Three days passed before Briggs returned to Alnwick. It was the early hours of the morning and things were not as he’d hoped.
A group of soldiers had come into town and taken control. The officer in charge, Captain Harrison, was organising fresh food and water for the residents. A curfew had been declared after fights, broken out over limited supplies, had caused a number of deaths.
Despite this, Briggs was not the only person out that morning. Three young men, watching from a side road, suddenly spotted the mercenary walking down the main street.
“Hey you! You with the army?” one of them called, as they approached brandishing weapons.
“The army?” Briggs stopped as they stepped into his path. “Is the army in town?”
“Got ourselves a parrot,” another chided. He looked to his friends for approval. They dutifully laughed. They were delighted with their game, especially now, when close up, they could see the number of weapons Briggs was openly carrying. Outnumbering him three to one they figured their chances were good and had gained a ‘high’ from the power.
“Phew, he’s got some beauties,” a gangly youth said, in awe of the rifles slung on Briggs’ back.
“Hand over your weapons,” the man standing directly ahead ordered. He waved a handgun in Briggs’ face.
Briggs didn’t move.
The young man became irate. “Hand over your weapons or I’ll blow your fucking head off,” he snarled. He shoved the barrel of the gun against the mercenary’s forehead.
This was the move Briggs was waiting for. Overstretched, the youth no longer had proper control of the weapon. In a flash the soldier had grabbed the man’s arm and twisted it so the gun was pointing away. Instantly the bone gave with a loud crack. In the same movement the youth’s hand was worked to fire the weapon. The gun enthusiast on his right was dead before he hit the ground.
The third man on his left had registered the change of events, but had no time to act on it. His chest ventilated, when the gun discharged at point-blank range, he hit the tarmac with his eyes still open.
To finish the job on the screaming youth with the broken arm, the mercenary released his hold. The damaged limb now free to dangle, hung by the muscle at 45 degrees. Then, as the young man tried to pull away, Briggs grabbed his head and twisted it violently to one side, instantly silencing him.