Reacquire! Reacquire! Get back to the Pit and reacquire the target, now! Colonel Peters screamed into his mic. The operation had not only gone badly, it had gone horribly wrong. He looked at the heads up display feed from the snatch team displaying static and still could not come to grips with what that meant. A full squad of men gone and it was his fault. He’d given the order to enter the warehouse, and that had killed twelve good men.
When he’d graduated from Officer Candidate School, his father, a retired infantry General who had little time for those ‘pencil-necked geeks at the Pentagon,’ gave him a speech about commanding men in battle. He’d tried to fore-arm his son on how to deal with men dying under his command. Peters the junior had promptly gone out and called a friend working in a Senator’s office, who pulled strings and got him assigned to one of those ‘geeks’ in the Pentagon as an aide. He’d been working there ever since. He never expected to see combat, let alone lose men in battle. Now he wished he’d listened more closely to what his father said those many years ago.
The displays changed again as both Angela and Billy jumped from the Pit back out looking for Dante. Billy’s stream began to clear first. That boy certainly had a knack for this work. In Billy’s view he could make out what appeared to be cars all around. As things settled down he discovered Billy was in the back seat of a convertible speeding along a wide roadway.
Sanchez, get someone on those road signs. I want to know where he is and where he’s going, he ordered.
I’m on it, sir, Sergeant Sanchez replied. Angela’s stream began clearing as well, a full minute behind Billy’s. He was getting really fast. Her view was up and behind the car though, not in it. Peter’s switched from Billy’s feed to Angela’s.
Angela’s view saw the car from above, a Ford Mustang convertible. He couldn’t tell what year. A backpack and several other bags sat in the back seat in and around Billy’s image. That annoying stream of interference still shot out of Billy’s chest connecting him to Angela. Angela’s view began drifting back slightly then jerked to one side as she took control and caught back up with the car.
I’m in, Angela reported.
Sanchez, can’t you get that static out of my display yet? He asked, making a few adjustments trying to get rid of the line.
Nothing I can do about it now, sir. Hell I’m lucky we’re online at all with the gear I’ve got, Sanchez replied.
Nothing seemed to affect the white hot line of energy. His adjustments only succeeded in making the whole picture fuzzy. He finally gave up for now and got his head back in the game. Cherry, get inside his head and make him afraid he’ll be pulled over by the police. I want this guy to go to ground somewhere he thinks he’s safe, Peters ordered.
Yes, sir, Billy said as he leaned forward. What about that demon?
Colonel Peters had had enough of those little grey-skinned things everyone called demons affecting his missions. I don’t give a damn about those little avatars. They are someone very human screwing up our missions protecting this dirt bag. Now get in there and make his ass park that car!
Billy leaned forward and half his head disappeared through the headrest of the driver’s seat and into the back of Robert Dante’s head. Peters braced for the appearance of the little stony-skinned creature and the white clad people, but nothing happened. The only change he could see was the car speeding up.
He’s going faster. What did you do? Peters asked.
He’s already doing what you want. He’s almost where he wants to go, Billy said. Just then the car shot over a lane and got off the highway.
He’s exiting at Cheshire Bridge Road, Specialist Masters said.
The car came to a light at the end of the off ramp that was just turning yellow. Dante sped through it turning left and going under the highway. The light on the other side was green too so he went through it as well. About a quarter mile further and he had to stop behind three other cars waiting at a red light.
I’ve got a map of the area, sir. Let me know where he’s going and I’ll give you his location as soon as he stops, Masters said.
Roger that. Good work Masters, Peters complimented.
The car moved down the surface street several more roads before turning, driving around behind a two story brick building and parking. In the middle of the first floor there stood a glass door under an awning. The awning was a faded black with white lettering. The letters read, ‘Leather and Lace Club.’ Dante jumped out of the car, threw his bags into the trunk, and headed for the door.
Guardians of the Herald is a weekly serial published and copyright by The Cavalier, Mark Malcolm. For more information about this story please join us on our Facebook page community at www.facebook.com/firstchevalierbooks.