A Night to Remember Starring: Kody Gryphon Reader beware; This work of fiction contains gun violence, death, and explicit language/content. Read at your own descression. "Kody... You know your father and I are very proud of you. But you cannot do this." The sound of Lyanna, Kody's mother, over the PA system in his apartment rang through the halls with a soft acoustic hum as Kody swiped through photos on his phone. "Uh-huh." "Kody. I'm serious. If you get yourself hurt while doing this lone gunslinger act, where will those seven years have gone? Down the drain. For what?" Pursing his lips together a bit, Kody's brows furrowed in thought. "Mom--" Bringing the tall glass up to his lips with a free hand, the nineteen, soon to be twenty-year-old young man was stood next to his counter where the glass ended up sitting. "Ahh... Man, those smoothies you recommended suck." A groan released from Lyanna's throat, audible frustration growing in her tone of voice. "Are you even listening to me? I swear you can be such a sweet boy sometimes but others you can be just as hard-headed as your father." Setting his phone down on the marble countertop of his apartment suite, Kody stared at the picture of a high-ranking Los Angeles Blood gang member entering an alleyway. For the past four months, Darius Coleman, the head drug trafficking manager for the gang had entered the alleyway behind the Sand Piper Motel off of Central Avenue more than five times. Entered the strip-club which was a Blood infested pigstye three, and been to the alleyway behind a 7-11 twice. All under the cover of darkness, all with loc'd out homeboys to back them up. While Kody could take on any number of them, each of them carried a piece. This meant that if he was to confront or take the chance of having his cover blown, he'd have to gear up heavy. During these past four months, however, he was in surveillance mode, not assault. Packing light gear each and every time. So he had yet to see what went on during these little meetings. Tonight was the night he packed with a vest and some firepower. He'd make the decision on whether or not to move in when he got there. "And Dad is usually stubborn when he knows he's right." "When he -thinks- he's right, Kody. Your father may be top of the line but he's gotten us into deep shit with his antics before. Besides, you're brand new to this. You can't afford any risks or pissing off the wrong people. You know, those crime organizations have hands in the same sources we work from. You think if you start meddling they won't send contractors after you?" Swipe after swipe, Kody was accessing how many deep the thugs rolled. Making note of where they parked the cars, how many got out, from which doors, etc. Every last detail could mean life or death. However, as his mother continued to line out all of the cons of his planned actions... The angel and devil on his shoulders started to bicker at one another with his head right in the middle. These men were killing innocent people caught in the crossfire of gang-violence, slinging drugs that were far from pure but even in pure form killed people all across the nation every day. They kidnap, drug and rape innocent college students... If not younger than that. Kids are initiated into the gang, some as young as seven years old. On the flip-side; dipping his pinky in this river to try and alter the current could end up with him getting spat out into the ocean and at the bottom of the Mariana Trench with a shovel. Just as he was leaning toward the idea that maybe he was making the wrong decision by getting involved, the picture of a crime scene photo he obtained from the LAPD servers flicked on his screen. "Kody..?" Lyanna tried to garner her son's attention. Yumi Moon, a young, fourteen-year-old girl from North Korea whose parents escaped to China when she was younger. From China, they achieved protection, new names, and were immigrated to California where her mother and father both found suitable jobs. The crime scene? Her own bedroom. Moving boxes littered with bullet holes, blood splattered all over the bed and an innocent young lady shot to death in her sleep. All because a group of Bloods thought a rival gang member was still living in her house and didn't know they'd moved. The whole family knew they were in a bad neighborhood and planned on moving into their new home in three days. Kody's left eye twitched, his lips pursed. An intense heat crawled up his back, his neck, all the way down his arms to clenched fists baring white knuckles. "Kody." Lyanna repeated. A long, deep exhale flared its way past the young man's nostrils. What used to be a soft, monotone, deep, bellowing voice now turned into an almost feral snarl. "I gotta go..." Still flat in tone. His mother knew that tone of voice. Outrage, disgust, pain... "No, listen, think abo--" "End." Stokes, the artificial intelligence on Kody's phone clicked off the call. That's not exactly a way to handle a conversation with your mother. "Save it." Plucking the phone into his pocket, Kody waltzed down the halls of his luxurious apartment suite which he'd bought out with his 'signing bonus'. Turning into one of the guest rooms which was completely empty aside from a desk with a laptop on it in the middle. Los Angeles is the city of angles, right? Wrong. It's the city of fallen angels. People who come to the city are from all walks of life. Wanting to be famous, escaping a past life, starting anew... However, a healthy percentage of them are ignorant to the deep-rooted underbelly that are the slums that are packed among the less 'interesting' areas outside of the bright, attractive downtown cityscape. "Been to Hell, by Hollywood Undead." A song Kody requested that perfectly outlined Los Angeles in its true light. The PA played the song through the house and Kody approached the desk. Typing in a thirty-six character access code into the keyboard. The computer wasn't even on but the window pane-walls behind him looking over the city all tinted completely. All three remaining walls hissed, thin outlines of squares just smaller than the border of the wall themselves extruding out. Each near paper-thin panel folding down to show-off the arsenal at his disposal. Just to the right of the door, the robes he'd worked seven years to earn. Stripping out of his clothes, the young man's toned, athletic form fit into a pair of compression pants as well as an undershirt. Next, Kody pulled the black BDU cargo pants over his long legs, wrapping a tactical belt through the loopholes of his pants. After that, he laced-up his black lightweight running boots. Walking to the wall, he grabbed two concussion grenades and a smoke grenade. Twitching the corner of his lip, he sniffed a bit while his mind mulled over the options of weaponry. Slipping on a lightweight bulletproof vest, he then a black dress-shirt over it. After buttoning up and tucking the shirt in, he loaded six throwing knives in the loops on the inside of his belt before buckling it up. With the 'base' to his loadout complete, Kody approached the wall of AR's, sniper rifles, carbines, submachine guns, and pistols. First, as always, the nineteen-year-old pulled his compound bow and quiver from the wall. Next, he snatched his favorite carbine. It was an AR-15 platform chambered in .300 AAC Blackout with a 10.5-inch barrel and a quick-detach suppressor... Aka: An absolute shredder in close quarters. Not to mention multiple fire-select modes. With the rifle in its carry-bag along with a few 40-round clips, he already had two of them on the left side of his belt should he need to lay down more lead then anticipated. Returning to the wall, Kody acquired his Glock 34 Gen 4 sidearm. Equipped with a suppressor and an eighteen round clip chambered in 9mm. The pistol took its rightful place in the holster on the right side of his belt next to three spare mags, not counting the two in his pocket. The song was coming to an end as Kody approached the robes on their stand. Next to them, a pair of hidden blades. Strapping either of them over his forearms, Kody flicked both wrists tensed his foream muscles and let the blades extend before relaxing so that they folded back up and into their mechanisms. Finally, the piece de resistance. The main course. A garment that symbolized him an elite student of the great Daliah Mi Ataih. Each and every initiate got to choose an outfit/loadout before they even learned anything. Why? As a goal. If they succeeded, it was a graduation gift... If they failed? The initiate is forced to destroy their own equipment upon departure. Lined with bulletproof material, it could stop up to a 5.56 round from penetrating, however, the energy of every bullet had to go somewhere and that shit fucking hurts. Pulling the robes on and canting his head side to side, Kody put his phone in his pocket and departed from the apartment with his carry-bag zipped up. To most, if they saw him; Kody would look like someone cosplaying as a modern-day character from Assassin's Creed... Why? Because while everything in his line of work was serious, everyone was allowed freedom in their looks and choice of weaponry, as mentioned before. Daliah even encouraged them to embody something from mainstream media as a 'smokescreen' should they ever be compromised. As when an agent needed to blend in, their attire changed completely. This was his choice of a heavy loadout. Why his favorite game? Becuase dressing up like Guy Fawkes from V for Vendetta also came with alliteration and acting a bit nutty if he truly wanted to portray that persona. Kody wasn't that quick on his feet with words nor was he a good actor, at least not -that- good. On his way out, Kody knew he was quite "over-dressed" for the occasion. There was usually only a dozen all together. Better safe than sorry. Tonight was the night that Darius met behind the motel. A pattern Kody had picked out in the meetings, it was a rotation to keep certain spots from getting too hot. Keeping his 1998 Nissan 240sx in a low gear, it actually idled out and died as he pulled into the alleyway with all of its lights shut off. He was a block across the street and in perfect view of the alleyway that they met in. The alleyway Kody chose to park in also gave him a perfect way up and onto the roof of the two-story strip mall provided him with his vantage point. A few hops and good footholds, Kody found himself on top of the roof, scanning for the eventual arrival of Darius' BMW. While Kody was an adept young man, he was also filled with a lot of emotion. This was the first time he'd be doing good under the name of the city he grew up in, for the people of the city. Nerves were running high but he knew it was just like training. At first, he'd feel like a wreck but once he got in the zone; it was lights out from there. Kody was a bit early, so he had time to set up. With the carrying bag still around his shoulder and the mags strapped inside, the 'agent' pulled it from around his shoulder and unzipped the bag so he could pull the rifle free. He had no room for the extra mags and supposed if he really needed it, he'd want high-ground anyway. Kody equipped the rifle alongside the bow on his back. To ensure he wasn't spotted while waiting, he knelt down just behind one of the signs that he could see around and under if at the right angle while peeking over the quarter-wall that lined the roof. Letting a relieved sigh ripple past his lips, he produced his phone from his pocket, tapping into any nearby surveillance camera's and giving it a peep. No one was really out at three o' clock in the morning, all Kody had to do now was wait. Deep in the back of his mind, a confliction was still battling. For the first time in his life, he was about to take life in a way not done before... By now he'd done a few contracts but those were different. One person. Whoever was showing up to this spot had to have security of their own just like Darius. There was no getting to Darius without killing those thugs. ~They chose this life, just as you chose your own path... These men may have been once good but they are not that anymore.~ Kody tried to reason with himself. Still, the words didn't push away the fact he was taking many lives, a very serious manner. Then, words from his mentor echoed through his mind."Kody Leupold Gryphon. Killing is not wrong so much as the context constitutes such activity. You are a young man making decisions men twice, three times your age could not make. Nobody wants to kill unless they have nothing in their heart. A man with a strong heart, however, those are the most thoughtful in their choices. For them to kill means all context points to such option. Guilt will fall on you. You will question it every day. You must be the one to ebb these voices of confusion coming from your own mind. Just remember, always respect death." Those words... They are what kept him fueled in knowing what he was about to do was right. The decision he was making, while a dangerous one; was right. Kody would have to deal with the guilt. A price to pay for his actions. But not one that outweighed the sorrow in his heart for an unspoken majority who were victims to the actions of these ruthless men. Swiping from camera to camera, on the opposite side of the alleyway from where Kody was positioned; a window-tinted, white Rolls Royce Phantom came rolling down the street and pulled into the Alleyway. Along with it were a pair of white and red Suzuki Hayabusa motorbikes on either quarter-flank. Changing camera's once more, only five minutes passed and the completely blacked-out BMW X6 rolled up to the scene, joining the others. Each biker put the kickstand to their bike down and stepped off, pulling their heads free of the helmets. Of course... The Chinese mafia from China Town... Who else could be moving such a high amount of product? Every member from the Phantom also exited from their car to meet the Blood's who exited their own. "What's happenin' boys?" A big toothy grin across Darius' face as he extended a completely tatted up arm, matching the rest of his tatted body, out toward the stone-faced young man of Chinese descent who stared at it in near confusion. "Are you about to start bargaining again, Darius?" "Oh shit... My bad, fam... I didn't mean to step on ya toes. Come on now, don't be all pushy." Putting on his usual fake, cordial tone of voice when he was trying to be sly. While they haggled and talked business, Kody moved in. Maneuvering rooftop to rooftop, he ended up a few stories above them. Kody could hear them bickering and bantering as they went around to the back of the Rolls for viewing of the product. Funny... They had security yet none of them had their head on a swivel. That's the problem with being the lion for too long and not being given a healthy dose of paranoia. People can get way too comfortable and sure of themselves... Tsk tsk tsk. With his phone out, Kody waited to get a good side-profile of their faces as they negotiated before snapping the photo of them stood around the bricks of heroin. -BZZT BZZT- -BZZT BZZT- "Dafuq? Hold on, Jackie Chan." Darius reached into his pocket and produced his phone. "Did he just call me Jackie Chan?" Turning to his crew, the Chinese mafia member eyed his buddies for confirmation, which was given with a couple of nodding heads. "Das racist as fuck, man." Commented one. Darius didn't respond, his brows were furrowed and his nose scrunched up, lips turning into a snarl-form. "Unkown numbah?" Clicking on the text, it was a photo of his own damn self. "What the fu--" Every block within a three-mile radius around the alleyway was sucked free of its power thanks to Kody's remote-access of the power grid. "Yo!" "What?!" "What the fuck?!" All of the gang members started jabbering in their respective languages. Normally, Kody would have his hands full with twelve combined gang-members huddled in one spot... However, it wasn't broad daylight. So all he had to do was get his licks in before the power eventually flickered back on. A clanging sound, not even three meters across from the group tumbled with a -tink- -tink- -tink-. Every last one of the poor bastards looked directly at toward the sound. A loud, concussive pop and a bright flash of light exploded from the very direction of the sound. "GAHH!" "MMNNAHH!!" "WHAT THE FUCK?!!" Nearly every one of them was hit with the full effect of a flashbang. Concussiveness, blurred/blind vision, watery eyes, misdirection, confusion, all of which factors Kody followed up with a smoke grenade that landed right at their feet. Having timed his descent down the wall just a bit later than he meant to, he rolled forward and thanks to using the dim but effective source of moonlight to plot out how they stood before he descended; it made nabbing the first one easy. When he grabbed the first Blood's forearm, the young asset pulled it toward and across his own chest, sinking his hip against his opponent's. Blood was pumping through his heart so fast Kody couldn't even hear the man's body hit the floor after the hip-toss. A few popped shots during the move confirmed the man had a gun. Stepping so that the gangster's arm was between his legs, Kody locked both hands around his hand and set his foot against the man's underarm. One twisting, ripping motion not only cracked the man's wrist like a saltine and helped pop his shoulder out of socket from the foot pushing down, it secured the pistol in Kody's grip. Time was precious. Kody had wasted some of it with his delayed entrance. So by the time he raised the bore of the pistol toward the assailants, the lights were just flickering back on. Leaving only silhouettes visible in front of him through the screen of smoke. Thanks to quick reaction time and a photographic memory, he knew he was currently trained on Darius and flicked his aim to the man behind him. This not only cost him time, the sound of the man below him screaming in agony with a jello wrist and dislocated arm made him miss his first two shots. Fuck... That was near gut-wrenching to hear. The next rounds to be emptied? Not so much. Everything had happened so fast that even though either gang, thanks to the alleyway light, could barely make out the hooded silhouette who'd crashed their party; they were not only frozen in shock but were still feeling the effects of the stun grenade. Not to mention choking on a healthy-helping of smoke. Thanks to these factors, Kody was able to drop three of the Bloods with the remaining rounds in the Glock. At least during that moment, all he was shooting were silhouettes. Not having to witness himself dropping actual people. Sure, he'd convinced himself he was doing right but that didn't make anything better. Still, he was laser focused. Somersaulting forward, Kody spread his legs to trip up and get ahold of Darius's own. One arm extending up to snatch his collar, Kody's other arm remained bent and upward so that when he pulled the man down into him, he could secure his extending hidden blade between Darius' ribs; missing all vital organs. Rolling flat on his back, Kody yanked his blade free and used Darius' body as momentary cover while half-blind shots volleyed his direction through the thinning-out smoke. A few catching Darius in the arms and legs ripping more cries from him. Just as the smoke cleared, Kody rolled back to peek up over the side of the Darius' body, his AR-15 was drawn and aimed down bore, the bottom of its rail using Darius side to steady the aim. Three-round burst after three-round burst of suppressed shots took down each remaining gang member. While not every single round hit its mark, the rounds laid down close range were more than effective. During the adrenaline rushed, action-packed exchange of gunfire, Kody didn't even realize he'd taken hits until the last member left had pink-mist gush out from his back and onto the wall behind him. Suppressing the pain for all he could, Kody had to remind himself of his most important lesson learned in training. Mind over matter. If you don't mind. It doesn't matter. Kody was far from done, even though the impending threat was gone. Hooking his leg around Darius' waist, he rolled his hips to pin the man down. Pointing his weapon at the first man to feel Kody's wrath. "YO WAIT NO NO--" A single burst ripped through his torso and took the man's last moments. Letting the rifle drop to his side, Kody quickly drew his pistol and aimed at the wincing, howling Darius Coleman. "Don't move, or I fucking blast your skull open right here." Kody... Really didn't want to do that. Already, he'd seen enough death for one night. Frankly, his stomach was in a bit of a knot now that the sound of his heart pumping in his ears wasn't deafening all thoughts of what had just taken place. "Yooo!! AGgghh!! What the fuck, man?! Who the fuck are you?!" Thanks to the shadow of the beaked hood and the bandanna mask that covered the rest of his face all the way down past his neck, not a feature could be seen on Kody's face as he looked down at the man. "What are you fuckin Batman?" Darius questioned while looking up into a hooded darkness with confusion. Kody jabbed the pistol forward with a gloved hand, the barrel of his Glock ramming into the man's trachea. "GAHCKCK!!!" Fear, pain, and regret was stricken all over Darius' face as his hands came up to clutch his throat. "Batman doesn't use guns, fuck stick." Still pointing the gun at him, Kody reached out to secure his hand around the man's neck and squeeze tightly. "Ahh.. Gah.. Annn..." Darius' eyes welled up with tears. "In fact, you'd be singing a fucking praise to God if Batman was the one who came here. So let me make something clear to you; I am not that. I have no fucking care for assholes like you in this world and I won't hesitate to make you regret being born if you don't give me what I want!" Finally, those strong fingers released Darius' neck. "Wh-what do you wa-- AGH!!" Kody used the barrel of the gun to practically bitch-slap Darius, hearing his jaw dislocate from the force. "FUCKKK AHHHH!!!" Darius was really screaming now. "Who's your fucking boss!?!" Using a tone of voice he'd practiced plenty of times before. One that struck fear and asserted dominance with intensity like no other. Coughing sputtering up blood, and holding his jaw, tears were streaming down Darius' face. Goosebumps from the tone of voice riddling his body... In fact, Darius could swear he was pissing himself. "I don't even talk to--" Kody balled up his fist, cocked his arm back and slammed those knuckles square on Darius' nose. A sick crunching of cartilage breaking under his fist. Tears were really pouring from the thug's eyes now. "Ahhhh---!!" Darius' voice croaked out, the pain so unbearable he couldn't even sound it out. Kody could tell the pain was getting to be too much at this point and that he was probably pushing his luck if he did anymore. "Listen to me, Darius Coleman. I am your greatest fucking nightmare reincarnated. I am the merchant of fucking death, a reaper of sick fucks like you. You either tell me what I want now or I introduce you to what I'm really capable of." Sobbing, writhing in pain Darius decided to give up the information. In fear the crazy man above him might just end up snagging him and doing even worse things. As if this wasn't bad enough. "All I know is a guy named Vigo... He's my boss, I don't know the leader, bro. They keep that shit under lock and key homie. I swear! I swear that's all I know! Ah-ha-aha-wahhaha..." All of his words were slightly slurred thanks to one side of his jaw being broken mixed with his crying but enough of it was coherent. Vigo. "Where does he stay?" Kody questioned. "Bro... Come on man they'll--" Standing up, Kody aimed behind his left hip to pop Darius in the shin. "AHHHH!!! WHAT THE FUCK?!!!" Screaming out, Darius curled up to grip the leg which had already been shot. Kody couldn't do anymore, if Darius didn't talk now he'd have to knock him out and bag him up. If he continued interrogating here the bastard would go into shock. "Cranton Acres Apartments! It's loc'd out. All Bloods!!" "Did it have to be this hard, Darius?" "Nooo-ah-ho-ahoo... Ahhhha.. Ahh... Ahh..." Still surging with pain in every inch of his body, Darius felt his right ankle grabbed. Being dragged toward the back of the Rolls and spun around, a cold metal cuff put on his wrist. Kody proceeded to lock the other end of the cuff on the tow hook under the car. "Wh.. What are you doin man?! What the fuck?!" "Doing you a favor, -homie-." Mocking Darius' own words, Kody plucked up Darius' dropped phone and dialed 911. "911, what's your emergency?" Putting on a throaty, deep voice, if that was even possible with how deep Kody's voice already was. "Eleven men are dead, one wounded. Fifteen kilos of black tar heroin in the trunk. EMT will be needed. Central Avenue off of Broadway and Scisero." Tossing the phone down on Darius' lap, Kody aimed down to squeeze off two rounds. With each round that blasted into Darius' kneecaps, Kody's left eye twitched. Partly for remorse in a man who probably once had a straight-cut life or good future ahead of him screaming in agony as he entered a state of shock... Part in resistance to putting one through his skull in the name of Yumi Moon and others like her. He couldn't though. Darius gave him what he wanted. "Y-yo man... Ahnn..." Darius' eyes started to nearly roll back in his head as he was nearing shock. Kody dragged a body over and used it to prop Darius' feet on seeing as the only thing raised was Darius' arm while the rest of his body was flat out on the floor, unable to move in pain. "Wh... Who... Are you?" By the time it'd finally passed his lips, Kody was just walking past one of the Hayabusa's before he came to a halt. Right about now was when that deep pain started to resonate in his body from four or five shots he took to his upper torso and arm; starting to really sting and ache thanks to the adrenaline wearing off. With his back still to the man who couldn't see him, Kody glanced over his shoulder only so Darius could hear him. A cold, deep, monotone voice that riddled goosebumps through Darius once more responded. "Like I said Darius; a nightmare for men like you." With that, Kody finally got his chance to test a new gadget. Aiming his wrist up at the ledge above him, Kody pressed a button on the gauntlet underneath his arm through the sleeve of his attire. A kevlar rope with a barbed tip rocketing up through the air to attach on the ledge above. Tightening the slack, it pulled Kody up and into the cover of night. Just as the sirens of police and EMT could be heard in the distance getting closer and closer, Darius heard the low hum of an import getting further away. "Son... Whatever will we do with you?" It wasn't his mother on the phone. This time it was Kody's father, Marcus. "I-- Nnn... Fuck..." Kody put the icepack over two big purple welts which dove deep enough to bruise the bone under his bicep, wincing as he cursed. Dull, aching, deep pain responded to any touch. "Uh-huh... Doesn't feel good, does it?" Marcus questioned while munching a mouthful of pizza. It wasn't the first time Kody had been shot or injured. Still, once his body is stationary and the pain settles in for good, it usually took until the morning to be able to slightly ignore it. "Are you eating?" Kody lifted his brows with a confused expression as he glanced toward his phone. "Uhhh... Duh, kiddo. How else does a middle-aged man stay awake to hear how his son's first little stint of vigilantism went? Food and a bit of fine whiskey." Marcus was truly a one of a kind father. While his mother begged and pleaded for Kody not to do what he'd done, Marcus already knew Kody would either continue doing what he was already or run into a wall that stopped him. So... Why not being the supporting cast? At the end of the day it was his son and he was a Gryphon. Which meant he'd do what he damn well pleased. Frankly, the older agent had been through a relatively similar situation. "Liquor just makes me sleep..." Mumbled the teenager, who was now placing an ice pack over his shoulder where yet another deep bruise was trying to swell up. "Pff. I'd say you need some sleep, kid. Anyway... What did you find out?" "Vigo... A guy named Vigo oversees Darius. The guy stays at an apartment complex completely infested by Bloods." There was a pause while Marcus finished his food. During this pause, the images from his first night acting on his own accord played through Kody's mind. "You saved lives today..." Being one of the more intuitive people, Marcus didn't even need to see his son in order to know the kind of thoughts rolling through his head. "I took life." "To save lives. Fifteen kilos worth of lives. No one starts something like this and just swoops everything in one night. You've taken the first step. Now you have to make the decision on whether or not you wanna go further." "Do I really have a choice now?" "Sure you do." Once more, a long pause fell between them, lasting minutes while Kody plucked bullets from the lining of his robes as well as a few lodged in his bulletproof vest. After the late night of action, Kody had listened to the LAPD over the scanner. The whole ride home he listened to their chatter.Rather than the cops talking about all he'd left them; they focused on the fact someone crashed the party and in quite a vicious way. LAPD had no clue what to make of it. Neither did Kody. While he could sit and justify every one of his guilty thoughts, it didn't make them go away. Did it get easier? If it got easier... Did that make him a bad person or was it a sign of him understanding what he's choosing to do is for the greater good? None of this earned him a check... None of it painted him in the light of a hero (rather the opposite, no surprise there). Part of Kody didn't want to be a hero, just not seen in such a negative light. Preferring the role of an unseen protector. Yeah. That sounded better. "I don't know if I want to go further, yet. All I know is..." Bringing his chin up, Kody stared at the computer screen in front of him. Cranton Acres Apartments pulled up on the map. While eying the complex, Kody ran through the memory of the last part to his night; a moment burned into his mind forever. Chae-Ku's eyes pried open at six in the morning to the sound of his alarm clock wailing, signaling he had to get up and get ready for work. While he had done the impossible in escaping from his homeland, he felt it was all for nothing without the sunshine in his life. Yumi... She was his everything. He and his wife Ji-Sung were the only reasons he'd had the bravery to take such a risk. For their well-being. Now, what had all of that been for? "Chae..." A soft groan from his wife. "I know... I know..." Already he was lost in thought, so much so he'd forgot the alarm was even going off. Reaching over, he tapped the top of it and let out a sigh, rolling over to wrap his arm around his wife. Pressing in close, the two embraced one another with his forehead rested against her temple... Why..? Why were tears already welling in his eyes? Hadn't he mourned enough? Could his mind not finally let him have a normal day? There were no more normal days. Not with that empty void of a daughter's love lost in his heart. "I don't want to get up..." "You have to, my love... Come. We'll do it together. Like everything." Ji reached up to cup the thirty-six-year-old's face and press closer, her lips lightly brushing the edges of his ear as she spoke softly. "We can get through this together... We always have each other." After a shared moment of affection and silent coddling, the couple rose from bed in their new home. It wasn't much but it would have been plenty for the small family and was still more than enough for the two. Chae knew he was taking on a bit more than he could truly afford when he bought the house. He wouldn't have gotten any of the luxuries such as spending money on himself or his wife very often... They wouldn't have been able to go out as much... But he wouldn't have cared, his daughter would have been safe and in a good home. That's all that mattered to him. "Ch-Chae!?!" Ji sounded from the kitchen after she went to start the coffeemaker while Chae split off to click the computer on and flick on the news. Mostly for traffic reports. "What?" Pacing around and into the kitchen, Chae came to a dead halt. There were six large duffel bags sat on their kitchen table. Shaking his head back and forth once or twice in utter confusion, as well as to shake the sleep off and make sure he wasn't seeing things; he took a few steps to close in and get a look at the note taped to one on the very top. "I'm sorry for your loss. This won't fix your sorrows or mend your heart, nor fill the emptiness in it. Maybe it can set up a future of healing. You both deserve it." ~The Unseen Glancing up at one another, Chae decided to be the one who reached out and pulled the zipper open. Stacks upon stacks of hundred dollar bills came tumbling from the bag. Chae's eyes were wide open, his jaw completely slack, heart skipping a beat and his body was covered in chills. Ji looked like she was about to faint, reaching to unzip the others, only for more money to come cascading out of each and every one. From the living room the T.V. could be heard. "Good morning Los Angeles, top of the news this morning. LAPD made a massive drug bust last night off of central avenue behind the Sand Piper Motel. An anonymous caller who is yet to be identified called in to the police around three-thirty in the morning. Using one of the suspect's phone... Teresea Granger has more. Teresea." "It was a night to remember."