Monthly Archives: May 2012

Just a check as I haven’t been mobile blogging for ages!

 

It’s morning, and the sunlight is filtering through the shutters of my house. After travelling for months through the South American continent I found my home on a Rio de Janeiro hillside in the Santa Teresa district. It’s colonial, built in the 1850s, and was once the birthplace of a former president. Or so I am told. Yesterday the shipment of my furniture came the long way from Paris. It’s been sitting there for over a year waiting for my call. With the help of Jasmine, my trusted housekeeper, we’ve started to unpack my belongings. It’s strange, like unearthing a time capsule. There are photographs and memories of the time Carl and I had together. I also found the book of our baby son. He is still with me to this day. But life goes on, and I have made my peace with the past. Or perhaps I should call it a truce. During my escape and travels I have collected past events in these words that now stand as testament to what I’ve bourn witness to. They are in their most rudimentary form, but will soon find a publisher to expose the enigma that has haunted my city for so long. Luckily I had made sure copies survived of the letter and the film. They sat on a USB stick in one of the vases. I unearthed them again yesterday. Read more

Mr. Nemo has once again disappeared into the fog of human debris. Even the Supreme Master knows nothing of his whereabouts, and he keeps it that way. He has heard there is a price on his head, but it bothers him little. He was prepared for that when the time would come. He has roamed the European continent for a year now, never staying longer than three months before seeking his next refuge. It has taken him as far away as Minsk and Istanbul. He has followed the developments of the Paris Reaper case, and eventually, as he had predicted, evidence pointed to a small-time criminal, who was found conveniently dead in his apartment. Suicide, they said. For once he had nothing to do with it.

Read more

I live in a small, cramped apartment on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal. It’s in the heart of Amsterdam and, moreover, the infamous Red-Light District. It’s a sublet, which suits me fine, leaving little to no trace of my name or person. I rarely venture out, ordering my groceries from a local shop. The owner knows me and I know him. My days are spent researching and writing, my nights are spent alone in the solitary company of myself.

I met someone. His name is Gerard. It’s a casual affair. I only see him when my urges for company become too strong. My divorce came through the other day. It’s all been taken care of by my lawyer in my absence. No one knows where I am. At least not for now. I have arranged for a fake passport. Via via, I got it, no questions asked, for four thousand euros. I am sure I got ripped off, but I am good to leave.

The room is empty, as I find no sign of either child or grandmother. Most of the belongings are gone too with the exception of the mattress and a few tins of food. I am dressed in a long skirt and a loose t-shirt. My rings are gone, including my wedding band, and soon I discover so are my pearl earrings. Luckily the handcuffs are gone too, replaced by brown-yellow bruises. They ache to the touch.

It’s light outside when I make my way out of the tunnels. My skin is stretching uncomfortably over the healing wounds, but so far it doesn’t break.

From a distance I can hear the buzzing sound of cars. It must be a motorway. I walk in the direction of the noise and find myself soon on the highway. I stand confused, letting the cars swoosh past me. Eventually a black Ford pulls over. It’s a man in his late thirties. He opens the door and steps out. He looks kind. Days ago I would have described him as trustworthy.

“You don’t look like you belong here lady. You need a ride?”

I don’t reply, trying to ascertain if I should accept his offer or not.

“Look, I’m a cop. Here.” He takes out his badge and identifies himself as Pierre Menard.

“I’m off from my shift. I’m not gonna take you in. Just if you need help, I’m here to help you.”

“OK,” I finally respond and slide into the front seat. He closes the door.

“Where are you going?”

“I don’t know. Away from here.”

“Where do you live?”

“In Paris.”

“You have a name?”

“Justine.”

“Justine who?”

“Bertrand.”

“Perhaps it’s better I take you home.”

“No, I really can’t go home.”

“Why?”

“It’s not safe.”

“OK.” He drives in silence, occasionally glancing at me. Forty minutes later, we drive up the road of a suburban street west of Paris.

“I live here. So you want to come in?”

It’s a small semi-detached house in a child-friendly neighbourhood. A dog is jumping up the door as he opens it.

“This is Caesar. Caesar meet Justine.”

He walks into the living room, which opens up to the kitchen.

“You want something to eat?”

I nod. I’m ravenous. He fries up a risotto, which must have been the leftovers from yesterday. I sit quietly staring at the wall in front of me.  On it hangs a large plasma TV screen.

“Here you go.” He serves up the whole lot for me and watches me as I eat in silence.

“You mind telling me what has happened to you? It’s all off the record. I’ve already checked, there is no arrest warrant out for you.” He smiles at me, trying to establish a bond, a connection.

“I need to get my belongings from my home and leave. Can you help me with that?”

“If all is kosher, of course I can.”

After helping me to a shower and some clothes from what I presume is from his teenage daughter, we drive to Rue de la Faisanderie. He uses his tools and picks the lock to the basement level.

“This is strange,” he admits. “Someone has already been here. Have you reported this?”

“No,” I say, “I can’t.” The house is deserted. Heaps of post lay on the inside of the door. I shovel it all up in my arms.

“My attorney needs to take care of this.”

I get my belongings, my passport and bank and credit cards I have in a well-hidden safe. I call my bank, but they haven’t been used.

“Here,” I offer, showing my passport to Pierre. “Just to prove to you I am who I say I am.”

“I know already,” he assures me.

“Thanks for helping me.”

“No thanks needed. Where are you going next?”

“I don’t know, maybe Brussels.”

The Man is gone, and I realize this is my only opportunity for escape. I am not sure how long he will be away, but after a short call the TV is on. I can’t see anything as the curtains are closed. But I see this as my blessing. Although my legs are bleeding and my hands are numb, what hurts the most is the sheer weight that is pressing down on my wrists. My hands are turning blue as I wriggle, but there is little space by way of freedom to move. As I thrash something lands in my eyes and temporarily blinds me. It’s sand of some sort, and I blink and blink to push it out. When I finally manage to open my eyes, now raw and tear drenched, I discover the sand’s coming from the ceiling. The attachment in the ceiling is coming loose, and the more I bounce with my full weight, the more the plaster and concrete give way. It takes me about five minutes before I finally land on the floor, barely missing the steel table. It’s a dull noise, with the exception of the chain, which momentarily rattles, but the Man doesn’t seem to hear it, the TV obscuring any sound emitting from the other side of the door. I undo the clasp, freeing me from the chain and limp to the iron metal door. It’s heavy, but with sheer determination I manage to open it enough to slip through. It makes a squeaking noise at the same time as the TV is turned off.

 

It’s dark outside, a faint light emitting from a far away streetlight. But I run the other direction, turning darkness into my friend. In the background I hear the door shifting further and then closing. There are no calls for my name; it’s all quiet except for my heavy breathing, which leaves a trail of mist.

 

As I move hurriedly through the wasteland, my foot gets caught in something and I fall to the ground. It’s a round lid that has been placed slightly ajar. It reeks of filth, but right now it’s my only escape as I see a shadow at less than two-hundred metres distance. I push it aside with both of my still-cuffed hands and take a plunge, landing on what appears to be a discarded mattress. I slide the lid back into place from below, until it locks with a dull thud. At first it’s entirely dark, but after getting used to the coffin-like oppressiveness, I make out a trickle of light.

“Who’s there?” To my relief it’s a woman’s voice. Still, I am in too much of a fright to answer.

“Who’s there?” The light is coming closer and I huddle against the side of the tunnel.

“What’s the matter girl? What are you doing here?” I look at her. She must be a gypsy with her dark skin, long braided hair and hauntingly grey eyes.

“I need help.”

“I can see. You are bleeding.”

She puts my arm around her neck and shoulder and drags me to safety. It’s a cramped up place with a dirty mattress, a soup kitchen on gasoline, pots and pans. Clothes are hanging on wires making an improvised division between two rooms.

“Shh. My grandchild is sleeping,” she explains.

She places a homemade ointment and some compresses onto my skin. It stings, but I try not to scream, biting my lip raw to keep silent. She hands me a drink and I take it readily, quenching my thirst. Then I fall asleep.

I am not sure what is real or not, for the nightmares seem so vivid. It’s a state of confusion I have never found myself in. The few times I am lucid a woman whispers in my ear. “Sleep, sleep.” Her words have a soothing effect and the seductive world of darkness claims me once more.

“Justine, what’s your business here?’

“What do you mean? I already told you.”

“Wrong answer.” He administers another cut, a few millimetres apart from the previous ones, and pulls away the skin with the knife, like a peel from an apple. Once more she cries out in pain.

“I met someone…a man, who was involved.”

“Who, I want names.”

“He’s a writer.”

“Wrong answer.” He makes a third incision on her calf. The woman howls before the knife touches the skin. Anticipation can often be more painful, he thinks.

“Cyril, Cyril Monfort.”

“Cyril…yes Cyril. Why did he involve you?”

“He invited me to an apartment. 160 Rue de l’Université.” She sobs at her admission. “Then he took me to an underground crypt. The catacombs. He had found something there. Jewellery. He asked me to find out who it belonged to.”

“Go on, I’m listening.” He lights a cigar and puffs on it to fuel the burning.

“I did some research and reported it back. In return Cyril provided me with further information. He got me the members list and a letter written by a former member.”

“Why did he contact you Justine?”

“Because I am a historical investigator. I met him at a party and we started to talk. It was all professional.”

“And that’s it? Because Cyril told quite a different story, one of course you are not aware of.” He watches the reaction of Justine, yet casually squashes a bug with one of his hands as it flies by only centimetres away from his face.

“What have you done to Cyril?”

“I don’t think you are in a position to barter intel with me. Let’s just get this straight here, shall we? I’m the one with the questions, you stick to the truth.”

“No wait, wait. Sorry, I’ll tell you everything. I swear, I swear. Just please don’t hurt me.” She catches her breath before she continues. “I talked to a woman. A BDSM mistress. She is a member I believe. The letter was sent to her.”

“What’s her name?”

“Madame Douleur.”

“How did you get to her?”

Silence.

“I want names Justine. Names.”

“A prostitute name Blue.” He takes out his knife and begins to carve a fourth incision, next to the third. She wrenches, twisting her body so that the cut takes a slightly crooked shape.

“No!” she cries. “I promise, I met her at a brothel downtown. Sin City. She never told me her name. I swear.” She sobs so much her voice is becoming raw. Mr. Nemo never feels pity for his victims, but he knows when they tell the truth. He decides that she is.

In the moment he contemplates his next question his phone goes off. He can hear it buzzing on the desk in the adjoining room. Fuck, he has to take it. His work is coming to an end, and that means all loose ends need to be wrapped up.

“Excuse me,” he apologizes to the woman, as if she is a business acquaintance he has to leave in a meeting.

The phone is one ring away from going to a voicemail, which is no voicemail at all but just the end to a potential conversation that never would take place.

“Yes.”

“What is the status?”

“Douleur has been taken care.” He decided against telling about Justine just yet.

“Very well. However we have an issue you need to take into account. The Police are already at the scene. Check the news.”

The phone goes silent.

Mr. Nemo turns on France2 for the latest news. It is already three in the morning, but due to the interest in the case the broadcasters are using their midnight slots to air the latest developments. Mr. Nemo looks on as boxes are being carried out from the address of 160 Rue de l’Université. He tries to think of anything that could lead the discovery to him or the Organisation. It was more than twelve years ago. He had been meticulous in wearing gloves and a mask that not only concealed his face but also his hair. He is in no database registry, and if, against all odds, he somehow were, it would be linked to one of the many identities he has used – all of which are now inactive.

The apartment of Cyril had been cleared. The computer was gone along with the jewellery box, the letter and his body. It would never be found again as it was already residing in a deep cesspit of acid and mercury that sat on the terrain. He admits there had been no time for a more meticulous disposal. It has, after all, been one of his most intense days since a Bosnian operation fifteen years ago. His body is perhaps not what it used to be either. Signs of aging are slowly starting to appear. He can still do his twenty chin-ups, but his twenty-kilometre runs are now accompanied by pain in the knees, and his eyesight is beginning to falter. Two years ago he took up the habit of wearing glasses, but only when needed.

He runs through the events in his head. There are no open leads. He has taken care of everything with the exception of the safety deposit box of Madame Douleur. The security tapes have been erased, and the intel of the Hedge-Fund Man had all been followed up on and destroyed. The last piece of the puzzle was Justine who, despite her physical value, would have to go too. He is tired, so her end will have to come swiftly and without mercy.

 

 

“Draw them in by the prospect of gain, take them by confusion” ~Sun Tzu, The Art of War

 

The Supreme Master is in his villa on the Côte d’Azur. It is dark and windy, the first signs of spring still a few weeks away. He stands in his conservatory, looking out over the sea. The sea has a calming effect on him. As the waves beat the coastline, they not only chip away years of built-up sediment, but also the obstacles and problems that pose a threat to his carefully constructed world. What remains is the core of the problem, and to that the solution comes as swiftly as it does expediently, in a stroke of genius. He feels content.

His business has done him well. He owns villas, castles and city mansions around the world. He is respectable. He comes from a family of Swiss civil servants and has worked himself up through the chain of command in the world of private banking. He has served men well, invested their money, and come up with stratagems that would safeguard their interests without the prying eyes of the authorities. He has a good reputation and people trust him.

But he was once young and adventurous too. He saw his clients getting richer than he could ever expect to become. So he decided to cut a deal with the devil. When his clients were over, he dined and wooed them, serving them the best French and Swiss wines that would turn even the most sober into raving drunks. And rave they did. In their need to ease their hearts, they were more than happy to tell of their feats. After all, the man who sat opposite them was intelligent, accomplished and knew their financial secrets anyways. He was considered a friend. The Master — no master yet but a mere apprentice — took notes, memorized the people that were name-dropped and formed his own understanding of the underworld.

It took him five years before he summoned up the courage to venture into the world he had up until now only served as an adviser to. He started with a low-risk business, where only small investments needed to be made, and if something went wrong, he wouldn’t be looking at a hefty jail sentence or, worse, a bullet in his head. It was the time of the Balkan wars, and women and children from Bosnia were queuing to get out of the war-torn country. At first it was a simple operation of people smuggling. Those with money were handed fake passports and a new life in a country such as Italy, Germany or Sweden. But he soon noticed there were more lucrative ways of doing business.

His agents would scout for poor but beautiful girls, often already ravaged by the nature of war, they clung onto the only thing they had left: hope. Hope was something the Master could provide in abundance, and in many ways the life he offered was vastly better than any prospects their precarious situations offered. He bought properties in Geneva, Bern and Zurich where girls were installed to serve clients, sometimes as many as twenty a day. It was a profitable business, and many of his customers were high-ranking officers in the international arena. They brought him protection. And so he learned perhaps the most valuable lesson of all: we all are in debt to one another, and as long as someone’s indiscretion is recorded, it provides the perfect insurance. It made him untouchable, for his discretion only went so far.

The Master now had the answer to his problem. So he went back to bed and to his young wife, who was sleeping soundly in the light of the moon.

Frederic Berthelot paces back and forward in his room at Place Louis Lépineon on Ile de la Cité. Roux has already seized his chance to blow new life into the investigation. He couldn’t know, of course the shocking truth behind the grim murders. It all points to a serial killer, and the DNA evidence that existed had been destroyed on his command. But, with the recent discovery, not only does the power balance stand to shift, but the entire Network risks possible exposure.

His first option, and probably the only one, is to fabricate new evidence to support the theory of a lonely madman. He will have to go back to similar killings before the Reaper murders. It is a question of planting someone’s DNA and a very convenient confession and subsequent suicide.

 

 

Where the fuck am I? The Man is saying something inaudible as he draws a curtain. It exposes an arsenal of equipment, all designed for the purpose of severance of limbs, causing aggravating pain and bodily harm. He takes a fine knife. It’s miniature in comparison to the rest, and I feel relieved that I won’t be losing any limbs. At least not yet.

“What are you doing?” I hear myself ask. My voice already breaking with fear.

“You don’t know what this is? The Grim Reaper is visiting with you tonight.” He smiles at me.

He slips off my ballet flats and carefully unbuttons my jeans – button by button. As he pulls them off, my knickers follow with them, exposing my sex. The knife that I had hidden in the waist of my trousers falls to the ground. He picks it up and views it with great amusement.

“You really thought you could take me on with this? You have quite some guts.

I like it.” He puts it aside before adding, “We won’t be using it. It’s too dull and would make a hell of a mess.”

He turns his attention to my tank top and slices through each strap with a single stroke of his knife. Then follows the bra. I am petrified – it’s an indescribable terror, and although not gagged I instinctively know that screaming won’t help; no one is near enough to come to my rescue.

“Please don’t hurt me,” I softly plead with The Man. “Please, I have money, I can have it wired instantly, if you just let me go. Please.” For the first time tears are beginning to show. It may be the worst thing I could let happen, so I hold them, involuntarily heaving before I eventually stop.

“Do you know why you are here?”

I nod. I do know.

“Which is?”

“I had something that was yours.”

“Yes, and…?”

“I got involved in something that wasn’t my business.”

“Yes, very good. I knew you would understand me. So you will understand also if I apply certain techniques to make sure you tell me all I need to know.”

“I will tell you all, sir. I have…”

“You don’t need to tell me yet. First I will tell you something. You see… it’s not only that you may have certain things that I don’t wish for you to have. The problem is…” He walks away and takes a chair straddling it in reverse. “The problem is, you see, that you know a lot. It’s an issue that is very difficult, if nor impossible, to resolve, wouldn’t you say?”

“I promise whatever I know will stay with me. I won’t tell a word. I won’t say…”

“Shhhh.” He puts his hand over my mouth. “That’s what they all say. But it rarely works in practice. If it’s not the police they talk to, then it’s some friend, their wife, even their fucking dog. So you see, sooner or later it always comes back to ME.”

“I don’t even know your name, sir.”

“Well, that is debatable, and even though I go by many, you know enough to pick me out of a line-up, wouldn’t you say?”

“I promise, I’ll disappear. Whatever it takes. Just name your terms.”

“Won’t work, I would have to keep track of you.”

I’ve run out of options, and I am absolutely sure this is to be my last hour.

“But…” he begins, “there is one alternative. I can always keep you here. In the basement, away from everyone else. You have no escape of course, but I will let you live.” He ponders the idea in mock earnest and again I feel my eyes burning from supressed tears. A single tear escapes. The Man sees it and walks up to me, catches it with his finger and licks it off with his tongue.

“How sweet,” he coos, before continuing, “So yes, your life is not yet forfeit. But that is not all I need to tell you. You see…you will most likely suffer at the hands of this blade. If you don’t tell all, you will undoubtedly die. It’s a death that has gone down in history as the Thousand Cuts. It’s a centuries-old practice of the Chinese whereby the victim has his or her skin slowly removed until he or she will part with life…from the one-thousandth cut.” He looks at me, taking delight in my terror. I used to suffer from hyperventilation when I was a child, and for the first time in my adult life I start to draw deep breaths, first slow then fast and shallow. The cold air hits my lungs and, although it’s what I desperately crave, it burns with every breath.

“The Nigerians practice a similar rite – that of the 200 Cuts. It’s a ritual mostly performed on animals, but legend has it it’s been performed on humans too. There is in fact a famous account of a British soldier who suffered the fate under an infamous colonel and a witchdoctor by the name of Drago. The colonel, who practiced the ancient religion of Ju Ju, the origin of religions such Santeria and Palo Mayombe, needed a slave in the spirit world to serve his cause. The British soldier had been one that he knew well and had even had the pleasure of sharing his specially imported Cuban cigars and the best Scottish whisky with. But for all their friendship, which obviously the Brit took as a sign of loyalty, the colonel saw a deeper meaning too. So one night, he brought over his most loyal soldiers, the witchdoctor and his apprentice. He told them it was time to make the British soldier an ‘iko-awo’ – a spirit slave. The more he would scream — and that he would do of pain and fright — the more the Orishas, the gods, would come and see what was happening. When the final 201st cut was administered, severing the throat, the man would escape to the spirit world and become a sort of inter-mediator between the gods and the sorcerer he served. The man was put on a stainless steel medical table, very much like the one you are on now, with a tennis ball in his mouth. From there on Doctor Drago administered cut after cut. The man howled in pain, his eyes bulging, but he did well. A trained soldier, not unfamiliar with the cruelties of humankind, he took the cuts until he was completely flayed but still alive. The apprentice administered the last cut and the man transitioned from this world to the next.”

The story grips me with sheer terror, and I can feel, imaginary or not, my skin being flayed by the hands of The Man in front of me. He rises up, knife in hand, and makes a small incision on my left thigh. I cry out in pain.

“This is nothing compared to what you will suffer later. I will probably have to follow standard practice and mute you with a gag ball.” He laughs at this, a sudden roaring laughter. For a moment I can hear the colonel’s voice in his. He must have been there, I think.

Mr. Nemo makes a sharp left turn and, as he hears the familiar sound of gravel, he knows he is on home soil. Home is perhaps not the appropriate word, because Mr. Nemo knows no such thing. He is, after all, a vagabond without a past, a soul without a sanctuary. His mission is to serve the highest bidder, and as long as he can take pleasure through it, he will complete any mission given to him. Before he steps out of the car, he injects the woman with a strong dose of Propofol that will render her unconscious for at least an hour. This will give him enough time to investigate the document and the film in private and decide what to do with her.

Mr. Nemo carries her inside and lays her on the stainless steel surgical table that stands in the middle of the room. He takes off the handcuffs and instead cuffs her hands to either side of the table. Then he goes to the next room, his room, and starts to shift through the spoils of his mission. The room is used for both work and relaxation. The desk stands next to a window that looks out on the work floor. It was once a foreman’s office, allowing him to keep an eye on the workforce. Now it is used for similar purposes, making sure his victims are kept under close guard.

He first goes through her bag. It is filled to the brink with the useless items women always seem to find a need of: perfume, tampons, a notebook, several pens, keys, lipsticks and other make-up paraphernalia. He throws most of it back in the bag with the exception of the keys and the notebook. He then opens his own bag and takes out the folded flip charts containing the woman’s notes. He studies them carefully and somehow he is pleased to see she has managed to crack the riddle he knows his name has become synonymous with. He feels an almost intimate reverence for the red-head that now lays unconscious in the room next to him. What if they are somehow soul mates? Darkness-obsessed soul mates who have lived their lives in parallel without the knowledge of each other’s existence. He has never been married, and if he had children, they would now be scattered across the world, their mothers victims of his predatory sexual instincts. Perhaps they would one day become reflections of him. Evil breeds evil, he thinks.

But here is a woman that doesn’t appear to be evil, yet she possesses the strong mind and will so few women are gifted with by birth. He closes the curtain as the sight of her renders him weak and feeble. She will have to die. It has to be so. And it would warrant special treatment.

He turns to the document and reads it meticulously. It is all history by now, but for the sake of the people still involved, it would have to disappear. For now he stores it in an underground safe tucked away under the concrete floor. The computer is another story, but as his profession requires a broad knowledge, not least of all in the field of computers, internet technology and security, he has been trained by the best: a hacker going by the name of T0mahawk. He opens the folder for the main harddrive, querying names and keywords associated with the Organisation. It returns only a few documents. Good, she has not made any copies or spread the information. He transfers the files to a USB and then proceeds to drop the files in the waste bin along with the temp files of the same names. Lastly he deletes all the cookies and empties the trash. After this, he makes a clean installation on her Mac. This will take a little while, but he has a lot of time on his hands as he pulls back the curtains to find the woman in the same position he left her in.

Mr. Nemo looks down on Justine. She is sleeping what seems deeply, but any manhandling would easily bring her back to consciousness. He pulls down the chain that is attached to the ceiling. It is strategically placed directly above the surgical table and allows him to hoist up his victim when desired. It is just a matter of securing the handcuffs to the chain through a strong metal fastener, similar to the ones that hold weights to gym machines. It is an easy procedure, especially if the victim is already unconscious and as lightweight as Justine. He hoists her up and secures the chain to the floor. She begins to stir.

“Justine, my dear.  It’s time to wake up.” He wouldn’t usually call his victims by endearing terms, but this one is different. Plus, sometimes it serves a purpose. Sometimes he needs to gain their trust and maybe even their support. There had been times he’s kept his victims hostage for months, and true to profiles of renowned psychologists, his victims start to identify themselves with him. Creating a bond that, to their blissful unawareness, is one-sided. From the psychology books he’s read, he knew this phenomena intimately well as the Stockholm syndrome. He also knows his own personality to be classified as that of a psychopath, and given his crimes he would undoubtedly be described by many as a sexual predator too. Such descriptions never bother him. Instead they make him feel proud. He is one of the lucky few that will live life without remorse. Unlike most of his fellow humans, he won’t have to worry about if he has made any mistakes, if he creates enemies by his words or actions. But what is most remarkable perhaps, the thing that puts him in the category of Super-humans, is his lack of fear. Because this is one emotion he has truly never felt. It is both the antidote and cure to death. Because as his fellow humans wither away as fear takes hold of them, he never has to change his course in response to borders and obstacles determined by others. This makes him unique, and whenever his crimes are mentioned in the media, or sometimes in mere whispers by those he works for, he basks in the glory his name has created. Because, truly, if there are gods, he is one. It also adds another personally disorder to his Übermensch mind: that of a narcissist. Somehow he likes this definition the most. But this is purely for aesthetic reasons as it is the most beautiful of them all.

Justine groans as he slapped her about a few times. Her head is lolling from side to side.

“Look at me, Justine. Can you see me?” Her eyes try to focus but her head keeps dropping. He takes it in his hands and her pupils fix on him – if only for a brief moment.

“I haven’t figured out what I am going to do with you. But unlike the people I’ve dealt with earlier, I think I like you too much to let you die. But of course this all depends on you Justine.” He walks away and draws the curtain, exposing the wall where a variety of knifes, saws, axes and swords hang. “It all depends on you,” he repeats softly to himself.