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Chapter 1

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Fuck Reverend Mother, damn woman always handed out the impossible missions. That was the thought that played in Bekah's head while she lay adjacent to the artificial bushes and waited for her mark. Sergei, the giant ass Russian with a taste for inter-verse drug trafficking and arms dealing. He still hadn't showed his ugly face. The fucker never kept to a schedule. It was hard to track his fat hairy ass down; and still, she waited. The scabrous ground was unyielding, and the sharp metal thorns from the bushes prodded and poked her skin, the weight from her Tac 2 ray gun wasn't heavy, she could easily pack up and head off into the night if the situation called for it, but she hoped this would end here. She didn't want to do this again. She'd wasted six months tracking him. Granted, it wasn't a universal six months, because that would have been a bitch.

Fuck! She had an itch, right in the middle of her spine, and she wouldn't move to placate it. The feeling of ants marching up her back, dancing over a spot she couldn't reach, made her tense. Even if she could move, she wouldn't. Not until her assignment was completed, there was a reason her code name was Ghost. Rebekah stilled her nerves and listened. There was the sound of a car pulling up the drive. All senses on alert, she took a deep breath to calm herself and counted from ten down.

"Ten... nine... eight... seven..." Finally, the bastard appeared in his piece of shit Audi. Exhaust fumes emitted from the pipe in a cloud of white as the car choked off. Bracing her shoulders, she released the latch on the trigger. How she loved her Tac 2; the most advanced version of the precision rifle, the element designed to insure the best shooting platform. She could engage the enemy from 1500 meters or more. Her rifle had straight pull action she could recharge with minimum movement. She'd only need one shot, anything more and she'd compromise her position.

Sergei opened the driver side door. He didn't get out immediately, but sat for what seemed like forever. She could be patient. She could even shoot him now, right now, it was the perfect shot. Nothing obscured her vision. Take the shot. She scolded herself for hesitating, but something wasn't right. The air seemed stale, the trees too silent. Like someone flipped a button to turn off the simulated nature of her surroundings, or the atmosphere was on auto-silence. She took another deep breath to pull in the elements of the night and tried to calm down. Skin suddenly too tight, and her itch gone, her senses went on full alert. Out of habit, she peered through the rifle's scope. But she didn't need to, her sight and her senses were sharp, compliments of her bio enhancements.

Just like her sisters back on base, she'd been plucked from the bowels of the outlands at a young age by the Reverend Mother, and taught to kill without question, to annihilate those who preyed on the weak. Rebekah was all too eager to sign up. She'd had her share of drugs, pimps, and beatings. Her mother was a dust addict and her father a John Doe. That was life in the outlands.

Her biggest fear had come to pass at thirteen, her mother's latest drug infected boyfriend and his filthy advances had taken its toll. She'd left home, only to come face to face with the devil himself. Salvatore. He'd professed his love for her, promised to cherish and take care of her. Only, he'd slaved her out and abused her. She traded one hell, for another. Only, his world was the shit nightmares were made of. She'd wanted his attention at first. She hadn't understood the true nature of family dynamics; not until she came to be with her sisters. Red Hawk was her family now, and she'd kill anyone in her path who threatened their way of life. But tonight wasn't about her family. Tonight was about that hairy motherfucker, Sergei, and his crimes against the outlands. He sold guns to the wrong species, which was more than just a cause for concern. Certain versuses were banned from using firearms if they planned to vacay on Earth. It didn't matter if you were in New Mecca, Zion, or even the outlands. Most inlanders thought there were no rules in what they called the outlands. Gun trafficking and drug distribution were both things outlanders did not put up with. His drug, Devil's Dust, was killing children. The drug spread like wildfire through the clubs, as well as the playgrounds; and in its path, it left death and destruction. Families were ripped apart. There was an official ban on procreation and fertility drugs were sold on the black market. Nothing could be done for some of these families, and that pissed her off the most. It was said, all the women of Red Hawk were strongly lacking in the morals department. They liked it that way. They weren't downright heartless, it was a killed or be killed type of environment, and those that were weak needed the extra protection. That's where they stepped in.

She'd thought for sure Reverend Mother would give this assignment to Knuckles, but the envelope with all his deets were on her bed when she'd returned home one evening. She'd accepted the assignment with anticipation of the hunt. She knew Sergei would be a difficult mark. It was no reflection on Knuckles skills, she was a stone cold killer. But this particular assignment was a little too close to home for her friend. Her sister had been taken and traded out as a slave. Ro'Chelle had been captured and taken to Cin6ex, a known pleasure district in the outlands. Knuckles' head wouldn't be entirely in the game. Somewhere out there, she still hoped her sister had managed to survive in what new life she had now, but everyone thought otherwise; they just wouldn't voice their opinions out loud.

Rebekah thought public execution would send the proper message, but that wasn't what Red Hawk did. They worked beneath the radar, undetected. Not even the highest ranking federated council members knew about the elite group. The sound of leather from the car seat stretching as her mark exited the car, caught her attention. He eased out and shut the door. Sergei walked to the entrance and sorted through his key ring in order to get the right key to the warehouse. He didn't have the updated keyless entry. No, he had the old school stuff from the 21st century. Everything was dark, no light illuminated his presence, but she could see him as if both suns were high in the sky.

Sergei reached for the door handle, only he never made it inside. There was the smallest distribution of air as the laser hit and exited Sergei's head. There should have been a smattering of red blood and chunks of gray brain matter decorating the door and the sidewalk, only Rebekah never saw it.

Come back next week for Chapter Two

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