They waited patiently at the table in the ten by ten room for the man they were supposed to meet. Their eyes shifted from side to side to survey their surroundings. A plain, empty room with no windows, no doors and only an oak table and four chairs were present. Two men, who initially led them here, one a tall Apache Indian and the other, a shorter Caucasian, stood somewhere in the shadows. The two men at the table shifted at the overwhelming silence and looked at each other.
"This was not a good idea," one whispered to the other in Chinese.
"That may be but it what he wanted," the other replied in equally hushed tones. "After all, he is the best."
"Next to our lord."
The two men lapsed into silence and waited for someone to eventually contact them. After a few more minutes, a black opening appeared in the air; a sparkling fire surrounded the edges. A man stepped through the dark hole. He was just above average height, dark hair, bright gray eyes and pleasant, yet not noteworthy features.
He smiled warmly at the two men and seated himself across from them. He folded his hands in front of him and leaned forward to show his undivided attention and interest in the two men before him.
"My name is Controller," he said in a soothing, soft voice. "I will be your liaison between you and my employer."
Slowly his eyelids closed and opened. In a split second, Controller had swept through their minds to determine if they were any threat to his boss. They were not; they were merely human.
"We are here to see him," one of the men objected.
"No one sees him," Controller replied in a reassuring tone. "No one."
"Our employer was quite clear that we deal directly with him," the second man interjected.
"I am sorry, but no one sees him and no one deals directly with him," Controller smiled in sympathy. "I understand your plight, however, you deal with me or there is nothing further for us to discuss."
The two men leaned in close together and whispered in Chinese. Controller leaned back from them so as not to intrude on their conversation, even though he spoke fluent Chinese. The men looked back to Controller, their discussion settled.
"We will agree to your terms for the palimenary discussion, but we will have to report back to our employer that we were unable to discuss these matter personally with him," the first one said, in disapproving voice, veiled everso lightly with a threatening tone. "Our employer will be most disappointed."
"And distressed by these actions," interjected the second one.
Controller smiled. "I am terribly sorry, however, he knew the rules when we were contacted. If he did not like them, he should not have sent you."
Controller leaned in and folded his hands in front of himself; a chuckle escaped his lips. "Besides, if he wanted to meet face to face with him, then he would have had the honor to come himself."
Controller never flinched while the two men stood up so fast their chairs hit the ground. The smile at no time disappeared from his lips as he stared up into the angry faces of the insulted Chinese men. Two loud clicks could be heard when the chambers of AR15s were locked and loaded.
One of the men pulled a pistol and leveled it at Controller and was rewarded with the cold, metal barrel of one of the AR15s pressed hard against his skull.
"Take the shot, pretty boy," growled the man from behind.
The second Chinese man glanced to eye the speaker. He was of average height, well-defined, muscled body, hard, chiseled features with cropped brown hair and eyes. He wore no mask or image generator, he had no fear of anyone recognizing him or, perhaps, he had no fear of witnesses. He wore BDUs, tight black tee shirt, and jungle boots, around his waist he wore a holster with a M608 – 8 shot .357 Magnum revolver, opposite to the .357, he wore double bevel combat knife and he wore two Uzis in their shoulder rigs.
The Chinese man, with the pistol, spared a small glimpse toward the man with AR15. The deep brown eyes gleamed with excitement, the man was relishing the confrontation and his eyes begged the Chinese man for a bloody ending. In addition, he caught a look at the other man from the shadows.
The Apache Indian stepped softly from the shadows and covered both men with his AR15. He was a handsome man, his black eyes deep with the knowledge of too much combat, too many deaths and too little time to search for forgiveness from his god. He wore a simple deer hide vest, BDU pants, jungle boots, two shoulder rigs sporting two MAC10's, a 9mm on his right hip and an ancient, very worn tomahawk on his left hip. His long black hair was braided down his back and tucked into his belt.
"Gentlemen, I suggest we all lower our weapons and relax before things get, well, disagreeable," suggested Controller in a convincing tone. "You see, gentlemen, neither of these men much care about your well-being. Truth be told, they'd prefer you dead as opposed to anything else. Especially him."
Controller gestured to the one with the AR15 jammed against the man's head. "He really has little regard for human or mutant life, even his own. He will kill you. It's what he does, what he was trained for and without a sliver of regret."
Unfortunately, the telepath could tell that none of the men were going to back down. The man with the gun to Controller's head, would get a shot off and in turn, the AR15 would blow his head off and then the remaining Chinese man would be killed by the Apache Indian. Then he would have to explain this to him and then they would have to make amends to the Chinese Lord and, it would be a truly unpleasant mess. Controller knew his boss would not be ecstatic about any of it and would be disappointed in Controller for allowing it to get out of hand.
He sighed, now he would have to take control. He chuckled to himself at the play on words. He looked to his two men. "Gentlemen."
The Apache glanced at him.
"Gentlemen," he said in a more reinforced tone.
"Sir?" the Apache replied.
The other man, his mouth drawn back in a snarl, his eyes wide with anticipation for violence, ignored Controller. "Come on, boy, make a fuckin' move. Do it, shit fer brains."
"Tracker!" Controller snapped in the man's mind. "Cease and desist."
Slowly, the one called Tracker stepped back from his target, his weapon never wavered and he moved back into the shadows of the room.
Controller transferred his attention back to the two visitors. "Gentlemen, if you please."
He gestured to their seats and smiled pleasantly. "Shall we continue? The least you can do is tell me what it is you wish to hire him for and I shall convey it to him immediately. If he is interested, then we can arrange a meeting between our employers. If he is not, then, we have not wasted your employer's time."
The two men, hesitantly, seated themselves and with help from Controller, found themselves to be remarkably calm.
"Now, perhaps you'd like to tell me all about your employer's problem and his offer?" he asked amiably as he folded his hands in front of himself and leaned forward towards the two men. He gained access and command of their minds, gently he would force the truth from them.
"Our employer would like to hire him to remove two people. A man and a woman, who have kidnapped a little girl. He wishes to have the little girl returned to him, unharmed, of course," one of the men responded in a monotone voice. He stared at Controller without recognition or emotion as he gave the information willingly.
"Very good," Controller encouraged as he moved through both men's minds looking for any deception. There was none. The two men believed this was the truth and that this man and woman had taken someone close to their boss.
"What relation is the little girl to your boss?" Controller asked.
"She is his niece."
"Hmmm," Controller leaned back in his chair and observed the two vacant faced men. "Niece, eh? Well, we will need more details, but I will give this information to him and we'll be in touch. Good day, gentlemen. Ghost, Tracker, if you would be so kind?"
The two men stepped from the shadows and with unanticipated gentleness, led the two other men through the same black hole as Controller had earlier entered.
"Gatewayer?" Controller called out.
"Sir?" A tall, lithe, young man walked through the black hole. He wore a hooded indigo cloak with red and gold trim; long golden blond hair snaked out from under the hood and down his chest. He walked over to Controller with an effortless grace and peered out from the hood. His face was heavily shadowed but the light caught reflections of bright gem blue eyes.
"Is he available?"
Gatewayer lowered his head and formed a cup with his agile and flowing, long fingered hands before him. "Yes, he is."
"Good, take me to him, please." Controller stood as Gatewayer gestured and a gateway appeared before them.
"After you, sir."
Controller sighed and tried to shake the feeling that his employer was going to be very displeased with the whole situation.
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