tagNovels and NovellasHeavy Traffic Ch. 01

Heavy Traffic Ch. 01

byBobbyBrandt©

Some men deserve to die, but these three deserved to spend the rest of their miserable lives wishing they were dead.

Sean "Recon" Wallace heard the woman screaming as soon as the doors to the van had opened. Noticing headlights in the pre-dawn darkness he had watched the van driving to the remote cabin of his neighbor Glenn Parker as he was cutting through the woods on his way to his own cabin about a mile farther into the southwest Georgia wilderness. The winding dirt road the van had chosen only had one destination, and Sean knew that Glenn neither invited guests to his cabin, nor welcomed them. Glenn's lack of hospitality wouldn't be an issue however, because he was currently in Washington, DC arguing a court case on behalf of one of the several Native American tribes that he represented on a Pro Bono basis.

Glenn Parker took pride in the history of his cabin and resisted any impulse to improve upon its rustic nature. His great-grandfather had built the cabin out of hardwood logs that he had harvested himself from the land surrounding the site. The fireplace was constructed from stones that had once sat on the riverbed of the Flint River before the Army Corp of Engineers had dredged the channel to accommodate deep draft vessels. There was no glass in the windows, only shutters to open and close as the weather dictated. There was no running water, but there was a well pump handle mounted over the soap stone sink along the interior rear wall of the cabin as well as one on the side of the outhouse. Glenn would often be found by Sean using a bow saw to slice strips from a cedar log in order to have replacement shingles for his roof. The effort required to maintain the old cabin wasn't extensive, and Sean knew that Glenn relished the manual labor involved after having spent his professional career behind a desk or standing in a courtroom.

Sean had left his own cabin well before dawn to check his traps. He had retrieved his captured prey and had expected to be back to his cabin before sunrise, but this diversion would obviously delay his plans to leave for the 250 mile drive to Atlanta. Tying his trapped Muskrat carcasses to the branch of a Live Oak tree, Sean had quietly approached Glenn's cabin from downwind as he had learned even before his Marine Corp Force Recon Training had tattooed the skill into his conscious and unconscious thoughts.

Not that there was much wind on this Wednesday morning in the middle of May. Later in the afternoon, as the heat of the day increased, the thunderstorms common to the area would likely arrive and bring with them gusts and possibly tornadoes, although these tended to stay to the north of this location. For now, Sean was comfortable with the temperature in the high sixties and the pre-dawn skies clear.

Establishing an observation spot about 20 feet up on the branch of a Shagbark Hickory that had already sprouted most of its new growth leaves, he was in position prior to the van's eventual arrival, and he was well situated to witness the intentions of the men by both their words and their actions.

Reverting again to his training, Sean assigned 'Tango' designations to each of his targets. Tango One was acting as a leader of the group, giving orders to the other two as he used a knife to start cutting the clothes from the woman. He was just under six feet, early forties, with a protruding forehead, dark Slavic hair and caveman-like features. Tango Two was about the same height and build, but lighter in skin tone and hair color. He was currently using a pry bar to remove the padlock and hasp from the door to Glenn's cabin. Tango Three stood a few inches over six feet, was thinner than his partners, but had the same simian characteristics as his associates. He alternated between holding an automatic rifle on the woman and unloading what appeared to be camera equipment from the back of the van.

The woman continued to scream and struggle, but several brutal blows from Tango One to her abdomen took the sound out of her. Tango One had a handful of her long brunette hair wrapped into one of his fists as he pulled her face to his and yelled at her, "Just because I don't want any bruising or signs of abuse visible before we shoot our little movie, don't think for a second that you won't experience great pain if you fail to do exactly as you are told. Do you understand me Bitch?"

Tango One lessened his grip on her hair enough to allow her to respond with a nod, and then tightened it again as Tango Two got the cabin door open and swung it wide for her to be pushed inside. Sean heard her stumble and fall into the cabin with the obvious sound of furniture being overturned in the process. When he saw one of the Tangos was opening all the shutters around the cabin, Sean quickly sought an observation post that would allow him to monitor the situation as it developed inside the cabin. He realized that this "green mission," where he would only need to assess, report, call in support and evade detection was going to become a "black mission" very soon, with him needing to neutralize the targets and extricate the hostage.

Moving behind a large Laurel Oak tree on the north side of the cabin, Sean had a clear view through one of the windows. The early pre-dawn moonlight was coming through a west facing window, allowing enough light for the Tangos to navigate the cabin and for Sean to observe their movements. He watched as Tango Two moved the overturned furniture out of their way while Tango Three began setting up lights and cameras, which Sean found interesting since Glenn's rustic cabin didn't have any electricity. Tango One was still taunting and threatening the woman with his knife, occasionally cutting another piece of her clothing so that it would fall away from her body.

With his advanced training in lethal and non-lethal close quarter combat, Sean really didn't need a weapon to be able to handle all three of the Tangos. Seven members of an al Qaeda terrorist group had the misfortune of running into Sean while they were attempting to breach the American Embassy in Tanzania. It had been a slaughter. All seven terrorists, each tough, hardened and armed, were dead within five minutes. Sean never even pulled his gun. He did it all with his hands, elbows and feet, moving with a speed, precision and power that the other Marine guards—with all their world travels—had never before encountered.

Sean did have his Sharpfinger hunting knife if circumstances required, but he saw an opportunity to disarm and secure the Tangos without any struggle at all. Picking up a thin but sturdy eight inch piece of fallen tree branch about one-half inch in diameter and sliding around the cabin to the front porch, Sean tested the stability of the planks as he stepped lightly on the first one. He detected no sound or obvious vibration from his movement. Using this same degree of care and skill, he continued up on the porch and waited just outside the open door. Tango Two had pulled the mattress off Glenn's bed and placed it in the center of the room. Tango Three was moving back towards the door while facing his partners inside the room.

Once Tango Three was positioned with his body fully in the center of the doorframe with one of the cameras and had turned on the bright battery powered light affixed to it, Sean crouched behind him and pressed the hard piece of tree branch into his groin from behind. As Tango Three froze at the feeling of what he thought was the barrel of a gun against his privates, Sean quickly pulled the automatic rifle from his shoulder where it had hung by its strap while filming was getting prepared.

Tango One was preoccupied preparing the woman for their first scene, while Tango Two had begun undressing. Sean put the rifle on "single shot" and fired one round into the rafters above the room. Pushing Tango Three before him into the room, the camera clattered to the floor where the light shattered and extinguished. Having been behind the camera light, Sean's eyes adjusted to the loss much quicker than the others in the room. Sean saw that Tango One had pulled the woman in front of himself as a shield, holding her hair with his left hand as he raised the knife menacingly with his right hand.

With a speed of motion that surprised even Sean, the woman pivoted on her right foot, while at the same time digging the fingernails from both hands into the wrist holding the knife and pushing it away from her. Before Tango One could respond by yanking the woman's hair, she had brought her left knee into his groin. As her knee connected, Tango One grunted and released both her hair and the knife as he doubled over in pain. The woman quickly scurried away from his reach, retrieving the knife from the floor as she stood with her back against the wall brandishing the weapon in a defensive posture.

While the smell of cordite filled the morning air, Sean kept the rifle trained on the three Tangos as he motioned for the woman to come to him. She looked drawn and frightened, but after some initial hesitation, she moved around the periphery of the room to the door of the cabin with Sean standing between her and the three men.

She never took her eyes from Sean as she moved towards him. He was shorter than any of the three other men, probably around five foot ten inches, but he seemed so much bigger than them. She noted his long sandy colored hair, handsome facial features underneath several days of unshaven growth, broad shoulders and slim muscular physique. He was wearing blue jeans, low-rise leather hiking boots, and a tan fishing vest over a white polo shirt. While not muscle-bound, he exuded a strength such as she had never seen before in a man. If he wasn't the best looking man she had ever seen, which she suspected he might be, he was definitely the man she had the hardest time taking her eyes off of.

Her first impression upon looking into his dark blue eyes, even in the dim light available, was one of a feral beast who had been wounded or cornered. An almost inhuman rage emanated from his expression towards the other men. She thought that it must be making the blood in the marrow of the men congeal with fright, but she instinctively knew that she was safe with him. Visions of heroes from all the romance novels she had read as a teenager came to mind, but this man surpassed images from any of those books. His radiated strength and confidence made her feel instantly safe and secure. There was also a familiarity to him that she could not explain. Like the arrow of a compass, she was drawn in his direction as if he were her magnetic north. She knew that she had never seen this man before - she would have definitely remembered him.

"Wallets on the floor. Now!" Sean ordered as he brushed some of his hair off his face..

Tango Two and Three quickly removed their wallets and tossed them onto the floor at Sean's feet. Tango One was still recovering from the woman's assault, so he was slower to respond. With obvious effort, he straightened enough to reach into the rear pocket of his pants, removed his wallet and tossed it on the floor with the others.

"Now, I want the three of you in a kneeling position on the floor where you will interlock your ankles and remain perfectly still. Once situated, you will each place your hands on top of your heads."

When the three men were in a controlled position on the wooden plank floor, Sean knelt and began reviewing their identification within each wallet. "If the names on your driver's licenses are correct you all have names of Slavic origin. Are any of you United States citizens?"

Tango One and Three just shook their heads, but Tango Two added in heavily accented English, "Green Cards. We're in the country legally."

Sean tucked some loose hairs behind his ear and checked the wallets further finding current permanent resident identification cards for each under the same names as on the driver's licenses.

"Too bad," Sean said. "Permanent residency does not equal citizenship, and that means that you are all still foreign nationals, which under the current Presidential Finding on Domestic Terrorism means that you are not afforded the protections under our Constitution guaranteed to citizens. There are more than thirty very painful ways I could kill each of you, but as long as you do what I tell you, I promise you will leave this cabin alive."

The three men nodded in silent acceptance of their situation. Sean told Tangos Two and Three to return the mattress to Glenn's bed and then resume their positions next to Tango One. With the mattress on the bed, Sean motioned towards it and asked the woman to go sit on the bed while he dealt with their prisoners. She hesitated for a moment as she considered how far away from her savior she felt comfortable with while the three men were still in the cabin with them. Trusting that this stranger had them secure enough to send her away from him, and still holding the knife, she moved to the bed as he requested.

"Take off your belts," Sean instructed the three Tangos.

Tangos Two and Three complied quickly, but Tango One struggled to remove his belt with the continuing pain in his groin. Sean assumed that her blow had not only been well placed, but that it was also delivered with significant power for the man to still be in so much pain. Once all the belts were loose Sean had Tango Three secure Tango One and Tango Two's hands in front of their bodies with the belts, followed by Tango Two using his secured hands to also secure those of Tango Three in the same fashion.

"Okay," said Sean, "I want each of you to now lay face down on the floor in front of you."

It took some effort for Tango One, but in quick order all three were in a supine position with their hands stretched out in front of their heads and their ankles still interlocked. Sean knelt on his haunches in front of the men and started asking them questions. "Why did you choose this cabin as the site for your little project," he asked.

Tango Two answered, "We were told it was remote and that the owner would not be here today."

"Who told you this?" asked Sean.

"I do not know his name and we never met him," said Tango Two, "but he is the one who provided us with the van and the gun."

Sean considered this then asked, "How were you supposed to return the van to him?"

"We weren't," was the answer. "It is stolen and we were just supposed to abandon it when we were through.

"How did you contact each other?" Sean continued.

"When we paid for the girl, a cell phone was given to us with a pre-programmed number for us to call."

"Why don't we start at the beginning," Sean said. "Explain to me how you came to purchase this young lady."

Tango Two motioned to Tango One and said, "Andre received a message last week that a cargo shipment included an attractive Australian girl who was untraceable. We have been using girls from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania for mainstream pornographic movies, but when we learned that this girl would be untraceable, we decided to use her for the production of a snuff film."

"How did you arrange for payment?" asked Sean.

"We handed $20,000 to the crewmen who brought her to us from the ship," said Tango Two. "The one who counted the money then gave us the cell phone."

"How did your contact know that you would need the use of a van?"

"Andre had mentioned it when the location for the purchase was communicated to him," said Tango Two.

"And how were the details of the purchase communicated?" Sean asked.

"There is a website for amateur photographers to post ads listing items they either need to buy or want to sell. Coded communications are posted between buyer and seller if you know where to look."

Sean had heard of such sites before being used for all sorts of illicit activities. "What is the name of this website?"

Tango Two thought for a minute and replied, "tornwallpaper.eu".

"Is there anything further you wish to tell me?" asked Sean

"That's all we know," said Tango Two.

Sean stood, approached them and coaxed Tangos Two and Three to move farther away from Tango One so that eventually, there was approximately a two foot space between each of their bodies. Stepping into the space between Tangos Two and Three, Sean laid the rifle aside. He brushed more hair out of his face and then stood facing the same direction that they were laying and adjusted his position until he was satisfied. Without further warning, he seemed to lose all support in his legs as his 170 pound body suddenly dropped; his fall being broken only by the contact of each of his elbows into the spines of the two men. The kinetic energy of his elbow joint striking the lowest indentation of their backs, exactly where the Th6 and Th7 vertebrae were located resulted in the expected "SNAP' sound of breaking bone. Before their screams of pain could reach a zenith, Sean quickly moved over to Tango One and repeated the elbow strike to the same spot on his spine with the same report in return.

Sean retrieved the rifle, wiped his fingerprints from it and then hung it on a hook next to the front door. Looking over to the woman sitting on the bed, Sean considered her situation. She had a few scrapes and bruises on her body, and she appeared slightly malnourished as her ribs were more prominent than they should have been, but otherwise she appeared uninjured. All that remained of her clothing was her bra with both shoulder straps cut and her white panties. She held the knife in her lap as she sat watching him.

She was a very attractive young woman he thought. Her hair was a mess due to the treatment it had received from Tango One, but he could see that it still flattered her facial features, or maybe it was her facial features that flattered her hair. Regardless, she appeared to be in her mid-twenties, with a slender athletic body on her five foot six frame. Her breasts were properly proportioned to her shape, and Sean guessed that they were either large 'B' or small 'C' cups. He judged by the way that their weight did not cause her bra to droop with the straps cut that they were as firm and pert as the rest of her appeared to be. His assessment was deliberately limited to her physical condition, but by the way she held herself before him, there was something about her innocent, yet regal bearing that piqued his interest in several ways.

Sean went to the cedar chest at the foot of Glenn's bed and opened it as the woman continued to silently watch his movements. Rummaging through it for a few minutes, he produced a pair of sweat pants and a T-shirt that while a bit large for the woman, they would provide her with temporary modesty until more appropriate clothing could be located for her. Tucking some more of his long hair behind an ear with one hand, he handed the garments to the woman with his other and asked her, "Did you have any shoes?"

She set the knife on the bed and shook her head before pulling the T-shirt over it. Sean looked around the cabin and found a pair of flip-flop sandals that Glenn probably used when he had to visit his outhouse during the night. Again, these would be too large for the woman, but they would serve until other footwear could be obtained. Sean brought the sandals to her and laid them at her feet as she finished slipping on the sweatpants. The bottom of the pants hung about three inches below her heels and Sean noticed that she had them pulled up as far at her waist as was possible.

"Would you like me to roll up the bottom of the pants for you?" He asked her in the most soothing voice he could muster. "It might make it easier for you to walk until I can find you something else to wear."

She looked in his eyes and saw a noticeable change from the earlier "beast", so she nodded in response.

"Good," he said. "Why don't you sit back on the bed for a minute and we'll make quick work of this for you."

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byBobbyBrandt© 11 comments/ 35699 views/ 78 favorites

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