Chapter 12 – In The Shadow
As usual Claire was wearing her black leather outfit. Belt armed with weapons and strange gadgets. I did not wear my SWAT uniform. I have decided to wear something casual, with my black cap, abstract red square pattern long sleeve shirt that I folded down to my elbow, brown vest, blue jeans and my leather cowboy boots. In my head, only God knew what I was thinking right now, that I imagined myself going out with Claire for a date. Silly me. I headed to my jeep, but Claire insisted to go to Bartson Street by walking. I gave up and followed what she said. I was only worried that if we went there walking we might be chased by them, which I prayed not going to happen on this beautiful day. I took two of my guns from my jeep and bring them with me. Bartson Street was just about several hundred meters from my Flat. The road was quiet, dried brown blood everywhere and even decomposing dead bodies lying horribly here and there. During our way to Bartson Street I saw something moving around the bushes near the roadside, but I took not so much care about it thinking it might be just a lost living dead. I only worried if they came in group. Soon after, I saw in front of me Bartson Street signboard at the entrance of the road junction. Claire moved a bit faster and faster till she ran away leaving me few meters behind. I had to yell and told her to wait for me but she ignored me. She seemed so pumped up. I had to run to keep the pace between us balanced. Then she stopped between two junctions where a bungalow painted in soft emerald paint visible in front of us. The house was surrounded by some average size oak trees. All the windows were broken, shattered of glasses lying about the grass and the door was wide open. It was obviously that we were not the first visitor after the tragedy. “That’s my home, where I used to live with my father” She said.
“Oh” I exclaimed. “I am going in, this could be my last visit here” Claire asked me to go with her inside the house. I nodded and just followed her like I did before. Once we reached inside the house, we were shocked to see how perfect it was inside. “Somebody lives here” Claire said.
“How do you know?” I asked. “The house is kept clean, electricity is switch off when not needed, wet clothes are hung outside at the backyard, the radio is on and there is a hot coffee on the table” she answered. What she said was true but who could have lived here? Then suddenly someone shot toward us missed an inch right side of Claire and hit the vast on the cupboard against the wall. Both of us duck behind the sofa, the shot came from one of the window around the living room. We had our guns ready to shoot back just in case if that someone shoots us. Then that mysterious person yelled at us from his place. “Who are you?! Why do you come here?! Why do you want me dead?!” He sounded like a young boy age around seventeen or eighteen. I immediately answered his question, “We don’t mean any harm. We just want to come and visit this place and searching for someone if there were any survivors left!”
“You lied!” He replied angrily. “No, we don’t! We mean you good!” Then he went out slowly from his hiding place still holding his shotgun pointing toward us. “Put down your guns and the lady too, who’s hiding behind the sofa, now!” I put down my guns and all Claire’s weapon down and slide it ahead in front far from us. “You can trust us now, we don’t have our weapons on our side” I pleaded him.
“You bitch, yes you lady! You tried to kill me twice this month, killing my little brother isn’t enough for you?! What do you want from me?!!!” He cried and shivering at the same time. “I won't miss this time I got you in my hand!” He added in such vengeful tone. I was dumbstruck. I faced Claire. “What is this Claire? What are you hiding from me?” I asked her. Claire was confused. I never seen her like that before. “Wait! I tried to kill you? I don’t know what you’re talking about!!!” Claire said. “Still trying to act dumb when you are already an inch from death? I swear I will pull this trigger and blow up your head! You killed my brother with that lethal static whip. You strangled him till he breathe his last breath! Same outfit, and same blonde hair there’s no mistaken that it was you!!!” He cried and anytime will pull the trigger. “Static whip?” Claire puzzled. “That's right you evil monster!” He added. “Wait! That’s not me. I can explain!”
“I don’t want to hear anything from you liar!” “Hold on kid, give her the chance to explain, please. In this game you will win because we don’t have our weapons with us. Hearing what she about to say wont hurt a thing” I told the boy. He agreed but still holding his shotgun pointed directly to us. “That was not me. I know who she is. But I have no relation with her for so many years now. We are rivals. Her name is Viana. Another assassin like me trained by our master. She is my senior, agent twelve. I have no idea that she is still alive. She surpassed me in everything. She is so cold, killed many innocent lives if they didn’t cooperate with her, I don’t know entirely what was her goal, what she wants to achieve. If my mission was to assassinate world leaders, her mission is much more dangerous, but she never failed”
“What was her mission?” I interrupted.
“To take down all world’s best martial artists down to their knees, they become her apprentices, if any rejected her, they and their entire family generation will be executed”
“I thought you were the best”
“It would take five of me to beat her alone” she said. The boy after hearing her story he slowly lowered his weapon and went away sitting to where his coffee was. Still crying but not wanting to talk to anyone. I pick up back my guns and Claire’s weapon on the floor. I sit next to the boy and tried to calm him. “We are sorry for your lost. Claire might be an assassin but she has a good heart. She came back here because she wants to be home. She used to live here when she was small, smaller than you are when her father died protecting her from some gang of criminals.” I told the boy. “He does not deserved such cruel death! If I ever find that woman again I’ll rip her to pieces mercilessly!” yelled the boy. “I promise you we will do this together. We will stop her evil actions and have her punishment, but not driven by revenge.” By now, Claire had went upstair. She visited her old bedroom. I looked for her upstairs and found her kneeling in the room holding and embracing something to her chest. It was a photo of her and her father. She cried when only few minutes ago I saw her smiling and excited to be back. I came slowly to her and hold her hand and hug her to ease her invisible pain.