Friday, July 29, 2011

Without You - Chapter 25: Insignia

Unlike Gyruss
These wicked warriors
Have screws loose
In all the right places
Creeley hisses
Fogging the lens
Of the camera
Tabitha Hayne
Step forward

A woman in light body armor
And a mirrored visor
Enters the spotlight
The murky breath
Around her
Leaving behind
A ghostly aura

A killer body
If I ever saw one
Captured and recycled
By yours truly
Trust me
It wasn’t easy
A lot of spunk
In this one

She’s a Russian model
One of many
In the DC area
Her cell
Was supposed to go live
Three months after The Departure
Of course
The Republic beat her to it

I’ve archived the details
Of her mission
In case you’re interested
Her instruction set’s limited
She’s meant to slit your throat
Not bake a cake
Unlike our other crony over there
Creeley glared at Gyruss

On the other hand
Was born and bred in the U.S.A.
Yet another defunct Black Ops project
Incorporating synthetics
Into the battlefield
He’s a skilled field medic
But don’t let his charming looks fool you
He’ll pull out your fingers
With a pair of pliers
While playing
A relaxing game of chess

The spotlight moved over to a third man
Broad and grizzled
Not an ounce of fat
On his massive frame

Looks like this one
Eats glass for breakfast
Wressen chuckles

Pure brute strength
That’s what 90,000 credits buys you
Says Creeley
No idea
What language he speaks
Some gibberish
I’ve never heard before
The only thing
I’ve been able to decipher
Is his name

You really do
Surprise me
Invest some time
In a little product knowledge
For a change
Will you
Wressen scolds him

Remember the headlines
A few years back
About an unmanned settlement on Mars
Perhaps that part of your cranium
Was removed too

The colony is still there
Not skeletons yet
But soon shall be
The last traces of life
On that rusty rock
Long since departed

You can’t understand
What he’s saying
Because his words are encrypted
Only members
Of his elite team
Can decipher them

I don’t know
How you snared him
But there could be
A treasure trove of intel
If we unravel the code

Hear that K-mart shoppers?
A treasure trove
Creeley beams

If we can break the code
Wressen reiterates
Even so
All this
Could be academic
Most autonomous systems
Still in operation
Are located in Valtryst
You’ll need at least one
To pilot a ship to Mars

In addition
The Republic
Moved their manufacturing
To the moon’s surface
The vital pieces we need
Just a world away
Could be gold mine
With the right guide
And a means to get there

I suspect you intercepted
The Chief of Security
For the Mars mission
Not bad
Next time
Aim a little higher
Up the food chain

Are you a buyer or seller Mr. Wight?
Ignatius asks
Cause if you’re a buyer
Like the rest of us
Then shut the fuck up
So we can get out of here

Not until I know more about her
Wressen points at me
I’ve had my eye on this one all evening
Why are you holding back Creeley?
Are you saving her for yourself?

I almost forgot
Thanks for reminding me
Last but not least
The lovely Leiland

An ovular craft
Floats down from above
Lights flashing
Like an amusement park ride
A series of tubes and cables
Snaking out Creeley’s back
A metal brace
Holding him in place
With stumps for an arm and two legs
He sits atop a silver throne
Flipping switches
And redirecting
A giant hydraulic arm

He plucks me from the wall
And sets me
In the center of the stage
The gathering of eight eyeing me
With curious intent

What’s so special about her?
Wressen asks

Creeley grins

If you are trying to peddle
Another one of your escorts
You should have done so
In the previous phase
Wressen ran his fingers
Through his ivory hair
What the hell
Why not?
Let’s see what she’s got
Remove her clothes

Remove your clothes
Creeley parrots

You first
The words spill out of me
Without a stutter

And refreshing
Wressen swallows a mouthful of Merlot
He removes his shades
And gazes at me
With his icy blue eyes
Another gift
From an unwilling donor
Put a muzzle on her
And strip her bare!

Says Creeley

The assassin lunges forward
And knocks me to the ground
Riding me like a bull
As she tears off my shirt
And exposes my back
Abruptly she stops
And recoils

Is that what I think it is?
Wressen stares at the monitor
Gold and silver markings
Tattooed on my shoulder
It’s the first time
I’ve seen it myself
The mark of The Republic
He utters
One million credits

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