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Soren the Immortal

Lachlan Macleod, 2006

“Have you identified the deceased?” asks a policeman, crouching over a dead body.

“We have.” Another cop is standing in the doorway. “His name is Henry Wever.”

“It’s a pity you know,” says the first policeman.

“Yeah? You know him?”

“Nah, this used to be a good bar.”

‘I’m a busy man, Mr. Wever. Don’t keep me waiting. Tell me, why have you brought me here?’

‘I have a need, and the way I see it, you are the only way that I am going to get that.’

‘As I just said, Mr. Wever, I don’t have all day. I don’t have time for ambiguities.’

Mr Wever closed his eyes. He breathed in deeply, then began.

‘I need to get into the Rodriguez Bar.’

‘You don’t need a reservation, you know. You don’t need my help.’

‘I need to get to the back room.’

Henry Wever, clad completely in black, arrived outside the Rodriguez Bar. He pulled two pistols out of his bag, and loaded them. He breathed in deeply.

‘The back room? But everyone knows that that’s the HQ of the Bone Hunter gang.’

‘That’s why I need to get there. That’s why I need your help.’

There was a pause in the conversation, as Mr David Krakanov contemplated Henry’s words. Although they were sitting at either end of a 10 meter table, Henry could tell easily that Mr. Krakanov was disturbed by the notion that Henry wanted to get into the back room of the Rodriguez Bar.

Henry began. He stood, and looked through the front door of the Rodriguez. It was late, and the bar was closed. The only people in the bar were members of the Bone Hunter gang. They sat and played poker, drank beer, and shouted at each other. Henry witnessed as one of them, the tallest, stood up in a temper. He couldn’t stand very well, as he had had too much to drink, but seemed quite strongly to believe that he had lost a round of poker unfairly.

The tall man, swaying and hiccupping, pounded his fists to the table, making someone else’s beer fall onto the floor, further complicating things. The man who had recently lost his beer to the floor stood and jumped at the taller man, knocking him to the ground.

Seemingly within seconds, the entire bar full of gangsters had erupted into fighting chaos.

‘You need my help?’ Mr Krakanov was quite confused about the situation that he was in.

‘I need to be able to pass the front room. I need your help to get to the main room, where I can find Soren.’

‘The leader of Bone Hunter? That’s insane. How do you intend for me to help you, if I agree? There are plenty of people who wish that they could get to that room, and kill that man. I don’t see how you’re any different, Mr. Wever.’

‘I need to. You can help me by leaving the security off.’

‘Soren would kill me if he found out that I had done that on purpose. The only reason he’s still a client of my business is because if I stopped, I would die. I would die, and so would my wife, and so would my three children.’

‘I don’t think you understand my motivation yet, Mr. Krakanov.’

Henry climbed to the roof of the Rodriguez bar. He found the roof entrance, and pulled out a key.

‘I once worked for Soren. I was his lawyer for four years. About a year ago, a brave man tried to sue Soren for murdering his wife. The man, after placing the claim, came to me and told me about the murder. He pleaded with me to pity him and his case. It seems that the man’s wife had refused to go back to the Rodriguez with Soren and the rest of the Bone Hunters. As you can guess, she was forced back there, and killed.’

He opened the door to the attic area of the bar, where all of the equipment and supplies were kept, and was relieved to hear the absence of sirens. He walked in.

‘I told Soren what the man had said to me. Soren told me that if I didn’t defend him against this man, he would kill him, as well as me, my wife, and my son. I was shocked. I had always just done this for the money, and the cases had always been robberies or damage of property, but never murder. My stupid mind took four years to realize that what I was doing was wrong.’

Henry placed three small contraptions evenly throughout the attic, and pulled a fourth, different one out of his bag.

‘I quit. I figured that I could never go through with it and be happy with myself. I warned the man, and moved my family to another state. Soren eventually caught us, and killed my family while I was away from the house. I still don’t know if they planned badly, or if they meant to let me live, but I know now that I would rather have died with them than live without them. The other man was also killed.’

He took the fourth contraption, and twisted a knob. A small digital screen showed four minutes, and started counting down.

‘So you see. I have my motivations, Mr. Krakanov.’

Mr. Krakanov sat in silence for a few minutes, considering what he had just heard.

‘What do you need?’

Henry opened a random crate, and found a machine-gun inside. He loaded it, and jumped down the ladder hole into the hallway of the bar.

‘First, the security. Second. The key. Third…’

Henry breathed in deeply.

‘Third?’ said Mr. Krakanov.

‘Third, I need you to tell all this to the police once I am done. Let them know how Soren, the much feared leader of the Bone Hunters was killed.’

Henry looked at all the newly killed bodies lying on the ground in front of him. He reloaded his machine-gun, then strode into Soren’s office.

Soren wasn’t there. Instead of him, three Bone Hunters stood armed, slightly inebriated, but able to aim nonetheless.

Henry dove under Soren’s desk in the middle of the room.

Mr. Krakanov thought about this, then spoke. ‘What if you die?’

Henry knew that Soren’s desk was made out of reinforced metal, and was therefore not going to let any of the Bone Hunters’ bullets through. This didn’t stop them from shooting at the desk, though. He looked towards the door he had just entered in, and saw the machine-gun he had just dropped when diving for the door.

Wiping the sweat from his brow, Henry quietly swore to himself. He pulled one of the two loaded pistols out of his bag, and cocked it. He pointed it towards the door. Suddenly, a Bone Hunter jumped in front of him. Henry quickly re-aimed his pistol, and shot the man between the eyes. He heard the muffled talking of the other two Bone Hunters.

Pulling the other pistol out and cocking it, Henry repositioned himself beneath the desk. As he heard the two Bone Hunters simultaneously approaching from either side, Henry rolled forward, turned quickly to face the stunned Hunters, and shot them both.

The Bone Hunter who had only been shot in the arm made a jump for Henry, and hit him in the head.

‘What if you die, Mr. Wever?’

Henry breathed in deeply, and prepared an answer.

Henry opened his eyes to see a blurred image of Soren, feared leader of the Bone Hunters, and an injured Bone Hunter behind him, holding his bleeding arm.

“Henry Wever. My ‘trusted’ lawyer,” said Soren, shaking his head. “Your attempt on my life is bold, and I can understand your anger. But you must always remember that I will always be one step ahead of you. You expected me to be in my office, did you not? Well I can understand that, but unfortunately, I heard you coming a mile away. It’s a bit arrogant to expect that I wouldn’t be able to hear you slaughtering my men right outside my room.

“Oh and don’t worry, your friend Mr. Krakanov will be hearing from me soon. Tomorrow morning he should receive a house call from some of my more… people oriented men. Unfortunately, you won’t be here to see them come back from their interesting field trip, Henry. I’ve instructed these men to take care of you.”

‘If I die, Mr. Krakanov?’ Another deep breath. Henry smiled. ‘Then I succeed.’

A man with a bullet in his arm climbed up a ladder to the attic. He closed the door, and locked it. As he turned back towards the hole, he noticed a small contraption. It was beeping.

Meanwhile, Henry breathed heavily, as he painfully pulled the fourth contraption from his bag. The timer was still counting down, and was well on its way to zero.

“I think, Soren, that you underestimated me. I didn’t come here to live. I came here so that I could be there when you die.”

“What are you talking about, you silly buffoon?”

Henry dropped the contraption in front of Soren, and began to laugh.

“Yeah.” Says the second cop. “It was a nice bar.”

“Almost sad that the bar was blown up.” Said the first cop. “Though I’m kind of glad that someone got rid of that Soren guy. One heavy task.” He looks around.

“Didn’t they used to say it was impossible?” asks the second cop, “You know, old Soren the Immortal?”

The first cop leans down over the dead body of Henry Wever.

“I think this guy’s happy Soren’s gone too, you know?”

“Why’d you say that?”

“He’s still smiling.”

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