Scene Title Hate
Synopsis After suffering a devastating loss and delivering his concession speech, Congressman Medina's night takes an unexpected turn.
Date November 6, 2018

"No, I told you, I'm going to contest the results."

A light rain falls across a sprawling city. Light from street lamps glimmering on the rain-spotted black paint of an armored SUV parked out front of a brightly-lit hotel. A handful of black-suited men with umbrellas escort a man on a cell phone down a slippery walkway toward his waiting car, under dark and starless skies. "Heather, I don't care. I'm not really conceding to her. I have a source that's told me there was a registered telepath living in one of the biggest districts I lost in, I'm not— " Frederick Medina staked much of his career on the divide between the Evolved and Non-Evolved, staked everything on the belief that the Chesterfield Act is irresponsibly unrestricted. "Heather. I'm getting in my car, I've got to go."

Turning off his phone and silencing a second call coming in, Medina stops outside of his car as his security detail opens the door for him. He looks back at the hotel, scowling, and then climbs into the back of the SUV and pitches his phone onto the floor, then slouches against the far armrest and runs a hand through his rainsoaked hair. As the door is shut behind him, Medina is left to his thoughts and the white noise of the SUV idling. "Campaign headquarters," he says to the tinted window partly closed ahead of him. The driver doesn't bother to say anything, just pulls away from the curb.

It's going to be a long night.

Longer than he realizes.

Kansas City


November 6

11:47 pm

Swallowing down the bile in the back of his throat, Medina grabs a remote control out of the center console and turns on the small television set into the ceiling, picking up mid-broadcast of election night coverage.

« — crowd of nearly a thousand has gathered, waiting for Paula St. Croix to take the stage. Her dark horse run at incumbent representative Medina is something of a fairy tale story. We've heard throughout the election how St. Croix survived her time in a Mitchell-administration relocation camp, risking her life smuggling food in for her fellow captives, and was spared at the eleventh hour from execution by the surrender of — »

Medina changes the channel, aggressively.

« —e'yre calling it an Evo-Wave. Paula St. Croix, the youngest woman to be elected to Congress in US history and the first SLC-Expressive representative from Missouri narrowly beating out incumbent Frederick Medina. In what should have been an open and shut victory for the Medina campa — »

Then, just as aggressively, he turns the television off. "God damnit," Medina hisses, running a hand through his hair again as he slouches back into his seat. "God— damnit." One hand covering his mouth, he stares out the passenger side window at the city going by, watching street lamps burn a dirty yellow in the drizzling rain. After a moment, his eyes narrow, and he sits forward with hands on his knees.

"Hey, campaign headquarters," Medina reiterates, slapping an open palm on the glass. There's a whirr as the window rolls down, and Medina's driver makes eye contact with him in the rear view mirror. "What the hell is going on, Harvey?" The driver looks away, then rolls the partition back up. Medina, panicked, slaps on the black divider again. "Harvey!"

Scrambling, Medina fishes for his phone on the floor, even as he feels the vehicle take a slow right turn. In shaky hands, he flips it over and starts to dials 911, but it doesn't go through. The bars on the top left of his phone simply read: No Signal. The taste of bile he'd had in his mouth before comes back, and Medina begins to panic. "H— Harvey— Oh my God. Oh my— oh fuck. No!"

Crawling back up onto the seat, Medina begins to kick at the passenger side window, slamming it with his heel. The window, reinforced to prevent forced intrusion by a riotous mob, barely so much as gives. He tries kicking a few more times, then begins screaming wildly for help. The tinted windows offer no insight onto his plight, and the diminishing number of pedestrians cant't hear him through the soundproofed exterior of the vehicle. Pleading cries turn to panicked profanity, and Medina turns back to banging on the partition repeatedly. Tears well up in his eyes, his heart races, face flushes red.

He's going to be killed is all he can think.

Out the window, Medina can see the trails of the rail-yard coming into view. No pedestrians here at this hour of night, few lights too. The SUV pulls up to an open gate, then across a cracked asphalt parking lot and straight into an open warehouse. The panic is so real Medina's stomach twists, and the vomit that had been working its way up his throat since the election results were called finally finds its way down onto the floor. "Oh God, oh God," Medina wheezes, a string of mucus dangling from his lower lip. When the SUV comes to a stop he's stone silent.

A few moments later, black-clad men in body armor with faces unhidden open the passenger side door. One has a handgun pointed in at Medina, the other just steps back and motions outside with a sternly pointed finger. "Go'n make this easier on yourself, Sir." Frederick's eyes flick from side to side, his hands shake, and he tries to recover some dignity by wiping his mouth with his pocket square, then leaves it on the seat as he slowly inches out of the vehicle.

The warehouse is dark, expansive, and feels cavernous at night. Everything echoes here, but the idling of the large vehicle leaves little faint noise to be heard. There's only two men here, both armed, both looking distinctly ex-military enough. Medina breathes in a few shuddering breaths, until he hears the sound of approaching footsteps. From the darkness, a wizened old man in a long black peacoat calmly approaches the vehicle. His tired eyes look Medina up and down, and then with the motion of a gloved hand urge the security team back. They stand down, and Medina is left looking around at the people behind him, and the old man ahead of him.

"What is this?" Medina asks, at first timid, then spluttering with nervous laughter. "You have //no idea the trouble you've— "

"You don't speak," the old man says as he approaches, wagging a finger at Medina who immediately quiets. "You listen, and then you walk away from this hangar a living, breathing man." Tense, Medina watches as the old man produces a phone from inside of his jacket, tugging off a glove so that he can manipulate the touch screen with one finger. He pulls up a live video feed, then steps closer and hands the phone off to a reluctant Medina.

The expression on the congressman's face turns from fear to horror.

"That is your son, yes?" The old man looks to the phone, then up to Medina whose face turns into a contorted expression of rage.

"Let him go!" Medina drops the phone and lunges at the old man, but his arms are restrained by the two armed men. He's quickly forced down to his knees and a gun placed at the back of his head. The old man levels tired eyes at the firearm, then a disapproving look up to his hired hands. The guard relents, moving the gun away from Medina's skull and back to the holster. Slowly, the old man circles Medina and brushes the discarded phone across the floor with one foot, so Medina can see the video.

For a moment, there's silence as Medina watches a video of his son sitting tied to a chair, blindfolded. "Please," he gasps, "please don't hurt— " as if the mere thought of it made it real, a man in a black balaclava steps into frame holding a knife. The old man standing over Medina doesn't look away as the figure walks behind Medina's son, and draws the knife across his throat in a gout of blood. Medina screams, his voice a hoarse cry that rings through the warehouse. He thrashes, gagging and screaming, looking back to the video and spluttering more horrified noises.

"I am a reasonable man, Frederick," the old man says confidently. "Keep watching." Medina refuses, looking away and sobbing uncontrollably. With a nod, the old man urges one of his security team to force Medina's head toward the screen and pulls open his eyes. There, in the video, his son lay dead in a chair with his throat slashed. The masked man has cleaned off his knife, sheathed it, and is now standing beside Medina's son's corpse.

"I find the stick and the carrot, when liberally applied, are equally rewarding." The old man indicates as the masked figure on the video presses a hand to the dead young man's neck. There's a discharge of light and the wound begins to stitch itself shut. A moment later, Medina's son sucks in a sharp, panicked gasp. Once forced to watch, now unable to look away, Medina breathes in gulping gasps as though he'd run a marathon. His hands shake, sweat beads on his brow, and he looks up with tear-filled eyes. He is without words. He is without any response other than the last vestiges of a few shuddering sobs.

The old man smiles, looking down at Medina like some long-lost grandfather come to shower him in praise and gifts. "I require your undivided loyalty, Frederick. Or that won't be the last time you watch your son die." Medina sucks in a shuddering breath, looking briefly down to the phone, then back up to the white-haired old man.

"What do you want?" Medina asks breathlessly, to which the old man replies:

"Your hate."


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