I do not own The Dresden Files or Angel the SeriesTales From Oracle Securities
Chapter 9: Stolen MarchOracle Securities Safehouse
11:57 pm, July 15th, 2003
Alexi Petrovich – or just Petrovich, as he was known to just about everyone – checked the safety on his gun, making sure it was indeed off. He had a bad feeling about tonight.
One of Wolfram and Hart's favorite tactics, albeit one of their more blunt ones, was simple witness assassination. Of course, with their access to demons and...paranormal specialists, their assassins were far better at the job, and less likely to tie to Wolfram and Hart than some other group's hit-men. But, no matter how good they were at their jobs, at times, once in a while, one of the law firm's assassins got noticed. Witnesses, or left a small bit of telltale evidence, or something else that could trace back to them. In these instances, the firm left no expense to keep them out of prison, for obvious reasons.This time, of course, we caught a break.
The Donovan Brothers lacked any supernatural powers – at least, as far as he knew – but the twins were deadly with the sword, and now, the CPD was putting together a case that should be able to put them away for life.
Assuming the witness lived, which was what Oracle Securities was up to. Like it or not, Wolfram and Hart had already gotten its tendrils all over the Chicago PD – Oracle Securities, on the other hand, was much more secure, so they had the duty of keeping an eye on the witness.
The young woman was sleeping at the moment, and Petrovich was in charge of the five man team protecting the building.
“Nicholas.” The Russian man said into the walkie-talkie headset. “Report. Everything clear?”
“Everything clear. The sewer access in the basement is shut tight. Nothing's coming in that way.”
“Good. Petrovich out.” He spoke again, “Hans?”
There was no response. “Hans?”
Petrovich didn't waste any more time. “I'm going to Hans' station. Enrico, call base. Get reinforcements here, now!” He ran for the back door, Hans' station.
“Got it.” Enrico said.
“I've still got the front covered.” Dion said.
“Nicholas, Dion, get the witness out of here, Take the sewers out and then get onto the surface immediately. Enrico, with me to the back door when you've made the-” His voice faltered for a moment when he saw Hans' body, the body contorted, limps bent all wrong...sickeningly...and the face...the face was one of unmitigated horror.
The other three mercenaries heard the sound of full automatic weapons fire as Dion and Nicholas got the witness out of bed and into the basement, towards the sewer entrance...all they got out was strangled screams when they saw what was waiting for them there...
“Mark!” Enrico said. “There's something attacking the safehouse. Hans is out, probably dead, and I think Dion and Nicholas are too! The witness...whatever killed Hans doesn't seem to be dying no matter how many rounds Petrovich hurls into-” Mark Farrel's Apartment
12:03 am, July 16th, 2003
A light sleeper his entire life, and the ringing of his cell phone was no different. He was sitting up and snatching his phone off the bedside table in under ten seconds.
“Farrel here.” He said, recognizing the number as belonging to one of his men.
“Mark!” Enrico's voice had an urgent tenor to it, but there was no panic. His people didn't scare easily. “There's something attacking the safehouse. Hans is out, probably dead, and I think Dion and Nicholas are dead too. The witness...whatever killed Hans doesn't seem to be dying no matter how many rounds Petrovich hurls into-”
Then the phone fell to the ground – at least, Mark assumed that was reason for the clatter – and then all he heard was a scream, before the line went completely dead.
“Mark, What is it?” A groggy female voice said from the other side of the bed, as Abigail St. Pierre sat up slowly, holding the sheet around her torso.
Mark closed his cell phone and set it down. “Hans, Petrovich, Dion, Nicholas and Enrico are all dead.” He said softly. “At least, I'm pretty sure they are.” His voice was...hollow, toneless. He couldn't believe it. Five of his best men, all dead. He'd had people die, even five at a time, in the really bad situations...but never so quickly...never so...Enrico's scream had sent a chill down his spine, and the memory of it did it again.
“Weren't...weren't they guarding the witness?” Abigail asked softly, sleep leaving her quickly at the news.
Mark nodded. “They were.”
“So...do...do you think she's dead then...too?”
“I can't imagine Wolfram and Hart would keep her alive. If they're prepared to kill five of our people – and risk an incident under the accords – and not be prepared to kill her.”
“What...what do we do, then?” She asked slowly.
“You go back to headquarters, get the word out. Call in everyone. I'm going to call Lindsey, and then I'm going to the safehouse. I have to find out what happened.”
“You can't go alone.” Abigail said. “Whatever did that...whatever killed them...it could still be there.”
“I won't go alone.” Mark said, getting up and pulling on clothes quickly, putting his Kevlar vest with metal plates sewn in – based on the armor used by former Knight of the Cross Micheal Carpenter – and grabbing enough weapons for a small armory.
“Who will you take with you?” Abigail said, grabbing her discarded clothes and dressing quickly.
“I'm going to need an expert, and with Wesley out of town, that leaves Dresden. SI will call him anyway. May as well call them too.”
He opened his phone again as he went out the front door of his apartment, calling Lindsey.
“Lindsey, we have a problem.” Were the first words he spoke to the groggy lawyer, before the man even had a chance to say 'hello?'
“Mark, you're going to need to be a lot more specific than that.”
“The witness is dead, and all five of my men guarding her. I'm on my way there.”
“There's no way that Wolfram and Hart would risk violating the Accords over two of their assassins.” Lindsey replied.
“Tell that to my men! Enrico called just before he died. Three were already dead, and from the sounds of it, the fourth was going to die soon too. Then all I got was a dropped phone and a scream that was...unnatural.”
“Don't do anything stupid. Don't start a war until I've had a chance to talk to Lilah, and Marcone. Lilah may be the enemy, but I know her. This isn't her style. Its too blunt, too obvious. She'd kill the witness in a heartbeat, but she'd never, under any circumstances, kill all five of your men.”
“I don't care what you say. Wolfram and Hart is the only group that would make this attack. They're behind it, one way or another.” Mark's tone was harsh, angry...hateful. “They're going to pay.”
“Mark, if you start a war with Wolfram and Hart, there's almost no chance Marcone or Wesley will back you. You'll just get people killed for nothing.”
“My men will go with me, Lindsey. You'd better get your priorities straight.”
“Mark, don't do anything stupid.” Lindsey said again, hanging up his phone.Lilah's Office, Wolfram and Hart Chicago
12:07 am, July 16th, 2003
Lilah Morgan was working late. Not that she kept a normal schedule anyway, working when the situation merited, catching sleep around her schedule.
“Don't you ever sleep?” She demanded of Iris, the red haired construct paging though dossiers idly. “Its hard to work with you just sitting-”
“No its not Lilah.” Iris said, looking up. “Its not even remotely hard. You were never good at lying to yourself. Everyone else? Hell yes. But yourself? Not in the least. Never really did it that much either. You can't lie to me. I am you.”
“You're not me. I'm right here, sitting at this desk.” She pointed unnecessarily to demonstrate her point.
“I am the essence of your mind, your memories. I am you where it counts in regards to performing my duties. Especially in being able to tell when you're lying.” She set the folder down and stood up, going around Lilah's desk to take a peep at what she was typing.
“Why is the firm paying for two sets of plane tickets each to Dubai, Honolulu and Macao? Not to mention two yachts and-”
“We need somewhere to put the Donovan Brothers, where the cops can't find them. And more importantly, we need them out of the country. The CEO of Wolfram and Hart Cairo said he had a use for them. So they'll be his problem in a few weeks.”
“And you can't just have them portal to Cairo because of all the interference the Pyramids kick up.”
“Exactly. So we have to try something more mundane. Hence all the camouflage. Oracle Securities has latched onto this – their first chance to score a major victory against us in the courtroom. Lindsey has to be thrilled.” She piked up her phone as it rang without missing a beat. “Lilah Mor-”
“What the hell
were you thinking, Lilah!” Lindsey demanded.
“Lindsey, speak of the devil.” She said softly. “What has your panties in a bunch now?”
“You violated the Accords and killed five of Oracle Securities men. Just to get at the witness.”
Lilah didn't let her confusion show. “I have no idea what you're talking about. Your witness is worth nothing. I didn't order her killed, and I have no reason to. And I have no interest in violating the Accords.”
“Wolfram and Hart is the only group that would have a reason to attack that particular safehouse, at that particular time. What did you send? Chemsal Demons? Orgains? Hellwasps?”
“I didn’t send anyone, and I didn't order an attack on your safe. I don't leave excessive bodies behind, Lindsey. Its too sloppy. You know me.”
“Then you'd better find out who in Wolfram and Hart ordered the attack, and serve their head up on a sacrificial platter. Mark's on the warpath, and I wouldn't be surprised if he decides to destroy the entire building, Accords be damned.” Lindsey hung up before Lilah could get another word out.
Lilah looked at Iris. “You speak for the Senior Partners regarding the investigation into whatever this new power is. What about situations that involve the Accords?”
“Oracle Securities happened.” She replied cooly.Oracle Securities Safehouse
12:44 am, July 15th, 2003
“About fucking time you two got here.” Mark said, arms crossed. “Any longer and I would have-”
“And I'd have had to arrest you for contaminating evidence.” Karrin cut in.
“Not to mention,” Harry added, “That anything I could tell you would be compromised by your aura. What do you know?”
“Just what I told you. And I did a perimeter sweep. No sign of a force entry, the doors are still locked, and I checked the sewer exit. Undisturbed. They didn't come in a normal way.” He took a key out of his pocket and handed it to Karrin Murphy, who unlocked the back door, and stepped in first, slowly, gun out, safety off.
There was no need for the weapon. The place was oppressively quiet...almost screaming how quiet it was, if that made any sense.
Harry closed his eyes, then opened them again with the Sight.
Nothing seemed that out of place, apart from the emptiness, the silence...then he saw it. The black rip in the air. He closed his eyes again, then his vision returned to normal.
“Whatever killed your men punched into this reality from the Nevernever. Wolfram and Hart may have been behind it, but they didn't summon them.”
“What does that mean?” Mark demanded. “They punched in?”
“It means,” Karrin interjected, having absorbed some knowledge over the years of working with Harry, “that whatever did this is pretty powerful. It takes a lot more energy to open a doorway on the Nevernever side than on this side. Orders of magnitude more than simple minions.”
“Pretty much.” Harry said. “Let's go find your people. We have to figure out what killed them – and what might be loose in the city.”And close that hole into the Nevernever. Who knows what else will take advantage of it?Unknown Location, Undertown
12:18am, July 16th, 2003
“Is it done?”
“Its done. Wolfram and Hart will be tearing itself up for the culprit, and Mark Farrel will be starting a war before the week is out, I'm certain of it.”