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[personal profile] mistersmith_tm

Not for the first time, Mister Smith found himself staring into the muzzle of a gun. One of these days it might even prove to be the instrument of his death.

But not today.

Not that the wielder intended to offer him mercy. Mister Smith doubted Sims knew the meaning of the word. Daniel's lieutenant had a far better understanding of murder and chaos. It was more than just duty or the ends justifying the mans. Simply put, Sims enjoyed inflicting pain and dealing out death. It made him feel important and powerful.

Sims' black eyes glittered with malice as he pressed the gun against the forehead of the battered man before him. Such a poor excuse for an assassin! He almost felt insulted. The Alliance must be desperate indeed if the best they could send against him was this pitiful specimen. He let his finger slowly tightened on the trigger.

Mister Smith slowly raised his eyes until he met Sims' gaze.

"What does your God have to say now?" sneered Sims.

"Why don't you ask him yourself," replied Mister Smith. "You won't have long to wait."

Sims felt a sudden chill that made his skin crawl. As if there had been something powerful underlying the words themselves. Something deeply disturbing.

"You're not worth wasting the bullet," he said suddenly, taking a step backward. He turned to two of his soldiers and made sharp motion with his hand that could only be interpreted in one way.

Instantly, rough hands grabbed Mister Smith by the arms and hauled him onto the concrete wall of the bridge. They shoved him roughly backward and then he was falling . . . falling . . . falling . . . until he hit the river below hard enough to knock the breath out of him. Icy water instantly closed over his head and dragged him from sight.

Sims instantly felt a curious sense of relief. He turned his back on the river and the drowning man, dismissing him and the fleeting premonition that had gripped him.

"Our victory is at hand," he said decisively in a voice pitched loud enough to carry to the soldiers gathered on the bridge. "We have the advantage of surprise. Tomorrow we meet the rest of our forces at Four Corners. At sundown, we will crush the Alliance in the name of Daniel!"

Sims reveled in the answering cheers of confidence. He was on a rendezvous with destiny. By this time tomorrow, the Alliance would be in ruin.

Below the bridge, Mister Smith struggled to keep his head above water. Only a few words carried to him before his strength failed and he was swept away by the current.

"Four Roads. Sundown. Friday."

Four words that could give the Alliance a fighting chance.

If he could manage to stay alive long enough to deliver the message . . .

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July 2006

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