I, Target (Part 2) by Bruce Rousseau by Bruce Rousseau - Read Online

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Summary

My name is Marko Santana and I have been killed many times.

You see, each time I am killed, my mind jumps into the killer’s body and I take over. It’s weird but simple: if someone kills me, I get their body.

So does that make me the ultimate crime-fighter? Maybe a cool body-snatcher kind of guy? Or nothing but a freakin’ brain parasite? Personally, I prefer to think of myself as the ultimate survivor—with a serious personality disorder.

I am not your father’s punch and run superhero. I am a problem in motion—and for better or worse, I am on the road to being seriously mental.

Join me on my quest for purpose and sanity as I journey through life in other people’s bodies. For these are the chronicles of one who feeds on killers—my killers. These are the chronicles of Marko Santana.

Born in Texas. Died all over.

I, Target is a 5-part series and each part must be read in order. I, Target (The Complete Series) is also available.

Warning: I, Target contains no cool graphics. But it does have wry humor, adult language, and starting in part 2 it contains some humorous adult sexual situations. So don’t say you weren’t warned.

Published: Dark Teal Press on
ISBN: 9781498934015
List price: $0.99
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Acknowledgments

I,

TARGET

(Part 2)

By

Bruce Rousseau

Copyright © 2013 Bruce Rousseau

All rights reserved.

Dark Teal Press

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, products, brands, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, persons living or dead, businesses, or organizations is entirely coincidental.

BruceRousseau.com

Series Description

My name is Marko Santana and I have been killed many times.

You see, each time I am killed, my mind jumps into the killer’s body and I take over. It’s weird but simple: if someone kills me, I get their body.

So does that make me the ultimate crime-fighter? Maybe a cool body-snatcher kind of guy? Or nothing but a freakin’ brain parasite? Personally, I prefer to think of myself as the ultimate survivor—with a serious personality disorder.

I am not your father’s punch and run superhero. I am a problem in motion—and for better or worse, I am on the road to being seriously mental.

Join me on my quest for purpose and sanity as I journey through life in other people’s bodies. For these are the chronicles of one who feeds on killers—my killers. These are the chronicles of Marko Santana.

Born in Texas. Died all over.

To Carol

who transforms me

2.1 Darkness

Having died twice, I was on a roll. Those deaths weren’t planned, but the next one would have to be. Today would be seriously interesting, and seriously deadly. Today I’d execute my first planned body-snatch.

So cool.

Now it was time for me to take control of my life, no matter how weird that life had become.

A few weeks ago Martoni got trigger happy with his shotgun. He blew away my body—I got his. That was some crazy shit, but it was real. Then some nameless hitchhiker got in a fight with me and filled Martoni’s body full of holes. Same unreal thing happened to me, I got Nameless’s body.

After that, I spent a lot of days and nights thinking about those two events. The result was full of assumptions, but it seemed to say I couldn’t be killed.

Awesome if I could keep it going—jumping into the bodies of my killers.

Not so awesome if I screwed it up.

They say the devil is in the details. Well, that’s exactly where he lived. So that’s where I needed to play it safe. Getting shot was safe. Sounds weird but that’s what it boiled down to. Any other way of getting killed, like being stabbed, poisoned, or run over by a bus seemed likely to work, but iffy. Untested. But it seemed reasonable that it was the killing that mattered, not the weapon. If my consciousness could jump no matter how I was killed, then I had a lot of options. But there were an awful lot of ways to die. Way too many to count.

So that brought me to a really big question. Was I immortal if I played my cards right?

Okay, so if I was killed by someone, then it was pretty obvious I had a new body to call my own. But what if there wasn’t a killer? What if I went swimming alone and drowned? No obvious place to jump—no body to take over. Maybe I’d jump into the nearest bystander 300 yards away? Besides being unfair to the poor guy, it just seemed random.

What if I died of a heart attack? Same question, same unlikely chance I’d relocate into someone else’s skin.

What if I died from disease? Germs killed me. Would I become a bunch of germs? How would I even think in a brainless germ body? Nah. I’d be dead.

Suicide? Dead again.

Accident, natural causes, and suicide. They all left me stranded without a killer’s body—left me dead.

The only safe path was to be killed by someone. Not just wounded or maimed or crippled for life, but killed outright. That led me to wonder if there was a time limit. Like if I were mortally wounded by someone and I died several months later. Would that count as being killed? Would I eventually get my killer’s body?

What if I was accidentally killed by somebody? Like if I wasn’t paying attention and stepped in front of a bus? Or like I decided to sleep in a dumpster and it got scooped up, dumped into a trash truck, and then I was squashed in its dark reeking bowels. Crap, that would suck. But would I jump into the bus driver or the trash guy?

Would getting accidentally killed by someone allow me to jump?

Martoni wasn’t really trying to kill me, so maybe that counted as an accidental homicide? But a double-barrel shotgun blast into a moving vehicle wasn’t exactly an innocent act.

Same for Nameless? We fought over his revolver and it went off. Accidentally? Maybe. The first shot caught us both by surprise, and it was off-center so I might have survived. The other shots were anything but accidental. Nameless clearly put me down.

It was obvious I’d been given a gift. I had all the makings of the ultimate vigilante superhero. I could walk up to any dirtbag, get killed, and walk away laughing through his damn mouth. But I could also screw it up and wind up going through life tied to a feeding tube—or just plain dead if I misjudged the damn details of jumping.

Play the cards you’re dealt. They say that a lot. Even my mother says that. Seemed like pretty obvious advice to me. But my cards included this frickin’ joker called The Body Snatcher. If the history of the world was any indication, no one had ever held that card before. So how the hell should I play it?

Yeah, what do you do if you’re the first guy to ever get the Get Out of Death, Free card?

Use it or lose it? I’d already used it twice. It seemed limitless, assuming I was smart enough to keep it going.

That led me to my first planned death. No, my first planned body snatch.

* * *

Mount Bonnell provides a breathtaking view of the downtown Austin skyline and the Lake Austin waterway. Down below there were high-end waterfront homes. Okay, so they weren’t homes, they were estates. They were right at the water line and immediately below Mount Bonnell. But like most Texas mountains, Mount Bonnell was little more than wishful thinking, rising less than 300 feet above the water.

Visitors wanting a better view from the top often ignored the warning signs, trekked through a few yards of brush, and wound up going over the cliff. If they were lucky they’d get hung up on a scruffy little tree and have to be rescued by the Austin Fire Department. The others simply finished the roughly 25 story fall.

That’s where my first target lived. In a mansion just below the cliffs of Mount Bonnell. Prime real estate located right on the water. Most estates even included private boat houses. Austin living at its finest—if you didn’t mind the occasional dead tourist in the back yard.

So there I was, sitting in my old Honda Civic several blocks from my target, soaking up another hot summer night, listening to the crickets. A few blocks away was a private road with a guard house and some underpaid security guy checking cars. Seemed silly because anyone could come up in a boat and step into any millionaire’s backyard.

I checked the time again. It was getting close to 11 p.m. Time to drop in on my target, the disgusting Billy Bob Wyville. He was fat, around 60, and ugly as a junkyard dog. The kind of man who goes through the meat-grinder of life and comes out looking like shit but laughing and smelling like serious money. That was Billy Bob. Genetically wired to claw his way up the world of vice.

Actually, that was just a wild-ass guess on my part.

What I really knew surfing the web in a library was that he owned at least three strip clubs, a repo company, a few bounty hunter outfits, two roofing companies, and a string of pawn shops that were willing to buy your worthless gold. None of that justified taking his body. But the part that bugged me was that he’d dodged racketeering charges and was pals with politicians—both sides of the aisle.

If there was anything I hated more than politicians, it was the slime who pulled their strings.

Politicians will tell you they’re in charge. Don’t believe a word of it. They’re all easy pickings for a slap on the back and a sweet deal under the table. Nothing corrupts a politician faster than lakeside barbecue parties, bloated contracts for their relatives, and some high-dollar skirt on the side.

Cutting off the toxic deals at the source seemed like a valuable public service.

Not exactly superhero stuff, but it was a start. Besides, Billy Bob Wyville was as good as I could come up with on short notice. I’d start by taking him out of the picture and siphoning off his liquid assets. His scummy influence drops off the political scene, I get some much needed cash. Win-win, I’d say.

For phase two of my plan, I’d hop into a handsome low-level slimebag so I wouldn’t have to stay trapped in Billy Bob’s sweaty old body.

Then with Billy Bob’s money and handsome slimebag’s looks I’d make another pass at Marie. If she didn’t like the new me, I’d do the whole damn thing again.

I decided that would be my version of the Texas two-step. Go for the money, go for the looks. Then maybe kick back for a while and enjoy life.

Brilliant.

If I could get good at my two-step, maybe I wouldn’t even need a sidekick.

I had it all worked out. At least the big pieces.

I checked the time. Time to get killed. Killed? Actually, I needed to start thinking of it as a body update. Body swap? Brain jump? Something like that. Something less scary than getting killed.

I sat in the car, unable to get out. Getting blown away hurts like hell. Okay, the first time was painless. The second one was a slow blood-gurgling death. Having been shot, I can easily say it was like nothing I ever wanted to do again. If you’ve been shot a few times, you know exactly what feelings I was going through.

Then there was the total disgust of being planted inside an ugly old troll of a man. Billy Bob Wyville. Wonderful Southern name. Just thinking about it sent chills up and down my spine.

Lastly, there was the certainty that Billy Bob would be in my head—my new passenger. Maybe forever. There was no telling what kind of nasty memories and urges that used douche kit had inside him.

Did I really want to do this?

Hell, no!

Okay, sure. What’s the worst that could happen?

As my hand touched the car door to get out, Nameless pushed some of his thoughts to me. I was expecting this, after all, Nameless was about to lose his original body. Martoni and I knew how traumatic that was. Nameless was bound to be frightened.

But what Nameless whispered in my mind shocked me. There were no actual words between us, but the concepts flowed somehow with Nameless’s thoughts alternating with mine. It went something like this:

Thank you, Marko.

What?

There was no response because it was a question. Right,