Drip, drip, drip. Blood fell from Harold Jacobs' shattered nose onto the polished, tiled floor. He feebly tried to look up as he heard a rasping cough, but Valley's thugs did their job too well. A ticking noise came from the man restraining Jacobs. Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. Valley coughed again, and Jacobs saw the old, wizened figure nod to the ticking man. His voice was like his cough, hoarse and sudden, as if every sentence that came out of Valley's mouth could be the last. With his current state, that was probably true.
"Show our guest to his seat, Mr. Tick."
Jacobs was surprised at Mr. Tick's strength as he slammed him into the wooden chair. He had scoffed when Mr. Carter told him about Valley's manservant. The man was diseased, for god's sake, how could he be a threat? As Jacobs tried to gaze at Valley through the ruined remains of his left eye, he realized how wrong he had been.
"Mr. Jacobs." Valley's tone was mocking. Using his stick-like arm, he gently placed one of Mr. Carter's notes on the table. "You are here to cheat me?" Next, he placed a tiny camera in front of him. "Or to spy on me?" As he placed the last item on the table, Jacobs knew that he was as good as dead.
"To kill me?" said Valley, inspecting Jacobs' gun. "A good effort, I'm sure, but Mr. Tick does not miss a tick." Then he laughed. It was the most awful sound Jacobs had ever heard. Valley stopped and grinned at him with rotting, yellow teeth. A drop of blood slid down from his cracked lips from the exertion of the act. "Who are you working for?"
Jacobs remembered what Mr. Carter had told him to say. His voice was a whisper, it was a miracle he could even talk with the beating he has taken. "Global Occult Coalition…mass liquidation of known threat entity…"
"Liar," snapped Valley. Mr. Tick's hand closed around Jacobs'. He had time to look up for a moment before Mr. Tick squeezed. Jacobs screamed in agony as he heard the loud crunching from what used to be his hand. "Who do you really work for?"
Jacobs was sobbing now. The pain was unbearable. "Marshall…Carter and Dark!" he screamed. Mr. Tick let go.
Valley looked worried. "They know of my operation here?"
"Yes." Jacobs struggled not to look at the crushed lump at the end of his arm.
"This is…highly unfortunate. We will have to think carefully of our next move, I think. Thank you, Mr. Jacobs. Mr. Tick, you may kill him now."
Jacobs opened his mouth to protest, but was cut short as Mr. Tick grabbed the back of his head and slammed it into the table. He was killed instantly and the table collapsed from the heavy impact. A cleaner stepped forward and began to wipe Jacobs' brain matter off the wood as two members of security threw his body off the balcony. A few seconds later, there was a far-off splash.
"Our old associates have discovered us, it seems," said Valley.
"Yes," said Mr. Tick.
"Nevertheless, I believe we can continue our operation here. There must be some demand for those things."
"We'll need to raise security, Mr. Tick. I don't want this happening again. I'll run out of tables."