November 18, 2018 at 8:40 pm #10988
Misery froze in midstrike, the picture of athletic grace. She promptly ruined it, however, by falling flat on her cute little tush as she overbalanced, and she looked at Fox and stuck her tongue out. ”Buzzkill.” she said, stifling a laugh. She brushed herself off and stood, rolling her shoulders and peeling off her top, revealing a sports bra and a great deal of pale skin, with a tribal sun tattoo around her navel, glowing a deep amber.
Drying the sweat from her skin with the removed workout tank, she looked at Foxglove and smiled. ”I didn’t realize you were a martial artist.” Looking at her cyberware, the full-body musculature, the blades or spikes along her arms, the bone lacing, and a few other enhancements, it was pretty obvious Foxglove was both a warrior and used to getting up close. Naturally, she’d want to be more effective, so of course she’d have some training. ”I guess I should have, though. I mean, just look at you.”
Letting the top fall to her side, Misery strode over to Fox. ”Plenty of time for lessons while we’re at sea.” She opined. She glanced back at the car with body in the trunk, then casually asked, ”How’d you sleep?”November 18, 2018 at 9:33 pm #10989
”Not as much as I should be,” Foxglove admitted in response to Misery’s martial artist comment. She hated that she hadn’t devoted as much time to her personal improvement as she used to, but perhaps the Banshee was right: the boat would be the perfect time to learn and improve. Maybe something they could both learn, if Misery wasn’t dedicated to the one she had just picked up. Though, Fox had to admit that Hapsum-Do was probably the best fitting for the mage. She couldn’t very well teach her what she knew, since Misery didn’t have the knee and elbow spurs used in Sangre Y Acero, and Foxglove couldn’t learn “Spirit-Punch Technique” since she didn’t have any talent for the Astral.
She’d have to think on it…and maybe bring it up later.
The Nocturna gave a shrug to the question, quietly noting the glance back at one of the cars. ”Well enough.” She stated, not wanting to bother the girl with her usual issues with coffin motels, how small they were, and how every little sound came through the thin walls and set her on edge. They hadn’t exactly had much of a choice, considering funds and location, and Fox had had her fair share of sleeping in drek places. Really, she should be used to it by now.
She’d gotten enough rest to continue through the day, and that’s what mattered. Besides, she should probably figure out what Misery had done to see whether they should worry about it or not.
Foxglove glanced down at Misery’s new threads, then twitched her head toward them, ”New clothes?”
#24-8November 18, 2018 at 10:25 pm #10996
Misery shrugged, looking away. ”Last owner didn’t need ’em anymore, and that yellow dress was pretty damned eye-catching.” She drummed her fingers on her thigh and ran a hand through her hair. She didn’t really want to tell Fox that she’d started her day off killing a man. It wasn’t that she was ashamed, ‘cuz frag that guy, but more that she didn’t want Fox to think she was a murder-happy psycho.
Misery met Fox’s gaze again, noted the set of her shoulders and the look on her face. She glanced back at the coffin doss, then back to her hard-edged companion. ”You don’t like these places either, huh?” Misery laughed. ”Think of how it looks with me! I mean, what kind of self-respecting infected sleeps in a coffin?” Her joviality dropped away. There was a chance to learn here, if she was willing to press a little.
Foxglove was her only companion in an unfriendly world, and more importantly, was her ticket to the other side of the country. She had a little money, sure, but no contacts, no experience. She’d get back, but it was a long ass way to Europe or the UCAS, and it could take a long time and she’d leave a lot of dead bodies fighting her way through the morass.
But traveling with an unknown? An unknown with a million in SOTA ‘ware, no name other than a street handle, and no team? That could be just as dangerous and a hell of a lot faster in terms of ways to die.
”Claustrophobia, nightmares, or prison that make you hate these places?” Misery asked casually. She turned and gestured, a mute sort of “shall we” look accompanying it.November 18, 2018 at 11:24 pm #10997
Foxglove blinked once, almost a flinch but not quite, taken aback with the surprise of being so easily read. Who was this girl? Usually people either couldn’t see past her usual flat expression, or didn’t want to look close enough to for fear of getting their head ripped off.
She recovered quickly, however, glancing at the gesturing hand before moving her gaze back to her color-altered eyes. ”Years of training, instinct, and being on the run. I don’t like not having full range of motion or hearing people moving outside my door.” She paused a moment, considering moving with Misery as the unspoken gesture had suggested, but then decided against it for the moment.
”So,” she began, looking pointedly at the car and her tone eerily like a mother’s asking her child something she already knows about, ”what did you do?” Considering how much fresher Misery appeared, her dodging of Fox’s question about the clothes, the new Alice Band with the new tutorsoft she’d been using to learn Hapsum-Do, and her nervous glancing toward that car, Foxglove already had a pretty good idea as to what had happened. Hell, she’d done it, herself, once.
Well…more than once.
Well…without the bloodsucking.
It was close enough.
#25-8November 21, 2018 at 12:35 am #11082
Misery pursed her lips more tightly and looked away. ”Breakfast happened.” She said tightly. She crossed her arms and turned her back, upset with herself for being so obvious. She was a better liar than this, had a better poker face. Just one more skill she’d have to re-learn, one more thing she’d lost along with her memory. She could remember being able to crook a finger and spin a story and get anyone to believe anything, but not anymore. Now she couldn’t even lie to someone who didn’t know her.
But now the cat was out of the bag. Better to come clean with Foxglove now than to have it clouding their relationship forever, however long “forever” might be. Exhaling slowly through her nose, Misery explained, ”I came out here looking for a drink, since Istanbul’s police presence is a little high. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one on the prowl.” She gestured at the yellow car. ”Creep. Thought I was easy prey. I went in for a drink and he dragged me into the back seat with him.” She paused a moment, then added, ”He’s in the trunk, drained dry and covered in a gallon of bleach.”November 21, 2018 at 4:10 pm #11100
Fox listened in silence, her expression its usual mask. Only to lighten, slightly, as she nodded in appreciation of Misery’s methods. ”Good work with the bleach.”
With her answer obtained, she began walking in the direction her new companion had motioned toward previously. Considering how Misery had described the man, and the drek state of the part of town they were in, Foxglove doubted there would be anyone nosing around anytime soon. Certainly not until after they were back on the road, possibly not even until they exited the country…but still. ”Should be fine there, for a while, but we might want to head out soon even so.” Foxglove slipped her hands into her jacket pockets out of habit, becoming strangely comfortable around the Banshee and looking over to her with her next words. ”Anything else of use in there?” She asked, twitching her head back toward the corpse-car again.
#26-9November 21, 2018 at 9:12 pm #11114
Misery gestured at the cheap duffel. ”Couple more sets of clothes. The trodes. Some drugs, mostly downers and that magical ecstasy stuff the creeps like to give pretty girls to make ’em horny.” She looked longingly at the bag. There were days where she really missed the ability to swallow fun things. A diffident raise of one shoulder, not even really a shrug, and she continued, ”A few chips. Guy was magically active, but he didn’t have any paraphernalia except a few dozen grams of grave dirt and powdered bone, and he was a pretty drek spellworm besides.”
Misery looked Foxglove up and down. She was a little surprised at how…unsurprised, Fox was. No criticism, no anger, nothing but a nod of approval and a comment about their timetable. Why? Why so comfortable Even the hardest of ‘runners would balk at a vampire’s eating habits. Most did, and loudly, right before they shot or stabbed her kind for the bounty.
But not this one. Even poor, on the run, somewhere on the spectrum of shit-scared, furious, and tired, she didn’t so much as twitch. It reminded her of another memory, long ago and only yesterday, just a few words of acceptance from a broken woman in a broken bed, bleeding and horrified and still compassionate, still trying for Misery’s sake.
Tears welled up in Misery’s eyes and rolled down her cheeks. Mutely, she gestured toward the Phoenix.November 22, 2018 at 12:44 am #11115
Foxglove paused, watching the tears fall and briefly wondering what had happened. Perhaps Misery was finally feeling the effects of her ordeal. Maybe it was another one of those memory things. Either way, the Razor With The Steel Core began to feel that core softening slightly.
No one should have to go through this drek.
The elf gave a light sigh, pulling that day’s pack of cigarettes from her pocket. She opened it and thumbed the filters until only one was singled out, then offered the Gauloises to Misery. She then took one for herself, replaced the pack with her keys with one hand and lit the cigarette with the zippo in the other as they neared her Phoenix. ”Got everything? I can grab something quick to eat and we can get the hell out of this drekhole.”
#27-9November 22, 2018 at 3:12 am #11122
Misery wiped her eyes, another flash of memory coming on the heels of Foxglove’s words.
Pax. Pax had offered her a cigarette, too, after everything. Pax. The doctor’s name was Pax. She had helped save…
Misery stood silent, shaking with the cigarette halfway to her lips for ten long seconds before the snatch of her life faded away and she dried her eyes again, then nodded and lit the smoke, drawing deeply. ”I’m good. Wearing everything I own, remember?” She tapped the top of the Phoenix gently, then frowned and raised one eyebrow as she noticed a well-defined print in the omnipresent dust that was on top of Fox’s car. It was shaped like…
Well, it was shaped like an ass. A cute ass, even.
Someone had sat on Fox’s car. Brave or stupid? Probably both, Misery decided. ”I don’t think I’d eat anything before we got out of Damascus, if I were you. This place looks like death warmed over, then allowed to congeal.” She looked up the road, in the direction of the border. ”Let’s buzz, Fox. Please?”November 22, 2018 at 1:50 pm #11143
Foxglove unlocked the car as she watched the frozen, shaking Misery. Watching to make sure the girl didn’t suddenly go super critical. She was relieved when the Banshee seemed to recover, and Fox cracked a small, amused smirk. ”I don’t know, you seem to have a talent for obtaining new clothes. Besides,” she added, opening the door, ”the dress was cute.”
She gave a light huff at the comment about the probable state of Damascus food, and nodded once in response to Misery’s request. ”Alright.” They climbed into the car, the engine roared to life, and the two elves left that drekhole behind.
Once they were back out onto the open road, the words from the woman of last night came back to Foxglove’s mind, causing a thought to surface. ”Hey, Miz, you know how to drive?”
#28-10November 22, 2018 at 7:50 pm #11150
Misery shot Foxglove a surprised look, then turned her eyes back to the road. Cute? She didn’t even think Foxglove noticed things like dresses or…cuteness. Presumably Fox had preferences, aesthetic, personal, sexual, whatever. It just hadn’t occurred to her to consider them. It was interesting, Misery reflected. Her tendency to use her looks as a combination weapon and icebreaker was damn near automatic, even without a memory of why. So why hadn’t she? Why not do her siren thing to Foxglove?
Misery frowned, shaken from that line of thought by Fox’s question. She considered for a second, trying to remember if she’d ever learned. She understood the basics, certainly. Gas, brake, e-brake, et cetera. Had she driven? She remembered a car, a black european monster. She’d ridden in it. Had she driven it?
Why can’t I remember anything?! She screamed silently to herself.
The tears started again, borne out of frustration as much as fear and sadness this time. They welled up and rolled down in crystal drops on her cheeks, glowing in the setting sun before she wiped them away with an angry pass of the back of her hand. She sniffed once, swallowed heavily, shook her head. ”Not..really.” She replied finally, her voice thick. ”I can do it, I know, enough not to wreck a car around town. But drive? Like really drive, like in the old flatvids?” She shook her head again, more forcefully. ”No. Especially not a stick.”November 22, 2018 at 9:19 pm #11151
Foxglove nodded as she considered Misery’s answer for a moment. Alright, at least she knew the basics, Fox could work with that. ”I can teach you, if you want.” She shifted into fifth, glancing over to her companion, ”Might be good to know. ‘Specially if you intend to stay in the Shadows.”
There was a long pause as another thought occurred to her. A touchy subject, probably, but it was better to know sooner than later. ”The crying thing. Is it because of the memory loss, or something else? I need to know in case you go critical.”
November 23, 2018 at 10:59 pm #11187
- This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by Foxglove.
Misery drew her head back, surprised. An offer to teach was not what she’d been expecting. No comment on her lack of what many considered a basic skill, no harsh words, not even her usual acerbic tone. It was almost…friendly.
Creepy. But in a sweet way.
Misery’s mouth quirked up and she bobbed her head. ”I’d like that. I’ve always enjoyed the lines of cars, especially the classics, you know, the thirties and forties. And I love racing and car trids. They remade ‘Gone in Sixty seconds’ back in ’71 with Gary Cline as Memphis and Bella Sora as Sway. It was the first one I ever watched, and I’ve been hooked ever since.” She grinned at the memory, one of her most intact, sitting in a gutted apartment in Lambeth with a cheap ‘link and disposable ‘trodes, listening to the engines roar over the Concrete Dreams and Maria Mercurial soundtrack. ”Eleanor was a Ford mustang of course, a ’29 Mach two, I think. What I remember though, is the opening car heist where they stole the…Mitsubishi Shadow, I think. One of the big twin-turbo motherfraggers. Always wanted that car.”
Then she went quiet, unsure of how to answer her second question. She didn’t really know herself, so how was she going to explain to Fox? She’d sound crazy. Or petty. Or just young, and she didn’t want to come off as a child to the hardened, experienced Nocturna.
On the other hand, Foxglove had been surprisingly understanding so far. And one of the things she missed the most was trust.
”Both.” Misery said finally, after close to a minute of silence. ”Its that I can remember pieces, but they’re not enough to give me anything. I…” She shook her head slowly, chewing on her lip. ”I loved someone. A woman, I think. I can remember a bit of her. Her laugh, a tattoo. I can remember that she was a musician. Mostly, I remember her hurt. A hospital bed, blood, broken bones, torture. Screaming.” The tears started, pouring this time, and she sobbed a little wracking sound, thick and wet. ”It w-w-was my f-fault.” She mopped at her eyes, her head and shoulders curling in until she was little more than a ball. ”After all that, she still loved me! And I can’t even remember her name!”November 24, 2018 at 1:45 am #11188
She frowned, memories of her own flooding back. Memories of a lover, a relationship that shouldn’t have been in the first place, a fling with a corp kid while running from a corporation, herself. A fling that had begun to become something more just in time for Halley’s Comet to pass, and cause one of the most traumatizing experiences of her life.
Blood, broken bones, torture…it would be a wonder if Misery’s mistery lover was still alive. Still, memories were what made you who you were. Even if the life remembered was an absolute, fragging drekshow.
”You’ll get it back. Things affect you, affect your memories, your emotions. That’s got to mean something.” Foxglove looked out the driver’s side window with a sigh. ”Just have patience.”
There was a long moment of silence as Fox stared out at the road, wracking her brain for what all was in the car Misery had mentioned. Then, she gave a nod. ”Mitsu’ Shadow, huh? You’ve got decent tastes, I’ll give you that.”
#30-11November 24, 2018 at 11:03 pm #11232
”How would you know?” Misery shot back. ”You haven’t tasted me.” Misery sniffled, shook her head. ”I don’t know what’s going to happen, Fox.” She sighed. ”I don’t know what they did to me. I don’t know if it’ll ever go away. There are pieces, but I don’t know how they’re going to come back, if they are. And even if they do, I don’t know that I’ll be able to reassemble the pieces into a- a life. Damn it, Fox,” she said miserably, ”I don’t even know my own name!”
Misery leaned back in the car seat and tilted her head back, her pretty features streaked with lines of black mascara and her nose running. She sniffled again, more loudly and grimaced. ”Ew. All the benefits of HMHVV, and I still get snot in my throat.” She laughed wretchedly. ”I’m sorry, Foxglove. I don’t mean to break down. I’ve been…me? This? Whatever, for only a few days, but I’m already so goddamn tired. All I can remember about my old life is that it was a fucking nightmare, except for her. It weighs on me, and I don’t even know why.”
She looked over at Foxglove, smiling slightly, tentatively. It was sweet, what Foxglove was doing for her. This heavily cybered, she was surprised Fox could even muster up the empathy, much less for a stranger who didn’t have any real uses, at least not that Fox had seen yet. She was trying, and it touched Misery. ”Still. Thanks, mom.” Her smile turned wicked.November 24, 2018 at 11:40 pm #11233
Fox listened, putting her words together in her mind even as Misery spoke. Her thoughts were derailed temporarily, however, and her mask cracked into a smirk with the “thanks mom.” There was even a snort. ”Bitch,” she said, her smirk growing wider as she gave her companion an amusedly-conspiratorial sidelong glance. She was fairly certain the Banshee would get the reference.
That smirk broke into a small smile, and Foxglove actually chuckled with Misery’s response, glad to finally have someone she could quote at that would quote right back.
The expression lingered for a short moment, but then began to fade as she put her thoughts back on the tracks again. She gave it enough time for the momentary mirth to wane so her words wouldn’t be as much of a whiplash change. ”It weighs on you because she was the major bright spot in a lot of drek darkness.” She guessed, though made it a statement as if she knew…in a way, she did. Or, at least, she could relate to some degree. ”A few days isn’t a lot of time. Recall isn’t perfect, and it sounds like yours got slotted pretty hard. But even you said things are coming back, so it’ll come back.” She concluded, reaching over and popping open the glove compartment and pulling out a small package of tissues for the girl. It was old, but still usable.
#31-11November 25, 2018 at 1:49 pm #11244
”Jerk.” Misery said, recognizing the reference and smirking.
Foxglove was right, Misery knew. A few days was nothing, but it seemed like a subjective eternity. It was amazing, she reflected, how little you had to occupy your time when you didn’t have habits or memories or failures to dwell on or pursue or examine. All she had was time, and a big hole in her head where her life should have been to poke at. But that didn’t make Foxglove any less correct. All she could do was wait, and hope, and when she had a flash of memory, follow it as far as she could.
She took the tissues and began mopping at the cheap makeup streaking her face with a small ”Thanks.” It came away fairly easily, not like the waterproof designer stuff she had worn in another life. It was some cheap drek she’d found with the workout gear, probably a teenagers. The thought sent a shudder through her, considering how she’d come by it. In a minute her face was clean, leaving her looking pale and very young.
Taking a deep breath, she nodded at the road. ”Okay, change of subject. This is getting way too mushy.” She looked at Fox, trying for a more natural smile. ”So, driving. You can teach me, huh? Alright.” She closed her eyes, listening to the low rumble of the engine, feeling the vibration as the car shot down the cracked old pavement. It could be…fun. ”I’d like that, Foxglove. Thanks.” She said, opening her eyes. ”We’ve got a long drive to Istanbul. Why don’t you start class? I’ve got a pretty good memory, and I suspect I’ll need to know a lot before you trust me behind the wheel.”November 25, 2018 at 5:32 pm #11247
”Yeah, no kidding,” Fox agreed with a snort to the comment about things getting mushy.
The rest of the ride to Istanbul was spent talking about throttle and clutch, where each gear was in the shiftbox, when to shift, both by watching the revs and by ear. They drove all night, arriving at the port town a few hours from sunrise. This time, Foxglove insisted on getting an actual motel, one with two beds, shitty though they were. The springs squeaked, the frames were rickety, the door barely locked, and the wall paper was horrendous, but at least they had some space.
”We get some rest for a few hours, then we figure out a way off this rock. I’ll be up early to talk to the fishermen to get us a boat.” She spoke as she set her own duffle down on one of the beds, unzipping it and pulling out a clean towel and tossing it to Misery. ”If you want to shower. I wouldn’t trust the towels here.” Foxglove pulled out another one for herself and set it next to the duffle, then a third though this one was stained with splotches of black and she set it farther to the side. Next she pulled out a thin box and placed it on the stained towel.
November 25, 2018 at 11:53 pm #11251
- This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by Foxglove.
”This place charges by the hour, doesn’t it?” Misery asked with a snort. ”Sounds good to me, Fox. But I gotta go get a couple things.” She looked down at herself, fingering her shirt. ”Maybe some clothing that’s not more than one dead girl into its lifespan, for example.” She reached, hesitantly, then stopped, then reached out again, touching Foxglove’s bicep. ”Thanks again, Fox. I don’t know what I’d be doing if I hadn’t run into you back there.”
She turned toward the door, then looked back and smiled over her shoulder. ”Don’t wait up for me. I’ve got your commcode now, I’ll call if there’s the kind of trouble I can’t handle.” She grinned, then blew Fox a mocking kiss and headed out into the pre-dawn twilight.
Misery was only gone a couple of hours. First to a public matrix café, the sort of place that had more or less died out after the advent of the commlink, but still held on in big cities. Flashes of memory were coming together, and while she might not know who she was or what she used to do or really anything important, she could remember a few things. One was a matrix address, and a login. It turned out to be a dead drop, set up by her, a way to leave messages for…someone. Nothing was there, but it led to another login, which led to a username, which led to another matrix address, and so on and so forth.
At the end, she had a bank account.
The shadow account, which addressed her as Ms. Courcel, whatever that meant, held a considerable amount of nuyen. Like, six figures worth. Whatever she used to do, it had been profitable.
The next stop was a basic electronics store. Another commlink was purchased, one with a sim module. She transferred her comm contacts and blew her old ‘link into a memory in a dingy alley. She got a less awful set of trodes, too, along with a tutorsoft subscription and a half-dozen simsense programs, and a pair of gold credsticks.
She filled the credsticks on her way to her next stop, taking a train uptown. Istanbul was no London or Manhattan, but it was a lively metropolis. She went to Taksim Square, finding a Lordstrung’s that was open at all hours. She was greeted by an elf who made it clear that she didn’t fit the bill of model customer with a sneer and a condescending ”Are you certain you’re in the right store, ma’am? KongMart is in Galata.”, but a flash of the two gold credsticks changed the surly young elven woman’s face in a hurry, and Misery strode past with her nose in the air.
She left an hour later in a full outfit from ME MetaL by Evo; tight white jeans of real denim, white boots with chunky six-centimeter heels, and a wine-colored t-shirt with pale grey gothic lettering across the breasts that read “High Maintenance.” She topped it with an armored leather jacket, Laurentis de Lion, black with brass buttons. A few more outfits and several pairs of shoes were in another bag, a Vashon Island duffel, along with a selection of accessories.
Lastly, she went to Janissaries’ Bazaar, your one-stop shop for weapons and illegal, infernal devices. She wasn’t looking for anything in particular, so she browsed, marveling at all the myriad ways of dealing death on display. She stopped eventually, twice. The first time was for herself, picking up a Morrissey Alta, then laughing at herself as she slung the pistol under her arm. Even when buying a gun she was fashion-conscious.
The second buy was for Foxglove, sort of a thank-you gift for pulling her out of Israel. It made her think of the nocturna as soon as she saw it, a new-model Colt Government with engraved ivory grips and a series of cherry blossoms on the anodized black slide. It came in a rosewood box with two extra magazines, and the stallkeep charged her an arm and a leg.
She paid it gladly.
She headed back to the no-tell motel laden with shopping and smiling brightly, careful not to show too much teeth. She let herself in with uncharacteristic care, moving silently, setting the bags down by the cheap plastiboard dresser, then putting the box containing the big, heavy automatic on the nightstand next to Fox. Then she stripped down to her cute, lacy white designer underwear and crawled into bed, drawing the scratchy blanket over herself, her blonde hair spread all over the pillow.
A minute later, she was asleep.November 26, 2018 at 1:29 am #11252
Foxglove gave Misery a nod, in response to both the thanks and the need to run errands. She watched the Banshee leave, snorting and shaking her head at the blown kiss. She watched the door close, then pulled two black bottles from the duffle before finally moving them, the box, and the towel to the small table in the room.
The Nocturna settled in, using her time to disassemble, clean, and oil her Predator. It didn’t take long, and soon the pistol was back together, loaded, and back in its holster. She left the cleaning kit open and the stained towel out, grabbing the other towel and taking a quick shower to rid herself of road grime. Once done, she redressed, all except for her boots, laid the towel over the pillows and herself atop the blankets, and drifted off to sleep.
When Misery entered, Foxglove rose back to consciousness, even despite the Banshee’s silence. Though, being quiet was probably the better way to go, as it allowed Fox to continue appearing to sleep while her ears tuned in to the movements and recognize who they were coming from. She allowed herself to doze for a while longer, but eventually dragged herself up. The fishermen would be the most active early in the morning, anyway. Damn diurnals.
Fox rubbed at her face, then looked down at the new box on the bedside table. She frowned in confusion at the thing, wondering why it was next to her bed and not with the rest of the shopping Misery had done. She looked to the sleeping woman, then to the bags, then back to the box.
Had…had the girl really gotten something for her?
Tentatively, Foxglove picked up the wooden box and set it on her lap. Then, with another glance at the Banshee, she opened it, and her eyes widened at what she saw. She picked it up out of its snug spot in the lining with a reverence most would associate with a samurai receiving a new blade, and examined the handiwork. She ran her fingers over the designs, then gripped it and aimed it at the far wall with her left hand, trigger finger straight along the guard. Fox then tried the slide, made certain it wasn’t loaded, then aimed again and dry-fired to feel the smooth action that went with a well-designed weapon.
The box was set aside and a new holster set up along Foxglove’s belt at the back of her hips. The magazines were loaded, the spare disappearing into a pocket, the other loaded into the pistol, and the pistol slipped into the holster for a left-handed draw. Her old holster containing the newly-cleaned Predator was slung over her shoulders, the leather jacket placed over that, and a new pack of cigarettes were opened and ready for the day.
It was time to get to work.
She was about to leave, hand hovering over the doorknob, when a thought struck her. She turned back around, scrounged up a pen and pad of paper, closed the wooden box she had left on her bed, and scribbled a very simple “Thank You” onto the paper she left atop the box.
Then, she was gone, her plasteel-toed boots hitting heavily on the pavement as she made her way down to the docks to grab a quick meal and see what she could find.
Foxglove spent the better part of the morning working the connections she had with the Fishmonger’s Union, talking, getting shot down or redirected, bartering, and bribing before she finally secured a group willing to give the two women and a car a ride to Kingston. It wasn’t the best option they could have found, and Fox rather objected to the thing and its crew, but it was a way out and they would have to take it.
By the time she got back, it was close to 11:00, and she was absolutely beat. Usually the sun was bad enough, but the desert sun was even worse. It had thoroughly drained her, had her eyes hurting, and her purple skin had turned a deep magenta. She really should have remembered to wear sunscreen.
The Nocturna stripped herself of her clothes, careful around the tender bits of skin that had been exposed to the sun’s brutal rays, and laid back down atop the blankets of the rickety hotel bed in nothing but her black, boyshorts underwear to fall almost instantly asleep.
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