Alex looked at his surroundings, then at Nike and Sayeh. He trembled when he heard Sayeh growl. “What…uh…who are you? Why have you brought us here? What is this place?” he asked in one breath.

“So many questions, Mr. Peine!” Nike said, stroking his face with her sword. Her eyes emanated a rage that burned right through him. 

Alex looked confused. “How do you know my name?” 

Nike punched him hard across the face. “Why don’t you leave the questioning to me?” She lifted him up by his collar and threw him against the wall. He let out a muffled scream and crumpled onto the floor. He did not attempt to move from his position on the floor. She kicked him in his abdomen, and this time, he let out a loud cry. 

“Why are you doing this?” he asked between ragged breathing from the blow. 

“Why? Hmm, know that little girl, Anna, you met at a party? Why don’t you start by telling me what you two dirtbags did to her, and then I will tell you why we’re doing this to you?” 

“What girl? I don’t know any Anna, and I did not pick up anyone from a party. And if I was guilty of anything, do you think the authorities would set me free?” he asked, trying to reason with her.

Nike picked him up by his throat and flew up to the ceiling of the warehouse. He looked like a fish out of water in her hands. 

I noticed James starting to wake up from his blackout caused by our teleportation. 

“Welcome back, sleeping beauty. Had a nice nap?” I asked a stunned looking James.

“Wha…what..where am I?” he asked, trying to sit up. He crawled on all fours away from Sayeh, then tried to get up and run. Sayeh put her paw on James’ legs, her claws extended out of her paws and cut into his calves, holding him in place. He screamed out in agony and from terror at Sayeh’s proximity. 

Nike landed with Alex and dropped him next to James. He fell into a limp heap on the floor, barely alive. I looked at Sayeh and shook my head. She retracted her claws and slowly moved back to her position. James and Alex were, by this time, shaking with terror.

“Please, leave us alone. We’ve done nothing.”

I removed my silver blade from its sheath and kept it inches away from James’ genitals. “You lie one more time, and I will cut your balls off and make you eat them raw.” James stared at me with eyes wide, his mouth open unable to speak. “Well?” 

“We did it, we are sorry. We roofied Anna’s drink so it would be easy for us to bring her back with us. We just wanted to have some fun; it wasn’t personal,” James said in one breath. 

Nike flew in and picked up James by his collar and threw him onto the opposite wall again. We heard a crack, followed by a loud screech. “Please don’t, don’t hurt us, we told you the truth!” James said as he gasped for air. Alex tried to use the distraction to run towards the exit. I threw my silver blade as he started to run. It pierced the back of his left leg and came out through his knee; blood splattered all over as he flopped onto the floor, clutching his knees screaming. 

“Are you going to kill us?” James asked, trembling and horrified by what he had just witnessed. 

“For what you both have done, death is what you deserve,” I said, getting up from my position. “But, we could show some mercy with the right kind of motivation.”

“Anything, anything at all. What do you need? Just name your price,” James urged. Alex nodded in agreement, unable to speak. I walked over to Alex. He cowered and tried to move away, but the pain in his leg numbed him. I pulled the blade out of Alex’s knee in one swift motion. He screamed with all his might, and the shock sent his body into convulsions. 

“Help him, please. He’s going to die. I already told you we’ll agree to anything you ask. Please, just let us go,” he pleaded, looking at us. 

“Alright, let’s cut a deal,” I said, wiping Alex’s blood off my blade. 

“Anything, yes!”

“25 million dollars each for your freedom. Transfer the money, and you both can walk, well, crawl out of here alive,” I said, looking into James’ eyes. 

“Take it, take it all, just let me go, please,” he begged. 

“Fine,” I said and handed him his cell phone to initiate the transfer. Within seconds, my cell phone pinged with a message that said the Silver Bow Foundation’s account had been credited with $50 million. 

“That was quick, good! We can finish this up now,” I smirked and turned away from James.

“But, but, you promised, we had a deal, please…please!” James yelled.

“I made a deal, didn’t I? But did you know that Anna’s in the hospital fighting for her life? Now, if I keep my end of the deal and let you live, then how is that justice for Anna?”

“No, please, no!”

“Nike, he’s all yours, sister!” I said and walked towards Sayeh. I heard Nike swing her sword once, the splattering of blood and a muted cry. James’ limp body flopped onto the floor. Alex laid on his back weeping, knowing he was next.

When Nike was finished with Alex, I asked Sayeh to vaporize their bodies into ash. That way, there would be no trace of these men. No bodies, no murder.

“We may need to pay a visit to Aunt Dem, Nike,” I said.  

Nike stood in the corner, wiping off the blood from her sword. “You think?”

“Yes, we will need her help to explain why the last transactions of two “missing” men was to the Silver Bow Foundation!”

Artemis (Rashmi Menon)
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