by John Nation
One of the richest men in the world declares war on Sheriff Johnson and the Pack.
|Alex Whitingham waited at the terminal in the Missoula airport. He watched as the plane opened its doors and the steps were driven to it. He smiled as he saw the first passenger disembark. Behind him, he saw a stewardess shaking in fear. This was the one he waited for.
He was not impressed with what he saw. At five feet, nine inches, The Assassin was not particularly tall. His hair was short enough it did not bend over. He did not appear to have amazing strength. He was muscular, but it was obvious he was not a body builder. He did appear fast. His movements were closer to a glide than a walk.
Even though Whitingham was in the middle of a crowd of people, The Assassin spotted him immediately. He moved through the crowd, avoiding touch by any of the bodies jostling around.
He stopped in front of Whitingham. 'You have called, I am here.'
Whitingham walked away. After a few yards, he turned to see if The Assassin was following him. He saw that he was directly behind him. When they were away from people, Whitingham asked, 'Do you have luggage or weapons being unloaded from the plane?'
'I have a shipment arriving soon. The items I use could not get past your airport security. A private plane will land in fifteen minutes carrying my equipment.'
They waited without saying a word to each other. Soon, a small jet landed and moved to a less crowded section of the airport.
The Assassin and Whitingham hurried to his car and drove around to the docking site. Two large trunks were loaded to the car and they left the airport.
Half an hour later, they were in a room Whitingham rented for the occasion. He did not want The Assassin in the same location as Igor. He worried The Assassin would kill Igor if Igor was foolish enough to threaten him.
The Assassin stood in the window, looking at the street below him. He saw several groups paying close attention to the Sheriff's office. 'Are there others in this town looking for the one you have hired me to acquire?' he asked.
'Yes,' Whitingham answered. 'They should not get in your way.'
'They will not get in my way. You will contact them at once and tell them to leave.'
'Surely they can help.'
The Assassin stared Whitingham in the eye. Whitingham felt a chill pass over him as the eyes bored into him. 'You have two options. All of them or one of me. Choose now.' The Assassin moved to the door to leave.
'WAIT!' Whitingham called out. 'They are out of here.' He picked up his phone and started calling.
An hour later, the area around the Sheriff's office had less people studying it as one by one, the different groups left.
Sheriff Johnson turned the television off before standing and moving around the mansion. It was the most beautiful home he had ever been in. Everywhere he looked, he saw only top of the line items. The TV he just turned off was a one hundred ten inch plasma screen equipped with a Blu-ray player. He saw computers a dozen times faster and more powerful than the ones in his office. He even had his own room, given to him permanently and available whenever he wanted it.
As grand as all of this was, he still felt as if he was a prisoner. There were people out there wanting to kill him. He understood that. He also understood the pack members were only doing what they believed to be in his best interest, doing their best to protect him from those out to kill him.
He went to his room and changed from the robe he wore and put on his uniform. He checked his weapon to make sure it was loaded and looked in the mirror to see that everything was in order. Then he turned and left. He got in his car and drove to his office. He would cancel the last three days of his vacation and return to duty. He was slightly angry with himself for taking time off in the first place. If people hunted for him, they could find him easily enough. He would be on the streets and roads of his county, doing what he was paid to do.
'There are three people you desire removed and one you want brought to you alive and unharmed. Within forty-eight hours of you showing these people to me, your wish will be fulfilled. Tell me about them.'
For twenty minutes, Whitingham focused primarily on the pack members. It was his belief they were more responsible for his failures to this point than the Sheriff was. He was ready to talk about the Sheriff, but before he started, The Assassin told him his information was not needed.
'I know a great deal about this Sheriff. He became somewhat of a minor hero during the Vampire War. He was again in the spotlight with all the events that took place in Nevada several months back. It seems he has a knack for being in the right place at the right time.'
'That's the Sheriff. He must be pretty good, facing down the vampires.'
'Bah,' The Assassin replied. 'He never faced any vampire. This group he was in contact with, the ones your government code named 'Angel Force', were the ones that did the killing. They could be a challenge, not this person that has to rely on a gun to kill. He could never challenge and defeat vampires as I did.'
Alex Whitingham opened his eyes wide in wonder. 'You battled vampires and won?'
'I battled the vampires. That fact I am alive is proof I won. I was in New York during the height of the confrontation. In the middle of the night I moved around Central Park. My goal was not to run into vampires, but to elude the police and soldiers with orders to shoot to kill on sight. I considered it good practice.
'For two hours I moved among them, getting as close to some of them as I am to you now. They never knew I was there. I left them to return to my room. I was nearing a tunnel when I felt a slight disturbance in the air. I looked on the other side of the tunnel and focused my attention on one of the bushes. There was a gently wind blowing that night. All the bushes around the one I studied moved in the wind. It did not. The only reason it would remain still was there was someone or something inside of it preventing it from moving.
'I left the entrance to the tunnel and as a shadow moved into the trees. A minute later, I was behind the bush. Inside of it was one of the vampires, lying in wait for anyone that passed by. I knew it was a vampire from the smell. It was a corpse that moved. My fist lashed out and rammed the thing in the back of the head. The skull was crushed and it fell out of the bush and onto the trail. Now it was permanently dead.
'No sooner was it on the trail than three others appeared. I stepped out of the woods to face them. As fast as they were, I was faster. I ducked under the first one and as she flew over me, caved her chest in. I was amazed when she landed on her feet. I determined at once that only a head wound could prove fatal to a thing already dead.
'I was the next one to take to the air. As the other two charged, I leaped over them. Once they were past me, I brought both heels down to the back of their heads and they fell.
'I turned to the female studying me with the same intensity I studied her. 'Are you one of the Wolves?' she asked.'
'She asked you if you were a wolf?'
'Yes. I found the question strange and asked her what she meant. It must have been the wrong thing to say, because she resumed her attack. She charged and she died when with a single swing of my hand I removed her head. I returned to my room with no other problems. Ten days later the war was over with the nuclear explosion in New Mexico.'
'Well, speak of the devil, here's the Sheriff right now.'
The Assassin moved next to Whitingham and looked at the man getting out of his car and moving towards the entrance to the office. They saw him stop and turn towards the street as a young man hurried to his side.
'That's the male I was talking about,' Whitingham said. 'According to several people I talked with that confronted him, he is not to be taken lightly.'
'What are you doing here instead of the mansion?' Eddie asked. 'It's not safe yet for you to venture out.'
'Vacation time is over. I am going back to work,' Sheriff Johnson said.
'Give us a couple of more days, Sheriff.'
'Thanks, but no thanks. I cannot rely on the people of the county to protect me. I am the one with the responsibility to protect them.'
Eddie stopped to look around him. 'It appears as if the people hanging around are gone. I guess they heard you were coming back and hightailed it out of here.'
'All that matters is they are gone. I do not care about the reason why. Also, all ride alongs for the time are over.'
Before anything else could be said, Eddie turned from the Sheriff and faced the hotel on the corner.
He looked at the corner room on the top floor. The Sheriff saw a look of surprise come over him.
'What is it?' the Sheriff asked.
'I felt someone watching me from the top floor of the hotel. In the window were two people. Thing is, I could only detect one of them. It was as if the second person was not there.'
'I thought you said you could detect anyone except for a fellow Wolf.'
'That has always been the case until now.'
'Going to check it out?'
'Too late. They are already gone, and if I moved fast enough to catch them, it would get all the people around here talking about me in ways that would not be good. If they show up again, I will find out why I could not feel the second person. Come on out to the cabin after work. We'll have a little cookout.'
'I thought the bodyguard duties were over?'
'No body guarding. After dinner head on back to your place. You know that Diane can grill a steak like no one else.'
'Steak sounds good. See you for dinner.'
The Sheriff went into his office and Eddie hurried back to French Town.
'How do you know he spotted us?' Whitingham asked.
'He did not spot us. He spotted you,' The Assassin stated. 'He did not see me until he turned to face you.'
'How is something like that possible?'
'I do not know yet, but I will find out.'
'They stepped out of the back of the hotel and moved for the car.
Before reaching it, The Assassin placed a hand on his shoulder. 'Wait here,' he said. 'There are people ahead that have bad intentions for the two of us.'
As The Assassin said that, nine people walked out of an alley. Five more turned a corner behind them, pinning them in.
'We got your call telling us to leave,' the leader of the group called out. 'Problem is, we haven't been paid. If this Sheriff should ever have shown up, we would have brought him to you. We waited exactly where you told us to and obeyed all your rules. We did all you said. It's not our fault he was a no show. Pay us what you owe us and we leave. Otherwise we take the payment out of your hide.'
Whitingham reached into his coat to pull out his wallet. The Assassin caught his hand and pulled it back to his side. He looked him in the eyes and shook his head no.
Whitingham looked back to the group that by now had formed a circle around them. 'Sorry guys. I have been told by the man with me I am not to pay you. If you have any grievances, talk it over with him.'
Before there could be a response, The Assassin was no longer standing next to Whitingham. In a flash he was on the closet person. He rapped two of them in the head hard enough to knock them out, but not hard enough to kill them. On the other side of the circle, two of them reached for guns. Shuriken flew across the space and buried themselves into their hands. They shouted and dropped the weapons. The Assassin made a circle, disarming and stunning all of them. Less than a minute after he started, the fifteen lay on the ground, moaning in pain.
'I could have easily killed all of you,' he said to them. 'Your rotting flesh would draw more attention to this area than is desired at this time. That would make my task more difficult, but still not impossible. Do you want to live and make things easier for me or do you wish to die and cause me an extra hour or two of work?'
The people got to their feet and stumbled away, several of them having to be helped.