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The young man parked his white Gremlin on a side street and stepped out of the small car.

It was afternoon and cloudy. Puddles lined the streets, indicating that it had rained not too long ago. He walked on over to the corner of the side-walk and looked up toward the tall buildings towering over him, watched as the many people walked by him.

Boston. It was a huge city and he had no idea how he was going to find one man in six hundred thousand. All he knew was a first name and the area code. And it wasn’t even the name of the man he was looking for. He cursed at himself for not writing down Lexicon’s or Connor’s number somewhere. When Lexicon came back to retrieve his bike, he had asked to look at Tim’s phone and had managed to erase any phone number of his or his friends from the device, and then he was gone without a word of thanks. Granted, it looked like he was in rough shape: Cut lip, a painful looking gash on his neck that had been bandaged, cuts all over his face… He probably just wanted to get the Hell out of Dodge. Then, a couple of days later, Tim got all the thanks he needed when Lexicon thanked him over the following trickster podcast. He didn’t use his name or even his user ID, but he knew that Lexicon was talking to him.

Tim turned from the corner and started walking down the side walk. The side of his face still throbbed from where his bastard father had hit him the night before in a drunken rage. His mother had previously ran out in the middle of the night, sick of being a punching bag for her abusive husband. She didn’t even say goodbye to Tim before she left. Seemed like everyone was running out on him.Tim didn’t blame his mother, though. It was a bad situation and she was afraid. She left the night that he and friends went to drink in the cemetery, the very same night he had saved his friends from that ghost. They all laughed at him for thinking that Lexicon’s podcasts were true, but they sure didn’t laugh when he whipped out that crowbar and swatted the ghost away.

Tim didn’t even know how his friends found ‘A Ghost in the Machine’, but they thought it was hilarious and the videos even more so. They had listened in to the first two episodes, but Tim wanted to hear more, so intrigued by this crude-speaking smart-Alecky voice’s guide to defence against supernatural monsters.

“This Lexicon takes himself so seriously! He’s either brilliant or insane!” His friends laughed. Tim believed him, though. There was a sincerity in Lexicon’s voice. His videos almost too real looking to be doctored.

He smiled at what his father must be thinking right now. Last night, Tim had stolen his credit card, withdrew well over a grand and placed the card back into his father’s wallet before the drunk bastard even knew that Tim was gone. He could have simply taken the card itself, but his father could have reported it stolen and it would be deactivated leaving Tim high and dry.

He sighed, and figured that the best thing to do now was to go somewhere and get some food. He was starving, so he found himself a diner and walked in. He sat himself at a booth near the window and waited to be served. He heard a TV played in the background.

“-Still no leads on what started the chase that led to the Walmart parking lot where a woman was murdered, and where a trailer parked exploded in the chaos.”

Surprised, Tim looked to the television where a news anchor sat at her desk in a studio somewhere with what looked like a paused still of a blurry action scene above her shoulder.

“-Witnesses are urged to step forward with any information. This was captured at the shoot out that started it all at Hector’s, a small bar in the down town core.”

The clip widened to fill the screen and it started to play. A person was recording a friend talking when massive amounts of gunshots filled the air and a zooming motorcycle sped past. The person holding the camera ran out into the street, trying to get a look at the license plate of the alleged gunner, when the rumble of what sounded like six other motorcycles thundered on. The cameraman quickly looked back at the source of the sound and zeroed in on a man speeding ahead of the rest in hot pursuit of the escaping motorcycle. Tim sat forward in his seat. He was sure that was Lexicon who took off after the biker full throttle. The others followed, all wearing vests bearing a smirking skull holding revolvers. Suddenly more men came out of nowhere and thundered down the street.

“Hey! What happened here?” Tim asked a server walking by, but pointing to the television.

“Gang war. The Men of Mayhem look like they’re starting up again and someone didn’t like the idea.” The server walked away when Tim didn’t say anything else. He slumped back down in his seat. He was sure that he recognized Lexicon in that video, but then again, it was blurry. Sure, Lexicon did seem a take-no-guff-from-anyone kinda of guy but involved in a gang war? When he lectures people about being safe? No, that couldn’t have been him. Tim came to the conclusion that being alone in a big city could make one think that they see people they knew, when, in reality, they were just projecting similarities on complete strangers.

He sighed and looked outside. He watched as four men on motorcycles pulled up to a red light next to the diner. Tim wasn’t sure what he was going to do next. He had no one to call or ask for help. He had nothing to go on. He glanced at the biker’s vests and the patch on them caught his attention: It was a smirking skull. Holding two revolvers.

‘Huh. The gang from the video.’ He thought. He glanced over the bikes and then he saw it: the familiar black and green circuitry pattern on the gas can. There he was, the man he was hoping to find in this huge city: Lexicon. He was smiling and talking with an older looking biker, his left hand casually resting on his thigh. What he said must have been funny, as another older looking biker looked back at Lexicon and laughed. Yep. That was him alright. Circuitry pattern on his bike, the same pattern tattooed on his arm. He’d never forget that sleeve. He stood up in the booth and started to bang on the window to get Lexicon’s attention, but to no avail. The light had turned green and the men revved their bikes and loudly started to pull away. Tim scrambled out of the booth and almost bulldozed over a server carrying plates of food. He narrowly missed her, swung the diner door open and ran out into the street. He was too late. Lexicon was gone. But it led to new answers… Answers that Tim wasn’t sure he was comfortable with. So Lexicon was in the gang after all and it had been him first in line after the biker.

Tim just thought that Lexicon was tough asshole. He thought that if he proved himself to the man that he could be investigative, that he could surveil and follow leads that Lexicon would take him seriously and agree to take him on. He thought that maybe he was just acting that way to push Tim aside, to discourage any further contact.

But if he was in a gang… It didn’t matter. Lexicon was helping people and Tim knew that he was the man that he wanted to learn from. He just had to find him. What was the name of the bar that was shot up? Hector’s? Maybe they knew Lexicon there and could point him in the right direction. It was a start. Tim started to feel much more confident in his decision to seek Lexicon out. He went back into the diner to get directions to Hector’s bar.

After having finishing and paying for his food, which consisted of a club sandwich and a Coke, Tim got directions to Hector’s bar. Even though it was only a couple of blocks from the diner, he went to get his car and drove down the street. After about fifteen minutes of trying to find a parking spot, he finally found one about a block away from the bar itself.

He walked up to the establishment and couldn’t help but notice a few stray bullet holes in the bricks of the building.
“Hector’s.” The sign said above door. He took hold of the handle and pulled the heavy wooden door open. He stepped inside. There were booths lining the left wall, two empty pool tables and a few simple wooden tables sprinkled in in front of the bar. A man stood behind the bar, watching Tim. He seemed to have long black hair, a black handle bar moustache and had a very serious look on his face. Tim walked up to the bar and took a seat.

“What can I get you, my young friend?” He asked Tim. The man had a rough, Spanish accent.

“Information, if you got it.” Tim replied. The man raised his eyebrow and briefly studied his face.

“What kind of information are you looking for?”

“I’m looking for a friend of mine.” Tim paused, and then remembered what that Connor guy had referred to him as. “He goes by Lex?”

The man didn’t respond right away, just looked at Tim.

“What’s he look like?”

“Kinda tall, faux-hawk, rides a bike, circuit board tattoo.”

“Did he do that to you?” The man pointed to the large angry bruise on the side of his face.

“‘Cause if you’re looking for payback, he’ll put you down hard. Surprised he left you walking.”

“No, that was someone else.” Tim answered.

“Hmm.” The man went silent, lighting a cigar.

“So?”

“So what?” He man said, blowing out smoke.

“I guess you know him?”

“The guy that hit you?”

Tim started to get the feeling that this guy was deliberately being difficult.

“No, Lex!” Tim exclaimed, slightly exasperated.

“I might. You sure you’re a friend of his? Didn’t think he hung out with niños.”

“Okay, he’s not a friend, but I need to find him. Are you going to help me or what?”

“Why do you need to find him?” The man then grinned. “Did he knock up your girlfriend or something?” He started to laugh.

“What? No! Look, I just really need to find him. I’m not trying to find him for payback or anything like that. It’s important.” His tone must have reached the Spanish bartender.

“There are a lot of gear heads that come through my place.” He said.

“Well, maybe you know his brother. I can’t remember his name, but he was taller than Lex and a tattoo on his arm that said family, I think.”

“Familia.”

“What?”

“His tattoo. It says ‘Familia’.”

“So you know him!”

“Si. I know Raul. But I haven’t seen him for a while. Only his brother stops in from time to time. Has a soft spot for one of my girls.”

“Do you know how to get a hold of either of them?”

“Sorry, Niño. Maria, though, she would know, but she works the evenings and won’t be in until later.”

Tim paused for a moment and considered his options. He could wait for this Maria to show, or leave to find something else to do and then come back. Maybe he had insight about the gang that Lex was part of.

“I don’t suppose you know anything about the Men of Mayhem, do you?” That did it. The man frowned somewhat and shook his head.

“You don’t want to go sniffing after them, Niño. Boston might be gone and the Worcester crew might be better, but asking about the MC around here will get you into trouble. If you’re not going to get a drink, then leave.”

“Alright, alright! Jeeze! Don’t need to get over dramatic! I was just asking!”

Tim stepped away from the bar and started to make his way to the door.

“What’s you name, so that I can tell Lex that you’re looking for him if he shows up?”

“Tim.” He said over his shoulder. “Thanks.”

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