The two Russian thugs in the black suit pointed their guns at Jack and fired almost at the same time. Once again, the bullets slammed into the bulletproof barrier and ricocheted off with dull zinging sounds.
Samuel screamed and pointed his gun at Jack with a face that was filled with thunderous rage.
“You fucking asshole, Jackie!” he growled fiercely. “You better get the fuck out here, bastard, before I rip that barrier down and tear you to pieces! I know there is no exit from the vault, and you can’t remain there indefinitely!”
“Quite right, there’s no exit from here,” Jack said calmly. “My bad. I would have to redesign it later. But as for remaining here indefinitely, that is absolutely out of the question. You see, the whole place is rigged with an elaborate recording system that has recorded every move and conversation you’ve made since my father died. I’m sure we have enough evidence on tape to make all of you languish in prison for a very long time.”
“Jack!” Beatrice screamed and dropped to her knees with her hands clasped in front of her face in supplication. “Please, you’re right! You and your father have been very kind to us, and what we’ve done is bad! Please, I beg of you, forgive us! I’ve learnt a very bitter lesson! Forgive me, my son!”
“Your son indeed!” Jack said grimly. “You allowed that damn man to mess with my brain!”
The elderly Russian moved close to the glass barrier and glared at Jack darkly.
“Now listen, Mr Jack Larbi,” he said coldly. “My name is Nikolai Chekov Pappilova. I represent a powerful circle of people who control the world and there’s no place their hand cannot reach. So, in the face of this seemingly distasteful faux pas, I’ll advice you to keep your JL-CELL and let me out of here because if this goes any further, you stand a great chance of losing your life and those of the people you care about. Have I made myself clear?”
“Fuck you,” Jack said calmly. “Let your faceless people come and I’ll mess them up too. I’ve activated the distress signal to the police, Sammy, to answer your question. They’ll arrive soon.”
“No one is taking me alive!” Samuel screamed shrilly. “I’ll see you in hell first!”
“I anticipated that,” Jack said calmly. “And so I’m gonna put you to sleep nicely!”
His hand moved across his console rapidly.
“Halothane Vapour dispersal initiated,” the mechanical voice said. “Please confirm activation.”
“What are you doing?” Samuel asked furiously as he moved towards the enclosure. “What the fuck are you doing, Jack?”
“Halothane,” Doctor Michael Obeng said weakly. “No, please, Jack, Jack, Jack! I can’t be arrested! Please, let me go, please!”
Jack calmly punched a button on his console.
“Halothane Vapour dispersal activated,” the voice said.
There was a hissing sound from all around the study as the powerful sleeping gas leaked into the room from hidden vents.
Samuel Larbi moved to the transparent enclosure and began hammering on it with his fist and the butt of the pistol still gripped in his hand. His face was livid with hatred as he glared furiously at Jack.
“Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you!” he screamed as he hammered the pane. “Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you!”
Jack chuckled and shook his head.
“Have you become a robot now, Sammy?” he asked calmly.
Already, Beatrice had keeled over on the floor in a deep sleep as the gas took effect. A moment later Doctor Obeng hit the floor and began to snore.
Mr Chekov had covered his nose with his arm as his two thugs soon swooned and their bodies hit the floor with dull thuds. A moment later the Russian mafia boss also collapsed.
Samuel remained standing though with a maddened face as he continued to hammer the glass pane.
“Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you!” he kept saying.
Jack’s eyes opened with surprise.
This was not normal!
Samuel had inhaled enough gas to pass out cold but he was still standing. The man was indeed a beast.
Thirty second later though his legs buckled and he slid grotesquely sideways and crashed to the floor. Jack sighed and swiftly turned off the gas.
He reached for a gas mask hanging on the wall to his right and put it across his head, and then he moved back to the panel.
His hand moved across the panel and a moment later the protective glass slid sideways and he stepped back inside the study.
He initiated a lockdown of the vault just as his phone rang.
As the heavy doors of the vault slid shut, he bent and picked up the remote control to the glass booth and hurried toward the door of the study as he pulled out his phone from his pocket.
He did not see that behind him Samuel had struggled to his feet and was weaving drunkenly towards him. Jack moved to the door, input another password in a small interface that opened a door through the shutdown metals.
As he stepped through the door into the corridor outside, Samuel lunged out too and crashed on the floor beyond. Jack looked at his step-brother calmly as he shut the door behind him.
“Sammy, Sammy, Sammy!” he said as he picked the call. “You’re stronger than I ever gave you credit for.”
He pulled off his gas mask and dropped it on the floor.
Samuel was on his hands and knees breathing hard to clear his head of the woozy effects of the gas. He coughed a couple of times and then vomited on the floor.
Jack put the phone to his ears.
“Hello,” he said and listened for a while. “Yes, please hurry up, Chief Inspector. I have some criminals here.”
He cut the call and looked sadly at Samuel.
“Police are on the way, buddy,” he said calmly. “Soon, you’ll be out of your misery.”
“Not before I kill you first, motherfucker!” Samuel groaned fiercely as Jack stepped past him. “Not before I rip off your limbs one by one and feed the girls to the crocs, you bastard!”
Jack did not pay any heed to his brother as he hurried towards the living room and then headed towards the back door that would take him to the lake area.
Behind him, Samuel finally got to his feet and began to race down the rooms with a growling sound in his throat. He blasted out of the house and raced after Jack and soon caught up with him.
“Stop right there, you motherfucker!” Samuel screamed as he pointed his gun at Jack’s back.
Jack Larbi stopped and turned slowly to face the huge, wicked man.
“You fucking asshole,” Samuel said with a grim smile as he pointed his gun at Jack’s face. “Do you remember how I used to beat you up when I came here? This time it is not going to be for exercise purposes, brother! This time I’m going to beat you to death for real! Oh, you don’t know just how much and how long I have hated you, Jack!”
Jack smiled coldly.
“Two mistakes, Sammy,” he said coldly. “First, you emptied your bullets into the bulletproof glass some minutes ago, so unless you have another bullet clip in your pocket, that gun you’re pointing is quite useless.”
Samuel’s face contorted into hatred and shock as he pointed the gun at Jack’s leg and pulled the trigger several times!
There were only dull metallic clicks as the hammer fell on empty chambers! With a roar he threw the gun at Jack’s head and shifted slightly and the gun passed harmlessly and thudded to the ground behind him.
Samuel balled his huge hands into fists and his lips drew back from his teeth in a savage snarl of hatred.
“No problem,” he snarled viciously. “I’m going to tear you apart now!”
Again, Jack smiled coldly.
“I said two mistakes, Sammy. One was the fact that the gun you were holding was empty. You must also hear the second.”
Samuel scowled darkly.
“Stop playing your shitting games with me!” he snarled and moved towards his younger step-brother. “It doesn’t interest me!”
“Oh, but it should, buddy, it should,” Jack said condescendingly as if speaking to a recalcitrant child. “My father used to ask me why I let you beat me up in the gym, and I always told him that I felt bad and wanted to give you something to hold on to, something to make you feel proud of.”
Samuel stopped suddenly and scowled.
“What are you talking about?” he asked grimly and with some confusion.
“I was way smarter than you, buddy,” Jack said calmly. “I could see how you felt inferior and inadequate in my presence, and so I just allowed you to have the upper hand when we were sparring in the gym. Actually, my father took me to karate class when I was very young, and I am indeed a Grandmaster Black Belt karate expert. I could have beaten you to pulp in a second, but I just wanted you to feel a little important, so I let you win our sparring fights in the gym.”
There was a sudden look of apprehension on Samuel’s face, and then he held up his fists and pushed out his chin pugnaciously.
“Braggart!” he said, striving to sound aggressive. “I’ll beat you to pulp!”
“Only one way to find out,” Jack said calmly and began walking towards him. “We took you in, fed you, gave you a life most would envy, and this is how you repay us?”
Samuel released a horrible haymaker that would have torn off Jack’s head had it landed, but like a fine matador Jack shifted slightly and allowed Samuel’s momentum to bring him closer as his blow sailed harmlessly past Jack’s chin.
Jack slammed a fist into Samuel’s right ribcage with such ferocious cruelty that Samuel groaned with sudden agony and held his ribs, his face contorted into a rictus of horror.
He saw the cold menace on Jack’s face, the raw intent of a man who had taken as much as he could and now felt only fury. And at that moment in time Samuel believed that indeed, Jack could have beaten him those countless times in the gym when he had believed he was superior to Jack Larbi.
Jack spun in a savage half-turn, his left elbow a culminative point of the harnessed power and fury within him, slamming into Samuel’s face with a crunching evil that broke the man’s nose!
Samuel yelped like a gutted bull and tottered backwards as Jack unleashed a foot savagely into his exposed groin.
Samuel screamed and leaned forward to grab his flaming balls. Jack was spinning again as his right foot slammed into the joint of Samuel’s right knee, breaking the knee cleanly.
The pain was unbearable as Samuel crashed down on his left knee. His ribs ripped with volcanic pain and his balls simmered with agony. His right knee was a fine epitome of raw pain and his bleeding nose was a fusion of agony that blasted through his whole head.
Blood drenched his lower face and his cloth as he held up his right hand in a gesture of fear now, the fight spirit evaporating from his soul leaving only the face of a beaten man, a man filled with horror.
“Shack-Glorshh!” he murmured incoherently. “Bleash, Shack! Bleash, ishh enoush, oh bleash, bleash, I begsh, yoush…oh, bleash, bleash…enoughsh!”
“Motherfucker!” Jack whispered with fury and slammed the edge of his right fist into Samuel’s throat, almost cutting off his supply of air.
Samuel screeched hoarsely with pain and crashed to the ground, grabbing his throat as his larynx swelled almost shut. His eyes bulged alarmingly as his body and feet thrashed around violently as he gasped for air.
There was sheer terror on his face now as Jack loomed over him.
There was no pity on Jack’s face as he kicked Samuel savagely in the head…and the man went still.
Already, Jack could hear the wailing sounds of police sirens now.
He unbuckled Samuel’s belt and tied the man’s hands securely behind him, and then he used trailing rope nearby to lash the man’s legs to one of the royal palm trees.
Jack Larbi then picked up the remote control he had dropped and calmly continued towards the lake area to free that woman, that wonderful woman in the video on his phone called Adobea.
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