It's friday and you know what that means! well, maybe not...But either way you now know it is time for the Writers Guild.
I've been away as host, but I'm back and I have two great stories for you today!
First up is @impurestcheese with the latest issue of Patron Saint of Crime!
Marsiposa Drive, El Paso
Dressed in a shabby trench coat, the grizzled haired wolf of a man approached the police officer standing on the street corner. He coughed twice causing the officer to turn and glare at him as a second police officer ensconced in an alley turned on the lights of a police cruiser, the high beams blinding the approaching figure.
“I came to talk to you about Bochanegra.” The trench coat wearing man coughed. “And the sale?”
“Don’t know what you’re talking about?” The officer stated before switching off his radio and motioning for the man to follow him into the alley, the pair squeezing past the cruiser and into a dead end cut-through behind it. “Let’s see the money?” The Officer asked. The man nodded and brought some crumpled hundred dollar bills from his pocket. “Good.” The officer stated, “We can do business with you Mr…what was your name?”
“I’m called Soko in the trade.” The man told him as the officer passed him a baggie of white powder.
“And what business is that?” The officer asked as the client took the baggie and pocketed it.
“Revenge.” The man hissed as he pulled out a double bladed knuckleduster and stabbed the blades into the officer’s eyes. “And Death.”
The Church, Under Altura Park
Detective James Grady stormed through the postern gate into the ‘Church’ a hidden facility buried under one of El Paso’s parks, the nerve centre of a top secret undercover police operation. So far it had produced results but the events of last night represented a shift in the criminal population’s behaviour. The deaths of Officer Olson and Detective Gordon last night had changed that, with the city still remembering the ‘Crossbow Killer’ as the media had dubbed the slayings the Commissioner had quickly pointed the blame at the same culprit. But Grady knew better, despite that he still felt a twang of barley contained rage as he reached the communication centre.
“Hey James!” An African American technician shouted, “What brings you into the afterlife?”
“Where’s Siwang?” James spat. “And don’t tell me she’s out Vance. I checked the garage and saw that she had left the radio on. She used to do that when we were kids, stay in ear shot whilst doing something else.”
“Relax she went to check up on Jael.” Vance answered. “Making sure she’s happy, or as happy as you can be if you’re stuck down here.”
“Trust me it’s not better up there.” A woman dressed in metallic silver set of hotpants and matching bra. Blowing a few strands of brunette hair out of her eyes, she threw Vance a USB key before watching as he dropped it under the desk causing her to roll her eyes. “Careful with that, it contains the locations of Bochanegra’s Chop Shops from Juarez to Mesquite. I really have to thank Siwang for placing a tracer on that rental car; it really sped up the data acquisition process.”
“Any trouble Helen?” James asked.
“Nothing I couldn’t handle.” Helen answered as Siwang emerged from one of the chambers off the main hall, her cheek supporting a long fresh slash. “Psi what the hell happened? Last I heard you and Romeo were going to collect protection money from a drug dealer not playing with knives.”
“That’s nothing; you should see what happened to the other guy.” Siwang stated blankly, “I ended up breaking his fingers and managed to stop ‘Romeo’ from putting a .38 in his head. By the way where are we with placing him in Bochanegra’s organisation, he’s on retainer and my gut feels he’s not just another thug. Hey James long time no see”
“We have a problem Maya.” James stated, “Someone killed Olson and Gordon last night. The official line is that you’re responsible.”
“And the unofficial line?” Siwang asked. “Also it’s Siwang when I’m working not Maya.” She added coldly.
“The same as the official one.” James sighed, “And you’ll always be Maya to me.” He answered.
“Gordon and Olson were dirty.” Helen interrupted, “There names have come up on drug trafficking reports as well as several police brutality reports. No concrete evidence but everyone knew they were sitting in Bochanegra’s pockets.”
”Who in this city isn’t?” James stated, “All the cops who haven’t taken bribes are either dead or down here. It’s why we set this up, to fight the cities corruption. But still someone other then May…I mean Siwang is targeting law enforcement officers. And worse they left a calling card; both of the victims had a pair of .50 calibre shells hammered into their eyes. This was all happening while the victims were still alive, they didn’t resist and toxicology screens came back with traces of Tarantula Hawk Wasp venom which contains a pain enhancing compound.”
“So were looking for a gunman who prefers to be up close and wants his victims to be in as much pain as possible.” Vance summed up, “We meet the nicest people in our work. Judging from what you described we can assume our killer was looking for more then just to get his ‘jollies’. It sounds like he was looking for information.”
“What about the shells?” Siwang asked, “What story do they tell?”
“Striations on the casings suggest that they were fired from a Zastava M93 Black Arrow Sniper Rifle. Its Serbian made and was used in Kosovo as an artillery spotter’s weapon as well as for anti-material operations. Forget bullet proof jackets one of these rounds can punch through light steel plating.” James announced. “Short of a rocket launcher you can’t get any more firepower on the streets.”
“You’re not going to let that go are you?” Siwang hissed as a well built old gentlemen walked over dressed in military fatigues, his cane tapping on the floor as he made his way over. “Leon might be able to help you track down the gun.”
“You mentioned a Black Arrow Marksman Rifle?” Leon asked, his California accent standing in sharp contrast to the Texan drawl of the others. “And wasp venom, did you check the base of the shells for markings?” He continued as ‘Kiss Me’ by the Cardigans echoed around the room. Reaching into the pocket of her jeans Siwang pulled out a mobile phone with ‘work’ labelled in Chinese characters down the side. Walking away from the group she answered leaving the others to turn their attention back to Leon.
“When I was in Kosovo I killed a lot of guys who were monsters but the worst was a man called Soko which translates from Croatian to the Falcon. He was a mercenary sniper working for anyone with enough cash to hire him. He left an easy trail to follow back then; you just looked for bodies with rounds engraved with a falcon on the base, that or you found kill charts where he had been, tables with the number of people he had killed from each faction.” Leon sighed.
“What about the wasp venom?” Vance asked. “Why is that significant?”
“As bad as the tally charts and bodies were the worst thing Soko did back in Kosovo involved children. And not the kind of thing you’re thinking of.” He added as Helen scrunched up her face. “He would use to dart kids in the villages with something, we never knew at the time, which made them go mad. It was only when we found those who had allergies to wasp venom that we knew what was behind it.”
“Jesus this guy is a sadist!” James yelled. “And now he swapped Kosovo for El Paso. The question is why?” He asked as Siwang turned off her phone and walked back to the group.
“That was ‘Romeo’. Bochanegra is calling a security meeting in an hour.” Siwang stated, “He wants me there, something has got him running scared.” She added turning to look at James. “And I’m going to find out who and why.”
And after that we have @knightofthechronicle with a continuation of his story!
"Under the Cloak"
Even though she's looking at it right now, there's no way that Caroline can believe it.
Argus, in front of the little girl, her bodyguard Terry and fifteen other men, just took off his cloak to showcase an absolute freak show.
From his head all the way to his waist, Caroline can clearly see dozens of blue eyes staring out into the world, never blinking. Argus, which Caroline had figured from the way the coat fit him, was muscled like a heavy weight bodybuilder, but with all of the eyes it's almost impossible to tell the different muscle groups.
For a second, all that Caroline can do is stare, her shriek still reverberating off the walls of the alley. Argus turns his head toward her, revealing his heavily eyed face and smiles, "Are you finished?"
Caroline nods stupidly, her brain still trying to process the man's appearance.
"Good." Argus says, and then without even turning his head, points and shoots his gun at one of the fifteen men blocking their path.
This shocks the men back into the real world, they're own minds trying to process the monster of a man standing before them just like Caroline. They all simultaneously begin unloading their guns, all aiming at Argus without even a second glance at the Caroline and Terry.
With a nearby dumpster within reach, the two dive for cover while a barrage of bullets wiz by them. From the safety of the dumpster, the two watch mesmerized at the ensuing battle.
With the help of his many eyes, Caroline guesses, Argus easily dodges the incoming bullets. Expertly, he unloads his own gun, hitting his mark every time. One by one, all fourteen remaining men fall to the ground dead. All but one.
This last man, shivering in fear of the demon before him, cowers in the middle of the alley, having dropped his useless gun to the ground. Argus approaches the cowering man carefully, gun at his side, all eyes giving off a terrifying glare. Argus kicks the man to the ground and puts his boot onto the man's chest. The man tries to struggle under the weight, but it's clear that he's not going anywhere.
"Who put the hit out on Jonathan Nyles?"
The frightened man mumbles something under his breath, the weight of Argus' boot making it hard for him to speak.
Argus takes some of the pressure off of the man's chest.
By now both Caroline and Terry have joined their large companion.
"I…Don't know his real name…but-"
"'But' what?" Argus asks, cocking his gun and aiming it at the man's head.
"But he told us to call him Mr. A! That's all I know, I swear to God!"
Argus' eyes narrow at the man, but he holsters his gun and takes his boot off of the man's chest.
The man get's up faster than Caroline can believe and runs out of the alley, bothering only to look back at Argus once before he goes out of sight.
"Well," Terry says, "That answers one question."
A Long Time Ago…
It was sunset, a magical time of the day, but it was almost impossible to see the setting sun behind all of the incredibly dense trees of the forest.
A woman, dressed in a flowing white robes, strides confidently into a small clearing, her sandals softly brushing the ground until as she comes to stand at the center of the clearing. She looks around her surroundings, smiles at the pleasing breeze that blows through her robes and raises her hands.
Faintly, her eyes begin to glow with a golden light. An aura of the same light begins to spread over her body, becoming brightest at her hands and eyes. Suddenly the ground begins and a large spire of earth rises upward.
The woman stretches her hands toward the spire and her golden light stretches outward until it covers the spire. The spire begins to rise from the ground as the light becomes brighter and brighter. Slowly, it begins to morph. The top part of the spire splits into three parts, becoming a head and two arms. The bottom splits into two parts, becoming two legs.
The now human shaped form continues to morph, its body now becoming the likeliness of a normal mortal man. Its body becomes covered in skin and the regular mouth, nose and eyes appear as well.
"You may breathe now," the woman says, "My creation."
The newly formed man takes a painful first breath; he's eyes wildly taking in his surroundings.
"Do you know your name, man?" The woman asks.
The woman smiles at this. "Your name is Argus. I am your creator, Hera."
Argus nods his head.
To Be Continued…