Hi Stan, I am not sure this message will reach you because I have been trying to call you but you are not picking up. I hope you are okay.
There is so much that happened here ever since you left. I desperately need to speak to you, to hear your voice and know everything is okay. I really hope you will be able to get this message, I am sorry for the length.
I am in serious trouble. Some problems from my family’s past are coming back to haunt me. I am really worried and kind of stressed out.
Let me start from the beginning.
When you and Joseph left, I began showing father Moffat the ropes. The man changed as soon as you guys departed. He became friendlier. A little too friendly. He constantly made inappropriate remarks and jokes about my body.
At first I thought it was just old man humor but it got worse as the day progressed. He would walk too close behind me, smell my hair, place a hand on my shoulder a bit longer than appropriate and I would occasionally catch him ogling at my breasts.
At the end of the day, last night, I decided to spend some time in my bedroom away from the man. I tried calling you and hear of your progress with the mission. I was worried sick when you didn’t pick up.
I was immensely irritated and nettled when I then heard a knock on my door. Since we were the only two people in the house, I knew it was father Moffat at the door. I ignored him for a whole minute and he eventually decided to let himself in. I quickly dropped my head on my pillow and pretended to be sleeping. The pastor prodded me to wake up. I feigned grogginess when I opened my eyes and to my annoyance the man was sitting on the edge of my bed. His broad grin accentuated his yellow teeth and stretched the wrinkled skin on his face. Bile bubbled in my stomach and threatened to shoot up my throat as I looked at the shriveled and pale old man seated on the edge of my bed.
“I am sorry to wake you, sister. I rather got lonely. Do you mind joining me in the living room?” He slowly placed his hand on my right foot and continued, “Or maybe I can join you in here?”
I quickly moved my leg away from his grasp and sat up on my bed. I was really panicking at this moment. I wanted to shout at him to get out but before I could give the man a piece of my mind, I heard a loud bang and the pastor’s head exploded.
Blood and brain fragments flew all over my room like birthday confetti. I screamed as the headless body of the pastor toppled to the floor. I noticed a humanoid figure standing at my bedroom door which the pastor had carelessly left open.
Fear surged through my body as I instantly recognized the figure at my door. Dressed in a tailor made black suit, white cotton shirt, black thin tie, black gloves and a ski mask embroiled with military colors, I knew exactly what the figure was. I was barely surprised when it turned the shotgun in its hand towards me. The pastor was just an unfortunate person to be with me in the room, but I knew this assailant had come for me.
I know you said my father already told you about his past in the Mafia. But he didn’t exactly tell you everything. I don’t want for there to be secrets between us, so let me tell you exactly what my family’s history is like.
My father was not just part of the most powerful mafia in Mexico but he was a co-founding father of this cartel. My father was raised by his grandmother, my great grandmother, we just called her Nana. The neighborhood my father was raised in was one that offered little in the way of opportunity. Most children ended up joining gangs and living criminal lives which only led them to jail or a premature death.
Nana was a clay pot maker and couldn’t afford to send my father and his little brother, Bernardo, to school. So my father spent most of his days with his best friend Hector Rodriguez. As teenagers, the duo tried numerous times to join gangs which were quite a lot in their neighborhood. But both of them were rejected by every single cartel they approached, reasons being that they had no street credit and were labelled as ‘losers’ by most.
Frustrated and feeling despondent, they even tried to get jobs but also couldn’t find any luck. The two of them began spending time outside a boutique shop in the middle of the city. From there, they watched different gangs chasing each other all over the city. My father and Hector would spend hours daydreaming and imagining themselves as leaders of some of those gangs.
In an alley next to the boutique shop, there were innumerable broken and defunct mannequins which the shop no longer needed. My father had the idea to collect the mannequins, fix up some of their broken parts with Nana’s clay and then sell them to other boutique shops. Hector loved the idea and they both set out on this new mission.
Nana, who was impressed by their initiative and creativity, helped them in their endeavor. However, business didn’t takeoff as either my father or Hector had envisaged. They weren’t able to sell a single mannequin. My father stored all ten of the mannequins they had fixed in the basement and forgot all about them for several years until Hector met a girl at a carnival.
The girl’s name was Maria, she spent a night with Hector where she disclosed to him that she is necromancer. Hector didn’t believe her until she rose up his old dog who had died two months prior and was buried in his back yard. My father always said Hector was smart and innovative but he was mostly ambitious. He convinced Maria that he loves her deeply and she should run away from the carnival and stay with him. Hector had a silver tongue and swaying the girl’s mind required little effort.
He then told my father of his new girlfriend and the plans he had for her. Hector wanted Maria to bring their mannequins to life. This way they could start their own gang. My father was on board with the idea and both of them cajoled Maria into giving the mannequins life. She told them she has never done anything like that before but vowed to try. She then told them she would need human brains and hearts for her to try a spell she heard of as a child. So my father and Hector dug up graves of freshly buried bodies from a local cemetery to get the ingredients for Maria.
Maria worked on only one mannequin at first. With her very first attempt, she succeeded. She brought the mannequin to life. Although the mannequin couldn’t talk or breathe or blink its eyes, it was alive. Its body was always slightly shaking and it regularly made a humming sound with its mouth. It could also properly walk like a human being and not rigidly like a robot. The mannequin could only take orders from Hector, my father and Maria because the ritual she used required blood sacrifices from the trio, which they all offered.
My father, Hector and Maria celebrated their success all night. They called this first mannequin ‘T1’ for Trooper number 1. They dressed T1 with ragged old clothes and decided to use a black ski mask to cover his head. They also used a pair of old torn gloves to cover his hands. All these precautions were taken for it not to be obvious to people that T1 was a mannequin.
However, the following day as they had more experiments with T1, they found out that somehow he could feel, process emotions and so forth. This meant when they ordered him to kill a cat or smash a window, he wouldn’t oblige because he felt the action was not just.
So for the next mannequins they were to raise, Maria suggested that they don’t need human hearts. The remaining nine mannequins were brought to life with only a brain to obey their masters. Hector, Maria and my father found out that these new mannequins obeyed everything they said to the letter. They named their new small gang, the Clay Clan.
Since my father and Hector had spent a lot of time analyzing all the gangs in their city, they knew which ones were the weakest. They attacked these powerless gangs first, only armed with crowbars and broken beer bottles. These gangs didn’t know that the clay troopers (mannequins) required a headshot for a kill like a zombie, so they succumbed to defeat. The clay troopers’ bodies were usually riddled with bullets after the raids but were virtually not damaged because my father had stuffed the insides of their bodies with clay. From their first couple of raids, my father and Hector managed to procure guns, drugs and a little bit of cash. They sold the drugs for more cash which they used to buy more guns and more clay.
They collected more disregarded mannequins from boutique shops around the city and since Maria had already taught both of them how to do her ritual, they rapidly built an army. They stole more brains from hospitals and mortuaries. My father told me Hector’s ambition eventually drove him to murdering people to get brains to create more clay troopers. They rose up thousands of clay troopers and with this army, they took over the continent.
It only took six months for the Clay Clan to be the single biggest drug cartel in the country. Not a single other gang in Mexico could even fart without my father or Hector’s permission. They became so powerful they even controlled three quarters of the police in the country.
Since money was no longer an issue, they developed a dress code for the clay troopers. Tailor made black suits, black ties, white shirts, ski masks with military colors and black gloves was the mandatory regalia for all clay troopers.
Hector eventually married Maria and according to my father he cheated on her numerous times but she never divorced him. They fought a lot but never split up. For years my father lived the reckless single life you would expect from a young mafia boss.
Bernardo, his younger brother wanted to join the Clay Clan but my father refused. Instead he offered to pay for Bernardo’s education and sent him to a high school in the U.S.A. However, Bernardo was expelled after he committed several felonies at the school. He told my father he was going to join the army and he did. A few years later he told my father that he was rapidly upgraded to a special forces team he can’t talk about. He also informed my father that he told his new privy agency that he is not related to my father because of his mafia excursions.
My father soon met a girl whom he fell deeply in love with. Within months she was pregnant. Within a year they were married. This girl’s name was Gloria, she was my mother.
I have vague recollections of my mother but I remember she was the exact opposite of my father. She loved going to church, preaching the gospel, helping out at orphanage homes and just being a difference maker in society.
She gradually turned my father to being a caring and God fearing man. Hector didn’t like this because my father began talking about hanging up his boots with the Mafia and focus on raising his family. Hector blamed me and my mother for this.
So one day Hector launched a secret attack on my mother and I when we were alone at home. The clay troopers mercilessly slaughtered my mother but not before she hid me in the attic. It’s not easy for a child to see her mother butchered like a pig. I don’t want to write the details of what they did to her because it’s already too much for me just thinking about it. Over the years I have had too many nightmares of that night. The troopers flipped the house upside down but couldn’t find me.
When my father returned and moaned over his deceased wife, he found me in the attic and I told him everything. At first he didn’t want to believe it, but he knew a child like me had nothing to gain from lying. My father took me to Nana’s house and set out to confront his best friend. Hector denied everything and tried calming down my father. But my father was boiling with rage and he attacked Hector.
Hector had done something to the clay troopers because they were now only obeying him and Maria. I think they knew my father was slipping away from the cartel and would soon turn on them. So when my father attacked Hector, he was heavily outnumbered. The clay troopers severely beat him up. But my father managed to escape before they murdered him, thanks to the help of T1.
Ever since T1 began disobeying Hector and Maria’s evil commands, they treated the trooper with disdain. As for my father, he always cared and looked after T1 and when he needed the clay trooper, it helped him out. After escaping, my father went straight to the police. He knew the exact people to talk to, people who were not on the Clay Clan’s payroll.
Before going into the police station, my father commanded T1 to run away. A lot of people didn’t know that most members of the Clay Clan were Frankensteined mannequins with zero conscience, I think even today it’s still a secret. Of course most of the senior positions in the gang were held by humans but the dirty work was mostly done by the troopers. So my father knew the police will probably dismantle T1 or worse. He commanded the alpha mannequin to run and never stop running.
Although there were many charges facing my father upon confessing, he managed to not serve a single day in jail. Many federal agencies around the world were interested in taking down the Clay Clan because the cartel was so large it operated in nearly every country in Europe, Africa, North and Southern America. My father had a great deal from the FBI here in the US where him and I got citizenships and witness protection in the country.
All these measures were taken because while most people in the Clay Clan were arrested and the cartel’s drugs and weapons were seized, Hector was never caught.
But I know Maria was arrested and she is probably still in prison today.
Since Nana had adamantly refused to leave the country because she insisted she will rather die in her own home, we had to leave her behind. Once the woman had made up her mind, it was difficult to convince her otherwise. We thought Hector will surly go after her but he didn’t. However, Nana died a couple of years later due to heart failure. We couldn’t even go to her funeral.
My father soon began taking priesthood classes and was ordained a few years back. I guess the rest you know.
So when I realized the figure at my doorstep is a clay trooper, I knew Hector had found me, the girl he was supposed to kill all those years ago with her mother. Before the clay trooper could pull the trigger, I heard another loud bang and its head exploded. Once again in the space of a minute, my body was sprayed with blood and shards of brain matter. The trooper’s body collapsed to the floor and someone stepped up to the door. For the first time ever since father Moffat had entered my room, I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding.
Uncle Bernardo was the person at my door. My uncle’s round face was well shaven, his thick dark hair with copious amount of hair jell was cut into a side part hairstyle, his long sleeved cotton white shirt was rolled up to his elbows and a golden Rolex dangled on his wrist.
I got up, ran over and embraced my uncle. Even when we had moved to the U.S.A, he was always able to find us and occasionally visit. The agency he works for must be very powerful and resourceful.
“They have found you. We have to go now,” uncle Bernardo hoarsely said to me as his eyes darted around my room.
I was about to run and pack my things but he grabbed my hand and said, “There is not time. Leave everything behind.”
I realized my uncle didn’t have a gun in his hand. I remembered on one of his rare visits after my father married my mother, uncle Bernardo spoke about how his agency was teaching him skills that are far from normal. Skills that most civilians won’t believe exist. One such skill was how he can shoot his target with a snap of his fingers. We didn’t believe him until he snapped his fingers twice and two bullets smashed a pair of beer bottles that were ten feet away from us. I remember that day like it was yesterday, my mother, father and I were in awe. Uncle Bernardo refused to tell us how he did it. I figured he had used the same trick to kill the trooper who was at my doorstep.
He briskly walked down the hallway dragging me along.
Another clay trooper popped up ahead of us at the end of the corridor holding a Glock in its hand. Uncle Bernardo lifted his hand and snapped his fingers. There was a loud bang in the hallway and the head of the trooper blew off from its shoulders.
We ran out the front door only to find two more troopers standing in the yard, each of them was holding a shotgun. Uncle Bernardo snapped his fingers twice, two loud bangs resounded from the darkness and both troopers lost their heads. It was always in that order, uncle Bernardo snaps his fingers, there is a loud bang and a troopers’ head is shot off.
My uncle pulled me forward and we ran towards the black car parked just outside the church gate. Uncle Bernardo opened the back door and jumped in dragging me with him. When I closed the door behind me, my body stiffened when I realized there was a clay trooper behind the wheel.
But it was different from the rest. It wore the same black suit, white shirt and black tie but its ski mask was black. I felt a bit calmer at this realization. There is only one clay trooper I know of who wears a different ski mask from rest.
T1 gave me a thumps up, moved the gear into drive and stepped down on the accelerator.
“We got company,” Uncle Bernardo said as he looked back.
T1 increased the car’s speed.
I looked back and saw two clay troopers on black Suzuki motor bikes following us. The troopers had Mp-5 sub-machine guns strapped with a belt around their shoulders and pointed at us. They opened fire and bullets trounced the back window of the car. I ducked down expecting the window to shatter but nothing of the sort happened. I looked up and saw my uncle seated calmly as the bullets belted the rear window.
“Bullet proof windows,” he said looking down at me.
He snapped his fingers, I heard a loud bang and one of the motorist troopers behind us fell after its head was blown off.
Again snap, bang and headshot and the other trooper tumbled.
However, six more biker troopers emerged from the dark corners of the empty street we were speeding down. They were all armed with the same arsenal as their fallen brethren.
While four of the bikers assaulted the back window with bullets, the other two flanked both sides of the car.
“Get down!” Uncle Bernardo screamed at me. “Those windows aren’t bullet proof!” The back side windows of the car shattered when the bullets came in from the two bikers on the left and right side of the car.
I still wonder why they only made the back window bullet proof.
Snap, bang and headshot, the biker on the left side fell.
Snap, bang and headshot, the other biker on the right side dropped to the ground.
T1 then stepped down on the brakes and the car tires screeched to an immediate stop. All four bikers pursuing us, rammed into the back of the car and they became air bound. T1 rolled down his window, aimed his Glock to the sky and got a headshot of each of the four clay troopers before they landed on the ground in front of the car. My father often spoke of how much of a good shot T1 was. Apparently he never missed.
I sat up assuming our troubles are over until I realized the reason T1 had actually stopped the car. Ahead of us, were more clay troopers on black Suzuki motor bikes and armed with Mp-5 sub-machine guns. They were lined up on the road in a straight horizontal line blocking the way.
Uncle Bernardo and I turned back and we saw even more armed clay troopers on bikes had lined up the street horizontally behind us. “What’s the plan, T1?” Uncle Bernardo asked.
The troopers ahead began charging towards us, guns drawn and firing relentlessly at the car. I turned around and realized the team at the back was now also speeding towards us.
“If you have a plan, now will be the best time to do it,” Uncle Bernardo said as he quickly snapped his fingers.
Snap, bang and headshot.
T1 put the gear back into drive and sped forward.
Snap, bang and headshot.
I was cowering in my seat but was able to see the speedometer of the car rising to 120.
Snap, bang and headshot.
Before making impact with the oncoming troopers, T1 hit the brakes and avidly turned the staring wheel. As the car wildly rotated like the needle of a broken compass, T1 stuck his hand out the window and began discharging bullets. My head was spinning as the car did doughnuts for about a minute and T1 kept firing bullets out the window.
When the car finally stopped whirling, I quickly opened the door and vomited outside. After that unpleasant experience, I noticed the fallen bodies and motor bikes of all the clay troopers around the car. All the troopers had received a headshot before falling off their bikes and dying. Uncle Bernardo yanked me back into the car and told T1 to drive.
“That was awesome,” I thanked and complimented T1.
We drove off to some cheap motel at the edge of the city. Instead of exchanging normal pleasantries, my uncle thought the best form of greeting is scolding me for having a funeral for my father.
“That funeral exposed you, Rebecca! Hector now knows where you are and he won’t stop coming for you!” he yelled.
“I had to at least bury my father,” I defended myself. “Where were you?!”
I saw the glitter of tears in my uncle’s eyes before he turned away from me. “I was there,” he quietly replied.
“What? How come I never saw you? How come you never came to me? I needed you! I was so lonely,” I cried out.
My uncle sighed. “I was angry. I was angry at Victor for doing this stupid demon hunting business, getting himself killed and leaving you with no parents. I was angry at you for having that public funeral and exposing yourself to the Clay Clan.”
He breathed out deeply again before continuing.
“Besides, my plan was to ambush the clay troopers when they come for you because I knew their attack was inevitable. T1 has been with me and he helped me make a plan to get you to safety. Even though he can’t speak, his hand gestures kind of helped in devising the plan,” my uncle said with a brief chuckle.
“Wait, T1 has been with you this whole time?” I asked. “I thought my father told him to run away?”
“Yeah and he ran to me. He is now part of the agency I work for. He is a good asset to the company. Anyway our plan is not done playing out. I still have to get you out of the city and take you somewhere safe.”
“I can’t leave without Stan.”
“Who is Stan?”
“He is guy who was there when you were not!”
Uncle Bernardo heaved a sigh. “Fair enough. Where is this Stan?”
“He is in a town about six hours away from here, he went after the demon that killed my father.”
Uncle Bernado gritted his teeth, “He is a demon tracker? Where do you find these people? Okay, we can get this Stan guy and then get you into hiding. Is there anyone else you want to save?”
“And where is he?!”
“He is with Stan.”
“Great, another demon tracker? Fine, we will go and get them in the morning. For now rest up while T1 and I keep watch.”
So basically that is all I wanted to tell you. I am coming there. If Bathym is dead, we can go live our lives elsewhere, where no demon, clay trooper or anyone else would ever bother you, me or Joseph. Once again I am sorry this message is so long, I really wanted to tell you about my family’s past and all that happened to me since you left. I don’t want there to be any secrets between us.
I really like you Stan and I want our relationship to work out. I hope you are okay and have already exorcised Bathym. I really hope you will be able to read this message. But more importantly I hope to see you soon.
I love you.