Totally Not Guns Akimbo
rating: +28+x

By Marcelles D. Raynes

Deep beneath the foundation of a Marshall, Carter & Dark auction house existed a warehouse in a chamber that hadn't seen the light of day since it was constructed. Inside was a man without skin, who hung suspended two feet above the ground by rusted metal hooks underneath his shoulder blades. Only a few centimeters away was the very skin he'd grown accustomed to over the course of his tragically long, thirty-five-year life in a loose, wet pile. While the man was certainly upset about his rather unfortunate situation, his skin seemed content to lay on the ground, serving as a snack for the dolphin-hounds that tugged on their leashes to get a few nibbles in.

The room, dubbed the Interrogation Chamber by its other occupants, was lit solely by candle flame and iron sconces. It was a large space sprinkled with cages occupied by skeletons whose skin was likely eaten by the dolphin-hounds. Two medieval torture racks in pristine condition decorated the room; an iron donkey polished clean of the residue left by the previous rider, and an iron maiden that was converting the still-living remains of Mr. Abernathy's conman associate into a fine swiss cheese.

Mr. Abernathy hadn't had a chance to take his eyes off the man in the iron maiden since he found himself in Gytha Chin's clutches. In truth, he couldn't take his eyes off anything, as his eyelids had been removed not too long into his flaying process. He wanted to cry, but the salt in his tears burned his cheek, or rather, the muscle where his cheek used to be.

A whip cracked from somewhere behind him. Mr. Abernathy's eyes strained to get a glance, pulling on aching and exposed muscle as he tried to turn his head. A voice, female, shushed him and caressed his cheek as the owner's dress shoes clicked past him. Mr. Abernathy groaned an ungodly noise that he was unaware he could make. Her touch hurt.

"Kill me," He begged, his own voice barely above a whisper. He let out a long, foul breath.

Gytha, dressed in a purple pinstripe pantsuit, cringed, "Your breath… You should floss more. Only a real friend would tell you."

The dolphin-hounds gnashed their teeth. The other occupant barked at them to be quiet, lest they ruin a precious moment between companions.

"Now," Gytha said, putting on a warm smile, "Here's what happened. I have removed all of the skin from your body. If it makes you feel better, infection will claim you if your heart doesn't give out before then so, you see, I've already killed you."

"Oh," Mr. Abernathy whispered. His eyes darted momentarily to the iron maiden that had swung open, dropping a newly made batch of swiss flesh, "okay then."

Gytha tapped her temple, "The real question is; when?"

Gytha reached into her pocket, taking out two small white pills - pain killers, strong ones - and cupped Mr. Abernathy's skinless cheek in her hand. She cooed as she fed him the pills and smiled when he started chewing.

"See," She continued, "I'm not a monster. I'm a craftswoman. One who creates beauty out of obscurity, one that understands that true art is an expression of inner turmoil, something meant to send a strong, lasting message to the crowd. My art—you—should have been experienced by the world, not cast aside like trash to make room for some tactless vile shit the Critic thought seemed appropriate for her gallery."

Mr. Abernathy groaned. If his face were still attached, he would have expressed confusion. Gytha pulled out a black plastic glove from her pocket and fitted it on her hand, flexing her fingers.

"That said, you - sir, will die, and I will control every variable down to the hour — the minute — the very last second. And when you do, I will make a lot of money. So until then…"

She walked behind Mr. Abernathy and smacked her open palm on his asscheek, sending a ripple through his entire body that made him spit. She gripped him, leaning in close to his ear-hole.

"Just hang in there, baby."


Paul cringed at the rich asshole in front of him. The man was bent over, cheeks bare and the rest of his body covered in a too-tight gimp suit. His hands were bound in rope and above him was a holographic sign that read "Complimentary". The rich gimp said something to Paul after he spent a reasonable amount of time gawking at him, but his words were muffled by the zipper on his mouth.

"What?" Paul asked.

The gimp wiggled his hips and inched closer to Paul, lifting himself slightly so that the money was barely touching his fingers. Mark walked in and stood next to Paul, nudging his shoulder and wearing that ridiculous smirk he'd always worn on his ridiculous face.

"Think he wants you to take one buddy," Mark suggested, grabbing a bill for himself and stuffing it in his pocket.

Paul shook his head, "I'm not fucking doing that."

"It's part of the experience. And we need to blend in, stop being a bitch and take a bill."

Paul sucked his breath in and closed his eyes. With hesitation, he reached two fingers out and tried to take a bill from the ass of the gimp. But when he tugged on the bill, it wouldn't come. He fought with it for a moment and his frustration grew when he heard the gimp's muffled laughter. With a final yank, he withdrew the bill and all of the moisture and slime that came with it. He held it for a moment, a scowl quickly growing on his face, then threw it on the floor.

Mark took a handkerchief from his inner coat pocket and wiped the bill clean before stuffing that into his pocket as well.

"That's the spirit!"

Paul shoved him, "You finally gonna tell me just what the fuck we're looking for?"

Then he adjusted his dress, still not quite used to piloting the corpse Paul found himself wearing. He nearly lost his balance in his stilettos. Mark held back a snicker and Paul felt his ears turn hot. He huffed, crossed his arms, and mustered up as much attitude as he possibly could.


Mark stopped holding back his laughter as the smile dropped from his face. Suddenly he was serious, a wave of darkness emanating from him that threatened to suffocate Paul. Even if he wasn't wearing the corpse of a rather short woman, Paul could feel Mark growing. Soon it was as if he towered over Paul, staring into his eyes with all the focus of a precision laser.

"The art kit, Pauly."

Mark pointed slyly at one of the podiums toward the back of the room. The stand was mahogany, topped with a near-transparent glass dome. Inside was a brown briefcase with a few creases in the middle of it. One of the latches was broken or missing, preventing it from closing completely, and the stickers that had been placed there years ago by its original owner were faded and threatening to fall off at the slightest disturbance.

And yet even from across the room, through the stench of the rich and the sweat of his corpse-costume, Paul shuddered as the presence of the briefcase assaulted him.

Mark grinned, "When the bidding starts we're gonna outbid everyone in this room."

"With what money?" Paul whisper-yelled.

"Who said anything about money?"


On a roof about 100 meters away was a Foundation Direct Action Specialist, polishing the barrel on his sniper rifle, and his spotter who surveyed the auction house.

"Got eyes on him, Cici?" The sniper asked.

Cecelia "hmm'd" for a moment as she scanned the windows of the auction house. On the second floor, a couple was fucking on top of everyone's coats, and near the entrance, she could see a man in a gimp suit terrorizing anyone who ventured too close. On the roof was a group of rich folk drinking from champagne glasses, no doubt spiked with some anomalous narcotic, judging by their expressions.

But the target? The pentillionaire and world-renowned dickhead Donavon Carter was nowhere to be seen.

"Hmm — nothing yet Nagid." She groaned, "This is taking forever."

"Would it kill you to be a little more patient?"

Cecelia groaned again, "Would it kill him to be a little more considerate?"

Nagid raised an eyebrow, "Yes, it would. That's what we're here for."

Nagid pulled out two cigarettes from his breast pocket and lit one using a small pyromancy incantation he learned a while back. The tip glowed a bright blue for a moment before dulling. Smokey-grey lines of burnt tobacco wafted skyward. Nagid took a long drag, letting the nicotine tickle his brain in just the right spot. It'd been a while since he got a good head-high.

His partner raised an eyebrow once she caught a whiff of the scent, "Seriously? Now? You couldn't wait until the asshole was dead?"

Nagid blew smoke in her direction and took another drag, "Well look who's the guru on patience now."

"I hate that smell." Cecelia shot Nagid a look from the corner of her eye.

"I'm sorry for your loss," Another puff. This time the smoke that followed was in loose "O" shapes.

Cecelia sighed and returned to watch the building and its occupants. More of the rich were filing in now, with their luxury cars being carted away by small green men into a non-Euclidean alleyway. She blinked when the doors shut behind the last of the auction-goers, and the lights went dim.

She tapped Nagid on his shoulder. There was a tinge of excitement in her voice as she said, "It's starting."

As Cecelia's eyes traced the windows of the auction house, Nagid took one last, long drag from his cigarette. As he got back into position by the scope of his sniper rifle, he sighed, "Let's get this over with."


Gytha swallowed her pride and slipped into a nicer-looking outfit; a small price to pay to send her message to a wider audience. She chose a purple romper, fully equipped with real, deep pockets. The clicking of Gytha's heels on the marble flooring was a sound unfamiliar to her, one that became nauseating to her almost instantaneously. She sighed and kept her arms folded as she watched the hired muscle wheel Mr. Abarnathy and his cage behind the stage curtain.

"Be careful with that," Gytha warned, narrowing her eyes at the mover closest to her, "That product is worth more than wherever you pay for rent."

The mover sucked in a breath and shook his head, tapping the other man on the shoulder and leading them away from Gytha and her art.

Uncultured heathens. She thought to herself.

She walked over to the curtain and grabbed the edge of it, pulling it back only an inch or two; enough for her to look out at the audience. Most everyone there was the type of people she'd expect to see at a place like this: snobbish, shit-eating, mindlessly self-indulgent dickheads.

But they all possessed something Gytha needed to steal for herself: influence.

A smile grew on her face when she saw the giant doors at the entrance close. No one in the crowd seemed to notice the strange little green men twist some locks and lock some bolts. A strange thing, surely, but the rich weren't exactly known for conventional means of protecting their wealth. At least now no one could make off with any assets.

Something stole Gytha's attention for a moment as she scanned the auction floor. Something dark. On one of the pedestals, behind a thin layer of glass and tucked away inconspicuously in the part of the room where the shadows were strongest was a briefcase. Something about it was… vile. Like looking at a maggot-infested pumpkin after Halloween. It didn't help that only two people in the entire place had their eyes on it, almost like the briefcase was deterring everyone else from even thinking about buying it.

And yet, at the same time something about it was alluring. It was an object with history, one that had probably seen the deaths of its previous owners and likely the demise of others as well. Even from this distance, Gytha could see the dried patter of blood on the leather. It was the same blood that was likely starting to rust the latches and causing the leather to crack. And it was likely the stench of that blood that filled Gytha's nostrils with a prevailing sense of death and violence. She sighed, smiling at it.

"This is going better than expected." She said to herself.

A man wearing headphones and holding a clipboard tapped Gytha on her shoulder, "Ma'am, the pre-auction show is about to start. Please head to the green room with your art installation and wait for your cue."

Gytha smiled flatly, "Of course. My sincerest apologies."

The man with the headphones gave a curt nod and retreated behind another art installation. This one was also covered by a tarp, but the shape was still recognizable. It was some kind of statue, and not exactly a professional at standing still. She could see the thing's giant chest expand and contract underneath the tarp. The artist who no doubt constructed whatever abhorrent monstrosity lay beneath that tarp appeared from behind his installation.

He was wearing a green beret and a wicked scowl that would have made a lesser artist uncomfortable. His legs went fssswh in leather jeans three sizes too small, accentuating his (rather small) bulge in a way Gytha could have lived without. A spindly, outstretched hand came between Gytha and the statue.

The "artist" eyed her up and down, no doubt sizing her up, "Who are you supposed to be?"

Gytha bowed and smiled, "Gytha Chin."

The "artist" scoffed, "Well keep your filthy hands to yourself, Miss Chin."

"Of course, Mister…"

"Don't bother," The "artist" chided, narrowing his eyes, "Can't have you coming after me when these rich folk bid millions for my masterpiece."

"I'm not here for the money."

"Oh?" He raised an eyebrow, "Then what are you here for?"

"Something much more important."


Paul held his breath as smoke crept across the stage at the back of the auction house. The lights dimmed, and two spotlights pointed at the right end of the stage, where a man dressed in a purple tuxedo and bowtie walked on stage. He was blonde, hair parted to one side, and he had one of those sickeningly overbearing mustaches that he twirled as he walked center-stage. Mic in hand, the man spoke with a voice that was deep and suave.

"Good evening, fellows," He said, gesturing wide across the crowd, "And welcome to the 316th annual Marshall, Carter, and Dark anomalous item and persons auction. As many of you know, my name is Blithe, and for the remainder of the night I will be your host."

There was a light applause, even Paul clapped. But Mark didn't. His eyes were focused on the art kit.

"As you can see around you, there are many mystical, wonderful objects we have acquired for you to bid on tonight. We hope you have taken the time before our show began to peruse our wares. Perhaps you've made a selection or two already. I wish you the best when the bidding begins."

There were several murmurs in the crowd. A few heads turned to some of the items along the sides of the room. Mark inched his way closer to the briefcase, trying his best to look inconspicuous and probably failing miserably. Paul could feel the pools of sweat starting to form in his armpits and on his forehead. One of the rich assholes nearest to her withdrew a handkerchief from his inner coat pocket and handed it to Paul.

"First time?"

"No," He said, dabbing his pits with the cloth. Paul gave the sweat-soaked rag back to the man, who stuffed it in his pocket without a second glance.

"I remember my first time at one of these too. I was sweating bullets, and my teeth were chattering something fierce – I tend to chatter when I get nervous – because of how luxurious the venue had seemed at the time."

"Oh really?"

The man nodded, "Looking back at it now though, that old venue was nothing like this. I was a chump then, impoverished and starved for recognition. I barely had three million dollars to my name, and lord knows I lost every bid. But now?"

Paul sighed.

"Now I'm going to be a winner. Lucious Bradley's the name, and betting on multi-million dollar assets is my game."

Lucious stuck his slim, ghostly hand out. Paul faked a smile and shook it, trying not to cringe as each of his spindly fingers curled around Paul's hand in a fierce grip.

"I'm… Paula."

"Well, Paula," Said Lucious as he kissed the back of Paul's hand, "I hope I can get to know you better once the auction's done."

With a wink, Lucious faded into the crowd of rich people in suits.

On stage, an art piece was being brought out from behind the curtains. It was veiled by a tarp, and Paul could see it moving. The piece was big, about twice as tall as Blithe. The presumed artist, a short man wearing leather jeans that were clearly too tight to be comfortable, stood beside his piece with a wide grin.

"First we'd like to introduce some new assets to our collection," Blithe began, "art pieces, for the more… cultured folks among us."

The artist on-stage grabbed two handfuls of tarp and yanked, revealing the statue of a nude man wielding a shield with a floral pattern carved into it. The statue was immaculate. The abdominal region was carved with such precision that it looked organic. The statue's hair looked soft somehow, and its face expressed a look of… fear. Paul squinted, looking at the finer details of the art piece; the pores of the skin, the veins in the muscles, the rise and fall of its chest as it breathed. He shuddered.

"I now present you, 'Goliath in the Nude'! Created by the Sculptor Igor Hadid."

Light applause. The sculpture covered its face. The Sculptor bowed, a greedy smile growing across his face.

"I'll start the bid at five hundred thousand."

A few of the rich assholes raised their beige auction paddles. Light murmurs rippled through the crowd. A paddle went up, then another, and then another. Not as many as Paul was expecting, but still more than he was comfortable with. A wave of guilt flooded his heart as he watched the naked statue try to shrink away in vain. It curled into a tight ball. It had nowhere to go.

"Do I hear five-fifty? Six hundred thousand?"

Fewer paddles remained up as the number Blithe rattled on got higher and higher. Paul's focus remained on the statue, however, ignoring the shit-talking whispers of rich folk who thought themselves better for not spending more money than they felt necessary on a living statue. Eventually, once Blithe was in the multi-millions, only a single paddle remained upward.

It belonged to a man a few tables behind Paul with a gut the size of Jupiter and pudgy fingers that looked like uncooked sausages. The man was panting; apparently, the act of holding up the paddle was too much for him to handle, and his eyes were tracing the statue's form up and down. He was salivating and licking his lips. When Blithe sold the statue to him for a little over four million dollars, Paul could hear the man swallow his Adam's apple from his seat.

"Thank you." The fat man said as he personally carted the statue off stage. His hand trailed down the statue's back, and Paul heard someone screaming from behind the curtain a few moments later.

Spit shot out from Blithe's mouth as his shit-eating grin returned and he spoke into the microphone.

"Next on our list is a newcomer to the high rolling scene presenting her piece, 'Mankind au naturale'. Created by Gytha Chin!"

Just like Goliath, Gytha's piece was covered by a large, beige tarp, though not as massive. As Gytha crossed the platform she withdrew some small white cards from her pocket and snatched the microphone from Blithe.

"Thank you kindly, Mr. Auctioneer. If you don't mind, I prepared a small speech for my presentation."

Blithe shook his head, his smile faltering a hair. He stepped to the side and gestured for Gytha to take center stage as he faded into the shadows near the curtain. Paul saw him speak into the collar of his suit jacket, and two men in suits walked through a door near Mark.

Gytha cleared her throat, "I know that you people and people like me don't always see eye to eye. You live in multi-billion dollar penthouses while I sleep in my wonderfully cramped studio apartment. Not exactly a shared or relatable perspective I know, but there is something we do have in common: art appreciation."

She gestured to her installation, "What I have brought before you today is a work born of my passion for the craft. It is… a personal message. From me to you."

Gytha gripped the tarp, her smile cemented on her face. She looked over her shoulder, eyes scanning the audience slowly. She exhaled.

Mr. Abernathy's screams resonated in Paul's ears.


"You see, my fellow Americans," Gytha began as she trotted along Mr. Abernathy's screaming body, "For too long people like you have had money without class. Riches without toils. Pleasure without pain."

The audience was filled with agape mouths and fixated eyes, all stared at her. Gytha beamed, her head held high.

"The other day when I was 'hanging' out with this pedophile, I realized that something fundamental about our society needed to change. Something was missing from me, something that I couldn't be a complete woman without. Was it violence? No, of course not. Every girl's gotta get her kicks somehow. No, what was missing was money."


Gytha frowned, "I can tell by your uproar that many of you see my point. You're worried about someone stealing your precious assets? I am too! That's why you should just, give me everything. That… or I will kill every single person in this room."

A group of men in suits burst out from behind the curtain, a swarm of black and white. They were built like freight trains and sported pitch-black sunglasses and stoic expressions. Two of them grabbed Gytha by the arms and lifted her.

Gytha unleashed a flurry of kicks, punching, and thrashing to no avail.

"Get your hands off of me you god damn cretins! I am an artist! I am an ARTIST!"

As she was carried behind the curtain, her screams faded, leaving the audience who began to converse among themselves in hushed whispers. This continued for only a few seconds before another man emerged from the curtain, dressed in an iron-pressed suit and a gaudy watch. He adjusted his tie and cleared his throat before speaking into the microphone.

"My sincerest apologies for this shameful display, companions," Donavon Carter began, "Rest assured, there will be no further interruptions tonight. Blithe, if you-"

And then Donavon Carter clutched his chest and started coughing.


"That's so fucking gross holy shit," Cecelia complained as she retched.

Nagid raised an eyebrow. "What? Rich people eating babies? Fair and equal wages?"

"No, dicklips, there's flayed guy down there being presented as art!"

"Like flayed or flayed flayed?"

"Like this man has had all of his skin removed and is being presented as an art installation for these people to gawk at."

Nagid took a long drag from his cigarette. "Well, that's fucking gross."

Cecelia pulled her eyes away from the ground floor and scanned the upper level. Bodies were moving therein, approaching an office on the corner of the building. Cecelia could see the large ornate wooded desk from here, as well as the man now speedwalking in circles around it. This man was tan, with short black hair with strips of silver peppered in. He was on the phone with someone, his hand pressed firmly against his ear. The other men approached him, gesturing toward the door. The man in the suit, Donavon Carter, threw his phone on the ground and rubbed his temples.

Cecelia chuckled, "Get ready, Nagid."

Her partner groaned. He inhaled quickly, inadvertently smoldering the remainder of his cigarette, and leaned forward into his rifle's scope. Tracing the building according to Cecelia's direction, he found Donavon Carter on the second floor, heading through his office and descending down a stairwell. Nagid flipped a switch on the side of the rifle, triggering the infrared filter. He followed Carter as he entered the main hall where the auction was being held, watching the man and his guards as they grappled someone off the stage and threw a tarp over their "art installation".

"Alright," Nagid said to no one, exhaling long and deep, "Let's do this."

He pulled the trigger.


Something missed Paul's head by a hair. If it hadn't been for the rush of wind that followed the bullet on its path, he might not have even noticed. He attributed the sound of glass breaking to the gimp near the entrance fucking with someone as they held a drink in their hand.

He looked behind him. There the gimp still stood at the entrance, and it looked back at him, a shit-eating grin surely growing on its face beneath the mask. Paul's eyes scanned upward then, following the wall above the sealed door to the window near the ceiling. There was a small hole in that window, near the edge where the glass met the brick of the building. So small that someone wouldn't have ever noticed it unless they were looking for it. The glass wasn't cracked like one would expect the broken glass to. Instead, the hole in the window was perfectly circular, as if it were cut out by hand.

"What?" Paul asked out loud.

Lucious nudged Paul's side, "Our host apologized for the shameful display that artist gave us, my sweet dear."

Paul turned, narrowing his eyes, "No not- fuck off."

Lucious' mouth gaped. He shook the stupid look off his face and folded his arms, returning his stare to the main stage. However, a moment later, he gasped. The gargantuan, ghastly man staggered backward a step, tripping over his own feet and falling to the ground in a great, wet, SLAP.

"Too much to drink, Lucious?" Paul chided.

Lucious shook his head and pointed at the stage. There was the man that addressed himself as the owner of this operation, Donavon Carter. He looked suave almost, a real "silver fox" look about him that Paul found somewhat interesting. Not attractive enough to forgive the obscene amounts of wealth the man had or the sense of morality he no doubt lacked, but his broad shoulders and buttery smooth voice had at least drawn his attention until Paul felt something pass by his head.

But now Donavon Carter looked different. He was clutching his heart. Grimace replaced the charming smile that he used to apologize to these rich assholes. His buttery smooth voice was replaced by long, pained groans and gasps. He staggered back into the curtain and fell.

Mark rushed to Paul through the silent crowd, art kit in hand, "We need to fucking dip."

"He… how?"

Mark grabbed Paul by the wrist, "Doesn't really matter bro. We got what we came here for."

Mark led them toward the stage as the event began registering in the rich folk. Blithe approached Donavon Carter's body, gently nudging the man's leg with his foot. When Donavon Carter didn't move, Paul heard Lucious scream at the top of his lungs.

The auction house erupted into chaos.

The rich people scrambled to the edges of the room, taking shelter and expensive items with them as they did. Many of them fought each other over the things they had, resulting in physical violence and bloodshed. Screaming filled the room, echoing off the walls and back into itself. The talk of "my money" and "my assets" and "I want my money back" pierced the uproar on occasion.

Someone was thrown into Paul from behind, knocking him to the ground. It was Lucious. His face was bloodied and beaten, a swollen eye blocking half of his vision. He had a wicked scowl on his face, fangs at the ready. He shot back up and pulled a knife from a sheathe hidden beneath his pant leg.

"Woman, with me! I will keep you safe."

Paul froze.

Mark spun on his heel and sent his foot into Lucious' face. The man bent backward, clutching his nose. He rose, somehow taller than he was before, and stalked to Mark in two great steps. Lucious' spidery fingers wrapped around Mark's throat and hoisted him up. He dropped the art kit. The locks on the case unlatched.

"How DARE you touch me!" Lucious growled, "I am a victor!"

Time froze. The cacophony of the auction house fell silent in Paul's ear. His eyes darted toward the now open art kit. Inside were only a few things; pencils, paper, paint, brushes, and normal art supplies. But something about them felt… wrong. The materials seemed to phase in and out of this universe. They radiated with malevolence, hurting Paul's brain as he stared at them. But Mark's choked gasps reached his ears, and Paul overcame whatever grip the supplies had on his soul. He snatched a paintbrush from the art kit and swiped over Lucious' torso, unsure of what to expect.

The thin man released his grip on Mark and clutched his torso. The very spot where Paul had brushed Lucious was now blurred as if someone had taken their thumb to wet paint and smeared it across a canvas. Lucious groaned. Paul swiped him again. And again. And again.

Soon, Lucious was little more than a smeared mess on the floor, writhing and pulsing as his guts flowed out of him like watery paint. Paul lifted Mark to his feet and continued toward the backstage, his adrenaline mind focused on one goal: escape.

The backstage was in equal parts chaos as the main floor. The artists were busy wheeling their pieces out to the best of their ability, some with more success than others. Paul recognized two of them, Gytha and Igor, standing near a wall with the nude Goliath. In front of them was a pile of wet, slimy viscera and organs. A fat man's face was torn in half down the middle, each part in Goliath's hands. Igor tried to touch Goliath's back, but the giant statue recoiled.

"That was the most beautiful display of violence I've ever seen." Gytha spoke to Goliath.

"You did what you had to," Igor said, his head hung low, "I'm sorry I treated you-"

Goliath dropped the halves of the fat man's head and grabbed Igor by the throat. With a grunt, the statue slammed the sculptor through the brick wall. He exploded in a slurry of red mist. The statue looked down at Gytha, who held her hands up defensively and backed away. It looked over its shoulder, at Mark and Paul, who stood there gawking. Goliath fled.

"Well Pauly," Mark said, nodding at the hole in the wall, "That's our exit."

As the pair made their way through the hole, Paul made eye contact with Gytha. She flashed a euphoric grin at him before walking back toward the main floor.


Cecelia radioed Site-83's command, content with the chaos they'd sewn in addition to completing their mission.

"It's done then?" The commanding officer asked.

"Yup," Cecelia confirmed, "Soon as these rich folk clear out, we'll signal you to send a team out here to collect the body."

"Well done, E-Team. We'll send a clean-up crew ASAP. Are there any anomalous objects left at the facility that you can secure in the meantime?"

There was a loud crash from below, and a giant statue walked out of the side of the building. It looked both ways before crossing the street and sprinting away. Cecelia looked at Nagid, who shook his head and sighed.

"That ain't us," He said.

Cecelia nodded and spoke into the radio, "No sir. There's a statue on the loose though, might be some trouble."


With that, the radio disconnected. Nagid lit another cigarette. He'd begun packing up his rifle.

Now they just needed to take care of Dark and Marshall.

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