Jirel pounded on Nick Verducci’s hotel room door. Jirel sniffed. The fresh stench of fornication and the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door meant Verducci would not want to receive guests.
“Hey, you out there, you stupid and illiterate?” said Verducci from within.
“It’s Cutler,” said Jirel. “I want a word with you, now.”
“Give me a minute.”
Verducci came out a few minutes later in a bathrobe. “Cutler, this better be good.”
“Where’s Private Snyder? Somebody kidnapped him.”
Verducci sighed. “I don’t like hanging around here waiting for orders, but I didn’t kidnap your little buddy. By the way, I ain’t the post office.” Verducci removed an envelope from his pocket. “Somebody left this at my door. Sounds like a real nut case.”
The envelope had “Sgt. Jirel Cutler” typed on it. I’m getting too used to this. My God, my King, You know firsthand the fall assaults even your holy ones, when found in earthen tents. Guard my soul from evil, Most High.
Jirel removed from the envelope a letter written on military stationery:
I’m out of patience. Want Private Snyder back? Come to the warehouse on 3rd and 8th with the mission. Don’t come without it.
-The Impatient Warrior.
No earthly creation could harm him unless the Most High willed it, but what about the boy? Jirel lifted his head Heavenward. There had to be an answer.
Someone tapped his shoulder. He turned. A man in a brown business suit stood behind him. “Jirel Cutler?”
“I was sent to find you by a prophet in Japan. He said you’d have a mission for me.”
Jirel sighed. “I have no idea what it is.”
“Obviously, but it seems there’s been a kidnapping. I could be of assistance.”
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