CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE: BOJACK- FADE TO BLACK

 

 

 

            Zarbon regained consciousness, signaling that his little bout in the Regen tank was over. He tapped at the glass to alert the doctor, just in case the little greenish twerp somehow missed the ear-shattering beeping sound that signaled a completed healing cycle. Secretly, Zarbon always wanted to just blast his way out of one of these tanks someday, spilling shards of plastiglass and healing fluid everywhere. He believed that, deep down, it was everyone's secret dream. However, if he did that he would have to pay for the tank out of his salary, not including all the ruined medical equipment in the room.

            So, Zarbon simply waited for the doctor to open up the tank and let him out.

            Zarbon dried himself, and his clothes with his ki. He smiled at the fact that the doctors had complied to his request to give him some clothes when they put him in the tank. He remembered the last time he was in a Regen tank, and it wasn't very pretty.

            Both Sauzaa and Salad, the only two of the people involved in the mishap earlier that day (although Sauzaa, as one of the three Elites, got to spend about five minutes in the VIP tank), both looked up at him. Salad ran into his arms. Neither one said anything.

            Sauzaa smiled at them. They were so happy together.

            Zarbon looked up. "Where's Zangya?"

            Sauzaa shook his head. "Still healing in a tank. Where else?"

            "Oh. I thought that I was more seriously injured."

            "You regained consciousness before you got here, remember? She didn't."

            "She was only hit once. I was battered."

            Sauzaa rolled his eyes. "She might have only been hit once, but Bojack was the one hitting her, remember? The blast nearly tore her right arm off."

            Salad hugged Zarbon harder.

            "Oh, Zarbon, when she heals, you two are wanted at the palace."

            Zarbon nodded. He had a feeling of what King Cold was going to say, and he almost hoped that Zangya would take longer to recover.

 

***

 

            Bojack relaxed as he layed down on his stomach, clad in a towel, waiting for the supposed "Massage Therapists" to come in. The idiots were late again. They always were. He fancied that they had to draw straws or something to force someone to come in and attend to him.

            He heard his beeper go off, buried in his pile of clothes in the corner.

            Bojack decided to let it go off. If whoever was calling had a good reason to try to contact him, he could do it again later. But, what if it was...

            The door opened as one of the so-called "Massage Therapists" came into the room. She did not look happy.

            Bojack looked over his shoulder, then sighed. She wasn't very attractive. Well, there goes TODAY'S project. Damn, and after he had that little bit of trouble, too. As much as he enjoyed fighting, it always bored Bojack to death. That was why he came here. Most people of his caliber would have gone to a brothel, but Bojack preferred it if they were unwilling when he took them. Precisely his reason for choosing Zangya. Here was a girl, no family, no friends, no life. She had just lost her job, and really was destined to be little more than street trash. But she had two things that Bojack liked: Fighting potential and a hot body, and not necessarily in that order.

            She was the perfect target. And she lasted for ten years, too! A new record! Usually Bojack's toys broke after a few months, three years at the most, but he genuinely liked Zangya. She took what you gave her and somehow survived in spite of it. And she was so gullible, too.

            Bojack noticed her potential for fighting early, which was why he had drafted her into his group. He had kept her fighting power at a minimum, though, just in case she ever decided that she wasn't going to take it anymore.

            Yes, she certainly was the best of all his little "pets." Oh, yes...

            "Mr. Bojack, your comlink is beeping," The massage therapist snapped him out of his little moment of recollection, holding the communicator in front of his face. Miraculously, it was still going off.

            He snatched it out of the girl's hands and motioned for her to start.

            "Bojack," came a deep and powerful voice from the other end, "What do you think you're doing?"

            Beads of sweat formed on Bojack's brow as he realized who this was. It was Him...

            He turned his head over toward the girl. "Get out of here!" he snapped. She started, bowed, and ran out of the room, smiling the entire time.

            He put the comlink back to his ear. "What is it, My Lord?" he asked in what was probably the closest he could ever come to sounding respectful. He only did this because he valued his life.

            "You have acted very... unwisely," came the voice form the other end. "You know very well why I told you to stay here and keep a low profile."

            Bojack rolled his eyes. "Yes, I know. You want to keep those idiots on a wild-goose chase for as long as possible to divert the public eye from any of your plans. You do know that they're not exactly well-known, don't you?"

            "That does not matter," his employer said, excusing Bojack's lack of formality, "What matters is that you keep them running around randomly."

            "Why don't I just kill them and save all the trouble?"

            "Because they have friends in very high places, or specifically, Zarbon does. If you kill them, Sauzaa will definitely pick up where his predecessor had left off. And whether he lives or dies then, all eyes will be turned on him. We can't risk that."

            Bojack paused. He knew the man was right. "Then what do you want me to do about it?"

            "Hide out, completely. I have some contacts who will be willing to keep you and your men out of anyone's field of vision, with all the creature comforts that you're used to."

            "And what about the amount of money that I'll lose while hiding away?"

            "Considering that I could just kill you and be done with it, I don't think that a few credits lost should mean anything. However, I am willing to pay you a generous amount for as long as you are with us."

            Bojack grinned. "It's as good as done." He hung up.

            Outside, the poor girl who had thought that she was free and clear of Bojack learned otherwise when she heard his voice calling for her to return. She resigned herself to her fate and went back in. Some things you just couldn't fight.

 

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