by gleaming bling. A look both intimidating and simple. “We gotta get outta here, man!”

~Blacks and Whites have been alerted to an explosion in Neon City, just up from the corner of West and Proctor. Inbound ETA on Jennies 45 seconds –~

Threet almost fell before him, Tyler keeping him close as they headed to the huge conveyance parked just up from the cafe. He dismissed the Agency angel rattling off updates through his wetware. The smell of smoke and burning reminded Tyler all too sharply of past failings. It punched home horrible truths.

Trouble followed Tyler, even if he had a new face and a new life.

Inside the conveyance was a silent cocoon against the chaos outside. Tyler climbed into the drivers position, not bothering to wait on the man hired to do the job. He vaguely remembered the guy had gone up the street to investigate firmware updates. He flashed a glance towards the sudden array of views that popped into his heads-up, seeing Threet alive and well behind him in the back.

“Fuckin’ leave him. Drive Dzz. I’m fine. Drive.”

Tyler gunned the engine with a thought, feeling the jeep surge into activity. He pulled out of the park too sharply, crumpling the corner of the conveyance parked ahead like a fistful of cheap foil. The jeep barely rose up under the obstruction, clearing it as Tyler pulled out onto the street. Behind them, the cafe was a war scene out of some foreign feed.

Tyler realized that they were meant to be one building up. It was him who had told Threet he wasn’t hungry for pizza. Instead they had gone to the cafe next door for caff and light eats. If they had stuck with the plan …

“The fuck! Shits poppin’ off all over the fuckin’ place!”

Tyler saw Tuck emerge from nothing in the back seat, a shared link opening up between the three of them. The man was as big as Threet, but it was all muscle. He had the thick jaw and heavy features of a man who meant trouble, and dished it out with hammy fists that enjoyed their work. Tyler had never worked out if his green eyes were subtle cosmetic work or tribal blood.

“No problem. I’m safe.”

“Fuckin’ safe my ass,” Tuck remarked sharply. Tyler saw the street dapple in red and blue as a trio of Jenny drones shot by overhead. “Fuck me if you think this is just coincidence, Threet. Fuck I told you you being targeted. We got a leak, that’s what shits goin’ down right now.”

Even with the crimp of a swamped feed, Tuck’s voice cut heavy and hard in the conveyance. Threet looked shaken, Tyler thought. He would never show it in front of anyone, except his closest and most trusted. Tuck was easily that and more, one of the founding members of the Hellions. Tyler still wondered how he managed to fall into the mans confidence so easily.

“It’s fine. Call the group back to HQ. Maybe it’s time to sort this shit out once and for all.”

“It’s a fuckin’ leak,” Tuck boomed. His eyes flashed, but they didn’t look in the right direction. Their wetware wasn’t aligning the image correctly. “Who knew you were goin’ to be at Legamo’s? Where’s that lil fuck Diego? I told you about that lil Cubano fuck.”

“We weren’t at Legamo’s,” replied Threet. His voice was calm, quiet. This was the business end of the man, who had built an empire from nothing. The tone of a man who wouldn’t tolerate dissension, even from friends. “It’s probably because of Dzz that I’m alive right now. He didn’t wanna go to Legamo’s.”

“He’s a fuckin’ dog turd.”

“He’s driving the conveyance,” Threet remarked. He had a voice smooth like silk. Maybe once in the past his looks and that voice charmed the ladies, but now it was just the power that did all the work. “Say hello to him, Tuck.”

Tyler kept his head down as Tuck’s image glanced towards him. It hit too perfect this time, the wetware getting it just right. He could almost feel the mans dead, shark stare.

“Fuck you, little man.”

“Hi, bro.”

“You done playin’ fuckin’ favors with your fighters, Threet and get your shit back to HQ. Right now we ’bout to go on some warpath with this shit. Someone’s gonna pay.”

Tuck’s big form vanished, spluttering out into nothing rather than a smooth disappearing act. Tyler didn’t know who had cut the link, but suddenly the conveyance was silent again. The disaster behind them felt like a world away. Threet was staring out of the window with a look of introspection. Stroking slowly, thoughtfully at his clean shaved and ample chin.

~Blacks and Whites are running a full detail on the scene,~ remarked the soft, quiet tones of Tyler’s angel. The words came into his mind almost like a memory, rather than pure speech. ~I’ll keep you posted on the results, agent Burrell. I doubt this is personal. It probably has more to do with the election.~

“I can be somewhere else,” Tyler said, apologetic for his presence.

“Nah, Dzz. You my man as much as Tuck is my man.”

Tyler glanced to the back seat view in his peripheral. Threet looked subdued. His mind was probably working the angles, preparing for the closest thing they ever did to a boardroom meeting. One time rap group, the Hellions were a multi-million dollar industry now. That and Tyler’s new life.

“Tuck hates me.”

“Tuck hates everyone, my man. I ain’t forgetting you just saved my life, Dzz. Not in a million.”

Tyler just nodded, and kept his mind on the road. A pale blue line of waypoints lay out in his vision, guiding them back through the tight streets of Neon City. He tried to shrink down into his seat. Given his small size, the huge jeep conveyance dwarfed him. He shrunk inside, hating himself.

“You my prize fuckin’ fighter, Diego Sanchez. If a brother can’t trust a down and honest man like you in this day and age, then we’re all fucked.”

* * *

Tyler tossed more water up into his face, feeling the cold shock of it run down his skin. It was hard to feel alive, even harder to find a place to fit and feel right. He looked up at his face in the mirror. It wasn’t a face he knew, less one that he could accept. High cheekbones, full nose. Aggressive, hard lines that made him look angry even with the lightest of inclinations. The sort of face that made girls want him, and gave the impression to men that no one fucked with him.

It wasn’t his face.

His short shaved head wasn’t his dreadlocks. He still imagined he felt their ghost weight.

About the only thing that seemed his own was his body, short and compact. Perfect for the lightweight boxer he was, improved on only lightly. But it was brown, not the easy tan that it had been. He still wore his clothes sloppy, loose black sports pants and top that hung off him. Top rack, bought for him by Threet.

That stranger kept staring at him from the mirror. Hating him. Challenging him. Calling him out as the fucking lier he was.

Tyler had to hold true to the little things that were still his own.

The memories were packed just behind the truth, a whole life that spread back to his birth. His time on the streets in Havana. The long line of boxers he had grown from. The training. The rise through the ranks that never happened, fighting people who had never existed until now. A whole fabrication that flowed off his lips with questions asked. His own life almost seemed immaterial in comparison.

Tyler Burrell died in a helicopter accident.

Diego Sanchez was a prize winning boxer. The champion in a new business venture put together by the sprawling rap enterprise of the Hellions. Personal favourite to Threet, their commander in chief, the acknowledged godfather of South Sector.

A link tapped at the front of his mind, stirring Tyler from his thoughts. He wiped his face off and rejected the link, knowing it was Threet. He gunned himself up, put his game face on as he headed back through the pristine headquarters of the Hellion empire. Fourteen core rappers. Djs. Dancers. People beyond people, fueled by one man.

Threet stood up as Tyler came into the subdued meeting room. The view beyond of the neon studded city, and Skycity beyond was lost on him for the ranks of the gathered. Stony and serious faces as circumspect as any boardroom stared back at him. Tyler noticed Tuck, brutal in his presence and reality, glaring at him. The man’s two dogs sat at his feet.

“I don’t want to have to admit it,” Threet said, as he pointed Tyler to a seat. He looked his usual self now, unrattled and ready. “But after what went down today, I’m figurin’ we might have a bit of a problem … it looks like someones trying to take me down.”

Tyler sat down, and felt the hard, hateful stare of Tuck from across the table. He retreated to that small part of him that was still Tyler Burrell.

<< INTERRUPT

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2 Responses to “02a.06.01: “Let loose the dawgs of war””

  1. […] NEXT UPDATE >> Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Right to Information Act – File Notings – DOPT interpretation faulty.Opting outLive Blog ResultsWhy I let my kids scream – Rule #2 […]

  2. You are soooo gifted in writing. God is really using you in miraculous ways. You are doing a great job! This was an awesome weblog!

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