matapam (pamuphoff) wrote,

_Guardsman_ part 49

He watched her unbag the car and flop into the back seat.

“Wake me up when we get to Madrid.”

He shook his head. “Drink a bottle of boost or something.”

“Where’d I put that tape? Good thing you thought about labeling them. This is getting silly. I’d better label these bags before I lose track of them.”

All the sirens were coming from behind them, and they were several miles away before the white clouds of steam joined the black smoke column in the rear view mirror.

Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow, and this will have all been a bad dream. Weird dream. Holy crap, how powerful is this woman? Okay, I know she said shields were her specialty . . . but that was amazing.

And she if she checked back with Urfa for permission to kidnap multiple people and blow things up . . . Well, maybe I’ll pretend I missed the call.


In Madrid, they drove past the swank restaurant where Izzo was scheduled to meet the locals. Rael pointed behind them. “That’s the building. Just three floors, so he’ll have a clear shot under that nice high portico as Izzo gets out of the limo. Take a right.”

“Peeve was thinking he’d be on the roof, but we can’t count on that. The sniper may have decided to get lower, so we may have a bit of a search. Drive past it . . . good, a back door. Park and let’s get to it.”

Dave stepped out of the car . . . and stared in consternation. “It’s red!”

Giggle. “A shield that only lets through a narrow spectrum. An ordinary illusion won’t fool a camera. I’ve got a detailed block over the license plates, too, and scrambled the electronic ID. C’mon.”

“When did you do that?”

“Right after we left the winery. Pity I didn’t think of it sooner. There may be records of us visiting the inn.”

Dave subdued a whimper. “I think I see why Urfa wanted me to shadow you. I had no idea of the scope of a Presidential agent’s permitted actions.”

Rael grinned at him. “It’s a matter of trust between Director and Agent. Urfa trusts me to follow the meaning of his orders—in this case, to keep the election as bloodless as possible—while breaking as few laws as possible and not landing him in too much hot water. And I trust him to not order me to do anything I would find morally objectionable.”

“So . . . what happens with a new President and new Director?”

“That . . . may be a problem. There’s a good chance I’ll resign. No trust either direction. Well, I’d trust Izzo, but he won’t trust me. And . . . well I don’t know who he’d want as a director. ”

Dave winced. Because who is going to trust her to . . . eliminate a bomb factory with no fatalities? Who can she trust to not order her to kill a political opponent? Or a foreign diplomat. Or Xen Wolfson?

She reached into her bag and pulled out another set of handles. Handed it to him.

He followed her quietly up three flights of stairs, and watched while she leaned on a locked door . . .

“They had a magic alarm on it. Looks like the two people up there are our target.” She opened the door and slid through. Dave followed, closing the door silently behind him. Thinking invisible thoughts as he ghosted up the last flight of stairs and out onto the roof.

Only the break in the continuity of the line where the parapet met the roof clued him into the location of the sniper.

Rael’s half imagined distortion stepped out and gestured across the roof. :: There’s spotter . . . signaling? Damn, Izzo . . . ::

The distortion disappeared and he heard her running foot falls, and bolted after her.


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