I actually meant to post this on the 27th, but I kept putting it off and then in the evening I went to bed, forgetting completely that I hadn't posted this. But let's pretend this is the 27th and I'll just say....welcome to Writers Guild Presents, a community group dedicated to the telling of stories and showcases only some of the great writers on this site.
Patron Saint of Crime # 13 - Contrails
Truth and Consequences, 120 miles north of El Paso
Reaching the top of the hill the pair of bounty hunters approached the man sitting in a chair, a table loaded with weapons laid out in-front of him.
”Are you the Gunsmith?” The woman asked as the man in the seat got to his feet, his expensive suit standing out like an ebony beacon amongst the red rock of the outcropping.
“I am you must be Mr Zimmerman and Ms Sedova.” The Gunsmith answered, “I have the lot you requisitioned right here. These toys should help track down the woman you’re looking for.”
“I don’t see anything I can’t get from one of Bochanegra’s gun bunnies down in El Paso.” Zimmerman growled.
“Really this is an Israeli Tavor-21.” The Gunsmith stated in a bored voice. “It’s equipped with an M-203, IR Scope and can be fitted with a Corner Shot for those tricky shots around cover.”
“Still not impressed.” Zimmerman stated as the Gunsmith placed a second weapon on the table. “Keep going.”
“How about this, it’s a Vektor SS-77, a good machine gun on it’s own but made better with these.” Gunsmith announced as he fished out a pair of helmets. “The camera scope feeds to these helmets; it allows closer cooperation when taking part in asymmetric warfare.”
“Nice but costly, besides our target is known for hiding. What do I do if I need to clear out a building she’s hiding inside?” Zimmerman asked.
“That’s dangerous thinking Ken.” Sedova hissed as the Gunsmith removed a case and open the latches to reveal a rocket launcher.
“This is the Soviet RPO-Z Shemel. Think of it as the basted offspring of an RPG and a flamethrower.” Gunsmith told them. “There is one more thing, the special lot Ms Sedova’s associate requisitioned.” He added as he led the pair to a Toyota Hilux fixed with a catapult launcher on the back, a drone aircraft snugly sitting ready for deployment. “The Boeing Scan Eagle, no weapons but lots of cameras, with this you can track your prey for hours without them even knowing you were watching. Now will you pay with cash or credit?”
“Lead.” Zimmerman said coldly before shooting Gunsmith through the head. “Thanks for the weapons.” He added as Sedova looked on in displeasure. “Let’s see if these are as good as they say they are.”
El Paso International Airport
Silently standing among the crowd the Asian woman waited, scanning the arrivals for the woman her employer had contracted. Looking through the hordes of jubilant families, shady smugglers and air crew she spotted who she was looking for and moved to intercept.
“Miss Johansson I assume?” She asked as she gave the woman wearing a business suit and stiletto heels a quick once over to make sure she had no weapons on her.
“And you must be Anna Yick, I expected your employer to meet me personally rather then send an underling to escort me to the test site.” Johansson stated in a bored sounding Scandinavian voice.
“Where is Valkyrie?” Yick asked looking at the briefcase Johansson was carrying, “I was expecting the equipment you are due to be field testing to be brought with you?”
“In a sense it is.” Johansson stated. “I have the Black Box controller with me while local employees of Raido’s Military Computing subsidiary pick up the hardware from the freight terminal.”
“Ah well in that case let’s get you set up.” Yick announced. “Give you some time to stretch before you initiate the field test of the remarkable device. Mr Weaver has many high hopes about the results you and Valkyrie will produce.”
“There is one thing.” Johansson sighed.
“What’s that?” Yick asked, her voice not displaying the tendrils of panic creeping around the edge of her mind.
“We still don’t have a pilot.” Johansson answered. “And until we find someone acceptable Valkyrie is fifteen million euros worth of metal and coolant.”
Truth and Consequences, Seven Hours after the Execution of the Gunsmith
The beat up Chevrolet Impala stopped at the base of the hill, the approach sealed up with crime tape and guarded by two stern officers. Climbing out of the car the two men and one woman walked up to the barrier. The former were dressed in suits, the later was in blue jeans and a pink tank-top supporting the words ‘Vanish’ across the front, a silver crucifix with a green emerald in the centre hanging over her clothes.
“Ah Hector we were told that you were coming.” One of the officers stated as one of the men handed them a suitcase. Opening it the officer saw that it was lined with hundred dollar bills and smiled, a gap toothed odd smile. “Ah and how long did you want with the crime scene?”
“An hour should do although Bochanegra had us pay for two plus money to keep you quiet.” Hector stated as he handed his partners a pair of gloves each. “We won’t disturb anything too much.” He added as the three criminals slipped under the tape and wandered up to the summit.
“That was easy.” The woman stated. “If I had known it was easier to buy cops rather then kill them I would have started years ago.”
“Unlikely Siwang. You don’t have the patience or the practice that Hector has.” The second man stated as Hector stopped in front of the chair and empty table arranged on-top of the hill.
“It is a talent Romeo.” Hector answered. “Still I’m more proud of what comes next.” He added as he looked over the crime scene. “The victim is Smithy Weston, an arms dealer known for being able to acquire almost any conventional weapon in the world.”
“Bochanegra was in the process of acquiring a pair of Plasan Sand Cat armoured cars from him.” Romeo announced. “Something about heavy protection for his mansion after a recent attack on one of his drug dealers south of the border.”
“Armoured Cars were not on our murders shopping list.” Hector announced. “I have an invoice for six assault rifles, two LMGs and a thermobaric rocket launcher plus ammo for all the weapons. There is something else as well but it references an invoice that has been removed from Weston’s records.”
“I have tyre tracks and footprints here.” Siwang called, “Looks like something heavy was being transported out of here.” Walking over Hector bent down and studied the prints, taking a few photos, before walking to the track that led down off of the hill.
“The vehicle is a four by four, I can’t tell make and model until I can get back home but Weston’s clients are a different story.” Hector murmured. “One was a heavily built man; the other was either a teenager or a woman. Both wore steel capped walking boots and made numerous trips to the car, they either had a lot of equipment or were looking for something.”
“There are no shell casings anywhere.” Romeo added. “I don’t suspect the incompetents that make up this berg’s police force found them which suggests that these people were professionals.”
“A strong hypothesis.” Hector told him before walking back to the invoice. “Weston was shot here, splatter suggests a medium calibre round, possibly a .38 calibre; anything more would have caused traumatic severing of the head and upper neck. Hmm if they did clean up they forgot something. Two of the weapons have cameras, easy enough to trace given the hacker has enough skill.”
“I just need to visit…well you can guess.” Siwang spluttered.
“Don’t pee on the crime-scene, the last thing we need is contamination.” Hector warned her.
“Man how much can she honestly have left.” Romeo sighed as Siwang slid down the back of the hill. “She made us stop five times on the way here.”
Looking over her shoulder Siwang crouched behind a rock and called a number up on her phone, within seconds the person on the other line had picked up.
“Vance make it quick; tell me you have a position on those guns.” Siwang hissed.
“Give me three minutes, by the way the bug in your necklace picked up everything since it was activated, including that god awful rendition of Corner Shops - Brimful of Asha the three of you were singing on the way over. Okay got it, those guns are back here in El Paso, get back here and I can narrow the search further.”
“Good.” Siwang answered. “And I will make you pay for that quip.”
“Nah you can’t.” Vance answered. “I stand by my guns on this one; you were terrible so do me a favour butcher something that’s not on my play-list in the ride home. I’m begging you.”