Killing Time OST – 3b – Death Row

<< 3a – Death Row

I took me three tries to complete the song. By then, I had stripped out of my dress to facilitate my movement. The final note died along with the last Edouardo. I released my grip on the protuberance of the ceiling. The whole place was outfitted with a few climbing knobs and clefts so I could play spider woman during training.
“Their AI is calibrated with next gen firing implant specs, right?” I found a place to put my gun in the training cabinet. I would soon need a second one.
“Probably more like next next gen.”
I emitted a non-committal hum and patted some sweat away with a towel from the pile I kept next to the guns. I bowed to grab my discarded dress and headed for the door. Vexx blocked my way.
“You’re really going after Edouardo.”
“That’s the plan.”
“Why don’t you go after Merrilyn Technology’s head again?”
I sighed. I could easily push Vexx out of the way but this question mattered to him. Merrilyn Technology turned him into a tech-addict about five years ago after they recruited him for his hacking skills. It took my intervention to pull him out of the nightmare. He had skills and accesses I needed; I didn’t realize I was setting myself up to save his ass twice and offer him a roof. Nor did I expect to promise to avenge him and all the others like him.
“We don’t know who the head is.” Despite my yearly appearance at the company’s ball, I didn’t have a clue who the president of the monster was, the paranoiac used a false face for all his public appearances, always broadcasting himself from an undisclosed location. We didn’t even know if he was really a “he”. “But we’ll flush him out.”
“By killing his competition?” Vexx didn’t trust my plan though he trusted me with his life. Merrilyn Tech basically owned his life and killed his mother to remind him of that fact. I understood the pain resulting from being robbed of someone so important. I never knew my mom. However, restlessness would ensure that the bad guy got away.
“You should really read Sun Tzu.”
Truth be told, I allowed Vexx to express his dissatisfaction from time to time but our waltz irked me. Every time I chose a new victim, there was a fifty percent chance Vexx showered me with gifts then reminded me of my promise. I hated tension within my home and I’d rather not argue with Vexx over the best way to go about my business.
The techie seemed to follow my thought process. He sighed, shook his head and moved out of the doorframe.
“I’ll get him.” I whispered as I brushed past him.
My plan would work. Though at first glance it seemed like I was helping Merrilyn Tech, I was really sending a message; I thinned the herd. As I worked my way toward the top of the food chain, a security freak such as the elusive head of MT was bound to get even more paranoid. Each overprotected business man I downed stretched my reach and empowered my legend. People already believed I was more than one person. As Sun Tzu wrote, the art of war lay in deception; if you were strong, you made the enemy perceive you as broken and feeble. And if you were a lone woman…
I mulled it over as I headed for my second shower of the day. I hesitated on the threshold of the bathroom; I still had a bit of energy in me. I reoriented myself toward the weight room and spent some time lifting heavy stuff. The effort cleared my head and channeled whatever leftover uneasiness Vexx’s doubts had put in me.
When I walked back inside the lab, the techie’s hair was tied in a low pony tail so that he could bend over his micro-circuit and solder it without setting fire to his mane. According to him, that had happened once before. I probably would have laughed so he was right to do everything he could to avoid reproducing the incident.
Vexx didn’t acknowledge my presence when I walked past him to get to the shower. That was fine with me. His bad humor would soon give way to his usual light-hearted self and the next couple of weeks would be friction-free. To encourage the outcome, I ordered a diner for two to cook Julia and innocently dropped a fuming plate on the less cluttered workspace. Vexx understood the peace offering and joined me with an “all right, you got me” smile.
“You wouldn’t make a good spy.” He said before chomping down on a bite of steak.
“Really?”
“You have no subtly whatsoever.”
I punched his shoulder lightly and we both laughed. The doubts and sadness ran away from our renewed companionship. We never stayed tense too long because we were all each other had. Granted, I had my dad but the only person in the whole wide world who knew my secret identity was Vexx. And I was the only one who knew he survived. My basement was a golden cage for him but I would come through on both my promises; giving him a life back and avenging his demise. His required year underground was almost up. His new face would come in the mail next month.
“What are you working on besides your pets?” I topped our wine glasses to encourage conversation. Vexx nearly gave his life to the tech – literally – so despite my aversion of it, I liked to hear his passion bubble.
“I’m juggling a few things,” he answered, not fooled one second by my obvious effort to soothe him. “I’m fiddling with the miniaturization of the classical underwater-breathing apparatus. The brachia aren’t working properly at the size I want them to be.” I chuckled.
“Anything I might use in the near future?”
“I want to double the duration of your portable EMP.” Vexx pulled a pad across the workspace. “Still working on that long range electric gun prototype. I have to find a way to augment the voltage of the battery inside the bullet so it packs enough punch to stun guards.”
“And you have to figure out the bullet’s material too.”
So far, the prototype used metallic marbles that easily conducted the electricity of the battery in their core. However, shooting them so they travelled a good distance with precision required a force that turned the marbles into your standard turn of the millennium ammunition. If I wanted to kill guards, I would use one of my vintage guns.
“Yeah. I might have found something. I baked a batch of conductive silicon. I think. Looks promising.”
I nodded in approval and piled the plates on the table’s corner to make room for dessert.

3c – Death Row >>

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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

4 responses to “Killing Time OST – 3b – Death Row

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