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Chapter 35

I had everything planned, and I knew the risks I would be facing, but still I had the feeling that I was forgetting something.  I knew that Pierre and his brother had hired a man to kill me.  Even if what happened to Madelaine is nothing but rumors, they know I had something to do with it, that Faakhir kidnaped her, and that I got rid of the body.  Representative Dupont suffered a lot after his wife disappeared, sometimes it is as if he was the one we killed, he walks around like a zombie.  His twin brother, the general attorney in their country, the one that is supposed to uphold the law, decided to get rid of me, by hiring an assassin.  But I know what they are planning, I know who is trying to kill me, and I know how to stop them.

As part of my plan I’m walking through the old city, I’m in the city where Pierre was born, where he feels at home.  We are supposed to be searching for any members of the rebellion, but I’m acting as bait to make the man that is supposed to kill me show himself.  Ivan is part of my team, and he is aware of my real goal, the others don’t know what I’m really after, but they are going to keep their eyes open and do their best to stop any suspicious person.

The feeling of danger, of something bad about to happen was increasing as I walked to the place where my last vision showed me the attack was going to take place, I feel like I have the advantage, since I know what’s coming.  I walked into the plaza, and immediately used my powers to strenghten my psychic wall, preparing for the attack I know is coming my way.  I was expecting the explosion, but even with my preparation, the force of it threw me against a wall, and for a moment I was confused and disoriented, luckily I recovered before my enemy had the chance to attack.  I put my hood over my head, just before the first bullet hit me.  It didn’t hurt me, not after slowing down as it crossed my psychic wall, and hit my bullet proof cape.  The shot doesn’t injure me, but it hurts, as does the other bullets that rain on me, forcing me to stay on defense and stop me from moving.

I heard screaming and then the bullets stopped.  I take that as my signal to start moving again.  It was late in the day, but when the explosion happened, there were many people there, people that were screaming and running around, trying to get out of danger while the soldiers from the Dominion tried to stop them and find if they were involved with the attack.  The scene was chaotic, and it made it more difficult to find the guy responsible for it, so I used my powers to block the exits.  The Dominion soldiers started to stop people and moving them to the center of the plaza, so they could interrogate them.  I knew that before I could stop them, a few had managed to get out of the place, but I expected my attacker not to be one of those.

There was a lot of screaming going on, soldiers yelling orders, people begging for help or claiming innocence.  But over all the noise, there was one that got my attention, a shot, and it made me turn in time to see Ivan falling from the side of a building.  I let the blockages fall so I could use my powers to help Ivan, slowing down his fall and helping him to the ground, to a safe place.  I knew that the person I was looking for was on the top of the building, so I used my powers to climb the side of the building, and I got there just in time to see my attacker running away, trying to escape me.

I used my powers to hold him, but with the distance it was hard for me to get a good hold, and he managed to free his arm and shot me, breaking my focus and getting free, then jumping down the building.  I ran to the place he had disappeared from and saw him running through the streets.  I jumped to the next building and started following him from above.  The feeling that something bad was about to happen made me be cautions with him, I knew that there was a chance the killer was trying to lure me into a trap, but I had to go after him, I couldn’t let him get free.

I went down to the streets and was received by bullets, I still had my psychic wall protecting me, and with that and my cape I managed to survive without damage, and it also gave me the chance to locate my attacker.  The shots had caused panic on the people around us, and the people running around was making it hard for me to get to where my attacker was, but I wasn’t going to stop, I knew where he was and I was going to get him.

I wasn’t sure if I was dealing with a professional or not, some of his actions had been carefully planned, but others were kind of amateur.  His plan had been a good one, and I had to recognize that a different person would have been dead by then, but the way he was running away, made me think that maybe he hadn’t planned for a every posibillity, it was as if he didn’t expect to be found out, as if he expected to blend into the people from the plaza without being found out.

“Where are you?” I heard Ivan’s question on my earpiece.

“I’m not sure, I’m following the shoter to the south,” I answered using the same medium.

“I was able to identify the shooter,” Ivan said, “he is a professional, we have several reports of attacks committed by him, he has a long record of attacks on Dominion agents.  You have to capture him alive, I’m sure that Faakhir will want to question him, he will be able to give us the name of several enemies of the Dominion.

“I will do my best, but if he keeps shooting at me, I can’t promise I won’t stop him permanently.”  I knew that anyone in our group could hear us talking through the earpieces, so Ivan couldn’t talk to me freely, but he had managed to give me the information that I needed.  If I captured my attacker, I would be putting a lot of people at risk, it was better to kill him, that way Faakhir wouldn’t be able to get any information from him and the people that had hired him to attack the Dominion would be safe.  The only question was if I was going to be able to get into his mind and find about the people he was working for, that information could be useful for my plans.

I followed the assassin to an alley, and was finally able to face him.  I saw something in his hand, and I knew that I wouldn’t like what it was, when he moved his hand and I heard several electronic noises that announced several bombs being armed, I knew my bad feelings were right.  My suspicion that he was taking me to a trap had been right, the place was full of explosives and I was sure that they were placed in such a way they intended to bury me under tons of debris.

“Au revoir,” the man said with a smile.  Because of his calmness and cocky attitude I realized he was standing above a hatch, and I knew that it would take him to a safe place, from where he would be able to survive the explosion.

“Not so fast,” I said, using my powers to block the hatch and his escape route.  “If you think I will allow you to escape, then you are sadly mistaken.  I know that I can survive the explosion, can you say the same now that I blocked your exit?  Think about it, if you die here, you won’t be able to enjoy the money they paid you for this job.”

“Stupide.  You think all we care about if money and power, but it’s not.  Some of us have nothing left to lose.  I already lived my life, I don’t care if it ends right now, as long as I get to finish this job, as long as I can be remembered as the man that killed the Demoness of Mzansi.  More than power and money, I crave fame, that will give me the immortality that I want.”

“I won’t die,” but he was going to die, I was only trying to minimize the damage, I wasn’t sure if the buildings around us were inhabited or not, but I didn’t want our fight to cause more losses than it already had.  “Many people have made the mistake of underestimating me, and you are about to make the same mistake.  You can make the bombs explode, you can even let the buildings collapse on me, but I can assure you, I will live to see another day.”

My attacker stoped for a moment, as if thinking about my words, but then I felt him make his decision.  I wasn’t sure how his detonator worked, but I took a risk and tried to take it from his hands, but as soon as I tried wresting the detonator from him, I heard the bombs being armed.  I used my powers and my cape to protect myself, I was thinking of using the force of the explosion to push me out of the place, but the detonations were planned to push me inside, not out, and I couldn’t get out of the alley before the walls started crumbling and falling on top of me.  I watched the scene as if in slow motion, but I couldn’t move fast enough, I felt clumsy and slow as I tried to run out of the place.

The feeling that someone was watching me was distracting me, I felt a strong mind around mine, but I couldn’t worry about it, all my powers and focus was on getting out of the alley in one piece.  I heard a voice in my earpiece, but I couldn’t understand what it was trying to say, I was too distracted by my need to survive.  I started jumping on the debris, using my psychic wall as a shield to push the raining pieces out of my way.

After what felt like hours, but couldn’t have been more than a few seconds, I made my way out of the alley.  I kept walking to put some distance between me and the place of the explosion.  The noise had attracted some soldiers and other Dominion workers, and a lot of people were already gathering there.  I saw a few familiar faces, some of Faakhir’s people, and also some local soldiers.  I heard screaming and the chaos filling the place, and I realized that there were many people injured by the explosion.

“Kaiserin?  Were you able to capture the shooter?” I knew that the question was Ivan’s way of asking if I was ok, but he was asking in a way that wouldn’t let anyone hearing the conversation see his worry for me.

“The guy decided to detonate a series of bombs and he ended up buried under a few tons of debris, I don’t think he survived.”

“I told you he was a key person, you need to check, if there is any chance he is still alive, we need him, you need to check and see if he survived or not.”

“Do I need to remind you that I don’t take orders from people like you?  I don’t need anyone to tell me how to do my work.”  Still, I understood Ivan’s warning, and decided to use my powers to check if he was still alive, or if he had died.  I found a few minds in the rubble, but not the mind of my attacker.

After everything that had happened, I was tired, and worse, the feeling that something bad was about to happen was still there.  Even after making sure the killer was dead, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was in danger.  I was done with the place, I had done my job, and others were already there to evaluate the damage and control the situation, I needed some rest.  A face in the crowd caught my attention, at first I thought it was just a teenage girl, but then her eyes showed me her real age, those eyes looked old, those were the eyes of a person who had seen a lot.  While I was caught in her stare, I felt the mental hit, a mind invasion, so sudden and so strong that I felt as if I had been physically hit, the blow threw me against a wall, making me hit my head on the wall.

The body of the girl collapsed before my eyes, and I saw a paramedic going to help her.  I could see the same face inside my mind, and I knew she hadn’t collapsed because she was injured, but because she was in trance, attacking my mind.  I saw them taking her body away, and I knew that I could end the invasion easily if I attacked her body, but it took me too long to make a move, I was too dizzy and tired, and wasn’t thinking straight.  By the time I reacted the girl was gone, I would have to fight her directly, inside my mind, but I knew it wouldn’t be an easy task.

My head was hurting, I felt as if a bomb had gone off inside it.  I could see that my adversary was very powerful, more than I originally thought, because, even if I knew where she was, I couldn’t find her or stop her attack, all my energy was focused on stopping my mind from collapsing.  I needed to use both my minds to stop her, but if I did that, my body would be left vulnerable, so I needed to move to a safe place before I could do that.  I needed to move, and since one of my minds was focused inside, I couldn’t use my psychic wall, and that left me without my main defense mechanism, so I started running, I needed to reach my room, but as the pain in my head increased, I feared I wouldn’t be able to reach my destination.

“Are you ok?” Ivan’s voice startled me, another sign that the fight inside my mind was affecting me.

“I need time, I need a safe place, and I need you to find a girl that was taken by the paramedics, a young girl with a face like an angel, an innocent looking girl.  I need to stop her.”

I didn’t give him any chance to ask questions, I dragged him with me, and took him to another alley.  I hated to put myself at his mercy, again, but I knew that I needed all my focus if I wanted to stop the girl in my mind.  I sat in a dark corner of the alley, a place where I wouldn’t be noticed easily, and focused both my minds inside me.


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