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Urban Hero: A Complicated Relationship
Now Derek needed a bodyguard. Not just some cheap poison inhaling, Chinese, run of the mill bodyguard, he needed a real bodyguard.
Now he had two assassins trying to kill him, and one of them was the world’s most dangerous sniper. He needed one of those bodyguards that found their way into legend, and the shoot ‘em up chick flicks that exploited those legends. One of personalize body guards, with years of martial arts and artillery behind their belts, all the newest types of weaponry, and an unbreakable vow of loyalty on their consciousness. Derek needed a body guard that would blow himself up to save his charge. Jump in front of a bullet and all that.
From his wallet Derek removed a business card. A few years ago, his boss, before he had killed him and taken over the business, had made a recommendation. There was a girl who served him for a short time, having trained in a private school in Los Angeles, before leaving to finish her training in Korea. According to her boss she had been extraordinary, inconspicuous and yet a deadly killer at the same time.
Plugging the number into his cellophane, Derek swiped the green button. The call went through to Saudi Arabia, a girl answered, her voice both subtle and clear.
“Hi, this is Naomi speaking, how may I help you?”
“My name’s Jackson, I was wondering what your status is?”
Her voice stiffened and a bit of a chuff entered it, “I’m available, may I ask where you are located and how long employment might be.”
“I am in the United States; I can meet you at the DC airport and employment will last, lets say a full year.” Derek didn’t expect he wouldn’t need a specialized Bodyguard for more then a month, but through experience Derek knew you earned better loyalty, and rates, when your employee thought he would be on a long term contract.
“I see you tomorrow morning then.” She hung up. Leaving Derek with a crinkling of static where her voice used to be.
The next morning came and Derek showed up at the airport. It was crowded, being a Saturday morning, and the people swirling by him left him feeling nauseous. There were many girls in the waiting room coming out of Saudi Arabia.
Derek frowned; he didn’t know what his employee looked like, other then that she was female, and athletic. He did know where a body guard would sit however, in the far left corner by the window, with an easy escape onto the wing of the plane if she noticed anything suspicious from her ninety degree view of the room.
Sure enough, in a pair of bright pink sweat pants and a bulging gym bag supported effortlessly in her grip, sat an athletic black girl with a GW hoodie, as if she was returning to school from a temporary leave visiting her family.
If Derek didn’t know what to look for he would have overlooked her in the crowd. As he approached she stood up, revealing herself to be a good deal taller then Derek, but none the more conspicuous as she curled over to appear smaller.
“Are you Naomi?” Derek held out his hand, he had worn a Topaz ring, just incase she had any doubts about his authority.
“Yes and it’s a pleasure to meet you Mr. Jackson.” Her hand shake was firm. Painfully so, Derek thought as her calluses dug into the soft of his palm.
The walk through the airport was spent in an awkward silence. Derek had many questions for his knew employ, but he saved them till their voices were covered by the wind.
“What we’re you doing in Arabia.” It was a ploy to show his knowledge of her; she had actually taken a plane out of Yemen to throw people off her trail.
“Until recently I served a weapons transporter who shipped nukes into Iraq.”
Derek raised an eyebrow, “Did he put you off?”
“Yes, so I killed him.”
Jackson was surprised and worried. “I thought bodyguards prided their loyalty?”
Naomi laughed, “Loyalty depends on both employee and employer cooperating. He said he would give me a year of service, and then he let me off at the end of the month. Since I was no longer bound to him, I took my revenge and killed him.”
Swallowing a breath of wind, Derek replied. “Actually, when I come to think of it, I’ll only need you for a couple weeks of work.”
Naomi frowned but shrugged, “For these two weeks I am in your service, any bullet that might be coming your way, I will be on the receiving not the sending end of it.”
They had reached the van, one of Derek’s other bodyguards left the drivers seat to take Naomi’s suitcase. They glared suspiciously at each other.
“Before I trap us in the van together, Mrs. Naomi, I need a DNA test.” From his pocket Derek pulled out a needle with a curious device at the end. It was standard procedure, after slipping the genome reader into her bloodstream, the screen flashed green, it matched the hair his friend had given him; this girl was the real thing.
They entered the car, his old bodyguard driving and Naomi sitting protectively between him and the window.
“What weapons do you have to defend me?” Derek glanced suspiciously at the pink suitcase they had picked up and the gym bag that weighed so much.
“You mean besides being a black belt in five martial arts and having a doctorate in bodyguard science.” She cracked her knuckles. “My most expensive weapon is this pair of sunglasses.” She flipped them off of her head. “They have a built in scope, magnification glass, infrared and thermal imaging settings. Plus,” pointed to the ends of them where there were two little plastic darts safely tucked away, “These babies have enough venom to kill an elephant and I still I wore them on my head past security.”
The other bodyguard snorted, “Airport security, what A joke, I bet those glasses have x-ray vision as well?”
“Don’t be ridiculous!” Naomi smiled. “I’m also trained in sniping and gunning however, and this pink suitcase is full of firepower.” She flipped it open and inside where millions of dollars worth of rifles and air guns and machine guns and pistols butterfly knives and all the best versions of standard technology. “It helps that I used to serve a weapons transporter.” She winked, “and if all else fails I can use these.” She cupped her large breasts.”
“Voice activated bombs?”
“Got that right, amazing what technology can do today.”
Derek smiled, “This will give Raphael a run for his money.”
Naomi pailed, “I have to fight Raphael?”
“I’ve heard you’re the best equipped to do it?”
“Got that right, I’ve been waiting to kill that sly fox for years, I just never thought the opportunity would come so soon.”
“Well what’s in the gym bag?”
Naomi sighed and turned distractedly back towards Derek, “Just my make up kit...”
“…and costumes for disguises and such.”
“But the weight...?”
“Oh yeah, and my weight set.”
Derek had developed an attitude, now with the best bodyguard in the land, he felt invincible. But it was more then that, Derek felt unstoppable, only a week had passed by and already they were on the verge of tracking down Raphael. Assuming he didn’t get them first.
It was the feeling he had gotten when he had taken over his first major corporation, partly because it was the byproduct of scrupulous thinking, and partly because, at that very moment, just like now, he had been pelted by a thousand crystals of wet ice.
Yes, it was hailing; raining down a frozen storm of pellets that pounded across the hood of Derek’s Volkswagen, a specially dented car which was now being disfigured.
They had laid an ingeniously complex trail, using a man disguised in a hood to fool the sniper, letting him be guarded by Naomi so he wouldn’t risk sniping from the corner of a building. With luck he would attack them on the ground, while Naomi diverted her attention scanning the buildings for heat rays, and the real Derek would run him over from where he waited in the car. Derek worried that the man in the hoodie wouldn’t fool Raphael, but he had run out of look a likes so it was his only option left.
Suddenly, the car jolted on its wheels as something thudded against it, far too heavy to be a ball of hail. The back window smashed through as Raphael poked his rifle through it. Derek cursed, it was over; the fox had sniffed him out.
A shot rang through the empty streets, startling a band of pigeons roosting away from the rain. After five seconds Derek opened his eyes, relieved; Raphael always used a silencer. Indeed the Frenchman hadn’t shot him; he had been shot himself, between the eyes so that his forehead was partially open to the elements. Glancing back Derek saw Naomi, standing on the other end of the block, the impersonator cowering behind her and the rifle steaming in her grasp. She clicked the safety back and started down the street.
Now Derek had the upper hand, his brush with death had left his confidence shaky, but he stepped back into the game victorious. Now he had Raphael’s head on a silver platter which he was going to sharpen and serve to the Urban Hero.
A week later but no less eagerly, Derek redialed the man who had promised the exchange, confirming that he had managed to kill the fox and that he would like to trade carcass for cadaver.
Eleven minuets and twenty three seconds later he was met with a curt reply on his phone, meet me in st louis, by the tennis courts in reservoir park, midnight.
The tennis courts weren’t functional anymore, they were used, oh yes; Derek could tell they were used. Used for street brawls and games of basketless ball. Cracks ran wild along the concrete and caved in where a metal net once bisected the courts, now just a ruin of rust.
Derek was alone and nervous. Naomi was supervising from a distance, because if she didn’t’ pick off the sniper first; the sniper, if he existed, would likely hesitate at Derek’s solidarity.
The phone buzzed in his pocket and Derek checked the message. I see u, meet me in the abandoned maintenance shed.
Derek had guessed this was where the transaction would take place, he had worked out a way for Naomi to crawl in down the beams incase the person inside pulled a gun out at him. Opening the door to the shed, Derek was met by the stench of decaying meat. He had already had his fair share of this when he opened the sealed pack on his back to check that Raphael’s head was still their, and he was not at all pleased. It was dark, but after a moment a candle flared from the darkness, illuminating the mysterious man.
Derek froze and stepped back, the man flicked back his jacket revealing a gun in his waist band. It was the Urban Hero; light flickering across the stripes on his face and casting golden shadows on his skin.
“You wanted me?”
“No,” Derek said swallowing, “I wanted you dead.”
“My humblest apologies, you didn’t specify,” the young man bowed. Derek smiled weakly; Naomi had already caught up to them and the danger was passed. He could see her loading her weapon in the rafters.
“Unfortunately, I’m not ready to die, so I’m afraid I’ll have to choose between you and me.” He smiled, revealing his pearly white teeth, “I think you know who I choose.”
But Naomi was too quick for him, before the Urban Hero had even reached his weapon an explosion tore through the air. Derek laughed, but something wasn’t right, the Hero wasn’t collapsing in a bloody heap, no bullet tore him to shreds, instead he just looked sad. The world swayed around Derek.
And then he felt the pain, not the pain that came from falling on the ground, but the pain in his chest where the bullet left a big, bloody, trail. He had been betrayed, now Derek new what the people around him felt; and he was sorry.
Naomi dropped to the floor, “Sorry Mr. Jackson,” she holstered her weapon and landed a soft peck on the Urban Hero’s cheek. “But its 12:01, my fourteen days are up.”