Chapter One: The full moon hung low in the early morning sky, as if it was waiting for the sun to rise and send it on its way. The faint outline of some high up clouds could be seen as they were being sped along by the steady northerly wind. The silhouette of the nearby industrial park was outlined by the lights of the main Downtown area further to the East. The view was one the tall man standing on the rooftop was now familiar with, for he’d occupied this spot for the last three nights running. How different to the views he’d seen in his early life he thought. He remembered how the hills around his simple village and the nearby small town were untouched by man’s industrial might. Then he wondered how much of the future changes he would get to see.
This morning he would not simply be disappearing into the shadows when the sun came up, he would be making his carefully planned move. He knew that as the morning sun crept lazily past the smog and the factory smoke he would either have taken another step towards his long sought after revenge, or alternatively he’d lie crumpled on the floor finally knowing death, as do those many souls he’d sent to the reaper before him.
The chill wind swept past his neck, ruffling his shoulder length black hair. He hardly seemed to notice the cold as despite the icy patches that lay on the ground and against the side of the exposed fire escape stairwell. His breath was not showing the same mist trail as the two security guards standing at either side of the heavily reinforced door on the street below. From his vantage point some ten floors above, he could hear their conversation quite clearly. No other traffic sounds interrupted the steady stream of chatter between them. Nor were any pedestrians braving the early hours of this cold and frosty morning, not around here anyway. Though most of the city was now cleaned up, few people ventured into this area at night unless they really needed to. Even the hobo’s and the junkies kept clear of this place. Tales of demons and such like were spread around the brazier fires of the homeless and the dropouts, and with no one to sell product to, the pushers had no reason to come here either.
“Man, I’ll be glad when this shit detail is over,… fuckin’ waste of time,… standin’ here freezing my ass off,.. I could be home drillin’ some sweet little ass of my own just like them pale faced motherfuckers upstairs”, said the heavy set African American man on the right side of the doorway.
In between each sentence he puffed blasts of warm breath into his hands. He then vigorously rubbed them together to try to keep the cold and numbness at bay. He wore tight, thin, patent leather gloves with the forefinger and thumbs missing on the right hand. A line of padding was stitched across the knuckles of the gloves, and stitched onto the top of this were several layers of coarse wire. From his roof top vantage point the tall man caught sight of the wire as it glinted in reflection from the nearby street lights. He knew the glove was designed to keep his trigger finger and thumb free for both shooting and quick reloading. The knuckles were designed to maximize the damage caused by a punch targeting the eyes. The coarse wire would rip the skin and cause maximum pain and injury to the target area. The blood from the injury would then flow into the eyes and help to blind the victim to any further violence being meted out.
“You still seeing that little rich bitch Cassie”, asked his equally heavy set Caucasian accomplice, situated on the left side of the door.
“I sure am my man, sweet little thing can’t get enough of me”, the black man replied chuckling.
“Jeez! Marlon, you are one lucky son of a bitch, I sure would like to get me someone hot and loaded like her”.
Marlon turned to face his friend to gloat further, “Well that ain’t ever gonna’ happen with her my friend, cos’ now she’s had black she ain’t never going back, and with your tiny little needle dick, you’d need to be loaded to get any half decent lookin’ broad interested in you”.
Above them he’d held his vigil now for twenty minutes or so, waiting for them to lower their guard enough to allow him to make his move swiftly, precisely and silently. Killing them would not be a problem, but to do so and not to raise the alarm to those inside would take something special. He sensed their relaxation as they teased each other over the size of their respective manhood’s. They had moved slightly closer together jostling each other, their minds fully occupied by their banter, their guards down. In that fleeting moment their fates were sealed.
He drew in a large breath and simply stepped off the building falling towards them. At the half way point of his fall, he drew his legs up into a crouching position. His eyes were fixed on the two heads looming larger into his view, as he rapidly descended. As he reached the level above them he initiated the move he’d planned so carefully, extending his legs from their crouched position and sharply locking his knee joints at the moment of impact. His heels struck each of their heads with the force of the fall plus his stamping kick, and had a devastating effect on each of his targets. Marlon’s skull was instantly shattered by the blow, which also forced the upper two vertebra of his neck in through the base of his skull. His partner fared little better, as the kick fully tilted his head back, hyper extending his neck and shattering the upper four cervical vertebra. Both bodies crumpled almost silently to the floor, their thick coats softening the sound even of their hidden armaments crudely holstered beneath them. They’d had no time to realize they were under attack, let alone draw either of the large calibre handguns or the sawn off shotguns they each carried.
A rat scavenging through the overturned bin by the adjacent alleyway merely looked up for a second at the muffled sounds. It assessed that there was no threat to him with nothing moving by the doorway, and simply continued with his scavenging. The drop and the double stamping kicks had been executed perfectly, as had his landing. The tall man quickly scanned around for any sign of alert and noticed none, he heard the rat stop it’s sorting to look up for a moment then continue about its business. He allowed himself a smile, his attack had been just as he’d planned it to be. Then he steeled himself once more ready to continue his appointed task. Rising from his crouched landing position he took a step to the crumpled body that had been Marlon.
“No more hot and loaded young ladies for you my friend” he said under his breath as he effortlessly lifted the limp carcass with one hand and dragged it over to the right side of the doorway again. Once there he placed him into a sitting position, making it look as if he was merely sleeping, with his coat collar pulled up and his woollen cap holding the mush that was now the top of his head in place. Only a small trickle of blood ran from his left nostril and the clear fluid coming out of his right ear had ceased to flow. Not enough for anyone to notice at a quick glance from the side he judged.
Next he returned to the other body and stripped it of its coat and baseball cap. Then he dragged the body over to the other side of the road, to the large industrial garbage bin situated on the corner of the next block. With the use of only one hand he righted the bin and tossed the limp body into it. He threw it like a child would when discarding a rag doll it had become bored with.
The rat now trapped inside the bin and having a large mass of dead human dumped on him squealed in fright and rapidly scampered up the rubbish piled at one end of the bin. Its intention was to run up and leap away to freedom, escaping from whatever had disturbed its nightly sauntering. However as it left the edge of the bin and leapt into flight, it came to a sudden halt in mid-air. Its escape had been halted by a rapidly moving hand that shot out to grab it in mid-flight. The fingers of a second hand quickly snapped its mouth closed to silence the squeal.
“Sssssh! My friend, it’s not you I’m after this evening”, the tall man spoke with a calming voice as he gently stroked the rats abdomen. He heard and felt the rat’s heart beat pounding, but as he stood there looking into its widened eyes and calming it with his stroking, the rats pulse began to slow. The rat kept a fixed wary eye on him, as the tall man scanned up and down the street and alleyway and strained to hear any sound of an alarm being raised.
“Now away with you to somewhere else my friend, there will be nothing here for you but ash by the morning”, he added as he crouched to release the rat onto the sidewalk. Once released the rat instantly ran off away from its captor and squealed wildly as it went.
“Rats! Dumb little rodents”, he ‘tut tutted’ under his breath and shook his head at the escaping animal. Next he returned to the left side of the door and put on the coat and cap, carefully tucking his long hair beneath the cap, and pulling the collar up as if to ward off the chill night air.
After no more than ten minutes, he heard them inside as they approached along the long bare concrete floor. Their boots and weight made a silent approach impossible to one such as him. He quickly pulled out the half cigarette and lit it. As they opened the door from the inside he bent over faking a coughing fit and proceeded to stub out the cigarette bending down to dispose of the filter end in the open sewer grate at the roads edge.
“Ted! That shit is gonna be the death of you one day,…. you should give it up”, the first man said as he exited the door and walked forward.
Turning to his left the guard commander spotted Marlon’s body apparently crouched down and sleeping. The commander frowned deeply as he walked over and kicked Marlon’s outstretched leg.
“….and as for you ya’ lazy motherfucker… You ain’t paid to sleep on the job… Get the fuck up!”
The ruse had worked perfectly, as the commander had gone over towards Marlon to discipline him, the same way he had two nights earlier. The second man had half stepped out of the doorway to get a better view of the scene, another fatal mistake. From his crouched position over the sewer grate the tall man span around one hundred and eighty degrees anti clockwise, rising as he did so and extended his left arm. The karate chop caught the man in the doorway in the middle of his exposed throat instantly shattering his hyoid bone, crushing his larynx and severing his spinal cord. He slumped to the ground blocking the entrance and holding the door open exactly as had been planned.
Next the tall man took a single step forward and grabbed either side of the guard commander’s head, just as he was starting to turn to his left to see what was happening. The two hands sharply turned the head to the right, and the tall man heard the snap of the commander’s neck breaking. The body went limp beneath his grip and he let it fall to the ground. He caught sight of the man’s eyes, now wide and the mouth moving as if to scream and shout, but no sound was being issued and all facial movement stopped within a few seconds.
He turned again and proceeded to drag the body of the man at the door a little further inside, but still kept it leaning against the door to prop it open. Then he went back outside and grabbed the other two bodies by their respective collars. Both heads rolled from side to side lifelessly as he dragged them inside the building entrance. Stepping back outside once more, he produced a large piece of red chalk and inscribed the letter “H” on the front of the door. The letter “H” was a sign to those he sought revenge upon and meant that “Hunters”, had been here, he’d written such symbols around all routes leading to the club before he’d taken up his vantage point. The tall man knew that the signs would deter anyone else from approaching the area. There would be no others visiting the club this night. His task complete he walked back in the open doorway and closed the door behind him.
He piled the three dead bodies against the door, and then produced a hand grenade from inside his left jacket pocket. He lifted the arm of the body on the top of the pile and placed the grenade into the armpit. Lowering the arm again the grenade was both held in position and hidden from view. He then attached a wire to the exposed pin in the grenade and finally attached the ring at the other end of the wire to one of Marlon’s fingers.
“I now pronounce all three of you married and dead, I hope you’ll all be very happy together”.
From the other side of his jacket he pulled out a re-sealable plastic freezer bag full of a brown fluid, which he carefully placed over the arm with the grenade under it. He then took off and gently placed Ted’s jacket over the scene to hide his handiwork. If anyone should escape his attention in the main room above this would slow their escape through the door a little he figured. The brown fluid was a concoction of chemicals which made up something similar to napalm. The grenade if triggered would spread the burning chemicals all around the entrance and make it impossible to leave that way, he planned to do the same to the basement as he left, in order to set fire to and destroy the building.
His task completed he stood up once more and removed his black leather gloves before he brushed his suit jacket and trousers down with his hands. Then he straightened his tie and smoothed his hair while looking into the cracked hallway mirror. Satisfied that he looked how he wanted, he allowed himself another smile. So far so good he thought as he paused for a moment to consider his plan. Now was his last chance to turn back. Once he continued he was in their lair, and things were going to get dangerous, a lot more dangerous. He took a large breath in, and then slowly exhaled. He nodded at his own reflection then turned sharply and began to walk down the corridor. Whatever happened now was up to fate, and he was as ready to meet his as he would ever be.