PROLOGUE: Moonlight on Aquarius
The ocean-liner Aquarius roared as it careened into the wooden docks, demolishing them. The remaining men screamed as they hurled themselves off the ship in panic. Smythe glanced over his shoulder and his heart-stopped: the hull of the ship blew into the harbour at full-speed and exploded almost instantly, lighting up the sky with orange flames and debris. Clouds of smoke erupted into the sky as the wreckage continued to burst into flames, engulfing one of the jet-skiing guards before he could clear the wreckage. Smythe released his breath as he sped along the edge of the harbour, confident he had escaped.
Suddenly he spied one of the jet-skis out of the corner of his eye just soon enough to swerve out of the way of a bullet from his pistol. Smythe accelerated as the guard’s second shot rang off the back of his jet-ski. He turned sharply to the left avoiding a wooden pillar as he skimmed along the water under the docks, the guard following closely on his left. They both weaved through the pillars as the guard struggled for a clear shot. Finally he rode in line with Smythe’s jet-ski, slowly aiming at him, relishing the moment of the kill. The guard saw Smythe smiling back at him through his sight just as his jet-ski smashed into the pillar in front of him.
“He had it coming to him,” Smythe uttered as he veered left into the canal that ran through the city. The wind blew through his jet black hair as he sped through the city, gazing at the night sky.
“Blast!” he yelled as the third guard slammed his jet-ski into Smythe’s from behind. Smythe leaned his jet-ski to the left as the guard sped up beside him, glaring at Smythe with his deep sinister eyes. The pursuer kept pace with Smythe, swatting at him with his left hand, maintaining control of his jet-ski with his right. Smythe struck the guard in with fierce blow to the stomach. The guard reacted with a quick reflex and grabbed Smythe by the shoulder, pulling both jet-skis against each other. Both jet-skis skimmed side-by-side along the still water of the narrow canal, rushing under a bridge at incredible speed.
Smythe’s heart raced as he glanced forward, eyeing the approaching dam at the end of the canal. People watching from the streets screamed in terror as they watched both men race towards their inevitable doom. The streetlights of the small urban city illuminated the final stretch of the canal, showcasing their speedy path to destruction.
The guard grunted as he attempted to pull Smythe off, but stopped to correct his steering after momentarily losing control. Then he screamed in shock as Smythe abandoned his own jet-ski and jumped to the other, landed behind the guard and swiftly held him in a firm neck-hold. The sound of the roaring dam echoed up ahead, as they raced towards it at break-neck speed.
“Arrgh..!” the guard groaned as he struggled to steer and fight back simultaneously. Smythe jerked the guard’s neck back and spoke directly into his ear.
“Hope this isn’t a bad time for me to ask,” he said sarcastically, “who do you work for?!” The guard leaned forward but Smythe pulled him back firmly, pausing only to glare at the dam that closed in about 90-feet away. “The explosives, they were a pay-off for what?” Smythe screamed into the man’s ear in frustration, “Who set this up?” The guard’s eyes raced, struggling to find a way out, and fast. Smythe increased his hold on the man’s neck, showing no mercy. Mist blew into their faces, drenching them in ice-cold water. Smythe heard the roar of the dam closing in on them, like a lion closing in on its prey.
“Give me a name!” Smythe screamed in panic.
“It was…” the guard struggled to whisper the name with his last ounce of breath, “Petrov.”
At that moment Smythe released the guard and dove backwards into the water, surfacing only to hear the guard’s scream and watch as his jet-ski exploded into the face of the dam. Breathing hard he swam to the edge of the canal and climbed over the fence and onto the usually dark street now lit up by the explosion.
He stood up, and took a deep breath as he stared back down the street along the canal and back into the ocean. The sky was filled with stars and illuminated the magnificent night. The crash of the ocean waves could still be heard from where he was standing.
“Petrov,” he repeated to himself, then stared up at the serene night sky.
A blue moon.
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