Saturday, November 8, 2008

Death Storm

Death Storm

My new career hasn't really been working out for me so far. The problem with the assassination line of work is that you really can't trust or rely on anyone except yourself. It seems like the money factor really corrupts people. I only charge the fees I do so I can attract the best clients and most difficult victims. It cheapens their deaths if they are killed for a pittance. That's just insulting. My clients need to be willing to make a real sacrifice to rid them of their mistakes.

I do it for the challenge and the thrill. I enjoy the danger. Sure, most of the times things go off without a hitch, like a well-oiled machine. I take very few unnecessary risks. I thoroughly vet my clients and my subjects. I don't kill people who I think wronged a potential client for a good reason. If a woman dumps a guy because he cheats and is an all around loser, then I'm not likely to take him as a client. But if instead, she's a lying, cheating whore who stole his money and threw his love for her back in his face, then the pleasure is all mine. I need to feel like I'm doing the world some modicum of justice, although in very few cases do the people I kill truly deserve to die. I'm OK with that, I gotta make a living too you know. It's what I'm good at.

This particular job seems to have taken a turn for the worse. I felt it my duty to inform my client of my partner's treachery. My reputation is on the line here. I've never swindled a client although I've killed a few who tried to double cross me. They ranted and raved and accused me of double crossing them, but I stayed patient and quietly convinced them that I would return them their money. They seemed insistent that I hurry because of some kind of deadline. They even offered me an additional payoff if I returned the money soon, but I declined as I didn't want to appear as if I were extorting them.

Before I began hunting down Death Storm, I did a little more research on my client, wondering what the urgency was. I have access to government servers that record and decrypt all cellular and Internet communications in this country. I gleaned something about a meeting tonight in a downtown high-rise. Each participant in the meeting need to bring cash funds on the order of $100 million. I knew our bag didn't contain that much, but without the contents of the bag, they might fall short. It also might contain other securities like bearer bonds and corporate paper. I could not ascertain the purpose of the meeting. However my lifetime of espionage training told me I needed to be there at all costs, because that kind of money meant some evil was afoot. I may not be working for my government anymore, but I still keep an eye out for her interests.

Tracking down Death Storm proved a little more difficult. I doubted he would do the smart thing and lay low or leave the country or even stash the cash somewhere safe. He liked his women, he liked his drinking, and he especially liked his gambling. By crossing me he obviously didn't respect my abilities and therefore he probably didn't feel much of a threat from me. I spent most of the day wandering from joint to joint, from underground poker rooms to clandestine brothels to heroine dens. I knew he used the junk and it wouldn't surprise me to find him shooting up somewhere. That would make my job so much easier but it wasn't to be.

I finally spotted an associate of his smoking on the street outside an off track betting parlor. I made a quick equipment check before I left my car: guns, knives, garrote, needles, quick ties, blindfold, gag, blow darts, smoke bombs, throwing stars all hidden in a specially designed corset that also served as a bullet-proof vest. It ran down to my knees, concealing everything while maintaining my figure. I don't want to look like a SWAT guy while I'm undercover. A girl still needs to look good when she is out on the town. Over all this I threw on a slutty red dress and slapped on extra makeup. I let my hair down and threw on a pair of high heels with razor sharp points covered by a pad.

I got plenty of stares walking down the street towards the parlor. A car stopped and the guy rolled down the window.

"Hey, looking for a party," the man asked.

I walked over and leaned in the window, giving the guy a great look down my dress. "Maybe. You see anything you like?"

The guy whistled. "I sure don't see girls like you around here. How much for a party?"

"Well I ain't cheap. See that guy down the street? You give him $300 bucks to start with. We'll see where it goes from there."

"Three hundred? For you?"

I pulled my dress back a bit exposing my breast. "It's all real baby, and it's all for you. What do you say? We'll have so much fun. And I'm willing to do anything."

The man gulped. "You'd better. Stay there, I'll be right back." He zoomed down the street towards the parlor. He stopped in front of the man and started talking. I threw off my heels and raced down the street towards them, not a moment to spare. The men had begun a heated argument. I crept up behind my distracted target and held a knife to his throat.

"Get the fuck out of here," I screamed at the man in the car, brandishing a gun in my free hand. He slammed the gas and peeled out down the street. "Come on."

I dragged the man into a nearby alley. "Where the fuck is my money," I yelled at him, carving a notch into his neck with the knife while holding the gun in his kidney. I had pushed him up against the brick facade of the betting parlor.

"Death Storm has it," he mumbled. "And you'll never get it."

"How many," I asked, "how many men in there?" He didn't answer so I cut him deeper. In a bold but not unexpected move he lurched back into me, causing me to drop my gun. He whipped around and leveled his own gun at me but before he could squeeze the trigger I threw my knife right at his head, splitting him right between the eyes. He dropped face first into the street, knocking my knife back out.

I quickly gathered up all the weapons and stashed them, then dragged the corpse behind a dumpster. If I hadn't been pressed for time I could have done a better job. I extracted a compact from my corset and cleaned up my face. Fortunately the color of my dress concealed any blood splatters. I retrieved my heels and then entered the parlor.

I walked through the shadows like a ninja trying to avoid attention while sported a bright red blood-stained dress, which now also featured some sweat stains as well from my recent battle in the street. Dead men don't crawl behind dumpsters by themselves. At least I got my make-up fixed up. I didn't see Death Storm or his friends anywhere but over on one side of the hi-def-monitor bedecked room a couple of men stood in front of a door. All around me the screens glared with horse racing, payoff statistics, boxing matches, and football games (the European kind).

A waitress with a tray of drinks approached the men. Before entering, they patted her down, searching for weapons. "Damn it," I breathed. I slinked over to the ladies room to check my look and try to stash some of my weapons.

Inside the lavatory, another women, also scantily clad, applied some makeup. She stopped to look at me for a moment. "I haven't seen you here before. You new? This place can be a tough place to work, especially with the financial crash. Not a lot of business guys in here lately. Jeez, what happened you?" She noticed some of blood droplets on my arm.

I thought quickly. "Some jackoff tried to jump me in the alley. Right outside here! Wanted a freebie or something. So I got him right in the nose." I held up my fist in a mock punch. "Asshole chased me in here but they wouldn't let the guy in thank god. Too many fucking drunks out there nowadays."

"Wow, sorry. Well welcome to the 'hood. My name's Candy. What brings you to this shithole of a town?"

I shrugged as I shook hands with the tall leggy blond. "Hi, I'm Ellie. I got man troubles. You know. Didn't want to stick around so I hit the road. Say, what's the deal with the private rooms here? Is that for high rollers? Any chance for action in there?"

Candy blew out. "More than one girl can handle. But maybe with the two of us...and since you're new they might take an interest. But it's an all day thing you know. They'll be riding you like a horse. And the payout ain't great for the effort."

"Hmm. I really need the cash. Can you set it up? I think I saw some high rollers in the room in the back. Let me get myself ready. When it's set up, bring me the cash and maybe something to take the edge off. We good?"

After the women left I turned into a fury of activity. I taped various weapons to my legs and arms, as well as the small of my back. The tape covered the edges in case of a pat down. I stashed the guns above the ceiling tiles. I threw my hair forward to cover my face a bit. Candy returned with the money and I frowned at the small amount.

"That's all I could get, girl," she sighed. I felt insulted. I had my pride. I felt like sending Candy back for more but I was running short on time.

"Fine. Let's do this." I downed the bourbon Candy handed me and felt the warmth penetrate my bones.

The men at the door patted me down, if you count a quick grab of my breasts and ass a pat-down. The room we entered was much like the main floor, filled with screens but on a much smaller scale. I spotted Death Storm in the corner talking to some friends. More importantly, I spotted the money bag between his legs.

I turned around and grabbed Candy's arm. "Shit! That's the guy! He's the guy who...who beat me," I whispered to her. "Oh god, what if he sees me? Him and his sick friends...he never liked me turning tricks. Now we're in this locked room...he'll beat me to death!"

I cringed in the corner. Candy lay an arm around my waist. "Hey, girl. We can get out of this. We've been through worse, haven't we? Listen, I've dealt with creeps like this before. Let me distract them and maybe you can slip out unnoticed. Just hide over here for a minute. "

Candy sauntered in the middle of the room while I ducked behind a wet bar. We had entered quietly so no one had noticed us until now. She began taking off her clothes and dancing in the middle of the room. A couple of the guys started dancing with her, rubbing their hands on her naked body. I shivered as the though of those filthy hands on my body creeped me out. I could play hooker, but I don't think I could ever be a hooker.

Death Storm didn't budge. In fact, he yelled at them because they blocked his view of the screens. Candy peeked over towards me and I pointed at the man. She slid over to him and sat in his lap, gyrating and grinding at him, placing his hands on her ass. She finally succeeded in getting him up off the couch. I could see from the amount of empty glasses that he had to be pretty ripped by now. I crept out from the bar and around the couch. Just as I grasped the bag, someone spotted me.

"Who the fuck is she? Shit! She's grabbing your shit!"

I jumped up and threw the bag behind me, a wry grin on my face. Death Storm threw Candy aside and faced me.

"Jesus, Ellie, you're just a glutton for punishment. Boys? Get her."

Two guys approached me and two guys fell to the ground with knives in their throats. Candy screamed. Storm went for his gun but I knocked it away. I rolled and grabbed a knife out of one guys throat sending his blood spurting everywhere. A man threw a chair at me but I ducked as it sailed into a monitor, smashing it off the way. He jumped me but I plunged my now unsheathed stiletto heels into his heart. I kicked off the other shoe.

Candy screamed and screamed, clutching her naked breasts, spurting blood covering her body. The other men retreated, and I faced Death Storm alone. We had sparred a lot in the last few weeks, but I never revealed to him the true nature of my abilities. We locked arms and he threw me across the room. He charged me but I ducked at the last moment and pushed him into some monitors that crashed and sparked. The floor grew slippery from the pooling blood from the writhing men but I had fought in worse. He came at me like a tiger, trying to throw me off balance with a series of punches and kicks. He slipped just a tiny bit on the blood and I pounced, swinging under his arm and up onto his back where I plunged my teeth into his neck, seeking that warm carotid that would mean his death.

I must have nicked it because after he threw me off, I saw a small spurt of blood pulse out of his neck.

He clamped an hand down on it but nothing except immediate surgery could save him now.

"Ahh, you bitch! What the fuck have you done?" He screamed and charged me like a bull. Once again I ducked and threw him over me into the bar, sending the bottles of booze flying. I heard pounding on the door as the men outside tried to gain entrance. In the distance sirens wailed. Death Storm tried to pull himself up but the blood loss grew critical. I kneeled down next to him and looked into his dying eyes.

"You should never have crossed me," I told him quietly. "You were a pretty decent fighter."

"Ellie," he rattled. "I had to take it. Those people who hired us, they're not who we thought they were. I had to make sure they never got the money." He clutched my dress. "If you take that money then run. Do not get involved." He coughed and then stared at the ceiling, dead.

"Give us the bag or she dies," said the men, grabbing Candy and holding a gun to her head. I whirled around to face them then laughed.

"Go ahead, kill her. The moment you pull that trigger, you'll be dead men. You've got 5 seconds to let her go and get out of my way. Drop it! Now." I pointed knives at them, holding my arms out straight.

They dropped it and let her go.

I hoisted the money sack on my back. "Get dressed," I said to Candy, who stood there quivering. "Get dressed! If you want to live, you need to move! Now!"

She quickly donned her dress with shaking hands. I collected my weapons then watched as Death Storm's life drained out of his body. What a waste of talent. If he stayed disciplined he could have made far more than what lay in the bag. I found a street exit and dragged Candy out. We walked out past the undiscovered dead body that Candy did actually notice. She cringed at the sight. Fortunately my car was close by and we got in unnoticed.

"Here." I passed her some moist wipes that had an added chemical that neutralized the color of blood. I helped her wipe off her face and arms so we wouldn't arouse suspicion.

"" she muttered as I cleaned her up.

"I'm no streetwalker," I said matter-of-factly. "Those men stole money from me. I got it back."

"Are you going to...kill me?"

I laughed. "What? No, you were great in there. You played your part perfectly."

"Why...why did you let those men live? They tell everything."

"Good. I have a reputation to uphold. No one crosses me and lives to tell about it. They've learned a valuable lesson today." I gunned the car down the street and we rode in silence for a minute.

A little color returned to her face. "Well...well...then I'm out a little bit here. Do you think you could...I wouldn't talk."

I saw her eyeing the money bag. I pulled over the car and she shrunk away from me.

"Now you want my money," I scolded her, then smiled. I though she was about to die from fright. "Relax! I'm just kidding. When I said you played your part well, I mean it. Here, what do you need? Is 10 enough? Twenty?" I think she might have thought $10 until I pulled out a large stack of bills. "Here's twenty grand. Spend it wisely." I plopped the bills in her lap and found a supermarket bag in the back for her to carry it in.

Her mouth dropped open. "I'll never tell, I promise. I swear. I never saw anything, I wasn't there."

"Tell 'em whatever you want, they'll never find me," I said. "Now tell me where I can drop you off because I've got an important meeting to get to."

After I sent her on her way I made my preparations. I'll let you know what happens if I make it through.

Posted: Saturday, November 8, 2008 @ 2:41 PM

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