The two men stood outside of the door, looking down at the floor. After a few seconds of uncomfortable silence, one man reached his hand upwards and knocked gently on the glass panel of the door.
There was no answer. He knocked again, slightly harder.
Nothing. The men looked at each other with a look of confusion and panic.
Just as the man reached to knock for a third time, a voice from within the office called out, “Open the door and come in.”
They looked at each other and opened the door. Inside was a large, open office with one oversized desk at the far wall. Sitting at the desk was a white haired man in a dark suit. There was a large, black phone on his desk and an ipad, which he was staring at intently. He did not look up as he addressed the men.
The two men looked at each other. Neither of them wanted to speak, but knew what would happen if they made their boss repeat himself.
They began at the same time, “Sir, we think…”
“One at a time, morons. I can barely understand you cretins as it is.”
They apologized and stood silently for a few seconds before the one who knocked on the door finally spoke up.
“Sir, we think we found the wreckage.”
“The wreckage? What the hell do I need with wreckage?”
“Well, it could lead us to...”
“Are you kidding me? This is a joke right? You guys are playing the jesters because you know I’m in a bad mood.” He stood up from behind his desk and walked slowly toward the two men, still looking at his ipad. “That’s the only explanation I have. Because why would you come in here telling me some shit that doesn’t help me one bit? Some shit that I already know because I keep up with goddamn technology!” As he spoke the last word, he quickly swung his hand holding the ipad forward. The unfortunate bearer of bad news dropped to his knees as blood gushed from his nose.
The white haired man turned to his second visitor and stared at him intently.
“Now, unless you two dumb fucks have something to tell me that I didn’t already know, get the hell out of my sight. And from now on, if you have something to say to me, send a goddamn email. I don’t want to see your crooked eyes and this bastard’s busted nose ever again. It makes me depressed. Lock the door on your way out."
He walked back to his desk, wiping the blood off his ipad on to his pant leg. As he sat down, the black telephone started ringing. He picked it up on the first ring.
“Give me something.”
The voice on the other line was almost drowned out by static.
“Sir, there are three teams spread out over a 5 mile radius. There’s no sign of any life out here. And it’s below zero. If anything did survive, it didn’t last long.”
“Did you find what I asked you to find?”
“So you’re making an assumption. You called me to tell me your assumptions, is that what I’m hearing?”
“Sir…it’s just that…”
“It’s just that you want to get out of the cold. You didn’t find shit, and you don’t want to freeze your tiny little nuts off, is that it?”
“No, it’s just…”
“Shut up. Shut up now. If you didn’t find them, they are not there. And if they are not there, he has them. And if he has them, then you need to find him and kill him so I can get what’s rightfully mine.”
He reached to put the phone back into the receiver but stopped. He put the phone back to his mouth and shouted, “And kill that fucking dog, too!” then slammed the phone down.
Back on the mountain, the man with the cell phone turned and addressed the 7 other guys waiting for orders in the tent.
“Well, gentlemen. Looks like we’re here for the long haul. Boss says they’re alive and that you-know-who’s got them.”
The men started mumbling and shaking their heads in disbelief.
“I know, I know. But you try telling that to the boss. Thousands of miles away and he still swears he knows exactly what’s going on. Well, it’s no use sitting here talking about it. Let’s start walking and find these fucking things.”
The men zipped up their jackets, put on their gloves and masks, and headed out into the cold. Each one of them believed their efforts were in vain, but they knew arguing would be even more pointless. As they left the tent, the man with the cell phone stopped and turned to address the other men.
“Oh, and we have to kill the dog now, too.”
After several hours of a silent, unproductive search through the snow-covered mountain pass, one of the men shouted, “Hey, Santos. Come check this out!”
A long, thin, wooden rod lay half-buried in the snow next to a boulder at the foot of the mountain. The rod was covered in blood and fur, and there was a large circle of dark snow spread out underneath it. Several footprints were visible under a small dusting of fresh powder.
“I’ll be damned,” the man identified as Santos said, picking up what was left of the arrow. “The boss was right. That motherfucker was here. And I guarantee he’s got the hound and those damn pussies with him.”
They started back towards their tent to call for back-up and more ammunition.
End Chapter 2