Killing Time OST – 2a – Payment

<< 1c – Strike

Going home necessitated taking a fair amount of detours. The last thing I wanted was work to follow me there. I headed out of town, rounded a quarter of it and headed back in. My house actually rubbed elbows with my target’s, so to speak; I lived about five blocks away from him. I didn’t do it to cleverly scout the neighborhood and study my target; I had appearances to maintain in my everyday life. As the rich heiress of a multi-millionaire entrepreneur, anything smaller than my manor would draw suspicion. The interesting stuff is all in the basement anyway.
I tapped in the code of the door leading from the abandoned sewers to the rooms under my house. It swooshed open smoothly, pulled by a set of hydraulic arms that secured it all the while encouraging laziness. Seriously, pulling a heavy door open after a fight for your life: not the way an assassin likes to be welcomed home. Besides, a door knob would totally ruin the “sewer wall” disguise.
Some psy-trance blasted in the next room; Vexx was working on a new gadget. My head bobbing to the beat, I punched the switch to close the door behind me and began to unbuckle my gear. The holsters went on their hook on the wall and the guns back on their shelves. I plugged in the Taser and the mini-EMP. The bow’s harness ended up crumpled in a corner, awaiting my decision to throw it out and buy a new one with the next bow or keep it for a couple of more runs. It saved my life once but that was a long time ago.
I unzipped the top of my Kevlar suit to unglue my killer face. The man who invented that most likely watched Mission Impossible too many times – which didn’t make his device any less awesome. My face appeared in the newspaper and gossips magazines from time to time which made my blue-eyed Caucasian with high cheekbones features easily recognizable. My assassin’s face was Asian and I put on dark lenses. It fitted perfectly with my black hair.
Very Mirror Edge-y – another of my turn of the Millennium fetish. Every game nowadays was plug-in-your-brains-and-play. Nothing beat the immersion of a program broadcasted to your senses the same way reality was but I just loved to push buttons.
Speaking of which…
I furtively rounded the corner into the next room. Vexx’s wide shoulders hunched further over his table. The contrast between his athletic build and the geekish posture made me smile. If only he was any good at sparring, our fights would get a lot more physical. Silently tip-toeing behind him, I flicked his right ear. His sudden loss of concentration caused his small soldering pin to jump and burn his circuit.
“Damn it.” He yelled. He turned off the music and faced me. “Why don’t I get the ‘Honey, I’m home!’ hello when you get here?”
“A. I don’t intend to kill you. B. You’re not getting any of this.” I pointed my ass for emphasis. He grunted and turned around to evaluate the damage to his work. He soon faced me again.
“Your face is all red.” I commented picking a fruit off the bowl he kept handy. Apparently, crunchy stuff helped him think. It also kept me from collapsing when I came back from work. I could tell he wanted to punch me but didn’t dare try. I taught him well.
“You ruined it.”
“You almost got me killed.” I bit in the fruit. Assassination sure was a good way to work up an appetite. “I’ll buy you a new one if you promise you won’t hack my chip anymore.”
“You chip isn’t supposed to backfire. You should let me take a look at it.”
“No way I’m letting anyone fiddle around in my brain. Stop hacking. Problem solved.” If I needed field assistance, I would probably appreciate Vexx’s ability to communicate with me. But I liked living on the edge. I headed for the bathroom adjacent to the lab and my assassin-dream-gym while I finished my apple. Thank God I had some pork leftovers in the fridge upstairs; I’d get right on that once I cleaned up.
“And you always get out of your jobs.” Vexx yelled as I exited the room. I peeked back to answer.
“Until the day that I don’t.”
“But then you won’t complain about it.” He smirked.
“I’m so getting you off my will.”
I closed the bathroom door before he had a chance to answer. I had no desire to be outsmarted under my own roof by a fugitive whose life I saved twice. Thoroughly convinced by the righteousness of my rudeness, I peeled my Kevlar suit off. The thing was sexy and safe until you pulled yourself out of it. Its airtight quality caused all the sweat from the night’s exercise to remain against my skin. Hence shower being one of the top priorities upon my return home. Added bonus: it released the tension in my muscles and reduced the cramps in the morning.
I wrapped myself in a towel and exited the bathroom with my Kevlar bundle under my arm. The lab was unlit and the shiny clock in the corner told me it was indeed a little late.
“Good night Vexx!” I yelled from the bottom of the stairs leading to my house. A muffled response came from my techie’s apartments. I hadn’t seen the insides of any of the ten rooms since I offered them to Vexx as private living quarters. He never came upstairs because he couldn’t afford to have someone recognize him.
I dumped my sullied Kevlar in the dirty clothes bin which was full enough to be worth a load. I pressed the wash button and watched the clothes disappear on their way to the sorting, washing and drying machines. I once read that people used to load up the machines themselves and even fold by hand.
Some machine deserved to exist.
“Cook Julia, I’ll have a sandwich made from the pork leftover please.” I ordered to my automated cook as I walked in the kitchen. Naturally, I could buy one to dress the table too but I liked doing that myself.
“Coming right up!” The robot answered before rolling off to the fridge.
Ten minutes later, I munched on an elaborate sandwich. A bit of mustard landed on my chin. I swept it up with a finger and licked it. The old etiquette teacher at my dad’s house would have had a heart attack. I prided myself in breaking stupid rules and even the smallest applied.
I finished my plate and left it there for the cleaning automaton to pick it up during its night round. My bed called for me upstairs in the master bedroom. I brushed my teeth swallowed three sleeping pills and dropped my towel in a heap by the bed to slip under the covers naked.
“Lights out!” They obeyed.

2b – Payment >>

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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

7 responses to “Killing Time OST – 2a – Payment

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