“Justice without Mercy” Chapter 26

Kathy told Lou to keep their hotel rooms for now. On their way back to Mount Pleasant, JWM SerializationStorm said to her father, “Well, are we living high on the hog or what? Our new employer either has real money or he doesn’t care about it.”

Lou replied, “Yeah. I think both. He has money and doesn’t mind his people going first class. But, don’t take that for softness. I was with him when we fired the garage. He is one cool and deadly guy. Kathy told me he had killed a knife fighter with a single blow to the chest. That’s how he got the scar on his upper left arm. I know something about street fighting but Jack is a trained killer. All I know about Hapkido is that it is a Korean martial art and a very deadly skill. When it comes to killing, the Koreans are serious. Kathy said Jack was trained by the best. She’s also had some Hapkido training. Did you also see that they are never without a weapon on them or within reach? No mistake, we are with some very serious people. Three of them went on a mission last year. Two came back. What we’re doing with them is very dangerous. On the plus side, they are very good people and won’t expect us to take any risks they wouldn’t take.”

“I agree, but there is another thing. The pay is very good. In six months, I will be out of debt. I’ll risk my ass under those conditions.”

“Okay, daughter, but stay very focused. Jack said to pick up a couple of bikes. We’ll use my bike. I know what it will do and it’s comfortable for two people. Some of these bikers will be hard. I’d like for us to stay together. Bikes can get separated all too easily. Besides I’m proud of my bike. I’ve kept it in good condition and for a thirty-year-old Harley, it does okay.”

Storm said, “If we are going to be showing money around, we need to get some newer biker clothes. I also assume we’ll be carrying.”

“You got that right! We’ll take those two 9mm Brownings I got from my dad. You’ve fired them several times. I think you’re pretty good. They’re untraceable and we have permits. Problem is they don’t match the fake IDs we’ll be getting from Kathy.”

Lou asked, “What do you think of our assignment? Any ideas about approaches?”

“Yes, when we get set up in a motel or wherever, I’ll get working on collecting info on local bike clubs and do some discreet hacking into police files and suspect clubs. If radical Muslims are behind this violence, then there has to be some connection with a Mosque or Muslim organization. We can hit the local biker hangouts from Myrtle Beach to Columbia, maybe Atlanta. I can pose as your lover. No father would be parading his daughter around in some of the places we’ll be going.”

“Okay! But, how about the other question I asked? About how you feel about our job?”

“First off, we need the money. I’m tired of dreading picking up our mail and answering bill collection calls. We need to do better. This is a chance to get a stake. That’s the upside. Downside is that I’m scared. These are nice people, and they’re treating us very well. I even like them, but make no mistake, these are hard people with little or no give. I have never killed anyone or even come close. I don’t think Jack or Kathy lose any sleep over killing. My God, there were six people in that building. Five of them burned to death. I know you helped set the fire but how do you handle what you did?”

“I’ve been involved a few times in the past with operations that resulted in people getting killed. Killing marks everyone. I don’t care how cool they seem. It stays with them. I’m sure Jack and Kathy handle it by knowing they did the right thing. Wouldn’t it be worse if we had let the car bombs go off in downtown Charleston? How many innocent people could’ve been killed and/or maimed for life? Where is the moral certitude?

“A very senior citizen who served in Vietnam as a civilian contractor told me a story that helped me understand personal responsibilities. He said that he was in direct control of a few Vietnamese hunter/killer teams that patrolled the jungles within rocket range of major cities. A subordinate had given rules of engagement instructions to one team that prevented them from firing on groups carrying 122 millimeter rockets within launching range of civilian targets, if women and children were part of the group. He told me that he countered that order because the people carrying those missiles had some choice, however slight, not to follow Viet Cong orders. The innocent civilians sleeping in their homes had no choice when death from the skies fell on them. Where is the morally right decision? In my mind, our responsibility is to protect the innocent. That’s what we did in starting the fire in the garage hiding two car bombs.

“Remember we may get into a situation where I’ll expect you to cover my back. If you feel you can’t do that, please tell me now.”

“I think …”

“Not good enough. You can’t think. In an emergency, action moves too fast for you to think. You must react. There’s no time for thinking, analyzing or reflecting. When going into action, leave the thinking behind. Just react. Shoot and we’ll sort it out later. In the meantime we will both be alive. Don’t try to wound or disable the shooters. Aim for the body mass and shoot, just the way we did at the range. ”

“I can protect your back but help me to get ready. I just don’t have your instincts. I don’t see all the variations you see all the time. Our heads are different.”

“Seeing the threats and possible fighting moves will come to you with a bit of experience. Some people never get it. You will! Being constantly ready, knowing what’s going down and what your role is will guide your actions without any mental hesitations. Now let’s get our bike out and serviced and get ourselves packed. I think we’ll also visit the range before we start out.”

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