ut the fact that William was in big trouble was evident and he knew it.  The men, one behind him and another between him and the exterior door meant business.  And they meant to get their man.  The cashier at the counter, unbeknownst to William, was one of his own recruits and had served in the detail gallantly.  He read the situation unfolding in front of him and knew trouble was in store for the kindly gentleman who had just paid his bill.

Sung Wu was a natural born American, his parents traveled here from China in the late forties prior to his birth.  He had studied martial arts most of his life, had served in the Vietnam war, and known for his ability to function in situations such as these.  He had fended off more than one would-be robber rendering him helpless on the floor while the police took their time in getting to his place of business.

And he was swift in attaching himself to the battle coming just in front of him.  He was close to the man behind William and spoke to him, catching his attention.  The man turned around to attend to the voice behind him and was rewarded with a kick to the solar plexus.  Sung Wu was not a big man, quite small, typical Asian, slim, with hair slightly graying belying his age.  But his prowess at martial arts had been honed to perfection with years of training.

The kick hit the Russian like a mule and doubled him over.  William sucker punched the other man who was distracted for a mere moment of time.  He then brought his elbow up striking him just above his Adams apple, crushing his windpipe.  The first man who had been kicked struggled to get his breath and to get up on his feet.

He was also struggling for something under his coat when William hit him in the back of the head with the butt of his XD.  It laid him out with a deep gash which was spilling blood onto the floor.  William grabbed him by the feet and commenced dragging him out the door.  He drug him all the way to the van, and between him and Sung Wu, managed to get him inside where he was handcuffed spread eagled by all four limbs.

With the other man now turning blue from the crushed windpipe, William knew he was out of the fight for good and would never have to worry about him ever again.  William drug him to the van as well and for good measure, hand cuffed him and shackled his feet.  He then went back into the restaurant to thank Sung Wu and to help him clean up.

"You are quite welcome.  Those men have taken a couple of guys out of here, and both were found dead a couple of days later.  I know who you are but I doubt you know me.  I am App-2002a.  At your service."

"Well, if you ever need assistance you can call me at this number.  If I can get here, I'll be here.  By the way, have you ever been to the Patriot Gentleman's Club?  You have my special invite, as most honored guest."  William bowed slightly in respect to Sung Wu.  "Now, let me help you clean up."

"The mess has already been cleaned up, and you need to attend to those men out in your truck.  I bid you Godspeed."  He then bowed slightly to William, turned and walked back into his place of business.

William considered all that had taken place in the last fifteen minutes.  With one man just beginning to come to and another one dead, he needed them out of his vehicle as soon as he could arrange it.  He called Hazard and asked him to come get the big black Mercedes in the parking lot and that right soon.  The keys would be at the cash register.  Just inquire of them with Sung Wu.

With that, he pulled out onto the highway and headed toward the buried bunkers in the hills.  Within a mile or so after leaving the city limits, a set of headlights on high beams was coming up from the rear and fast.  He pulled his forty five and checked his other magazines.  Obviously the men had GPS trackers similar to what he used for his own operatives.  He hit the gas and the big Ford lurched forward.  But it was no match for the Mercedes.  What was it with the ruskies and Mercedes?  Every Russian he had encountered had driven Mercedes.

He saw the muzzle flashes before he heard the rounds begin striking the van.  He had made an emergency alert to Hazard as soon as he saw the big Mercedes coming up on him.  George had driven Hazard to the restaurant and now was heading out with the pedal to the metal to where William was in another fight for his life.

Both windows had been knocked out of the back doors, and the door had been riddled with rounds.  At just over one hundred miles per hour, he slammed on his brakes, nudged the steering wheel to the left and hit his emergency brake.  The rear of the van slid around to where he was now facing the oncoming car giving him advantage of a face to face fight.  He let loose with the big 45 and seen the driver jerk violently.

The driver then fell forward on the steering wheel allowing the heavy vehile to turn just enough to ride up on the bank of the canal running along the side of the road.  It climbed just a short way up the bank with one side, the momentum throwing the vehicle into the air, causing it to tumble down the highway end for end.  It struck the bank again on the third tumble and was thrown toward the road where it barrel rolled three full turns before coming to rest on its top.  The fuel tank had ruptured, and fuel was running down onto the exhaust pipes.

If it caught, there would be quite an explosion.  One man was still moving slightly, and would be cremated alive if that thing caught.  But the pipes were cooled enough to not ignite the fuel.  Within two minutes, he could see two sets of headlights coming fast, and hoped it was his own men.  A third set of headlights then appeared and he figured he was in for another fight or it was the police.

Hazard and George in separate vehicles screamed up to the scene.  Hazard was in the Ruskies Mercedes.  He had set the emergency brake and jumped out while it slid to a stop.  He ran over to the van to check on William.  George was pulling the ruskies out of the Mercedes.

The third car pulled up to the scene and out stepped Sung Wu.  William waved as he headed toward the van on which he was leaning.  William was weak at the knees from all the excitement.  A quick explanation as to the sequence of events leading up to the current, and each were surprised that William was still alive, much less unhurt.

He opened the rear door of the van to retrieve a chain with which to right the Mercedes and pull it the rest of the way to the bunker.  The men cuffed into the van were dead, both bodies being literally ripped to shreds by the hail of gunfire from the full auto AK 47.  The passenger seat was riddled as well, but the drivers seat had not one bullet hole in it.  Protecting hand of God?  Miracles still happen . . .

William was realizing what an incredulous miracle that was.  The windshield had been shot completely out of the van, the dash was riddled and water from the heater core was leaking out.  Also, the Freon from the AC unit was leaking.  The van was a total loss.

Hazard used his car to right the damaged Mercedes, and quickly it was towed the quarter mile to the bunker turn off and placed out of sight of the road. Quickly the van was towed away as well and the men, five total, were removed from the vehicles, searched and their clothes and GPS locaters were destroyed as soon as possible.

The vehicles would be moved far back into the woods with the others.  They now had a total of three Mercedes, two of which were totaled, and the third which was nearly like new.  All had been swept clear of locater bugs.  They were then covered with camouflage netting to make them invisible from the air.  There was no doubt that the Russians knew there had to be a place somewhere close where the vehicles had disappeared.  They would be searching for them.

After camouflaging all the vehicles the men descended into the bunker.  All Sung Wu would see at this time was a small shipping container with lined walls.  There was no sign of any kind of opening that would lead to another section.  Sung Wu was introduced to the small gang present at the time, and offered refreshment.  William informed them all that happened.  He also told them Sung Wu might be visiting the Patriot Gentleman's Club.

The men welcomed Sung Wu into their group and he soon became as one of them.  He had performed flawlessly in the mission he had undertaken, and within a week of that completion, had volunteered for another.  He was placed on a waiting list as they did not like to use the men too often.  Familiarity sometimes gets one recognized and perhaps his personal safety and/or mission are in jeopardy.

Sungs family was no more.  His wife and daughter had been killed in an auto accident a few years prior, and he had merely used hired help to run his business from there on out.  With his age and being alone, and the succession of events within the government, he was antsy and anxious to do something.  The ad was shown him by an acquaintance and at first, he thought it was too good to be true.

He soon had to return to his business.  The highway was checked for traffic before he pulled out onto it.  They were being as careful as they could to prevent someone from seeing traffic into and out of the little partially hidden gate.  It was maintained with overgrowth to look as if no one ever came through it.  Yet it would swing freely open and shut and that, by remote control.

Within four minutes, William received a call from Sung Wu.  His place of business had burned to the ground.  Hazard quickly drove William back to the little cafe that was Sung Wu's.  Beside the road by the fire truck lay two covered bodies.  A passer by said a big black Mercedes had pulled into the parking lot in a big hurry and three men jumped out and ran into the cafe.  Almost immediately, a shot was heard and the young lady struggled out the door and fell face down.  The young man was then shoved out the door, tripping over the curb and falling to the ground.  A big man in a big long coat stood over him.

The young man just calmly lay there looking up at him.  Suddenly, the young man exploded catching the Russian in the crotch with a kick like a mule.  He was instantly on his feet and ready for battle, one on one.  A shot in the back from another man felled the young man.  He died within a minute or so, and lay still beside the other young corpse.

The third man walked briskly out of the diner and to the car, placing what he was carrying into the back seat beside him.  As they pulled out of the parking lot, a small explosion inside the diner caused it to erupt into flames.

William asked Sung Wu where he lived and he indicated above the store.  "Come on.  You can live at my house.  Follow me home."

And with that, Sung Wu closed a chapter in his life and another opened.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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Chapter XII