Dimitry Vanzin and Antonio Suarez were on several most-wanted lists, FBI, Interpol, and the Russian Federal Security Service. The two-man team, known as Cloak and Dagger, were highly compensated by everyone from Enhanced kingpins to mundane dictators for their services. But for this mission, they were working for free, a gift to the cause. They were promised high positions in the new administration with the power to settle old debts against their enemies both foreign and domestic. It was a simple task, kill Maze, the last member of the The Old Guard that still believed that Enhanced were heroes. They were eager to add the legend’s death to their killboard.
“What did he say?” asked Antonio as his partner hung up the phone. Dagger was the morpher of the group with the ability to transform his body into a black shadow, the perfect disguise for murder. He did not have Cloak’s mental abilities to read minds or create illusions.
“The stupid mundane wants us to stay hidden, afraid he might get caught in his little coup,” Dimitry responded. Both men laughed.
Antonio pulled out the twin daggers sheathed at his sides as Dimitry punched in the number to their employer to get instructions on their next step. While both men wore similar black tactical outfits, Antonio had several secret compartments for his throwing knives. His preferred weapons, twin daggers manufactured by his current employer, danced along his fingertips. They were perfectly balanced and sharper than any mundane manufactured blade. They were created to kill mundanes in Harris armor or the powerful Enhanced traitors working for the JTF. Only the nanoblade, a prototype weapon designed to penetrate Atomic Power’s shield and armor was deadlier, but it disappeared many years ago.
“Yes, sir. We’re here and have already contacted the mundane,” Cloak said as he tied his albino-white hair in a ponytail. His partner was doing the same with his jet-black hair.
“We’ll meet with them this afternoon.” Dimitry nodded his head several times. “We’ll take care of him, if necessary.”
Dimitry turned to his partner. “Looks like we have a meeting in two hours and we better not be late.”
Jeff Porter was a snitch, a dealer of information. It was a dangerous job, but he was well rewarded by the JTF especially the Director for his services. It was a good thing because E-stims were extremely expensive and he could no longer function after a few days without them. Jeff always thought it was unfair that he was born a mundane with the ability to do nothing, to be nothing. The Enhanced out there wasted their amazing gifts. Only the JTF was doing something about the problem. If Jeff had powers, he would be the greatest hero ever, even mightier than Judge.
He received an urgent call from the Director to watch two men in a hotel on New York Avenue. He could not provide a description of them but said they would stand out from the usual scum hanging around in that area and likely concealing weapons. Jeff did not have to wait long. Two men walked out of the hotel a few minutes after he lit up a cigarette across the street while leaning against the wall. As the men entered their car, Jeff raced to the alleyway and kick started his old motorcycle.
The men drove casually east before turning right and continued south which made Jeff nervous. The area south of downtown was considered out of the jurisdiction of Metro due to security concerns. Everyone knew that drugs, guns, and prostitutes flowed out of that area of town and were protected by extremely dangerous mundanes and Enhanced. Jeff patted the derringer in his pocket as reassurance. The Director had promised him good money to watch these guys and he needed his next fix badly.
The car parked at the largest building in the area, one of the first public housing complexes built after Apocalypse, but now a dilapidated shell of poverty and corruption. Jeff knew this place belonged to the Southside Crew, his dealer’s supplier of E-stims and one of the most violent street gangs in the city. He had heard rumors that the Crew even had stockpiles of military and high-tech weapons. Metro and the JTF had obviously heard the rumors as well. They never patrolled near the area.
Jeff waited in an abandoned parking lot down the street as the pair did their business in the complex. Two members of the Southside Crew met them at the reinforced door and escorted them in the building like old friends. Whatever they had planned was already arranged by someone. The Crew does not like strangers and these guys were expected.
As the sun started to set a few hours later, the pair reemerged from the Crew’s complex. With final handshakes done, they got back in their car and retraced the route they took to the meeting. Jeff trailed them further back now, worried they would be more cautious leaving a known dealer location, but they appeared oblivious. They had no idea he was following them.
As the car neared the hotel, Jeff swerved to a side street to park his bike in the alleyway. Once the pair had gone back in the hotel, he would call the Director. Surely, this information would be worth a hefty upfront payment.
The car slowed down in front of the hotel, the occupants casually parallel-parking on the street. They got out of the car and walked in the front door. As they disappeared, Jeff pulled out his cellphone and dialed the Director’s private line.
“Hello?” Daniel answered.
“Sir…Sir,” Jeff stammered nervously. This job was dangerous and he just wanted to get home. “I did what you asked. I have some information that might be worth a little extra.”
“Fine, fine,” Daniel replied annoyed. This was the price he paid to safeguard this country, dealing with scum.
“They are parked outside now, but,” Jeff said as he looked up. He blinked his eyes several times. It was no longer there.
“Where? Where did it go?” Jeff asked dumbfounded. The pair went back in the hotel and no one else has come out. The car was gone.
“Where is what? Dammit, I don’t have time for this nonsense. Call me back when you have something to report. Don’t waste my time again!” Daniel yelled over the phone as he pushed the end button.
Jeff cocked his head in confusion. Cars do not just disappear.
As he looked for the vehicle he was tailing all day, Jeff did not notice the shadowy figure moving up along the wall behind him. Even if he had turned around, he might have mistaken it for his imagination. But this shadow was very real. When it reached striking distance, a silver flash suddenly appeared. Jeff’s headless body collapsed to the ground, his severed head bouncing twice before rolling towards the street.
Dimitry turned the corner, his red eyes pulsing with power. He kicked the head back in the alley as Antonio solidified, sheathed his dagger, and dragged the body to the nearby dumpster. Someone would find the body, eventually, but they would be out of the area by then.
“He was talking to someone on the phone,” Antonio commented as he covered the body with discarded cardboard.
Dimitry smiled. He had tapped the mundane’s mind hours ago creating the illusion that they were unaware of his presence. “It was nobody important.”