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the Adventure of a Von Albert

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 Imagine a pier, extremely dark except a few lamp posts strewn about. A black SUV and a dark grey truck come in from the left. Three SUVs cars come from the right. The cars barely fit in the thin area between the towers of shipping containers and the water. Seven men come out of the group of cars that came from the left, while fourteen men come out of the opposite group of cars.
“Where are the weapons?” One of the seven men shouted with a Russian accent.
“Honestly, I haven’t the faintest idea as to where my illegally bought weapons are,” said a man with an Irish accent. “We were just sent here to kill you.”  Suddenly, the top of the first black SUV on the right opened to reveal a mounted LMG. The group with the superior number of men opened fire with M16s and AK47s. The light from the firearm discharge lit up the dock up like fireworks, the men were blindly firing at this point. Bullet after bullet ripped through the inferior group of men and their cars, one of the cars even blew up.
By the way, my name is Krieger von Albert and I'll be telling you a story, but first, let me tell you about myself. I am a native of Germany, München to be exact. (Sorry, Munich.) I am 6’1, I have brown hair and I like long walks along the beach. No, but I did serve in the Kriegsmarine, which is the German equivalent of the Navy. It was difficult because my father was the captain of the P 6062 Wolf. I say was because it  was decommissioned a few years after I left.
After my time on the seas, I was recruited into the BND, the German equivalent of the CIA, and I spent 10 years doing things I'll get killed if I discuss with someone who wasn't there. Anyway,  After I left, I went into the BKA (The German equivalent of the FBI) and shortly after that, a liaison for the BKA in the FBI. Now let's stop talking about me, and get to my story.
Anyway, my first day on the task force to track the men responsible started with me waking up, believe it or not. The reason I bring this up is I had a nightmare… Forget I said that, I'm not ready to talk about that event in particular. Anyway, I passed my safe, secret wall safe, and secret compartments hidden behind movie posters, and went to my bathroom mirror and stared into my blue eyes for several minutes remembering, I decided to shave my… what is the simile? Peach fuzz? Anyway, I shaved my chin. The worst part about having an ovular chin? Shaving. After I was done shaving, I put on my Aerosmith shirt, a pair of blue jeans,and a belt.
As I walked through the light blue colored room and stepping over my dog, I looked at a letter my dad had sent to me recently and thought to myself, I'll read it later. After that, I walked into the kitchen and had a coughing fit, John’s cigar always reminded me of tear gas. John, or John Beverly, was a frequent smoker and a Vietnam vet. So I’ve never been able to summon the courage to tell him to stop. After dragging myself across the floor to the nearest window, my lightheadedness prevented me from getting up to open the window. I saw a large calloused hand pry the window open.
“I thought you were trained to breathe using smoke grenades,” John said, chuckling.
“It's been awhile since I've walked down the hall of mirrors.” I retorted. The hall of mirrors was a popular nickname for the spy game. Espionage game? I don't even remember what it's called anymore. “It's been awhile since I've last swam, but I still remember.” John replied.
“That's because you were a marine who spent most of his time swimming through Vietnamese waters.” I retorted while using a chair to get up. I looked around the kitchen, it was nothing to look at, a coffee pot, a fridge, a microwave oven and a table with four chairs, and the walls were white. (For the company we will never have)
     John didn't say anything after that, anytime you reference ‘Nam around him he blankly stares into the distance and winces every now and again, as if he’s remembering it all. Every now and again I’ll hear screaming coming from his room, I'll open the doors and find him “sleeping.”
     “How much sleep did you get last night?” I asked him while pouring coffee into a mug.
     “Could you tell me what sleep is again?” He asked before chuckling. Now, besides his cigar and sleeping problems, his features are relatively normal, rounded nose, square chin, caring green eyes, and blond hair. He's also ripped, and because of that he always walks around the house shirtless. Walking around the house shirtless also shows off a massive scar that he got from a Vietcong soldier using a bayonet. 
     “Oh also, HQ called, they want to send us to New York City. Something to do with some big shot cartel dealers,” John stated while tossing his cigar out the window, onto his pile of half finished cigars sitting on the fire escape, “Hey, could you get me a shirt while I get the rest of the laundry?”
     “Ugh, fine.” I groaned while getting up, walking across the living room, and opening the door to John’s room. You could tell a lot about a man by how he decorates his room, I use movie posters to hide secret panels where I keep my HKP7s, M9 Berettas, and files left over from my spy days. John has a calendar above his bed, his bed is a single mattress with only a pillow, a few gun safes by the opposite wall, and you have to navigate through a horde of exercise equipment and dirty clothes. It isn't pleasant.
      Anyway, after petting my Schnauzer (Reichtum) and calling the dog sitter, we went to New York City, where all of the magic happened. After a few hour long road trip, we arrived at the 14th precinct in... whatever part of New York we were in. After we exited the car and went up to the second floor in an elevator, we went into a room. The room wasn't that large, it was a conference room with dull gray tiles on the floor, an ovular table, and a projector with a canvas mounted on the wall.
     In the room contained six other police officers and an ATF agent, I could tell he was an ATF agent by the ATF flack jacket he was wearing.
    “Oh, finally, you're here. I'm Alejandro Hernandez and these,” he said while pointing towards the six other officers, “are people whose names you won't remember in the future. Also, after we track down the people responsible, ATF will track the buyers of the illegal firearms that were also found at the scene.”
     “ATF leading this…task force?” John said after a few seconds of pondering and almost impatiently. He's good at that.
     At that point, I already hated Alejandro. I'd known him for a few seconds at that point, but by his greaser hair, constant smirk, icy blue eyes, I could tell he was c***y.  And the only reason he was leading this task force was that he had friends in high places.
     “No, I was actually sent by a council of the biggest corporations to halt the search for their main source of income.” Alejandro laughed, “Of course ATF is leading this,” he stayed quiet for thirty seconds to mock John, “task force.”
     John, Alejandro, the officers, and I spent the next half hour going over the details of the shooting I described to you at the beginning of my story. There were only a few small details I missed, like how there was a survivor. Though, being Russian, he lied to us Americans about what really happened. You know how I know? Apparently, this “meeting between friends” was interrupted by a small group of unicorns who killed the men with LMGs imbedded in their throats. Anyway, after that, Al (Alejandro's nickname) dismissed us all and sent us home to rest.
    After a short drive, we walked into the elevator and went to the fourth floor. The apartment was low rent, but nice. The Bureau is good at renting apartments. We walked into the apartment and it had green wallpaper, granite countertops, ugly gray carpet, two black leather upholstered chairs, a table on the other side of the counter, and no appliances. Actually, I take back what I said, the Bureau sucks at renting. After stepping on the floor to find out which boards were squeaky (In case the hotels entire two security guards didn't hold up.), John and I went to sleep.
     It was the middle of the night, I heard a floorboard creak, I bolted up while grabbing the gun I had under my pillow. I got out of the bed, as my eyes adjusted, I stepped over the pressure plate alarm I cooked up last night and opened the door. But all I saw was the ugly light gray carpet, the two leather chairs, the 60s television, and the wine rack where John put all of his bourbon. I heard a light object hitting the ground, turned around, but mid turn I was put into a headlock. I felt an elbow fly into my ribs, so I stepped on my opponent's toes and he screamed. Then he grabbed my night shirt and flipped me over. Then, as I was on the floor, my opponent put his combat boot on my chest and pulled out a silenced 9 Millimeter.
     “Krieger?” Said a man with a half Russian, half Ukrainian accent.
     “Viktor?” I said. After the words left my mouth, I was startled by the sound of breaking glass. Victor's body fell on me and I pushed him off.
     “Wait, that was Viktor?” John said holding the broken neck of a bottle of bourbon.
     After waiting a few minutes, Viktor gasped and moved his head side to side a few times. In case you were wondering, Viktor was a man who was short with broad shoulders, he had Hazel eyes, and black hair.
     He said, “Really John, how long have I known you?”
     “You know I shoot first and and almost never ask questions,” he thought for a few seconds, “or in this case, break bottles first.” He laughed.
     Viktor was originally my contact in the Kremlin, but after he was exposed as a traitor, he ran from Soviet Russia and became my unofficial official partner. The only reason John knows him is I told him about him. “I thought the Kremlin pumped you full of polonium when you were in Yugoslavia.”
     Viktor smiled, ”You think radiation poisoning could keep this mustang from bucking.”
     “I did when the mustang,” I said making air quotes with my fingers, “went missing for four years.” I punched the wall. “Why did you even decide to make a house call?” I walked to the counter and poured more Whiskey into my plastic cup.
     “You know that shooting that occurred a few days back? Our old friend Winston was behind it,” Viktor explained. A bit before I first got into espionage, Winston first got into arms dealing. He left the IRA, the Irish Republican Army, after stealing enough weapons to rival the Swiss Army’s. He's been flying Europe ever since, being the most violent and resourceful fixer around. We first crossed paths after he sent a French oil platform in the Antarctic sky high.
     Not all of his plots succeeded though, he has had several plots blow up in his face, literally. He has three scars on his left cheek, and the entire right side of his face is scar tissue. One of his eyes is milky white and the other one is red. He was apparently the guinea pig of some failed Soviet experiment, that's why his left eye suffered from early onset cataracts and the other is blood red. He always wears black suits with a black fedora. He would make a good Bond villain.
    “After the shooting, Gorbachev sent another one of our old friends, Alexander to take care of Winston.” Viktor explained again. For the sake of time, I'll shorten this one. Alexander is basically me, he was even a navy man. He has brown hair, a hawk beak like nose, and blue eyes. But instead of espionage, he got involved in counter-espionage, which meant our paths crossed, a lot .
     “And you're here to kill Winny before Alex does.” John summarized.
     “Basically.” Viktor said bluntly.
     After a twelve minute drive through multiple dark and damp alleyways, we reached a yard full of storage units. After impatiently following Viktor around for another seven minutes, picking bits of gravel out of my combat boots, and watching him open storage container after storage container only containing a set of keys lying on the ground, we finally reached the last storage container. Which contained an entire arsenal.
     “You know how much money I had to steal to bribe the owner of this place and his guards?” Viktor said while loading a clip into his M16. I chuckled, and John smiled as he immediately went towards the LMG mounted on a pedestal in the center. The only thing I picked out was a HKP7, with a silencer attached. My signature weapon.
     After that we went to Vik’s safe house, which was just an abandoned apartment building in the middle of Harlem. The worst part was Viktor had dropped the key to the apartment, and it fell between two floor boards. John and I stood there as Vik walked down the stairs muttering every single Russian curse word I knew, and a few I didn't know. After waiting roughly a minute,John gave up on Viktor and kicked the apartment's door down. Unfortunately, the door was rigged to trigger a smoke grenade if was not opened properly.
     “I said,” Viktor coughed for a few seconds,”I said wait for me, not startle my hobo neighbors.” He scolded John as he draped an old floor mat over the makeshift boobytrap. The safe house wasn’t that bad looking, Viktor is a sucker for aesthetics. The walls were painted a nondescript shade of beige, it probably would've fooled the untrained if it was at street level. There was a television from the early 70s with a DVR box hooked up and sitting on a shelf. There was a half dismantled Atari sitting on a side table surrounded by a kit of tools. A foot away from that was a seemingly new leather chair, with a microwave sitting on it. Beside a boarded up doorway were two mattresses with three pillows on top.
     “Do you like the place?” Viktor said while brushing all the tools and Atari bits off the table.
     “The place smells like a wet dog covered in seaweed, but other than that, it's nice.” John said while laying down on the bed. I reached into the microwave and pulled out a half eaten bowl of Ramen. Viktor ripped it out of my hands and slurped up all the ramen with the same breath.
     “It’s going to be a long day tomorrow.” I sighed.
     After we got up from a horrible night’s sleep, we went to the apartment across the hall and opened the door. There was nothing there except a hole in the floor, an old cabinet, and a lot of dust. Viktor casually walked up to cabinet and punched a hole in it. He tried to reach the handles on the inside, but John had to pull him out and turn the knob instead. Unfortunately, there were only three NYPD issued vests and, drum roll please… more dust. After strapping the vests on and getting in the car, we started driving.
     I had no idea where we were going at the time, so I asked, “Where are we going?”
     Viktor replied with a smile, “Let's just call it a very late birthday surprise.”
     John replied to his reply by saying, “Surprises get people killed.”
    “Then let's call it a lethal surprise.” Vik said in a sarcastic tone.
    After fifteen minutes of driving, we arrived at some private landing pad. With a helicopter sitting there.Viktor jumped out and busted the window of the heli.
     “What’re you doing!” I whispered loudly.
    Viktor swept the glass aside and jumped into the c***pit.
     “I… am,” he stopped talking for a second as he was placing two wires together, “hotwiring a helicopter.” The engine sputtered to life and John jumped in. After a second or two of debating with myself, I jumped in too.
     I chuckled after we landed because all we did was go up and land on the roof of an annex to a large skyscraper.We got out of the chopper and entered an “employees only” door that led to somewhere above twenty flights of stairs. We climbed for about thirty minutes; after we exited the stairwell, we were on a roof cluttered with shipping containers and large crates alike. John took lead and shortly after, we heard voices.
     “I don't know where they went I thought maybe some of your guys abducted him,” said, to John and I’s surprise, Alejandro
    “Well they didn't, so they probably went to help the Russians.” Winston said while unloading a box filled with varying rocket launchers.
     “How do you know they don’t have directional mics or something on our position?’ Al said while looking at a taller building through binoculars.
     “Because I'm right here.” John said while hand-signaling us to go around the shipping container.
     John walked out into the open. Alejandro attempted to draw his gun, BLAM BLAM. I came out from around the corner to see Winston holding the fired firearm. John was leaning against the shipping container with a bullet hole in his left kidney. Alejandro was on the ground, with a bullet hole between his eyes. “WEAPON ON THE GROUND!” I yelled with a tear in my eye.
     “How about, no.” Winston said before a flash bang went off in the shipping container. The only thing it did to us was startle us, and gave Winny enough time to dive off the roof. By the time Viktor and I reached the edge, all we saw was the top of a parachute on a light pole, and Winston getting away in a convertible ‘79 Corvette.
     After a lot of panic and screaming at John, the paramedics I called in arrived. After air lifting us to the nearest hospital, and waiting a few hours, we were finally allowed to go into John’s room.
     “Did he get away?” He asked while sitting up
     “Unfortunately, yes.” I sighed. 
     “Is the news on at 3:43?” Vik inquired.
     “Yes, it's on channel five.” A nurse replied from the hallway.
     Viktor turned the tv on and changed the news report, it was a news report.
     “Breaking news, we have more news on the bomb that destroyed an abandoned building and killed two people. The first person, who the CIA suspect detonated the bomb, was a Russian citizen named Aleksandr Zhukov. The Soviets claim he was just a citizen visiting an old friend in NYC, but they still requested the body be sent to Moscow. The second man’s name was Winston O'Connell, who was actually the man suspected in seventy-three murders in Europe, and fifty-two in Africa. He is proven to the bomber in the ‘71 detonation of the French oil rig, Le Expedicion. The Republic of Ireland has not commented on how he got to America. And was the FBI's number one suspect in the shooting that occurred earlier this week in the harbour. Now, let's talk about the latest surge of narcotics in New York, a relatively new one called cocaine…” Viktor turned the TV down.
     I looked over and saw John with a flabbergasted look on his face. “Were you responsible for that bombing?”
     “You know I wouldn't admit to being a terrorist.” Viktor said. “Hypothetically, let's say I was, it would've been a huge risk to blow a building with twenty-five pounds of C4.” Viktor realized he had made a mistake, and we all laughed.
     After a while of drinking scotch and watching SNL, I said, “Wait, the file on the shooting said it was a weapons deal gone bad, who were the buyers?”
     “Some Bratva types over in Vladivostok, we can get them on the weekend.” Viktor said rubbing the space between his fingers, a method of getting rid of a headache.
     “Why did they want to buy the weapons in an American city?” I inquired.
     “We’ll find out when John is kicked out of here,” Viktor opened the top drawer on the side table, and looked at a battered clipboard, “a week from now.”
     It's gonna a long week, I thought to myself.




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