Sunday, January 22, 2012
This is the girl in the borrowed trench-coat, moving across the bridge with the river Seine underneath. She pulls something from the jacket's pocket and hits the button, not answering when the man without his coat catches up with her at that moment, calling her name.
Pull back fifty metres, and here is the burning apartment, debris floating softly through the air that is filled with screams.
Here is the man again, gripping the shoulders of the girl with his coat and yelling into her ears, "What have you done?"
And here is that playful smile that creeps upon her lips as she disappears, the air rushing to fill the space where she had just been.
Twenty Minutes Earlier
Amy Hawkeye appeared in central Paris with a whump, and started walking straight away without looking around at the empty street she was in. Her wide-brimmed hat was pulled down low enough to hide her face all the way to her smiling lips. The small black suitcase she pulled behind her clacked as it mounted the curb in her wake, it's tiny, cheap wheels already wearing down easily.
Amy pushed the intercom button set into the wall of the large apartment block and looked hopefully through the locked glass doors. Inside was a female cleaner, wiping down the absent secretary's desk. She looked up when Amy's voice sounded through the small speaker on the desk.
"Hey, um, sorry," Amy said through the intercom, biting her lip. "I forgot my card. Could you let me in, please?"
The cleaner squinted at Amy. She didn't look like one of the recent inhabiters of the apartment; then again, the cleaner didn't tend to notice the people inside the building that much.
She hit the button which electronically opened the lobby doors, and Amy walked in, smiling. "Thankyou, really," she said, bending down to pull something from the suitcase. "It's been fun," she said, and shot the cleaner twice with the silenced pistol from her bag.
Moving quickly, she dragged the woman behind the desk and dumped her body there. Then into the lifts she went, moving silently. When the elevator reached the fourth floor she got out, her pistol trained on the doors either side of her. The hallway came to an end but she wasn't fooled. She knew the layout of the building, and she knew a Door when she saw one.
Her delicate fingers traced the pattern of colored squares, various sizes, that ran along the wall in front of her. She pressed all of them with her palm, spoke the obvious words, and creased her features with something she rarely used- a frown.
She searched the wall with her eyes, and there it was, over to the right and a little lower down, by her shins. A tiny blue square was there, barely larger than her fingernail. The frown disappeared and she pressed it, the wall melted in on itself, and the guard's foot kicked up and snapped her head back.
She swore and swept his legs out from underneath him, but he was up in an instant, his tattooed arm wrapping around her to try and tackle her. But she twisted out of his grip before he could and backed into the apartment, kicking him out into the hallway. Her silenced pistol shot up and she trained the sights on him as he stumbled to the ground, his shades clattering away. He looked up at her, and she could see the plea in those eyes, even before he opened his mouth to speak. I have a family, he'd say. This was a one-off job. Please, I won't tell anyone you were here, I swear...
She put two bullets in his chest and a third in his head in the space of a second, and his body fell onto the carpeted hallway.
She left him where he was for the moment- the carpet was originally colored a deep crimson, so the blood wouldn't be a problem- and unzipped the suitcase hurriedly. The luxurious apartment was empty and only had the one guard, she had already read all of it in the file. Her watch beeped and her eyes widened; one minute.
After finishing arming the item inside the suitcase she shoved it under the bed and dragged the guard into a storage closet in the apartment and quickly ran out. She scowled at herself and scurried back, picking up the three small shells that had ejected from her gun. Then she stepped back into the corridor, hit the small blue square, watched for a brief second the wall melt back into place where the hidden Door was and just teleported behind the secretary's desk as her target strode in. A woman was entwined in his arms and laughing shrilly as if he had just made a fantastic joke. They both stopped when they saw Amy, smiling broadly from behind the secretary's desk.
"You're not the secretary," her target said. He didn't sound so sure of what he was saying, though. The strong stench of alcohol wafted over to her from him.
"She had to duck out. Family business, you know. I'm just stepping in for a while."
The man frowned, sniffing. "What's that smell, anyway? God, smells like something died in here."
The woman who hung off the man laughed again, almost snorting with the effort. Underneath the desk and next to Amy's feet sat the dead cleaner who had let her in earlier. She cursed herself inwardly for not moving the dead woman.
"Get the cleaner to fix it up, would you?" her target said in a voice that didn't doubt what it spoke would be obeyed. He and the girl took the elevator, and the moment the doors closed, Amy disappeared.
She didn't doubt for a second that his target wouldn't find the suitcase she had put under his bed. She had reappeared outside the apartment and started walking down the busy Parisian street, her hat pulled low to her smile.
She went to thumb the detonator, but suddenly it wasn't in her hand, and the man next to her smiled back and pocketed it inside his large trench-coat.
"Wonderful day, isn't it?" he said conversationally, gripping her arm. He added quietly "Please don't make a scene, the last time I was blamed for the person you killed. It wasn't a good day. For the police-officer, I mean."
"Ahhh," she said, her smile never fading. "Israel. I should have known you'd follow me. Now, if you'll excuse me..."
Amy twisted her arm away and yanked the detonator out, then ran full pelt into a frying pan held by March Pathway. She crumpled to the ground and Israel bent over her, retrieving the detonator and pocketing it once more.
"Wow," Mar said, examining her frying pan. "These French make a scarily good cooking utensil. Look at this- not a scratch or dent on it!" She pulled the tag off of it and turned to the small kitchen shop from which she had stolen the pan. The shop's owner who had stepped out onto the street to yell at Mar for stealing his pan back suddenly had better things to do, and backed up hurriedly under her glare.
"Much better," Mar said, as Amy stood up and elbowed her in the face.
"Sonofa-" Israel ducked underneath a kick and went to pull out his shotgun, then stopped. People in the street were staring. They had to get this under control.
Mar flipped to her feet and went to grab Amy's hands and handcuff them. Amy's hands shot up, gripped the handcuffs, and broke them in two.
"Toldya not to buy the cheap crappy ones," Israel growled. Amy turned to face him, settling into a fighting position. But Israel fought too dirty for that. He dove his hand into his pocket and came up with a handful of ground pepper, and threw it into her eyes. Never leave home with condiments, he thought to himself, as she retreated into the path of Mar's waiting frying pan. The assassin collapsed and Mar brought out another pair of handcuffs and slapped them on her wrists.
"Israel," Mar whispered. "Psst. The people are staring. Tell them that you did something heroic."
"Uhhh..." Israel turned to face the people in the street, who were, indeed, staring.
"Hurry! Someone's taking out their phone to call the police..."
Israel sucked at speeches under pressure. It was a little known fact that he constantly tried to convince himself wasn't true. "Umm...Ahhh...This woman...wanted to shoot an alligator, or, uh...she's, um, not quite right in the head. Don't worry, we've arrested her now...um..."
The crowd spared a few glances for each other and then, very slowly, began clapping. After a few awkward moments of Israel dragging Amy's unconscious body across the pavement and into an alleyway with Mar following, the clapping ended and the crowd got back to whatever Parisian crowds did best. As mentioned, Israel sucked at speeches under pressure.
"Good Lord," March said, shaking her head at him. "You suck at speeches under pressure."
Israel snorted. "Not my fault. I blame the nineteenth century school teachers that taught me. It was always 'Farming this' and 'Horses that'."
Her eyes flicked open and she sprang into action. With a soft whump she disappeared and reappeared at her house, where a huge corkboard of various keys to Sanctuary handcuffs hung. She didn't have time to find the right one and instead grabbed the Skeleton Key on the middle hook and unlocked the handcuffs. Her eyes were still streaming from when that idiot threw pepper into them... But she needed to take the detonator back from him, and quickly, so she didn't have time to wash her eyes out. She took out her pistol, reloaded, and teleported back to the alleyway.
When Amy stirred and disappeared straight away, Israel sucked in a large lungful of air and blew it out again. "Crap..."
"They were Bound!" Mar said. "I swear they were, regardless of them being the cheap ones!"
"But she's not a teleporter." Israel said, sighing. "I forgot. She's a descendant of the Shibbach."
Mar paused. "Oh, shit. That creature Gordon wrote about in The Vanishing Night?"
Israel started to jog out of the alleyway. "Yeah, so she isn't a mage. She's just naturally magic... This is going to be tougher than I thought..."
And then she was there, in front of them, firing her pistol. Israel dived to the left and Mar caught the bullets on her steel frying pan before throwing it straight at Amy. She disappeared before it could hit her and the pan clattered to the street ground. Israel scooped it up at the very moment that Amy appeared behind them both and grabbed their shoulders. The world melted and swam and pushed through gaps in reality that shouldn't have been there in the first place. And then they stopped teleporting and tumbled onto the carpeted floor of the lobby of the apartment block. Israel sat up and looked at the room.
"Hey- this is where Carl Nulty is staying... He's your target?! You can't kill him, he's the equivalent of Geoffrey Scrutinous here, this guy is the only person stopping everyone knowing about mag-"
Amy knew the name, of course. It was the one on the file, given to her by a client four days ago. Just the name and the picture, that was all that was listed. It didn't matter about his job, power or friends in high places. Amy only needed the name and the picture, and she could kill a person in a week.
Unless there was someone to stop her.
She raised her pistol and fired at Israel. She couldn't see Mar. He dodged her shots and then there was Mar, transformed into a mountain lion and loping off Amy's ear.
The assassin cried out and shot blindly at the animal, missing. Mar's sharpened teeth clamped down on Amy's shoulder and dragged her across the floor. Israel had just risen to his feet when Amy slammed her fist into the wild cat's head and shot her twice in the stomach, point blank.
It wasn't a movie. There wasn't a slow-mo shot of March's animal form struggling to stay upright before it fell over and changed back into her bleeding human form. There wasn't the muted sound of gunfire and screams, as Israel held his hand out and yelled 'No!' drawing out the word like Luke Skywalker. There was none of this.
Instead, Amy raised her pistol and shot at Israel, and he was forced to leap over the secretary's desk and hide in cover, as Mar weakly transformed back into a human and rolled off of Amy's body. He closed his eyes for a moment, keeping himself calm. Mar wasn't dead yet. He could still save her.
The entire time, he had been holding something tightly in his hand. He hadn't even noticed it until now. He looked down at it and smiled grimly.
Amy reloaded and trained her gun on the desk. She was crouched beside the bleeding body of Mar, waiting for Israel to get out of cover. There was sudden movement as Israel stood up from behind the desk and threw the heavy frying pan as far and accurately as he could. It bounced along the ground and missed Amy by a good metre, landing close behind her.
"Bad luck," she smirked, ready to pull the trigger. "Should have used your power to throw it exactly right."
"Oh," Israel said. "I did."
March sat up, picked her weapon off of the floor and bashed it into Amy's head with her remaining strength.
Amy crumpled as Israel reached Mar. He slid to his knees and pulled out his phone with one hand, calling an ambulance to the apartment they were at. Mar smiled simply at Israel. She knew the ambulance wouldn't get there in time.
He wouldn't cry now. Couldn't. He still had a job to do. She gestured with her left hand for the frying pan and he passed it solemnly. The darkness started around her vision and creeped ever faster. She knew too well what would happen when the darkness covered her eyes completely.
And then there was a figure behind him, seething in anger. But her lips could not part and warn him. The figure gripped his shoulder and his eyes widened, and then they disappeared. And she was alone.
Back in the street. He tumbled along the road and a car swerved to avoid him. There were bruises on his arms and he wondered why as he got to his feet. People saw his shotgun in it's holster and screamed, running the other way. He realized what was gone and he cursed. He saw Amy in front of him, his jacket fitting loosely around her shoulders as she pushed through the crowd. There was a bridge up ahead and something seemed to click in his mind. She'll detonate it there.
He pushed himself as hard as he could, shoving past the French people and tourists. He pulled out his gun and fired into the air, scattering the people in front of him. He could still make it. He had to. Out of the corner of his eye two police officers were drawing their pistols and trying for a shot through the crowd at him. He ignored them and just tried to run faster. He had to make it.
She reached the bridge, and he saw her hand digging into the jacket's pocket.
This is the girl in the borrowed trench-coat...
Edit: Sorry Mar...I don't know why, but I felt like I needed to kill someone. I'll kill my character off soon to be fair, I really swear...
I've had a good last ten days or so.
It's been brilliant, really. I got to catch up on re-reading The Wee Free Men, discovered a simply amazing Private Investigator series that runs in a place called the Nightside, in London- with magic and demons and epicness not too different to Skulduggery Pleasant.
I lounged around, ate fish and crabs that we caught, watched the sunset almost a dozen times and stared at the stars out of my tent window. And then I wondered why the hell the moon wasn't showing. At all. For all nine nights.
...no, I haven't bothered to check whether it's a new moon or something... I'm just genuinely lazy on camp :P
And then, of course, I missed you lot. You incredibly insane, sleep-deprived, jumbled together authors. Yes, I missed you. I'm only 0.678% heartless, don't you worry ;D
Oh, and I wrote a story, and began writing another (For once, the one I started wasn't a fanfiction. I am immensely pleased because it's a long, long time since I've written a non-sp-related story since coming here). The first story, the one that's complete, is....HERE...
I was reading Wee Free Men a lot at the time of writing this, so yes, the start is written in a similar way to a chapter in the book. Hey, I have to pull my inspiration from somewhere. Be glad I didn't do it from Twilight. Which reminds me, I have to either read or watch that, just to see what all the fuss is about.
...Also, this story's kinda short, sorry if you weren't in it, Amy Hawkeye is the person mentioned at the end of this story here that I posted a while back, she's an assassin for hire, this story obviously comes before Kallista's one, blah blah blah, epicness, I just got back from camp, um, hey look we have left over pizza for dinner...