Chapter Twelve

Voah ran from the scene of the murder.

It didn't occur to him until he was laying on the motel cot that it was a murder.

But he realized it was.

It wasn't in self-defense. It probably wasn't even justified.

He was a criminal.

Voah twirled the handgun over his head, and then walked over to the minibar, pulling out a beer.

He paused.

What does it matter? I'm not going to pay for this room anyway.

He replaced the beer with a vodka and moved back to his bed, drinking it in sips.

He glanced around the room, looking at the grimy yellow wallpaper.

There was a knock on the door.

Voah gulped down the rest stumbled to the door.

A woman Voah recognized stood at the door.

In his intoxicated state, he forgot where he knew her from.

"Who are you?"

She pulled back her arm quickly, punching him across the face.

He stumbled backwards, crashing into the wall.

A man followed her, holding a baseball bat.

She nodded to the man, and he moved forward, smashing Voah in the ribs. He fell heavily.

The woman spoke.

"Listen, you imbecile. We have a business going here and you're ruining it. You killed our driver. Do you know how much it's going to cost us to replace a driver?"

Voah nodded, coughing.

The woman's lips curled into a cruel sneer.

"It's going to cost you a hell of a lot more."

The man began smashing Voah repeatedly with the bat.

A siren blared outside.

The woman cursed.

"Move," she commanded, "we're out of time."

The man stepped aside as she ripped out a gun.

"You killed our driver. We're killing you."

She fired.

The door busted open, and two cops rushed in, yelling.

The window was already broken. The man and the woman had fled.

The cop looked down at Voah, seeing his injuries.

He rushed down to the man, feeling a weak pulse.



The man was arrested, the woman got away.

Voah lived, and, like any other criminal patient, remained handcuffed to his hospital bed.

The surgeon recommended he be kept for observation for two weeks after the surgery to insure he was healthy.

Three days later he asked for a tube of lib balm. He greased his wrists when the nurse left, slipping them out of the chains. He ripped the toilet seat from the bathroom, crashed it through the safety glass window, and leapt two stories after it.


It was now he began his regular moves. Every month he would take his few belongings and pick a new city, a new hotel, a new name. He did a few odd jobs wherever he could, raking leaves in the fall, shoveling sidewalks in winter. He didn't mind his life, but he was always worried, always paranoid.

He was right. Eight months after their last encounter, they found Voah again when he strolled into a cafe where one of the men was working.

He knew it was the Vanquisher right away, and counted his blessings that they had never met before.

The man followed him back to his hotel, noted the room number, and ripped out a cell-phone.

"It's me. Look, ya' know that guy Jamie was sent to nab a while ago? Yeah, 'The Vanquisher'. Look, I think I just found him. Yeah, hold on. It's at a Econolodge downtown. He's in room 4B. Yeah. Great."

He hung up, smiling.

He knew that the Vanquisher would not escape again.