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CRAP
 
PROLOGUE
 
  A strange silence floated all over the city, rocking in the soft cold breeze that whistled through the streets. That silence that always seemed to spread over avenues and skycrapers at that hour. Silence of an autumn’s wesneday at midnight. There were hardly cars downtown, and Fifth highway, bordering the huge Park of Peace’s northern side, looked unusually empty. The black car drove down the slim street in between the Park and the highway, drilling with its lights the slight mist that rain left behind. Expensive, new, dark glasses. Just a shadow sparkling beneath the street lights.It stopped noiselessly by the broad lane that crossed the Park from north to south and a man stepped down.  About forty, his bright black hair was very short, and his eyes were hidden behind his glasses, that turned darker at the slight trace of light. His hard face seemed to be carved in stone, and his dark eyes’ look was intimidant. He wore an expensive suite, carefully polished leather shoes, a black coat covering his legs up to his knees.
He briefly glanced at his right, the empty Park, and turned to the highway across the street, looking at a homeless’ cabin by one of the strong pillars. Somebody came out from the shadows around the cabin and headed straight to the man. Behind him, several street dogs were fighting by a large can for some rotten food fallen on the stinky puddles. He crossed the street in two strides. A 24-year old youth, wearing black jeans and a dark leather jacket, carrying a handy rucksack at his back. He stopped by the car and traded a look with the man. The man nodded and both of them sat at the backseat together. The car drove away as it came, quick and noiseless.
Ten minutes later it stopped again, now in the very core of the last residential zone left in the city, a true oasis disturbing the buildings’ sheer horizon, where only family houses were allowed, up to three floors high, with at least a pretty backyard ; where streets were still bordered by trees and kids could play at the lane.
— It’s here.
Sitting behind the driver, Boss, the youth, looked outside without understanding what were they doing there, in front of that pretty house, dark as every other around at that time, with its pretty green fence, rosebushes behind it and its garage pretending a pretty rustic hut on one side. The man at his right stepped down without any further explanation and headed for the fence’s small wooden door. Boss hadn’t much of a choice, so he followed taking his rucksack. The man preceeded him across the garden up to the front door and rang the bell. Boss was surprised hearing him speak, for there was no way at sight for the house’s inhabitants to hear him.
— Rover.
A brief hum, a click. The man opened the door and walked into a small dark hall. Boss went after him silent, holding his curiosity. The man was in front of the door that should lead to the inner rooms, by it there was a numeric keyboard where his fingers typed some code. The door slid to the right, dissappearing inside the wall, introducing them to a broad nice living room, lit only on its back corner, where Boss saw what seemed the dinning table and chairs.
Just about to step in, Boss felt he was about to enter another world. The closed door behind him became now some mighty fortress’ wall, taking him away from everything he called his life until that very moment. He understood it with an utter certainty and a cold hole at his belly. The hand around the rucksack’s straps clenched unwillingly as he took a deep breath and walked in.
* * *
At the dinning room, Rover was talking in low voice with a young man, both of them leaning over a laptop’s screen on the table. He turned to Boss hearing him came closer ; the dark glasses completely hid his eyes, but his cold look got through effortlessly. Then Boss noticed there were two more people in there: a boy, sank in a couch against the door’s wall at his left, was cleaning with all his attention a magnum 365 ; another young man, turning his back at them, was cutting vegetables for a salad with a huge hunting knife over the counter that separated the dinning room and the kitchen. Behind him there was some stew and meat smell.
— Your new partner —Rover said then—. You can call him Boss. He’s very good at explosives and long range guns.
The laptop’s man raised his eyes with a grin.
— Nice alias, but remeber you’re not the boss.
— Hear who’s talking —grunted the boy from the couch, without looking at them.
Rover nodded towards who spoke first.
— Slash.
Boss nodded too, sizing him up. 23, thin, 1,80 mts high, pale. The light brown hair fell lankly further his shoulders and hidding part of his face. His features were delicate, almost childlike ; a thin moustache rounded down his thin lips up to the slight beard covering his chin. There was a scar crossing his nose ; above it, the honey-coloured eyes were waiting with a defiant glimpse for Boss to end his examination. He was wearing a shirt only buttoned at the two middle buttons and wide old jeans.
— Run —Rover said then.
The other man turned to them and waved his knife at Boss. The bright green eyes held Boss’ look without a blink. 25, Boss thought, almost 1,90 high, his wide back didn’t quite fit with his thin, long body. Not as pale as Slash, his face's lines were firm and calm. His look, his posture, even the way he grasped the knife, everything about him radiated such a serene confidence that hit Boss. The light hair must have been very blond in his childhood ; it fell up to the back of his neck straight from his crown in a wierd way that sent several mops to hide his eyes from time to time. He wore a long-sleeved t-shirt and clean, new jeans.
He is the boss —Slash quoted lighting a cigarette.
— Hum —the boy mumbled.
— Trash —Rover said at last, nodding towards the couch.
— Forget about romance, she’s a tough girl —Slash grinned, and his mock got back a glare from the couch.
Boss turned to look at the boy again, and found out surprised the dim shadows pointing out the breasts beneath the black high-collar sweater. The girl looked up and he stiffed at her eyes. She couldn’t be more than 21. Her dark red hair was very short at the back of her neck, while the fringe fell upon the face combing like some exotic bird’s crest. And beneath the red mops, her eyes were ice-coloured. Small, her hardened features insinuated beauty if she ever allow a smile to touch her, but the liptips pointing down told him very clearly it was not usual, if it ever happened at all. Boss noticed with a quiver her hand still gripping the gun, her finger laying on the tricker. Run gave her a fleeting glance, back to his salad already.
— Show him his room —he said, and his deep voice was in perfect harmony with his solid and calm picture.
Trash lowered her eyes, left the gun, stood up in complete silence. Boss saw her heading to a side door, just by the hall’s one, and unhappily understood he had to follow her. So they walked along a wooden hallway with three doors at each side of it. The walls were painted in ivory white, with small lights between the doors and a watercolour painting hanging under each of them. Everything was so according to the neighborhood they were in, but in all ways unexpected for what couldn’t be called but an outlaw gang’s den. Trash stopped in front of the second door on the right and pointed out the hallway’s end.
— Bathroom on the left. Don’t enter the right door alone.
Boss nodded holding a chill at her voice’s cold hostility and saw her walk away with her hands stuffed into her pockets, head down, bent shoulders. The way she dressed, she walked, even her voice... hadn’t it been for what Slash said, it had taken him a good while finding out she was a girl. Trash stopped before re-entring the living room.
— Leave your stuff and come back. Don’t fuck around —she said, and closed the door behind her.
Boss entered the darkened room, reached out for the light switch at his right and turned it on before stepping any further. It was a square room, two meters each side. Brown carpet, the walls painted anew in the same ivory white from the hallway. Against the opposite wall to the door, by the window to the front garden, there was the bed with its table and light. On the right, the wardrobe. On the left, an empty shelfs desk with its chair. And that was it. Empty, clean, cold. Every trace from its last inmate had been carefully removed.
He crossed the room to leave his rucksack on the bed and removed his jacket. Then he find a full-length mirror on the side wall. Between that wall and the bed he had the spot to stand in front of the mirror. And he did. He was ordinary in his own eyes. 1,75 high, short brown hair, brown eyes, nothing outstanding in his face or body. He faced his own look in the mirror, recognized the anxiety. The same feeling that haunted him since Rover called him.
Somehow it surprised him. They had met more than a year ago, just after he left the police, sick about how the older officers tried everyway to corrupt the youngers. A brief but meticulous interview, ended with just a "we’ll contact you". Well, a year later but they did call me, he thought after Rover’s night call, only two days ago. There had been "some trouble" with one of the team and he had been chosen to replace him. Rover would pick him up at such day, at such time, at such place. He had to be ready for being away from home for a while, he had 48 to settle everything down. Good night.
And there he was, at that pretty house in that pretty neighborhood, den to CRAP, that strange group that people was already naming Black Angels, some kind of urban legend. Nobody had ever seen their faces, nobody knew their names, their lives were in the shadows. They chased, so people said, some drug dealers’ organization, which in fact had held control on every illegal activity in town for the last ten years or so. And there he was, just about to become one of them.
Sayaki - 3/2k