Accession: CATU Book 5 Ch. 10-11byJoeBarnosky©
The warehouse is completely empty except for a single, black Lexus GS sitting in the middle of the floor. Colonel Pierson sits perched on its hood in a fine tailored suit and flanked by two well-armed soldiers. Julie doesn't recognize the uniforms they wear and they don't have any patches whatsoever. She can only assume they are of the colonel's DEP Six soldiers.
She strides into the warehouse with an air of confidence and without moving her head she averts her eyes in every direction. She can't see anyplace a person could hide and there aren't any windows that a sniper can shoot through from the outside. In fact there aren't any windows at all. The entire warehouse is lit up by artificial lighting which bathes the place in a very bright white. And it is spotless which perks Julie's curiosity about the place.
By the time she reaches the colonel she feels moderately safe. Her trust in the man standing before her isn't solid and probably no matter what the man does or says could ever solidify it. It doesn't matter though, because she is pretty sure he feels the same way about her. Their partnership, if that's what it could be called, is only of mutual benefit. That mutual benefit was slowly coming to a close.
"What can I do for you?" she asks breaking the silence.
Colonel Pierson smiles a toothy grin. "It's good to see you too."
"Sorry if I'm not in the best of moods," Julie says adding as much sarcasm as she can to her voice. "I've been chased like a common criminal. I was just at the attack at True Group and suddenly you call a meeting with me." She doesn't bother to leave the anger and frustration from her voice either.
Pierson continues to hold his smile and waits patiently as Julie rants to him. "I'm sorry you are having a rough time," he says when she finishes. "But I have a task for you," he continues quickly at seeing her face redden with anger.
Julie is about to begin a berating on the man and ending with shooting him when she remembers the two soldiers standing behind him. At least now she knows why he has brought them. "And what could I possibly do for you if I decided to take orders from you?" she questions.
"Trust me when I say it benefits both of us and our interests to complete this mission."
"And like I said: What could I possibly do for you?"
Pierson smiles again, this time a more devilish grin spreads across his face. "There is a Succubus named Errios that we have been monitoring and I want you to destroy her."
"And what makes her so special to need my attention and not one of your soldiers?"
"I have other matters I am attending to and my forces are far too spread out. Besides I rather have someone like you to ensure a successful kill."
"If you want an assassin I know of one I can refer you to," Julie shoots back.
"If I had wanted one I would not bother trying to commit you to the task. Besides it will probably only help you with your current mission."
Julie is speechless for a second as she tries to wrap her thoughts around what Pierson has just said. No one outside those in the CATU office knows of her and Spencer's mission except for her uncle. Julie's next words surprise even her.
"How would you know what I am doing?"
"It is my job to know things. What I don't know, I find out," he answers spreading his hands up in an open gesture. "Now do I have your cooperation or not?"
Julie looks from Pierson to the two soldiers behind him as they shift from semi-relaxed positions to more ready to shoot ones. She now realizes he is making his move to either eliminate or have influence over her and right now she doesn't have any options.
"I would consider my next actions carefully," he says as if adding to his silent threat. "I would really hate to have your uncle breathing down my neck, at least for a time."
"What the hell are you planning?"
"That my dear is a secret and not one you are privy to. Our partnership doesn't cover that said knowledge, but if you would like to sever that relationship now," he pauses and the two soldiers raise their guns and point them at Julie, "then it can be arranged."
Julie curses under her breath at letting it get this far without leaving an opening to be able to draw her weapons. "Fine," she says almost too low for Pierson to hear.
"Good," he says cheerfully. "I'm glad you chose to be a good sport. Here are the details." He pulls out an envelope from the inside of his suit jacket and holds it out for Julie.
She grabs the envelope and looks straight at the man. "You'd better hope when all is said and done I can't find you or you'll regret this day you didn't kill me." She rips the envelope free from his hand and turns and stalks off toward the door that brought her into the warehouse.
As Julie walks away she waits for the gunshots that never come. Pierson doesn't feel threatened in the least and just stands smiling as she leaves.
Spencer follows the address on the paper Julie had given him. He is taken to a villa out to Greenwich, a suburb of London. After paying the cab the tab, he slips the cab driver a little more to forget about the fare. The driver is more than happy to forget.
The villa is an impressive sight. It has a beautifully maintained landscape and Spencer isn't really sure he is at the right address. Not until the door opens and a man walks out. "Mr. Reeds?" he asks with a thickly accented English voice.
Spencer looks to the man wearing a butler uniform. "That is me."
"Right this way then sir," the butler says with a wave toward the open door.
Spencer walks in and it opens up into the largest room he has ever seen in a house. Julie sits at the opposite end playing a tune on the piano he immediately recognizes as the Nine Inch Nail song The Beginning of the End.
He waits until she is finished and gives a small clap. He enjoyed the piece but after the day's events he really isn't much in the mood.
"I was afraid you had gotten lost," she says looking up from the piano. "Did you manage to find our stalker?"
"As a matter of fact I didn't," he says solemnly. "But I did get somewhat of a profile. She was female and I do believe I recognized her from somewhere."
"Do you think she part of the terrorist attack?"
"The attack on the True Group building today?"
"The same," Julie nods. "It has been all over the news this afternoon. A terrorist group called The New World Regime has taken credit for the attack today and the destruction of the True Solar facility in Russia amongst other attacks."
"The name doesn't ring a bell," he remarks looking upon her with suspicion.
"I imagine not," she says ignoring his stare. "I've heard the name before but in reference to something else. But I cannot for the life of me remember what it was in reference to."
"It's definitely something worth looking into."
"I figured you'd have thought that which is why I already have our flights booked."
"You what?" Spencer asks shocked.
"We fly out tonight to Liverpool," she says ignoring Spencer's outburst. "The leader of The New World Regime is going to be there and it may help us stop the group and lead us to the bottom of True Group's plot."
"And to Sam," Spencer adds.
"Of course Sam too," she agrees.
Spencer keeps his feelings suppressed and his anger in check. It won't do good to call Julie out on her true intentions just yet. So he changes the subject. "What did your tail provide?"
"Magnus' bodyguards provided the cover he needed to escape. By the time I took care of his two goons he was gone." She gives him a smile. "You may as well get some rest, the flight leaves in a couple of hours." She turns back around to face the piano and starts to play a new tune.