Black Retina – Prologue

BLACK RETINA

written by J. Geronimo Herrera

PROLOGUE


STANISLAUS COUNTY, CA

He couldn’t see anything. He could only listen. Listen to the sound of the engine rev as the truck made its way down the dirt road. His body tossed and jerked at every turn.

No one could've imagined Nathaniel Reyes to be anyone's victim. He isn't exactly the kind of guy you mess with. Not because he's big and strong, or knows how to fight, he didn't. No, he is much more dangerous than that.

Nathaniel is the number two man of La Creacõn, one of the most powerful cartels in Mexico. Responsible for over 90% of cocaine distribution into the United States, and the root cause of increased violence in Baja, its no wonder why the US and Mexican government wanted La Creacõn gone.

For years, they tried penetrating the organization to take down their big boss Don Beto. They never even got close. Leaks in the department mixed with corrupted law enforcement gave Don Beto free reign. He was untouchable. Still, the heat was on. Then  Nathaniel came into the picture, and suddenly things changed. Crime went down in Mexico almost overnight and the US soon begin to lose interest. That's because Nathaniel had a vision, and it was far from the traditional crime game.

A master negotiator with a knack for business, Nathaniel expanded the scope of the organization from drug trafficking to venture capitalism. He started off by investing in small tech startups. With businesses shifting to digital, Nathaniel saw the potential in getting in on the game. And it worked, because before anyone knew it, La Creacõn was financing some of the biggest tech giants in the world.

The truck comes to a stop. The doors open and two hands pull Nathaniel out and throw him to the ground. He lands hard. The two captors bring him to his feet and push him forward, cursing at him all the while. Nathaniel holds his hands out in front, careful not to run into anything. 

Where are you taking me?!

black retina
Photo by Cristina Gottardi

He hears the sound of locks jingle. He stops walking. The doors open. The captor yells at him in Spanish.

 captor

"Get the fuck inside!"

The captor shoves Nathaniel inside the CONEX box. Nathaniel tries resisting, but the men are too much. They tie him up to the ceiling and raise him up upright to where his toes barely touch the floor.

nathaniel

"Get me the fuck dow--"

The captor delivers a blow to his gut. Nathaniel gags. The vomit seeps through the bag.

gentleman

"There'll be none of that."

The captors turn to face a Caucasian man waiting in the shadows speaking with a European accent.

 

gentleman

"“Please remove the bag before he suffocates in his own vomit”

They do as they’re told. Nathaniel coughs, then looks up to see two heavily tattooed Latino gangsters staring him down. The storage container smelled of must and the hot air made it hard to breath.

The man in the shadows approaches. He’s clean-cut and dressed in an expensive two piece suit.

black retina
photo by JD Mason

gentleman

“I do apologize for that.”

He takes out a handkerchief and wipes Nathaniel’s mouth.

“That’s better. I hope you weren’t handled too roughly getting here. We were very anxious to talk to you, so I apologize if this is an inconvenience.”

nathaniel

“Who are you?”

gentleman

“My name is not of any importance. I won’t be here long. Once our meeting has ended, I will move on to something else. So there’s no point in exchanging pleasantries.”

He removes his coat and lays it on the table, then reaches for his briefcase.

“What is important though, is the reason for our meeting. There is information you have that is very valuable to my client. I’m here to collect it.”

He pulls out a small sleek blade and places it on the table. Nathaniel frowns at the sight of it.

gentleman

“Now there are many ways of obtaining information. I myself prefer the less messy way, talking. I do hope you feel the same.”

He sits on the corner of the desk and taps the blade on his knee.

gentleman

“You have upcoming trade deals with Anuman Pradtana of Thailand, and the leader of the French Famille Unie, Astor Chappelle. I’d like to know specifics. Would you care to share?”

Nathaniel doesn’t respond. The Gentleman nods and walks around behind the desk. 

gentleman

The alternative to dialogue can be very, intense. I’m asking you to please reconsider.”

Silence again.

The Gentleman sighs, then reaches into his briefcase and pulls out a candle and bible. He places them on the table and lights the candle. He kneels in front of the bible. Before bowing his head, he turns to the two captors watching. They look at each other, then awkwardly kneel.

black retina
Photo by Colin Carey

The Gentleman brings his hands up in prayer and bows his head. Nathaniel looks on confused.

gentleman

“In the name of the father, the son, the holy spirit. Lord I come to you this day with bad intentions. You may shed tears for what’s about to happen, but you must understand my reason for doing so. It is not within me to change who I am, and I don’t wish to. I tell you this in truth. I don’t ask forgiveness, and I don’t ask resolution. All I ask is understanding, and if you will not grant me that, then I’ll see you soon.”

He blesses himself, rises, turns to Nathaniel, and raises the blade to his face.

gentleman

“I really don’t want to use this, but you leave me no other choice.”

Nathaniel spits in his face. The Gentleman calm wipes it away.

gentleman

“Very well. Let’s get started.”

From outside the CONEX box, Nathaniel’s scream echoes through the open fields.


CREDITS

Written by: J Geronimo Herrera

Images:
– Conex Photo by J GERONIMO HERRERA
– Lock Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash
- Man Photo by JD Mason on Unsplash
– Bible Photo by Colin Carey on Unsplash