The DOG HOUSE
Dawn

Once again, Fort Lauderdale was on fire, Karin Davilla thought as she was reading to and from local law enforcement about several gang related incidents. So far, about 100 Crips had been found dead. Shot...or otherwise.

Despite that her heart went to Winston Mitchell, the Wolf, the father, and Karin's lover. At least he was not alone. Peter and Roland were with him. And, if she read the reports right, he had the aid of a gentleman by the name of Luther Jones.

It was a matter of time before these two met.

"Well, lass, what have ye to tell me."

The deep, warm voice came from the tall, handsome, devilish old Scotsman named Bonn MacInnes. Head of the Dangerous Operations Executive.

"Well, you know, the usual," Karin said "Someone pissed Winner off and they are paying for it. Except this time-"

"It's personal," MacInnes finished. The infamous body through the window had outraged MacInnes almost as much as it has Mitchell. Were he a younger man, and not a..suit? (Good god, is that what he had become) he would be down there with Winston to unleash all hell on these godless scoundrels.

"Hell hath no fury like a parent scorned." The old scot said. "Even more so when it is Winston Mitchell."

"He has help." Karin said. "Luther Jones."

"I know." MacInnes said with a smile. "I would like to meet that big crazy bastard. He would make a fine addition to our team."

"Like we don't have enough of one maniac with us."

That came from the one and only Seymour Florian, who served as liaison between the DOE and the Oval Office.

"Christ, MacInnes, can't you control your people?"

"Winner is on vacation, Seymour" Bonn said" What the boy does with his free time is none of my business."

"Can the crap. For Christ's sake, when are you going to realize we are not running a goddamn vendetta office here! This a top-secret unit. We can't have our operatives running around acting out Charles
Bronson fantasies."

"Listen closely, Seymour, the man's child was threatened. Prior to that she was attacked. If not for Luther Jones..." MacInnes did not even want to finish that thought. "Any parent, Any man would do whatever
it took to set things right. Most would call the police. Winner is his own police. You remember Osaka..."

"Christ, don't remind me."

"If he can do that to avenge an informant he barely knew, do you honestly expect him to sit with his thumbs up his arse while his child is in danger?"

"What if he gets killed in his little private war. The President and his predecessors have invested a lot-"

"We are self-sufficient here, Seymour, and you know it. And Winner knows he can, how do you yanks say it, buy the bucket-"

"Kick the bucket, buy the farm." Karin interjected.

"Whatever" MacInnes said "Dying while recovering stolen nukes or terminating rogues ex-spooks or terrorists, or dying while fighting for his daughter is all the same to him. Death is his business. Death is his life."

"Jesus. You wetwork guys..." Florian said, suddenly exhausted. "Damn cowboys, all of you. Worse than cowboys, kamikazes."

"I don't hear you complaining when we use those tactics on sanctioned missions, Seymour. They are just as dirty and illegal, and you know it."

"I am not gonna have a debate with you, Bonn. Just keep an eye on things, and try, or pretend you have some kind of control on your people."

Bonn nodded silently and politely, not very sincerely, and Florian walked out.

"Seymour does have a point, Bonn."

"Yes, Winston could die. But then again" he said after a sad sigh "What is new about that?"

WINSTON MITCHELL AND Luther Jones were in The Sentencer's safehouse, a loft type apartment in a part of the city that offered discretion and privacy.

Both had their ribs slight bandaged, both men having shot more than a few times the previous night. And neither having rested for a while. Fatigue impaired judgement and brought on mistakes. Mistakes brought on death. Difficult to finish a mission if one was dead. Both warriors were aware of that. And words, again, were not needed.

Because of the available space, there was a weight pile, a metal dummy, to practice martial arts moves, a heavy bag and a stationary bike.

Both men worked out in silence, each man admiring the other's physical condition.

Mitchell recognized that Jones was an impressive specimen: size, strength and speed as well as flexibility and agility were some of the big man's strong points.

Jones saw that Mitchell was a true veteran soldier, who wasted no motion with flamboyance, who knew how to pace himself and had cast iron discipline. He also possessed grace and power like his namesake, the Wolf.

Soon, Mitchell took his cellular phone and dialled a number.

"Hello?" He was greeted.

"Hi, pumpkin."

"Daddy! Oh, my god, you...you are OK!!"

"Sure, I am, kiddo. I was careful, like you told me. How are you?"

"I am fine, Daddy, just..."

There was silence, Tiffany was choking back tears of relief. Winston felt a lump in his throat.

"Ummm..."Tiffany said. "You are not done, though, right?"

"Not yet, sweetheart, but soon. Soon. How are the boys."

"These guys are not mature enough to even qualify as boys. But they are great."

"Good. Good."

"Umm...Daddy?"

"Yes."

"I am returning to work this morning."

"Tiffany..."

"Daddy, I am fine. Really. The guys are great, but I am going stir crazy. I need to e out there...I can't let them scare me into inactivity. I can't let them win, Daddy."

Though part of him was furious at his daughter's bull-headedness, his heart did sing for his brave, indomitable child.

"Peter and Roland will drive me everywhere. I promise." Tiffany said.

Mitchell sighed and said. "I can't really stop you, can I?"

"No."

"I guess it's okay with me, pumpkin."

"Thanks, Daddy, thanks. Can I speak to Luther?"

"Sure."

Mitchell tossed the phone at Jones.

"Hello?" He said.

"Hey, big guy. How are you?"

"Better than five seconds ago" Jones admitted, much to his own surprise. When was the last time he had used such a line. When was the last time he was asked how he was? "How are you holding up?"

"It's not easy...But, we Mitchells are made tough."

Jones looked at Winston.

"I know." He said simply.

"How are you getting along with Dad?"

"Very well. We agree on everything. Like how unwise it is for you to go back to work so soon..."

"Luther, not you too!"

"...however the Mitchells are also as stubborn as they are tough. And brave."

"You better believe it."

"I do."

"Ummm...Luther?"

"Yes?"

"Did you like my... parting gift?"

Jones knew she meant the kiss. Short, soft and sweet. It...resurrected a part of Jones that always seemed to be dying.

"I did."

"I would like to offer more...If you promise not to die."

"I will do my absolute best."

"It's all I ask."

"Would you like to speak to your father now?"

"Yes. Will you watch after him?"

"He does not need it but...absolutely."

"Thank you. I'll see you soon."

Jones tossed the phone back.

"Yes, pumpkin?"

"Watch after Luther, will you, Dad?"

"You are...partial to him, aren't you?"

"Yes. And so are you, in your own way."

"Yeah. I guess I am. I ...I have to go, now."

"Daddy...I love you."

"I love you too, sweetie."

"'Bye." Winston could hear his daughter's tears. It almost brought on his own. This could be their final goodbye.

"'Goodbye, pumpkin."

And he cut the line.

Mitchell needed-no wanted, not needed-to remind himself of why there was all this carnage. He looked over at Luther Jones...who nodded. And understood. Part of Mitchell's heart went to the bigger man. Jones had no one. No one that wondered if he was OK or not, as far as he knew. No one to talk to...except for his prey most of the time.

Maybe that could change, if the Sentencer became a member of the DOGs. He would make the offer, if both men survived this. The team was divided in pairs: Leskow/Walker, Kerry/Toshiro...Mitchell/Jones?
Why not? It worked well so far.

Later. They had more pressing concerns for the moment.

AT THE CRIPS STRONGHOLD, in the abandoned factory, Nitro was fuming.

Nitro-aka Delbert Wilkins-had worked long and hard, trying to take over the turf the Shakas had lost, trying to build an actual organisation that would be more than just a street gang. In many ways, he considered the late Jacob Castle to be a pioneer in that respect.

The Crips now had websites and were massively recruiting in prison, and in the streets on both coasts. Wilkins was just the head of the Ft Lauderdale chapter.

And it was all about money and power and respect. If not respect, then fear.

Delbert's life was a succession of failures and frustrations. Ain't nobody ever gave him shit, if anything, motherfuckers always took from him.

The cops shot his dad, "by mistake", because he supposedly looked like a breaking and entering suspect. His mom was crazy with grief, so they locked her away in the nuthouse. A long succession of foster homes, each more fucked up than the next, he always ended up gettin' smacked. Pushed around from school to school, and being pushed around in school. Until he started fighting back.

He stabbed a big fatass bully in 8th grade with a switchblade. A nearby teacher called him a "savage". He stabbed that bitch too.

No more school for young Delbert. Juvie hall was his home. And the Crips became his family. The only people that ain't never let him down.

Now all that was jeopardized by some little social worker bitch. The same kinda bitch that took his momma away, and used to put him down in school.

He doubted the bitch did all the killing last night, but it all started after that little fat ass kid went through the window. Maybe she was connected to people. Maybe she hired people to do the dirty work. But she behind it.

It was time for some payback, bitch.

TIFFANY WAS GETTING a reputation as a badass. She would not stay down and she would not stay away. But she did have two bodyguards, who introduced themselves to her coworkers.

Both of them were wearing black suits and ties and immaculate white shirts and Ray Ban shades.

"I am agent Bradshaw" Peter said, "and this is my partner Ron Simmons. We have been assigned to protect Miss Mitchell against further gang retaliation."

Both men pulled out ID at the exact same time. It had their cover names and pictures and a Justice logo.

Soon, her guardian angels were staked out outside, and she had a little radio receiver, no bigger that a hearing aid, in her right ear. Just in case.

Well, back to work, she told herself.

LESKOW AND WALKER were parked in a black Caprice right outside Tiffany's office, in their MIB outfits. Walker looked at his main man, who seemed somewhat...introspective.

"What's on your mind, man?" Walker asked.

"I don't know...Rolls...I just have this weird feeling in my gut..."

"Like when you OD on Gummy Bears?"

"Yeah. Something like that."

"Speak my son, tell what burdens your soul."

"I am not sure, bro."

"I noticed your mood change back at Tiff's house, after she kissed-"

Walker stopped in mid-sentence.

"Oh, Jesus." Walker said." Are you...Do you..."

Leskow looked over at his brother, shut his eyes, and finally nodded.

"Oh, man..."Walker said, with sadness in his voice.

Leskow looked over again, his eyes were pleading.

"To my grave. Like your romance novel collection. And your subscription to COSMO under the name Ivana Putski."

Leskow smiled and nodded.

"COSMO is waste of money, BTW" Walker said. "You ain't ever gonna understand women."

"Well, I-"He stopped "And his voice became business like again. "Rolls. That school bus. Coming our way."

The Black Ace looked. School bus with blacked-out windows was wierd. Then, the windows went down.

"GUNS!!!! "Walker shouted. He grabbed his two way radio and told Tiffany: "Tiffany get everybody down, now!!!!!"

Leskow reached for the back seat, lifted it.

There was a veritable arsenal. AR-15, SPAS-12, M-203 Grenade Launcher. He picked that, loaded it with a tear gas grenade while Rolls was starting the car, and had aimed it on a ramming trajectory towards the bus. The Black sedan collided with the bus. Instead of aiming for the office, SOME of the Crips in the bus were now aiming at the black sedan. The shooters soon discovered that the car was bulletproof, as the hundreds of 9mms had hardly scratched the paint job.

Walker backed the car up as Leskow opened the passenger side window and fired the tear gas grenade through one of the open windows. Though white clouds of smoke were seeping through the windows,
the bus driver stomped on the gas and sped away.

Patrol cars were quick to come, Leskow and Walker were running towards the office. They saw the holes in the sheet of wood and rushed inside. Everyone was flat on their stomachs, including Tiffany. No one seemed hurt.

"Tiffany..."Leskow said as he went to her.

"I am OK, Peter." She said. "Everyone is OK. Just get those bastards."

For a second, Peter was lost in her eyes and-

"Rock! Let's go!" Walker said "You heard the lady! Let's get nail those motherfuckers!"

Uniformed officers went in as Rock and Rolls went to the sedan and sped away. Soon, they caught up with the bus.

"There they are, those sons of bitches!" Leskow said.

"We gotta take this somewhere isolated, so this doesn't become a rolling gunfight in the middle of a busy
street!" Walker shouted.

At that moment, the buses' back door was swung open, and a couple of Crips started blasting at the Caprice. Again, the armour resisted.

"Like so," Walker stated.

Leskow put an affectionate hand on the dash before asking:

"K.I.T.T!! Are you OK, buddy."

"Can the shit, Rock! Use your brain! What the fuck do we with these assholes!"

"You are the leader, you think of somethin'."

"I say ram those bitches into that construction site, and tear their punk asses up!"

"Sounds like a plan, bawse."

Walker gunned the modified 400 horsepower engine and went right beside the bus, on the driver's side. Again, a barrage of autofire hit the car.

"A matter of time before the armor cracks!" Leskow shouted over the noise of the gunfire.

"Hold on to your lunch!" Walker said as the side of the car connected with bus, and he put everything he had in his arms and shoulders to push the bus towards where he wanted. For endless, painful seconds, the sounds of twisted metal and screeching tires filled the air as neither wanted to yield. Then, the bus finally went towards the site, smashing through a wooden fence.

"Yeah, baby!" Leskow said.

"We are not done yet, Rock." Walker said, steering the car into the opening made by the bus. The school bus/gunship hit a pile of giant steel beams and stalled. There were many workers on that site, but they all had the good sense to start scattering.

Walker shouted sent the car in a controlled sideway skid and stopped.

"Fancy drivin', Luke" Leskow said.

"Thanks, Bo." Walker answered as he grabbed the SPAS-12 beneath the backseat, while Rock grabbed the AR-15. Walker then jumped out, ducking as the car was beginning to absorb more hits for the bus gunners. Leskow followed the same way, holding both the 40 mil and the AR-15.

"Rock! Cover me, I am going in!"

"Geez, Rolls, that was pathetically cliché."

Walker imitated the sound of a rim shot before saying.

"I am gonna have a little chat with the dickheads! Fill the space between us an them with smoke, and try picking off as many as you can."

"What will you do?" Then Leskow saw what kind of slugs were being loaded in the SPAS. "Ahhh...Youzabout to light it up!"

"Hell, yeah!" Rolls said reaching into the car and putting on a gasmask. "On three!"

"Wait! Do you mean ON 'three', or 'one, two, three-"

"THREE!" Rolls said exploding out of cover. The stocky ex-Jarhead fired a smoker, reloaded, did it once more , reloaded and once more. Then, he did as his leader and friend said, trying to waste as many as he could. The AR-15 was not a sniper rifle, per se, but would do the job. By the time Rolls reached the back of the bus, he had eliminated four Crips.

The Black Samurai-trained ex-Air Force jock swung the bus' backdoor open, looked at the half dozen surviving Crips, and shouted:

"YO! Flame on, motherfuckers!"

And fired the Dragonfire slug. The fireball that came out of the shotgun's barrel swallowed the seats and the surviving Crips were catching fire. Rolls fired a couple of more Dragonfires.

The screaming was horrific. Soon, Walker ran away as the Crips ammo started going off like pop corn. Thanks to the gas mask, the stench had not attacked his sense of smell.

He ripped it off when he reached his friend.

"Well?" Leskow said.

"I just gave them a taste of what the afterlife has in store for them," Walker said grimly.

"Well said. Should we tell Winner?"

"Yeah. We should."

Rolls pulled his cellular phone.

THE SENTENCER WAS RELOADING his twin HK MP-5 10mm sub guns, with little haste since he and the Wolf had just finished killing the two dozen Crips manning a dope plant in a trailer, in scarp yard, when he heard the Wolf's phone ring. Mitchell slung his M-16/M-203 combo over a shoulder, while stepping over a bullet riddled corpse when he picked up.

"Yeah?"

"Winner, it's Rolls."

"What's up?"

Rolls explained, leaving out no detail. Mitchell listened calmly. Jones was watching him closely. And the Mitchell said:

"There is an alley, next to the donut shop two blocks from her office. We will meet you there."

As soon as he cut the line. Jones saw a change in Mitchell's demeanour. The Wolf was seething with rage. The Sentencer knew that Tiffany had to have been put in harm's way. She had to have been attacked or threatened again. But she was not harmed. Mitchell would have reacted differently otherwise.

Jones felt some of that anger as well. Hate, even. Like what he felt toward those who killed Marcus and Jaime. He had not felt anything like that in a long while. It was not good. He needed to control that. Mitchell as well. And he knew it. And he would. But, his child had been attacked, again. His flesh and blood. Jones had never been-and will probably never be- a father. He could not even pretend to begin to understand what the veteran soldier felt. Especially after having lost already one child to violence. The thought living another such loss must be unbearable.

Once in the car, Jones went behind the wheel. Mitchell was next to him, brooding. Jones looked at him, started the car and drove away.

LATER ON, Winston and Tiffany reunited once more. Rock and Rolls had protected her, but he needed to see her with his own eyes.

Mitchell was speechless when he hugged his daughter. Everything hit him at once: the fear of losing her, the pain and anguish he felt when she had been kidnapped by Honeywell months ago, anger, guilt, relief...

"I am OK, Daddy, really."

"All right" Winston said, when he could find his voice again. "Thank you." He told Walker and Leskow. "Thank you."

There was emotion and a kind of gratitude in his eyes that "you are welcome" was an inadequate response for. Peter and Roland simply nodded.

"Where is the big man?" Leskow asked.

"He is in the car." Mitchell answered.

Tiffany seemed disappointed, but was not vocal about it. Then Mitchell's voice changed. It was the Wolf speaking now.

"We have to finish this. Now." He said grimly. "Watch after her." He told Leskow and Walker.

"With our lives." Leskow said with grim determination.

Winston stroked his daughter's face again. And walked away. He sat besides Jones, nodded and Jones pulled the car away.

Tiffany stood between her Black Knight and her Rock. Safe. While two men were going on an almost suicide mission. All she could do was pray. And hope. And wait.

THIS WAS IT. The final stretch. The Crips' bunker.

The Wolf and The Sentencer were watching the big, ominous structure that was the abandoned factory. There were many vehicles parked around it. Vans and SUVs mostly. Counting them, they estimated that they were going to face 50-1 odds. Maybe more. They probably had called in reinforcements from other Crips from the East Coast.

Not that it changed anything.

Mitchell though of a saying that his favourite Japanese American redneck always says: "You don't stick an mean dog with a sharp stick.". Mitchell's fury was renewed by the most recent attack on his daughter. And, Mitchell saw, Jones' as well. He had stayed in the car earlier, and not faced Tiffany because he needed to keep his focus. And not let emotions get in the way. The Wolf could understand that.

But, back to business, now.

Both vigilantes had agreed, tacitly as always, on a plan. Before they split up, they shook hands and then, went to work.

NITRO WAS about to explode. The bus drive-by was a fuck-up. And at he same time, the Crips' other lab was hit! How many motherfuckers were there out there?!?

He knew for a fact that the big crazy nigga Luther Jones was involved. But he must have had accomplices. It wasn't possible otherwise.

It didn't matter. Nitro called in troops from other cities, and many brought crates of guns and ammo. This place was a fortress. The cops probably knew about it, but even they aren't stupid enough to take on 100 Crips at once.

But that psycho crazy nigga Luther Jones motherfucker was. And whoever he had with him.

Then his mind flashed. Could it have been that Jones was working with the same crew that took out the Shakas? Had to be. The Dogs? The Wolves? That was what the media called them at the time.

Nitro got nervous. If those motherfuckers could fuck with the Shakas, and had Jones with them-

Then explosions rocked the former industrial complex.

They was here!

Curses and shouts were being heard from many of the Crips. Several of them rushed outside, to see what was going on. About twenty rushed out. More stayed put, grabbing for Uzi, Macs, Tecs, AKs. Then he heard more explosions-the cars probably-and screams. Whoever was close to the cars.

Then two bigger explosions coming from opposite sides of the complex. From where he was, Nitro saw the two holes. He moved his head back and forth, as if frantically trying to follow a tennis game. In each hole, a man was standing.

That was it?!! TWO MOTHERFUCKERS!?AGAINST 100!!!!

Then the shit the fan.

THE WOLF WAS SERIOUSLY packing.

He had his favorite hell Blitzer, King Thunder, the 7.62mm M60 light machine gun, loaded with a 200 round box-mag. It was fitted with a 40mil M203 grenade launcher. He fired a high explosive into an ammo crate, and hunted for cover as hundred of rounds were going off like pop corn, killing indiscriminately. Four were killed in the initial blast, six more by the flying bullets.

It was chaos. Bedlam. These were not battle hardened troops like Honeywell's or trained killers like the yakuza's. They were bullies and street punks. All they had on their side were numbers. No courage. No conviction.

Mitchell went out of cover and was to face with seven Crips running towards him. He fired King Thunder, his face expressionless as high velocity, heavy .308 calibre rounds were smacking into meat and bone and organs.

And the Wolf went looking for more targets.

THE SENTENCER WAS carrying his 5.56 mm GE Minigun, the M-134'S little brother. The cycling rate was not as monstrous-a "mere" 1500 rpm- but it was much lighter-half the weight- and allowed mobility. He had the battery around his waist-much like a camera man's and the ammo pack on his back.

Winston had already started. Jones could not let the man do all the work. He unleashed the Minigun's fury on a cluster of six Crips running blindly. They were ripped apart with a three second burst. 75 rounds.

A replay of the chop shop raid. A SUV heading his way. Four Crips on board. He strafed the vehicle with a sustained 10 seconds of fire. The engine, the body, the passengers were perforated mercilessly.

From an over head gangway, rounds were fired at the vigilante. A few hit his Kevlar. He grit his teeth, but did not grunt, as he absorbed the beating on already bruised ribs. He jogged until he was beneath his
ambushers, held the Minigun perpendicular to the ground and fired.

A sinister xylophone-like noise accompanied the sound of flesh being ground, as the four gangbangers died from massive lead poisoning.

Okay. Who is next?

NITRO WAS doing all he could not to shit his pants. His crew was being massacred like they was girl scouts!

How the fuck could this happen? What did he do to deserve this?!?

He was watching all of it, like some movie, paralyzed with terror.

What could he do? Where could he go?

He jumped as two more vans were blown up at the same time. He saw the big nigga chop down more of crew with his monster machine gun. Crates full of ammo went off and killed more. There were screams of fear and pain and the smell of blood and burning flesh.

Nitro had seen a lot of shit, but never like this! Never like this!!!

The war went another minute. Then two. Then nothing.

Total silence. He looked around. The ground was covered with dead bodies, like the footage they show of civil wars in some countries. Rows and rows of bodies. Rows and rows...

He decided to come out of hiding. He carefully looked around, holding his MAC-10, but these guys were monsters, and he wondered if the MAC would be enough to-

Thunder resounded and lightening struck at the same time his lift knee and his right shoulder and the MAC flew out of his hands. He collapsed on the ground. And looked.

He saw them, coming at him, in slo-mo, or maybe his mind was fucking with him. They had dropped their big hardware, 'cause he only saw them carrying pistols. There was the big nigga, and next to him, a smaller man wearing a hood like the ninjas in the movies.

Soon, both stood over him. He saw both set of eyes. Cold...evil. Then the masked dude took off his mask. He was white. Not that it made a difference.

"Nitro" he said. "Delbert Wilkins."

"Yeah..."Nitro answered.

"I have a nickname too. The Wolf. I am sure you have heard of my friend. The Sentencer."

No handshakes were exchanged.

"But my real name" The white man said "Is Winston Mitchell. Mitchell. Ring a bell ?"

Oh, shit, Delbert thought.

"I am Tiffany Mitchell's father. And the Sentencer kind of likes my daughter. You can imagine how we felt when you had your thugs murder that child and toss his body through the window. And later, that drive-by with the bus..."

The big nigga just stood there, looking down at Nitro like he was a piece of dog shit.

"Just thought you ought to know before going to hell." The white man said. "Because soon, you will be reunited with your crew, and you will meet a Russian and few Italians that I sent there years ago. When you see them, tell them Winston Mitchell said 'hi"."

Nitro closed his eyes before they even finished aiming their-

WINSTON MITCHELL and Luther Jones lower their .357 and 50AE respectively, both empty and smoking.

Both were tired and spent form all the killing. They turned towards each other. And looked down at what was left of Delbert Wilkins. And had begun walking away.

Then both heard a chopper. Sirens were more distant. They soon saw it. If it was a police chopper, it was
not identified as such.

It landed in front of them. And Jones watched Mitchell's craggy, chiselled features light up as the chopper door opened.

"Howdy" Kyle Toshiro said. "Sorry we missed the dance, but me and the missus had a little vacation going on far away from here-"

"'Missus' , a little premature aren't we, you slant-eyed redneck" answered Lisa Kerry.

"Are you a sight for sore eyes, guys, "Mitchell said warmly as she and Jones went aboard the chopper.

"Hey, Winner" said Anya Lane form the cockpit and noticed the tree trunk of a man that almost seemed to dwarf the 6'2, 200 pound Mitchell.

"This is Luther Jones" Mitchell said, somewhat speciously, but out of etiquette.

"Kyle Toshiro, Seal-trained, southern bred ass-kicker."

"A pleasure to meet you" Jones said it fluent Japanese.

"Whoa!" Kyle said. "You are the second brother I know that speaks Japanese better than Ebonics."

"And I am Lisa Kerry."

Jones shook both their hands. He held on to Kerry's hand a little longer. And seemed to examine it.

"Kung fu?" He asked. "Wing Chun?"

"Why... Yes..."She said, impressed. Except for Rolls, and a few others, she had rarely met anyone with such martial arts savvy. "And you...Aikido...Karate?"

"Mostly" Jones said. "I did study a little Jeet Kun Do. Some Jiu-Jitsu."

Kerry nodded appreciatively.

"Anya Lane "Said the attractive Black Pilot. "Ace fly-babe, and single." She said with a wink.

Jones smiled as he shook her hand. So did Mitchell. For a loner, Jones fit in quite well with the team.
Maybe Winston or Rolls could try to recruit him afterwards.

But for now, a shower, a meal and a reunion.

EPILOGUE: FINAL EVENING

The DOGs and The Sentencer were all at Tiffany's house. Jones felt like he was at a family dinner more than with the most lethal warriors he had ever encountered. It has been awhile since he had been surrounded with such warmth.

"Come on, man" Walker said "We could use another brother on the team," he told Jones.

"Yeah" Toshiro said with his most dignified Georgia accent "We need a couple of extra arms to carry our bags."

Leskow, who was drinking some soda, almost choked on his drink.

Walker stood up, did the DX-crotch chop and said. "Carry this, you Japanese cracker!"

Mitchell laughed whole heartedly, letting some of the vulgarity pass. All were just too happy to be alive, and in one piece.

Jones did not join in the laughter. Simply because he had no laughter in him.

"No," he said, "I chose this path. I must walk it alone."

"Damn, Winner, did you teach him to talk like that?" Walker said.

"He is self-taught" Winston answered.

"Anyway, man" Walker said, "Just in case" he said , handing Jones a business card.

"'Walker Legal Services." Jones read.

"Just tell Karin Davilla you need assistance. If you need us, we there for you. Can you dig it?"

Rolls lifted his fist. Jones hit it with his own.

"You damn right." Jones said.

"Ha! I told you he was cool." Leskow said, also raising his fist, as Jones hit it as well. "Probably can kick Jim Kelly's chump ass, too." Leskow rose his glass, "To the REAL Black Belt Jones."

"Do not diss Jim Kelly. I have warned you, insolent gweilo" Walker said, but his lip movements were out of sink with the words. And both him and Leskow started swooshing at each other.

Soon, Jones rose form the table. It was time to go.

He said goodbye to all of them, the DOGs wished him good luck. Tiffany accompanied him to the door. Once outside, next to his car.

"You don't want to join the DOGs?" She asked the big man.

"A fine group of people, but..."

"You are a Lone Wolf." She said, knowing that if he could not be with the DOGs, he could not with her either.

"Yes." Jones said with a sad smile.

"I am going to miss you," she said, fighting back tears.

"It's mutual." Jones said.

Then, there was nothing more to say. So they kissed, warmly and passionately, neither wanting for the moment to end, but knowing it had to. Jones really savoured this rare taste of heaven.

When they separated:

"Goodbye, Tiffany." He said.

"Goodbye, Luther."

Then Jones saw Mitchell on the door step, looking at him. He stood attention and saluted. And Jones returned the salute. The two Wolves locked stares for a few seconds.

And Jones walked away to his car and drove off in the evening darkness.

"Godspeed, Luther." Winston whispered as Tiffany went to her father's side. He put his arm around her. She smiled up at him. He kissed her forehead. And they went back inside the house. Both knowing that
before long the Sentencer would be once again face evil, alone.

The price he paid for walking this path on his own.

THE DOGS are created by DOUGLAS P WOJTOWICZ