Mr. Lars Morello, one-time big shot corporate bigwig and former CEO of Plant Harmonics, had sunk as far as he could go, and he knew it.
Sitting alone in his jail cell, the smell of mold pervaded his senses. He scanned the flat gray surface of his lackluster surroundings for the hundredth time. The sensation of doom that came from being in a place like this overwhelmed him, and he hadn’t even been here a week. Every day, it felt as if the gray cement walls were closing in.
He wasn’t throwing in the towel, not just yet. No iron bars were going to stop him from doing what he needed to do. As the saying goes, he was down but not out.
The metal cot beneath his thinly clothed backside felt like a bed of nails. Thoughts of revenge roared through his mind like a ferocious lion. Two names kept running through his head, like hamsters running on a wheel. Adam and Evelyn would be the first to pay. But they wouldn’t be the only ones. No one was going to toss him into a cell like a piece of garbage and live to tell the tale.
Adam may have taken his company from him and thrown it to the dogs, but he would rule an empire once more. All the hours spent in his cell, plotting his revenge would be hours well spent if everything went according to plan. He sat upright on the side of his cot, hands gripping the frame as he waited impatiently for his morning meal.
Lars tapped his barefoot on the cool concrete. I am still the greatest inventor of all time. I created immortality!
“Maybe I let all that power go to my head, but I know damn well I don’t deserve to be in here.” The darkness was his best friend lately. Always listening, always waiting, with its cold empathetic embrace. “I don’t deserve to be here. I don’t deserve to be wasting away in this cell. May as well give me the electric chair…” He continued out loud. There was no one to acknowledge him. Not even the scurrying of rodents to break the silence. He cursed out loud, irritated with his predicament.
‘Ting,’ ‘ting,’ ‘ting.’ Came a gentle metallic tapping on the door of his cell. His ‘home sweet home’ didn’t come with a porch light, so the early A.M hours were as black as sin. He linked his fingers together prying backward and applying pressure until they popped.
“Lars… you in there?” Came a hushed voice. Seriously? Of course, I’m in here, where else would I be?
“No, I decided to take a midnight stroll.”
“Don’t be a smart-ass. I’ve got what you asked for.” If his blood could have stopped flowing, or his heart could have stopped beating, even momentarily, it would have at that very second. Is it possible? He thought to himself. If he weren’t afraid of waking the other prisoners, and giving himself away, he would have jumped from the squeaking bed frame, and run to the bars, yelling triumphantly. Instead, he got up slowly and steadily, his feet protesting as he crossed the cold concrete.
“You’ve really got it?” Lars whispered, his mind enraptured at the thought that his time behind bars, had not been in vain.
“Yes, here.” A hand reached through the small gap between the bars. He could barely make it out in the pitch blackness, but as he reached for it… his fingers clasped a cool thin vial. He snatched it from her, forcing himself not to yell out in excitement. Bringing the vial up to his ear, he shook it and could hear the gentle sound of liquid sloshing inside.
“And what about the plans?” Lars ventured.
“That depends… What are your arrangements as far as monetary compensation?” The woman hissed back.
“What we agreed on… five.”
“Hmm…. I just don’t know if five is going to cover it.”
“What do you mean, you don’t know if it’s going to cover it? That’s what we agreed on. You’re the one who set the price if you recall.”
“No, I’m sorry, I don’t remember. I think ten would be more reasonable.”
“Ten?” Lars answered back incredulously. “What the hell do you mean, ten? That’s total B.S, Vosburg, and you know it.”
“Eh, suit yourself. Now you have your Serum and nowhere to go. What are you going to do with it in a prison cell? Doesn’t do anything for you, unless you can get out of here, right?” The woman retorted.
“Fine. Fine. Ten million. You better damn well get me out of here, and to somewhere safe, or I’m not giving you a penny.” From the shadows beyond the bars, the tall sandy-haired woman smiled with cobra-like venom.
“Hey, I aim to please handsome. I’ll have you out of here before the end of the day, but you better mind your manners and talk nice to me, or I’m going to have to charge you extra.”
In the dark, Lars’s eyes went wide.
“That’s pretty low.”
“Says the man who killed hundreds of people for monetary gain. Now shut up before you wake everyone up. I have things to do, things that involve getting you out of here, remember?”
He plodded back to his bed to lie down, twisting the vial in his fingers as he awaited his release.
What’s a few million for my freedom? Once I carry out my plans, I’ll be THE richest man in the world.