Go to Channillo to read the rest…

***

Dieter is here, the Others told him.  Not near, or in the area.  Here.

Here still covered a lot of territory, as the building was quite large.  There were too many exits and not enough time to cover them all.  I will have to find the security office, and that means more deaths.  Murder was a distasteful business, and the Shadowman’s mouth drew into a hard line as he touched the stiletto in his pocket.  He would do what he must.

For once he walked a hallway clear of people, but he knew such luck wouldn’t last.  He didn’t believe in luck, regardless.  Luck is not what brought me to you, Dieter.  That was simple carelessness on your part.  The old man–older, even, than he was–grew sloppier with each succeeding year.  I almost had him in Germany.  The truth was, if he cared to consider it, he had almost had Dieter in a lot of places.

Always one step ahead.  There was a time Dieter was many steps ahead.  There was also a time you walked at my side.

The Shadowman sighed, and continued searching the halls of the Maury Regional Medical Center.  A young nurse passed, her eyes lifting from her tablet for only a second as she smiled up at him.  He nodded, but did not say anything, only smiled in return.  Not yet in a restricted area, none of the staff gave him a second look as he walked the halls.  An imposing figure, both his narrow frame and his height increased the bubble of personal space that few dared to enter.  His eyes, perpetually shaded by the dark fedora, gave the appearance of a man in mourning.

I suppose I am, he thought.  Seventy years is too long to mourn, but time is relative.

He stopped at a directory on the wall.  There was no listing for a security office, but from the room numbers shown a map formed in his mind pointing the way.  He no longer knew nor cared how such things were possible for him, he simply accepted them.  The gift was necessary to complete his task, so the gift was his.  Like every gift, it is given when needed and taken without notice.  The only two constants were the stiletto and the device.  The first he used sparingly, but the second was always active, and only once had he failed to carry it.

Kazakhstan, he thought, as he turned a corner.  The surveillance camera at the far end of the hall emitted a soft whine, and the indicator lamp died.  He smiled, felt the cold comfort of the device as it hummed in his hand, and proceeded toward his goal.

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