27 August 2008

Unholy Crusade, part ten


Jeremy felt like he was floating, detached from everything around him. The world swam around him in a haze of dark clouds and confusion. Somewhere, he could not tell if it was close or afar, a gunshot sounded. He saw flashes of light, shouts and cries, snatches of barked orders. None of it seemed to register fully in his mind.

The girl was there; the one from the meeting. She was fighting someone. Had he also been at the meeting? Was this the meeting, going on right now? He could not be sure. The man pulled a gun, fired at the girl, hit her full in the chest. She staggered backward, almost fell but righted herself at the last moment and lashed out at the man, hitting him square in the face with the palm of her hand. Now he staggered backward, lost his footing and fell.

The girl dropped down on top of him, landing with her knee on his chest. Jeremy heard a cry of pain. Was it from the man? He could not tell. It did not matter. In Jeremy's mind, none of what he was seeing or hearing mattered. The man on the ground lashed out with his fists, sometimes connecting with the girl, sometimes not. She did not seem to care.

She reached out with both hands, took hold of the man's head and twisted.

Now Jeremy was looking up at the girl, seeing her in detail for the first time. She was attractive, but it was not her looks that made her so. She looked plain, the kind of girl he wouldn't give a moment's thought if he passed her in the street. But there was something else also, something that held his attention. He couldn't put his finger on it.

She took her hands off him and stood up. He could not breathe. He could not move. His thought tightened as he gasped for breath that would not come. He could feel his mind going cold and numb. His body felt like it was no longer part of him. It was lost in a sea of agony. The bitch had broken his neck! He was going to die, and she was the one that had killed him.

She walked away, and he saw she was no longer the girl from the meeting. Now he looked more closely, he could not believe he had thought she was a girl at all. It was Reggie. Reggie had done this to him. The old bastard! He'd set this whole meeting up to get rid of Jeremy and his men.

The world lost focus and once again Jeremy was floating in the cloudy realm where nothing was real. His mind burned with rage. He thought he could trust that old bastard but he had been wrong. Now Reggie was going to pay.

He woke in a cold sweat, sitting in the leather chair by a fire that was no more than barely glowing embers now. The whisky glass was still in his hand. He looked at it like it was alien to him.

'Then why was he not there?'

The German's words echoed in his mind. How had he known? Who could say.

All that mattered right now was that Reggie Dixon was going to pay for what he had done tonight. Good men, loyal men, had died because that old shit had ratted them out.

He would pay dearly.

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