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The Assassin Chronicles: Chapter Three: Swiss Exfil

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CONTENT ADVISORY:  Contains Strong Violence and Language Throughout

 

Previously on The Assassin Chronicles…

     “Is it feasible?”  This was his handler, Mr. Wolf.

     With a sigh, The Assassin nodded once. He was a man of no words.

###

     Inside that tent, Fred Robertson and Graham Phelps discussed what to do with the charitable donations.  Both men were shrewd in business, but only Fred could be called unscrupulous.  He was an overweight smoker battling inoperable lung cancer.

     “My company could always use more cancer funding.  Although, you’re screwing over your own community.”

     “I don’t have HIV.”

###

     Wolf snatched Fred’s collar, nearly dragging him out of the tent.

     Smith was waiting.  He grabbed Fred’s head and snapped it backwards.

     Briefly stunned, Wolf watched Fred’s lifeless body fall to the floor.  Smith disappeared into the crowd.

###

     “Enjoy your trip to Switzerland, Mr. Kowalczyk,” the stewardess called out.

###

     “What made you think I’d sign off on this?”

     “There’s something you need to see.”  Wolf pulled a photo out of his pocket and handed it to the figure.

     The mystery man sucked his teeth.  “Have everyone waiting for us on the dock.  Dear God, how did I not see this?!”

###

      The massive freighter made port near a little coastal village in Japan.  Mystery man, now known by his assumed name of Hans Maligno, sat in a wicker chair.  He was fanned by undercover Taiwanese immigrants.  Everything about him was cruel; his gray eyes, his wrinkled chin… his arm fat!

      Wolf stood guard nearby and handled business on a SAT phone.  “The plane’s heading for –”

      “I know where he’s going.  Move to intercept.”

###

      Another 747 flew dangerously close to his. How odd.  Suddenly, it was struck with a ground-to-air Stinger missile and plummeted to the Alps below!  Shock waves from the explosion shook Smith’s cabin.  It was the cabin of a private Gulfstream V.  Thank God he had one of his hunches and got off the 747 at the last minute.  His hunches always saved him.  Even those he felt as a child.

###

      The balcony door had been left open by design.  Martha Kowalczyk tip-toed into the room and approached Smith from behind.

     From the depths of the tub, The Assassin produced an underwater pistol, pointing it at her without turning around.

     “ Nice to see you too, son.”  Martha croaked in a heavy Irish accent.  She circled the tub till she met his eyes.

     Her son’s mouth fell open.  “She” was in the process of transitioning into a more masculine pronoun and currently went by the name Edward.

###

      At the end [of the gunfight], Smith and Edward stared Wolf down.  Wolf, ever the dramatic, turned the manager’s head into Swiss cheese.

     “And it’s going to read, ‘Here lies Kowalchyk:  the biggest pain in my ass.’”  Wolf grinned.

     Both of them took a step back to brace for the recoil of their weapons.  They stared each other down.  The lobby became the old West.  But who, both wondered, would flinch first this time?

 

Now…

     Wolf continued staring down Smith and Edward.  Something in him had changed, though.  Had he finally learned patience?

     Smith’s re-imagined 1911 handgun began to quiver in his hand.  This time he was the one fighting the impulse to snap first.  It was maddening to him, this newfound feeling of no self-control.

     “What’s the matter, buddy?” Wolf taunted.

     That simple statement was all it took to ignite the fire in Smith’s soul.  Something unholy awakened in him and erupted out like a raging volcano.  He took aim.

     Unfortunately, Wolf had a few new tricks to dish out.  He sprinted forward after dropping his custom M92 by his side.  Instead of Smith being able to aim at Wolf’s head, the gun got caught in his chest.  Or, more accurately, pressed up against Wolf’s Kevlar vest.

     The bullets struck him like a gut punch from a heavyweight champion boxer and put him on the ground.  But… he was alive.  As Smith and Edward leapt over him, sprinting for the door, he rolled back to his weapon.  Once he had it in hand, he spun and fired a few rounds at his targets.  He missed, or so it seemed.

      Smith wasted no time in hauling his mother over to the docks and stealing a Predator speedboat.  He nearly flooded the engine by gunning the vessel out of the harbor.

     Wolf, still on the ground, painfully tried to stand.  He fell the first time.  “Shit!” he growled.  The second attempt had him on his feet and running – trying to run – towards the dock.  There were no other boats for him to commandeer.  He glimpsed Smith’s Predator in the distance running parallel with the road.  With not a single careful thought, he ran to the side of the parking lot where the rich-lings had valet parked before checking into the Four Seasons.

     A man was just about to start his newly purchased sun-fire orange Lamborghini Aventador when Wolf dragged him out, shot him twice, and left him for dead.

      The Aventador took off down the road, dodging cars and lorries that came out of nowhere everywhere.

     Meanwhile, still in the boat, Edward spotted the car catching up.  “He just don’t quit, lad!” he exclaimed.

     Smith shook his head.  The car was alongside him now.  From his position, The Assassin saw Wolf ready a Kel-Tec SMG most likely obtained from a fallen mercenary.  The bullets came fast, assaulting both the water around the craft and the craft itself.

     Edward pointed to a parallel waterway and Smith lurched the boat into it.

     Wolf didn’t give up.  A bridge ahead would take him over to the other side of the docks.  He drifted onto it, not knowing it was for pedestrians only!  The innocents all scattered as the car thundered by them.

     “Get the fuck out the way!” Wolf had nearly gone insane now.  He didn’t even slow down; he just honked.  A few pedestrians had to literally throw themselves into the water to avoid getting clipped.

      Once Wolf turned off the bridge, he was on a one way street.  Other vehicles came at him like rockets.  The only thing on his mind was killing Smith and he managed to dodge almost all without so much as a side-swipe.

     Smith looked back again only to find he hadn’t outrun his handler.  

     “Shite,” Edward cried out.  “What now?”

     Fortunately, Smith had known Wolf most of his life.  He could read him like… hell he could write Wolf’s memoirs!  There was a ramp at the end of the dock that Wolf was now driving on.  The Assassin turned the boat to the left heading back towards the other side of the docks.

     Wolf had enough.  He opened the driver side door, stood on the sideboard, and drove the car off the ramp towards the boat.  The Lamborghini took a dive, but not before Wolf used it to leap even further towards the boat.  His handgun came up; he opened fire.

     It seemed that Wolf would land right on the back of the boat, but Smith killed the engine and made another sharp turn.  Wolf could see what was about to happen.  “Aw, fuck,” he breathed.  His lower jaw collided with the side of the boat, cracking and crushing it.  His lifeless body floated in the water.

     Edward collapsed.  He had been hiding the fact that he took a bullet during the confrontation in the hotel.

Smith piloted the boat out into the ocean and disappeared across the horizon.  He didn’t get a chance to see Wolf turn over and gasp for air.

     The destination Smith had chosen turned out to be the first cruise ship he came across.  It belonged to Princess Cruises, a European specialty line.  Utilizing a grappling hook and conveyor system, Smith boarded the ship with Edward, who was desperately clinging to life.

     After clambering aboard, Smith helped Edward into sick bay.  He had to incapacitate the ship’s doctor and lock her in a storage cabinet, but it was worth it.  The Assassin found everything he needed to patch up his mother.  Thankfully, the bullet went in and out or Edward might have died from the trauma.

     An unoccupied state room was needed.  When Smith found one, he brought Edward into it, gave him the only bed, and sat awake all night to monitor him.  Smith may have been a killer, but he was not unable to love and to love deeply.

     Back in the Geneva harbor, Wolf had floated in.  His body was being examined by doctors under observation of Graham.

     “Pulse is weak, sir, but it’s there.”

     Graham snorted.  “Load that bastard into the van.”

     They obliged.  Graham got in his car, aided by armed men who looked a lot like CIA agents.  The fleet of vehicles took to a side street and vanished.

FADE OUT.

Will Edward live?  Who is Graham, really, and what does he want with Wolf?  What location will Smith travel to and nearly destroy next?  Find out next time on “The Assassin Chronicles.”

Originally posted 2017-10-14 12:47:12.

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Top LGBTQ Travel Bloggers You Should Be Following

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June 21st was the officially the first day of summer and it got me thinking about my summer holidays, despite the fact that I’m now a fully-grown adult and can go on holiday whenever I want.

So, I did what any millennial does when looking for travel inspiration; I turned to Instagram and ended up down a bit of a hashtag rabbit-hole from #paris to #parispride to #lgbtqtravelers. There I stumbled across some incredible LGBTQ+ travel bloggers that I think you should know about.

Dopes on the Road

My best friend

A post shared by Meg Cale (@megcale) on

 

Meg Cale started Dopes on the Road as a means of connecting with friends and family when she lived in South Korea but she began to get questions from other queer folks who were looking to travel in Korea and the surrounding area.

Meg, who is also an LGBTQ+ activist, doesn’t sugar coat the realities of travelling as a queer person including the possibility that you might feel more comfortable passing for straight/cis in a country where being LGBTQ+ is illegal or very close to it.

While the blog was originally Meg’s domain, her wife Lindsay, who does a lot of work behind the scenes, is now joining her as a joint contributor as they begin their next adventure in Mexico.

Travels of Adam

Yep, I never get tired of this view #berlin

A post shared by Adam Top 25 Travel Blogger (@travelsofadam) on

In 2009, Adam Groffman quit his job as a graphic designer to begin travelling. After a 15-month round the world trip, Adam settled on Germany as his new home but continues to travel across Europe and across the world.

In his latest blog post (as of this article being written), Adam has put together a guide to the ultimate resources for LGBTQ+ travellers. It takes you through everything from where to find travel inspiration to connecting with other LGBTQ+ travellers to safety advice if you’re travelling to a place where being LGBTQ+ is illegal.

My Normal Gay Life

 

Jose Harvey is an out and proud gay man who sees visibility and representation as one of the most important issues for LGBTQ+ people in the world today, especially when the media so often fails to portray three-dimensional queer people.

That is why he started My Normal Gay Life, which originally just focused on his day-to-day life, but soon became about his travels around the world. He covers everything from quick city guides to LGBTQ+ advocacy while working his way through a pretty fantastic travel bucket list.

Two Bad Tourists


Auston Matta and David Brown are a married gay couple who like to travel in their own way, by taking things slow and really soaking in the atmosphere of a place, rather than getting caught up in the peer-pressure to hit all the sights in just a few days.

They have guides to LGBTQ+ friendly cities across Europe and the Middle East, provide info about queer hotels and travel companies, and show how you can travel on a budget.

Globetrotter Girls


Dani believes that all travellers really need is an innate curiosity about the world around them and the passion to explore, whether that’s living as a location-independent world traveller or taking a long weekend your country’s capital.

Since quitting her full-time job in 2010, Dani has published destination guides, documented some of her biggest travel mistakes, and shared her experiences as a lesbian traveller. Bonus: she also has guest posts from other LGBTQ+ travellers because experiences can differ within our community.

Now, you may notice that my list is missing trans travel bloggers and that is simply because I could not find any actual travel blogs run by a trans person and I know that I have to be missing something.

If you have any trans travel bloggers to recommend, please let me know in the comments so that I can rectify this at a later date.

Other than that, what did you think of my top picks? Do you have any more to recommend?  Let me know in the comments below.

Originally posted 2017-06-28 14:47:03.

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Skip the Credit Cards — Get Airline Miles Without the Debt

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This article was originally published on TiplrMag.com by Robert Coles. Download Tiplr here.

5 Secrets to Obtaining Diamond Status, Companion Passes, and Premium Features

I hate credit cards and absolutely refuse to sign up for one, but my lust for travel has always been present. I’ve often thought of signing up for cards for a quick 50,000 points to take a free flight, but for me the costs don’t outweigh the rewards. Now, before you go off on me and say it’s just about being responsible, I get it. But they’re not for me. So, I’ve spent the last few years figuring out the best ways to get all the airline miles I need every year to maintain status on two airlines, Delta and Southwest, without opening a single credit card.

Here are my top 5 tips for obtaining status and getting airline miles without obtaining credit card debt!

1. Mileage Boosters — Delta

This may sound crazy, and it’s not free, but it’s a great way to get that reward flight much faster. When you’re booking your flight, add in Mileage Boosters on Delta. They aren’t really that expensive when you spread it out over time per flight. For example, I’ve been trying to get my 2017 travel paid for in full and am adding a Mileage Booster to every flight for about $59 which adds 3,000 reward miles. Just tack on the purchase with your ticket and suddenly you’re earning the reward ticket over time without large purchases.

2. AirBNB Hosting

This one might sound even crazier, but it’s a great way to make money and earn points while you travel. If you sign up to host on AirBNB through Delta’s partnership website, you get an additional 25,000 miles on Delta.When I leave New York , I always list my room on AirBNB. I’m averaging about $140 a night (I live in Times Square), around $180 a night during peak seasons, and I’m paying for my trips with that income. Plus, you get points for every dollar you spend on AirBNB for your vacations.

3. Company Travel, Personal Mileage

I travel a lot for work. I’m a marketing consultant, I have clients all over the world, and I bill them for my travel expenses, to a reasonable amount. I book all my travel myself and choose my airlines and tickets. I send over a report of what I spent and why I spent it to ensure they know they aren’t getting billed for first class tickets. I use my own rewards accounts. I started this with Southwest Airlines for domestic travel and have earned my Companion Pass for 2017 and 2018 just through work travel. I’m seeking status on Southwest and Delta, so Delta is my airline for international travel.

4. Buy them from the airlines

If all else fails, buy the miles you need. This is helpful if you’re only a couple of thousand miles away from a vacation rewards flight. They aren’t exactly cheap, but spending a couple of hundred dollars to get the reward flight that would otherwise be a thousand dollars is worth it.

5. Inherit

The passing of a loved one is always sad, but I am able to see the world now using my dad’s airline miles he saved for years. My dad passed away almost 7 years ago, and recently I was only 4,000 miles away from not paying for a single flight the second half of 2017, so I started asking friends and family if they would sell me their miles (better the money go to a family member and have them transfer than to Delta). Then, my mom texted me and told me I should contact Delta about my dad’s rewards points.

After spending almost 2 hours on the phone, and going through all the possible security questions and answers, I was able to get into his account and find a whopping 196,000 miles sitting in his Delta account. To transfer these to me would be about $2,000, but I’m able to go into his Delta account and book travel directly there for myself. 2017 is going to be a great year of seeing and exploring the world, thanks to my dad. I’m dedicating all my trips to him.

So, don’t take on credit cards to get your rewards travel. Use these methods to get where you want to go for less!

If you want more travel advice, check out my book, I Know Where I’ve Been: A Year Long Journey of Self-Discovery, where I recount traveling North and South America while working virtually for a year. You can purchase HERE.

Originally posted 2017-06-18 10:49:19.

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5 Travel Brands I’m Currently Promoting (And Why)

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As you know by now, I cannot seem to travel enough. Seriously, it’s in my DNA. I have wanderlust. And I’m only able to travel as much and for as long as I do with help from various brands that make products that just enhance my experience and make it easier for me to enjoy the adventure. So, here are five travel brands I’m currently promoting, and why you should, too!

1. Tiplr – Travel App for Tips and Local Secrets

I know you’ve heard me feature this app before when I talked about the must-have apps in any traveler’s toolkit, but it needs repeating. This app has gotten me through several trips now, both in the planning phase, and the “saving my life when I can’t seem to find anything fun to do” phase. This app features tips on how to live like a local in any city, and it’s all user generated content. That’s half the fun. The other half comes from creating tips and collections yourself for others to see and experience the world like you. I personally am enjoying creating different tips everywhere I go and am getting “hearts” from people telling me they’re enjoying the place, too! It’s gratifying knowing I made someone’s trip a little more fun!

2. Eagle Creek

This is your one-stop shop for all things travel gear. From backpacks, to luggage, to accessories, they have it all, and I’m in love with it all. I currently use the Mobile Office Backpack for travel because I work on the go. It’s great to organize client files, my computer, hard drives, notebooks, and office accessories in one location that I can grab and go. While their packs can be a bit pricey, I guarantee you’ll find the value after your first trip with any of their gear.

3. The Container Store

You thought they were only for organizing your closet, didn’t you? Nope. The Container Store has taken the travel industry by storm in recent years by offering a full line of travel accessories. I’m obsessing over my Reisenthel Multi Dot Hanging Toiletry Organizer (in black!) which keeps everything nice and neat. I’m not much of an “unpacker” when it comes to settling into hotel rooms and AirBNB’s so this keeps everything in one convenient place.

4. AirBNB

Not only do I travel with AirBNB, but I host with them, too. I’m not going to go into too much detail here because we’re all familiar with the way things work, but consider putting your apartment or home up for rent when you’re gone. It’s a great way to cover some of the expenses of traveling!

5. Tempur-Pedic.

Trust me. Do not go on a long flight without a Tempur-Pedic neck pillow. It’ll save your life and your neck. The wrap around neck comes with an optional clasp to keep it in place (it’s a bit like wearing a necklace with really big, fluffy jewelry on the back of the necklace!) and the padding is firm, yet contours to your neck.

There you have it! My current list of travel brands I simply cannot get enough of right now. What are some of your favorites?

Originally posted 2017-06-15 01:56:13.

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