By R. John Quisenberry
Garth Sanders sat at the table sipping a straight bourbon when the message came in on his phone over the encrypted messaging system. Somebody had really pissed off the Ruskies! The bounty on the two targets was huge. The system he had in place was supposed to keep his clients from being identified even by him, but everybody knew about the soviet crimelord’s nephew being kicked out of the best bordello in town. He knew the men in question by reputation. They were Japanese. Everybody seemed to like them, so he was going to have to relocate after this job. Still, the payday was enough that it would not be a burden.
The bodyguard would have to go first. While they were regrouping from the death, he could strike the other target. Nobody knew the size of their local organization, but Yakuza did not play when it came to payback.
As he was considering the tools he would need and the best way to be out of reach before vengeance could catch up with him, Garth was surprised by another message from the same job broker. They were adding a bonus for an additional target. It was a surprising target they were adding.
This was going to be a big job! The bonus made it clear that they wanted that one out of the way in the biggest way. The information packet on each target was extensive and included complicated schedules for windows of opportunity.
The bodyguard was still first on the schedule and the bonus was to go last. Then Garth would get out of town on a private vehicle and fly to something tropical out of one of the regional airports.
He put in a rush order for three new barrels for his favorite weapon. The barrels were only good for one shot each and would crumble right after. No ballistics to match. The rounds were powerful enough to get through midgrade body armor and would fragment nicely into sharp shards inside of the target. He also liked to add anticoagulant payloads to the bullets as well. The combination should remove any chance of survival. So far, his bullets had taken twenty-two targets to the grave. None had even made it to the ER before bleeding out. This would be fun!
“Where are we on the troop request for WSFZ?” asked the well-dressed Japanese man behind the ornate black walnut desk. His charcoal grey suit was perfectly cleaned and pressed. The crisp white shirt was stiff enough that it seemed the creases could cut paper.
“We had a conflict with some of the Chinese organizations. We took heavy losses. It will take us a week to get a full contingent in place.” Said the subservient voice on the speakerphone.
“Did we at least win the territory we were after in the conflict?”
“They actually gave more ground than we were seeking. We also recovered a large amount of their merchandise. We should garner a large profit.”
“That is all well and good, but we have an Oyabun and his protégé in danger in WSFZ and they are shorthanded if it develops into a full-blown war as we expect. You need to get a group together fast before this turns into a disaster. We could lose the entire area to the soviets as well as lose some important members of our organization.”
Grey was going over the final lockdown of the systems in the teahouse. Hidden cameras and guns had to be configured and connected to pattern and voice recognition systems and set to target unwanted visitors. Jeremiah had asked him to protect not just the grounds, but the plants and wildlife from harm if possible. This was his last stop in the city. He would be dealing with other issues in the outskirts before going to the “Country House” to hunker down and run their side of the war to come.
He was looking forward to this war. It had needed to happen for a while. Sometimes a fire is the only way to destroy an infection after all. Even the spores of this disease would be destroyed. Yes, rotting flesh was always a danger to the rest of the body.
Later, at one of the outlying offices, Grey set up the monitoring and routed control to the “Country House”. The last stage was to set up the comms relays and the cloud backups to all of the video feed. If the cameras and sensors picked up anything, it was going to be stored off-site and available to the organization. If everything went bad, at least their people would know who did it and be able to get payback.