April 8, 2013 “Where you going, Harry?” “I’m going to kill the president.

” Harry Tasker positioned both feet on the window sill. He kept one hand clamped to the roof of the Ford Explorer while the other outstretched towards the black presidential bus. “Move closer,” Harry demanded. Gib said, “Gotcha.” The presidential bus was big and strong, but not completely impervious to hijacking. The armed driver knew Harry’s tactical skill. And he knew he meant to get in. The bus swerved, away from Harry’s reach. It crushed a smaller car against a guardrail. Gib yanked the Explorer’s wheel to the right. Closed the gap. With the speeding highway beneath him, Harry jumped. His hands found purchase on the roof’s utility railing. With all his strength, Harry pulled himself up, on top of the bus’s roof. He crouched there and pulled the Beretta from his waistband.

Directly behind the bus, two blue Hummers closed in. There was an outer hatch on the roof of the bus. It was secured with two locking mechanisms. Harry shot the locks to smithereens and then, carefully, opened the hatch. Inside were Secret service agents, looking up. The president’s life was at stake. No way would the agents let an intruder inside. They fired at the open hatch. Harry ducked. Then he said what the hell. He had another play anyway. He unhooked from his belt a can of tear gas. He pulled the pin and then chucked it into the open compartment. He then equipped his gas mask. Without another moment’s pause, Harry dropped into the bus. Meanwhile, Gib was having problems with the Hummers. They had opened fire on his Explorer. Gib pressed on the gas just as the back window exploded. The secret service agents weren’t about to let a little tear gas keep them down for the count. There were two of them, and they were tough as nails. Harry disarmed both agents. It was easy, they couldn’t stop coughing. But just when Harry figured the fight was over, the agents proved otherwise. One jacked Harry in

the jaw. Another doubled him over with a powerful uppercut. Harry gasped for breath. An easy fight this wasn’t. On the highway, a Hummer sped up so it could cut in front of the other. Doors opened. Mercenaries disembarked, two of them. One jumped to the roof of the bus, climbed up, and immediately fell through the hatch. Another mercenary, this one back-strapped with a shotgun, wasn’t as swift and as competent as the other. He jumped from the Hummer and he grabbed a hold of the utility railing, but he could go no further. He wasn’t strong enough. His body weight and the gear he’d stowed bore him down. In the rear Hummer, the man in the passenger seat said, “What the fuck?” After getting on the com, he screamed, “Gerald 34, what are you doing?” The mercenary, codenamed Gerald 34, said in a panicky voice, “I-I’m slipping.” He then fell from the bus, hit the pavement hard, rolled twice, and then he was run over by the Hummer. Inside the rolling bus, Harry had his hands full. A secret agent had him in a chokehold. Harry

couldn’t breathe. He had a bowie knife in a side pouch. His right hand crept along his hip for it. He unhooked the pouch’s button. When he had it in one meaty fist, he was swinging it blindly. The second agent, this one pumping Harry in the gut with both fists, was slashed in the throat. The agent grabbed at his ruined throat and clucked like a chicken as he fell to the floor dying. Harry elbowed the other agent in the ribs. He heard a splintery crack and an oof! escape the agent’s lips. Harry felt the chokehold lessen and he could breathe again. It was tough work being a secret agent. Gib found it hard outpacing the presidential bus. The Explorer was old and underpowered. Then there was the first Hummer, it was wrecking Gib’s tail end. Pieces of the bumper and the taillights crumpled into the road. Gib retrieved an UZI 9mm out of the glove compartment and began firing out the back window. Harry pressed the knife further into the secret service agent’s sternum. The dying agent gagged. His tongue stuck out. Harry twisted the blade, then released. The president’s bodyguards were dead. The president couldn’t believe what he was seeing

from the sofa. The bigger man with the knife just barged in here and began hacking the place up. Then there was the mercenary. He held a large caliber machine gun. The president was unsure what side the mercenary was on until he began attacking Harry. “Take him alive,” the mercenary’s boss had commanded earlier that day. “We still don’t know what agency he works for.” Right. No problem. The mercenary butted Harry over the head with the machine gun. Harry took the heavy-handed blow and reeled with it. He almost blacked out. The mercenary went to hit Harry again, except this time Harry dropped his knife, grabbed the machine gun, and began pulling it from the mercenary’s stony grip. The machine gun went off. The roof was peppered. Empty shell casings scattered on the ground. They sounded like chirping insects. Harry was tougher than the mercenary. So, in a moment or two, he was yanking the machine gun into his possession and using it to his own discord. The porous mercenary dropped like a sack of laundry. Harry turned on the president. He lifted the machine gun. “Wait!” the president pleaded. “We can make a deal.”

“No,” Harry said. “Your dealing days are almost over with.”

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