Best laid plans

Posted: December 1, 2012 in WIP
Tags: , ,

So, this week went a little slower than planned. I only managed a few thousand words, but I don’t see it as all bad. I have researched several aspects of my story, and have enlisted the help of two people with expertise in areas that I don’t possess. I also did a lot of character development and actually have a fair at-a-glance outline done. I figure I am about half a week off my goal, but with the wife gone this week I will be less inclined to sit and talk instead of write. Maybe I can get myself back on schedule.

A little taste of my opening scene. Remember that this is raw, unedited, and not guaranteed to stay as the opener:

The grounds surrounding the mansion were immaculate. Each tree and bush was trimmed into perfect symmetry. The few statues that were in the courtyard area shone like pure snow, not a trace of dust to be seen on their alabaster facings. A rare sight indeed here in Muscat, with the sands not far away. The whole property was gaudy compared to the buildings on either side and across the road. The wall that rose up around the house was equal parts beauty and protection. The columns were fluted with scrollwork near the top, which was ten feet up. That, combined with the security force that patrolled the grounds inside and out, made this one resident who slept soundly whenever he chose to.
Tonight that would all change.
Joseph Randall froze in place as the beam from one of the guard’s flashlight passed near hiding spot in the trees just outside the eastern wall.
He didn’t like this latest obstacle at all. He ran over the schematic in his head, trying to recall what the patrol pattern was.
This guard was also not part of the plan.
His leg muscles protested being placed in a squatting position for the fourth time in the last hour. The security detail in the area was double what he had expected coming in.
When would those damn idiots in intelligence actually live up to their job titles? A third grader would have been able to calculate the amount of resistance without even using his toes.
The guard finally grew tired of looking out into nothingness and walked away.
Finally
Joe tensed up the muscles in his legs, forcing the blood to flow freely again. He stood up, avoiding the branch that was directly overhead as he scanned around for the gap in the security cameras. Retirement never seemed like a better idea before this mission.
His destination determined he bolted for the wall, thrust out his foot, and scaled up the wall while hardly using his hands at all. Maybe retirement wasn’t needed. Besides, why should all the young guys have all the fun?
At the top of the wall he lay flat and checked his watch in the ambient light that came from the mansion.
And what a building it was. The curved entryway sported a second story balcony. Every arch around every door looked as if it was detailed in lace. The kind of extravagance that only some such as Burhan Malaak would pay for. The sure number of windows in the place belied the fact that it was of more modern construction.
Joe hated every bit of it, especially given that Malaak had earned it all by trafficking young girls to the sheiks of the region. He was going to insure that tonight it all ended.
He keyed his radio twice.
“Got you, Ghost Walker, starting the party in five.”
Joe counted down and was rewarded by the squeal of tires and a horrific crash near the front gate. Pandemonium broke out all around the grounds as every guard rushed toward the commotion. Joe couldn’t believe that someone in Malaak’s position would hire people who didn’t know better than to leave a whole flank undefended. There wasn’t one person between him and the rear door. Joe rolled off of the wall and landed softly on his feet. He wove his way among the palms and low bushes until he reached the entryway. With no sudden shouts to make him feel he had been caught, Joe slipped in and shut the door behind him. The foyer opened up before him, two stories tall with a grand, curving staircase to the right leading to the second floor. Joe could see the crowd out at the front gate through the main entrance. He moved silently to the bottom landing and peered up. Light from only one room shone from under a door. At least the intelligence group had been right about which room was occupied at night. Something had to go right.
Releasing his weapon from its holster, Joe affixed the suppressor. It wouldn’t do to have the guards rushing in to gunshots. He could hear all of the yelling outside as Tim Barnard played his drunken American act with the guards. It had been a gamble, but Barnard had assured him that the guards would see a drunk causing an accident as nothing to be concerned with. Just an annoyance
Fuck it if he wasn’t right again.
Checking behind him to make sure he hadn’t missed anyone lurking in the shadows Joe made his way up the stairs. Each step softer than a cat’s. He looked down the hall in both directions, wondering why anyone would need hallways this large. At least it made looking for guards easier; there was nowhere to hide. Outside the door he took a deep breath in order to steady himself. It was time to do what he was good at, and that meant entering another state altogether.
Centered.
Balanced.
Joe opened the door silently and moved in. Malaak was at his desk, head down as he pored over papers strewn about.
“What is all that commotion out there about, Rajiv?” he said in Arabic without looking up.
“It signals your end,” Joe said as pulled the trigger on his M9 three times. Two shots to the chest and one to the head. Branson went to check on the results when he heard a sound to his right. Reflexively he crouched as something was swung at his head. He raised his weapon again and fired off three more rounds before he realized what he was shooting at. The young women fell before him, her eyes full of shock and pain. Branson pulled himself out of his trance and surveyed the rest of the room. His relief at finding no one else present faded as she spied the bassinet in the corner.
This was all wrong. There was nothing in the reports about a woman, but that mistake could be forgiven based on what Burhan did for his money. The presence of a child made his blood boil. The one thing he had made clear from the beginning was that he would not take on targets that had children. No one was to be made an orphan because of his actions. Now that had just happened.
“Ghost Walker, we are clear and on the way to the rendezvous.” Tim’s voice whispered. Joe looked around. His only exit was the window balcony, which was what they had planned, but now there was a complication. He weighed the options. Taking the child would slow him down and potentially loose a manhunt for him. That was unfavorable to say the least. The other option was to let the child be potentially raised by the remains of Malaak’s operation. That potentially meant a future adversary out for revenge. The final option was the least savory, but the least problematic. The child’s life could be ended. Quick, clean and nothing to worry about from here out.
The presence of footsteps on the stairs forced him to choose quickly.
He only hoped he made the right one.

I hope it has you wanting more.

Comments
  1. Michael says:

    I do like it – then again, I’m rather fond of the hardass assassin with a code archetype. You’re very good with description and I am left wanting to know what’s going to happen in the end. Nice, in other words.

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