Rania stared at the two men seated across from her, her mouth open in shock and anger. “That’s ALL?! That’s all they’re going to do? That’s bullshit and you both know it!”
“It is bullshit,” said the first man, whose badge identified him as a police lieutenant. “It’s truly fucked up. But that’s what the law says and that’s what standard operating procedure is. People who have diplomatic immunity who commit serious crimes are simply deported to their home countries. They cannot be prosecuted.”
“The lieutenant is correct about the procedure,” said the second man, who was an agent of the U.S. Department of State. He turned to the policeman. “However, I’d appreciate it if you showed a little more respect for our procedures. We must…”
“Fuck the State Department and its fucking procedures!” shouted Rania, losing her temper. “My sister was raped and murdered in cold blood. And we all know who did it! He brags about doing it! That man right there!” She pointed to a picture on the desk in an open file. “Abdul al-Razizi, Kurtarian diplomat. He cut my sister’s throat. And you’re talking about respecting procedure? How about showing some respect for my dead sister, you gutless sellout?”
The State Department man glared at the fiery girl angrily. As a an agent of the U.S. Department of State, it was his job to sell good Americans out to Third World interests, on orders from his boss, who hated his own country. He was quite pissed off that she was pointing it out. “Young lady, you need to learn to have more respect for your elders,” he growled. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some business to attend to.” As he got up and left the room, Rania extended her middle finger towards him. The policeman smiled at her when she did that. She smiled back shyly.
Once they were alone, she looked at the lieutenant sadly. “So there’s nothing else we can do? Will he ever be punished?”
“We can’t prosecute him, and his home country won’t, either. They don’t have the jurisdiction to. So I’m afraid he’ll get away with it.”
Rania clenched her fists. “I just can’t let him. If there was anything…Justice just HAS to be done!”
The cop looked around furtively, then reached into his pocket and handed her a business card. “Er…this may be able to help you get what you want,” he whispered. “And remember, you didn’t get this card from me.”
Rania slipped the card into her pocket. “Thank you,” she said softly.
As she left the room, he called out to her, “Good luck.”
It was only when she was outside the building that Rania looked at the card. It read:
“Colonel Danica Cooper
Fort Lewis, Washington”
Beneath that was a telephone number. Rania smiled grimly, took out her cell phone, and began dialing.
Rania stood in the ladies’ room at the trendy restaurant, studying her reflection in the mirror. She was due to meet this Colonel Cooper in five minutes. Rania’s dark brown eyes were red with weariness. She had slept little since her sister was murdered, and hadn’t been able to sleep at all on her flight. Still, she looked quite stunning. Her 5’8″, 125-pound frame was slender but muscular, and she had long dark brown hair, darkly tanned brown skin, and an elegant, youthful face that reflected her age of nineteen years. She looked at her watch, a man’s Rolex that accented her slim, feminine wrist well, and saw that it was almost time. She headed out of the bathroom and sat back down at her table, scanning the new arrivals.
A middle-aged woman entered the restaurant. She was wearing civilian clothes, but something about the confident and aggressive way she carried herself made Rania think that this must be her contact. Rania stood up and went over to the woman. “Colonel Cooper, I presume?”
The older woman’s attractive face broke into a smile. “You can recognize the military type. You’re perceptive. I like that. Yes, that’s me, but please call me Danica.”
“Nice to meet you, Danica. I’m Rania, your client. Well, hopefully your client. You didn’t tell me much over the phone.”
“This has to be as off-the-record as possible. That’s why I’m meeting you off the base and in civilian clothes.” As they sat down, Danica covered Rania’s hand with hers. “This is one of the most emotional cases I’ve ever heard,” said the colonel. “How old was your sister?”
“She was twenty-one,” answered Rania in her slight Lebanese accent. “Our parents were killed by a Hezbollah truck bomb when we were little. We came to America to live with relatives, but my sister was the one who really raised me, even though she was only two years older than me. We were so close.” Rania let out a sniffle. “Sorry,” she said, wanting to appear strong.
“Don’t be,” said Danica, squeezing the younger girl’s hand. The colonel continued, “I and my associates specialize in cleaning up the cases that fall through the cracks of the justice system. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the system, but sometimes it fails. And in this case, it failed spectacularly. I’ve already called in the three best agents I know to take care of this. They’re at one of our facilities right now and as soon as I’m finished briefing you on what they’ll be doing, I’ll be going right over there to help those girls with their plans.”
“Girls?” asked Rania in surprise. She was a modern woman who played sports with men, shot guns, and practiced martial arts. Still, even she was not quite used to the idea of an all-female team of assassins.
“Yes,” said Danica with a smile. “All three of them are extremely talented and deadly, not to mention beautiful. They’re all better fighters than any man I know. In fact, I could take you along to meet them. Normally, the client doesn’t meet anyone besides the point person, but since your case is so special, this is different.”
Rania took a deep breath. “If I could,” she began, heart pounding. “I’d like to do more than meet them. I’d like to go with them. If they’re going after that murdering bastard I want to go along and avenge my sister’s death.”
Danica opened her mouth in surprise, then closed it. She should have seen this coming. “I understand where you’re coming from, but with the types of things they’re going to do…”
“The things WE’RE going to do,” interrupted Rania, sticking her small chest out, her shyness turning into confidence. Danica smiled at the sight of the other girl’s beautiful B-cups being stuck out.
“Do you know how to fight?” asked the colonel.
“Second degree black belt,” Rania answered with a toss of her long dark brown hair.
“Do you know how to shoot?”
“Best markswoman with rifle *and* pistol out of my Girl Scout troop.”
“The Girl Scouts teach that now? Damn, I wish they’d done that when I was a little girl. I had to ask my dad to teach me. Nice to hear that they’ve finally gotten modern enough to…”
“Um…” said Rania.
“Oh, right,” giggled Danica. “Questions relating to the mission. Just one more. Does the idea of killing in cold blood bother you?”
The younger girl took a deep breath. “If avenging my sister’s death is involved, then no.”
“Then it’s settled,” said Danica. “The four of you will go. I’d love to come with you but unfortunately duty calls this time. Now let’s go over and meet the rest of the team.”
Two hours later, after lots of driving out of the city and through wilderness on a series of roads that got smaller and narrower, the women pulled up to a heavy gate. “Off the record, this is a secret base that the Army uses for planning *special* missions. But officially, this place doesn’t exist.”
They had stopped only briefly at Rania’s hotel so that she could pack a suitcase. She had also scooped up some cash and put it in an envelope. Handing it to Danica, she had said, “It’s not much but it’s all I can get right now.”
Danica, squeezing Rania’s hand, had said, “It doesn’t matter – with a situation like yours, we’d do this for free. But I’ll give this to the other girls and tell them to split it three ways.”
A high, barbed-wire fence continued off in either direction from the gate as far as the eye could see. Posted on the fence at frequent intervals were signs that read, “PRIVATE PROPERTY. KEEP OUT. EXTREME DANGER – 10,000 VOLTS. TRESPASSERS WILL BE SHOT SURVIVORS WILL BE SHOT AGAIN.” The colonel punched in a code on a panel next to the gate and it silently swung open. Rania gulped in apprehension as the truck passed through and the gate swung shut again with a loud click.
Danica brought the vehicle to a stop in front of a small shack. The girls climbed out, Rania with her suitcase and Danica with a briefcase. Inside, there was nothing but a set of stairs leading downward. They emerged in an enormous basement, where three attractive young women were seated at a table, reading various books and pamphlets about the nation of Kurtaria. They stood up to greet the new arrivals.
“Hi, girls,” said Danica. “This is Rania, our client.” Rania smiled and waved shyly.
A blonde woman who looked about thirty was the first to respond. “Nice to meet you. I’m Angela.” Angela looked around 5’7″ and 135 pounds, and she had piercing blue eyes and a deep tan.
The two other girls looked younger, maybe in their early twenties. “I’m Abby,” said the bigger of the two. Abby stood at 5’6″ and 130 pounds, with shoulder-length dark brown hair and matching dark brown eyes.
“And I’m Natalie,” said the other girl. She was around 5’5″ and 120 pounds, with the same color eyes and hair as Abby, although Natalie’s hair was longer and went down to the middle of her back. All three girls were dressed in tight pants and tank tops, and Rania could see that they were all powerful, fit, and muscular, but still feminine.
Danica held up her briefcase. “I brought the rest of the intel for the mission. You four girls should now have everything you need for your trip. I’ll…”
At the word “four”, Angela tilted her blonde head back and smiled, while Abby and Natalie stared at each other, saying, “Again?” at exactly the same time.
Rania looked puzzled. Danica stroked Rania’s hair affectionately. “Oh, this happened on our last mission too. The client wanting to come with us. It’s not standard operating procedure. But she…”
“…did a really good job,” finished Abby. Natalie and Angela nodded in agreement.
Danica continued. “Ladies, you know how seriously I take these things. I wouldn’t let Rania go with you unless I was as confident in her abilities as I am in yours.” Rania smiled when she heard that, and let out a sigh of relief when the other women nodded their consent.
Danica rolled up the sleeve of her top and looked at her watch. “It’s getting late. I have to be back at the base soon. You ladies know what to do. From now on, Angela, you’re in charge.” Natalie opened her mouth, but before she could say anything, the colonel added, “Because she’s the oldest.” Natalie let out an exaggerated sigh and Angela playfully patted her on the rump. “Good luck and God be with you,” said Danica, giving each woman a tight hug. She then disappeared up the stairs.
“Well, let’s get to work,” said Angela. “We leave tomorrow afternoon. We already know some of the details but Rania, why don’t you tell us the story from the beginning.”
Rania took a deep breath. “My sister’s name was Leila. She was twenty-one and a senior in college. I was a sophomore at the same college. One of the organizations there is a Muslim group that’s very active in politics. They protest in front of barbecue joints, strip clubs, churches, synagogues, the ROTC program, European cultural festivals…anything that offends them. Which is pretty much everything. The girls in the group all wear headscarves and the guys…they’re all real creeps. They were always harassing Leila and me after they found out we were born Muslims but left the religion.”
“Abdul al-Razizi was an ‘advisor’ to this group. He’d come onto campus sometimes and make speeches. Leila went to one of his talks one day and started heckling him, saying that he was inciting hatred and violence. Well, he decided he wasn’t going to take that. He started stalking her. One night, after she had a late class, he ambushed her while she was alone on the top floor of the parking garage. The fucker…he…he raped her, then cut her throat. He went around bragging about his crime, saying he had diplomatic immunity and couldn’t be prosecuted. And the fucker was right. All the government did was send him back to Kurtaria. And now he’s sitting in his mansion, laughing at getting away with murder.” When she was done speaking, Rania discovered that she was now clenching her fists in rage. She looked around and her eyes widened when she saw that the three other girls were doing the exact same thing.
“I’m so sorry,” said Angela, coming over and giving Rania a hug. “We knew it was a case involving diplomatic immunity but I had no idea it was this vicious.”
“If anyone ever needed killing, it’s him,” Abby added.
“I’m going to enjoy this mission,” said Natalie in a cold voice.
“Well, let’s show the world not to get on the bad side of sexy Amazon Ladies,” said Angela, opening Danica’s briefcase. “Here, maps and satellite photos showing the exact location of al-Razizi’s mansion in Kurtaria City, and reports on his security force.” She passed them around.
“Boy, this guy doesn’t mess around,” commented Abby, as she read about the size of al-Razizi’s security team. “Paranoid little fucker.”
“Is he really paranoid if we really are out to get him?” said Angela with a snicker. All the women laughed at that comment.
They spent the afternoon soaking up all the intelligence they would need for the mission. “We have a private cargo plane that will fly us to Kurtaria City, so we can take all the weapons we need with us. After we land, we assault the mansion at dark,” said Angela.
As afternoon turned into evening, Natalie rubbed her flat stomach. “I’m getting hungry. How about we order some Chinese food for delivery?”
“Great idea,” said Abby. “I was just in the mood for Chinese.” She began reaching for a phone on the table.
“Um…” said Rania.
“Oh, right,” said Natalie. “Secret base, locked gate, bad idea for deliveryman to come over and all that.”
“Ya think?” said Angela, trying to look stern but instead breaking out into a giggle. “Never mind, I’ll go into town and pick it up.”
After dinner, the girls took a break and played cards and video games. They then turned in for a good night’s sleep. The next morning, they headed out to the secret base’s weapons range to get in some practice before leaving.
Rania watched with a mixture of nervousness and excitement as Angela, Natalie, and Abby in turn fired shots from a high-powered rifle with sexy skill and accuracy. When it was her turn, Rania tossed her hair confidently like she had seen action heroines do in movies, then loaded the rifle and took aim. She nailed head shots on the mannequins at 200, 300, and 400 yards just like the other girls had. They all gave each other high-fives. The girls then did some practice with pistols and shotguns. After that, Natalie showed off her skill with a crossbow by shooting an apple off of Abby’s head.
Angela took out a wicked-looking 8-inch dagger, perfectly balanced for throwing, and another apple. Handing the apple to Rania, she said, “Will you do me the honor of being my volunteer?”
Rania took the apple nervously. “Are you sure this is safe?”
“Relax!” laughed Angela. “I’ve been doing this for years and never missed.”
Rania stood in position and put the apple on her head, then closed her eyes. Angela drew back her powerful arm, took careful aim, and threw. The dagger flew through the air and landed right in the flesh of the apple with a THUNK. Rania opened her eyes and sighed in relief. She, Abby, and Natalie all applauded.
Soon it was almost time to go. The ladies changed into skintight outfits consisting of black leather pants, black boots, black wrist-length gloves, and short-sleeved black tops that showed off the muscular but feminine arms of all four girls. They then gathered their equipment and weapons. Angela had an AK-47 assault rifle and her elegant dagger. Abby carried a high-powered semi-automatic sniper rifle with suppressor and bayonet as accessories, and a long, straight, ultra-sharp sword. Natalie had her crossbow, specially equipped with poisoned arrows, and an Uzi submachine gun. Rania had chosen a 12-gauge combat shotgun and a 9mm pistol with a silencer. The cargo plane picked them up at the designated time and they were off.
Rania’s heart was pounding with excitement. Just a week ago, she had been an ordinary college sophomore and the most exciting things in her life had been Friday night keg parties. Now, she was part of an elite team of lethal Amazon warriors, on a real combat mission to avenge her murdered sister. “Don’t worry, Leila, I’ll do you proud,” she whispered to herself.
Fifteen hours later, the plane landed at a private airstrip on the outskirts of Kurtaria City. After Angela paid off an approaching immigration official with a wad of cash, they were left alone. A black Ford Explorer was unloaded from the plane and Abby got behind the wheel. The rest of the women piled in and the vehicle headed towards town. “It’ll be dark by the time we get to al-Razizi’s mansion,” said Angela. “Perfect timing.”
Abdul al-Razizi’s enormous mansion was built with a combination of Arabic and Mediterranean architecture. It was surrounded by a high fence on all sides, unbroken except for two locked gates, one in front and one in the back. Abby parked the Explorer two blocks away from the mansion, completely out of sight of any of the guards. The girls climbed out, readied their weapons and two-way radios, and gathered in a huddle for their final instructions.
“We’re on the side of the front gate,” whispered Angela. “Abby, circle around the left way and take out all the outdoor guards on that side. Natalie, do the same on the right. Then you two take care of the back gate. Radio us when the job’s done. Rania, come with me. We’ll handle the front gate. Good luck, ladies. Let’s kick some ass.”
Abby and Natalie headed off in opposite directions. Rania and Angela were left alone in the black night. Although it was warm, Rania couldn’t help shivering a little. This was so new to her. This would not be like shooting paper targets at the range or fighting under strict rules at the dojo. She was glad Angela was next to her.
“You ready?” whispered Angela.
“Ready as I’ll ever be,” Rania answered.
“Let’s do it,” said Angela. She drew her long dagger. Her AK-47 was strapped to her muscular back. “For Leila.”
“For Leila,” Rania echoed softly, memories of her sister flooding through her mind. She drew her pistol and attached the silencer. Her shotgun was slung across her chest.
Abby attached the suppressor to her semi-automatic rifle and flicked the safety off. Her trained eyes scanned the left side of the mansion for guards. She counted them as she saw them, watching them walk back and forth, noting the patterns of their paths. When she was sure she had counted all of them, she began taking them out with expertly aimed shots to their heads, firing each killing shot on a man when he was not in the field of view of any of his comrades. Six men, one after the other, fell to the lethal brunette beauty’s markswomanship. Abby felt no emotion except for the familiar tingle of excitement she got when she killed.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the mansion, Natalie unshouldered her crossbow and loaded a poisoned arrow. A lone guard came into her sight. She took aim and killed him instantly with a perfect shot through the middle of his heart. Grinning wickedly at her kill, she loaded another arrow and moved alongside the fence towards the rear of the house, in full huntress mode. Two guards came by, walking side by side. She shot one in the head, the force of her powerful crossbow easily propelling the arrow through his skull bone and into the soft brain matter. The second guard, looking straight ahead, heard only the faint thump of a body hitting the ground. It took him a second to look to the side and see the body, another to notice the arrow sticking out of the corpse’s skull, and yet another second to open his mouth to prepare a yell. He never got the chance to make a sound, however. In the three seconds that had passed Natalie had rapidly and efficiently loaded another arrow, taken aim, and shot him in the head too.
Nearing the back, Natalie saw two more guards walking together. She waited until they paused in their conversation and were no longer looking at each other, then shot one in the heart. Again a corpse hit the ground with a soft thump, and again a guard went through the process of noticing a body and realizing what was going on. The remaining guard was quicker on the uptake than the earlier one, however, and Natalie, reloading, saw that taking the time to aim properly would give him enough chance to let out a scream of warning. She improvised, loosing her next arrow as quickly as possible. The projectile slammed into the man’s thigh. He had time only to let out a faint moan of pain before the powerful and ultra-quick-acting poison caused him to slump down dead, foaming from the mouth. Natalie reloaded again and waited cautiously to make sure no one had heard the dying guard’s faint cry. She then moved on to meet Abby at the back gate.
Angela and Rania approached the front gate silently. Angela motioned for Rania to stay back and cover her as she went right up to the gate. The blonde sheathed her dagger, took out a lock-picking kit, and went to work. Rania covered her, holding her pistol tightly in a two-handed grip, her heart thumping. Suddenly, movement caught her eye. An approaching guard, seeing Angela, began reaching for a gun at his waist and also began opening his mouth to shout. Rania, taking careful aim, shot him in the middle of his forehead before he had a chance to complete either act. As the guard’s corpse fell, Angela gave the younger girl a thumbs-up. A few seconds later, the blonde got the gate open. Rania went up to join her.
Angela tilted her head in the direction of the dead man. “First kill?”
“How do you feel?”
“Frankly, I feel good,” Rania whispered. She paused. “Is it wrong to feel that way?”
“When you kill someone evil, it’s not wrong at all,” Angela whispered back. “I felt the exact same way after my first kill.”
A rustle came from some bushes. A guard, who had apparently been taking a pee, came out with his back to the women, zipping up as he walked. Angela, her blue eyes concentrating with focus and passion, snuck up behind him and drew her dagger, gripping it in her right hand. Pouncing like a tigress, she jerked his jaw up with her muscular left forearm and quickly and brutally slit his throat. Blood flowed freely as he collapsed to the dirt.
Suddenly, the front door of the mansion opened and two more guards stepped out. Seeing the girls, not to mention the bloody corpse of their late comrade, two mouths opened. That was all they had time to do. Rania shot one man right between the eyes. At the same time, Angela flung her dagger straight into the second man’s heart. The two pretty women looked at each other and gave each other a high-five.
Meanwhile, Abby and Natalie had met at the back gate. No one else seemed to be around. Abby took out her lock-picking kit and was about to approach the gate when Natalie tapped her on the shoulder. A guard had appeared and was heading straight for the gate. The girls quickly hid themselves behind a thick column that separated the gate from the rest of the fence. When the man came close enough, Abby suddenly stepped out, reached through the bars of the gate, and, taking advantage of her superhumanly strong wrists, snapped his neck one-handed. Before his body could fall, Natalie leapt out and snatched a ring of keys hanging from his waist. She quickly found the right one and opened the gate.
The young women stepped onto the mansion’s grounds. “Looks all clear,” whispered Natalie.
“Let’s peek around the corners to make sure,” Abby whispered back. Natalie nodded and headed off to the left as Abby went towards the right.
Natalie glided silently through the well-watered grass of the mansion’s grounds. She rounded her corner…and found herself staring straight into a guard’s bearded face. Before he could react, she drove her left foot into that face in a blindingly fast and powerful high, cheerleader-style kick. The force of her kick drove the cartilage from his nose into his brain and he slumped dead to the grass.
She met Abby again at the back door. “All clear on my side,” Abby reported. “Yours?”
“One. Liquidated the bugger.” Natalie tapped her slender but ultra-strong thigh.
Abby grinned, then reached for the two-way radio on her hip. “Abby to Angela, all clear on our end.”
“All clear on ours too,” came Angela’s response. “Rania and I each got two. How many did you guys get?”
“Six,” said Natalie, activating her radio.
“I got seven,” said Abby proudly, sticking her chest with its C-cup breasts out. Natalie playfully slapped her on the ass.
“That’s a total of seventeen,” said Angela. “The intelligence reports stated that al-Razizi has a security force of about twenty-five on duty at any one time. That means either most of the guards were stationed outside, or something else is going on and there are a lot more men here than we thought. We’d better be real careful, ladies. Natalie and Abby, clear the mansion from the back. Rania and I will go from the front. Over and out.”
“Acknowledged. Over and out,” Abby responded.
TO BE CONTINUED…