Rising Tide: CATU Book 3 Ch. 10byJoeBarnosky©
17th Street, Washington D.C.
The Lincoln MKS containing the Secretary of Defense Henry Rylings pulls out onto 17th Street heading south from Pennsylvania Avenue. Mike Grines turns the ignition and begins following the car as it turns onto G Street. He had spent the last few hours waiting for Henry Rylings to leave the White House. He followed the Secretary of Defense in earlier that morning from his house expecting and hoping for an attack. Grines knew one was coming, he just didn't know when.
With the administration under attack, choosing who would be targeted next would normally be hard to decide. Considering the President's closest staff falling under attack it was likely that Rylings would the next target. Grines continues to follow the Lincoln as it turns onto Virginia Avenue. As the Lincoln crosses under the underpass leading to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge a figure drops onto the vehicle.
The impact of the figure startles the driver causing the car to swerve, nearly colliding with several other vehicles in its path. The driver regains control of the car as the figure unsheathes a sword and stabs it through the roof.
Grines can see Rylings moving as far away from the sword as possible through the back window. He has no doubt the figure is the assassin he has been looking for. He speeds up to catch up to the Lincoln as the assassin begins cutting a circle into the roof. Grines rams the Lincoln with his vehicle. The assassin is caught off guard and she is forced to lose her footing.
Grines takes the advantage of the driver's confusion by speeding up then ramming the car. He hopes the driver is experienced enough to control the vehicle as he tries to knock the assassin from the roof. When Grines slams into the car for the third time, the less than experienced driver loses control of it. The Lincoln flips to its side, rolling completely several times before coming to a halt on all four tires on the side of the road. The assassin is skilled enough to have leapt from the car before it rolls.
Grines slams on the brakes and turns the wheel sharply. After his car slides to a halt twenty feet away he bolts from the car. He pulls out two guns from under his coat as he runs toward the crashed car, ready for an attack from the assassin.
He reached the car without incident. Cars fly by the scene without anyone stopping to ask if they could help. Grines prefers it that way any way. This is going to be a showdown between him and the assassin. Just because she isn't in sight doesn't mean she is abandoning her mission.
Grines casts a look around the area before looking inside the car. The driver is hunched over the wheel; blood covers the man and the dash. He checks the driver's pulse even though he knows it is already too late for the man. Grines looks to the back seat where Rylings is. "Secretary Rylings! Can you hear me?" Grines yells to the unconscious man.
"He doesn't need to," a voice from behind says.
Grines instantly spins, bearing both guns to the source of the voice.
Dave McKinsey is walking through the halls of the White House with his advisors discussing the unexpected events of the day. "Has Mike Grines been reached yet?" he openly asks the advisors.
"We haven't been able to find a way other than his cell phone and it's off. We can't find anyone else that may know his present location," one of the advisors answers.
"Any link between Senator Rustlin's assassination and Director Cornelius'?"
A young Secret Service agent comes running up to the group interrupting the President's next question. "Sir, we just received word of an attack on Secretary Rylings."
"Please tell me you know where."
"GPS places his car on Virginia Avenue, but there isn't any response to the OnStar representative," she replies. "Service agents are on their way as we speak."
"Christ. All hell is breaking loose and we're the ones setting too many steps behind. Get Admiral Pellington on the line in my office. It's time we catch up on those missing steps."
Victor Lupescu stands on the Ap Lei Chau Bridge watching the small boat carrying its three passengers into Hong Kong undetected by all except him. Peering through a pair of Steiner 10x42 R Tactical Binoculars he views each individual when he recognizes the only Black List agent in the boat.
Julie Branon. So they decided it was finally time to come looking.
He will get his revenge against the organization that abandoned their own. He will make sure they understand the mistake they had made.
So far so good," Sam comments as they crossed under the Ap Lei Chau Bridge.
"So far," Julie agrees. "Another few minutes we should see a small dock. We'll hide the boat there and change."
They quietly row on until they find the dock Julie spoke of. After hiding the boat in a small hidden enclosure, the group begins changing into clothing that would disguise them as tourists.
"Out of curiosity, how did you know where we would be able to hide the boat?" Spencer asks.
"We're the Black List. We have access to technology many governments keep a secret and we are composed of many different peoples of many different governments and countries," Julie explains.
"That still doesn't give us an explanation," Sam notes.
"You honestly don't believe we go into anything unprepared do you?" Julie asks looking at Sam dumbfounded. "That is why it took us so long to make this trip possible. We don't really have many assets in China at the moment."
"Then I hope we don't get caught," Sam remarks.
"We won't. Here take these," Julie says handing Sam and Spencer a set of passports and travel papers. "These are legit should we get stopped and questioned."
"Where are we headed?" Spencer asks.
"Right now, to a safe house. In the morning, the Lucky Dragon."
The sword sweeps through both guns so swiftly that Grines doesn't even see it happen. Without hesitation, he releases his grip on both guns letting them drop to the ground. Then dropping down himself, he sweeps his leg out in an attempt to knock Tsyr Ker down.
The attack is unsuccessful. Sensing the attack as it happens, Tsyr Ker leaps into the air, easily avoiding his leg sweep. While in the air, the assassin extends her leg out to land a kick into Grines' face. The unexpected hit casts his head and body backward.
Disoriented for only a moment, Grines rolls to the side avoiding the downward attack the assassin makes as she lands. Tsyr Ker shifts coming down with her sword where Grines should have been. Unexpectedness crosses her face right before Grines lands a left handed hook across her face. The punch sends her reeling in one direction, her sword in the opposite.
"That all you got bitch?" he yells as he wipes blood away from his lip.
Tsyr Ker uses her agility to twist her body enabling her to land on her feet. She remains silent, standing still considering her next move. Her attention is taken away from Grines at the sound of a helicopter and sirens in the distance. The assassin is ready for a fight and is not willing to back down or abandon her mission. She casts her attention to her sword lying a few feet behind Grines.
She glances back behind as the helicopter and police cars come into view. Grines makes his move in that moment, taking advantage of her distraction. It is just as she hoped for.
She waits until the last minute to turn around, catching Grines by surprise by raising her knee up into his gut. As he doubles over, she drops her elbow into the back of his head. He falls face first into the ground as she slides, grabbing her sword up in the process.
The first police car pulls up just second before the helicopter. She plays out the next attack in her mind then launches herself into motion. She charges at Grines just as he is picking himself up. In one fluid motion, she leaps onto his back using him as a platform to jump onto the first police car to arrive.
With her sword in hand angled downward, she strikes the hood and slides the sword up through the windshield, slicing the officer inside completely open. Keeping up the momentum, she drives the sword the rest of the way up through the roof and leaps at the helicopter.
The pilot not believing someone would be crazy enough to launch an attack the way Tsyr Ker does causes him to hesitate before pulling up. That moment's hesitation is what the assassin relies on for her to have her attack timed just right.
As the helicopter lifts higher into the air, she lands perfectly onto the landing skid. She thrust her sword into the canopy, running it through the pilot. The pilot cries out in pain before slumping forward onto stick. The helicopter takes a sudden dive forward, aimed straight for the street below. Tsyr Ker jumps clear from it just before it crashes into a fiery heap of metal. She rolls to her feet as the remainder of police and unmarked Secret Service cars pull up.
Both men and women exit the vehicles with their guns drawn. Yells to freeze and drop the weapon fills the air, but Tsyr Ker has no intentions to comply with either command. Speed and agility and many years of martial arts training along with her special abilities aid her. Fueled with rage at not being able to fulfill her mission, she charges.
Bullets ring out, zipping past. Several of the shots come close, but are easily batted to the side with twirls of her sword. She closes the distance between her and the first set of police. With two graceful swipes, both of the officers' heads roll off their shoulders. In another instant, three more officers lie on the ground dead or dying from their wounds.
With their comrades lying dead on the ground, the remaining police spur into suicidal attacks. Leaving the cover of their vehicles to try and close the distance and hit her with their bullets, they are cut down with greater ease. All that remain after a full minute are the Secret Service agents.
"We have to take her down. Shatter your shots, but aim as close to her body as you can!" the lead agent yells as the assassin makes her approach.
Grunts and nods confirm her command as the agents take aim and begin their repeated assault. Tsyr Ker zigs and zags, dodging the bullets and leaping onto the first vehicle. With her sword still drawn, she leaps over the first of the agents, her blade slicing the woman's head in half. As she lands, her blade slices through both hands of another male agent. His hands along with the gun lands on the ground, a look of terror mixed with shock spreads across his face. A quick thrust through the man's heart ends his life quickly.
"Take that bitch down now!" the lead agent screams.
A smile forms on Tsyr Ker's face at the order. She is going to enjoy killing the agent, she'll make sure she is last to die. As the agents press their attack, the assassin presses hers. Running and leaping from vehicle to vehicle, she dodges bullets and dispatches each and every agent that stands in her way.
Tsyr Ker slices through the last agent, cutting her victim vertically in half leaving only the lead agent standing there with her gun raised at the assassin. "Goodbye bitch," the lead agent says with a smile.
Click....Click, click, click.
"Yes it is goodbye," Tsyr Ker says.
The agent's smile fades with the thrust of the assassin's sword slipping through her stomach and out her back. The assassin stands staring into the agent's eyes until the light finally fades from them. She removes her sword, letting the agent's body to crumple to the ground. Satisfied with the fight, she lets a smile crease her lips. Her target is next and she plans to make his death just as enjoyable as the agent lying at her feet.
A sound of a sudden shot rings out. The shot strikes Tsyr Ker in the back of the shoulder, the bullet exiting out the front. Even though she is accustomed to pain, she lets out a howl. She spins around to face her attacker almost forgetting she has left Grines alive.
"I suggest you drop the sword and turn yourself over to me," he says calmly.
"You won't kill me. You Americans are too worried about taking prisoners."
"Perhaps you're right," he says lowering his gun. He lowers it until it is level with the assassin's thigh. He fires the gun. The only reaction to the bullet tearing into her muscle is a flinch. "I'll ask you again. Drop your sword and turn yourself over to me," he orders when he realizes shooting her again doesn't produce the result he intended.
"Perhaps if you'd ask more nicely I just might have done so. Too bad."
Raising her sword with its tip pointed at him, she charges. Grines raises both of his guns and unleashes a torrent of bullets at the assassin. Bee lining for Grines, she uses her sword to deflect the bullets. Pain stabs through her shoulder with each movement she makes to block the rounds. Because of it she isn't able to completely block every round fired from his guns.
The bullets she fails to block rip through her body, but fails to stop her or even slow her down. When she is within distance to strike, Grines doesn't flinch but is ready for the strike. It never comes in the form he expects.
The assassin side steps, passing him by. Then using the pommel of her sword, she strikes Grines in the back of the head. He instantly loses consciousness, dropping to the street. "Another time perhaps," she says standing over him. "You've failed to protect the secretary, but you proved to be a worthy adversary. Maybe next time we cross paths, the end will be different." She turns toward the Lincoln where Secretary Rylings remains unconscious. It is time to finish her mission.
The White House has seen its share of troubles these last few days. Today, however, has been its hardest blow.
First we have seen the assassination of Senator David Rustlin followed by the death of former CATU director, Roger Cornelius.
As if these attacks weren't brutal enough, Secretary of Defense Henry Rylings was brutally killed in his own vehicle along with his driver on Virginia Ave early this afternoon.
We have not received an official word from White House officials as of yet. We can only speculate these attacks were caused by the mysterious assassin that attacked the President.
This is Debra Hall, reporting live just outside the White House. Back to you.
President Dave McKinsey turns off the television and sits on the arm of the couch in his office for a few moments, silently. FBI Director Todd Nichols sits on another couch opposite of the one the President occupies. "What's the status on Doug Wiltkins and Mike Grines?" he asks Nichols.
Nichols blows out a sigh before answering. "Wiltkins is currently in a coma. He suffered several broken bones, but provided he pulls out of the coma he should be fine. As far as Grines is concerned, he has a minor concussion. For whatever reason the assassin had, she spared his life. Every other agent and police officer weren't as fortunate. I would suggest we move you and your wife to someplace safer, considering the threat the assassin made before she left."
"No. If she is able to find the new location of CATU, hiding me isn't going to help."
"Doubling the amount of Secret Service or adding more of my men isn't going to help either. If anything it's going to get more people killed," Nichols argues.
"Yes, yes," he says waving his hand. "I don't like having to put good men and women at risk no more than you do. Hopefully we won't need to worry about the loss of life."
"What do you mean?" Nichols inquires, his curiosity piqued.
"Roger Cornelius was one of the most prepared people I have ever met. He apparently has contacts in places not even I was aware of. One of those contacts is what we are going to be counting on."
"I don't follow sir."
"You will Todd. All too soon, you will."