Killing Time OST – 21c – Nerves

<< 21b – Nerves

I pulled off my Alice face to wake up Naomi and Derek before the transport arrived. I shushed their questions and once they understood I left them in the dark for their own safety, they stopped being such a pain. They nodded in understanding after I explained the transfer and the imperative to keep my identity a secret until their debriefing. That would have to be enough.
When the transport arrived, I was back behind Alice’s eyes and Vexx, whose fake face was too damaged to put back on, grabbed a prisoner’s hood before anyone, including Naomi and Derek, saw his real face.
“He’s a spy too?” Naomi hung to my arm, which woke my suspicions; I screwed up her life the night before and she still considered me the best person to hold on to? It defied my logic. In her place, I would have stuck close to my bulky fiancé or the yummy FBI agent. Unless she was in league with Dad.
“I guess you could say that,” I answered when she repeated the question.
The transport itself went by quickly and silently. Standard mean-looking, juiced with tech escort who kept Vexx’s backpack on the front seat with them, to “avoid any stupid actions”. They forced all of us, including Gabriel, to put on a hood to disembark.
By the freshness of the air – and a bit of educated guessing –, I figured they walked us into an underground facility. It smelled of old metallic dust and oil along with fresh paint. I almost bet with the guards to take off our hoods if I guessed the place but I didn’t want to put Naomi and Derek in trouble. Secret bases were meant to remain so.
Even if they were the retrofitted corner of a parking garage that closed twenty years ago.
“This is where you guys say good bye,” one of the bulks of technological muscles said.
Naomi started crying. The humidity of her tears pierced through the hood when we awkwardly hugged. We asked each other to take care despite our limited control over the current situation. I buckled when Vexx’s presence left my side too.
“Hey!”
“Where are you taking him?”
“You’re to be interrogated separately,” Chief Bulk stated. He expected the argument to stop there.
“Not gonna happen. Initial interview goes on with the three of us or we’re not talking.” I conceded enough for one day. This was my last stand, not my last fold. To hell with the suits if they didn’t get that!
“Who do you think you are?” Bulk number two’s voice came from my right so I turned a bit, hoping I wouldn’t look like a fool.
“I’m an asset, until proven otherwise.” Arguing with a hood on my head would go on my list of awkward conversations for sure. “You wouldn’t even know about this case if it weren’t for me and you wouldn’t have a trail to follow if I ran.”
“You’re an assassin.” Chief Bulk grabbed my arm and shook me. His bad breath seeped through my hood. My personal bubble shivered with disgust and annoyance. “Be grateful you’re not in handcuffs.”
Enough.
I grabbed his arm and dropped to the ground. Weight and surprise dragged him down. I rolled before he fell over me. Momentum stunned him and fueled my acrobatics. I pulled his arm behind his back as I straddled him. A breath later, his own gun pressed against his temple.
“Bang,” I whispered in his ear. He could push back, on the off chance that it would destabilize me enough for me to miss. With all the muscle enhancers he had, he would probably win. But he wouldn’t, just as I didn’t shoot.
I spun the gun and presented it handle first to whoever had stepped closer. I rocked back on my shins and was up and away from my temporary prisoner in one swift motion. I pulled my hood off.
“I’m a handcrafted killing machine who’s got nothing to lose. And I’m here to help. Don’t press your luck and I won’t press mine.”
Vexx and Gabriel obediently stood still, hoods in place. Two other agents had joined our drivers but besides that, there was no one to be seen in the wide room with slopes in lieu of stairs. Chief Bulk pulled himself off the ground with an ‘I’m intently listening to the chip in my head’ face. The bosses watched the whole scene and I tensed while the votes were being compiled.
“Yes sir.” The glare I received once the discussion ended relieved my stress; I won this round and Chief Bulk hated it. “Agent Walker, you may pull off your hood. I guess the other guy won’t want to.”
“I’m quite comfortable as I am,” Vexx said. He jumped when I wrapped my arm around his. He angled his head closer to mine. “You’re definitely a nutjob. Thanks.”
“Please follow me.”
On a signal, the muscles returned to whatever they did when they weren’t threatening prisoners. Chief Bulk guided us to a wall that beeped open at our approach. The secret elevator behind it dropped us pass the floors an earthquake shattered years ago, condemning the parking garage. It was too obsolete for the city to fix.
We exited in a hallway. Our guide led us to a conference room. A continental breakfast acted as a centerpiece on the table. There were enough chairs to sit an army and no one-sided mirrors.
“You’ll have breakfast here and executives will join you later.”
Chief slammed the door shut behind us. The lock clicked in place.
“Oh well. Can’t win everything.” I parked Vexx on chair and ran my hand along the walls. Understanding that I sought a holographic projection disguising a window, Gabriel stepped on the table to swipe the ceiling.
“Is it safe?” Vexx said.
“Sweeping for surveillance equipment.”
“I doubt we’ll find any. This is very off the record.” Despite his comment, Gabriel kept sweeping until every inch of the room had been checked.
“You can show your face,” I said.
“It would have been faster if they didn’t steal my backpack.”
“First thing out of the bag is a snarky remark. Really?” My scolding made Vexx blush.
Of a common, wordless accord, we began eating our emotions.

22a – Numbers >>

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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 – 21c – Nerves

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