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Finding Gideon

By:Eric Jerome Dickey


Argentina, Yesterday

Winter. Early morning. Crowded train leaving the Retiro terminal in Buenos Aires.

The assassin Medianoche had been cornered, his team the Four Horsemen temporarily outwitted.

Gideon said, “The gun. Use two fingers. Grip it by the barrel. No fast movements.”

Medianoche tightened his jaw, defiant toward the younger assassin, no man’s prisoner.

The seasoned warrior wasn’t accustomed to being at a disadvantage.

Gideon repeated himself, his voice hard, eyes focused: his last warning.

Medianoche eased his gun out of his coat, business end first. Gideon took the weapon. Tossed it out of the window of the thirty-year-old train as it rambled through the rail yard. Medianoche stared at the rugged young man as the rugged young man stared at him.

Gideon said, “You’re older . . . gray hair . . . scarred up . . . but it’s you.”

Medianoche ignored the rambling description, kept his attention on Gideon’s eyes.

Gideon growled. “You were shot in North Carolina.”

Medianoche barked out his anger: “Who are you?”

“I’m asking myself what the fuck you are.”

Gideon struck Medianoche in the face, on the chin, a strong blow that staggered him, moved him back almost two steps. Medianoche adjusted his eye patch and growled.

Gideon stood in front of him, both hands on a gun aimed at the center of his forehead.

Medianoche scanned the crowd, looked to see who was with Gideon. All he saw were people who didn’t speak English, but their wide eyes said they understood body language.

Mouth bloodied, Medianoche repeated his question, “Who the fuck are you?”

Gideon said, “I’m the kid who shot you in North Carolina. I’m the kid who killed you. I’m your goddamn son.”

Chapter 1

On the Night of the Fire

And their war would continue.

Buenos Aires had been destroyed, from the ramshackle villas to the prestigious avenues and high-status boulevards beyond well-known Recoleta, where the streets were paved in gold.

Discomfort increased. Medianoche jerked awake on disheveled sheets, his mind still in battle. He was disoriented, trapped between reality and a restless sleep. Pillows softer than clouds. Sheets white like heaven. Vision focused. He was not in his bed. Not in his quarters on the seventeenth floor of the building that housed the Horsemen. Remembered where he was. He was not far from Avenida 9 de Julio, in a suite of the Four Seasons Hotel in Buenos Aires. While he was in battle, the wretched shit smell of the villas had covered his clothing and saturated his flesh. Now the flowery perfume of a mature, intelligent Porteña was on his scarred and wounded skin. He was still in bed with a married Porteña named Caprica Ortiz, a woman as stunning as Sophia Loren when she was the most beautiful woman in the world.

Medianoche felt a sharp sting, touched the cuts and swellings in his face. Lip had been split. Face red, bruised. And his chest. It hurt like hell. Gideon had shot him twice, popped him good, close-range shots, kill shots, but nothing penetrated his Colombian-made clothing, gear that was bulletproof. But still, where the slugs had hit, soreness and pain had been left behind.

Caprica Ortiz stirred, opened her eyes, then sat up. “Dios mío. I fell asleep.”

She was born in Argentina, but had been educated at Florida A&M University, garnered her degree, then done her Ph.D. in England. She spoke English with hardly an accent. Her English was better than his.

He said gruffly, “I did too. Don’t worry. You only slept about ten minutes.”

“I was afraid it was close to morning.”

“Stay a few more minutes.”

“My husband.”

“An hour. I want you again.”

She hesitated. “I will see if that is possible.”

She moved from the bed, took her phone, and went to the bathroom.

Medianoche looked at his damaged hands, opened and closed his fingers. Felt the ache in his knees, the pain in his lower back.

The Four Horsemen had lost a battle on the soil of their adopted country.

The images of Gideon and the other mutts on that team were branded into his brain, still sizzled from the heat. There had been an older Russian. There was a big black guy, the nationality of that tall, muscular bastard unknown. He had moved fast, like a marine, maybe a SEAL.

A Latin Brit called Scamz had been their general, their organizer.

The Scamz Organization. That was the way the Four Horsemen saw them. At least half of the Scamz Organization was morgue-ready on the heels of this fiasco, and the Four Horsemen had lost an ancillary member, Draco, the Beast’s loyal servant. The Horsemen themselves were down to two out of four members. Señor Rodriguez had been killed in action. And the Beast, the man many called La Bestia de Guerra, the Beast of War, the powerful, calculating man who had been the leader since the group’s inception, was dead.