Some of you will be pleased to know I started writing the full version of Sicario. The plan is to have it ready for release by the early part of 2016.
So as a teaser, I'm sharing chapter one from Sicario: Part One. Enjoy.
He was close by. I knew it. Sensed it deep in my tightening gut. The man I wanted. The reason I’d broken my three-month long seclusion.
Stepping off the helicraft, I stood on the skyscraper roof, gaze fixed on the bright lights below. Once upon a time, I’d been a significant part of a vibrant city life. Carefree, my only concern had been on fixing my boss’s problems. Now, I was nothing more than a ghost, non-existent to many.
At forty floors above street level I heard the honk of cars and the jumbled conversations of people far below. A part of my enhanced abilities that still functioned. It had come in handy when I’d run surveillance on potential targets. Now it served as a reminder of a world carrying on without my input.
Not that I’d ever been a fan of San Jose, the center of the New World. A city full of pretentious people all vying to outdo each other with their unrefined ways. It is said, ‘money can’t buy good taste,’ and the statement stood true for most of its residents.
Still, this was the one place where I could acquire what I needed. One thing stood true about the city: anything could be bought, even if it wasn’t for sale.
At the entrance, the retinal scanner beeped before the visible blue shimmer of the protective force field dissipated. The doorman tipped his head in respect. “Welcome Mr. Cesare. Weapons and electronics, please.”
Smile curling my lips, I pulled out the Beretta from the shoulder strap under my jacket and phone from my pocket, placing both on the counter. As much as I hardly went anywhere without my weapon of choice, the rules of the auction house stated ‘No weapons allowed’ as part of their terms and conditions. Moreover, there were other ways of killing, not always as efficient but still effective.
He placed both items in a metal case similar to one you would find in a bank vault and locked it before handing me an electronic key card. Pocketing it, I descended the stairs down to a short corridor.
Why walk in at street level when you can descend from the heavens? the auction brochure had advertised. For an exclusive and discreet auction house as Kazuyo's, the clients could afford to arrive and depart by air.
In the foyer of shiny dark surfaces and diffused lighting, an usher led me to my seat in an enclosure similar to the VIP box in a theatre, a relic of the Old World but with a one-way glass screen, designed to ensure that I could see the stage and the merchandise being auctioned but no one outside the room could see me. Like the doorman before him, this young man didn’t stare at my face, a sign of the discretion required in this business.
Through the glass, the raised platform stage stood lit with low lights. The rest of the auction room lay in an almost eerie darkness. None of the other bidders were visible, probably sitting behind screens too.
The usher offered me refreshments as I relaxed into my seat. No alcohol, mind you. I settled for the sparkling mountain spring water. Taking a sip of the refreshing liquid, I reached for the tablet device on the table beside me and read the message on the screen.
Welcome. Place your card on the screen to begin.
Following the instructions, soon I browsed the electronic brochure. Not a regular at these events. In fact this was my first time. But I had something specific, albeit unusual, in mind. It had taken me weeks to track this particular item, and I had it on good authority that it would be on the blocks today.
I scrolled through until the merchandise appeared on the screen. My breath caught in my throat at the fierce beauty on display, a strange response for me. But I’d been having odd impulses since the incident that resulted in my retirement.
The lights on the stage pulsed as if in warning that the auctions were about to begin. The background music faded out and silence reigned as the first item was brought to the stage.
How many potential rivals did I have bidding for this? I didn’t know, but I would acquire it today even if it cost me my life… and it probably would.
Sicario is FREE to download from:
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B011RA9ERQ