Redmond Barrens, Tzvinny’s Yard
Tzvinny Tzvinny had finished a long and hard day’s work. He smiled as he sat in his chair and kicked back with a cold beer and mentally signaled the trideo into life.
That cold bitch Kat would be in her grave now. All he had to do was make the Colonel bend knee to him. He’d been part of the family for so long, and all of them only looked upon him as a junk-man. Well now all the upstarts and those who looked down their noses at him would see. It would be Tzvinny Tzvinny calling the shots from here on out.
Tzvinny didn’t see his flashy Transys Avalon wristcomm screen go cloudy grey as he lit up his cigar. He bellowed out laughter at the antics of George Rimm of Rimm Jobs got him into more prime time trouble than a barrel of retarded monkeys, never noticing the transmission going out from his wrist. He slapped his knee, never hearing the silent Ares Dragon helicopter bearing down on his home.
Something caught his eye, streaking toward his window. But the scream in his throat was forever stilled when the four HEAP rockets struck his home. And his ears never heard the loud whine of twin mounted Ruhrmetall SF-20 heavy machineguns emptying their belts into the grounds around his garage, and the bodies of his loyal soldiers.
Redmond Barrens, an abandoned building, an hour later
She looked down at the limbless man lying on the floor, grunting in pain and shock in his glazed eyes. She smiled and bowed to him graciously. She swept her bow towards his fallen comrades as well, not wishing to dishonor them. They had been very brave in the face of death.
“You have taken on three men whom most would consider among the best my employer has to offer, killed one, and mortally wounded two. You were not counting on me being among their number. Be glad you did not harm the girl, it could have gone much worse for you. My employer has something she wishes to say to you before you die.”
She stepped back from the man thumping his head uselessly on the floor.
“Thank you for your assistance in this matter, Mai. And you… you’ve displeased me,” said another feminine voice from somewhere within the room, “You’ve thrown a wrench into something that I’ve carefully considered for weeks. I can’t tolerate that.”
A figure stepped from the shadows, moving around pools of blood spreading thick and sticky on the hardwood floor. A thin trail of smoke plumed from sensually-curved lips, and dark blue eyes peered down at the man on the floor. One high-heeled foot gingerly pushed a severed cyberarm, claws still extended, from her path. Her dark brown hair was carefully piled up and pinned in place, her clothing immaculate and beyond expensive. The only thing that marred the woman was the trio of bloody slashes along her jawline that she daubed at carefully with a handkerchief.
“But the thing that really pissed me off, after I came here in good faith to negotiate, was you cutting my motherfucking face. Do you have any idea how much money I spent to get this look just right? I do so hate having to pay the salon more than once a week,” she continued coldly and without an ounce of inflection.
“Nuh-nuh-nuh-“ was all Akula could manage through his shattered jaw before he found himself looking up into the yawning black hole of the barrel of a Ruger Super Warhawk.
He heard the deafening roar, saw fire flash from the muzzle, and only briefly felt the weight of the bullet slam in between his eyes before oblivion claimed him as the trigger was pulled.
A change came over the bloody woman’s voice. It was warm, friendly. She was smiling, her teeth still perfect china white despite the blood running down her chin and neck.
“Don’t be afraid, young lady,” she said softly, “I’m not here to hurt you. I’m here to take you home.”
The bloody woman let the cigarette fall from her gloved hand onto the floor, crushed it beneath one four-inch heel, and reached out to the young girl crouched on the filthy mattress in the corner of the room.
Mai touched her hand to her ear after holstering her pistol and bowing deeply to her employer.
“Evac, make sure that DocWagon’s been alerted—there’s no need for them to come. Send in Greene for the cleanup. And make sure there’s a cold Kirin waiting for me.”