The Sons of Zion
The day had arrived. I flossed behind my molars until the thread shown red. Mrs. Bouvier knocked twice as was her daily vice. Don’t get me wrong, she didn’t have many. Didn’t drink, smoke. Didn’t imbibe on sweetbreads or television. Responsible, quiet, and most lovingly, obedient. But pity the woman who grabbed at the same square of cloth, the same suburban mansion, the same grandchild. And I suppose she felt the same about me. I never tested that theory, and if I ever attempted such a foolish stunt, I would treat it with the same level of secrecy as I had any mission under the Sons. Mrs. Bouvier’s point was clear: “I own this house and everything in it, you just live in it.” And I made no attempt to dissuade her from this position.
Seven years in the dry-rot open coffin of our former energy suppliers made my men the most leathery, efficient killers this man’s army had ever produced, and the one most respected, even by myself, despite his having remained an enlisted man, was Master Sergeant Norton. Norton had started as the second or third-ranked man on many missions only to come out the highest ranking by its completion enough times so the officer’s ranks feared his very presence. Likewise, he faced the wrath of the General Carthig for nearly aborting a mission to extract a high-value prisoner from the Toramudi Group. The Toramudis controlled most of the local markets of Azerbaijan, black and otherwise, all to fund the establishment of an independent Drusian state. But in their naked ambition, had offered to sell one of our informants to Muktal Gregorysz for a sizeable sum. Norton’s man, Cisneros, a new one he never even met before this operation, had been apprehended by the Toramudis at a border crossing. Once acquiring the informant, Norton had used the informant as bait to get back his man. General Carthig would have court marshaled him had it not been for the Sons—despite the acquisition of the target. Norton wasn’t the only man that would go back for a fellow soldier. I like to think we’d all do the same, but the fact is, Norton would’ve shot his target in the face with a masterkey if it meant losing his own man to a painful and certain death at the hands of murderous scum like the Toramudis.
His men knew this, but after the dust up at CENTCOM, all the men in the combined forces knew this. I led the Sons, but Norton guaranteed our blood. The blood that would surely come this day.