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Tuesday, February 23

The Jaded Temple: Prologue

CHICAGO, IL-- The temple looked harmless enough. It was located at the edge of the area of the city known as Chicago’s “New Chinatown.” The building was constructed of wood and stone; most of the structure was obscured from view by a ten-foot-high stone wall encircling the grounds. A clump of small, leafy trees blocked the temple from casually prying eyes that looked through the single wrought-iron gate in the wall.

At night, the area just inside the perimeter wall was illuminated in spots, and human shadows could be seen moving inside the temple itself when a body passed before a lighted window. A lone guard patrolled the perimeter wall, his outline clearly discernible in the dim light. There were no other signs of movement outside the temple building.

Hammer lowered the nightvision binoculars he requisitioned in a hurry from the Chicago SWAT team. Sprague had ordered the raid so quickly on the supposed Tiger Transit headquarters that the agents weren't given much time to prepare.

"One guard, from the looks of it. Caprice, you still know your way around a rifle?"

Caprice leaned next to him on the roof of the building across the street from the temple. He grinned and patted the sniper rifle slung over his shoulder. "Sure, but won't that blow the place up?"

Hammer shook his head. "It shouldn't, not out here. We fired several rounds in a Fumo Loco greenhouse – blew out the glass first. So long as there's air circulating we were okay."

Guppy chimed in over the comm. "It's inside that you have to worry about."

"Uh…" Archive interrupted. "Where's Jim-Bean?"

Hammer looked through the binoculars again. "Son of a…"

A shadow that was undeniably Jim-Bean sauntered up to the gate. The soft glow of his lit cigarette marked his path.

"Looks like we are go," said Hammer. "Everybody move!" more


posted by Michael Tresca at 6:22 AM

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