Joined: 29 Jun 2012
|Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:33 pm Post subject: Winter, part fourteen
|“He's a dick.” Chuck said, handing Winter a stack of papers as she walked into the pawn shop. “You gonna kill him?” Chuck said, nodding, grinning, knowing she would. Why else would she want anything to do with him? Winter ignored Chuck as she rifled through the papers she took out of his hand. “His name's Mike.” Chuck said, handing Winter another, much thinner stack of papers. Winter shot him a glance, then a grin that made Chuck smile. “Alright. I'll take care of it.” Winter began to walk out when she turned around, setting the papers on the counter, reaching over and grabbing Chuck's hair, pulling his face into her own as she pressed her lips against his, Winter's eyes open wide- as were Chuck's.
“Bla! SICK!” Chuck said, wiping his mouth, spitting. “Put that in your forums, Chuck.” Winter said laughing as she walked out. “SICK WOLF!” Chuck said, and was pissed... At first.
Winter crammed the papers on Mike in her pocket and began thumbing through Dave's rap sheets. Burglary. Possession of a loaded firearm within incorporated city limits. Nice. While shattering the hyped- up memory she had of Dave, it also connected the reality of who he was with what Winter had known all along. Winter looked up, off into the distant city skyline, cars bustling by, people talking, going about their business.
She smiled, jamming Dave's papers into her coat pocket. She would have time to review them back at her apartment. Right now, she had some business to attend to.
Winter hailed a cab. It was always a pain. Nobody wanted a tall, white wolf- or Winter imagined, any wolf in the back of their cab. She got the most desperate cabbies. They rarely wanted to talk- which was good... After about seven minutes and fifteen cabs, Winter ducked into one, the suspension giving way to her body as she plopped down into the rear seat.
“Fifth and main. The storage facility.” Winter said as the man stared at her a little too long. Winter was about to repeat herself when he nodded and she shut her door. The cab sped off down the road- another benefit of being her- they were always in a hurry to get her out.
“How do I look? Okay?” Winter asked, trying to make the man nervous as she smiled, just a little. “I do not know what you are saying.” The dark skinned man repeated in a Hindu accent. “Do I look good? Am I sexy?” Winter said, unable to contain her smile. “Not a chance.” The man said, Winter laughing. She saw him smile, too.
Winter could tell after breaking the ice he had a million questions, but each time it seemed like he wanted to ask her one, like he had the courage- his mouth open just a little- he would settle in his chair a little and continue driving- closing his mouth and looking straight ahead.
When they arrived at the storage facility, Winter handed him some cash and got out. “Keep it.” Winter said. She never knew if she would see him again, but wanted him to know she was a tipper. It wasn't her money, anyway. Speeding off she saw his hand go up and move just a little to wave at her. Winter smiled warmly at that, then quickly wiped the smile from her face as she turned and walked up to the facilities entrance gate
Winter slid her keycard through the small door to the left of the larger door for vehicles, and walked through when it clicked, then popped opened for her. Winter had a little extra something in her step as she walked to her unit, in the far back corner, out of sight- just where she liked it. A smile grew on her face as she no longer tried to contain it- she had stopped trying years ago.
“Do, do, do...” Winter said, mimicking a musical tone she had heard a while back, holding her palm against the biometric scanner, it reading the near microscopic scales on her palm like it would any fingerprint, the door lock popping, allowing Winter to raise it just high enough to duck under, then shut it behind her, a single fluorescent light humming to life as it flickered briefly, the starter capacitor inside of it getting ready to die.
Inside was what looked like a cluttered storage unit for a home owner who had too many posters, too many shelves- things that were tall and obscured anyone trying to look over them. Moving one very heavy entertainment center with ease, Winter swished through the opening she made, and into another room behind the clutter. This room was neat. Ordered. Tidy. Just like Winter.
Rows of battle rifles, assault rifles, belt fed machine guns- and her favorite- a Dillon Aero minigun chambered for the .308 cartridge, made man- portable with a backpack that she loved to wear, hoping one day to be able to make use of it. The two small deep cycle titanium oxide batteries that could hold a charge for four hundred years and 3,500 rounds of pressurized armor piercing industrial diamond tungsten impregnated green tip ammunition giving it a heft she longed to one day take into battle. Winter's eyes gravitated towards the minigun, her eyes having a sort of mad tinge to them as they glowed, her smile almost maniacal as she picked up the weapon, her face going soft as if she was picking up a newborn baby.
“Awwwwww, there, there. Didja miss me?” Winter said, running her soft hand down the barrels. “Mmmmmmmm” She said, picking it up and holding it close to her face, rubbing it's oily, metallic scent onto her cheek, closing her eyes, sighing. Gently setting it down as if she would offend it with anything but the most gentle of touches, Winter turned to look at the other weapons on the wall.
Something in her told her to grab a large, heavy- hitting weapon. Winter knew- never to ignore it went she had one of those feelings. When she would pause at her apartment door, something keeping her form leaving her house, she would return and put a pistol into the holster she never removed from her body. Once she needed it- and had almost left home without it. Clawing someone's eyes out and tear into their throat with her mouth would have been easy- but would it leave her fur on their body? Most assuredly it would. And pink nail polish in the wound, no doubt. It was attention she could get out of: “He attacked me! I didn't know what else to do!” Which would have been sort of true. But it was attention she did not need.
Winter's hand hovered over the FN FAL Para model, with the folding stock. The carrier had to be modified so that the mainspring would fit in the upper receiver, and not the stock to allow for the folding stock to be adapted to the back end of the weapon. It featured a threaded barrel for a suppressor, and a zooming, intelligent holographic sight.
Many of her fellow spies despised the weapon for it's recoil. It was hard- hitting and brutal. But for Winter- her body could take the punishment of it's awful recoil easily, and stay on target, even with it switched to deliver fully automatic fire.
Winter grabbed it, lifting it up to clear the pegs that secured it against the wall, and brought it down, setting it on the table under the rows of weapons. Winter looked up, to her right, at the suppressors she had arranged by thread size and pitch, then by caliber, and selected a wet can reflex suppressor that would extend back past the rifling of the barrel, giving her a good hundred rounds before it started to sound like an air compressor relief valve with every shot- before that- only the sound of the action and firing pin being struck by the hammer could be heard- and usually, she was the only one who heard it.
Winter selected a reflex suppressor of the proper diameter and thread pitch for the end of the short barreled FN FAL, and set it down on the table, round side up so it wouldn't roll. Reaching down, Winter grabbed a handful of thirty round magazines for the battle rifle, setting them next to the rifle with a clack. Each magazine was fully loaded with the greentip ammunition she liked so much.
Winter was a romantic. Yeah, they had these new plasma rifles that could send a ball of white hot plasma flying at supersonic speed, to utterly obliterate a mark's body. The grievous -burned into carbon- ten inch deep crater it left in the chest of anyone unfortunate enough to be caught by it was something that shocked more than a few people.
Yeah, Winter was skilled in their use. But they had little felt recoil. And they were so nasty... So dirty. Burning anything the plasma touched, incinerating it, setting fire to everything it touched- even metal, if it was thin enough. And don't even talk about magnesium fires started by the indiscriminate balls of plasma...
No. Winter preferred the old fashioned projectile weapons. Her classmates would scoff at her behind her back, calling her “Ineffective” until they saw her use her hands and feet. Yeah, that kinda put an end to the whispering.
Winter picked the rifle up and pulling a lever back, broke the action open. Checking for the clear recoil absorber, and shut it again, the field stripping action snapped shut almost exactly like a break- barrel shotgun. She needed to verify the recoil absorber was in place not to absorb recoil- but to prevent the bolt carrier from slamming into the receiver which would had made a sharp metallic smacking noise, possibly giving her position away. She did not know what the details were of the meeting area, so she had to be ready for close quarter combat, keeping it as quiet as possible.
Winter reached under the table and pulled out a long, brushed aluminum case, setting it on the table next to the rifle. Her eyes slightly aglow, Winter opened the case that said “Verizon signal generator. 5.3THz, spread spectrum. Warning: Delicate equipment!” It was the actual placard for a real device, the shell of which could be seen if you opened the case. But the signal generator did not function. It was only there for show. If asked about it, Winter would press the power button. When nothing happened she would bring out her phone and pretend to make a call “Yeah, another dead one!” She would yell into it. If asked to bring it out, She would shut the case with an angry glare at whomever was walking to her, and walk away. Mission over.
Winter pulled up on the signal generator, the screen and keypads still in place to give the illusion of a functioning piece of equipment if she was ever asked to open it. She had not been asked... Yet.
Inside was an indent cut to accept the rifle, suppressor, and three magazines, one of which would be inside the rifle's magwell.
Winter selected a bipod- thinking she might need it, and screwed it to the end of the barrel guard, where she had drilled and tapped two holes to accept the bipod. Tightening the large diameter thumbscrews for the bipod, Winter set the gun on it's side and placed a few drops of oil in the action, pulling the charging tab on the left side of the Metric FN FAL out as she worked the action back and forth, verifying it's slickness as the oil lubricated it.
A smile that she neither knew was on her face, nor that she could ever wipe fully off slowly appeared as she nestled the weapon gently in the custom case, then the magazines, one she hooked the edge of into the receiver, then bringing it back, clicking it into place. “I am enjoying this too much.” Winter said as she brought the rifle back out of the case, and opened an ammo carrier. Winter pulled out a single greentip round out, and set it on the table. Winter ejected the magazine that was in the rifle, and slid the action back, inserting the single round into the chamber, then guiding the charging handle forward- watching as the bolt carrier shoved the bolt against the round- verifying the extractor had clicked into the groove cut into the bottom of the .308 caliber round. She didn't want to be out of battery for her first shot. That could be disastrous.
Shaking her head, forgetting the thirty-plus-one rule- giving her an extra round of ammunition that might just save her life, she gently placed the rifle back inside the case. Looking through the suppressor for any obstructions, she used her hands to unscrew the end, sliding out the single piece baffle assembly, a thousand tiny welds making up the extraordinarily complex design. Not preferring K-Y jelly, Winter liked Lucas oil- the nonsynthetic kind, instead. It stuck better, and lasted longer, extinguishing the long flame that normally shot out of the end of the barrel like a fiery hand from hell. Donning an exam glove, Winter gobbed some of the ultra- thick motor oil out from a bottle that was cool from the storage facilities A/C system, Winter having to squeeze the bottle to push out the nasty goo, slathering it in all the nooks of the long reflex baffle, being careful not to clog any vital pockets designed to capture and channel the spent gasses.
Winter gingerly slid the baffle back into the titanium alloy tube, making sure the keepers in the baffle aligned with the notches in the tube. Winter took the gloves off of her hands and screwed the end back onto the suppressor, her face cold with the memories of the things she had done, things that needed to be silent.
Setting the suppressor inside the groove cut out for it in the foam in the case, she closed the signal generator shell, and then shut the brushed aluminum top, that had been weathered and scratched, to give it an appearance of being well used. Winter latched the case, and grabbed the navy blue overalls that lay under the case, which also said “Verizon” on them, and the name “Winter” on a tag, to go with her I.D, if asked, and then her navy blue Verizon hat with holes cut out for her ears, making it obvious she was not human, and obscuring her eyes- giving people even more reason not to ask her any questions.
Smelling the strong sulfur scent from the Lucas oil, Winter closed the bottle and set it back underneath of the table.
Carrying the case and donning the overalls over her tank top and skin tight jeans, Winter put a weary look on her face, that bordered on anger. It wasn't hard for her to do- it was close enough to the truth. Coupled with her pink claws, nobody was likely to ask her about the case. No humans, anyway.
Winter brushed past the entertainment center and pulled it shut, putting her hat on. She reached behind her and pulled the rolling door up, then shut it, entering her lock code as she heard the locks click shut. Walking quickly but also with an air of annoyance- which came natural- she walked to the single door and opened it, stepping through. Walking up the street, the brushed aluminum case in her hand, she stopped by Main street, and again went through the process of trying to hail about fifteen cabs, before someone finally took pity on her and pulled over.
“Thanks.” Winter said, pulling the case in with her. “Seven hundred Seventh street, please.' Winter said, in no mood for joking or having something to laugh at later.
The man nodded, his Kryusha piglet bobble head doll bobbing as he sped off. “Hey... Is that Kryusha?” Winter asked the pasty white man who probably got out just a little more than Dave. “Ya.” he said, his accent thick. “Where are you from?” Winter asked the cabby. “From Russia. Moscow.” The man said, looking back at her, his eyes falling, then looking forward again.
Oh, how Winter wanted to talk to him. To ask him about his country. “Ever been to Belarus?” Winter asked, defying her caution. “Niet. I mean... No.” the man said, his answers short, abrupt. “Ah.” Winter said, settling back in her seat before she made him any more nervous than he already was.
“Thank you.” Winter said, when the cabby pulled up to her apartment. “Hard day...?” The man said, seeing the look on Winter's face. “You have no idea.” Winter said, almost handing him a twenty, then pulling a hundred out. “I can't break this.” The cabby said. “You don't have to.” Winter said, pushing the man's hand back into the cab. “Thank you!” The man said, looking at the money, then up at Winter as Winter walked into her apartment.
As Winter ascended the steps back up to her apartment, she passed a man dressed in a black suit, his utterly joyless face characteristic of government work- as he did not have that air of deadliness that a killer in her line of work would project- if he had passed someone of similar employ. Winter made a desperately conscious effort to keep her ears forward, her mind taking notice of him, and trying subconsciously to turn at least one ear towards him as she passed him.
Coughing and glancing towards the man, Winter saw that he wasn't even looking at her as he descended the steps. Which meant he was looking for her. Passing a white female Naakaanee dressed in a major telephone company's characteristic navy blue coveralls carrying a forty thousand dollar signal generator up to her apartment should have caught the attention of even a telemarketer.
Stepping into her apartment, Winter shut her door and opened a small panel that housed a mechanical counter recessed behind the trim around her door, telling her if the door had been opened. Counting the exact number of time she had entered and exited her apartment, she deduced it hadn't... She had made an unscheduled leave to the storage facility that broke her routine- so if they were going to plant any bugs, they'd wait until she left for a specific, determined period of time.
Winter shut the panel back against the wall, the magnets holding it there after Winter cut the ends of the nails off from behind the trim when she installed it, snapping as it stuck back against the small sheet metal pads glued to the wall.
Winter fetched a large mechanic's magnet from a kitchen drawer and knelt down, feeling it attracted to a piece of the floor, as she jerked up, the floor panel coming loose. She had cut into the flooring when the tenants who lived directly under her had left, allowing for her to make noise in tearing up the floor, reinforcing it, then making a removable panel. A large square steel sheet was glued underneath the piece of flooring, to provide the force against her magnet- enough to overpower the neodymium magnets that secured the floor panel to the girders that ran under her apartment. Winter undressed, throwing the coveralls under the floor, and then setting the brushed aluminum signal generator case underneath as well.
Winter replaced the flooring panel, it snapping neatly into place. Winter replaced the mechanic's magnet in it's drawer and walked to her window, watching the crowds of people beginning to die down. As everyone was done heading home from work... Going to their homes, to their mates, to their bars...
Winter reached behind her and pulled the papers on Dave and Mike out, setting them on the kitchen table, as Winter sat down and began to read them:
Charge: Petty theft
Charge: Carrying a concealed firearm, loaded, in an incorporated city
Charge: Breaking an entering
Winter scratched her head. Many charges, but no convictions. Curious. Winter continued reading:
Charge: Drug possession with intent to sell
Charge: Drug manufacturing
Winter laid the papers down and looked blankly into her kitchen. Either he had a great lawyer... Or he had contacts. Heavy contacts. Winter sighed as the illusion of a guy who only dabbled in crime went through her head, then was dashed to pieces against the craggy rocks of reality. Well. He did drag her off of the street, pry a pullet out of her back, and feed and care for her until she left. That was something. And... It wasn't like she liked him because she thought he was an angel, either. Liked him... Did she? Could she? Winter sighed as she buried her eyes in her hand. What was she doing, anyway...
She had no mission- and wouldn't have one for some time. She might as well look up his case file. Winter picked the papers up again and found the case number. It was in a court nearby, so she decided to go there.
Torrential rain fell down in thick waves outside giving the city a much needed bath. Winter grabbed an umbrella before leaving her apartment, holding it above her head. Normally, the water would streak down her coat, especially with the conditioner on it. But sometimes the droplets would fall on her fur and hit it with such force they'd be pushed in, making her looked like, well, she hated to say it, but a wet dog.
So an umbrella it was. Winter ducked into a cab- only the fifth one to ignore her- they must have had pity on her because of the rain. Sometimes they did...
“Do you know where the courthouse is on Lemon?” Winter asked the cabby. “Sure.” The man said, pulling out into traffic. The scent of hair conditioner filled the cab as the moisture in the air made it come alive. Winter slinked back as far away from the cab driver as possible. “Sorry...” Winter said quietly as she looked out the window.
It was so grey out there... And wet. Just the way she liked it. During schooling, when it would rain and she had an opportunity, she would scurry out into the forest next to the school, and sit, her arms holding her knees to her chest, a little white wolf sitting under a concrete slab, by some ruins at the edge of the forest, as the rain washed down the sides of the concrete. She would see one of the teachers open a door, holding his hand to his forehead as she saw him, but he did not see her, as he surveyed the yards by the school, making sure nobody was out there.
No humans wanted to get wet. No, sir. So Winter was safe out there, alone. The water all around her, the grey skies that still had enough light to travel through her light yellow corneas, filtered out like pure gold in her eyes as she waited until she felt like going back to school. Which was pretty much never. But sooner or later, the break would be over, and she would be forced to return to class, trying to dry herself off as her classmates held their noise, and whispers of “Wet dog” echoed inside the small, bare, bland concrete classrooms.
Winter never let their demeaning words affect her. But that loneliness, of being the only Naakaanee spy ever to go through the program, that she knew of, nagged at her. She covered it over in the coldness of the things she was forced to do. Trying to kill the sensitivity and feminine desire to be cared for, to be loved, to be treasured. And died it did. Or so she thought...
Until, that is, she was on his dingy bed, her back bleeding into his mattress, his warm blue eyes coaxing parts of her back to life. Parts of her that made her want to cry- as she never thought they could ever resonate painfully within her heart again. Things that were shoved down, beaten, iced over long ago.
“I said thirty dollars! Uh, Miss...” The cabby said as Winter was pulled back to reality. “Huh! What?” “Thirty... Dollars... You're in a cab, and I just took you to Lemon. I drove you from Seventh Street and...” “Okay, sorry.” Winter said, shaking her head and pulling out exactly thirty dollars.
“Yeah, thanks.” The man said sarcastically, used to getting at least a little tip. Winter smiled at him, barring her teeth, which made him speed off before the shut her door.
Winter walked into the courthouse, pulling out a stick of bubble gum and popping it into her mouth. Winter quickly chewed it as she approached the scanners. “Like... Does this see metal?” Winter said, smacking her lips together as she chewed the gum in her mouth.
“Uh... No, it just detects it, it doesn't really see anything, miss...” Miss was what a female Naakaanee was called by the humans. “Sir” for the males. “Hm!” Winter squeaked as she eyed the guard like he was potential prey, her eyes looking him up and down. “C- Come on through miss, please. Hurry up.” He said, motioning for her to go through. Still looking at him in a way that made him uncomfortable, Winter played with her gum as she walked through.
“Okay, miss. Please stand here!” The man said, wincing as he had to wave a hand held detector over her body. “You have anything metallic on you, hair clip- I mean anything metal?” He said, sweeping the detector around her body.
“Ummm. Like what?” Winter asked as he stopped by her pockets when the device beeped. “Empty your pockets please.” The man said, his voice betraying a heavy desire to get her out of his sight. Winter pulled out a jumble of things. Some bunched up wire, coins, keys, a small folder, a lot of small things designed to make an already uncomfortable security guard tell her to move along.
“A- Alright. Just go.” “But don't you want to frisk me?” Winter said, giving him a look that made him shudder. “Please. Just go.” He said motioning for her to walk inside. She didn't feel like giving him the final seductive glance, nor did she. She heard him tell his female partner: “Did you see that? Pink nails? What's she tryi'n to pull?” “Yeah! They want to be like us now, or what?”
Winter kept walking. No, she didn't want to be like a human.
She just wanted to be Winter.
Check out my new series Winter: