Chapter 5:



June 11th, 2097

6:32 PM

The three men made a half recovery eventually. The thing that was hurt the most however was their egos. Danze was taking the loss the worst it seemed, as he stayed home for the next few days, drinking alone and listening to slower music. With only a few days until the raid, the gang had a problem with the raid leader’s lost mojo. While Danze sat at the balcony alone as he has done the last few days, the rest of the collective sat in the living room, thinking of what to do.

“He’s a lost cause.” Jockey started. “I even gave him my secret stash! I was really trying.”

Saturn rolled her eyes. “Sure. He needs more than that.”

“Then give him some arse.” Grim added on. “Or did you take your F-Tech already?”

As Saturn punched Grim in the stomach, EX looked to Rikimaru for guidance. “Riki, come on. You’ve been where he’s at. Help him out.”

Rikimaru scratched his chin, silently thinking to himself. He got up and walked over to the glass doors leading to the lonely balcony. “Go to the bar. All of you. I need some alone time with him.”

They all listened, as the Ruiner walked out to sit with him. Danze had his hair in his face, sitting at the edge, looking out at the foggy skyline below. The rain just stopped, and the cool wind blew softly. He looked at his boss, blowing smoke from the crystal. “Hey, Riki.”

“Hey, Danze. What’s up?”

“Ah…” Danze awkwardly laughed. “Just here, as I usually do.”

Rikimaru scoffed. “Come on, man. We all get beat. I lost plenty of fights. You went toe-to-toe with an AKM, man. A model seven since I’ve never heard of one that can change their weight at will.”

“Nah.” Danze shook his head. “I got embarrassed. She wasn’t even using her full strength. If she did, I would’ve been long dead.”

“Yeah, she’s designed to kill. That’s what she’s made for.”

“Fuck. She was toying with me. I was a plaything. All I could do was run. Like I always do. Run. Follow. Run. Follow.” Danze made a face to himself. He blew another puff as he did his self-loathing. “That’s all I’m good for? I’m a shit leader. I fucking know it.”

Riki sighed. “Can’t let shit like this bring ya down…”

“Why can’t I?”

“Because you’re better than that. You know why they call me Ruiner? It ain’t nothing cute.”

Danze shuffled a bit, allowing the boss to speak.

“A few years ago, I was always the life of the party. I was also the meanest. Once I made the Lost, It was nonstop parties. I was smoking and drinking with my family, my crew. At the time it was just EX and Grim. One night we hosted a huge party here. It felt like half of Tokneo was at the spot. I did too much shit. I was off my game. I don’t remember a thing. I was told I killed somebody. Said I raped somebody.” Riki looked at his trembling hands, holding back showing emotions while trauma dumping. “The town called me the Ruiner. I ruined the party and almost the rep of the Lost. I could’ve given up. I could’ve disbanded the group. But I’m here.”

Danze looked up after soaking in his tale. “You stopped parting, though.”

“I don’t trust myself yet.”

“What am I supposed to do? I still feel like a follower.”

Riki placed a hand on his shoulder. “You’re stronger than you realize. You’re tough as nails. All you need is that shot to realize it.”

“Thanks, boss,” Danze said after hugging Riki.