Killer of Killers

Second Edition
A Trent Smith Martial Arts Thriller #1

by Mark DeRobertis

He was the world's greatest martial artist – a master of the world's deadliest art. Once revered, he became feared, and for that he blamed his homeland. America was no longer the land of the free and the home of the brave. It had become the land of murder and the home of corruption. But for a man like Trent Smith – it was the perfect hunting ground.

Biochemists have invented a drug that cures all disease and stops aging, but a New York industrialist has kept it secret for a specific purpose. He wants to form an exclusive fraternity of immortal supermen, all of whom are beholden to him. Only one thing puts a kink in his plan – the drug's side effects, which include wild surges of increased sexuality and unpredictable flares of homicidal rage.

Trent Smith has trained in Japan for over twenty years and he has his own agenda. He vows to avenge the innocents slain by the ever-growing number of American celebrities who murder with impunity. But when a dying scientist gives him the only copy of the secret formula, he must decide if the miraculous benefit is worth the toll it takes on the prodigious people who use it and their credulous victims who don't.

Killer of Killers is an action-packed martial arts thriller that pits one man's quest for justice against the wonders of medical science. But wonders for some are horrors for others in a secret society ruled by greed, malice, and a singular objective to attain eternal youth.




JFK Airport


It was a long time coming, but he made the decision, and Dr. Samuel Bernstein rushed through the terminal a different man. He wanted no more the role of absentee father and no more the bane of negligent husband. No more research facility half a continent away. Never again would he sweat ice in humid vaults of bubbling vats and sterile test tubes. And no more nightmares—the waking screams in halls of horror, the dire consequence of scientific arrogance, soul-chilling visions of a holocaust revisited.

Never again. For Samuel, the sprawling biological laboratory in the Minnesota wilderness would forever be a memory. A bad one. He carried a black leather bag in one hand and pressed a cell phone against his ear with the other. Finally, an answer. “Samuel?” It was Martha, his wife.

“Yes, yes, where are you?”

“I’m in the car, waiting. Hurry, before they chase me away.”

* * * *

Traffic was light, and Samuel gunned his BMW, passing cars as if they crawled. Though red lights in the mirror likely meant the end, it was a risk he had to take. “Where are the twins? Are they packed?”

“At home, and they’re very upset. They still don’t know why you’re doing this. You haven’t told us anything.”

“I can’t explain. Right now, we must disappear. All of us, disappear.”

“Samuel, you’re scaring me. What happened? Why can’t you tell me?”

After pulling off the freeway and speeding through his neighborhood, Samuel screeched his car to a stop in the driveway of his tract home. “Inside, hurry,” he urged, but upon the porch, his keys slipped from his grasp and rattled to the doorstep. “Merciful God,” he groaned, “not now.”

Just as he spoke, the door unlatched from within. Samuel hoped to see his daughters, but when the door opened, his hope turned to dread. “You!”

The man’s name was Stiles, and he was huge—a veritable giant dressed in a dark suit and tie. A wide-brimmed fedora topped his black face, which split into a broad smile of shiny white teeth. “Dr. Bernstein,” he boomed, “how nice of you to not keep me waiting.”

“Where are my daughters?” Samuel snapped.

“Never mind them. Hand over the disc. I’m not playin’ around.”

Samuel hesitated, but his wife didn’t. She dodged the suited titan and bolted through the doorway. Samuel shouted, “Martha, wait!”

“Wait, my ass,” Stiles growled. He seized the lapels of Samuel’s coat. “I want the disc first and then the bag. And if you don’t get smart and hand them over right this minute—”

Chilling screams turned Stiles’ head, and Samuel squirmed free of him. He dashed to a head-on collision with his wife at the staircase. “They’re dead!” she wailed. Tears streaked her twisted face. She clung to Samuel, gulping air between agonized howls.

“No!” Samuel cried while craning his neck to the upper floor. Then he glared at the hulk behind him. “You murderer. You’ll never get the disc. Never in a million years!”

Stiles said, “I told you I wasn’t playin’ around.” A vicious backhand knocked Samuel’s glasses off his face, and a punch to his jaw sent him over the coffee table and sprawled on the living room carpet.

Martha screamed, “Stop it! Stop it!” but to no avail. Samuel was dazed, and he realized that Stiles was rummaging through all of his pockets. He saw Martha with a broomstick. She whipped the man’s back again and again. At first, Stiles seemed oblivious to the effort, but she continued the flogging until he turned a frightful head.

* * * *

Josh Jones preferred a low profile, and he regretted his continuing inability to have one. He blamed his blond hair, extreme height, and movie star looks more than anything else. It’s why he dropped Benjamin off at the wayward doctor’s home. Let him get the credit for recovering the disc.

In his white Mercedes, Josh cruised the quiet street, and as he circled back to the Bernstein residence, he spied the parked BMW. He pulled over, stepped out of his Mercedes, and squeezed an electronic key in his light gray sports coat. The Beemer’s trunk popped, and he peeked inside. There sat a black leather bag. “Hello,” he said. With a small bolt cutter, he broke the bag’s padlock, examined its contents, and transferred it to the trunk of his Mercedes. “That was easy enough.”

Standing tall, Josh panned the well-kept houses lining the street. The tranquil scene triggered memories of a carefree youth. Just as chirping birds and a cool breeze embellished the reverie, crashing wood and shattering glass assailed his ears. He spotted neighbors peeping through windows. “Benjamin,” he said under his breath. “What the hell?”

Josh burst into the home, agape and unbelieving. Benjamin was brutally pummeling the unmoving Bernstein, spattering blood with every blow. It was only when Josh snared a wrist on its back swing did the bedlam end.

“What the hell are you doing?” Josh yelled. He peered at the beaten doctor beneath his partner and witnessed a bloodied body that didn’t breathe. “You killed him. What the fuck. You killed him.”

A quarter pivot revealed the doctor’s wife slumped on the kitchen tile. “What? Her, too?” Josh hustled to the woman and touched her neck. “What the fuck. She’s dead, too.”

Benjamin stood up and yanked on his breast-pocket handkerchief. He removed his hat and wiped crimson spots from his skin. With a shrug, he muttered, “I... I didn’t mean it.”

Josh walked over to his colleague. Being the taller man, he looked down at him and sneered, “You didn’t mean it? Are you kidding?”

“You gotta believe me. All I remember is the screaming. I couldn’t even find the disc. The damn fool wouldn’t tell me where it was.”

“For christsake, man, it’s in the bag with the rest of the stuff. Just now I took it from their trunk.”

“You mean we got it?”

“Yeah, we got it, but gawd-damn, we didn’t have to kill anyone.”

“Aw, shit.”

“Whataya mean, ‘Aw, shit’?”

Benjamin looked up, as if to peer through the ceiling. For Josh, the ensuing moments were as painfully tense as they were horrendously silent—until Benjamin finally said, “I think I killed all of ’em.”

Killer of Killers


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Action / Adventure

? Heat Level: 2