The Trials of Loyalty

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Chapter 18

Alexander didn’t get the information about Viktor Ivanov from Daniel until the next day. Not that he was complaining, it’s not like his target was going anywhere. Alexander would be lying if he said he wasn’t disappointed about receiving the information from Daniel instead of Savannah. Though he had yet to tell her, he truly appreciated everything she had done to help him and Daniel out. He knew that she was putting her neck out on the line for the two of them and he was grateful for that.

Upon further investigation of the information he had received, Alexander saw a list of corporations and buildings that Viktor owned. One of them, a real estate business, just happened to be in the same town in which the mission that killed Johnathan was in. It didn’t take anything to set in Alexander’s mind that this was the man that put the hit out on Johnathan. For what reason, he did not know, but that’s what he was going to find. It was time to bring Johnathan’s real killer to justice.

Once it was set in his mind what he was going to do, Alexander set about clearing all trace of him out of the safehouse. If he came back from this, which he wasn’t planning on, there wouldn’t be any trace of him around.

As he cleaned out the safe house, Alexander couldn’t help but feel guilty. Unbeknownst to Savannah, he lied to her when he said that he would turn himself in. Alexander knew he was most likely not coming back alive, but he needed to do whatever it took to get the information out of Savannah. If it meant lying to her then so be it. It didn’t matter who it was coming up against Johnathan, Johnathan would always win out.

Alexander had begun rolling his clothes up much like they had taught him in basic when his phone across the room began ringing. He found himself staring at it for several seconds before walking across the room to answer it.

“Yeah?”

“It’s Savannah,” She spoke softly, her voice barely coming through the other end. “I wanted to make sure you got the information?”

“I did. You know, in order for two people to have a conversation both parties have to speak at a reasonable value.” Savannah chuckled, keeping her voice at the same volume.

“You seem to forget that we’re not supposed to be having this conversation. Alright, I just wanted to make sure you had gotten the information on Viktor, you know how reliable Daniel can be-“ Before Savannah had the chance to hang up the phone, Alexander cut her off.

“Before you hang up I just want to say- I’m sorry, for putting you through all of this. I realize you put a lot on the line for me and for that I’ll forever be grateful.” For what seemed like the longest time, there was an uncomfortable silence between Savannah and him. Alexander felt himself wincing as he nearly faces palmed. ‘Great going, way to scare her off by being a totally different person than what she’s used to.’ Alexander thought to himself.

Alexander could hear Savannah clearing her throat on the other end before speaking. “Contrary to what you make think, you weren’t the only reason I did this.” He wasn’t the ONLY reason she did this, which meant, for whatever foreign reason, there was a part of her that did this for him.

“Listen, I’ve got to go-“ Savannah spoke even softer than she had before. “I guess the next time I see you will be when you turn yourself in.”

A lump grew in Alexander’s throat as he thought of what to respond to her. “That would be correct.” Before things could get more awkward than they already had or he says something he shouldn’t, Alexander hung up the phone. Once the call was terminated, Alexander removed the back from the phone and proceeded to pull the battery and the sim card out of the phone. He had to be sure an overzealous agent with the FBI wouldn’t try to track him or the call.

Once what remained of his life was cleaned up, Alexander slid the backpack that now contained his life over his shoulders and walked towards the door.

When Alexander reached the door, he found himself glancing over his shoulder. He allowed his eyes to linger over the room before straightening himself and walking out the door, leaving his life behind him.

Later that Same Day

It only took a few hours for Alexander to work out the details on what he had lovingly deemed Operation Redemption. As much as he hated to admit it, he was in no shape to go up against Viktor. He wanted him to pay for Johnathan’s death, but he wasn’t going to go in there without giving him the highest probability of winning.

First things first, Alexander was going to need some help carrying this operation. Stopping at the first rundown payphone he came across, Alexander called the one person he could trust to help him with this operation; Daniel.

Surprisingly, Daniel answered the phone after the first ring. “Whoever this is should know that I’m a navy seal and I have no problem kicking your ass should the situation come to it.”

“Dude, calm the fuck down, would you? It’s Alexander-“ He found himself pausing as he glanced over his shoulder, making sure no one had been following him. “How do you feel about taking down the Russian asshole that killed Johnathan?”

“Where do you need me?” Daniel fired back almost instantly.

“That’s it, you’re in?”

“I don’t need anything else. It’s about time this asshole learned you don’t fuck with the navy seals.” Alexander let out a laugh before continuing.

“Just get yourself to Afghanistan. From there we’ll go and see this guy I know from before Seals. He’ll help us out in terms of arming us to the teeth.” Alexander abruptly ended the call, putting the phone back onto the receiver. Just because he was on a payphone didn’t mean they couldn’t track him, it just made it a little harder.

Before completely abandoning the payphone, Alexander wiped down the phone with a small rag. No sense in getting caught this close to the end.

After nearly a day and a half of travel, Alexander finally reached Afghanistan where he was supposed to meet Daniel. Being an international criminal was really starting to be a pain in the ass for him. He would have gotten to Afghanistan much sooner if he wasn’t because he would have just taken a plane. Because of that, he was stuck catching rides from people for over 2,200 miles just to get to where he needed to.

During the course of the journey, Alexander called Daniel once he crossed into Afghanistan to tell him to meet him in the Band-e amir National Park. Not only were they in a foreign country, but they’d be meeting in a national park. No one would give a shit that they were there.

As Alexander waited for Daniel to arrive, he found himself staring out at the open waters in front of him. The calm sapphire-colored liquid. Surrounding the body of water were these massive natural dams of mineral deposits. It had been a while since Alexander had seen anything quite as beautiful as what was in front of him. After all of the shit he’s seen and been through these past few months, it was nice to just- breathe.

The melancholy feeling came back to rest in Alexander’s as he realized this might be the last time he’ll get to see something like it. ‘This is what has to be done’ Alexander told himself, ‘This is how this has to end. For Johnathan’s family’.

“Excuse me sir but I’m looking for this guy, have you seen him? He thinks he’s this mysterious badass when in fact he’s just an asshole.” Alexander didn’t have to turn around to know that it was Daniel speaking.

“Says the guy whose been nothing but an asshole since the day I’ve met him.” It was at this time that Alexander finally turned around to face Daniel. He stood there, a military duffle carried over his right shoulder. Despite the current circumstances, Daniel had a smirk plastered on his face as Alexander approached him. Everyone around them seemed to be oblivious as the two men got closer.

“Are you ready for this Soap? Cause once we start, there’s no going back.” There was something in Alexander’s voice that Daniel wasn’t used to hearing.

“Ready to Leave, Ready to Follow. Never Quit. I’ve always got your back man.” Alexander simply nodded his head before the two of them walked away from the shore and began heading back towards the entrance.

“So what’s Phase 1 of taking down the Russian Asshole?” Alexander couldn’t help but roll his eyes at Daniel before responding.

“As I mentioned early, there’s a guy I know not too far away from our current location. He’ll help with any weaponry and artillery we might to take him on. Then from there- We go after Viktor.”

“You sure have thought and planned of this out, haven’t you? It’s like we’re back in active duty again.” A small smile caused the corner of Alexander’s mouth to raise.

“Have to enjoy it while it lasts right?”

“I have to ask-“ Daniel cleared his throat, a nervous tone in his voice as he wasn’t sure how Alexander was going to respond. “You don’t plan on coming back alive from this do you?”

Alexander stayed silent for several minutes, his eyes drifting towards the ground. “What’s there to come back to Daniel?”

“I know you did NOT just say that Alex. Come on! What about Johnathan’s kid and wife? Or heaven forbid you’d want to stay alive for your best friend!” There was laughter in Daniel’s voice but Alexander could detect the underlying tone of disappointment in his voice. “Savannah seems pretty important to you.”

Alexander swung his head towards Daniel’s direction as the two of them exited the park. “You don’t know what you’re talking about man. I barely know her!”

“You’re getting quite agitated for claiming to barely know her.” Before Alexander could open his mouth to protest, Daniel continued. “All I’m saying is that you act differently with her then you’ve ever acted with me.” Whether Alexander wanted to protest that statement or not doesn’t matter because he knew that was true. For whatever reason, he acted differently with Savannah. Maybe it was simply because he didn’t know her all that well and so he was being cautious. Or maybe Daniel’s right, he cared about Savannah more than he would like to admit to himself.

Instead of acknowledging Daniel, Alexander changed the subject. “We’re coming up on where we’re supposed to be meeting my guy.”

“What’s your guy’s name?”

“Declan. Pre-warning, he can be a little bit of an asshole. So don’t- be yourself around him.” Daniel brought his hand over his heart as he feigned a wounded expression.

“How rude of you to think of me as a standoffish asshole that doesn’t take other people’s shit.”

Alexander found himself chuckling as he brought his hands up in surrender. “Your words, not mine Daniel.”

The two men walked for a few more feet until they came across a narrow alleyway stationed between two brick buildings. At the end of the alleyway was a man that was roughly six feet tall. He stood with his back to the trunk of a black sedan, his arms crossed over his chest. Alexander had known this guy for years and the muscles in his body tightened at the sight of Declan. He couldn’t imagine how Daniel felt.

Daniel and Alexander exchanged looks before walking down the alley towards Declan. Before the two men had approached Declan, he had spoken up.

“First call I’ve gotten from you in years and what was it for? So I could help you out?” Despite the gruff tone of Declan’s voice, Alexander couldn’t help but smirk at him.

“I’ve already secured the payment for you so why the fuck do you care?” Daniel had kept his mouth shut as they reached the trunk of the car. “What do you have for me?”

Declan popped the trunk then took a step to the side. The trunk was lined with a blue plastic tarp. On top of the tarps was a multitude of guns; both assault rifles and pistols. Tucked into the corner of the trunk was a backpack, bursting at the seems with whatever was inside.

“For what you’re going up against, I’d suggest taking an assault rifle and a pistol, maybe two in case you need to get yourself out a hole.” Declan lifted the backpack out of the trunk and place it on the ground in front of them. “Inside the backpack is anything you could possibly need; grenades, knives, extra ammo, flash grenades. There are also two bulletproof vests. Consider it a gift.” Alexander lifted the backpack over his shoulder and began perusing the collection of guns. After careful consideration, Alexander grabbed an M16 and two Springfield 1911's while Daniel took the AK-47 and a Glock 42 pistol.

After taking a few minutes to dismantle the guns and conceal the parts, Daniel and Alexander stepped away from the trunk as Declan slammed it closed.

“I hope whoever you're going after that they get what’s coming to them.”

“Oh trust me,” Alexander paused. “He’s going to wish that we did come.”

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