Do you ever miss the old days?”
“What? You mean you don’t like doing ridiculous surveillance slash retrieval jobs on shitbag port hubs?” He responded with a sigh, as he secured the strap to his gun.
“Not especially,” she said mostly to herself. “But hey this is better than the Kinsley retrieval.”
“Eh! Don’t remind me. It’s still too soon to talk about that lunatic.”
“Well at least that lunatic knows how to pay.” She said with a relieved roll of her shoulders. “For once a client went with the deposit, and final payment on time.” She then adjusted her skirt, and admired the brand new boots.
Her companion smirked at this, and leaned back against the pod wall. They were still a few minutes from reaching the surface in the elevator. “Why bring up the past now? You haven’t mentioned home in years.”
She brushed down her skirt, and stood to look out the window. “Oh you know. Just missing the carefree days.”
“Heh. Carefree… What is that?” He chuckled a little to himself with this, as he rubbed his tired brow.
“Well anyway…” She began, seeing the elevator pick up pace. “I’ll scope out the west port terminals. You stick to the local bars.”
“Right. I have a few leads on some hangouts.”
“Well…” She held the hand rail, seeing the ground lock light engage. “I’ll keep you posted.”
As the elevator doors opened they went their separate ways, and disappeared into the crowd.
Hours later, within the crowds of The Greasy Jazz Tavern, the quintessential seedy bar of the Delfi galaxy sector. The same woman from earlier pushed her way toward the back corner booth. The music was loud, and concealed most of the arguments taking place over the various game tables. As she walked, the dim lighting hit her glossy hair, and an occasional glint of light shined off her knee high leather boots. Finding an opening in the crowd, she darted over to the table in the far corner. At this table sat her partner, with his hat pulled low over his brow. She swooped into the booth seat across from him,
leaned over the table, and kissed him on the cheek. Then whispered in his ear, “seems like your lead was correct. Our target will be heading to the drop point within the hour.” Her companion cracked a smile with this, and pulled her in for a real kiss. Then, as he pulled away, he cupped the sides of her face. “Good. I have singled out the three possible leads here,” he said, showing off his handsome smile of greeting in return. Releasing her he slid over a drink, with a napkin stuck under it.
With finesse, she held the napkin down with her right hand, and picked up the drink with her left. As she took a sip, she glanced at his hand drawn map, with three booths circled. “So what now?” She questioned crumpling up the napkin, and pulling in close to him across the table by his lapel. She nuzzled the side of his face then whispered in his ear. “We can’t very well start a shootout in the bar. There are too many people, and I don’t want to get blood on my new boots.”
He bit his lower lip with her last remark. Just as he was about to pull her into another kiss, he noticed their target walk through the front door. Settling for a peck on the cheek, he pushed her back to sit, and took up his glass to finish his drink. He held the glass up to the dim light, using it as a guise for his real interest. Spying several reflective mirrors, and only two cameras, he dipped his head in confirmation. “Care to dance?”
She arched her right eyebrow at this, but nonetheless agreed.
As he stood, the dim light shined on his holstered gun on his hip. “You think you can remember the steps?” She asked, accepting his hand. “We shall see.” He gave her a quick wink, and pulled her up. As they made their way to the center of the dance floor, the band began to play a Jazz blend.
Their watchful eyes were well hidden in the midst of their dance. To the eyes of onlookers, they were a young couple enthralled with one another as they danced. But in actuality this was a well rehearsed surveillance technique they learned from years in their line of work. Looking over her shoulder, he discovered their target’s accomplice, who was also paying a great deal of attention to them. In observing a nod of their target’s head, he knew their cover was blown.
“We may have a problem.” He whispered in her ear seconds before he dropped her into a dip. She shot him a quick peevish look. “Are you armed?” He questioned with little care for whoever heard. Again the peevish face, followed by a roll of her eyes in response. She then pulled up her knee to his side, and he placed his hand over her thigh holster. “Right well....”
The music hit a high note, and with it she dropped down, and grabbed at his weapon, as he simultaneously pulled her concealed weapon. Two shots rang over the music and hit their targets, causing a wave of pandemonium of fleeing patrons, and eventually the incoming security officers.
“Check them for the chip! I’ll watch your back.”
“I’m on it!” She yelled in return, as she tossed his weapon over to him, and pushed her way toward the two dead men, and began to go through their pockets. Patting down hard on the informant’s chest, she noticed an odd object. Ripping open his vest, she found a small glass vial with a chip inside. “I got it!”
“Good. Let’s get out of here.” He said between shots, from behind an upturned table.
They pushed their way through fleeing patrons as gunshots echoed throughout the space.
“Seems they don’t care if they hit innocent bystanders.” He said pulling her around the corner just barely missing a stray bullet.
“Guess not.” She mused looking down at a wounded civilian clutching his chest in the fetal position on the ground.
“Stop where you are, and come out with your hands up! We don’t need any more bloodshed.” Yelled officer Nim, from the dance floor.
Seeing the wounded civilian begin to twitch, and finally expire, they both looked at each other, then at the side exit. With a nod of agreement, they pushed off the wall and sprinted down the hall. Officers piled down the same hall after them, showering them with bullets. Bullets ricocheted off the wall and ceiling, grazing their arms and legs. As they reached the door he pushed her forward and out of the way, seconds before a bullet shot through the center of his back, severing his spine. With the momentum of this shot, he fell through the doorway and toppled over her.
“Hurry! Get up!”
“I can’t, I can’t move!”
“What do you mean you can’t move?” She pulled him forward and looked at his back. “Shit!”
“Just relax!” She got up and lifted her skirt, revealing another holster, on her opposite leg, with a Multitool Pistol. She ran to the door and forced it closed as she shot at the seam, welding it shut in seconds. “This will not hold long!”
“Why can’t I move?!” He asked in a state of panic.
“Just relax and try to stay awake. We can fix this.” She raised her shaky right wrist up, and pushed at the blue stone on her bracelet. A screen projected from it, and she quickly typed in an SOS order to their team. Looking up for a split second, she saw her partner start to nod off. “Hey! I told you, stay awake!”
“I’m so tired and cold.”
“I know, I know, but you need to stay awake.”
His eyes then fell shut hard, and he began to shake slightly.
“Dammit! Stay awake! You can’t fall asleep! Jack! JACK!”