DS jumped awake. A smack to the back of the head tends to do that. Looking up, he saw Christian standing over him with a smirk on his face. “Was that necessary,” he asked the eternal.
“I needed something to wake your ass up. Besides, there’s a story on the news that we should see.”
The newscaster began, “To recap our top story, we now have footage of the men who have been terrorizing our streets at night. This video was shot last night by a security camera. The Rosewood Hills Police Department asks that if you see either of these men, you contact them immediately. Do not engage them in any way. They are armed and very dangerous.”
The scene on the TV changed from the anchor, to the videotape. It showed Gabriel and Father Michaels standing over fresh kills. They both took a second to glance at the camera before running out of the picture. What they left behind were several dead bodies and the message to send DS. The anchor came back on, but before he could speak again, Christian turned off the TV.
“What’s that all about,” DS asked. “Why go on a public killing spree when he knows that you’re after him?”
“How should I know?”
“Right. Who’s the other guy?”
“He’s a priest named Father Michaels.”
“What’s he got to do with any of this?”
“I have no idea, but I saw him buying weapons from my son. What he’s doing with them, I guess we know now.”
“This is getting way too complicated. Too many pieces in a fucked up puzzle and I’m stuck in the middle of it.”
“Quit your bitching. Right now, we just need to focus on our objective.”
“How? We got nothing to go on.”
“I came up with every trick in the book. I’ll get these bastards.”
Rally stepped off the plane. She didn’t want to be here. How much had DS gone soft that he couldn’t take down a mark by himself? They had cut into her vacation time for this. I should be on a beach right now, she thought. After all this is over, she kept thinking, I’m seriously going to consider taking DS out. He’s become too weak for this since he had that kid. Making her way to the designated rendezvous point, she found her teammates, Brace and Charr.
“Who are we waiting on,” she asked them.
“You’re the team leader,” Brace responded. “Don’t you know?”
“I was in Buenos Aires partying it up. Next thing I know, I’m hung over with a message beeping at me. The only thing I know about this mission is that DS is too much of a pussy to do it himself.”
Charr slapped Brace upside the head. “Dumbass,” he sarcastically commented. “We’re just waiting on Silver. Her plane will be here in half an hour.”
“Good. You can use this time to fill me in on the details. Brace, you wait here for her. We’ll be at the bar.”
Father Michaels paced as Gabriel looked over a map, plotting tonight’s activities. He was glad to have help on his quest, but was a little upset that Gabriel was now in charge. After all, it was his mission, not Gabriel’s. How did this happen? What had he done to upset the ‘Lord’? As all of these thoughts were swirling in his head, he heard his partner speak.
“I’m sorry,” he apologized. “What did you say?”
“Wake up, priest. Get your head together before we go leave tonight.”
“You’re right. Again, I’m sorry.”
“We will strike here, and here,” Gabriel said pointing to the map.
“But that’s the same area as last night. Why…”
Gabriel jumped out of his chair and grabbed the priest by the throat. “We must establish a pattern if we want DS to find us. Otherwise, we will never get him.”
Father Michaels struggled against the man’s grip, but to no avail. With the power he was given, he should have easily been able to free himself. He couldn’t break out, though. His breathing started to become labored. This was not supposed to be happening. ‘God’ had promised him that nothing could harm him until DS was dead. How had this arrangement gone so wrong?
Gabriel finally released his grip and the priest gasped for air. When Father Michaels regained his composure, he looked hard at his ally. There was a change in him, Gabriel could tell. As much as he hated it, Death said the priest was necessary for this plan. He had to smooth things over now.
“Look,” Gabriel sighed, “I’m sorry. I don’t know why I reacted like that. This is how it must be done. There’s no other way.”
Father Michaels was skeptical of the sincerity of the apology, but said nothing. This was how it was decreed to be done. “I apologize as well. After all, who am I to question the Almighty’s wisdom?”
Gabriel accepted the priest’s words and went back to relating the night’s plans. All the while, Father Michaels wondered if it was too late to back out of his quest.
Christian and DS were also preparing for the task at hand. They took out a map of the city. “Ok,” Christian began, “Where was that video from last night taken?”
“Right here,” DS answered. “Why?”
“They’ll be somewhere around here.”
“What makes you think that? Wouldn’t it be smarter to move around? If they develop a pattern, the cops will start to catch on to them.”
“Think about it. Do you murder someone when you know there’s a video camera taping it? No. Not unless you want to get caught. They want us to find them.”
“Maybe they didn’t know about it.”
“They looked right at it. Even if they didn’t know about it before they did it, they saw it afterwards. If you weren’t trying to get caught, you’d have found the tape and destroyed it. They want us to know it was them.”
DS couldn’t argue with that logic. “So, we’re walking into a trap?”
“Sounds like fun.”
“It will be for me.”
The assassin rolled his eyes. As soon as the sun began to set, they headed towards their destination. They settled in an alley, looking out for potential victims. A homeless man, who called the alley his home, wandered up to them, begging for money. In the blink of an eye, Christian had ended the man’s pitiful existence. Then, a voice came from further down the alley.
“Life can be so cruel sometimes,” it said, followed by a menacing chuckle.
Christian walked towards the sound of the voice, but couldn’t find it’s source. Then, the darkness of the alley began to take shape. When it was in human form, it spoke again. “You have been summoned, Life.”
“What the hell do you want, Shadow?”
“Is that any way to speak to a fellow eternal?”