▬ SEVEN: OXYGEN THIEF

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SEVEN:
OXYGEN THIEF !

SEVEN:OXYGEN THIEF !

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ORANGE flames licked the prison yard with a terrifying ferocity, jumpsuits the same color as the flames raced in every direction as the flames tried to consume them. The guards no longer kept order, to get out of the fire, death was the only way.

Another explosion followed the last, spreading even faster, engulfing the flames and the men around, burning their bodies as they let out guttural screams of agony before they silenced, falling to the ground. Charred. Some were able to continue running, though it was impossible to outrace the flames, the Hellfire they were condemned under would continue, no matter where they ran.

A Hispanic man stood in the center, an inferno rolling off his arms, his victory completes as the entire yard burned. A crown levitated above his head made of fire. He grinned in pleasure as he watched the destruction.

"This is my Hell," he screamed over the chaos, only the camera able to hear him. "And nobody's gettin' out!"

The video continued until the tablet Diablo watched it on lowered to show Flag's disgusted face. He stared at the man, sitting alone in his isolation tank, protecting the world from the Fire Lord.

"You did this," Flag spat. "You killed them all. You burned them, and stood there while they screamed in agony."

"I know. I didn't need to see it again. I'll never forget."

Flag turned to Waller with his teeth bared. "Why the Hell wasn't he executed, and be done with? Why keep anything with that much goddamn power alive?"

"Flag!" Chandler exclaimed, appalled by his behavior so much so that she snapped at the man. He turned his blaring gaze towards her and scoffed.

"I wanted him alive... as a precaution," Waller interrupted her subordinates stare off.

"For what? What could possibly be so bad you'd risk working with him?"

Waller smiled her devilish smile and remained without a word. Flag became irritated by her lack of response and handed the table over to Chandler. He refocused his attention to the man. There was no need to be arguing with Waller or become distracted by Chandler, the realization from the night before still fresh in his mind.

"That isn't me anymore," Diablo stated, bringing Flag back from his head.

Waller took a moment to study him, gave a brief smile as Flag took a step forward.

"Sure looks like you, though. Would definitely pass recognition software-but just for my edification, if it isn't you, who is it then?" he asked innocently malicious.

"That guy's dead," Diablo stated, turning away. "He's gone. Now please, leave me alone," Diablo asked of them, raising his hands to produce a flame that said 'bye!'.

"And yet," Waller continued to press, "you say you're dead, but you're still here, while all those you killed remain dead and buried. Which is why you were brought to Belle Reve, your Hell away from Hell."

"Waller, please."

"And I deserve nothing less."

Diablo curled into himself, the two professionals looked at each other before moving away. Waller nodded her head to Chandler to go speak with him. She nodded slightly, wringing her hands before moving to the small window.

"Diablo," she called softly, wringing her hands. Flag looked down and held her hands to get her to stop shaking. "Um, I don't think you really want to die here? We're doing this thing, and um, you could walk around the block again, have a cold beer and other things you may like," she stuttered, unsure what to say. They just threw her into the bullpen.

"Is that what I want, or what you think I want?" Diablo asked with a small laugh, looking back at her with a grin he hadn't found the ability to form in years.

"Oh, I'm not sure, you could really do anything you'd like."

"You're not the first to ask, and you won't be the last, lady."

"Ask what?" Chandler asked confused, her head spinning from the conversation.

"You want to recruit me as a soldier, like all the others, you want to ask me if I'll be your one-man army. You want to use my... abilities as I've done in the past, but now in your name, for your cause, under your, shall we say direction."

"I don't think he's talking to me anymore," Chandler whispered, making a face as she moved out of the way.

"Really," Diablo continued, "this is all about your needs and wants. Not mine." He paused a moment, losing the man and women behind him. "I'm a man, Colonel, not a weapon, and I swear I'll die in peace before I raise my fists again. I've done enough harm."

"Diablo," Flag cut in, his ears hearing the words but his brain not processing them. "You have to understand what we're facing here. What the world is facing."

"The world's always facing one kind of Hell or another, Colonel, but you know the good thing about being locked up in the crematorium for the rest of my life? Nothing happens out there has any effect on what goes on in here."

Diablo turned back to him, raising his hands as flames spelled 'bye' to the three, and he returned to his isolation.

Waller and Flag stood straight, knowing their time was finished and returned to the main facility.

Chandler dawdled behind, turning to look into Diablo's window again, saying to him, "Diablo. I believe you, really, a person can change from events, I know I did. They're wrong to judge you on the past as a person. Not saying I don't think you should be punished for what you've done, but now that you've seen the error of your ways and are trying to make up for it, I believe you'll be granted the right way of passage."

Chandler smiled at his back before jogging back to her supervisor.

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