Karl violently smashed his baseball bat into Poison's leg. He felt the bones shatter behind his skin, causing him to shriek for a millionth time then growl in anger.
Chapter Eighty - Beaten and Bruised
Poison shrieked out in pain the second he felt some of his ribs snap under the pressure of a baseball bat. He took regular deep breaths since it was gradually becoming harder and harder for him to breathe with each hit he took to his stomach.
Blood dripped from his mouth as he tried to figure out just how long he'd been in there with Lexia's father. To him, it felt like an eternity but in reality he knew it'd only been a couple of hours at best.
No matter how painful the torture was, he never once cracked and gave away his daughter's location. Bandit was his everything. All the pain and suffering in the Zones wouldn't have been worth it if it weren't for her. He'd happily die there if it meant keeping Bandit safe.
"I'm getting extremely tired of this, Party Poison."
"Makes two of us." He weezed, breathless.
"I know for a fact you see Alexandria as a cold blooded killer now. She's killed more Killjoys than you can even begin to imagine, Party Poison. She's killed hundreds. Why would you want to keep the child of a murderer safe? You are not worried about her becoming the same thing as her mother?"
"If I tell you where she is, I know she'll become the same thing as her mother." Poison coughed, spitting out more blood. "You can torture me all you want, Karl. There isn't a fucking thing you could do to me that would make me tell you where she is."
Karl violently smashed his baseball bat into Poison's leg. He felt the bones shatter behind his skin, causing him to shriek for a millionth time then growl in anger. Karl just laughed.
"You know, you should be thankful." Poison didn't respond. He was in too much pain to talk to the man who'd been torturing him mercilessly for the last few hours. "We have another plan to find Alexandria's daughter. Keeping you alive isn't necessary anymore, I'm only continuing this because I enjoy watching you in immense pain."
"You won't . . . find her." He struggled to speak, the pain was close to unbearable.
"But we will. You see, we have my other daughter here in the Better Living headquarters too. I believe she went into surgery a few hours ago."
"Rosanna has received the same procedure as Alexandria has," Poison could've sworn his heart stopped beating. "Her memories have been whipped clean, she's brand new again and ready to be trained for our use. You see, we are fully expecting the rest of the Fabulous Killjoys to try and take you and my daughter back to the Zones. We are going to let them take Rosanna where she will find your daughter. Rosanna will then take the child and bring her back here where she will be given a proper upbringing by me and my wife."
Poison found himself laughing, displaying his bloody teeth when he remembered his daughter wasn't at the diner with the rest of the Killjoys. Bandit along with the rest of the children were still staying with Lypse, Pen, Devi and Princess Kitty.
"What's so funny?"
"She's not there. My daughter's safe and away from our hideout."
"You fuckin' heard me. She's not there."
"Doesn't matter if you think I'm lying, it doesn't change the fact she's not gonna be there. You're not laying a single fucking hand on her."
Karl punched him in the face several times, taking out his frustration. He then grabbed Poison's jaw and forced his bloody face to look up at him.
"You want to know what I think? I think you're bluffing. I think you're trying desperately to save her and it is not going to work. Do you understand me?"
"I don't care what you think . . . she's safe. I know she is."
He was punched again before Karl angrily stormed out of the room, his fists clenched as well as his teeth.
He began walking to Dr Isoda's office, his pristine white shirt covered in the crimson blood of his granddaughter's father.
"Dr. Isoda, I am ashamed to say we may have a problem."
Dr. Isoda blinked. "Excuse me?"
"The Killjoy, Party Poison, claims his daughter's no longer staying in their hideout. While I do believe he is bluffing, there is a chance he is speaking the truth. I-"
"Mr. Oliveson, I do not keep you employed to make mistakes. You are meant to find out where it is exactly Alexandria's child is located. I do not care what it takes or what boundaries it is you have to push in order to get that information, I just need you to find out where she is. This is a very simple task!"
"I give you my most sincere apologies, Dr. Isoda, I really do. However, the man is simply not talking."
"I give you permission to use the same medication we used on Grace Jeanette, just do whatever it takes to get what we want. Have I made myself clear, Mr. Oliveson?"
"Very, Dr. Isoda. Very clear."
"Good. I do not wish to have to ask again."
"You will not have to. I promise."
Acid bit her nails nervously. Not knowing what was going on was really beginning to get to her and she couldn't stand it. The only people inside the diner were Acid, Andy and Dr. Death.
"Honey, bitin' your nails ain't gonna make them come back sooner." Dr. Death said, smiling at her. When she saw his kind, calming smile she couldn't help but wish Dr. Death was her real father. The man had saved her life back when she was just a starving fifteen-year-old with a ten-year-old sister to support too, not to mention he loved Acid and her sister more than their real parents did.
"I just can't stand not knowing what the fuck's going on there. Death could be dead, so could Poison . . . I just don't know what to do with myself right now."
He rubbed her shoulder soothingly. "Can I ask you somethin'? It's a little personal."
"I guess so."
"Is there somethin' goin' on between you and Poison?"
She paused, not expecting him to ask that question. "I-I guess there's something going on."
"Ace . . . I know whatever it is goin' on between you two ain't any of my god damn business, but I need you to promise you'll be careful with him."
She furrowed her eye brows. "Careful?"
"Yeah, honey. Ya see . . . when you were gone, the boy changed from a Fabulous Killjoy to a weeping, alcoholic wreck in one night. As you know, he wasn't fit to look after Bandit anymore, when he was wasted he thought Death was you, he-"
"I know he was a mess, Dr. D. Believe me, I'm not gonna hurt him."
"I don't think you'll hurt him, honey. It's just there's somethin' he never told you or anyone else here for that matter when you were gone."
Dr. Death paused, unsure if he should spill the secret. "There ain't an easy way to say this, but uh . . . Poison, he . . . Poison wanted to kill himself and he . . . he nearly succeeded."
Her eyes widened with shock. Poison had tried to kill himself? To begin with, she was furious. Bandit had just lost her only mother and Poison was selfish enough to take away the only father she'd ever have too. But after a moment, she realized the reason he'd wanted to end his life in the first place was because of her. Had she been more careful, she wouldn't have gotten kidnapped then turned into a killing machine.
"He-he tried to commit suicide?"
He nodded. "Yeah, he did."
"Well, what the fuck happened? How did you stop him?"
"You'd been gone for a couple of months now, Bandit was almost one year old and he started thinkin' about the past and the day you two lovebirds saw her for the first time. He got drunk out of his mind like every other night and as you know, when he's depressed and drunk he's not himself anymore. But this time when he was wasted it was different, he was actin' different around everyone . . . "
The alcohol painfully burned the inside of his throat, but it didn't matter. It'd all be over soon. He wouldn't have to deal with the memories of his dead wife anymore. He'd be with Lexia again.
Poison played with the batteries he was about to put into his gun. It amazed him how those small, square batteries would produce the laser beams to end his life.
The Better Living logo on the batteries smiled back at him, almost mocking him. Of course, Better Living would be happy with themselves. They practically killed his wife and as a result, he was going to kill himself. Although, the idea of them being unable to end his life gave him some kind of satisfaction. He almost smiled to himself, loading the gun.
Sure, Poison would have his regrets about ending his life. He'd never see Better Living Industries gone for good and he'd never fight along side his brother and best friends like the old days, but the biggest regret of all would be never seeing his daughter again. He'd never watch her grow up or become the extraordinary person he knew she was destined to be. She'd grow up orphaned with both her parents dead. She wouldn't have any memories of her own about her parents.
He didn't want to leave Bandit. She was all he had left, but he couldn't deal with the burning ache in his heart he had because of Bandit's deceased mother. He just wanted it to stop, he wanted the aching to stop, the misery, the unbearable pain, everything. Was that so much to ask?
He held the loaded gun in his hands carefully then placed it to his head. It took a while for his fingers to even find the courage to touch the trigger.
Tears entered his eyes and he bushed them away, taking a moment to think about what he was doing.
He wanted this. He wanted it to end. He didn't want to have the responsibilities and burdens anymore, it'd become too much for him to handle and he'd reached his breaking point.
The thudding on the door was a loud, strong knock. Poison could tell it was Dr. Death.
"Poison? You in there, son?"
"You gonna open the door."
"No. It's locked for a reason." His gaze remained firmly on the gun in his hands. "Poison, you've been actin' weird all night. Is somethin' up?"
"No. Go away, Dr. Death."
"Poison, I'm findin' it real hard to believe you right now. Open the door before you do somethin' you regret."
"No." Tears spilled over, causing his voice to crack. "I'm okay, Dr. D. Just leave me alone, I'm tired." The lies were transparent and incredibly easy to see through. Dr. Death grabbed the set of keys in his pocket and began picking the lock.
Once it was open, Poison had the gun pointed to his head.
"Poison, calm down and think 'bout this for a second." Dr. Death remained calm.
"Think about this for a second? It's all I've thought about the last few months of every second of every fucking day! I know what I'm doing, I want this!" He sounded like he was desperately trying to convince himself he wanted this.
"You think she'd want you to do this?"
"Well she isn't alive anymore so it doesn't fucking matter."
"So you don't care about what Lexia would've thought of this anymore?"
"Don't say her name."
"What about Bandit? You forgotten 'bout her?"
"Bandit's barely one, she won't remember any of this and she can't miss what she doesn't have any memories of in the first place."
"Are you listenin' to yourself right now?! She's already gonna miss out on havin' her mom around, you're really that selfish to take away her father too?"
"I can't do this anymore, Dr. D. You don't understand what it's like, there's this fucking hole and it fucking burns twenty four seven, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty five days a fucking year!"
Dr. Death was furious. "Don't know what it's like? You think I don't know what it's like to have the people I love the most ripped away from me by Better Livin' Industries, boy? Are you forgettin' I watched my own daughter die slowly and painfully because o' those bastards? Are you forgettin' I lost my wife twice to the same people who killed my baby girl? Are you forgettin' I have to raise my granddaughter knowing one day, the same thing could happen to her that happened to my daughter and my wife? I could lose the last little piece of my daughter that I got left, Poison!" He tried to keep his voice down, he didn't want to wake up anyone in the diner. "So don't you dare tell me I don't know what that pain is. And you know what? Everyday, even when it's the hardest thing to do on the planet, I wake up and get through the day. I do it for Grace, I do it for you and I do it for everyone else here 'cause do you know what? We're a family. We don't just abandon them 'cause we're that fucking selfish."
Poison dropped the gun and sobbed hysterically. "I-I miss her so much."
Dr. Death's previous anger faded away and began to turn into sympathy for the broken man in front of him.
"I don't know how much longer I can do this without her, Dr. Death."
"I was the same after Lynda was taken away," He said, remembering his wife. "But do you know what? You'll get through this, Poison. You've got a family that love the hell outa ya, you got a beautiful daughter who thinks the world of ya . . . you're gonna make it through this."
He sniffed. "Promise me you'll help me."
"I promise. It's what family's for, right kid?"
He managed to crack a sad smile. "Right."
"Few months after that, he got sober and met Pheonix then convinced himself he was gettin' over you."
"Maybe he did get over me."
"Honey, the boy's still head over heals in love with ya. He's just in denial about it and from the looks of it, you are too."
She nodded even though she didn't believe Dr. Death when he said Poison still loved her. Not one bit.
"Do you still love him?"
Acid shrugged. "Sometimes I think I do, but then he'll act like an asshole and I wonder what I ever saw in him in the first place then think it's a miracle Bandit even exists." She smirked, causing Dr. Death to smile too.
"He was lucky to have ya, Ace. I just want you two to be careful with each other, you're still hurtin' whether you want to admit it or not," Again, she nodded. "But if he's ever an ass to you again, I don't mind knockin' some sense into the boy."
She smiled. "Thanks, Dr. D. I love you."
"Love you, too, Honey. I love you too."