one single snippet from a chapter from my rewrite of my novel
Enjoy and comments are welcome!
The agent stepped around an end of the brick wall and approached another gate. It was fortunate for her that the Church didn’t believe in using security systems and keeping people out from their facilities. Now, all she had to do was get into position and wait for the priest to walk into her sights…
Unfortunately for her, a man stood waiting for her. She looked at his immaculate suit and sighed. While he was a fixture around the Reichstag, this was the first time she had seen him off world.
“What are you doing here?”
“Mabus,” God, his placating tone drives me nuts, Mabus thought. “My associates are most displeased. Almir isn’t on the path we have planned for her. Why is that?”
The plan, she thought, always the damned plan. Didn’t anyone consider the idea that one Katherine Almir might be harder to manipulate then they thought? The woman was a natural born killer…she had survived on Necko for fourteen years and had been further refined under Claudio Reyes’ tutelage! There were many things the woman was, but a fool who was easily manipulated she was not.
“Have you considered the fact that the plan your associates have might not work?”
A burning pain assailed Mabus and her legs buckled. As she fell to her knees, the agent gasped. God, it was incredible, the amount of pain the Fuhrer’s associates could muster!
“You would be wise, Mabus,” the man said, his voice never rising above a mild tone. “To do what you’re told and not question.”
“Yes, yes, I understand! Just make it stop!”
The pain left as sudden as it arrived. Kneeling in the cold rain, Mabus felt the cold stones through her cargo pants. God, she never wanted to experience that again!
“Just remember,” the man said. “You’re two associates, the ones who have ruined out plan, they won’t be so fortunate.”
“What do you want me to do?”
Kate watched the priest close and lock the door. His hair was gray with black streaks and she couldn’t shake the feeling that she had seen him before. With a brief bow, the man motioned for her to walk with him down a corridor.
“How long have you been with the orphanage, Father?”
“I have been with Father Church for thirty years, my child.”
Kate pulled the hood down and she ran her hands through her damp hair. She looked at the priest and both eyebrows rose. After all these years, one of the people responsible for sending her to Ferini was within grasp. What to do? What to do?
She passed the priest and started to walk down the hall. A chill ran down Kate’s spine and she shivered. The sound of blood lust pounded in her ears and it took every ounce of self-control to not give into it.
If the priest knew how close he was to her killing him, he would run for his life, she thought. How many people, both friends and lovers, had she lost over to years due to the actions of people like this man?
However, much to Kate’s surprise, another feeling started to grow in her. It was a fatigue, but not one that was physical. She stopped and closed her eyes.
God how tired I am of killing, Kate thought. How many people has it been and how long will they haunt my dreams?
She turned around to face the priest. With a sigh, Kate rubbed the bridge of her nose. Could this man possibly remember her? And if he did, would the priest answer the questions to come?
“Father, is there a place where we can talk?”
“Certainly,” he opened a door and led them into a study. Outside, the rain fell on the courtyard.
“I know what you want to ask, Katherine,”
“How do you know who I am?” Kate’s eyebrows nearly reached her hairline.
“In the past few months there had been several people who have visited,” That was troublesome, Kate thought with a frown. “And some of them have had pictures.”
“Who were these ‘people?’”
“There have been representatives from Fleet Intelligence,” Damn Reyes, Kate thought, I’m going to kill him! “Along with Hilgarian’s and a third person, a man, who was creepy to say the least.”
The Hilgarian’s were interested in her past? Kate shook her head while she attempted to let it all sink in. If the Fuhrer was taking an interest in her personally, then life would be very interesting indeed. Especially since the man was known to have a legendary murderous streak. If he wanted her dead…Kate shuddered to think about it.
“The Hilgarians,” Kate said. “Are surprising to say the least…but what is this about another man?”
“Yes, he was a strange fellow. You have never seen someone more immaculately-or expensively-dressed but there is something unsettling about him…like he feels he has the upper hand always.”
Kate took a seat and closed her eyes. Who the hell was the stranger and why was he interested in her? How did all of this connect to the destroyed Hermes and missing Repulse?
“What did he want to know?”
“Your past, Katherine, how long you were here and your transition to Necko.”
“Why? He give any reasons?”
“Has anyone else been here poking around?” Kate ran a hand through her hair; now she remembered who the priest was and rage started to build in her stomach.
<April,> Kate sent through her link. <Do a quiet search in Intelligence’s computers and find out who has been snooping into my past.>
<I’m on it, Captain,>
“Now, I have one question, Father: why?”
“Don’t play coy with me, Father Lindros,” Kate said. “You were in charge of the orphanage when you sold me-and most of the children-to Ferini. Did you think I’d forget who you were?”
“Katherine,” Lindros looked at the floor. “I-we-didn’t have any choice at the time. We were out of money and none was coming from the Church due to the corrupt government. When Ferini offered to…exchange money for you we had to take it.”
“‘Exchange money for you,’” Kate said slowly. “Is that the new euphemism for selling people into slavery? The last time I checked, the Church was against slavery in any form.”
“They don’t know what we did,” Lindros started to ring his hands.
“And they would remove you from the clergy if they found out,”
“And give me one good reason I shouldn’t tell them, Lindros? Do you have any idea what Ferini did to us?”
“Let me clue you in,” God I hate this man for making me think of Necko again, she thought. “We were thrown in an arena when we arrived and those who survived were trained to fight-and kill-those who didn’t were lucky.”
“Oh it gets worse. He trained me, molded me, into the perfect killing machine, Father! Do you want to know how many people’s blood is on my hands due to your decisions? Here, let me make it easy for you: hundreds! How does that make you feel? You took an innocent child and let the monsters turn me into a killer! If there is a God above, he’ll damn you soul for what you did!”
<Captain,> April interrupted. <I have some information for you.>
Kate stood up and walked across the room. She opened the door, stepped through and slammed it shut behind her. With a sigh, she ran a hand through her hair. Lindros didn’t see the consequences of his actions, that much was for certain; but was she right for the reaction his naiveté had brought out?
<What have you got?>
<Captain, the computer logs show one agent sent to the Orphanage three months ago.>
<Who was it?>
Mabus picked up the sniper rifle and placed the scope to her eye. Lindros sat in the chair, alone in the room since Almir had stepped out. There couldn’t be an easier shot then one of a stationary target. If she couldn’t hit the priest…
Almir would have been the better target, she thought, but the man had been absolutely certain in his orders: no harm was to come to the Intelligence Agent.
She took a deep breath and pulled the trigger.
Kate heard glass shatter followed by the sound of a thump. Instinctively, she pulled out her Kimber and reached for the door. After all the training Reyes had given her, there wasn’t a doubt what the sound was: Lindros had been shot dead.
She opened the door and stepped through. Lying on the floor, blood pouring for his head, was Lindros. One of the large picture windows was shattered, the rain starting to soak the wood floor.
Whoever shot the priest did it to silence him, she thought while approaching the window.
Kate looked outside and saw a moving shadow in her enhanced vision. Without thinking, she launched herself at the shattered window. What was left of the glass burst outwards as she landed on the muddy grass beyond. Ahead, the shadow turned and started to run for the nearest gate.
The rain stung Kate’s face as she took off in pursuit. With an annoyed growl, she tried to pull the hood up but it fell down again. Fine, wet hair didn’t matter right now; catching Lindros’ killer did.
Kate stepped through one of the orphanage’s gate and saw the shadow duck into an alleyway. That was a mistake, she mused, because now they would be in an enclosed area. If they had wanted to lose her, then the best bet would have been to continue down a public street. But, this would do nicely indeed.
A wolfish grin crossed Kate’s face as she rounded the corner. Her quarry should be close by which would make capturing-or taking down if necessary-easier then it would have been otherwise. Kate pursed her lips while she walked, many thoughts on her mind.
I don’t want to kill the assassin unless it becomes necessary, she thought, because a dead person can tell no tales.
Kate scanned the alleyway and skidded to a stop. Where the hell was the shooter? He or she should have been right here, but they were gone! Goddamn it! Don’t tell me that they had escaped!
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