Athol Novel Rough Draft Snippet 2 2-3-2014




They say that man’s basic nature changed as he evolved and moved further out into space; that his urge for violence against other members of humanity faded. In my opinion, that’s a crock of shit but that’s neither here nor there.

One thing about being in my line of work, you always get to see the true nature of mankind, and it isn’t pretty. Someone is always lying to another person, or committing a crime and getting away with it or even trying to steal from other criminals. Either way, it’s enough of a shit soup to shoot down that optimistic garbage.

I watch the people entering and exiting the subway, staying ever vigilant that someone might sneak up on me again like on Earth. That’d been a close call and frankly I’m surprised I’m even here to write this.

Believe it or not, the safest place to sit on the train is a window seat. No matter how you cut it, no person can see behind them; it’s physically impossible, but there is a way to cheat. Most people don’t notice it but every once and a while but a window, especially at night, reflects what’s within its field of vision. And in this case it acts like a mirror and allows me to see what’s going on behind me.

At this time it’s just a mother and child who are on their way home from a shopping trip. They’re about as non-threatening as vanilla ice cream but that doesn’t mean I won’t keep an eye on them. Anyone can be a hazard for a person like me so I remain vigilant.

What’s funny is despite all this internal vigilance, anyone looking at me from the outside would just see a brown haired seventeen year old girl wearing a blue-black cloak and gloves. Given that it’s the winter and the temps are low, there’s nothing out of place about it. And that’s how I like it.

Despite my best efforts, the gentle rocking and the wheels’ sounds start to lull me towards sleep. It’ll take a good hour more to reach where I need to be, so I keep on eye open while dozing. No one with any brains will try to make a move in such a contained area without any means of escape, which allows me to relax just a bit.

A holographic image of a blonde woman is talking as she starts to inform people of the news of the day. It seems that a trial of a gangster didn’t go well and he managed to walk without being found guilty. That isn’t surprising given how much power organized crime has here on Achernar Nine and its ability to shape both the courts and businesses.

Around me people grumble over how the man managed to escape justice once again and how the system needed to change. While I can understand their dislike of things, I don’t want it to change. To do so would put someone like me out of work and that’s not a Good Thing, so let them wish it all they want.

The train slows for the station and I’m instantly wide awake and alert. This is the most dangerous time for me during this part of my travels. With dozens of people entering and leaving the car it is almost impossible to keep track of them all, so I have to stay alert and conscious of anyone wanting to make a move at me.

Christ, I hate taking the subway to get where I need to go. It reminds me too much of the kills I made for Tom, but there really isn’t much other choice. Despite looking like any other teen, I’ll stick out if I take taxis or busses too much. So, despite my desire otherwise, here I am.

A couple minutes later the train pulls away from the station and I start to think about the task ahead. Today’s mark would be difficult to get to, and it would stretch my skills to the limit. The amount of security he kept around himself would make the Alliance President jealous and that’s saying something.

If there is one place I hate trying to get into, it’s a residential compound. While there’s plenty of places for me to hide, security’s thicker, they know the area and the chances of detection are higher. In some ways, I wonder if I’m a fool for taking this one, but then, how else can I make a good name for myself if I don’t take on the hard jobs?

“Next stop, Brentwood Hills,” the computer announces.

The Hills are another area similar to Brandenburg Circle back on Earth. It’s a very affluent area, where the business elites rubbed elbows with the Mafia Dons and politicians. All behind their own fenced walls and protected by lots of security, of course.


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