by John Nation
One of the richest men in the world declares war on Sheriff Johnson and the Pack.
|While Eddie rinsed his eyes, Sheriff Johnson entered his office. He sat at his desk and reviewed the files of the two new deputies that would report to him in less than an hour. They both had bachelor degrees in law enforcement and had graduated in the top tenth of their class from the police academy. He considered his office fortunate to get them.
Once they arrived, he talked with them for half an hour, letting them know what he expected of them and what they could expect from him. He gave them a tour of the office and introduced them to his other deputies. Before he turned them over to the deputies that would be their senior partners and trainers he asked them if they had any questions for him.
'Yes,' one of them said. 'What aspects of operations are you directly involved in? Do you spend time on patrol or do you spend your time supervising?'
'I spend as much time on patrol as I do in the office,' Sheriff Johnson answered. 'There is not a single division of the Sheriff's office I am not directly involved in.' He answered a few more questions before he released them to their trainers and returned to his office. He was pleased with the way his new deputies handled themselves.
The Sheriff began to go through his papers. He was ready to work more on the office budget, but before he got heavily involved with that, he rethought his conversation with the new deputies about being involved with every aspect of operations.
He had not been on traffic patrol in over a year. He worked homicides, burglaries, narcotics, auto accidents and everything else, but as far as looking for speeders, people running stop signs, traffic lights and all other moving violations, he had not done a thing for a long time.
That was a problem he could easily remedy. He reached into his desk and pulled out his book of traffic tickets. The budget could wait another day or two.
Montgomery was in his new location. This time he was in a house at the edge of the city. He believed Miranda and the detective he spotted in the hotel lobby would have a more difficult time finding him here. The people Robinson Sr. called were arriving. Some he knew from previous jobs they had together, but most he did not. They did not talk to him a lot. Instead they cleaned their weapons and formed teams to go after Miranda. They only thing they required of him was her location and that he stay out of the way. He was happy to give Miranda's location and even happier to stay out of her way.
The new arrivals split into two teams. One team began to set up the house as a base of operations to gather information and a site to regroup if the two they were after were not where they were supposed to be or to form a new search in the unlikely event they escaped. The others spent an hour looking over a map of the area around the hotel and assigning which members would enter the hotel to make the kill and which ones would guard all the exits if they tried to escape.
Once each person knew what they were to do they entered their cars and vans and hurried to the hotel. The plan was to finish their business and be out of the city before nightfall.
Whitingham was worried. He was more than worried, he was scared. So far, over three dozen mercenaries were missing and he presumed they were dead. Equal by himself to all the mercenaries, The Assassin was also late coming back. He expected him eight hours ago and every minute that passed without him showing up increased the likelihood he was dead also. Something was wrong, bad wrong. He could not think of any logical explanation how three people in their early twenties could be so deadly. For two days now he had tried to find a way for them to be so lethal. If there was no logical reason he could come up with to explain them, he would try to find an illogical one.
What is out there to make sense of this? he wondered. For five minutes he pondered the question before coming up with a possible solution. Vampires. He believed he had the answer, but before congratulating himself, he knew that was not the solution. He had seen them walking around in bright sunlight. He talked with people that saw them eating, not blood, but the same type of food he ate.
What else had he heard of? He came up with another possibility. Less than six months ago there had been the battle with the demon in Nevada. He did not give that possibility any value at all. He knew they were not demons, at least the kind killed recently. He believed he did not yet have the answer, but he also believed he was homing in on it. What could rival the vampires and a demon?
Then he came up with another possibility. During the Vampire War, there had been a group of people the news kept referring to as Angel Force. The common theory was they died at the end of the Vampire War. But, he asked himself. What if they hadn't? What better way to disappear than by making the entire world think you were dead?
'Interesting,' he said out loud. 'Sheriff Johnson was heavily involved with that event. Deadly creatures capable of destroying the planet had come at him, and not one of them hurt him. Now here he is again, immune to everything coming his way.'
According to all reports, Angel Force consisted of women with strength and speed beyond imagination and the looks of a goddess. These women I keep trying to kill certainly have the looks part down. Is there any reason to think they also have the speed and strength part of the equation?
'Yes, forty something missing mercenaries and one missing Assassin.'
'That's it,' he said at last.
He now knew what he had to do. He was going to get a car, drive out of the town, out of the county, out of the state, and in all probability, out of the country. He would grab the balance of the sixty million Robinson set aside for his use and disappear. The hell with his reputation. If he had to choose between being a live, rich coward living in the lap of luxury on a yacht sailing the Mediterranean, or a reputation after he died stating he never quit, he would chose the yacht.
Igor was in one of the back rooms. Whitingham did not tell him about leaving. Igor would have to survive on his own.
Miranda and Sara stepped off the elevator. They were halfway across the lobby when they saw three men walk in. At once they noticed their hands were in their pockets. They could see the outline of the pistols. Miranda turned away to keep from being seen.
'We can take them, no problem,' Sara said to her.
'I realize that, but we cannot risk a person in the lobby being harmed. On top of that, if three men were killed in the lobby of our hotel, the police would question everyone staying here. That is a hassle we need to avoid.'
They left from a side entrance seconds before more men entered that way.
'It seems as if Montgomery has decided to go for broke. These guys look as if they will start shooting the moment they see us, and worry about the consequences later.'
'Yes,' Sara agreed. 'There is one of them sitting in a van across the street. He must be the getaway driver if it should become necessary. I bet if we asked him nicely, he would tell us where Montgomery is.'
'Let's find out.'
Isaac York kept his eyes glued to the rearview mirror. An Uzi lay in the passenger seat next to him, covered by a towel. It was his personal opinion there was a lot of overkill involved with this particular assignment. He let his opinion slip away. For what he was being paid for this project, he could buy a home and furnish it. The great part was that it did not matter who made the kill. If the targets were taken out by any of them, the entire crew received payment.
He saw movement at the rear of the van. Then his pulse rate almost doubled as he saw the brunette he was after in the mirror. She walked passed him without a clue he was in the van. He grabbed the Uzi and opened the door. He was bringing the weapon up when it was taken out of his hand. At the same instant, the brunette turned around and came back to him. He tore his eyes from her and looked to his left. The red haired woman he had been warned about stood next to him, studying his weapon like it was a device from another world. He did not know how she was able to get so close without him seeing her. He would figure that out in a minute. First he had to take care of business.
He reached for his weapon. The girl holding it moved it just enough to keep it two inches out of his reach. He threw a fist at her. Once she was down, he could retrieve the weapon and eliminate both of them. Before his fist was a third of the way there, she lifted him and tossed him into the van. At the same time, the other woman opened the passenger door and got in. When he attempted to hit her, she grabbed his arm and tossed him into the back.
The girl holding the weapon put it on the floorboard and shut the door behind her as she got in. She started the van and drove off. Despite all his efforts to resist, his wallet was removed from his pants.
'Hello, Isaac,' Miranda said as she read his name on his license. 'I have a onetime offer for you. Tell me where Lyle Montgomery is and you get to live. If you don't tell me, I treat you like this.' She picked up the Uzi and twisted it into a pretzel.
There was no hesitation on Isaac's part. 'He's at a house about four miles outside the city. I would love to show you where.'
'You were right,' Miranda said to Sara. 'We ask him nicely and he goes out of his way to assist us.'
One of the men walked out of the hotel as the van pulled away from the curb. He got a quick glimpse of red hair before it turned a corner. He pulled out his phone at once and hit the top number on speed dial. It was answered before the second ring.
'They may be headed for you,' he said. 'I saw one of the women drive away in one of our vehicles. They have York with them. They could get your location from him.'
He listened for a few seconds before hurrying back to the lobby. A minute later, the lobby emptied as all the men in it hurried to their cars to chase the van down.
Eddie headed back to the mansion to get some sleep. He wanted to lie down without the thought that an assassin might attack him while he slept. Diane and Tonya watched him until he was out so sight.
'This has gone on long enough,' Diane said.
'I see it the same way.'
'No more playing around. Not only is the Sheriff in danger, it seems we might be also. We track these guys down and finish them. Miranda will be back in two more days at most. I would like to have this taken care of so she does not have to bother herself with it.'
'How do you want to hunt them?'
'They have to be close. If I had to guess, I would say somewhere west of us, just over the state line. There is a lot of woods and old cabins there to hide in.'
'Okay, you check west. I'm heading south. There are a lot of houses there with a lot of acres between them. If I was going to hide and I was only a human, that is where I would stay.'
'Alright, we split up. See you sometime tomorrow.'
Diane hurried to her car. Tonya ran south. She moved faster on foot than Diane in her car moved west.
Fifteen minutes later, Tonya left the woods. When she was in the open where she could be seen, she slowed from eighty miles an hour to a casual walk. There was a convenience store a short distance away and she went there to get a bottle of water.
The two cashiers were changing the drawer out at shift change and did not pay her a lot of attention. She took her bottle of water and moved towards the counter where she heard one of the cashiers say to the other. 'I tell you man, this dude was creepy. I still have chills going up my spine when I think about him. He looked like he escaped from a dirty insane asylum. What really got to me was he said, 'Igor can make you scream.''
'Come again?' Tonya asked as she put her water on the counter. 'Tell me about Igor.'
The cashier told her all about the encounter two days earlier.
'Which way did he go?' she asked.
'I watched him until he disappeared from sight. I wanted time to run off if he decided to come back. He moved across the highway and walked about a quarter mile east before he turned down the dirt road there. Take my word for it, this is one guy you do not want to meet.'
'Actually, I do,' Tonya said as she dropped a ten dollar bill on the counter to pay for the water. She did not wait for her change but left the store.