Marque and Reprisal Chapter 2

Marque and Reprisal Chapter 2

“Dad? Looks like Uncle Hector’s here.” John Brannigan looked up from the table. Hank, leaner and shorter than his father by several inches, was peering out the door at the driveway, noticeably staying out of the light, off to one side, where a newcomer shouldn’t be able to see him. The boy had been an officer, but he’d learned. He should have, given the fact that his old man had been something of an infantry legend. Still. He’d learned even more since he’d left the Marine Corps and become a member of the secretive mercenary team that called itself Brannigan’s Blackhearts. Brannigan shut the ledger in front of him with a faint frown and got up to step around the table and move to the other window. Sure enough, that was Hector Chavez’s car pulling up the driveway. “That’s weird. Usually he calls ahead.” “Maybe the cell signal’s not working up here again.” “Wouldn’t that be a shame,” Brannigan growled. The only reason he had the infernal device in the first place was because of the Blackhearts. Otherwise, he would have been perfectly happy to go completely off grid up here. Thrusting his .45 into the back of his waistband,

Marque and Reprisal Chapter 1

Marque and Reprisal Chapter 1

The attack was swift and completely unexpected. Carl Hild hardly noticed the roll of the deck beneath his feet as he headed below, toward his cabin. He was still miserable. I never should have taken this gig. The money wasn’t bad. The job itself, though… Hild had been to just about every port in the world over the last twenty years. He’d sailed with all kinds of crews, from the good, to the bad, to the incompetent and depraved. None of them quite matched this nightmare. Not that the crew itself was bad. Even the captain, drunk though he was, knew his business and generally treated his subordinates fairly. Even the route wasn’t bad. No, it was the client. The Tonka Canyon wasn’t the biggest oceangoing cargo ship out there, and her cargoes often only just about broke even. This time, though, the container at the forefront of the hold was supposed to pay for the whole voyage by itself, and that was leaving aside the other stuff they’d taken on to fill the rest of the hold. It just didn’t feel worth it. The container had come with its own security detail and supervisor. And that was where the