Killing Time OST – 24b – Remission

<< 24a – Remission

Two days later, I saw Vexx’s new FBI-issued fake face with my ultra high-definition, super observant eyes. By then, my body had grown used to its new features, thanks to a lot of sparing with Gabriel. I had prided myself on my ability to rely on all my senses when fighting and had brawled more then once with my vision impaired or nulled. But the recent jousts were nothing like that. My precision, strength and overall instinct in fighting blind knocked me on my ass like the whole team of guards never could.
It grew exponentially once Vexx green lit the use of my eyes.
I simply never had that much reflex before. My retinas not only transmitted information but also pre-analyzed the visual input, which effectively sped up my brain’s process once it received said input. Nanoseconds really. But when one’s whole body won nanoseconds of efficiency on every single process it ran and actions it took, one seemed to be a second ahead of everyone.
The combination of healing agents and the tech maximizing my metabolism eliminated every residual wound from the operation by the morning of the third post-coma day, a week before I would have to storm the castle. There was no reason to hold back anymore.
“Pit me against an army,” I said when I joined the boys for breakfast in the main cafeteria. I mainly addressed my two official trainers, Vexx and Gabriel, but all the other conversations stopped.
Vexx frowned. “Good morning to you too.”
“I’m serious.” I caught the apple Ben threw me from three tables over and sat in front of my doctor. “Training’s good but I’ve read the files. Some Merrilyn Tech guys are nearly as juiced as me. And there’s a bunch of lesser goons running along with them.”
Vexx shook his head. He’d have to give up on his white knight idea of protecting me. He shouldn’t have developed it in the first place. Damned tech-induced convalescence!
“You should probably get to a shooting range too,” Gabriel said. I missed my training room. “What exactly do you expect as ‘an army’?”
I took a bite in my apple. Halfway through the parental approval. I shrugged.
“Drop me in the middle of Quantico and pretend I’m a Most Wanted? Oh wait!” I giggled. I hoped they wouldn’t hear the lie behind my so-called joy. The chuckles of our spectators camouflaged my duplicity.
“With her ego, call in the Air Force,” Ben murmured to his table. He spoke too low for Vexx and Gabriel’s normal hearing to pick up on it. But he knew I heard.
“Right! She’ll head-butt the jets right outta the sky,” another man said.
“Yeah,” Gabriel teased, unaware of the considerably more annoying jokes being made, “plucking you at Quantico would definitely help our secret operation.”
No one would ask question about the freakishly hot chick who tore them a new one,” yet another nameless soldier commented; I simply refused to pull everyone’s file while I was in here. Though the current rudeness might change my mind.
“’Scuse me, nurse. When can I give the girl who beat me up a booty call?” Number Two added. The boys laughed and a series of similar one liners erupted.
“Guys,” I growled. The amusement deflated as the soldiers didn’t wish to test the true extent of my deadliness. Vexx and Gabriel looked around, realizing they missed something. I cleared my throat to draw back their attention. “Just get me whatever you can. The access to a shooting range isn’t arguable.”
Gabriel nodded. “I’ll see what I can do.”
“I wish I could just program you something for the training room,” Vexx said, echoing my earlier thought.
“There’s nothing familiar in this swansong.”
I threw my apple’s core in the garbage ten meters away. It went straight in without any conscious aiming on my part. I doubted I would miss a target ever again but I couldn’t afford to first test that theory in Merrilyn’s lobby.
I realized Vexx was looking at me intently, as if he tried to peer into my soul. I smiled and stood.
“Anyone needs a refill?”
Vexx handed me his empty coffee cup but his stare didn’t flinch. I ignored it and went to the counter to choose myself a real breakfast.
“She just meant it was her last assassination,” Gabriel said to Vexx once he thought I was out of hearing range.
“Yeah. Sure.”
I shook my head. Vexx had let Gabriel in on the same warning he repeated to me several times before the operation: even if there wasn’t any physical complication, there was no telling how such a drastic change in my body would affect my psyche. Especially given the fiddling that had already been done to it and my hatred for technology.
Rejection. It wasn’t uncommon.
I tapped M.U.S behind my ear before I continued creating my breakfast plate. I had insisted on the chip remaining my original one. No upgrade. That was the one thing Vexx and I didn’t argue about.
“White noise,” I thought and the virtual radio obeyed. I liked white noise.
I heard Ben approach but decided to ignore him too.
“The deadline’s making you all broody,” he topped his cup and filled Vexx’s and mine while I scooped up some eggs. “I’ve seen it plenty of times. Soldiers before the shooting starts.”
Crazy how I’d moved from criminal to be executed to equally respectable servant of our country in Ben’s mind. All over the course of two weeks. “I’m not afraid of pain. Or death.”
Vexx would have replied: “Maybe that’s the problem.”
“Not saying you are. Just don’t forget your people.” Ben punched my shoulder and returned to his table.
I grinned. Everyone worried, expected me to collapse or fail. It was kind of insulting. And they were all wrong. Even Vexx.
Putting in the technology hadn’t broken me. Nor would the deadline.
There was nothing left to break.

24c – Remission >>


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

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