Chant

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Description

Professional assassin and martial arts master Chant is about to go from hunter to hunted in this thriller from the author of the Mongo Mysteries.
 
John “Chant” Sinclair is precise, patient, perfect. A highly trained killer with a mastery of martial arts, he’s able to slip in and out of any situation, in any disguise, all while maintaining absolute control.
 
In a former life Chant was a soldier, but now he’s the world’s most wanted criminal, working for himself and taking only the jobs he wants. Governments want to either hire him or kill him. No matter the foe, Chant’s skills have made him untouchable . . . until now.
 
Years ago, one man taught Chant to be a dealer of death, a warrior whose very name, Bai, strikes fear into the hearts of men. Now, Bai has been hired to take out his former protégé, and when master and student face off, only one will emerge victorious—and alive.
 
Chant is the 1st book in the Chant Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.

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Informations

Publié par
Date de parution 14 novembre 2017
Nombre de visites sur la page 4
EAN13 9781480476554
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0075 €. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

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Chant
George C. Chesbro
MYSTERIOUSPRESS.COM
Vietnam, 1971
ONE
After he’d learned the truth, the man others called Chant decided that this phase of his life was finished too. Past spoken pledges and unspoken loyalties had been washed away with the blood of one American and doze ns of Hmong who had died in the trap set for him, and these were deaths for whi ch Chant felt at least partially responsible. If the cost of this decision was the l oss of virtually every affiliation other men held dear, that was all right. He had learned t he lessons of his father and teachers well and, despite his youth, had for some years been remarkably complete unto himself. He was linked to his own unbreakable code of honor, and in the end this was the only affiliation that mattered to him. They came after him, of course, as he’d known they would, for he now possessed a terrible secret. Combat boots laced together and slung around his ne ck, John Sinclair loped easily through the vivid greens and sweet rot odor of the rain forest. At the beginning of his flight he had discarded all gear and items of cloth ing that were not absolutely essential to survival. Even his M-16 had been throw n away; from the moment he had made the decision to erase his past, Sinclair had r ealized that to be in a situation where he was forced to fire a gun would probably me an that he must inevitably be killed or captured. The invisibility of silence was the one weapon he could not afford to lose. His coming long journey though space and t ime, across borders and oceans of the mind as well as the planet, had to be accomp lished in a veil of silence as profound as that of the chiaroscuro shadow-patterns through which he ran. If he were forced to kill, it would have to be done in silence. Like now. Without breaking stride, Chant leaped for an overha nging branch and effortlessly swung up into a tree, where he crouched in the V fo rmed by the trunk and a large limb. Camouflaged by shadow and thick foliage, he w aited. They knew the direction in which he was heading—nor thwest, directly into enemy-held territory. A half hour before, as he had passe d close to the ambush site, he’d heard a helicopter flying low over the jungle canop y; he knew that the aircraft carried assassins, men whom Maheu assumed were as skilled a t delivering silent death as himself. If it were a classic hunt-and-slay operati on, and Chant had no reason to think otherwise, the helicopter would drop three men in a semicircle arcing across his presumed path. These men would come at him, then sl owly converge in an effort to trap him themselves or force him to retreat to deat h at the hands of the two or three assassins sweeping the jungle behind him. The point man in the advance press came directly do wn the trail, a wide-angle pump shotgun with heavy-duty choke silencer held at the ready. Although it would not have altered his course of action, Chant was glad t hat he did not know the man— which meant that this assassin had probably been bo rrowed from the Rangers, or another Special Forces Unit. Operation Cooked Goose. As the man passed beneath the overhanging limb, Cha nt dropped, twisting slightly in the air and snapping a short, powerful side kick at the man’s head. His bare heel caught the man just behind the jaw, at the precise juncture where the skull cradles
the top of the spinal cord. Chant hit the ground, r olled to break his fall, and was almost instantly on his feet, darting silently into the underbrush at the side of the trail. He did not even bother to look back, for he knew th at the assassin had died even before his knees had begun to buckle.
He waited in the open, sitting cross-legged at the edge of a small clearing, for the second man. Within seconds, he had gone into a tran ce; with his iron-colored eyes slightly out of focus, he was able to see deepinto his surroundings, his sight and hearing radiating out through the jungle like psych ic X rays. He “saw” the second assassin approach through the u nderbrush, then stop behind a wall of vines and stare in disbelief at Chant’s e xposed body. Chant’s knife flew through the air, parted vines, a nd pierced the assassin’s heart a split second before the man’s knife thudded into th e tree trunk behind Chant’s left ear. Chant stalked the third man, a burly Chinese droppe d by helicopter who had apparently been specially hired for the occasion, t hen rose from the matted jungle floor virtually in the man’s face and slit his thro at.
Each of the three assassins assigned to close the c ircle from the rear found Chant “hanging” from a tree limb by a rope of vines, his neck twisted at what appeared to be an impossible angle for any man who was not dead. The first two to come upon him died as they poked s uspiciously at his ribs—the first when Chant’s index finger burst his right eyeball a nd pierced his brain, the second when a garotte lifted him off the ground and snappe d his neck like a stick of dry wood. The third assassin, overcome by terror when he came upon the “hanging man” with two corpses at his feet, died running away, Chant’s knife blade buried to the hilt between his shoulder blades. His pursuers eliminated, Chant loosed the harness o f vines from his shoulders and chest, and dropped lightly to the ground. At the edge of a stream, he erected a small totem t o the memory of the many Hmong who had died so that he might live, and be free After an hour of silent, intense meditation, he set the totem afire, sprinkling bits of clay, dirt, and vegetation from the jungle floor over the root of the fire until the fl ames burned black. After a few seconds he abruptly kicked the flaming brands into the stre am, smiled grimly as the fire hissed out and the blackened sticks were carried away down stream. Then, his private ceremony of life and death and fr eedom completed, Chant went away.
Mordan County, Washington, 1985
TWO
Chant, disguised, stopped in a hardware store to pi ck up the item he wanted. Back out on the busy street, he paused for a few moments to watch the comings and goings of people getting an early start on their Ch ristmas shopping. It was a bright, clear day in late fall, cold but still. The air was filled with an acrid smell wafting in from the huge paper mill ten miles to the east. Although there were thousands of Hmong immigrants i n the county, Chant saw none here on the streets of Sachmore City, the coun ty seat. He wasn’t surprised. To the Baldaufs, who wielded their great wealth like a sledgehammer in order to control law and economics in the county, the Laotian refuge es were used exclusively for fueling the family’s evil, underground empire; the Hmong were used as stock for whorehouses, slave labor in the family industries, and as drugged, unwilling subjects for pornographic films and magazines. Certainly, th ey were not fit to shop on the streets of Sachmore City and, when not being used b y the Baldaufs for personal pleasure or business, were kept virtually imprisone d in a complex of Baldauf-controlled slum housing in a remote area of the cou nty—out of sight, and obviously out of the other residents’ minds and collective co nscience. It was, Chant thought with a cruel smile, time for a few minor changes. The huge clock on the tower over City Hall read ten minutes after one, which meant that Lester Baldauf would have sent all of his depu ties out on patrol; the county sheriff would be alone in the jailhouse, drinking a nd conducting a “training session” with the latest Hmong woman or girl he had chosen t o sell to one of the Baldauf-controlled prostitution rings in Seattle, San Franc isco, or Los Angeles. Chant bought a newspaper in a drug store on the cor ner. He took a few minutes to rearrange it in the way he wanted, then put the rol led newspaper under his arm and headed across the street to the county sheriff’s office.
The kid went dry too goddam quick, Lester Baldauf t hought as he pumped away at the whimpering Hmong teenager beneath him She could n’t talk dirty convincingly, cried too easily, just went through the motions whe n she fucked, and wouldn’t stay wet long enough for a man to enjoy a decent lay wit hout getting blisters on his prick. He’d decided that oral sex was about all this girl was good for, and he’d get to that right after he finished.… “Get up, Baldauf.” Wha—?!” Lester Baldauf yanked himself out of the Hmong girl . He tried to spin around in order to see who had come up behind him, then fell off the foul-smelling bunk onto the rough concrete of the cell floor Sweat was sque ezed from between the rolls of fat on his naked body as he attempted, in a panic, to s cramble to his feet while at the same time reaching for his gun. He tripped over his own feet, and sat down on the floor with a loudsphut. Baldauf watched, chest heaving and eyes wide with f ear, as the big man with red hair and dark aviator glasses reached out with a ro lled newspaper. The man flicked his wrist, and the flap on Baldauf’s holster unsnap ped with a loud pop. Still using the newspaper like a mechanical arm, the red-haired man pushed back the flap, slipped a folded end of the paper over the butt end of the Colt Special, and withdrew the
weapon from the holster. Another flick of the wrist ; the gun spun in the air, and the man caught it by the barrel in his paper. Then, to Baldauf’s amazement, the man held the gun out to him. “Here,” the stranger said in a deep, even voice. “I believe you’re looking for this. I assure you that you won’t need it. I’m here to disc uss some business, and my proposal is definitely to your advantage. Get rid o f the girl.” Baldauf snatched the Colt from the end of the newsp aper, cocked it, then aimed it with a trembling hand at the big man’s chest. “How the—?” There was no moisture in Baldauf’s mouth or throat, and he swallowed hard. “ How the hell did you get in here, mister?! Both the door to the office and the door to the cellblock were locked!” “They opened for me.” “Who the fuck are you?’” “The girl; you don’t want her here while you and I talk business.” “The only English she knows are the dirty words I taught her.” “She’s a distraction. Get rid of her.” Without taking his eyes off the stranger, Baldauf r eached behind him to where the Hmong girl was cowering in a corner, at the edge of the bunk. He poked her hard in the ribs, then nodded toward the open cell door. St ill whimpering, the girl jumped off the bunk, pulled on her clothes, then ran down the narrow corridor leading out of the cellblock. Four cells away, the two Hmong men whom Baldauf had caught trying to hitchhike out of the county stood with their hands on the bar s of their cells, staring at him impassively. It was then that Baldauf realized how foolish he must look, sitting naked with his legs splayed out to either side of him on the floor. He gestured angrily with the gun, and the men turned away. “I asked you your name!” Baldauf snapped, swinging the gun back to the stranger’s massive chest. “My name is John Sinclair,” Chant said easily as he sat down on the bunk across from the portly, red-faced county sheriff. “Why don ’t you put the gun down and put your clothes on?” “What have you got in the paper bag?” Chant held out the bag, which the sheriff grabbed f rom his hand. Baldauf looked inside, frowned. “What the hell is this?” “Just what it appears to be. It’s something I remem bered on the way here that I had to pick up. There’s a hardware store across the street.” Baldauf tossed the bag and its contents into a corn er of the cell where it landed with a loud clang. He placed the gun on the bunk, s crambled to his feet. When the stranger did not move, the county sheriff began dre ssing. “I don’t need a gun to take you anyway, pal,” Baldauf mumbled. His small pig ey es never left the other man. “I’ve got a black belt in karate; state champ the last th ree years.” “Yes,” Chant replied evenly. “I’ve heard that you’re a real master of the martial arts. However, I’ve also heard that the Hmong who work fo r you are even better, most say they’re much better.” Baldauf flushed an even deeper crimson as he pulled on his pants. “They’re gooks, so it doesn’t count. Besides, their asses belong to me; they’ll shit whatever color I tell them to.” He started to button his shirt, paused, a nd narrowed his eyes. “John Sinclair? Seems to me I’ve heard or seen your name someplace … maybe on a law-enforcement bulletin.” “I wouldn’t know,” Chant said as he abruptly remove d his wig and dark glasses.