Tag Archive | The Lone Wolf

A Little White Lie – part 14

Finally on their mission, the team is now going after their various objectives. Wil’s hoping all will run smoothly, like clockwork. Why is it that things rarely run like the scenarios?

The second shot was successful and Emory went across followed by Wil, Bennett, and Krall. Lance, Ben and Billy headed down via the ropes Emory had attached. They repelled along the inner face of the wall, landing lightly at the bottom. They were on the wrong side of the building and had to go around. At Ben’s command, they moved cautiously into the confines of the gardens.

Wil watched until he lost track of them in the dark. Motioning the men forward, he sent Krall and Bennett through the adjoining suite. He clamored over the balcony railing after Emory, who was already squatting by the door. Holding up a hand, Emory showed five fingers, then added two more. Seven people inside.

Using a soft tap on his mike to signal Wil they were in place, Bennett indicated four more outside the door. There were usually six, so where were the other two?

A little sleeping gas and the guards went down. The door to the suite was unlocked, but Krall stopped before entering, checking carefully for booby traps. His paranoia was elevated, this place gave him the creeps. Whole mission stank like bullshit!

Wil was not the only one equipped with a cybereye. Krall’s was specifically attuned to explosives and their components. Having the capacity to record and retain information he came across, it was quite sophisticated. The man’s expertise in tandem with it made it nearly infallible.

He saw a trip line, a single strand of filament, thin as a golden hair, running across the base of the doorframe. He signaled Wil to hold and checked more carefully, finding this was merely a dummy. The real trap was further up, and not very high tech, but surely lethal.

Around the door frame, holes had been drilled and filled with lead pellets. If the door opened without the thumb print of one of the guards, it would explode. “Explains why it wasn’t locked,” he thought.

Ripping the glove off a guard, he held it up to the scanner. A green light flickered on and the door eased open soundlessly.

The other two guards were inside and had not been affected by the sleep gas. Leaping at them unexpectedly from the dark, the two Marines hardly had time to yell before they were down. Enough sound escaped Krall’s lips for Wil to hear him. None of the team would have broken radio silence if it wasn’t important, so Wil and Emory prepared to enter the chamber from the balcony.

Easing the door open, they crept in low, but Emory hadn’t thought to check for explosive devises like Krall had. Had they been upright, their heads would have been taken off. As it was, shrapnel flew in dozens of directions, stinging their skin through their protective clothing.

“Wil, two!” Bennett gasped, his breath ending in a guttural gagging noise. Wil knew he was dead. Nothing more was heard from Krall.

The two guards attacked Emory and Wil as soon as the smoke cleared. If they had thought to shoot the two interlopers, they might have been successful, but they rushed them instead, knives out, brandishing them wildly.

The guard nearest Wil fell suddenly, scrabbling at his throat. Blood went everywhere. The second guard hesitated a moment too long, Emory took him out with a projectile hook to the eye. The man’s head exploded as the hook expanded in his skull.

Another guard lunged at Wil from the shadows, flailing his arms furiously. Yet another leaped from the opposite side of the room, jumping Emory from behind. As Wil blocked the flurry of blows from his assailant, he realized these and the first two accounted for only four of the seven original occupants.

The guard threw a lucky punch, getting in under Wil’s guard landing on his chest. With a howl, the man fell back, clutching his knuckles. He had hit Wil’s utility and ammunition belt that was strapped across his chest.

“Hurts, doesn’t it?”

The guard looked up in surprise as Wil’s fingers came up and jabbed him in the throat. He collapsed with a wheeze, eyes rolling up in his head.

Emory was not fairing well. The guard was somewhat shorter than Wil, but about thirty pounds heavier. Wil ended the disagreement with his blade to the back of the man’s neck. The guard collapsed, spurting blood all over Emory and Wil.

With the back of his hand, Wil wiped his face, smearing the blood in ruddy streaks. A quick look around the room showed him that they were alone, except for corpses. The bed was empty! Where the hell was Aurialonus?

A Little White Lie – Part 11

Wil’s putting the finishing touches on his team. He’s now found the last member of the team and has sent Ray to get her.

Ray walked over to the weapons range with care across the pocked and uneven field. He was looking for Abrams who was a long range weapons instructor. He saw a group of recruits getting their first lesson. Wondering if he’d ever been that young and green, he walked toward them. A fresh faced corporal trotted up and saluted. He looked about twelve, Ray thought.

“May I help you, sir?”

Ray returned the salute, once again enjoying his new rank.

“I’m looking for Sargent Abrams.” The corporal pointed to the tall, athletically built woman who was bellowing at some private for fiddling with his safety before he was told. When she had finished, the corporal approached her, pointed to Ray and spoke quietly. Abrams put the corporal in charge of the class and walked stiffly over to Ray, not bothering to salute.

“This better be important! I’m right in the middle of a class!”

“Sargent Abrams, on behalf of Colonel Wilhelm VanLipsig, I apologize for the interruption, but it’s a matter of some urgency. I am following his orders.”

“So urgent it can’t wait an additional thirty minutes?”

“Yes.”

He resisted the urge to tack ma’am on each sentence since he outranked her, but it was difficult. He brought her quickly up to date with the Aurialonus situation. Abrams hesitated one moment more, then stalked over to her corporal, speaking to him for a few minutes. She walked back over to Ray.

“I’ll get my things.”

Ray followed her to her quarters, walking behind her on purpose. It wasn’t in deference to her, he just liked the view. Damn, that woman could strut! He stayed behind her all the way to the shuttle, giving her a hand up.

“Lieutenant Schmidt?”

“Yes, Sargent?”

“May I ask you something?”

“Sure.”

“Is there some reason you’ve been staring at my ass for the last thirty-three minutes?”

He chuckled, trying to think of a plausible excuse. None came to mind. Had to bullshit his way out as usual. “Well, Sargent, I’m a country boy and was raised to appreciate the beauty of nature.”

“What’s that got to do with my ass?” She cocked her head to one side, eyeing him critically.

He held his hands out about the width of her rear, cupping his palms. “Well now, what’s more natural than a man watching an attractive woman? By damn, Sargent, your ass is thing of beauty!”

Abrams sat quietly a moment, then she started to laugh. “Schmidt, that’s the biggest crock of shit I’ve ever heard!”

“Yes, ma’am, it sure is. But it don’t make it not true.”

She gazed at him, eyes moving up and down his body as if cataloging every inch. “I think I’m going to like you, Schmidt.”

He smiled his most winning, charming smile—the one women melted over. “I certainly hope so, Ma’am.” He saluted her teasingly. “Call me Ray.”
* * *

Aurialonus made demands again, gesticulating wildly, roaring in anger. Mediators tried to clarify his stipulations, but no one could figure out what he wanted. Time was running out.

The team was as ready as it could be, given the fact their monkey, Emory, had yet to join them. Penny was briefed on his part and had put in long hours with simulation climbs, but nothing compared to the real thing.

“What if he doesn’t show?” Ben asked Wil worriedly.

“Then we use Penny. Won’t have any choice.”

A commotion in the adjoining room erupted suddenly and Wil heard Ray’s distinctive bellow. Rushing through the doorway, Ben and Wil saw the men surrounding another man he didn’t know.

The man was just over five feet tall, slightly built and wiry. His dark hair was close cropped and his bright blue eyes were hooded like a snake’s. They flickered from one man to another, sizing them up. He didn’t look afraid, just extremely alert as if he were on synthstims.

“What goes on here?” Wil roared from the doorway.

The men surrounding the smaller one moved apart allowing him to pass. Wallace tried to punch him, but Lance restrained him, catching his fist in a vice-like grip.

Setting down his duffel, the little man adjusted his uniform. “Emory reporting for duty, Colonel.” Shuffling his feet, he glanced up at Wil who towered over him by about two feet.

“No rank or salute for a superior officer?” Ben growled.

Emory’s eyes flickered over toward Ben, complete loathing simmered there. Wil’s gaze lingered on Emory, gauging him. There was something Wil couldn’t place. It caused disquietude.

“Corporal Emory reporting, sir!” He snapped a short, saucy salute with a glare at them all. None of the officers returned his salute and he did not look as if he expected them to.

A Little White Lie – Part 8

Wil’s trying to put together a team-10 people to do a seemingly insurmountable job: overthrow a religious despot and rescue the imprisoned royal family. He’s not too happy about the circumstances, but even he has bosses to answer to. He’s started down the list & stirs up some ugly old memories-things better left buried.

Ben ran a hand through his short, dark curls, trying to verbalize his objections.

“Surly, argumentative, always wants to know why. In a damn fire fight, don’t ask me why, do it! If you live, ask me later.” He rolled his eyes heavenward, sighing deeply. “It’s enough to make you want to snuff him yourself.”

Wil frowned. “Is he any good? We need a heavy weapons man.”

Rubbing the bridge of his nose, Ben reviewed what he knew of Walter Bennett. “On the plus side, he’s organized, expeditious, and prepared. Handles a thumper like it was an extension of him. He’s hard wired, but can use any weapon he picks up. Only weapons man I know who’s better is you.”

“Argumentative I can handle. The rest sounds like a go. No one else on that list has his experience.”

Ben shrugged. “Your call.”

“Thanks for the input, Ben. We need a monkey.”

“We have Penny.”

“Not her primary skill. I want someone who lives to climb.”

“Wil you sure you aren’t too close to her? Can you be objective?”

Wil’s glare was withering. “I’m being objective, that’s while you’ll find me another climber.”

Ben’s nostrils flared, then pinched in as he fought down his aggravation. This was exactly the attitude which had irritated him in the last mission. Ben knew Wil always had reasons for his decisions, he just never bothered to share them. In a sense, he was right. Although climbing was one of Penny’s skills, it wasn’t her primary.

“I don’t know any of the others. Use the eenie, meanie, minie mo method.”

“Penny!” Wil bellowed in the voice he usually reserved for the field. Penny dog trotted into the room, snapping a passing salute.

“What?” She looked annoyed and he wondered what he had dragged her away from, not that it made any difference.

He thrust the list at her. “Know any of those? We need a monkey.”

“I can be monkey.”

Wil shook his head. “You’ll be pulling back up with Ray.”

She frowned, but said nothing, her eyes scanning the list as rapidly as his own would have and he wondered what all had been done to her.

“Most of these names are meaningless to me, but this one,” she pointed to the last name on the list, “I associate with something.” She paused, staring just above Wil’s head and he could have sworn her eyes moved as if she were reading something.

Making a face, she blinked once and looked back at Wil. “Not that one. Pick any of the others.” She handed the list back to Wil, pushing the hand held computer into his chest.

“Why?” She had turned away, walking toward the door. Stopping, she turned her head, glancing over her shoulder.

“Bad karma,” and said nothing more. Squaring her shoulders, she huffed out of the room, back to whatever she had been doing.

Ben pretended to be terribly busy with something else and said nothing. Wil looked confused, blinked rapidly, a slight flush rising in his cheeks. He walked to the nearest computer console and called up files on “Emory, R.A.” What he saw made him less happy than before.

“Look at this guy! Every mission he’s been on in the last five years has ended in disaster.” Ben leaned over Wil’s shoulder, reading the information on the screen.

“Last man standing every time? Only one left of ten, last of fifteen… this sounds kind of fishy to me, Wil. Each was a team like ours, super soldiers. Isn’t that what the brass call us?”

“I have a bad feeling about this guy, Ben. But you know, I think his luck has run out. I want him on my team.”

“Are you crazy? We could all end up like those others with him last man standing again!”

Wil’s face went blank. “I’ll put him against me any day and bet heavily on myself. If he’s taking out our kind, he’s a traitor, just like Lil.”

Dellani Oakes is the author of “Indian Summer” available from Second Wind Publishing. Look for new sci-fi novel, “The Lone Wolf”, coming soon from Second Wind.