Thursday, May 14, 2009

InnermissioNoir Fu

Act 18: Changes

"I must examine you, Mack," Hanna said, unbuttoning Mack's shirt.

"Okay," Mack replied.

"Get me a flashlight, please," Hanna ordered.

"Here," Akira said, handing Hanna a flashlight.

"It is...it is healed! All you have left is a scar!" Hanna exclaimed, shining the light on Mack's chest.

"Yes," Mack said.

"Wow! How did that happen so fast?" Annie asked.

"Maybe it was that stuff Gramps used?" Hanna replied, touching the scar.

Annie touched the scar as well, in awe. This...was impossible, and yet the proof was at her fingertips.

Whoo! A police siren sounded and pulled up. Mack tensed, as if to run.

"It's okay, Mack," Annie said, holding Mack's hand.

Mack calmed down as the two police officers got out and approached, hands on their guns. They both shined their flashlights on the group. Jim intercepted them and flashed his badge.

"What's going on here Jim?" The older officer asked, looking at Mack who had his shirt unbuttoned.

Mack tensed up again at the sound of the officers voice.

"I can't tell you that at the moment, Johnson," Jim replied. ""I'm working on a case, and they have information I need. That's all I can say."

"Well, sorry Jim, but I think there's several people that will be interested to talk to him," Johnson said, drawing his gun and pointing it at Mack.

The other officer reluctantly pulled his weapon too, unsure of what he was supposed to do, he pointed his gat at Mack also.

"You mind explaining why you drew your weapon, sir?" He asked.

"Of course, O'Brian. You see, that guy over there is Mack Westphal. He's supposed to be dead, but nevertheless he is wanted as a suspect of multiple murders. Go handcuff him, and be careful," Johnson said, smiling.

"I don't recall a BOLA put out on him," the other officer said.

"Because he's supposed to be dead! Now cuff him!" Johnson ordered.

"Belay that!" Jim ordered. "And holster your weapon. Now!"

"No can do, Captain. In fact, I'm arresting you as well," Johnson said, still smiling.

"For what?" Jim asked, visibly getting angry.

"For aiding and abetting this murderer," Johnson said. "Radio for back-up," Johnson continued. "I got the feeling they aren't going to cooperate."

"Listen to me son," Jim said, don't blow our cover. I outrank Johnson so do as I say. Stand down, Johnson!" Jim ordered.

"Radio for back-up," Johnson ordered.

"He-he's right, sir," O'Brian said, putting his gun back in his holster. "He does outrank you. I'm sure we can get this cleared up at HQ."

Blam! Johnson shot O'Brian in the head. O'Brian fell, a look of shock on his face.

"Fine, I'll do it myself," Johnson said, sighing.

"What the hell?" Jim exclaimed, going for his gat.

Johnson swung around to shoot Jim, so Jim dived behind the car fender, cursing.

"I always figured you were a traitor but I never thought you would sink this low," Jim said, finally getting his gat out.

Johnson tried to grab Hanna, but before he could take one step Mack was on him. Mack grabbed Johnson's arms and squeezed so hard everyone could hear bones cracking.

"Aaahhh!" Johnson screamed, dropping his gun. "No! How? No! No one's that fast!"

"I know who you are," Mack said, his eyes flashing as they bore into Johnson's soul.
"You helped get my family murdered."

"N-no, you got it all wrong! Mack, y-you know me, we're pals, right? Okay, okay! I'm s-sorry, okay? I thought he was just going to scare you, you know? I didn't know he was going to k-kill your family. Please! You got to believe me! P-please! I had no choice. D-don't kill me, I beg you! Look, I tell you what, I-I'll make a deal with you, Mack. Y-yeah! I-I got money...lots of moolah! More than you can dream of. Y-you can have it! Yeah! All of it!" Johnson shouted, his face twisted with pain and fear. Sweat poured profusely down his face.

Mack stared at Johnson so intensely that Johnson began to shake in fear.

"Did the Grandmaster have help?" Jim asked.

"Y-yes. His go to guy was there, and so was Yukio, but the Grandmaster did all the
k-killing," Johnson replied.

"Murder. It was...murder," Mack said, his eyes watering up.

"R-right. M-murder," Johnson said. "I would have told you, Mack, but they would've killed me. I-I'm sorry! I r-really am. Please...have m-mercy."

"who else?" Mack asked.

"H-huh? What d-do you mean?" Johnson replied.

"Who! Else?!" Mack said forcibly, still unable to shout.

"I-I...I told you, Mack," Johnson replied.

"Who the f*ck else, Johnson?" Jim repeated. "You better talk now. I won't be able to stop Mack if he gets...upset."

Johnson's eyes darted around nervously and he licked his dry lips, as more sweat streamed down his face. Mack let out a gutteral growl and Johnson looked at him. Something in Mack's eyes told him he better come clean. Mack would kill him and do it slowly. Johnson saw hell in those eyes. His hell. And he could already feel the flames hungrily licking his soul.

"Okay, okay okay!" Johnson exclaimed shutting his eyes tightly, so he could avoid Mack's gaze. "It was the Ch-chief, okay? Please...let m-me go. I hurt s-so bad," he whined.

"You don't deserve an honorable death," Mack rasped in disgust, dropping Johnson like a sack of potatoes and slowly walking away.

"The Chief? Chief Brody?" Jim asked in disbelief, shaking his head.

"N-no, not him. Th-this was when mack was detective," Johnson said, holding his wrists to his body and wincing. "He's mayor now."

"Good God!" Jim exclaimed. "Of course! It all makes sense now. All the misdirections, and dead ends and mandela...he set mack up to be fired. But why?" Jim asked. "Why Mack's family? And why didn't they go after Mack?"

Johnson immediately went for his heater. He could still move his left hand. He didn't usually fire his weapon with his left hand but he had practiced for situations like this. Besides, at this range he was certain to hit Mack.
Johnson brought his heater up, a crazed laugh escapinfg his lips.

"Go to hell!" Johnson screamed, as he aimed at Mack's back and laughed hysterically.

Boom! Boom! Boom! One bullet hit Johnson dead center and hit his vest, knocking him back. The other two bullets hit him right between the eyes. Jim advanced, still pointing his weapon at Johnson. He kicked Johnson's weapon aside and checked for a pulse. There wasn't one.

"No," Jim said, "you go to hell, Johnson."

"I recommend we leave. Now," Akira said.

"Mack, I'm sorry you had to hear that," Jim said, putting his hand on Mack's shoulder.

"Good shot, Jim," Mack answered, smiling tightly. "Thanks."

"We're going to get them, Mack. The Grandmaster, and the Mayor. It's reckoning time," Jim said, determination etching his features.

"Aye aye," Mack replied, patting Jim on the back.

Annie grabbed Mack's hand and led him to the car. Mika screamed when she saw Mack's face more clearly.

"He will not hurt you, Mika," Akira said, as she got out of the car and clung to him.
"Mika...this is Mack. Mack, this is Mika."

"A pleasure," Mack said, bowing deeply. "I'm sorry I scared you."

"H-he's not human!" Mika shouted in Japanese.

"Yes he is, Mika. And he is our friend!" Akira berated her in Japanese. "Come, sit with me in the front."

Mack sat in the back, with Annie and Hanna on each side of him.

"Let's get that shirt buttoned," Annie said, buttoning Mack's shirt.

"I bet you never thought you would be buttoning Mack's shirt," Hanna said, laughing.

"What are you trying to say?" Annie replied, blushing. "Are you thirsty or hungry, Mack?" She asked.

"Yes," Mack replied.

"You are in luck, we have a bar," Hanna said. "What do you want?"

"Drink?" Mack shrugged.

"I know that, silly. What do you want to drink?" Hanna asked.

Mack shrugged again.

"How about the whiskey, Hanna?" Annie said.

"Right. Mack likes whiskey," Hanna said, pouring Mack a tumbler of whiskey and handing it to him.

Mack downed the whiskey and coughed. After coughing for a few seconds he said, "You're right, I do like it."

"Here Mack, we have peanuts, pretzels, sunflower seeds, candy bars and potato chips," Annie said, piling bags onto Mack's lap.

"Good thing the nuts are shelled," Hanna quipped. "I still cannot believe you ate that egg, shell and all."

"That was funny," Annie said, laughing.

Mack picked up a bag of peanuts and looked it over.

"Here, I'll get that," Annie and Hanna said at the same time, reaching for the bag.

"I got it," Annie said, smiling.

"Right. I will get him more to drink," Hanna said, smiling back.

"Go easy on the booze back there," Jim said.

"Alright, that is probably a good idea, Jim. Here Mack, try this," Hanna said, pouring perrier into Mack's tumbler.

"What is it?" Mack asked, sniffing it.

"Water with bubbles in it," Annie said, as Mack drank it down without stopping.

Mack looked at Annie and then at Hanna, and back at Annie before burping loudly. Everyone laughed. Even Mika, although she tried to hide it.
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Everyone heard the song Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys playing and looked around for the source of the music.

"Good song," Mack said.

"It is Sensei!" Akira exclaimed as he scrambled to find his cell phone.

"Akira, it is Sensei. Can you hear me now?" Sensei asked.

"Sensei! Mack is alive!" Akira exclaimed.

"Yes, I know," Sensei said. "The cave I left him in has been empty since the funeral."

"That medicine you used worked!" Akira said. "Wait! You knew?"

"First time that ever happened," Sensei answered. "Although I suspect it was far more than the medicine I used. Yes, I suspected, but I wanted to be sure."

"Why did you not tell us?" Akira asked.

"Why get your hopes up? As I mentioned, this never happened before. How does he seem?" Sensei asked.

"He seems fine, except for some memory loss. Plus a sore throat, or some kind of problem talking like he used to," Akira replied.

"Hmm," Sensei mused. "well, he has been dead for three days. I am certainly not an expert on this, but he should regain his full memory."

"It is not just that, Sensei, he is...different. He has...changed," Akira said, whispering.

"Of course he has changed!" Sensei replied. "Who would not? Where are you?"

"We are heading to Long Beach to stop the Grandmaster," Akira said.

"Very well. I will meet you there," Sensei said. "What is the exact location? Yes. Okay, good. See you in a few hours or so," Sensei finished, hanging up.

"I changed?" Mack asked.

"Yes, in a good way, Mack-san," Akira replied turning red and glad it was dark.

"How?" Mack asked.

"Well, you have better hearing for one," Akira replied.

"You're a helluva lot faster too," Jim said.

"And you're more handsome," Annie said, squeezing mack's hand and smiling.

"You are also healthier overall," Hanna said.

"Thanks," Mack said.

"M-Mack-san?" Mika asked, barely audible. "Please excuse. Why were you laughing when you k-killed Yukio?"

Mack furrowed his brow. "I knew. While I was...away, I saw things. I heard...what Yukio had...planned for Annie. When he...offered money, power, I knew. So pitiful...he was. And...Yukio thought...he could trick me. Funny. But not fun. I saw with...clarity. I'm...sorry," Mack said with difficulty.

"Thank you, Mack-san," Mika said.

"Do you remember Mack, your time away?" Annie asked.

"A little. There was...no time. A man...an angel took me to a...place. There was another man...not an angel. I saw...my family in...the distance. I was...given a choice to stay...or return," Mack said.

"Why did you choose to return?" Hanna asked.

"I...because...you, Annie," Mack replied, turning to look at Annie's dim face.

"Oh Mack," Annie said, hugging him tightly. "I'm sorry. I thought I was losing my mind," she wept.

"No. I wanted to...be...with you," Mack said, gently wiping the tears from Annie's face.

"You came back for me?" Annie asked, overwhelmed by love. Mack nodded.

Annie hesitantly kissed Mack, and Mack followed through with a kiss of his own. A very long kiss.

"Apparently, he has not forgotten how to kiss," Hanna quipped, smiling.

"Hey, get a room you two," Jim said, laughing as he glanced in the rearview mirror.

"Yes," Mack said, after the long kiss. "now you're...stuck with me."

Akira heard Mika sobbing softly, although she tried to hide it.

"Mika, what is the matter?" Akira whispered.

"The love they have, Akira-san. I am moved," she replied. "Please excuse."

"No need to excuse you for that," Akira said softly.

To Akira's surprise, Mika wept more and hugged him. Akira hugged her back, gently stroking her hair.

"What is this, an epidemic?" Hanna asked, laughing playfully.

Hanna was happy for Mack and Annie, and she hoped that her dad and Mika would fall in love. Hanna sighed wistfully, as she began to mentally make wedding plans for both couples. Someday, my prince will come too, she thought, without a trace of envy.

13 comments:

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Well, I reckon I owe you guys an explanation for my long absence. It's rather embarassing though.

See, I only had one bm (bowel movement) in the last three weeks.
Since I was a kid this has been a problem and normally I would only have a BM twice a week or so, despite havin' a fast metabolism. Doc says I got slow intestine muscles, or somethin' like that.

The meds I take can make it worse (and also cause diarrhea), so it's usually all or nothin'. Neither option is fun, to say the least.

Anyhow, I'll spare you all the details and just say i tried everything. I was gettin' to the point where I was gonna go up to the VA, when I noticed that I could take double the fiber pills in a 24 hr. period, so I tried that for a few days and the dam broke, so to speak.

Needless to say, as this got worse, I slept a lot, and was very depressed. Strange how this condition can affect my mind.

I plan on continueing this new regimen, so hopefully, this won't be as much of a problem in the future.
I miss you all. :^)

julie said...

We missed you, too, Ben. Glad to hear something is helping, though.

Have you tried any of the digestive enzyme products they have out now? Lots of dairy products have them, and I know they are helpful; I don't know if there are any warnings if you are immunocompromised, though.

Also, my stepdad had digestive problems with his MS - not sure whether it had to do with medications or what, but he wasn't producing enough stomach acid to break down his food properly. He was actually taking acid tablets for a while, which seemed to help.

Sal said...

As my old grandfather used to say:
"Life is just one damn thing after another."
Glad you fixed yourself without a hospital visit.
You and Patti are in the prayers, always.
It just isn't OC without Ben...

Robin Starfish said...

Undammit, we missed you Ben! Glad to hear things worked out in the end. Anyone who says you don't give a crap would be plug wrong. Welcome, back!

Joan of Argghh! said...

I once knew an accountant with that problem, but he worked it out with a pencil. . .

:o)

mushroom said...

Glad you're back. We missed you. The slow intestinal thing was something that happened to my wife when she had a bad bout of diabetic neuropathy. Seems like they kind of go together. No fun.

mushroom said...

Accountants are all anal retentive anyway.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Julie,

Actually, I haven't tried digestive enzymes. I'll check with Doc about that. Thanks!

I think the main problem occurs when it gets in the lower intestines. Everything just slows down a lot and before I know it there'a a traffic jam. Or a 50 turd pile up. :^)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Sal,

Thanks! I miss your comments too, but I know how busy it can get even without the coonstipation.

I have also been doin' more stuff for Patti (honey-do season, you know). More activity can't hurt...much. :^)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Dojo-

Ha ha! Aye. That would be a good epitaph, I think. By golly, I do give a crap, or at least I try. :^)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Joan,

Heh! Would that be a plain wooden pencil (and if so, what number? Number 2?), or a mechanical one? :^)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Mushroom,

I do have peripheral neuropathy, so perhaps there is a connection there. No diabetes though.

Now that I know I can take much more fiber than directed (with more grog or tea of course, or water in a pinch), I hope to prevent this problem in the future. Of course, I must also remember to not skip a day, even if I feel okay.

Hey, I'm not an accountant!
Not that there's anything wrong with that. My wife is the family accountant...hey! That explains a lot! You don't suppose...? :^)

QP said...

"It just isn't OC without Ben..." and SKULLY!

xOxOx and prayers of Thanksgiving for the passage,Tanis