“’lo, Melinda,” said the owner of the gun. His right eye looked down the barrels and his finger itched at the trigger.
“Hello, Brock,” she said. “I wondered where you were hiding.”
“Not hiding. Waiting,” Brock said without removing his eye from the sight. He was a wall of a man in the loose garb of the Green Saharans, the ruling tribe of the area. She knew he had no affiliation with them.
“You sure I can’t get you to switch sides?” Melinda asked. “We get dental, you know.”
Brock laughed and signaled to two of the mercenaries who’d finally gotten through the door Melinda melted. One took her purse; the other tied her wrists behind her back with a rough-hewn rope.
“Alright, let’s go see him,” Brock said. He pushed her, forcefully, but not roughly toward the other end of the car.
“He’s not still mad about that whole trying to blow him up thing, is he?” she asked.
“I think he’s more angry about the whole shooting him in the face thing.”
“I haven’t even done that yet.”
Brock brought her to the end of the car and on through the next car and the one after that. The population of each car both thinned and grew in mercenaries as they passed from one to the next.
Finally in a car with cushions and fewer people than seats, Brock pushed Melinda into a seat. She sat across from a man wearing loose fitting robes, a headdress and sunglasses.
“Hello, Mrs. Quinn,” the man said.
“Oh, he hasn’t proposed yet,” Melinda said. “No need to be so formal, Horatio.”
“He must care for you less than I thought.” He laughed to himself. “But I guess we both know the truth of that statement.”
“You would have killed him on sight.”
“Heh, too true, too true.”
The mercenary who’d grabbed the purse held it out for Horatio. Horatio took in and held it in one hand.
“Your beauty supplies?” he asked with a cruel smile as he opened the purse.
Melinda fidgeted as Horatio pawed through it.
“And what do we have here?” Horatio asked, pulling out the pistol. His cruel smile somehow became crueler still. “Hoping to shoot me again, huh? To take my other eye?” He pointed the weapon at her. He pulled the sunglasses from his face. A ghastly hole replaced his left eye.
“I came with a message.”
“What does Samuel’s little harlot have to tell me?”
“Come back, face justice, and we’ll overlook those Swiss bank accounts. And, of course, the money you’ve been compounding in them for millennia. You’ll be well cared for when you get out.”
“I don’t think you want that. Trust me.”
“The last time I trusted you, my sister died.”
Horatio smiled and lowered the gun as if remembering a funny story. “Yeah, she did.” He pointed the gun at Melinda again, cruelty returning to his face. “You already knew I was going to kill you, didn’t you?”
Melinda leaned forward.
“You’re pathetic. Power is an addiction you cannot resist. You will always take more; always kill to get that little bit extra. You have wasted your immortality on greed. You, Horatio Rasch, are a parasite feeding on humanity and you must be stopped.”
“Great speech!” he said. “Pity you’re not immortal.”
Horatio put the pistol to Melinda’s forehead, smiled, and pulled the trigger.
To Be Continued…