Chapter 1 - Blackout
Where it all began
Leon woke up with a start. He was lying in an alley, behind the bar where he had been drinking the night before. He sat up and looked around, trying to orient himself. His head was pounding and his mouth was dry. His clothes were dirty, torn and full of bloodstains.
“What the fuck did happen?” he wandered to himself.
He saw the bar's back door was open and heard voices coming from inside. He got to his feet and stumbled towards the door.
As he entered the bar, he saw the place was empty except for the bartender and a few customers. They were all talking in hushed tones, and when they saw Leon, they fell silent. The bartender walked over to him.
"You're lucky to be alive," he said. "You and your partner were taken by the armed men in black."
Leon shook his head, trying to clear it. Did those things really happen? It had all seemed so surreal. But then he remembered the stranger, the weapons, the hit on his head. It was all real.
"What happened to the other man?" he asked. "Who was sitting with me?"
"We don't know," the bartender said. "You all disappeared into the night. We haven't seen you both since." Leon tried to piece together what had happened.
“I know!” Leon heard a woman's voice in the background.
A beautiful blonde woman in a red dress stepped out of the gloom. From afar, the woman looked like she wasn't from this area, Leon guessed that she might have come from somewhere in Eastern Europe based on her accent.
“Who are you?” Leon asked. “The question is not who I am. The question is, who are you?” answered the woman.
Before Leon could answer, the sharp ringing of the phone broke the stunned silence. The bartender told Leon that the sound was coming from pocket of his jacket.
“Strange,” thought Leon, “I don't have a phone”. The blonde woman interrupted: “Don't pick up the phone until we've spoken”. Leon hesitated…