The sun shined bright and warm the next morning when I awoke and I just lay there in the bed and let the beam caress my nearly naked body. It isn’t very often that I do such as this, but given the past twenty four to thirty six hours, it was a luxury that I decided to take.
A slew of marks, each one turning an ugly purplish color, cover my legs and arms, reminded me of the hellish experience I went through yesterday. I sit up and then stretch like a cat before rolling out of bed, grabbing my pistol, and then walking over to the tub.
I adjust the water until it’s almost too hot for me to stand before I sit down and start the whirlpool feature. The jets of water hit my bruises, making me wince, before the stress that’d built up in my muscles started to fade away. Yes, I know hot water is the worst thing to do when dealing with fresh bruises, but it allows me to think and right now that’s the most important thing I need to do.
For the hundredth time I wish I was still on Acheron and had access to Janice. The amount of information she could dig up in a very short period of time can spoil a person, and being without it cripples my attempts to get a good plan together.
Despite having a full night’s worth of sleep, I start to doze off again thanks to the stress draining from my body. A part of my mind is screaming bloody murder, trying to tell me not to let my guard down but I ignore it. Let them come; just because I’m relaxing doesn’t mean I’m any less dangerous than I am any other time and the first person who tried to test me would find his ass pushing up daisies.
One thing about this entire series of events really bothers me. How, and when, did Lacey get her greedy little paws on an antimatter bomb? Did she buy it from terrorists, steal it for them, or did the bitch plan on using it as an extortion tool?
Obviously, given the Security hitter I killed at the Westin, the government knows who took the weapon of mass destruction. Unlike Lacey, I know the Alliance won’t sleep until they got the bomb back and they didn’t care about the body count. While I kill because I enjoy doing it, they have a government sanctioned license to eliminate any threat to the greater good, which puts me at a disadvantage.
Believe it or not, but I actually miss having Tom’s connections right now. If he were still alive, I could either find out where the security dickheads were or he’d be able to run some interference. However, given the fact that I killed him, I can’t blame anyone other than myself for my lack of help.
I kill the jets, then bathe myself and then wash my hair before draining the tub. With any luck I’ll be able to track Lacey down and stop her before Security catches up to her. This way I can clear my name and not be seen as an accomplice in her theft and attempted sale of a WMD.
It looked like a visit to Penn Quarter would be in order so I pick clothes that are conservative, look like they fit in with a rich, exclusive clientele and was functional. The last thing I needed was for anyone in the damn place to suspect that I’m armed-not that I’d be the only one. But, I can guarantee you I’d be the only one known to be an assassin, and that alone would put me at a big disadvantage.
For the first time in many months I take a minute to look myself over. My brown hair reaches down to my smart, pert breasts, and the boys tell me that my high cheekbones, small nose and blue eyes are attractive. The blue shirt, black jeans and black leather jacket are conservative enough to fit in with the diners and still allow me to carry my gun and knife.
The hotel’s elevator impressed me even more than the one in the Westin did. All four walls were made of a bronze that’d been buffed to where you could see your reflection and an employee in old style uniform operated the controls so a customer didn’t have to lift a finger.
I reach into a pocket and then give the boy a tip, which brought a smile to his face, and then settled back for the ride. First things first, I needed to get to my cache, which meant heading back over to Virginia and the relative safety of numbers. Just one more subway ride and then I’ll be able to control my own transportation.
A combination of government workers and tourists surround me as I join the sea of humanity on the sidewalk and head off towards the subway station. One thing about Darbytown and its role as Alliance capital: there’s always a mass of tourists and government workers everywhere you go. And the best thing about it all is that it plays into the hands of someone like me who can play chameleon.
Sometimes I wonder if the people in the capital realize how weak their security is. The government invests so much money into various security systems and agencies yet here I am, moving around the place unmolested and completely under the radar. I guess it shows that you can expend all the fucking money and resources you want, but if someone knows what they’re doing they can avoid it all.
Nothing personified this laxness more than the two police guarding the subway station. They were more interested in shooting the shit then watching the people entering and exiting. Christ, they better be thanking God that I’m an assassin and not a terrorist or there’d be big trouble.
A boy, somewhere around four or five if I had to guess, brushed up against my leg as I entered the subway. For a moment he has my complete attention; his blonde hair glowing like gold due to the bright lighting, and his giggle of happiness causes me to look way.
Fuck that shit, I thought. There wasn’t a damn chance in hell that I could ever have a life like that again, so why torment myself?
I spot a transit cop winding her way through the throngs on the car as I sit down. In less than the blink of an eye I change into ‘bored teenager’ mode and then look out the window. The lighting is perfect for reflections so I can sit here and watch the woman approach without being obvious.
She stops two seats behind me and starts to question another pair of teens, which makes my antenna perk up. There was nothing to keep the bitch from hassling me like those two boys, so I prepared for a potential confrontation and how it should be handled. Christ, if she were to take me downtown now everything would become one giant cluster fuck and a half.
Something one of the boys says leads to the officer raise her voice for a moment before speaking into her radio. Oh for Christ sake, is the world made up of nothing but fucking morons? Now that they’ve gotten her worked up, that means other officers will come and that potentially becomes a problem I don’t need.
Three more officers appear almost if by magic and they start to question the two boys. Voices continued to rise, as did the tension, and I do everything I can to be as non-descript as possible. Let those two dumb fucks go to jail, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to join them. Lacey remained free and I owe her a bullet through the head too.
In the reflection of the window, I watch the cops seize drug paraphernalia and weapons off the boys. What a pair of fucking morons! Only an idiot carries both a weapon and drugs onto the subway-especially if their gun didn’t spoof the scanners like mine did. If they were going to be that stupid, then perhaps it was a good thing they got busted instead to be honest.
The train slows for the next station while I continue to watch the scene unfold. By now one of them, a tall pale skinned boy with hair that reached his shoulders, was growing belligerent and the police were starting to feed off it. If something didn’t change soon, then there’d be a ripe case of police brutality taking place on the subway, which is going to be my worst nightmare.
Honestly, I can’t believe what I’m seeing! These two little piss ant punks were going to get the cops fired up enough that it could cause a major issue to me trying to get to my location without delay. Hell, if we weren’t in a subway car, I’d’ve just killed the five of them and been done with it.
The boys continue to yell as they’re placed in cuffs and then frog walked from the train. Thank God! That’s one less pain in the ass I have to worry about on this little trip!
Once the small group left the train, the doors closed and it pulled away from the station. Two more stops and I’d be where I needed to be, which meant I wasn’t too far behind schedule now thankfully. With any luck, and I have no reason to think it wouldn’t be there, my little stash will be where I left it.
A thousand details are running through my head as the train climbs back up and run above ground again. The morning sun’s shining off the windows of the Watergate complex, giving them a golden shine that contrasted greatly with their role in the end of an American presidency. At this time of year the Potomac is beautiful, and probably the one thing I miss the most about Darbytown, and pleasure craft are passing under the bridge and motoring up river.
“Next stop, Arlington National Cemetery.”
Those five words cause the hand to grab my heart and then start to crush it and I find it hard to breathe. Dad’s buried there, along with my grandfather and great-uncle. The three of them were military men through and through and they’d served with valor and earned a hero’s funeral and the right to be interned in the most hallowed ground in the Alliance.
I suck in a deep breath and then join the crowds of tourists about the exit the train. Fuck Lacey and her antimatter bomb and the Alliance security forces too. It’s been two years since I’ve seen my Dad and, goddamn it, that takes precedence over anything now.
Ground cars and busses are lined up as they slowly make their way up Memorial Drive and into the cemetery. A pair of children look down at me from the window of their tour bus as I walk past. They wave and I give them a smile and return the favor.
A wave of heat rushes up my chest and my neck turns a shade of red as I stuff my hands into my coat’s pockets and keep moving. No doubt Dad would be disappointed as hell in me if he was alive, but he can thank Tom for this career move. No, that’s not fair. Like I said before, I think I’d’ve still been an assassin even if he did live-I would’ve just been more careful about what I did is all.
Dad’s grave, along with Grandpa Bob’s and Uncle Al’s, has a clear view of the Jefferson Memorial and the reflecting pool at its base. From where I stand, I can see the sunlight reflecting off the water, and how it glittered like Gold while the white, marble monument of Jefferson contrasted against the dark blue sky.
“Hi dad,” I said as I squat down to look at his headstone. “I know it’s been a long time.”
They say that no one is with you when you’re in the cemetery but I think they’re full of shit. Every time I’ve come to see Dad, I swear I can feel him holding me in his arms and this is no different. A gentle warmth starts to envelop me, almost as if I’m wrapped up in a blanket, and I know its Dad.
“I’m sorry it’s been so long. Things have been crazy.”