+ Take It : The Maggot Turns +
Date: 24th Sep 2021
I feel you crumble in my arms down to your heart of stone
You bled me dry just like the tears you never show
Why don’t you take what you want from me?
Take what you need from me
Take what you want and go
Post Malone - Take What You Want
++ Prologue - Fame Monster ++
//Fame. Ain’t it a bitch? If nothing else stood out about the 90’s it was AJ Benza and the gritty noir episodes of Mysteries and Scandals. Still truer words were never spoken. Fame, was for all intents and purposes, a bitch. It meant something different to everyone. Some welcomed it, craved it, and would give any and all for just a taste of it. Others cursed it. Carrying their fame like a heavy cross, a burden they would care not to bear. It was a millstone around their neck. For a lucky few, adjusting to fame was easy. They were able to keep their feet firmly grounded and retained their awareness. They didn’t put a high value on fame and either sought to do good with their 15 minutes or just enjoy the warmth of the spotlight, and when it waned and their time was done, they were satisfied, content. There were also those who were ignorant of the critical fact that their fame had already faded and they were just clinging to memories of what was, and wallowing in “what could have been”. Fame was fickle. It went just as easy as it came. It was not guaranteed. What of my own fame? A decade into the business I had tasted fame, lost it, then crawled through shit and filth, and came out free as Andy Dufresne on the other side, liberated. So what about my own fame? What category of people did I fall under when it came to how I viewed my own status and rank? Had fame had a certain type of effect on me? I saw fame as a tool. My goal was infamy, a particular type of fame. I already knew the power my name held, even if I was surrounded by people who discredited me and looked at me as weak. Being surrounded by drones and carbon copies, all chasing the same clout and all with the same goal in mind, was not a new situation for me. It is the very groundwork of this business. Greed, envy and jealousy made the world go round. Coveting someone else’s spot in life, their good fortune, and being driven by that to usurp them or make them look bad, was how most Fortune 500 companies worked. Envy was encouraged with every commercial we watched, bolstered by every “keeping up with the Joneses” stereotype in film and T.V, and FIGHT was no different. They knew what they were doing. We were mice in their maze and closely watched, cameras scrutinizing our every movement and interaction. On the PR side of things, a good video splice kept the viewers hooked and hungry for more. A still of two competitors passing in the hallway, suddenly became fodder. Captured, sold and repackaged as a passing altercation between two rivals, with supposed hurled insults and scathing personal attacks. The ignorant eat it up. They buy into it without a second thought. X turned this business into a glorified reality show. What started out as “Big Brother” shifted into “Survivor” and alliances were forged and battle lines drawn. I knew it was a risk to provoke Warstien. I knew he had friends & allies more than willing to fight alongside him but there is no room for neutrality or spectating when a war is being forged. It was truly nothing personal, I just wanted him and his pals to get in on the fun. The lockdown didn’t suit me. It felt too totalitarian for my liking. It was one of the many reasons I refused to live within the confines of the tower. Eoin having a flat there was good enough. I could come and go as I pleased, and when our despot overlords enacted lockdown, I could get the fuck out of dodge and continue to live my life freely, without the overbearing influence of their cameras and their media team\\
++ Act One : Take What You Want ++
//The sun was beginning to set in the New York skyline. Nightlife was soon approaching. You could feel the pulse of the city beginning to throb and ache. I had left the FIGHT Tower early. I had too much sensitive business to conduct to stay around. As I was leaving, that same nondescript van was parked across the street. The business was clearly fake. Typical FBI blunder. To ME it was painfully obvious they were watching the tower but I have life experiences that most don’t. Sarah was the one who actually noticed it first. She sent me a coded message to give me the heads up. She suspected just like I did, there was someone within the building that they were interested in. Or they had a plant inside. Either way, we noted it and kept it under wraps. Best not to raise suspicion before we knew the scope of their involvement and their target. As the horizon began to blend into a kaleidoscope of colors ranging from peach to lavender to orange sherbert I relaxed into the adirondack chair in the rooftop atrium atop the historic Brownstone my father owned. In his old age he had become interested in real estate. More specifically buying condemned or run down properties and flipping them or restoring them. Surrounded by a mix of English roses, hibiscus and wisteria trees. The smells of lemon grass, limoncello fruit and the sweet intoxicating scent of late summer/early fall orange blossoms wafted up my nostrils like a hex. The whole house had been wired head to toe with Alexa and other smart capabilities. I tapped my nail against the glass of my blueberry lemonade and vodka mixer, the condensation from the heat dripping down the sides of the antique red crystal wine glass, pooling on the arm of the chair around the foot of the fine French glassware\\
“Alexa, call Captain Crunch…”
“Calling Captain Crunch, mobile.”
//I took a sip from the drink and crossed my legs, admiring the pedicure I had gotten earlier in the day. The green holographic lacquer seemed to dance in the fading light of day. After a few seconds the other end picked up\\
“Moore. Sorry if I’m interrupting anything, I know you are a very busy man and have quite a bit on your plate right now, but I felt like we needed to touch bases. Especially if we are expected to operate as a unit. I also think we need to be very clear with each other about what the other expects and wants. I’m not unreasonable. I just like for everyone to know where they stand and afterall, I can’t help you get what you want, if my people don’t know their roles. What do you mean “like Korrupt”? If you have something to say, just say it, friend.”
//Moore suspected about Korrupt but he and I tended to stray to the same line of thinking from time to time. It wasn’t hard pressed for him to see through the facade, but it wasn’t his business so I imagine he didn’t give enough of a fuck about it to bring it up or even acknowledge it and that suited me just fine. He made his goal very clear. I had thought I had made my own stance pretty clear as Eoin was crushing Korrupts windpipe but here we were. I couldn’t blame him for being mis-trustful. I did Scotty dirty after all\\
“What is to stop me from doing to you, what befell him? That is what you’re pressing me about? Let me retort by saying this, don’t give me a reason to. It’s just that simple. You made it clear that your goal is the strap, and nobody or nothing will get in your way, going as far as to be sure to single me out to let me know where I stood. I didn’t have to make you Captain. I did so as a token of good faith. You indicated what your end goal was, I COULD have taken that opportunity for myself, but instead as an olive branch I took a step back and graciously gave it to you. What do you mean I hardly had a choice??”
//We enlightened were a touchy bunch. My mouth twisted as I listened to him monolog on the other end. He had some valid points, but I also felt attacked\\
“Alright Brandon. Lets just call a spade a spade. The Cure took some heavy losses. I won’t sit here and fucking say we didn’t. Koresh and his entire goddamn family, systematically decimated and left in heaps. What a fucking waste. Though I figured it was inevitable. Koresh was past his prime and his “family” was about as well organized as a MAGA rally, and just as weak. Overhyped circus freaks, riding their brothers’ frayed coat tails and listening to him like wide eyed children, as he regaled his glory days and filled their inbred minds with fantasies of grotesque power and channeled his best Manson Family Values vibe. Alexander couldn’t even be bothered to send me someone worthwhile, he sent me Robbie from The Dinosaurs. Then the whole situation with Violence. You send a guy on a solitary mission to prove his loyalty and he chicken shits out and uses his government contacts to go into hiding. As if that will protect him. I’m well aware that you have political affiliations, as I am sure you know I do as well. It goes without saying, you and I both know, he’s one car accident and an empty whiskey and pill bottle away from a tragic end. He can join a long list of whistleblowers, snitches, informants and compromised agents who died under suspicious, but ultimately tragic circumstances. Hang em, wreck em, down the plane, whatever it takes to eradicate the loose end.”
“What happened with Korrupt though was…inevitable. I would rather not go into deep detail about it but, what you saw happen and the coldness of it, was on purpose. I created him, thus I alone had the power to destroy him and let’s just say, his services were no longer required. His novelty and usefulness had worn off. Not that he had much of it to begin with. I DID have a choice though Brandon, let’s just be clear about that. I absolutely could have put my own self first. I could have kept that trainwreck around just long enough to fill a slot. He was easily manipulated, but lacked the ruthlessness I required. You were clearly the more sound, reliable choice. It has nothing to do with The Cure needing you and your efforts to legitimize us and I take offense to you insinuating that I’m weak. Because that is exactly what you did. It was a strategic business decision. There is no need to puff out your chest and try to intimidate me, about a title you haven’t even won yet, that you haven’t even earned a shot at yet. I applaud your bravado and confidence but in the future, keep in mind I cheated myself out of a shot to appease your demigod ego. You have the chance at the opportunity you do, because I gave it to you. You needed to be Captain because your concept of self won’t accept anything less. Don’t forget Moore, you men are a language that I have mastered. You need that belt to achieve your apex climax, and prove your point. I do not. I have nothing to lose by helping you, you have everything to lose by getting on my bad side. Can we agree that going forward, we approach this professionally and transparently? You have my word that I will not attempt to derail your goals of that strap. I will do whatever is required to ensure that not only do you look good, and dominant, but we do as well. This week we have an opportunity to showcase unity and strength. That is the most important thing. Being on the same page. Sahara is no stranger to me, she and I have danced before. Riggs, again. Nothing new for either of us. We know what to expect. We know how they operate on a one on one basis. We can trade notes, experiences and share weak links and do what we do best, dismantle and make an example. I WANT to see you force those False Gods and Heretics to eat crow. Our goals are ultimately different, Moore, that is true, but people like you and I, are the only things standing in the way of the status quo. Can we agree on that?”
//I sat forward, straddling my legs on either side of the chair, listening intently as he both admonished me for some of my more bolder statements, and begrudgingly admitted some of my more finer points. That was the downside to pairing two personalities such as ours. I did not fault his ego. I honestly felt he was on the cusp of the greatest period of his career. He was within steps of INFAMY. A goal I could more than get behind. A goal…I myself had. However which way one achieves that doesn’t matter, just that you do. Any eccentric personality worth their salt, should only have said goal. Everything you do, the words you say, the way you live, should all culminate into becoming INFAMOUS. And nobody will give that to you, you have to take it\\
“Give Michelle my best. You two should be getting a little gift from myself and my daughter in honor of the little one. Not an attempt to ass kiss mind you. I think you know me better than that. I…”
//My voice cracked a little. I sat wringing my hands as I fought to keep the memories from rearing their ugly heads\\
“I just know that type of fear, that type of anguish and pain. I’m a wretched cunt of a woman, Moore, but…I wasn’t always this way. You have a good evening, El Capitan.”
++ Act Two : Take What You Need ++
//I told Alexa to hang the call up. As the table side speaker beeped, indicating disconnect, I stood up, grabbing my still cold drink and started walking barefoot amongst the flora and fauna. My bathing suit coverup drug along the floor behind me. I stopped to admire some blooming lemongrass and broke some, to inhale the fresh citrus smell as I heard the glass sliding doors open. Company. I turned towards the doors to see Eric step into the atrium and take a long surprised look around. I started walking towards him, he looked up and his eyes went wide. Oops. I forgot I had been sunbathing in a bikini. Oh dear. No, I knew exactly what I was doing. He had info and I wanted it. I returned to the chair, slithered into a comfortable position and slid my cat’s eye sunglasses on, beckoning to him. He sat on the chair next to me, looking out of place and awkward. I casually sipped my drink and smiled\\
Elizabeth: Eric. You seem surprised that this exists. Never seen an atrium before?
Eric: What the fuck is an atrium? Man why do you have to use such big words? English is hard and shit. Rich people words man.
Elizabeth: Okay, maybe you will understand this easier. This is a greenhouse. You know like where Frosty melted in the movie?
Eric: Aw man…now I’m like super fucking sad. I love that movie. But uh…yeah I understand I guess. So…what did you want to see me for? Did I do something?
Elizabeth: No. Not at all. I just wanted to thank you for taking care of me, looking after me while I dealt with my little break with sanity. I know it couldn’t have been easy. It was a big thing for you to take on. It really means a lot. Out of curiosity, did you tell Eoin some of the things I told you? I know he was concerned but unsure how to really deal with what was going on.
Eric: Yeah. I mean some things. Was that okay? He loves you and shit and I hated seeing him so upset. I thought like if I told him some things that was wrong he would feel better. Should I not have?
Elizabeth: No. Not at all. He is your family after all. There is nothing wrong with you being concerned for his well being. But I know he didn’t prep those drugs on his own. He isn’t a user. He dosn’t know the things we know.
//I sat up and turned, drawing my legs around and facing him. I looked over my shades at the color draining from his face. One shot to do this right. Had to make it count. I slipped my fingers under the frame of the chair and pulled a syringe that I had stashed underneath. It was primed and ready for injection. While his eyes were locked on me, silently panicking, I quickly shoved the needle into his arm and injected. Ketamine. I needed him awake, but powerless. He jumped up, looking to run but the liquid was fast. He fell face first and groaned. I stood up, slipping my cover up off, and walked to him, crouching down and running my fingers through his dirty blonde hair\\
Elizabeth: Don’t struggle Eric, it will only make you more susceptible to the Ketamine. I need to know why Eoin got an apartment in FIGHT Tower. I have searched his apartment high and low, snooped in his emails, his phone, everything and I can’t find a fucking shred of reasoning. Yet…the same nondescript van that was outside YOUR place in Boston…is now outside FIGHT here. Nobody knows that but me. That tells me, Eoin is involved. Now I will ask nicely, why is he living there?
Eric: Whaaa….ungh. He had to. That military dude made him. I can’t feel my face…why is everything blue? Unhhhh.
Elizabeth: Military man? Jayson? Is Jayson behind this?
Eric: Ugh…who? I don’t know…so tired……
//I shook him, watching his head flail back and forth like a rag doll. He was completely incapacitated. I smirked and stood up, walking to his feet. I rolled him onto his back, stood back up and then separated his legs with my foot. I took a few small steps forward, raised my bare foot and set it atop his groin, pressing down\\
Elizabeth: Either I can get the information out of you or Sarah can. Have you met Sarah? I think she might like to play with you. She knows a thing or two about good old fashioned torture. She treats it like an art form really. I really admire her work. Such deep and philosophical discussions we have about different methods of torture, which are more effective and for what purpose. Who is the military man ERIC!!
Eric: F…fff….fuck me. Some tall….black guy. He…he knews Eoin. He…he made…Eoin…do it…
//Eric began to trail off. The tone of his voice checked out. He was sincere and honest. He wouldn’t last much longer before passing out from the drugs. I moved to the sliding glass doors and beckoned to someone inside. As I turned away from the glass back towards Eric, they opened. I casually gestured to Eric as a woman emerged, tall with obvious well defined muscles. Her hair was blonde and wavy, she was thick, but muscular. She looked at me awaiting orders\\
Elizabeth: Our friend here seems to need a little nap. Could you be as kind as to take him to the guest room, Karolina? And make sure he isn’t disturbed…or that he doesn’t leave the room, hm?
Karolina: As you wish Mistress Devereaux. Cmere handsome. Karolina will take good care of you.
//I watched as she scooped Eric up, despite his size and moderate muscle mass, with ease, slung him over her shoulder like a sack of potatoes and took her leave. As the glass door closed behind her, I grabbed the antique wine glass, bellowed into the twilight sky and launched it at the nearby wall, watching it shatter into thousands of tiny, expensive pieces\\
Elizabeth: How the FUCK am I supposed to maintain order if my favorite flavor of dick is working with the GOD DAM FEDS! They must have turned him. Fucking spineless worm. On one hand I COULD sell this information out to the execs at FIGHT, and they could deal with him officially but…no. This happened under my watch. It’s my people, we handle it my way. Koresh and Jayson were bad enough, fucking failures and dregs with no vision or tenacity. Korrupt wasn’t a loss. He was a failed experiment. The question is what do the want? Who do they want? No…no Lizzy girl think logically. Refer to your experience and wisdom. There is more to this. This goes deeper. Sarah may just get to practice her skills after all. She is such an asset and value to this little compendium of fringe lunatics, it’s fucking disgusting that her brother doesn’t see her worth. He mocks her, belittles her, and denies accountability. You would think he would acknowledge her Alpha Female status, but instead he treats her as if she is a fragile china doll, needing protection and sheltering. So many men think and act the same way. I know her worth. I acknowledge the atrocities done to her. I feel her suffering and anger. Protect her, from what? From who? No. The world needs protection from her. She and I are kindred spirits, armies of one, hell bent on destruction, deconstruction and chaos. That was always the problem with him and his ilk. Put the men on a pedestal. Build them up to be Gods. Le’Andra gets more respect from them than Sarah does. I guess that says it all…
//I exhaled sharply, sitting back down on the chair and hanging my head, rubbing the back of it. I had suspected somehow Eoin was involved. Women’s intuition. He just seemed to be at the center of it. It doesn’t help that the American government is sloppy. I also knew I shouldn’t have taken Moores insinuation, that I was weak, that we were weak, as hard as I did, but he is not in my position. He never will be. It isn’t humanly possible. He doesn’t have a vagina. My mind shifted to Korrupt. Others since gone who collided with The Cure. Defeated. Directly or indirectly. Chipped away at their confidence and anger until they imploded, giving me, giving us exactly what we wanted. This is my personal game of chess and my pawns aren’t quite in the right positions yet. Soon, but not yet. The Queen doesn’t move until victory is assured. The waiting game, the long con, it suits me just fine. I’m building a masterpiece, creating a symphony of destruction and chaos that would make the Devil himself weep in astonishment. I looked up, noticing the clear sky and bright stars and my eyes narrowed, a devious smirk creeping across my lips\\
Elizabeth: Elysia will not let them be left wanting. Their talents will be discovered, enhanced and put to good use. Through me they will find tasks and purpose. We will all find our own INFAMY. Our own ascension is close at hand…and Mother will be there to guide the hand of war and pestilence. It’s time for the next stage. Project Disinformation.