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There was a cloaked man in that corridor, I remember. It was raining outside and this hooded figure was simply standing silently, looking outside the wet window. His expressions were not visible for me, for the darkness was thicker than my curiosity. But the man was nostalgic of something. I could clearly sense it in the air surrounding him. I was unsure whether he had seen me or not, but felt his sharp, ingenious eyes looking at me, even though they weren't. It was a most bewildering feeling...
It was clearly apparent that his mind was traveling outside the window, to regions unknown to anyone, for his deeper wish was hidden beneath other emotions. His eyes seemed bitter as I approached, shining in the darkness. But he continued to stare patiently, as though he was waiting for something. I quickly started wondering if the object of anticipation was me. Logic had ran away from my enchanted mind, as I continued to gaze upon this mysterious figure still standing like a sad statue. Fear, encrypted into the depths of the scene, hit me and I became anxious. Even God couldn't have known what the man was thinking...
I revealed myself into the moonlight, steadily approaching him. I finally took a glimpse at the man's face, and instantly realized how sad his expression was. He was certainly traveling somewhere, and I could almost know that he was seeking adventure outside this place. He was really young, and extremely handsome, I thought. Another feeling blurred my judgment, but I could not understand what it was. So I anxiously and nervously spoke.
"Excuse me sir, what are you waiting for?" I asked. His head gently turned and looked at my face. But then his astonishingly deep eyes met mine and I lost myself completely. It was a sensational, magnificent moment, which lasted a century, as it seemed to my heart. But his expression quickly softened and politeness had spread on his face. He smiled. A beautiful, young smile.
"Good evening", he said with his calm, mild voice. It was a wonderful sound indeed. "I apologize if I scared you at these late hours, but I am waiting for the minister", he spoke gently, and his voice betrayed intelligence and extreme self confidence. It was mesmerizing, despite the conversation's utter simplicity. I felt happy and could not resist responding with a similar matter. Respect, I said to myself, was what this man deserved; simply by his words and general air that he emitted.
"No, please, you don't have to apologize. I simply found it peculiar for a visitor to stand here alone", I politely explained. And I could help but smile, not stupidly, but politely as well.
"Of course, more than justified", he said with his hands inside his pockets. It is then that I noticed his clothes. They were black, and above them he had put a black traveling cloak. It was winter, but still, it wasn't that cold. I then wondered if he indeed came from far away.
"You are expecting the minister at this late hour", I asked with a sense of astonishment.
"Well, urgent matters don't have appointments", he smiled, "unlike us, that we have. Please, forgive my haste, Mrs...?" "Goodwin. Jane Goodwin." "Mrs. Jane", he said with admiration. He stopped and had his eyes pierce my like X-rays. "Well, Mrs. Goodwin, I must be going now. But I do promise you that someday I shall return and drink a cup of coffee with you, with your permission of course, in the streets of Polykratos.", he smiled so gently and so mysteriously that I could not resist. I accepted his offer and he waved to me and turned his back, to be lost in the darkness of the corridor. Whether his tales were real or not, I never knew if he had visited the minister or not. But years later he came again, but things had changed.
And that was Palinbal Lucter.
He finished cleaning up the floor and mopping the rest room and then quickly retired to his bed. His eyes felt tired, but he had to cast away his wish to sleep. He had to finish his mission. The night sky was clear and the sea was calm. Absolute quiet has spread throughout the ship. The corridors were absolutely empty as he strode quickly, heading to his destination.
Before climbing the stairs to the final level, he wore his mask. Only his deeply restless eyes appeared behind his wish for death, of accomplishment. He then walked quickly and approached the guard from behind. He raised both of his hands and made the silent kill with the knife. Hastily he put the body onto the floor and stopped. His twisted eyes looked upon the dead young face and a cold smile appeared on his hidden one. Satisfaction ran through his veins. With the knife, he marked a bloody "PL" upon the man's forehead. He then rose and headed for the door he remembered from the carrier plans he had stolen ages ago, it seemed. He approached and without looking at the door sign he quietly opened it and entered into the darkness.
But it was not totally dark, as he had confidently expected. That peculiar, disgusting man was sitting on his desk, reading a bunch of silly bureaucratic documents. He had not noticed the door open, for the mission was being executed with absolute precision. He took his silenced gun out of his inner pocket and aimed. Virginatos suddenly turned and in terror saw the bullet targeting his forehead. And before his head had dropped onto his desk, the killer was gone, abandoning the ship and heading towards Egelion, unnoticed in the darkness...
He drank some hot chocolate. It was a wonderful, warm sensation in this cold and harsh environment. But he nevertheless admired the beauty of the Egelion countryside. High and rich mountains, covered with sparkling snow, as though crystal water poured from heaven onto this blessed land. And the quiet - ah, mesmerizing. How it calmed his soul.
Standing there, looking at the beautiful, fill with mountains horizon, he remembered Kalopia. His mind flew over the clear morning sky and came to meet Jane's face. How beautiful and sweet she still remained in his memory. But after chasing her in a silly game, he lost her while wondering in the dark corridors of the building. He felt sad and drank some more.
The wind howled with despair. A terrible, but at the same tranquil sound from the north. He put his hands around the hot cup of chocolate, trying to warm himself. But at this cold hour he felt fresh once more, his head sharp and awaken from the depths of exhaustion. He had to come to this abandoned shack, for he needed to spend some quiet time before returning to his adventures. And as he came to think of it, his mind flew to Kalopia, to her golden beaches and multiple women in bikinis. He smiled with pleasure.
It was time to pay a visit to dear old Malekas Aristocrat...
Ah, there he was, looking at the beautiful Kalopian beach through his dark and expensive sunglasses. And as he walked among the crowd he vividly attracted female attention. He knew it and felt absolute confidence with it. He was young and truly handsome and his light T-shirt revealed his exercised body. The salty air breathed upon his expressionless face as he wet his feet in the wonderfully cold water. That night, he had wild sex with 4 girls, who were tourists from the northern seas. Several months later, he could still remember the scene with enhanced satisfaction.
He enjoyed his stay in Kalopia very much, despite the many times he had been in Polykratos in the past. Kalopia was not his thing, to regularly live amongst so twisted and sexually liberated freak people. Besides, this place was so crowded that you could only enjoy it fully for a maximum period of a week. He could not endure this nightmare more. But throughout this whole time of vacation, his did not pay a single visit to Jane Goodwin; he knew that she continued to live in Polykratos and working for the Justice Ministry. Perhaps he feared or had more important issues to deal with - he himself did not know which was the exact reason. And he hated that sensation. So he continued to have sex with a dozen of women, that was probably the number at the end of weekend.
On Monday, after a week had passed since his arrival in the wonderful Palm Beaches of Southern Queenstown, he packed his bag and took a taxi to Queenstown. From there, he located Aristocrat's wealthy and lustful cottage and rented an apartment in a cheap hotel. He always used his name, because he did not own any other passports. And so Palinbal Lucter closed the door behind him at night and left into the darkness. Almost two hours later, and it was nearly midnight, he was standing outside the man's house, a few kilometers away from the city. His breath was calm and his mind was too greedy to turn back. He had not intention to turn back.
Quietly, as though the wind was entering the window, he climbed and entered in what he discovered was the library. He put his gloves on and before heading to the living room, he skimmed through the books. Nothing interesting...but of course, what did he expect from a disgusting man like Malekas. Beginning from Theodoros, the founder of the Aristocrat family business that ruled Kalopia, the whole tree was as dirty and pathetic as a pig lying in the mud and continually farting. They all did everything for the money, unlike himself, who enjoyed the sensation of doing the act, very much and had especially arrange a little present for young Malekas.
Finally, the door to the office. It was open, and inside, just like Pornidious years ago, was Malekas Aristocrat, sitting on his favorite chair, working and filling in paperwork. Palinbal stopped quietly in the door and waited patiently. His white hat gave a most mysterious impression to his eyes.
Malekas suddenly looked up and in fury jumped from surprise. Most of the papers fell to the floor. He suddenly knew this was not going to turn very good for him. "Palinbal!", he finally said, trying to give some calmness and joy to his voice, but he failed, because it did sound really fake and hypocritical. He was obviously scared to death.
"Stop", was the sound of Palinbal's wickedly self controlled, deep voice at the sight of Malekas bending over to pick up the papers from the floor. "Forget those my dear friend", he smiled, "and focus on rather more important issues. Where are your manners? No whiskey this time? Just like your father?"
Malekas Aristocrat was completely lost. He couldn't react. Slowly he stepped away from his desk and served whiskey to Palinbal. He then quickly drank his glass. Sweat appeared on his unmarked forehead. "What do you want at this late hour?", he asked sharply, casting away all politeness. He could not fake or cover up his fear and anxiety.
"Ah, now, Malekas", Palinbal's wicked smile appeared once more, "your father would not be proud of you". He stood up and faced pitiful Malekas, who was sweating in the corner. He steadily approached, his terrifying look, although pleasant and polite, was fixed upon Malekas' pathetic little eyes. "You wouldn't want me to betray my gentleman nature, would you now?"
Malekas was confused. "What do you want?", he asked, even more annoyingly then before".
"Relinquish me your Queenstown Deposit Account, which is otherwise known as Aristocrat Number 5, correct?", Palinbal softly answered. His expression was so amusing that a third person from a distance would think those men were talking about a wedding, or birthday planning.
"You're mad", Malekas said abruptly. He threw his glass on the floor and headed towards the door. But he made the mistake to pass by Palinbal, who instantly and most swiftly grabbed his arms and put them behind his back, and as Malekas tried to realize what had happened, a leather hand stroke his exposed naked, as he leaned his head backwards. And in the leather hand lay a cold knife that now touched his throat.
"Do not speak, simply execute", Palinbal whispered from behind his neck. Both men slowly moved towards the desk, where thousands of papers lay on the table. "Do as I said now, sign the documents". And Malekas, through his fear, he signed the documents with his released right hand and as he trembled free from Palinbal's hands, a tear from the terror ran down his cheek. Palinbal smiled most pleasantly as he examined the document. "Well done Malekas! Your father would be so proud of you", he stopped and raised his wicked, menacing look; it was terribly twisted. "Wouldn't he now?
Malekas didn't wait any longer. He headed towards the door, trying so hard not to run like a girl but more preferably open the locker in the living room and take out his shotgun. No hands touched him from behind this time so he did what he had planned. But as he turned to face the office again, no one was there. He looked around. Only darkness. The wind howled from the open windows and everything was extremely quiet.
But suddenly, Palinbal appeared from the dark corner again and grabbed the shotgun, throwing it away. He handcuffed Malekas' hands behind his back with a very fast moved, making the other man really surprised. He fought back, trying to hit Palinbal, but instead got a hit himself. Lucter stabbed Malekas in his bottom, and before he could scream, a wet tissue was tied upon his mouth and as his eyes filled with tears from the pain, darkness spread through his mind. And when he woke up, he was tortured to death. And Palibal left the cottage, holding his dear document and smiling with satisfaction.
He picked his bag with his right hand and wore it above his shoulder. He wore his dark shades and stepped outside. The brilliant sun shone like a diamond on the clear sky. He was dazzled by the beauty of the mechanized world. Port Andalay was indeed a busy freight port. He steadied himself between the lurking crowd and slowly descended the stairs. A passport control was situated just below a huge sign reading: "Welcome to Lodamun"
After the routine check up by the authorities, he was let free within the city. He called a cab and rented a sweet room in a relatively plain hotel in the downtown. During the next couple of days, he traveled around the city, looking at the sights and marking the locations. And after just a few hours during his first walk, he had spotted the Imperial Revolutionist Coalition's headquarters, a small dusty office with a shrieking door. He did not enter. Instead, he sat across the street, drinking Lodamun's specialty, the Chocolate Coffee in a cozy, well mannered cafe. He opened the newspaper and began reading on the latest events from Lodamun.
Almost night had come when finally, that greasy, hideous looking, hairy man exited the office and headed for the parking lot. Palinbal left some change onto the table, along with the newspaper, and headed towards the street. A taxi would be most unsuitable right now. He spotted another pedestrian heading to his car, just a few feet away from the parking lot's entrance. He hurried towards the man. Before the other could react, he had twisted his neck and pulled his dead body into the back seat, without anyone noticing. All was quiet; he wore his leather gloves and entered the car, closing the door and making himself comfortable in the driver's seat. Then he calmly and gently took the keys out of the man's pockets. He turned on the engine and waited. It was time to pay Sektual a visit, for great plans had been mastered in Palinbal's wicked mind. He followed the car and soon arrived outside the man's apartment.
"You worthless piece of failure", was Sektual's response when he saw Palinbal appear in front of his bedroom door. The cloaked man's expression was not visible, because it was night and no light was on in the room. Sektual tried opening his lamp, but he noticed the power was cut off. His tremulous slowly crawled beneath the steadily rising fear.
"Interesting thoughts", Palinbal said after making a few silent steps towards the bed where Sektual was sleeping a minute ago. He had now risen and was trying to wear his robe. But he lost sight of the man and soon realized that Palinbal was behind his back, his cold breath stroking the back of his neck and a cold steal lingering beneath his throat. He dared not move his hands. Fear had now overtaken Sektual, and his mind was totally blurred, his composure traveling outside the window. He finally swallowed.
"What do you want?", he asked with a trembling whisper.
"Your...how did you express it?", Palinbal's gentle voice echoed like a wicked, deathly call. "Ah yes; I desire the end of you, of a worthless piece of failure". Although Sektual could not see the man's face, he strangely sensed that he was indeed smiling, which was correct, for an evil, full of excitement and pleasure smile had appeared on Palinbal's face. He was immensely enjoying this, feeling the furry and vivid heartbeat of the man now swamped with absolute fear. "You have done much harm to Lodamun, Sektual", Palinbal began, his whisper behind Sektual's ear, "and now your leader will make you pay...You shall pay your sins."
And before Sektual could react, Palinbal had let him free and had escaped from the now open window, from which cold air was howling inside the room. Sektual could not stir, and stood there lost and confused. But then he noticed a photograph on his bed. He picked it up, cautiously, not knowing what his eyes would see, and took a steady glance. His eyes filled with tears and his mind was blurred by total and complete anger, as he witnessed the dead and brutalized body of his wife and his three children, a marking clearly visible on their foreheads. For the "PL" remained in his bitter heart until he pressed the button in the conference the other day.
And then he was liberated, finally, from the awful nightmare.
The music echoed in the dark room and the wind was dancing happily on the curtains. All was silent except the light breeze, which chilled even the most adventurous. Lights sparkled in the sea of the unknown outside the window. Where was Palinbal now? Could the swinging trees answer that question? Or the moonlight being cast upon the limited surfaces it could stroke beneath those might clouds circling the troubled sky? Who could know for sure...
But nothing mattered to Palinbal. His mind was thoughtless as he avidly enjoyed the piano concerto, while looking outside - away, at the night. No objective, no goal, no satisfaction lingered in his mind other than the pure joy of the trembling and spectacular sound of silence and fine music. He drank some wine and tasted a neglected piece of exquisite cheese. It felt harmonic and absolutely right. He wanted to be there.
Palinbal was a man that loved peace and relaxation, and the mere thought of loneliness seemed like a happy event amongst sad actions. But so did other men whose roots lay within the boundaries of Kazulia. For the place of the north was Palinbal's homeland, a land he had forgotten, a bitter story he had set aside. But he suddenly caught himself feeling homesick, and he wished to uncover the depths of his own wishes, to discover what truly burned him at the moment. And the music continued playing, and Palinbal was engulfed by the melodic sound. His mind was once again empty, relaxed, as he had, once more, postponed his visit to Kazulia. What did he fear anyway? Could Palinbal, the incarnation of fear, actually sense what he used as a tool to terrorize others, to produce satisfaction for his bitter egos? Who could know for sure indeed...
Night delayed its departure, unwilling to abandon the peaceful and tranquil mind of Palinbal, who seemed by magic to hold the moonlight around his intriguing eyes and mysterious thoughts.
Once again, a journey to the south. He stood there, with his feet beneath the tranquil waves, listening to the secrets of the south. How delighted he felt - it was the exhilarating sensation of adventure that calmed his mind and tense senses. He felt relaxed, as though music was traveling along the wind, a melody talking about his trips around the world. These notes carved apparent satisfaction on Palinbal's face, and he smiled, all alone in the deserted beach.
He then returned to the cottage he had recently obtained. After arriving in these fine lands, he searched around the woodlands, expecting the right spot to appear in front of him, a place where he could enjoy his holidays away from the commotion. And finally, he had found that particular cottage, where, fortunately for Palinbal, a couple was spending their own holidays. One day, and it was dark, beneath the glowing stars, Palinbal committed yet one of his most terrible crimes. He had quietly entered the house and rather violently, had immobilized the young man, tying him on the wooden front of the double bed, where surely, Palinbal had imagined, they performed their acts of righteous love. And in the eyes of the young man, Palinbal raped the helpless woman, whose skin he will never forget and slowly and painfully he enjoyed the excruciating sounds coming out of her mouth, as he tortured the soul out of her. And while she was still alive, but slowly entered the realms of death, he chopped her into pieces, removing her feet and feeling the satisfaction burn into his body. Lastly, above the lifeless, brutalized body of the young, beautiful woman, he smiled and laughed with total and complete pleasure.
But the worst torture came for the man. With a wicked sensation, after displaying his cruelty and mania on the woman, acts that her beloved lover had witnessed with a sorrow, suicidal, seemingly lifeless as well emotion, he tortured the man, cutting of his genitals, raping him and at the end, slowly removing the skin from his well exercised, naked body. And while he acted upon the helpless man, whose mind was blurred from the pain, Palinbal listened to classical music, the notes enhancing the liberating sensation of utter pleasure. Because hope, which as people say in these lands, dies last, had long disappeared, running away from the incarnation of absolute evil.
The bodies of both the young man and woman, where now lying in the grounds behind the nearby hill, as Palinbal entered the house to take a hot bath. As he cleansed his body from the exhaustion of the same day, his thoughts ran amongst the paths of pleasure, entering the realms of memories, calling back happy and sorrow ones. He stayed in that cottage for almost a week, and then he packed his bags and went to the city. It was time to get back to business.
The waiter appeared for the second time, offering the gentleman in the corner some more coffee. He smiled with satisfaction and continued reading the newspaper, like a regular businessman. And his appearance showed exactly the same thing: his black suit, the briefcase stacked onto a side chair, and the exquisite hat elaborately positioned in front of the table. He wore no tie, for he gave the feeling that this man hated restrictions, and instead had dressed himself in complete dark. But, despite his mourning clothes, he did not emit any sense of threat. He simply intrigued me, even though how pitiful he was deep inside.
An hour passed easily but still, Palinbal seemed to be sitting there calmly, still waiting for the appointment. His patience was visible, and no sign of departure was carved on his smart face. I wondered with curiosity how much was there more to read in that newspaper. But despite the mysterious sensation that surrounded him, I did not dare to look for more than a mere second, simply because I knew exactly how deathly a premonition a longer glimpse would bring. So, just like Palinbal, I continued waiting patiently, without complaining, drinking my endless coffee. But somehow, I became worried and felt exposure surrounding me. And when fear start stirring my troubled guts, our patience was rewarded.
A second man, with a similar, businesslike manner and attitude approached Palinbal's table. At that point, although I could not hear their conversation, Palinbal's wicked smile appeared behind the newspaper and he stood up to greet his appointment. Red sparkles stroke me, and I had the most frightening moment of my life. For a mere, horrific second, I felt Satan's eyes focused upon me. But the awful moment was gone, and both men were now discussing, sited, about something I could not understand. Fortunately, Palinbal's face was clear to me, as he had tilted his expressions to apparently evaluate the newcomer, who was clearly anxious, for his unmannerly haste threw Palinbal's cup of coffee on the floor. Overwhelming fear caught up with my already troubled thoughts, not about me, but about the poor man. But Lucter smiled politely and shook his head, untouched by the accident.
"Yes, I am fully aware of the events", Palinbal's lips pronounced, as I hopefully thought I had understood. But I had experience in such kind of surveillance and was confident about my skills. And for a few exhilarating moments, the evil man just listened, a sickening interest carved upon his awfully handsome face. "Very well then", he finally said to the other.
Was it another contract? A job offering? Did Lucter need money? Wasn't the financial "aid" by Aristocrat more than adequate to satisfy a lifetime's wishes? But I always had the impression that Palinbal worked alone, absolutely alone, without the need for pesky little projects. But my thoughts abruptly stopped, for I noticed Lucter's negative expression. He shook his head with disgust, something I witnessed for the first time.
"No, I think not, my dear friend", he said, smiling again, "but I think everything has been arranged. Now please, if you excuse me, I shall depart, for cooking awaits back home.", he finished and smiled with satisfaction. He stood up and picked up his briefcase from the floor. Without any quotations, he made the first step, ready to exit the building. But time froze, and I quickly followed, after realizing that Palinbal was looking directly at me, the evil apparent in his eyes. I bowed my head and looked at the newspaper. My heart was beating as though I had been running in a Selucian Marathon. I did not dare to raise my head, but still, maybe out of total stupidity, I followed Palinbal's taxi on his way to the outskirts. What was there to come?
It was indeed a beautiful day. The sun was shining in the cloudless sky and nature was singing its happiest songs. Auroria, Selucia's capitol, was bustling with noise, and many commuters strode with haste along the pavement, filled with an exhausting sense of purpose. But one man, was walking confidently among the crowd, calm and despite his deathly aims, he was without question, totally relaxed.
That man was Palinbal Lucter, who, with an air of astonishing delight and innocence, headed towards the block of apartments visible at the end of this busy street. Nothing troubled his dark mind, whether it was guilt, uncertainty or something negative. It was empty and calm, swimming in the seas of total and infinite tranquility. A most peculiar look of interest, like those expressions tourists usually had, was carved on his beautiful, unmarked face as he seemingly glided towards his destination. His was casually dressed, untouched by the risks of exposure and had preferred to engage in a walk along Auroria. The city was so magnificently built that he could not hide his admiration. Despite this medieval sense of architecture being rather unappealing to Lucter, he had taken his time with visiting local museums and sights. On later days, he was truly glad he had payed the price for the guide, because at nights, he enjoyed hot, foreign sex with silly young girls from the northern realms of Terra. He smiled wickedly as he remembered the young girl he had raped the other day and had so excruciatingly tortured to death, her body now lying in the bottom of a nearby lake.
But all of this was irrelevant. He could not rest in peace, listening to classical music at night, sitting in the front porch of the lovely cottage he had recently obtained without a silly man picking on him and watching his every move. And so, he delayed his departure, spending even more time in solitude, until he had quickly turned the game in his favor. Palinbal, with an amazing sense of confidence, was heading towards the man's house, who was most certainly an investigator, in order to deal with things and continue with his adventurous life. For you see, Lucter could not stand the same place for long. He had to travel.
On a fervid morning, when thunders were shaking these ancient lands, Palinbal followed the man back to his apartment. Once he saw him enter the house, Lucter left, so as to walk around the city and joyfully enjoy the rest of his day in Auroria, which could probably end up being the last one in Selucia generally. So, today's morning was the perfect time to end up his misfortune. He had cheerfully packed his bags before having breakfast, without thinking questions regarding the man's nature, and who could he be serving. Palinbal was sure this man was an investigator, because no sane man could stand a stake out for two continuous days. And no freak ever dealt with Palinbal, so that left the single, most logical assumption. And now Lucter was heading towards an objective, with which he would probably mark his departure from Selucia. And he dearly hoped it would prove out to be most satisfying.
He finally arrived. Some old apartments were stacked together in a messy block, but instantly he recognized what he was after. He entered through the door and slowly climbed the stairs. And when he reached the target floor, he noticed the man outside his apartment's door, with a plastic cup of coffee on his right hand and his keys on his left. Oh, what a hopeful day it was! Palinbal hid beneath his murderous, wicked mask and hastily approached the man from behind, gliding as though a ghost in the night. The man turned at the sensation of another person but before he could react, Palinbal pushed his head onto the door and he collapsed on his torturer's hands. Lucter opened the door and pushed the unconscious body inside. So twisted was his expression when he closed the door with his gloved hands, and so blinded was his mind with the promise of upcoming pleasure that he had not noticed the woman standing at the height of the stairs, looking directly at the peculiar event that had occurred down the corridor. But before she could alert the authorities, Palinbal had already tortured and murdered the poor investigator from Lodamun and had already departed from the country, to unknown places. And Palinbal's face remained in the woman's memory.
*More coming soon...