29 – Red’s Deal

FIVE YEARS A GO

“Fuck that dude, I got it.” Sim pushed Hirun aside, the twelve year old falling onto a nearby concrete boulder.

“But Simion!” Hirun whined, hastily getting up only to be pushed back down again by the thirteen year old.

“I got it,” Sim repeated, wiping his face with his fist.

The blue-haired kid began to walk over to the waiting Heartlie. The rival teenager had dark red hair and red eyes, just like his younger sister, Tali. His name was Prince, or “Prinz Red” as people seemed to call him. In the slums, they just shortened it to Red. That was all he wore and all he saw. Red.
When he wasn’t buying the latest and greatest gadget with his parents’ money, he came with his buddies to pick on the street slum.

The kids in the ruins were abandoned or runaways. They tried to keep away from others, but frequently people from the city would come and attempt to pick them off. Most resonant souls were deadly, and what better place to practice that power than on slime no one cared about?

But Red… Red was different. He had started a gang and was trying to claim territory, trying to assert himself as the biggest and baddest. He was doing a good job of it too before he reached Sim’s aptly named group, “Rebellion”. Sim and his gang hated Red and weren’t afraid to fight back. Red saw it as a challenge. He was sixteen and determined to take on the preteens, surpassing them in wit and strength.

As Red left the protection of his groupies to meet Sim, he twirled his red cane in his right hand, whistling absentmindedly.

“Why you here again, Red? Didn’t get your ass beat enough last time?” Sim called, his hands balled into fists.

“Au contraire,” Red replied, sticking his cane in the rubble beneath them and placing both hands atop it. “I came with an offer.”
Then, a smile formed on Red’s lips that Sim would never forget.

“For what?” Sim spat. “You know what the answer’s gonna be.”

Red’s face went from a sadistic friendliness to fiendishly evil in so short a time that Sim hardly realized the transformation took place.

“I heard what you did to my sister,” he growled, picking up his cane and shoving the end toward Sim’s throat.

Sim’s left hand came up to hold the stick in place however, so it would not cut off his air supply. As the thirteen year old kept a tight grip on the cane, he glared at Red to show he was unafraid. Red, in turn, glared back.

Last night, Sim had gone on a date with the infamous Tali Heartlie. And they had kissed. But that was all that had happened.

“You’re upset over a kiss?” Sim mocked. Just because the girl was mafia, didn’t mean she got special protection from unworthy dates, did it?

Red shoved the cane again to Sim’s throat, and again Sim pushed back with his hand, holding it steady to protect himself.

“She will never get with street shit like you!”
Red pushed the cane again, and with another failed attempt, finally pulled it away and held it like a bat in his grip. After a few seconds, he craned his neck, gathering himself.
He lowered his voice. “Anyway,” he said, trying to be the better man, “She’s here now to tell you what her Rez is.”

Sim narrowed his eyes on Red, wondering where this was going.

“And that deal I talked about? The deal is that you’ll stop foolishly trying to protect this place. And in return, instead of this… Meeting, we’ll say, with Tali– you will never see her again.”

Simply put, this “deal” was the stupidest thing Sim had ever heard. But if Red was proposing it, then surely he had convinced Tali to do something with her Rez here. If it had really awakened today, it must’ve been something truly devastating for Red to come here with such a silly “deal”.

“You’re embarrassing yourself,” Sim scoffed. “I’d never stop fighting you and I’ll see your sister as much as I please. You’re just pissed you can’t get a girl like I can.”

Sim smirked in response to Red’s lip twitching in anger. The sixteen year old growled and looked behind him, motioning with his cane for a car door to be opened. There, Tali came out, a sad look on her face.
As she walked forward, Red began to chuckle.

Something didn’t feel right.

Sim didn’t feel so confident anymore.

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