Dave took the wheel while Rael opened the overhead door, then lowered and locked it.
This time she took the front seat.
“You just slid right through his mental shields, didn’t you?”
“Yep. Shields are a specialty of mine.”
“And you only hurt him to keep him from killing himself.” Dave eyed her. “And that’s why everyone calls you the Empire’s worst assassin? You don’t like killing people.”
“No, I don’t. But I have, sometime in job lots. Assassination’s different. The two times I was ordered to kill someone, I disagreed with the motive, or what I could see of the motive. And for better or worse, both times went public, and both the men survived. Hence my reputation.” She giggled. “I guess I ought not mention the expression on your face as I was getting out the tool kit.”
“Appreciate that.” Dave drove on, then off, the freeway and lined up for the Rome corridor.
“We’ll want the Naples Corridor?”
“Yes, and then east. We’ll detour around a big park, and into an area of small farms and vineyards. Crow was at least courteous enough to stay half a kilometer from the nearest neighbor.” Rael tapped at her phone . . . “Scar, we have a credible on a sniper in Madrid. Don’t let Izzo go outside until we give you the all clear, we’ve got something else to do first.”
It took them another hour to fine the neglected looking vineyard. The weeds had taken over, the vines were unpruned, and birds were having a feast. They drove past, to the picturesque little inn. They parked and walked in, unnoticed. And walked straight to a second floor room.
How detailed is the information she got from Peeve?
Rael circled her fingers near the lock, swished them, and walked in. The man lunging for the table, went limp and hit the floor. Rael picked up the gadget on the table and pocketed it. Snapped open a bag.
Dave stooped and lifted the man’s shoulders to get him into the bag. “I really am just a sensible precaution, aren’t I?”
Giggle. “I might have had some problems with Peeve.” She closed an open suitcase, poked around and added a few things from the bathroom, then tossed the suitcase into the bag with the man.
“And let’s just see about getting eight bomb builders who work for Ycrow packed away, before you start feeling left out. And then we can head for Madrid.”
Rael bagged their car, and they walked in with unnoticeable spells.
There were two women cooking up something nasty, and definitely not intended for consumption. Three guys working on vehicles, two guys and a woman fitting electronics into various items . . . two were a common form of public trash cans, a mail box. Two suitcases, and three battered boxes with shipping labels.
:: Regular little bomb factory. ::
:: Yeah. ::
He could feel her attention on the fellow stepping around the corner . . . and suddenly couldn’t “feel” the man at all.
The second man frowned that direction and stepped around the corner.
Dave followed and gave him good hard shove when he spotted the handles opening. He leaned to check on the woman . . . She was sidling along the wall, pistol in hand.
Bad idea in a bomb factory!
Dave stepped silently back . . . couldn’t really see Rael, but when the woman whipped around the corner, ready to shoot, he caught the flash of the bag handles and she was gone as well.
A faint snort from Rael. And a set of handles. :: It’s empty. See if you can nab the three mechanics, and I’ll go for the ladies who are cooking up the filling for all these little traps. ::
Dave took the handles and headed for the garage.
One man under a truck, one man leaning into the engine compartment of a car. One man walking across toward the large vehicle doors.
Swoop. One down.
The fellow under the hood glanced at him, straightened and jumped back, hitting his head and knocking loose the prop. The hood slammed down, the man jerking his fingers back, cursing.
Dave punched him, Opened the bars and heaved him in. The last guys was rolling out form under the truck, and Dave let him roll right into the bag.
“Humph. Can’t even get into a good fight these days.” He kept his grumble to low volume and eased back into the main part of the house.
Real was looking around in disgust. “There are so many different explosives in here, and I know there’s something set to be blown up remotely . . . I think I’ll spare the local police the potential for a fatal mistake, not to mention Ycrow getting his hands back on these. C’mon.”
Dave looked around as her meaning dawned. “You’re going to set it off!”
“There’s too much here to do that safely . . . hell, I think Peeve’s triggerman might have been too close.”
“Hmm, that’s an interesting thought. Honestly, I kind of liked that man, so professional, the one time I was around him.” Halfway down the driveway, Rael pulled the remote trigger out of her pocket and set it on the pavement. Kept walking.
At the end of the driveway she turned and sat down cross-legged. And glowed as she pulled in heat. Dave stepped back as he felt the air actually cooling . . . spotted the shield . . . a full circle around the little winery and garage, reaching up three times the height of the buildings.
We’re a hundred meters away!
And I can shift a shield out a couple of meters from my body. I’ve seen compasses of Warriors and Prophets do things this big. And apparently a grand compass
Rael extended her left hand and made a index finger pressing motion in thin air.
Three bangs, flashes of light in the windows, then a deep boom as the whole building disintegrated into a roaring column of fire. Dave felt the shock through the ground, stumbled back at the pressure wave. Debris started falling, not too dispersed, as it had gone almost straight up . . .
Dave eased close to Rael and concentrated on a shield for his head and shoulder. The fires cooled to normal flame, with a few pops and bangs, sizzling things hitting the ground. The flames sprang outward suddenly, as Rael dropped the big shield.
“Damn. I’ll never thing of a cold arrogant snob as someone who couldn’t possibly like a big explosion.” She took his hand to stand up.
The little black lump of the remote trigger was still sitting on the driveway. She pointed at it and it melted, flamed a bit.
She grunted. “Good enough. Lets go, before people start showing up.”