"The Package" Part 1.

8:39 pm, June 5, 2004

"I want it," Carrie said earnestly, staring directly into Shane's eyes.

"Why do you want it?" Shane hadn't expected such a response when he told his girlfriend of his plans.

"I want it because he wants it. I'd do anything to make that miserable little fuck that much more miserable."

Shane was just finishing his second cup of coffee of the morning, sitting at the kitchen table, waiting for Alec to pull up. Even with the extra jolt of caffiene, he still wasn't fit to deal with this bullshit right now. "But, this is worth a lot of money to me. You realize I'm giving up a half a million dollars by doing this for you."

"I know, I know, and this will be the last thing I ever ask of you, I swear."

Shane knew what this meant to Carrie. Mr. Sanders had been the cause of most of the pain in her life, from the murder of her parents, on down to the death of her first husband. They'd all crossed Mr. Sanders in one way or another over the years, and Mr. Sanders doled out revenge in large quantities. She knew that, if she could intercept the package with Shane's help, that it could lead to her own demise. But, she had plans of her own. Using it against him to set him up for a fall in a bloody ambush. First thing's first, she needed Shane's approval.

"All right, but remember, there's no turning back. Once I get this package, it's up to you to pull the trigger."

"I understand. So, you'll do it?"

"Sure," Shane said, milking his third cup of coffee to go, as Alec pulled into the driveway. "Gotta go. I'll call you tonight after I get away from him," he said, thumbing towards Alec, standing outside of his car, motioning for Shane to hurry the hell up.

"Come on! We've got to get to the Homebase in fifteen minutes," Alec said, getting into the car and slamming the door.

Despite Alec's tendencies towards anal-retention, they arrived at the Homebase in ten minutes. Mr. King let them inside, leading them down a long corridor. Alec went into the conference room first to speak to Mr. Sanders. A couple minutes later, Alec came out to speak to Shane; Mr. King having went upstairs to get the briefcase.

"OK, I got the word. Mr. Sanders wants to talk to you first, though, before we leave."

"Why? I've got nothing to say to him," Shane said.

"He just wants to speak to you himself, so nothing goes wrong later. Really, he's just trying to intimidate you. Make sure you fall into line."

Shane let out a great sigh. "Fine."

He walked into the room and closed the door. It was empty for the most part, except for the long table and the chairs around it. And the speaker right in the middle.

"Mr. Sanders?" There was no answer, so Shane repeated the name. Still, no answer. "Hello!"

Finally, the speaker spoke. "You must be Shane."

"Yes sir, that's me."

"I trust Alec has filled you in on your objective."

"Yes he has. Everything except for one thing. I have no idea what we're stealing. What is this package?"

Mr. Sanders didn't want to answer the question, but he knew that he had to have the full trust of Shane in order to ensure the return of his precious package.

"It's a statue of a young child, made of an extremely rare stone which is also extremely fragile. Also, it holds a very special power within it that only I can unlock. That's all you need to know."

"A magic statue?" Mr. Sanders ignored the sarcastic tone in that question, choosing to redirect the way this conversation was going. After he had the statue returned to him, though, Shane would be the first to feel his wrath from the power he would aquire. Hundreds of miles away, Mr. Sanders sat in his high-back leather chair, thumbing through his book of spells that rested on his lap.