Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Sentinels: Alternate Visions Excerpt By Bobby Nash

Here's an excerpt from Bobby's story from the Van Allen Plexico’s Sentinels: Alternate Visions anthology from White Rocket Books (www.whiterocketbooks.com), still on sale at http://www.amazon.com/Sentinels-Alternate-Van-Allen-Plexico/dp/0578011204 or your favorite bookseller.

Also available as an eBook at http://www.lulu.com/product/file-download/sentinels-alternate-visions/4375415.

Van Allen Plexico's Sentinels
About Bobby’s story, Blitzkrieg: The Road To Hell:

Karl Koenig, the contract killer known as Blitzkrieg is having a very bad day and the only thing that will make him feel better is to kill someone. He takes on a freelance assignment that turns out to be more than he bargained for when the target is revealed to be a United States Senator. Such a high profile hit will draw more attention to Blitzkrieg than he can afford.

But a contract is a contract and he is a professional.

He just has to do it quietly and not let his boss find out.

But that's the trick, isn't it?

Sentinels: Alternate Visions
THE ROAD TO HELL...
By Bobby Nash

1.

Karl Koenig was having a bad day.

Nothing had gone right since that botched mission in Sarajevo. Not that the mission's failure was in any way his fault Koenig's boss, The Field Marshal, had decided to take it out on him anyway. Being the good, loyal soldier he was, Koenig listened to his commander's rant without interruption, but he felt his blood boiling beneath the surface.

The Field Marshal was under extreme pressure from those above him in the food chain; yet one more thing that rubbed Koenig the wrong way. Before they had been brought to this dimension everything had seemed so simple and straightforward.

Koenig liked simple.

There was an order to things and that's just the way he liked it.

Of course, since coming here things had changed. No longer was the Field Marshal making all of the decisions. Now he reported to another man, an American no less, named Jameson. Koenig did not trust Jameson. The man clearly had his own agenda.

Koenig planned to keep an eye on him.

The Field Marshal ended his tirade with a blunt "Dismissed!" No matter which dimension you called your home, in military circles that meant, "Get out!"

Koenig left, slamming the door behind him. It was a small act of rebellion, but it

felt good nonetheless. Not good enough to settle his irritated nerves, but it was a start. What he needed at the moment was to blow off a little steam.

And he knew just the place to do it.

*****

He stepped inside the room and allowed himself a thin smile.

Though this was not the type of establishment he often frequented, Koenig knew it well. It was a valuable resource for the free flow of information almost as much as a place where alcoholic beverages of the watered down variety also flowed freely.

The place had no official name.

There was no sign on the window sporting a fancy logo. Only an old flashing neon signed flashed the word BAR in a pale electric blue. Koenig chuckled at the private joke each and every time he saw the gaudy sign flash blue. Below it was another neon sign of a newer vintage that simply added OPEN.

Some patrons began referring to the place as The Open Bar.

The name stuck.

Koenig waved away the smoke that assailed him the instant he stepped inside. He had never seen the inside of the bar without the ever-present layer, a mixture of cheap cigarettes, cigars, imported cigarettes, and sweat. It was an odor one never quite adjusted to smelling.

The sweat primarily came from the dancers on the small stage near the back. A DJ who believed he was far too hip for the bar had long since given up on playing to the crowd and simply played the music and introduced the girls.

A rather exotic woman Koenig had never seen before was on the stage, her silky black hair flailing wildly as she twirled around and around the dull brass pole. Koenig stood and watched her for a moment.

He did not smile.

A shame, he thought. If only she were blonde.

As he watched her spin and twirl, his eyes also swept the room.

Eventually, he found a familiar face and made his way across the floor, stopping

long enough to slide a twenty dollar bill to the dancer. She took the money with a practiced smile and enticing wink.

Koenig did not return her smile, but one corner of his mouth rose in a knowing thin-lipped grin. That was all he was willing to give. Considering his mood she was lucky to get that much from him.

He kept his eyes on the room as he walked. The Open Bar was considered a "safe zone" for those in the business, but one could never be too careful. Who knew how many enemies might be sitting in this very room just waiting for him to make a mistake?

Unfortunately any waiting for such an opportunity were in for a long wait. Karl Koenig was not a man prone to making mistakes.

"Hello, Lennie," he said in his heavily accented English as he slide inside a booth along the far wall, concealed in the shadows.

Lennie Casper was a small man who seemed nervous each time that Koenig saw him. Once he had wondered if it was his presence that made the little man nervous, but he was assured that such was not the case. Nervous was a permanent state of mind for Lennie Casper.

Being a facilitator was not an easy job and Lennie was considered by many to be one of the best. He had no ties to any one organization so he was approached by, and had performed services for, all sides at one time or another. As such, he was in the eternally sticky situation of being caught in the middle of things if it all hit the fan.

However, he knew where most of the bodies were buried.

And he knew who pulled the trigger in most cases.

If knowledge was indeed power then Lennie Casper was the strongest man in the room.

"Blitzkrieg," Lennie said, a big smile on his cherub face. "It's been awhile."

Koenig removed his sunglasses.

"Yes. How is business, Lennie?"

"Oh, you know," the little man shrugged. "The usual."

Koenig grunted.

"So, is this a business or social call?"

"Business."

"Anyone I know?"

Koenig raised an eyebrow.

"I beg your pardon?"

"The mark. We taking out anyone I know? I have to protect myself, you know. These are difficult times, I'm sure you understand."

"I think you misunderstand my intentions, Lennie."

"Oh?"

Koenig noticed the facilitator's nervousness crank up a notch.

"I'm looking for..." the tall German looked around the room to make sure no one was watching.

"Yes?"

"An assignment. I'm looking for an assignment."

"You?" Lennie asked, hardly believing his ears.

"Yes."

"I'm honored. It's not often the Field Marshal seeks my..."

Koenig leaned forward and dropped his voice to a menacing octave.

"This is not for the Field Marshal. This is for me. I need an assignment."

"Ah, I see," Lennie said, a skittish grin on his face.

"And this has to remain between us."

"Okay. I get it. You need to let off a little stress or maybe you just need a little extra in the bank this month. I get it. I do. I think I've got just the thing for you. Yeah. I think you'll like this. I was kinda saving this one for Killshot Austin."

Koenig bristled at the name. Heironymous Jessup Austin was something of a legend in certain circles. Personally, Koenig could not stand the man. He behaved as if he were nobility, but was little more than a street urchin with a talent for wholesale slaughter. Koenig also doubted that Heironymous was his actual name. Probably something he stole from the painter of the same name because it made him sound more upper class than the simple Jessup Austin. The nickname Killshot was well earned. Even Koenig had to admit that the man was one hell of a shot.

"But I think I can trust you to pull it off," Lennie continued, oblivious to Koenig's utter contempt for Killshot Austin.

This time the facilitator glanced around the room to make sure no one was paying attention to their conversation.

"There's been a contract put out on someone over at the D.O.D."

"Department of Defense."

"Very good, Blitzkrieg. Yes. The Department of Defense."

"Wouldn't happen to be a guy named Jameson, would it?"

"Uh, no," Lennie said.

"Damn. That one I might have done for free."

"Well, if he ever makes my list I know who to call. The Senate Oversight Committee has tasked Senator Kenneth Washburn from Georgia with reviewing something called Project Three Twelve Omega."

"What is that?"

"Beats the hell out of me," Lennie said. "It's not my business to know so I don't know. Suffice it to say that someone is worried that this hayseed is going to uncover a dirty little secret or two."

"Hayseed?"

Lennie waved the question away.

"Never mind. Look, do you want the job or not?"

"I'll take it."

"Good," Lennie said, leaning back in his seat.

It was the calmest Karl Koenig had ever seen the little man. Having seen the man relax a bit it seemed oddly disconcerting to see him in any other emotional state.

"When can you start?" Lennie asked.

"I can start immediately."

#####

Want to know what happens next? Pick up Van Allen Plexico's Sentinels: Alternate Visions at http://www.amazon.com/Sentinels-Alternate-Van-Allen-Plexico/dp/0578011204 or wherever your favorite books are sold.

Also available as an eBook at http://www.lulu.com/product/file-download/sentinels-alternate-visions/4375415.

The stories in Sentinels: Alternate Visions were also included in the Sentinels Hardcover Omnibus.
Sentinels Hardcover Omnibus
About Van Allen Plexico’s Sentinels: Alternate Visions:

This special collection features ten new short stories set in the Sentinels universe by all-star writers including Ron Fortier, David Wright, Adrian J. Watts, Wayne Skiver, Bobby Nash, and Ian Watson-- along with two new stories by creator Van Allen Plexico. All this plus tons of artwork by artists such as Jeremy Haun, Rob Davis, Mark Maddox, Chris Moreno, Mitch Foust, Danny Wall, Tony Perna, and Gary Bedell, plus additional special features!

Product Details:
Paperback: 236 pages
Publisher: White Rocket Books
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0578011204
ISBN-13: 978-0578011202
Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces

Order yours today at http://www.amazon.com/Sentinels-Alternate-Van-Allen-Plexico/dp/0578011204 or wherever your favorite books are sold.

Also available as an eBook at http://www.lulu.com/product/file-download/sentinels-alternate-visions/4375415.
http://www.whiterocketbooks.com/

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