Location: Motel 6 – Harrisonburg, Virginia
I’m on your side Kurt.
Horus was rooted the spot. Kurt. That had been his cover ID in Berlin. Suddenly, Horus had a splitting headache. He staggered back into the room.
“What’s going on?” Meghan asked.
Her voice pitch had gone up, betraying the increasing alarm she felt. Horus sighed and looked at Meghan who was still looking at him in shock. Her lips had moved and trembled, but no words came out. There was recognition forming in her eyes. Horus suddenly leaned in towards her, snapping her out of her dazed state. He placed the phone in her trembling hands, all the while making eye contact with her.
“I need you to tell me if you know this number. Our lives may depend on it. Can you do that?” Horus asked in a surprisingly gentle voice.
“T… the number b…belongs to a strange girl. She… helped me… when you and… and…”
“She was the one you were talking to back at the house?” Horus asked.
Experience had taught Horus never to trust anyone. You couldn’t afford to harbor a disarming trait like that and hope to survive in the world he had thrived in. Yet he found himself left with no other option than to trust a mysterious girl that had called him by an alias used in another continent.
Horus straightened back up and walked over to the door. The liquid silver was already running up his neck and condensing around his eyes. Soon the visor solidified. He scanned the wall and was staring at four suited FBI agents, with automatic rifles pinned to the wall on either side of the door. A fifth agent was about to kick it down.
Horus’s fingers flicked out a combination of hand signs and Ketra who had been watching him, quickly understood. She turned to Meghan and whispered.
“We need to move now.”
The shattering sound of the first kick, reverberated through the room. Ketra grabbed Meghan by the arm.
“C’mon.” Ketra said, pulling Meghan to her feet.
The kicks continued as they wore down the thick low blast proof door.
Meghan pulled away and grabbed the brown envelop that had been resting on top of the bedside drawer. She also held on to her phone.
“You won’t be needing those.” Ketra said, glaring at her.
“Trust me, I will.” Meghan responded, returning the stare.
Ketra cocked her head towards the balcony.
“Move it.” She said with ice in her voice.
Meghan stole a quick glance at Horus before rushing to the balcony with Ketra. Horus moved to the right, just as the door was violently knocked in. The agents stampeded in as a singular black shadow. The patter of their boots sounded ominous and seemed to shake the room. One by one they entered. The fourth agent caught Horus from his peripheral vision, and turned his gun towards him.
The assassin moved quickly. He wrapped his palm around the gun’s nuzzle, just as the agent opened fire. The spitting sounds of automatic fire, rang through the room. Horus removed his hand, spilling a flow of crunched bullets to the ground. He had already moved forward, deftly spinning the automatic weapon in the agent’s hands so that the gun was now pointed towards the agent’s jaw. Two shots rang out, spraying bullets into the agent and disintegrating his face. Horus slammed his foot into the fifth agent’s larynx just as he tried to enter the room. The kick viciously shot him back into the hallway, sending him crashing into the wall and sinking to the floor. Horus ducked behind the fourth agent’s body just as agent’s one, two and three opened fire on him. He felt a searing pain cut through his shoulder, and then his left thigh and grimaced as he pried the automatic rifle, from the dead agent’s hands.
Horus opened fire taking down the third agent and sent the first and second agents, scampering for cover as he rained a fusillade of bullets on them. He dived on the bed, evading shots fired low and through the gap between the bottom of the bed and the floor. The second agent’s head exploded as soon as he peeked out. The bullet burrowed its way through and embedded itself in the far wall, near the balcony. Horus rolled and crashed down on the dead agent’s body as it lay in the space between both beds. The last agent had jumped on the second bed in a bid to execute the same maneuver on Horus. Horus grunted and pushed on the bed box hoisting it up enough to make the agent fall out. He got up and pushed it all the way on its side, slamming the agent into the wall with it. The agent’s gun clattered to the ground, and Horus stepped back opening fire on the bed. The agent’s body shook and shuddered before going still, the hands falling limply to the either side of the agent. Horus fired two more shots to the general area of the head. The agent jerked before going still again.
Horus turned around, gun aimed at the last agent he had kicked. That one was coughing and wheezing as blood oozed out of his mouth. He had crushed his larynx with the kick he delivered, earlier. Judging by his difficulty in breathing, it was clear his trachea had not been spared either. Horus crouched beside him, and gently took off his ear piece, and comm-pack that was latched on his tactical suit’s utility belt. Horus placed the earphones in his ears, simultaneously pointing his desert eagle at the agent’s chest. They both stared at each other in understanding. Fate had made them opponents, but not enemies. The least Horus could do, was ease the pain of his passing with a quick death. He shot once, puncturing the agent’s heart. Horus staggered back inside, away from the chaos that had ensued in the hallway. He listened to the communication on the secure frequency the hunter agents were using.
TEAM ONE, COME IN. TEAM ONE. DO YOU READ? SHIT. SEND IN REINFORCEMENTS BEFORE WHATEVER’S LEFT OF THE POLICE ARRIVE.
Horus mentally activated the synapse that connected his mind to his Nano-AI.
“Tana, give me a physical report.”
Physical report running. Tana echoed in his head.
Physical report retrieved. Would you like me to read it to you?
Two sprained wrists, one broken rib, and shoulder to back lacerations, from fight with Set.
Two gunshot –puncture- wounds to the left shoulder and thigh, from engagement with agents.
Would you like me to repeat this message?
“No. Proceed with wound sterilization until medical attention is received.”
Affirmative. I also have reports of a sharp performance drop, Officer Stanton. You operated at 40% efficiency. Anything you’d like to share?
“No. That’ll be all.”
Affirmative. Kindly be informed that medical attention should be sought immediately.
Horus walked to the balcony and saw that Ketra and Meghan, were waiting right below him. The blue Toyota Ascencia was now parked underneath the balcony. Horus looked up and saw the bullet ridden SUV. He looked back at Ketra, who nodded. Horus nodded back and leaned over the balcony. The drop wouldn’t be too bad. He was already in so much pain, he doubted he’d feel any more. Horus let go and crumpled to the ground below. He was wrong. He did feel the pain. It shot up his legs and hot flashes tore through his vision. Horus felt hands on him. They were tender but strong and dragging him out from the cold, into a warm car. His head was gently resting on someone’s laps. He couldn’t tell who, as his eyes were shut.
“Maddy…” Horus croaked out. “Need… medical…”
“I know. Just hang in there.”
It was Ketra’s voice.
“Drive!” She yelled.
If Horus could smile, he would have. Tana was right. He had been sloppy all through the mission and that had to change.
“Toss… phone.” Horus managed to say.
There was a struggle above him. He could tell. He was barely hearing them now. Words came to him.
Husband. Who cares? Give it.
Horus felt the rush of wind as the car window was let down and he sighed in relief when he heard the clattering of the phone.
One loose end, tied up. There’s still hope for you after all.
And with those thoughts, Horus drifted into the welcoming darkness.