Film Session

A science fiction story in Jeremy Hunter by Gary Bloom


In the plush, inner sanctum of the Corral Snakes, there were a plethora of rooms intended for many purposes. All of the Snakes had a military past of some sort. Despite the jaded attitudes and darkened nature of those pasts, each man fancied himself a warrior. As such, every Snake had the opportunity to be treated as if he were a warrior prince.

Most amusing was the assertion among varying factions that some didn't deserve such treatment. Often, rivals held that view of each other, although rarely was it spoken. Few knew who might arrange for assassination of a fellow. Such were the tribulations of a heavily armed paramilitary organization. As long as each maintained his training, of course, open dissension was averted.

Not every man among the Corral Snakes preferred to pamper himself in down time. Certainly there were those who whiled the hours in the shooting ranges, utilizing all manner of weapons. Others honed their bodies in subterranean workout rooms. Two in particular, however, were at work sharpening their understanding of their primary foe.

Marshall Plaening and Rupert Poulsen sat in a small office. On the table before them rested a high definition television. The pair were busy reviewing footage taken of Jeremy Hunter. The hidden agents had done good work. Only one had been stupid enough to try attacking Hunter when he was in a somewhat compromised position. While that man died at the vigilante's hands, another agent's recording of the event provided excellent data.

This particular footage had been taken from a rooftop. The hidden snake had watched Jeremy jump from roof to roof, and finally down to stop a mugging. Falling an impressive distance, Hunter had barely registered the impact. It raised both men's eyebrows.

"His legs are obviously reinforced with something," Poulsen remarked. "It can't be anything too heavy, though; the road wasn't even dented when he landed."

"Hunter retains quite impressive speed, all the same." Plaening tapped his chin. "Implanted servos, maybe, or perhaps the neuro-optic reflex wiring of the Ares Elite?"

"We'll need to observe some Ares Elite, most likely, to figure out a connection."

"Observe Ares Elite?" Marshall was incredulous. "Rupert, have you lost your damned mind?"

"Just trust me," he answered. "Right now, I'm trying to understand Hunter's patterns. He seems to move in certain circles, but in different parts of the metroplex."

"That may be the key, then. If we are able to map enough of his patterns, we'll be able to recognize them in real time and deploy an ambush quickly enough. What we'll need to plan are enough ambushes to cover each of his patterns."

"And if you aren't able to make note of them all?" Plaening was still uncertain. "If he picks up on what we're planning, we'll lose our opportunity for good. We need him eliminated if we're going to take control of the ASA-Plex."

"Like I said, just trust me. We're going to watch every scrap of video until we've plotted every movement that he makes. And then, when I cast my net, Jeremy Hunter will never escape."

In an alley in southern San Antonio, Jeremy Hunter strode out dragging a felled brigand behind him. The thug had been randomly assaulting young men after dark. Leaving a trail of bodies outside bars and clubs across the city, the police had been searching for him. Leroy Frunkedt would be beside himself. As much as the police seemed to hate their vigilante counterpart, getting this hazard off the streets should be appreciated.

"We're going to dump you on Leroy's doorstep," Jeremy told his unconscious quarry. "He might not like me much, but we share a common hatred for anyone who enjoys random violence."

Pulling a set of shackles from his motorcycle, he secured the prisoner. As he climbed on, however, something caught his eye. A strange reflection where none should be. Swinging his leg back over the bike, he stepped towards it, focusing his vision. The reflection flashed once more, this time in a downward motion. Someone was out there, and that someone knew Jeremy had seen him.

"It looks like we'll need to schedule a pick up, instead."

Jeremy unhooked the offender from his bike. Laying the unconscious man on the ground, he sent a text-based message to the nearest precinct. Swinging the motorcycle around, he aimed himself towards the now dormant flashes. Tearing off, he was going to figure out just who had been watching him... and why.