4 Chapter Four-The Brotherhood
'The Serpent Style,' began Drasul as he took a puff from his pipe, 'From the Slang Nyoka clan, it's rare you can say extinct. Well, the Loham Snake has replaced it. But the Serpent Style is more powerful or better to say the complete package. I am just wondering where this assassin learned or studied this style,' Drasul scratched his chin and then looked at James. But the former Detective had no answer but a swarm of questions buzzing on his mind. 'He did have the yellow eyes of the Slang Nyoka people,' he said. Drasul nodded and then said after taking another puff from his pipe, 'Silver Serpent is the only known grandmaster in that martial art and no one can believe what he's capable of, his escape from Wobbleton's prison was incredible. I saw some videos online,' pausing with a chuckle he continued with a question, 'You said this assassin had some form of superhuman speed?' 'Yes, the man moved to a blur and disappeared,' answered James. 'Our Dragon Style can manage the Serpent Style, whereas they can issue with incredible power, we…well we can be evasive with our circular motion,' said Drasul, as he grinned. 'Regardless, he was toying with me,' replied James.
The assassin and the Brotherhood had become a central theme of discussion at the Stockhorn bounty office. The bounty on the dead Mr Biggs was quite the fortune that James did his own private investigation on the Brotherhood, he knew if he could track down members of this secret society than that would lead him to the assassin. His uncle did not object, Drasul just told him to be prudent on the matter.
Frustration sunk in as the investigation was going no-where, days had gone by and there was not a single lead. James then decided to cool off at a high-end luxury bar one evening on the second day of the weekend. Ordering his beer at the bar, something caught his attention, an old man had come in with a group of young beautiful ladies. James slightly grinned at what he saw as he took a sip of his cold beer. 'Old geyser has a lot of money and all the honey…those gals definitely sold their souls to the devil,' said the barman as he wiped a glass. 'The geyser is having a good time and so are those girls,' said James.
'Trust me, those gals have sold themselves to a demon…I just have a bad gut feeling about it all,'
persisted the barman. James just smiled not seeing anything wrong. One of the ladies in the group walked to the bar. She was in high spirits, but James knew by the look in her eyes it was the effects of whatever drugs she was on.
She ordered shots as the barman put on a fake smile and got to work, she then turned to James, 'Hey big guy,' she said. 'Hi,' replied James calmly turning his attention towards her. 'The guy over there is a big shot, he knows everyone, in fact, his taking us to a party where Feiville's big shots go! People like Daniel Faris are going to be there…even some policemen…' she paused as the barman can back with a tray of the shots she had ordered. Triggering his curiosity James asked her, 'Cops will be at that party?' 'Yes, people like Commander Dylan Wilson,' she said. As he heard that, a frown appeared on James' face. 'What's wrong?' asked the girl. 'Nothing,' he immediately replied and then added, 'enjoy the party.' The girl smiled back in response as she carried the tray of shots back to her group who were sitting at a table.
His heart had begun to pound that he could hear its beat in his ears, slowly drinking his beer he waited for the man and his entourage of young pretty girls to leave. As they did, James hurryingly
paid his bill and dashed for the door. Once outside, he saw them get into a limousine and he quickly made his way to his car which was not far away.
James followed the limousine, which headed for another hotel not far away. He waited in his car, as the old man and his harem of ladies got out of the limousine and headed for the entrance of the hotel. 'How can I get in?' James muttered to himself and then he decided to get out the car. He did not know how to get in, but he strolled hands in his pocket towards the entrance regardless. As he did so, something caught his attention as he turned not far away from where he was and saw two young men in their twenties. They looked like they came from affluent homes and they were harassing a homeless man. The man had long black hair and a full black beard that had been greying at its ends. He was slightly darker than James in skin tone with epicanthic folds in his eyes.
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James without knowing got slightly closer and became an audience to the altercation before his eyes. 'Leave me alone, please,' pleaded the homeless man. 'Not a chance, here give us your dog!' grunted one of the young men as he seized the small dog of the homeless man. The young man grabbed the small dog's leg causing the dog to cry out. James turned side to side to notice if he was the only one witnessing this abuse. Before he could march through to stop the unfolding events, the homeless man rushed towards the young man who held his small dog. The young man dropped the small dog, which stood up. As the homeless man got close, the young man threw a punch with his right hand, which the old man parried away with his right hand and stepped forward to the left with his right foot. Moving around the young man, as his left arm came up and down around the young man's neck, who ended up in a lock bent backwards. All of this happened in seconds as James stared in awe. 'Listen here kid, you do not know who the fuck I am! I will snap your neck!' snarled the homeless man, as the other young man's friend made a dash for it leaving him behind. The homeless man then released the young man, who looked horror-stricken and followed his friend by sprinting away.
'That's some real martial skills,' the old man turned to see who had said that and caught a glimpse of James. Instead of responding, the man picked up his small dog and gently caressed the dogs head and then he gave it a kiss. 'You a cop?' asked the old man now that he had his attention turned to James. 'Used to be,' James immediately answered, and then a frown appeared in his face as he asked, 'Why you ask?'
The homeless man grinned and then said, 'I saw you following that old man and his entourage.' 'Is it that obvious?' James turned to look at the hotel entrance and back at the homeless man. 'Whoever or whatever you are, I will entrust you with this information…' pausing with a sigh the homeless man continued, 'They are having their meeting as we speak, the Brotherhood, you can get through using the tunnels there,' the homeless man pointed to an alleyway filled with bins. 'How do you…' James' words were immediately interrupted by the homeless man who exclaimed, 'HURRY!' James turned to look at the alley filled with bins and then when he turned to look at the homeless man, he was gone.
James wondered who the man was, he realised he forgot to ask the man his name. Regardless he had work to do. He headed quickly for the alley and was embraced by the strong horrific smells coming from the bins. In front was just a bricklayered wall and James wondered where this tunnel entrance was. His eyes looked down at the ground and he noticed a manhole that seemed to have been tampered with or opened before. He wrestled to remove the manhole cover and put it aside looking down he saw nothing but pitch-black darkness. Digging his hand in his pocket, he felt a small torch, which he used to light up the sewer. The torch revealed a ladder leading down and putting the torch in his mouth he headed down. Once on the ground, it was not wet like he expected. Lighting up the area with his torch, he noticed that there were no rats just him in silence as he felt his adrenaline pump. The room was completely vacant of anything or anybody; ahead was a door and before opening the door James pulled out his gun. Placing the hand that held the torch on top of the one that held the gun.
The next room was also vacant of anything as he peered around, ready to pull the trigger. 'Not a single rat?' he murmured to himself. The room led to a narrow passage, evoking claustrophobic feelings that James ignored with his will as he walked. The passage got steeper as the path went into an incline and seemed endless. As he walked, the path was back to level ground and then the ceiling got smaller to the point that James began to crawl. Chattering voices and noise could begin to be heard, the more he crawled. Stopping, he glanced down at a puny rectangular hole; he could clearly make out what was being said, however peering down he could not see faces clearly.
'The current police commissioner must go!' barked a voice that sounded familiar to James, it was Commander Dylan Wilson. With a loud beating heart, James widened his ears ready to take in everything he was to hear.
'Indeed, it is a shame the very thing that made him a good police officer during his career, is what will get him killed. I am sure you are happy to replace him…right Commander Wilson,' the voice came from a man who James did not know where he had heard the voice before. A door opened and the person who had opened the door said, 'The girls are getting a tad impatient.' The other men in the room laughed as if it was a private joke between them. 'I am sure Medil is going to be doing a good job, anyway enough of that let's get this orgy going,' said Commander Wilson. 'For the brotherhood!' exclaimed the voice James had heard before but could not recall who it was.
Hearing enough, James quickly crawled away brewing in thought. They were going to use Medil to assassinate the current police commissioner of Eastland, so he can be replaced by Commander Dylan Wilson. James then wondered about the voice of the person that sounded so familiar. It then dawned on him as he bumped his head and grimaced in pain, rubbing his head and astounded he muttered, 'Daniel Faris.'
It was a sunny day, with bits of clouds marauding the skies of Feiville. A crowd of people had gathered around a man, standing in a podium in front of the renovated Central Police Academy. The man was the police commissioner and he smiled gleefully, excited about the events as he spoke to the crowd. In the corner near the edges of the podium was Commander Dylan Wilson, who put up the masquerade of being happy with the events as well.
Blocks away from the event in an abandoned building, watching from his scope, was Medil. He peered at his target, ready to pull the trigger. Exhaling as his index finger was about to fire the shot, he saw the crowd go into a sudden frenzy. The commissioner glanced frantically around, as he pulled out his gun and so did Commander Wilson. Gunshots had been fired and were the cause of the turmoil. 'The fuck,' muttered Medil as he put his rifle aside and replaced it with binoculars. His eyes moved away from the target and he looked around to see if he could spot who had fired those gunshots. 'They hired some other idiot to do the job and he missed…idiots!' Angrily putting his binoculars away, Medil hurriedly drew out his handgun and started rubbing away his fingerprints on the equipment that was set up for him. Leaving the rifle and binoculars, he headed to the commotion disappearing in a blur. He was going to finish the job from up close.
Blocks closer to where the mayhem was occurring, was James peering down from his binoculars as he slightly panted for breath. His gunshot had come from another building, which he was focusing on now as he saw police rushed in there since that is the direction where the bullets came from. He had aimed at a wall, so he knew the bullet had hit no one. His plan was to flash out the assassin, by causing chaos. He knew if it did not work at least the commissioner will be saved for the time being.
He motioned his binoculars back on the ground, to see what was happening with the commissioner and saw the commissioner barking orders at his men. Commander Dylan Wilson did the same, but James knew that was a farce. By sudden luck, he caught a glimpse of a hooded figure moving the opposite direction from the crowd, making his way towards the commissioner. 'There you are, you
little bastard!' he exclaimed, and in a rush of adrenaline, he made his way down to the chaos.
James pushed the frantic people away, apologising as his eyes focused on Medil who got closer to his target. Medil pointed his gun which had a silencer and now that he was within range he pulled the trigger. In that instant, he felt someone tackle him from the side as he crashed down gritting his teeth. The tackler was James, who immediately glanced at the commissioner. The commissioner was not fine but not dead, the bullet had grazed his shoulder which he grabbed as he fell to his knees in pain. James turned his attention back on Medil who punched him, causing James to fall. He quickly got back to his feet, but the assassin was gone using his superspeed.
'JAMES!' yelled Commander Wilson and continued as he raged, 'ARREST THAT MAN, ARREST HIM!' the police officers looked bemused. They knew James had just saved the commissioner's life. 'What are you doing? He did not shoot me,' said the commissioner. Realising there was nothing he could do to James; Wilson was speechless.
The news paraded James as a hero, but he refused to speak to the press, in his mind he wondered how he was going to stop the Brotherhood. His uncle was proud of him but reminded him again to be cautious. James agreed however, he still disagreed with his uncle's sympathy towards the Separatist movement. But far away from the office of the bounty hunters, were two hooded men meeting. It was Medil and another man. 'You have failed the Brotherhood,' said the man. 'Failed…nooo!' Medil started to raise his voice, 'I HAVE A PEST PESTERING ME!' 'What do you mean?' asked the man. 'There is a man, a former cop. His name is James Stockhorn,' answered Medil. 'The Dragon's nephew,' said the man. 'What do you mean,' enquired a frowning Medil. The man just chuckled and then said, 'Tie up that loose end.' 'Tet that is your name right,' said Medil. The man sighed, 'If you only knew who I really was…anyway, kill James.' Both men then parted ways.
James Stockhorn shuddered in horror, one afternoon as he entered the bounty office. Everything had been turned upside down. He looked around for his uncle and Drasul was not in sight, instead, he heard a murmur, 'James.' Frantically turning his head to see where the voice came from he saw his uncle. Who seemed to have been buried underneath his desk and other mess. James moved the desk and the other objects hiding his uncle. There he caught a glimpse of Drasul, who was covered in blood. His eyes got wet as he helped his uncle to a chair. 'James…' Drasul's words were drowned as James hushed him, so he could save what remained of Drasul's energy. But Drasul insisted on using what was left to speak, 'The assassin, the ser…pent style.' Struggling with his words, James concluded, that Drasul was trying to say that Medil was behind this. 'That piece of shit…do not worry, everything is gonna be okay,' said James caressing his uncle's hair. 'I am calling an ambulance, I am taking you to the hospital,' wiping his tears James immediately reached for his cell phone.
He stayed at his uncle's side at the hospital and the doctor told him that Drasul should have died, enduring the injuries that he did. But his uncle had fallen into a coma, and the doctor was monitoring Drasul. It still looked very bad and a shattered James decided to sit outside the ward in the reception room, his hands covering his face. He had always been strong mentally and had not shed tears since his childhood, but now he was weeping like a little boy. Having lost his parents, he did not want to lose his uncle, the closest family he had.
'Since when do men…excuse me, since when does a man of your calibre weep like a little boy!' grunted a man who had happened to have just sat next to James. James turned and looked at the man as he wiped his tears. The yellow eyes looked familiar, James never forgot a face he had come across in the police criminal data, or if it was a wanted criminal he had seen on the news. The man next to him was Silver Serpent. 'What…' James was confused, what was the most wanted man in the world doing seating next to him, did the Brotherhood send him to finish the job? Silver immediately shed some light as to why he was present, 'I am here to save you and your uncle boy. Now time is against us, I am surprised you have lasted a day here. Buckle yourself up! You are a dragon are you not. Young people of today do not understand the significance of lineage. Anyway, we will need to get Drasul into a life tank if he is to survive.' 'Why are you helping?' James asked. 'Your uncle is one of us and I hope you will join. We are the Separatists,' a small smile appeared on his face once he was done. 'Now come!' he barked, as he suddenly stood up and grabbed James by the arm causing him to stand up as well.