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Betrayal

Short Story

It was November 21st 2001, rain splashed down around me. I was so focused on her that even the cracking of twigs among the leaf riddled ground didn’t catch my attention. She was there, waiting. For what? I did not know. I knew one thing, I was there for when things went south, I didn’t actually know her plan. I was told to wait where I cannot be seen, so I did. The leaves rustled in the trees above, the wind was growing stronger by the second.

What was her plan? Was she going to double cross him, the man only referred to as Jones. I wish I knew the actual plan, but none of us did. Me, Maverick, Dominic and Gabriel were all informed to remain hidden and silent, until given the signal. We didn’t actually know what the signal was, only that we would know when she gave it.

Officially this was my first assignment, the director was not one for sending out inexperienced personnel. I trained for four and a half years for this specific type of mission and within myself, the thought was rumbling through my head ‘Am I ready for this?’ Overcome with determination, ready I certainly was. The woman I was focused on, her name was Erica Morment and she was the leader of our team.

A black SUV pulled up twenty yards or so away from Erica, it’s petrol fumes polluted the surrounding atmosphere. The engine clearly needed looking at, possibly a clean out; may do the trick. Its smell lingered through the air, passing past the tree’s, I recall the smell of fuel reaching my nostrils; what a smell that was. Something was in the fuel, it had a distinct odor about it; but what?

I couldn’t figure it out and it played on my mind for many weeks. Erica watched as the driver exited the vehicle, opening the rear door to allow a disfigured man out. He was extremely scarred and was missing the tip of his nose, he had a scar resembling the shape of a hook across his right eye. This man was no stranger to close calls, he looked as if he had stared death in the face and told it to fuck right off.

Erica looked surprised at the appearance of the man before her, was he not the contact? We knew so little, that something was bound to go wrong. Most of the team didn’t know the official plan and there was no contingency in place if we failed. Yes, there was the remainder of the team; but we couldn’t do anything until we were given the signal.

Through the comm’s link I remember Dominic asking “What’s the signal exactly, is she going to wave her arms or scream. Hell, for all we know the signal could be her dropping down and playing dead, why did we agree to this?” I told him that it was our job and we were her backup no matter what.

The last thing I remember him saying was “Well who is ours?” Erica wasn’t able to give any kind of signal, a gunshot went off and the only thing I remember seeing, was her dying body falling to the cold wet ground. “Noooooo!” I couldn’t hold it in, they killed her. A bullet drove itself from the barrel of the gun, in-between her beautiful eyes and made an exit wound out the back of her head.

BANG! BANG! I shot and kept shooting, Dominic ran from the trees to assist me. His face lined with green camouflage paint, a combat ready man. He was shot down, a bullet penetrated the side of his skull; a quick kill. The man who fired – Maverick.

He had betrayed us, I fired my Benelli B76 pistol and prayed a bullet would catch him in his cocky, perfect face. One caught his left ear, another caught his right shoulder. “Retreat!” He called out. Gabriel emerged from the west tree line, following Maverick to the SUV.

Why? How? I didn’t know what to think as they scrambled into the vehicle. I lunged over the small metal fence ahead of me, sprinting faster than I ever had before. There was no thinking, anger and shock overwhelmed me, which did not help with stability.

We were always taught to remain calm and assess the situation and your surroundings, before making any rash decisions that could result in death. Everything we trained for went down the drain the moment she fell. Firing off many rounds into the vehicle until my clip was empty. They had escaped, those bastards were gone. How did this happen, our allies and friends became our enemies in a matter of minutes?

After chasing the vehicle for several minutes, I realized that there was no chance of catching them. I returned to the enclosed park, where the meet took place; where her body lay in the cold wet rain. Dominic’s corpse just several feet from hers, I approached slowly; my knees began to weaken. The closer I grew to the two of them, the more my legs dissolved to jelly.

Before me she lay, unable to talk – lifeless. That was the moment that something broke inside of me, all I felt was anger and nothing else. I cried while laying my head upon her chest, I kept hoping that I would hear the beat of her heart again – nothing. She was gone. My first official assignment and I lost the woman I loved, a true friend. She couldn’t have known what was going on, could she?

I could hear the sirens in the distance, the echoing sound of several police sirens going at the same time. They grew louder. I couldn’t leave them. I couldn’t leave…her. She wouldn’t want me to stay, someone knew what was going on and I needed to find that someone.

I rushed through the bushes, brushing past the trees, didn’t look back; although tempting. I kept running for miles, until my home was before me. Clothes were needed, only a bag full, time was of the essence. I needed to disappear; no one could know my location or whereabouts.

It was time to transition from the hunted to the hunter, they were going to pay. It could take months, possibly years, the one thing that is for certain; they would all die. The man they tried to kill is dead, they will regret their decision to choose an innocent life over money and research. My search for justice was just beginning, I was going to find the truth; a plan was coming into motion and with every plan. You need a contingency…