War Machine

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The Opera

I held Anna's hand as we flew over Dubai, we could see the toppled Burj Khalifa. It was once a monument to human genius and architecture, but it was now just a picked out skeleton, left to the dregs of humans. I could see the occasional flash of color inside the ruins, scavengers trying to find an ever smaller cache of valuables. Anna tapped my shoulder, and pointed out towards the water, where the islands were almost drowned, neglected. Dubai had been hit the hardest, with the millions needed to maintain the superstructures and different attractions. Though the money was generated through tourism, which had all but become extinct, as no one except the extremely rich had the money to travel, or even the money to stay alive.

The once vibrant city had become a shadow of itself, the bustling roads became almost abandoned. As we descended into the airport I noticed that of the many gates there were, only three seemed to have been used at anytime in the last few decades. Different sorts of plants and trees had been pushing in on the tarmac, as it was with the rest of the now half green city. It gave it a sort of ethereal beauty, one that something could only get after being reclaimed by nature. I searched for our hotel, finding it near the Burj ruins, the Ramada Downtown Dubai. It was also somewhat being reclaimed by nature, with odd vines scaling up the walls, though some parts of the vine had been cut away, probably for the rooms that were still in use.

Anna untangled her fingers from mine and checked one last time in her duffel, going through all her gear and clothes. I huffed, trying to cover up my chuckling, she had for some reason been doing that since we had left Hell's Gate. We had already come up with a plan, it was pretty much the original that we had made, but with a few tweaks. Our targets were Mr and Mrs Winston, a pair of crime syndicates, hoping to take the Saudi Arabian Peninsula, as it was disorganized, and had a pitifully weak ruler. As far as we could tell, their plan was to find a group of capable and cutthroat syndicates and take out the ruler, putting a puppet in his stead. Then they would control the area, probably turning it into a wasteland, sucked of all life by their greed.

Now, we were also planning on taking out the weak ruler and putting in a person that would cooperate with us. But we had a extremely less greedy reason for doing so, as we needed the area to set a bit of a stage, which would also help boost the wealth and lives in the Peninsula. I jerked back as the wheels hit the ground, bumping us up slightly. I looked at Anna, who had returned to looking out the window, I looked towards the building, only the sections used had been kept nice, everything else had been neglected, the windows looked as if they'd gone through one too many dust storms. I sighed an lifted my duffel onto my lap, I leaned over and gave a quick kiss to Anna, making her smile and follow suit.

We walked out onto the tarmac and strode through the gate, finding the rental car area. We settle for something generic, but somewhat expensive looking, as we didn't want to stand out when we would arrive at the Opera house. We drove to the hotel, and checked in, sighing as we closed the door to our suite. I let my duffel fall to the floor as I slid the glass balcony door open, and stepped out, feeling the light breeze in the hot air. The sun was just beginning to slip down below the horizon, soon disappearing behind the buildings that stood like trees.

I sat in the chair beside me, and started to doze off as I studied the buildings, finding every crack, or trace of lush green. I looked up as I heard the door slide open behind me, Anna rested her hand on my shoulder and went to sit in the chair beside me. Almost immediately she began to fall asleep, softly snoring as her head went further and further back onto the chair. I chuckled to myself as her thoughts meddled with mine, this time she started to dream about a sphinx, which was doing something mildly odd. After that it got too murky, so all I could do was experience her feelings.

I listened to the orchestra tuning up as I changed into servers clothes. My shoulder bumped into Anna's as I leaned over to tie my newly acquired shoes, I glanced at her and smiled. I finished up, and straightened the uniform out, turning around I sighed as I looked at the two servers who were propped against the wall, unconscious. Quietly going over where I had stashed my weapons in my head Anna tapped my shoulder. I glanced at her, she motioned to where her hands were holding her bun in place.

I chuckled, Anna was unused to the style of buns that the servers here used. She was fine with the normal sort of bland one that was uniform at Hell's Gate, but this style was intricate. As was most things in this opera house, it was for the guest's visual pleasure. I continued my list as my fingers moved through her hair, having been practicing for an hour I had gotten decent at this style. Finally we were both ready, we stepped out into the utility corridor and locked the sort of closet that we had just come out of.

I cursed to myself silently as one of the managers turned the corner and faced us. I could tell even from here that he was immensely pissed off, his face almost beet red. He strode towards us, like a lion stalking an injured gazelle, the look of viciousness startling me. I had only seen that look on the battlefield."You two. Even though you're new hires, you're already running off to God knows where and having a little fun, huh?" I acted the part of the scared newbie, Anna was slightly annoyed though, and seemed to push the line with the man.

I tried to get her to stop, but I quickly didn't have to, as the manager finally seemed to have vented all of his anger and let us go. I could feel his beady eyes on my back as we quickly walked, finally turning the corner Anna let out a little giggle as I shook my head, defeated. We strode through the kitchen, picking up platters with small cakes on them, we wandered through the crowd. Keeping an eye on each other and for our targets, she spotted them before me. She jerked her head towards them when she had caught my attention.

I nodded and subtly started to make my way towards them, and before long I was practically riding their ass. Anna stood almost on the opposite end, and had definitely gained the attention of Mr. Winston. I found my hand inching closer and closer to my knife, wanting to rip him apart. But I couldn't as Anna needed to get him alone and torture him herself, and we were supposed to be discreet. The orchestra had by now tuned up and began to play, starting out with a absolute classic, Beethoven's 5th.

I quietly hummed the music as I methodically worked out my plan of getting close. The moment I finished it I began, I walked quickly towards the troubled coupled and pretended to trip, dropping the cakes and the platter. They both stepped back, startled, I fumbled about, repeating "I'm very sorry, so sorry." Until I maneuvered my way to face Mrs. Winston. I righted myself, keeping my eyes just slightly lowered, giving her a glimpse of my manicured face, but seeming out of place.

I knew it had worked since Anna began to become tense, her territorial side coming out, just as mine did. I felt a little giddy, as I always did whenever I could feel her love. It quickly abated as we refocused back on the two targets. I retreated quickly, playing the part of a scared servant, but I felt a hand on my shoulder. I looked up to Mrs. Winston, her eyes burning with a sort of seductive fierceness. She was beautiful, her features were sharp as a knife, she was definitely descended from nobility.

"Here, you can help me get cleaned up." Her voice sounded like champagne. Her eyes still had that glint, so I agreed to help her. I glanced at Mr. Winston, who shrugged nonchalantly, his eyes set on Anna. I felt a soft rumble in my chest, almost like a dog whenever they feel threatened. Both the Winstons' knew they were both cheating, but stayed together out of shared knowledge and the remains of past love.

I followed Mrs. Winston towards the side door, which would lead to the hallway for private rooms and offices. As soon as we passed through the door and was out of site she held my hand, gripping it tightly as if she hadn't been fucked in a few weeks. Which she probably hadn't. She picked up her pace as she led me to a private room, which also happened to be soundproof. She unbuckled my belt with astounding quickness and started to pull my pants down.

I somewhat panicked at this and instinctively went down and kissed her, bringing her back up to standing. She started to rub against me, though as I hate to say it it kinda felt good, I tried to distract her through this for as long as I could. But then again, it did feel good. In the back of my head I could feel Anna's apprehension also, I tried to mentally comfort her, saying that it was for the good of millions. She reluctantly agreed and sort of checked out mentally, trying to get lost in pleasure.

I froze as the mindless pleasure turned into fear and panic. I heard a soft yell through the walls, and I pulled my knife out, stabbing it deep into Mrs. Winston's chest. I gave a small smile of regret,"Sorry ma'am, I was going to let you have a bit more fun and get more intoxicated. But it seems your husband is getting rough with my girl." She stared back in shock, her feeble brain trying to process the knife in her chest.

I stepped back, letting the knife slide out, and watched her slump down to the ground. She was almost dead, and couldn't feel anything at this point, so I didn't bother slitting her throat. I ran out of the room, bursting into the hallway, panickly looking down both ways. I went with my gut and ran to my right, busting down every door until I came to the one where I saw Mr. Winston trying his best to fuck Anna. I froze, anger enveloping my entire body and consciousness. I stepped forward, pulling out an M9, the man turned around, panting, "I told yo-" He began, before I aimed and fired at his knee.

He cried out as he fell to the ground, his pants hanging loosely, I looked at him coldly as he sobbed quietly. Again I aimed and fired, this time into his hip, I aimed at his other knee, but looked up as Anna grabbed my shoulder. In my anger I hadn't noticed her get up off the table, she shook her head telling me no. I gritted my teeth, desperately wanting to make this man pay dearly. Finally I mastered my emotion, pushing it down to the depths of my thoughts, I would work it out later, maybe on a punching bag or a tire.

"You know, Mr. Winston, it is extremely rude and despicable to try to rape a woman. You got what you deserved." I said, before putting a round into the side of his head. I holstered the M9 and turned to Anna, hugging her tightly, thanking God that she was fine. I picked my head up off her shoulders as I heard yelling down the hallway. I internally groaned, this was going to be tough to get out of.

Anna straightened her uniform, following my lead. I poked my head out slightly, looking down the hallway I found out that they were at the room I was in, making a commotion over Mrs. Winston's body. I thought about it for a second and came up with a plan of attack,"Follow my lead." I whispered to Anna before rushing out into the hallway, pulling a mask of panic over me. "Help! There's a crazy guy over there!" I yelled, pointing behind me. The guards jumped a bit, but quickly gained their composure and made sure we were fine, then ran off down the hallways, leaving us behind.

Anna glanced at me and giggled as we made our way back to the main area. The orchestra had stopped playing now, and were frantically packing up their instruments. The guests were quietly talking among themselves, like scared sheep in a pen. Anna and I held each other's hands as we pushed through the crowd towards the exits. We stopped and looked around for any other exits as we noticed that the main one was blocked by two guards.

We groaned aloud as we found that all of the exits were blocked, we didn't want to cause deaths for the Dubai police. We already knew how bad they had it in this shit hole. We looked around for any other ways out. We noticed the amount of reinforcements that were piling in, making the two at each door six, all armed with rifles. Sometimes wanting to be nice was a bad idea, now we were screwed.

Guards began to walk through the crowd with pads, asking each person for their name and ID. To our annoyance we remembered that we never put our names anywhere that would allow us in here. We would be arrested if they found out, and, no one likes to look at dead people or the white walls of a cramped cell. So Anna and I began to make our way to the balconies overlooking the stage. The carpet had faint marks of where the chairs had been ripped out, making way for a large floor for exec. meetings or parties.

We began to see the mangled steel of the toppled Burj Khalifa, on the North side of the Opera. We walked to the glass facing the skyscraper, studying the beams that stuck out haphazardly. Anna tapped me, jerking her head to one that was close enough to jump on. I nodded and we backed up a bit, preparing to break through the glass and jump. We froze as we heard the faint click of a safety being disengaged,"Put your hands up and turn around slowly." The voice was a ways behind us, just ahead of the top of the stairs.

I glanced at Anna, shrugging, bets were that the guard couldn't shoot for shit anyways. Plus he'd break the glass ahead of us, so we wouldn't have to cut up our shoulders. We sprinted forward, not even flinching as the bullets flew over our heads and into the glass. The glass shattered inches in front of us, clearing the way. Our feet landed firmly on the warped steel beams, we dashed upwards, navigating through the metal jungle.

Rounds pinged next us, steadily getting closer and closer. We crested the top, jumping out of sight, but as usual, not everything went perfect. Anna hissed as a bullet hit her skin, but it was shallow, only leaving a semi large scrape in her side. She stumbled, almost losing her balance on the metal, I caught her, pulling her against me in a hug. I was now leaning towards killing the dude, but my discipline kicked in. I took a breath as I leaped off the toppled skyscraper, plunging thirty feet to the ground below.

And a perfect landing, 10 out of 10, if I do say so myself. Anna grunted as I accidentally pressed my stomach into her wound, I let off it and released Anna. She held onto me and we jogged away from the opera house, we entered back into the Burj after looping around for a while, finding a nook. I laid my vest down on the steel, giving a feeble sense of comfort, then laid her down on it. We rested there for the rest of the night, as I tried to bandage her up the best I could with a shirt.

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