* * *
Colonel Lance Bishop worked his wrists back and forth trying to loosen the rope binding his hands. Well, my hands for now, he thought sourly.
Danny Peterson watched from the next room. She was bound the same – tied to an exquisite wooden chair, secured to a radiator under a window. The foyer of the mansion separated the two.
The man in the suit descended an ornate staircase. He turned his back to Danny. “Marilynn is resting comfortably,” he called out to Bishop.
“I’ve taken down bigger fish that you, mister…?”
The man fingered the knight chess piece adorning his tie, walked to just inside the door and replied, “You may call me Mister Knight.”
“Afraid to give me your real name?”
The man took a step towards Bishop. “In war knowledge is power.” He straightened his tie with his hands. “In case you are unaware, Colonel Bishop, this is war.”
“I’ve crushed Doctor Mann’s organization.” Bishop smiled. “Only a few stragglers remain.”
“And remain we do. It’s a shame you won’t be around to see what we accomplish.”
“You aim to kill me?”
Another step forward. “My dear Colonel, you’ve killed yourself. I only need to keep you away from your own body until the tech kills you.”
Bishop shrugged. “Memento mori.”
Knight smiled and leaned forward. “’Remember that you’ll die?’ I think not, Colonel. Allow me to respond in kind. ‘Senza dolore, abbiamo potuto non apprezzare le gioie della nostra vita.’”
“That’s not Latin.”
“Latin is a dead. Italiano is a proper language.”
Bishop stared blankly.
Knight unbuttoned his suit coat and leaned in close to Bishop. “’Without pain, how are we to know we’re alive?”
“That’s not what that means.”
Bishop and Knight looked towards Danny.
“’ Without sorrow, we could not appreciate the joys of life.’ Kinda hard to enjoy life if you’re dead.”
Knight returned his attention to Bishop. “She’s a wildcat, eh?”
Knight let loose a belly laugh and that’s when Bishop struck.
* * *
“Up here, through the gate.”
The man’s driver piloted the black Cadillac Escalade up the driveway towards a Victorian-era mansion. When the Escalade stopped inform of the massive stonework entryway, the driver asked, “Keep the engine running, Mister Rook?”
“That’ll be fine, I shouldn’t be long.”
Rook bounded up the steps and pulled out his pistol when her heard a commotion inside.
He burst through the door and followed the commotion to a room off the foyer. Knight and Bishop grappled, but it was a one-sided fight. Bishop was tied to a chair and Knight was punching Bishop in the back. After a solid bunch to the kidney, Bishop slouched back in the chair. Knight drew back his fist, but was interrupted.
“Let him be.”
Knight stepped back and dropped his arms. “Yes sir, Mister Rook.”
“Mister King has summoned us. I have a car waiting.”
Knight turned and followed Rook, flipping the lights off as he left Bishop’s room.
* * *
The Escalade pulled out and Rook pressed a button, closing the gate. He turned to his companion. “You’re bleeding.”
Knight looked down and his soiled shirt. “The bastard bit me. He bit me!”
Rook smiled, but his smile died as his eyes fell upon Knight’s tie. “Where’s your tie pin?”
* * *
Colonel Lance Bishop spat out a bloody tiepin into his waiting hand. Balancing it with his fingers, he sawed back and forth across his bindings.