Simon did intensive research into Jean Pierre and his associates, those he could identify at least. He knew that if Jean Pierre had his way that they would be killed, and it wouldn’t be quick and easy. Jean Pierre was a sadistic sociopath. He would prefer to use knives or swords to carve up their bodies; the more personal the kill the better.
Sure enough they did receive a call about their decision and hesitantly a very early morning meeting was arranged at the baseball field of the local Middlesex High School. The voice on the other end of the line didn’t appreciate the fact that they felt they had bargaining power, even if they did. The fact that they made demands of their own didn’t go over well, but they did consent…Jean Pierre would be present or there would be no deal.
Their preparation was meticulous. There were some things that were certain. The place was chosen not only because it was isolated but especially because it was close enough to a residential area so that gunfire would draw attention. Certainly they could use silencers, but human screams and unforeseen circumstances could not be adequately planned for on such short notice.
Simon ensured that they each had the latest Teflon vests, resistant to armor piercing bullets and extremely thin and lightweight. Next they decided on which weapons they would take. William was very proficient with the short bow staff and wazhins, Japanese short swords; extremely slim, razor sharp blades about eight inches long. Simon chose throw knives and silencer fitted 9mms.
William’s heart raced, he was a long way from home and deep in the pit of his stomach he didn’t think they had much of a chance of surviving. He had seen Jean Pierre’s handiwork and compassion was never part of it. Simon patted William on the back as he walked towards the door, there were no words.
At the same time in apartment across the street New York detective, Michael Pena sipped hot coffee at his window. He looked at the activity from William’s apartment with detached curiosity at first, but his instincts told him that something was quite right this morning. Keeping an eye on the shadows moving around the apartment he pulled on a pair of black track bottoms, a woolen black tee and a matching hooded top, before checking his holstered 9mm, and four extra clips. As he laced up his sneakers, his very pregnant wife stirred and awoke startled when she didn’t find his warm body beside hers. They were high school sweethearts who rediscovered each other in law school, where against his family’s wishes he decided to pursue law enforcement instead of practice. His father was a celebrated former New York DA and his two older brothers ran a successful law firm, but Michael always preferred to be in the trenches. “Why don’t you work for the state?” she had inquired early on, aware that she was falling in love with her highly principled friend who had chosen a high risk profession. But there was no discouraging him.
Now she was a successful corporate attorney expecting there first child and he spent sleepless nights reconsidering his career choice, wondering how long he could put his dream ahead of his family.
He walked over to the bed and brushed the hair away from her face and kissed her gently on the forehead.
“What time is it babe?”
“It’s about 3:30.”
“How long have you been up?”
“Not to long.” He replied smiling
“I gotta get an early start babe, you gonna be okay?”
“I’m fine baby…what is it?”
Sitting on the bed he took her hand.
“Remember that nice troubled guy I met on my morning jog a couple weeks back?”
“You mean William, from the apartment across the street?”
“Yeah well I think he might be in some trouble.” And with that he rose to his feet and took his keys off the dresser. As he looked back he noticed the look of dread that covered her face and smiled weakly and turned before he lost his nerve.
“Don’t worry honey; it’ll be okay…I’ll be back soon.”
As the door closed gently behind him, she clutched his pillow and wept quietly as if mourning the loss of her dead husband.
The three sedans kept a comfortable distance between them as they negotiated the cross streets on their way to the Middlesex school. Traffic was predictably light at 3:45am and most of the vehicles were manned by metropolitan transit workers making their way to or from work. The lone aged figure at the back of the last sedan, sat crossed legged in an impeccably tailored suit, draped in a charcoal grey floor length trench coat. His erect posture and stillness seemed an affront to his age and belied a strength that seemed to resonate from his very core.
He seemed at ease sitting in the darkened back seat and as they came to a rolling stop he made no attempt to get a better look at the two silhouetted figures standing in front of the batters cage, near the pitcher’s mound.
As the three sedans completed a wide semi-circle around them, William and Simon looked at each other managing a confident smile, but still no words. They had last spoken at William’s apartment, each knew what needed to be done and they only hoped that they lived long enough to see Jean Pierre fall.
The large trees to the west of the baseball field provided Michael with just the cover he needed. He was no more than 300 yards away, close enough that he could hear the gentle hum of the sedans’ idling engines and see clearly the faces of William Morre and a man he was introduced to two weeks prior, FBI Special Agent Simon Franz. As the doors of the sedans began to open, almost in unison, he checked the clip of his 9mm before sliding it back securely into its slot. No one needed to draw him a map, at twenty nine he was one of the youngest guys ever to make detective and he earned the respect of his peers by being more than a college educated trust fund brat with something to prove. He was a cop with good instincts and street smarts and his partner nearly sixteen years his senior was proud to call him partner. He made his way back to his car, he felt he would need back up and prayed that for once he was wrong.
As the figures alighted from the vehicles William felt his stomach twist and it was all he could do to keep himself from gagging. This was it, the end game, they held all the aces and he was sure that nothing awaited Simon and himself but death…