Chapter Five: Kindred-
Warm liquid splattered my face and the last struggles of another violent man ended in futility. His wife would be pleased. Not that I did it for her pleasure, but if she was pleased, I would get paid. If she wasn't, well...let's just say I always get paid. One way or another. Blood payment may not spend well, but it was an acceptable option.
The camera snapped a picture of the man's face, wide-open eyes seemingly staring into me accusingly. I shrugged away any thought of guilt, surprised at the unfamiliar emotion. He'd been abusive. Plus he worked for Mason. Those were two strikes against him, the third being that he'd been part of Mason's inner circle, who'd kidnapped and tortured the Tracker. He had eluded the police, but I was much harder to avoid. The tiny flutter of guilt flitted away and I allowed myself to forget it as I washed the man's blood off my face. The rest I wouldn't worry about until I reached my apartment.
Anyone who saw me wouldn't see the blood soaked into my clothes. The illusion I'd broadcast would make sure of that. I walked back into the living room and thought for a moment. He had helped hurt the Tracker. The kid would want to know that another of his tormentor's was off the streets. Besides, it had been a couple days since I'd checked on him. I took an envelope and note card from the shelf near my victim's phone and snapped a second picture with my Polaroid camera. I watched it develop, unconcerned when a neighbor knocked on the door and peered through the window. The woman was looking right at me, but would see nothing amiss in the house until after I left. Before I'd entered I'd set up a field of my energy that held the illusion of a quiet, empty house. Anyone who came near it would have that image in their head.
It had been a trick Mason had made use of on several occasions. It still surprised me that he hadn't made sure I'd set it up at the Farm after he caught the Tracker. Even then there had been something about the kid that told me to help him. So, I had. When the undercover cop had requested a visit, I had allowed it, knowing full well that he'd be bringing a couple dozen of his closest friends.
I wrote a note on the card and slipped it into the envelope and in block letters wrote: TRACKER on the envelope. After receiving a couple notes from me already, he would know who it was from. Perhaps at some point, he would begin responding to my notes. I hoped he'd get the note after I returned to my apartment, so I could see his reaction. If not, I'd just have to watch the recording.
Without another look, I walked out of my prey's house and got into my car. I felt my illusion dissipate as I drove away, and took a deep breath through the slight discomfort. I'd always preferred my illusions to be one on one. It took less of my concentration and energy, but the mass illusion was definitely useful.
As I pulled closer to the Lady Cop's house, I could feel something was off with the Tracker. He seemed agitated and scared, but I sensed no direct threat. He was in the house, and the only other people there were his brother and his friends...I felt my lips turn down as I thought. Whatever they were doing, his friends were causing him pain. I couldn't allow that to continue. I would deliver my note, and then go back to my apartment. I had some planning to do.
Please let me know what you think! Keep watching for Guardian: the fourth Earthshaker short story, coming soon!