Killing Time OST

I straightened at the edge of light, tugging my mid-thigh high boots upward. I loved these boots. I stuck removable stilettos under them when I was on another type of prowl. Tonight, my boots of butt-kicking were heel-less and the sole flexed along my feet’s movements. Perfect for what I had to do.
In the darkness, I stood almost invisible clad in black extendable Kevlar. No reason not to be safe as houses and sexy as hell.  With my hair rolled in a tight bun, I looked like a dominatrix, which was totally my point.
I stretched my arms and legs slowly, and then bent over backward until my hands touched the ground. They called it the wheel pose in yoga. I called it “ready to roll”. I unfolded fluidly working my abs to pull me straight. Warm up: check.
Scooting closer to the lit street, I peered at my surroundings to find the best point of entry. I planned everything but the perfect spot to get off the ground. I could have done reconnaissance earlier but I procrastinated. World class assassins still had their flaws.
The street emptied hours ago. Rich neighbourhoods weren’t prone to late night drunks since they were liable to be shot on the spot. In this district, people too rich for their own good abounded, as attested the stony ornamented façades of the houses and the high-tech surveillance.
Only the rich and spoiled could afford the space and luxury of the old buildings. The rest of us were crammed in one room apartments deep in the entrails of superscrappers. At least, old buildings were easy to climb.
I spotted a series of imperfections on a wall away from any street light, next to a gutter. Perfect. The only thing I was missing was the appropriate soundtrack. I placed my middle finger on the bone just behind my ear and taped: two long, pause, two short and one long, pause, three short. M-U-S in Morse code. The micro-chip in my brain powered up.
“Welcome to Cyber Radio.” The mechanical announcer’s voice stimulated my auditory neurones directly. Headphones were so passé. “What can we play for you today?”
I grinned. I had picked my song as soon as I had decided to go through with this. It was part of my process. Pick the song. Work the plan. Confirm that the song’s timing fits the plan. If not, get the remix.
I thought tonight’s song’s title and the mechanical voice confirmed.
“Now playing God is God by Juno Reactor.”
I was a sucker for turn of the Millennium-ish music. Among other things. Old-fashioned to the core, I hated today’s tunes: programs composing utopian music ruled the market and the remaining artists created cacophonies because they couldn’t rival with the perfect melodies. Perfection killed me. It killed the whole world, actually. So I killed “perfection” right back and was damn good at it.
The music possessed me as soon as the first bar started. My hips moved in slow figures of eight, following the notes that introduced the song. When the beat started, I timed my strut with it. Six minutes, fifty seconds and I would be in. Either that or I was seriously losing my touch. I swung my hips to the beat, carefully staying away from the halo of the street lights. When I got closer to my objective, I walked sideways along the walls so the surveillance spotlights would miss me.
“You shall see darkness. God is God.”
You bet, Juno.
I reached my spot of the wall and began to climb. The female vocalization pulled me up as surely as my muscles efforts. I wedged my feet in the cracks and wrapped my fingers around the protuberances. I pressed myself against the wall so that the follow spot brushing the street rhythmically wouldn’t allow the guard to make much difference between me and the oversized gutter. I managed to stay true to the rhythm of the song. Music always was my favourite motivational tool.
My hands rested on the roof. I waited a beat for the follow spots to flow past. Then, I almost bent in two, my butt in the air, to stick my feet closer to the top of the ledge. This part was tricky. I pulled myself in a handstand so that neither the spot illuminating the street nor the one sifting the roof revealed my presence.
There was something thrilling about hanging upside down, five stories up. I faced the void in front of me and smiled. I could fall. I was human after all. I wasn’t one of those nanotechnologically enhanced thingies I dared not call men. They supposedly never failed. I grinned.
Three beats passed and the light was gone for a few seconds. I promptly lowered my feet and pushed with my arms to do half a back flip that landed me on the roof. I rushed to the side of the greenhouse planted in the middle of the space. Crazy rich men.
The follow spots did another swipe. I ran to reach the opposite ledge and stood there for yet another swipe.
The choreography flowed precisely as planned, mimicking the beat playing in my head. While the light was away, I unfolded my collapsible bow and set its string. I lowered it next to my side waiting for the light to wash the space a few inches before and behind me. Once it was gone, I’d have eight beats to aim and shoot.
The light moved away. I brought my bow up, nocked the arrow and adjusted my aim. I released the string and the arrow flew right to the chimney of the building next door, one floor below, towing a cord. It pierced the structure then deployed in a large grappling hook that could support my weight. I lowered my bow to allow the lights to pass. My black cord was too small to be noticeable.
The next eight beats allowed me to stick my bow to the ledge with a carefully dosed acid that merged the material of my bow and the roof together. It would hold. The light washed my surroundings. I jumped off and grabbed the cord in my Kevlar covered hands to slide across the busier street.
The guards under me remained oblivious to my presence. Technologically powered hearing could only take you so far: give it to bored guards and it won’t keep me from slipping your defences.
I landed smoothly on the top of my objective. Reaching Mister Fancy Pants’ building: check.
There should be security on this roof. Nothing I couldn’t handle. I bobbed my head on the music and matched my steps to it, taking my handheld Taser out of its holster. I loved that baby. It was based on beginning of the millennium’s models with a few added perks, namely an extra powerful battery that delivered a few hundred shots before requiring a refill.
Toys like this were completely banned from the public use. Mine was contraband, which doesn’t really matter when you’re on the Top Wanted list. Electroshock weapons had been taken out of citizens hands because they made it fairly easy to turn a million dollars worth of implants soldier into a wimp. “Fairly easy”: you still had to stick the thing into the guy but once that was done, the odds were in your favour.
Half the time, the artificial circuitry coursing across his body paralysed the soldier until the implants were rebooted. A quarter of the time, the implants and nanobots were short-circuited and you only had to deal with a human, usually an under-trained human who relied too much on his now dead power-ups. The last quarter had too few implants to be affected beyond the normal effect of a Taser, which is still pretty good. I was in that category but the guards on this roof weren’t.
The roof was cradled between two taller buildings. I rounded the corner of the chimney and saw a guard walking alongside the wall formed by the closest building.
The music in my head was bold and beautiful. I decided to follow its lead. Besides, I was running out of time. I sprinted toward the guard when he turned his back on me. He heard me and turned around to shoot his plasma gun. I was too close. I stepped on the wall and vaulted above his head, sticking my Taser in his neck as I passed by. His body hit the ground at the same time as mine.
He wasn’t dead. I was a good assassin: only the target got killed when I went out.
The other guard most likely patrolled along the other wall. His enhanced hearing would lead him right here to check on his partner before ringing the alarm.
I headed back toward the chimney to hide and wait. Right on time, the street became really noisy. The parade had reached this part of its journey and would camouflage the rest of the noise I made, provided I kept it under a reasonable threshold. “Right on time” wasn’t quite right, I realised. The parade was a quarter of beat behind. It still almost fit with my song so I might as well not be too picky. Impeccable timing: check.
Seconds later, the guard arrived, jogging. If he had been standardly enhanced, his communication device would be behind his right ear. I had to get him before he activated it.
I broke into another sprint to repeat the earlier process. This guard was quicker on his feet. He turned around earlier than I anticipated. Change of plans. No time to slow down for a pirouette. I grabbed his gun and held on to it. I stepped on his bent knee and swung my other feet at the back of his right ear. A satisfying crunch resounded. I completed my vault with his gun in hand, a few feet back. The pain had released his grasp. In a few manoeuvres, I disabled the weapon. I hate plasma guns. Bullets were more romantic.
“You wouldn’t want to ruin your master’s surprise birthday present now, would you?” Taunting guards was my third favourite sport. The second is tracking a target. The first is R-rated.
“Smart ass.” He yelled.
“Sue me.” I countered.
He charged. I sidestepped and pressed the Taser against his arm. He collapsed.
“That works too.” I sighed. If only brain implants weren’t that pricey, these guys might be a real challenge.
One minute left to the song, I ran to the side of the building opposite to the parade and found the window I had chosen as my point of entry. I lowered myself to the protruding windowsill. A shot of Taser in each corner disabled the security. I sprayed the rest of my acid to melt the window frame and slipped inside.
The master’s bedroom was empty. I cocked my hip, my turn of the millennium pistol and my head. In that order. As the song ended, I tapped the last bars on my hip with my gun. I filled my lungs with all the air they could hold and yelled.
“Honey, I’m home!”

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About Aheïla

Somewhere in Quebec City, Aheïla works as a Game Design Director by day and writes by night. Known for her blue hair, unyielding dynamism and tasty cooking (quails, anyone?), she’s convinced “prose is the new crack”. She satisfies her addiction daily on The Writeaholic’s Blog and weekly on Games' Bustles View all posts by Aheïla

3 responses to “Killing Time OST

  • Jenn

    Squee! I love this story! Is she really just at home? Or is this actually a mark?
    I’m really enjoying this world that you are creating. I would buy this book in a heartbeat!
    Awesome job, girl!

    • Aheïla

      It’s a mark. Gotta draw his attention somehow! 😉
      You’d buy this book? Damn, I guess I’ll have to write it. Damned. Where can I find the time to do that? Why can’t we buy time on Ebay? 😉

  • Killing Time OST (CONTD) « The Writeaholic's Blog

    […] Time OST (CONTD) A while ago, some of you might remember, I posted a cyberpunk story called Killing Time OST. Just like my foray into steampunk, it is a story that forced itself into my brain and […]

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