When a meeting turns into something else...
They say it never rains but pours. That night it didn’t pour but thrashed with the showers, lashed with the winds and cheered with cracking thunder and lightning. Keeping one’s eyes open was an effort and walking in that storm was herculean. Yet someone had to brave all the elements and do the job. And when jobs like these came into question, there was only one person in the world. Sergeant Karloz Jafie Midnight, or Night. Me. Well, I am not really good at things and no one really cares for me in other times. I never got to finish school, never been to college. Something happened to me at the lab my father worked when that machine exploded and killed him and left me like a half monster. I started working in a garage at the age of twelve, was noticed by Commander Manson and was recruited as his driver. For some reason he made me fill up forms and I joined the Force before my seventeenth birthday. Now at the age of twenty, I’m still running silly errands for the Force, ah, a certain captain, more specifically.
His errands always mean meeting someone in an underground basement, tail someone or sometimes making someone vanish.
Tonight it was a little different. My boss wanted me to meet a lady at a bar at midnight. I was more than certain that she wouldn’t come. No lady I have ever known wants to get their hair and pretty dresses wet. But my boss was of varied opinion. He is always of varied opinion and more often than not is never wrong. So there I was: battling the elements with nothing more than an umbrella.
The bar was in the neighborhood and I was waiting for her to arrive. She still had an hour in hand if she wished to be on time.
About half an hour later, a red car pulled over. The chauffeur came out with a red umbrella and opened the rear door. He held the umbrella over the door. A thin leg with shiny stiletto stepped out before a lady in a dark red dress slid out. She stood exactly at the center, looked around and then quietly marched towards the bar. There was no exorbitant swinging of hips, as I had expected. The doors opened and closed behind her. I waited. That was not my quarry, but I decided to follow.
I knocked and went in. The doorman raised his hand to stop me but a note of five hundred made him bow and escort me to the club. I pushed in another hundred and he left. I’m always generous with spending money. I needed to get the job done at all cost and it’s not my money anyway.
I gestured the bartender to get me a drink and turned to face the lady. She sat alone, she diamond earrings sparkled in the disco lights. Her slender fingers drummed the table while she nodded her head with the music.
About ten minutes passed in the same way before a man arrived and sat down opposite of the lady.
I put down my glass.
They spoke for a while then the lady stood up. She turned and made to leave when the man caught her hand. She twisted her arm to release her hand but the man tightened his grip. She looked about her. No one showed any interest to save her. A few heads turned but just for the sake of it. The lady was visibly uneasy. The man’s lips stretched in a sneering smile. I glanced at my watch. Still, fifteen minutes before my quarry turned up. Enough time.
Turning the glass upside-down in my mouth I dropped the hood over my head. He was, ignoring her restraints, pulling her off the seat now.
Pushing a few staggering fellows out of my way I went to stand behind the man. Immediately the woman’s eyes were tearing.
“Excuse me, sir,” I said.
The man stopped pulling her hand and turned to face me. He couldn’t see my features except for the chin, maybe, but I could see his hideous face that I have hated all my life.
“Back off,” he waved like waving a fly.
“Leave the lady alone,” I said.
“Do you know who I am?” he said tightening his grip on her hand. She winced in pain.
You are Zando Bitnick, I thought, captain of the Force. I had been running errands for you for years. Out loud, I just smirked.
I grabbed his wrist and twisted it.
He winced in pain and the let go of her hand. But I didn’t stop there. I twisted it till his fingers touched the back of his neck. Did I mention that I had superhuman strength? I guess not.
“Night,” a voice rang in my ear.
“Yes boss,” I said continuing the twist. He was screaming his head off. It had even drowned the deafening music of the club.
“Leave him,” the boss said.
“No boss,” I replied. “He was hurting the lady.”
“She is here.”
I released his arm.
He dropped on the floor, panting and gasping for breath.
I walked out of the door, quite aware of a slim figure following me.
Outside the storm had raised hell. Across the road, I could see the lady standing. She was slimmer than the lamppost but curvier than an hourglass. She kept herself in the protection of the recess over a door.
Opening my umbrella that seemed to break any moment, I crossed the road. As she stepped out I found her in a blue oilskin. She stepped into the protection of my umbrella and looked up searching for my eyes under the hood.
“Captain Bitnick?” she enquired.
“Rosella?” I asked.
“The money,” I asked.
“The packet first,” she demanded.
“Give it to her,” the boss said.
I shrugged and dropped the packet that had been sleeping in my inside pocket on her hands.
She looked carefully at it and stuffed it in her bag. From there she brought out a small device.
“Swipe,” she said.
I looked up at her. Biometric verification on an illegal drug deal!
“Come on man,” she spat. “I’m getting cold.”
Couldn’t blame her. My umbrella was barely holding up. It was flattering like a flag on a pole.
“You can’t leave your fingerprint there,” boss warned in my ear.
I tilted my head and smiled at the lady making sure she saw it. Then I took the device and simply crushed it.
She squeaked, jumped and stepped back.
“What are… are you?”
I whirled on my heels and listed to my right as a simple reflex as I caught a hand with a gun behind me in the corner of my eyes. I distinctly saw the charge fly across my chest, missing it by an inch but hitting Rosella in her throat. There was an awkward sound from her before she collapsed on the rain washed pavement.
The umbrella fell from my hand as I straightened and faced the man. Captain Zando Bitnick stood there with his charge gun in his good hand and his broken arm dangling by his side, useless. Behind him, the lady from the bar stood in the rain trembling in fear and cold. I nodded my thanks for catching my attention towards the imminent danger.
I glanced at the fallen girl behind me. Her eyes were open, the throat was still smoking.
My veins swelled on my arms, blood boiled like hot water. The fingers cracked as I balled them. My hand rose to grab his collar when a voice rang in my ears.
“Stop. Night. Step back.”
Boss had this bad habit of holding me back at most important times. I stopped and Bitnick planted the butt of his gun into my temple.
As I staggered away he jumped for the fallen girl. Putting his gun aside he ransacked the girl’s purse. From inside he brought out five packets full of dexper, a highly addictive substance that can make the taker fly without wings.
Well, the cat’s out of the bag.
He tore open the packet and dipped his trembling finger in the powder. Is eyes went wide and sparkled with excitement at the sight. Then very slowly he licked the finger. He closed his eyes and heaved a sigh. The world could go to hell, he had five packets of dexper and there was nothing he cared about.
I looked up to find Commander Manson on the other side. In his oversized oilskin covering his massive frame, he was looking like a bear but I didn’t find it the right to mention. Bitnick raised his head and then his eyes to meet his guest.
“Manson?” he asked, with a twist in his lips. Never mind the seniority of ranks.
“You are under arrest for killing a lady and for illegal dealing with drugs.”
Bitnick stood up and stared at the commander.
“You have no proof,” Bitnick said and took a step forward.
Commander smiled and shook his head. “Look behind you.”
Bitnick turned and I dropped my hood. Immediately the rain-soaked my hair and the wound that Bitnick inflected on me with the butt of his gun started to sting.
I was quite surprised to find him recognize me.
“What the hell are you doing here?” He asked. He blinked as the rainwater played into his eyes.
“Recording your out of desk activities and definitely they won’t lead you to a promotion.”
“Hand behind your head, Bitnick,” commander called.
Bitnick turned and raised his hand. I couldn’t even jump before he shot. The charge hit commander in his arm. He gave out a cry and fell to the ground.
This time I had no reason to stop. I looked around me; found an SUV parked a little away.
I grabbed the front bumper and lifted it overhead. Bitnick only had enough to realize what was coming and the Commander could only cry no before I slammed the vehicle on the poor captain.
“That was not what I intend to do with him, Night,” Commander said after he had joined me. His arm had developed a nasty gash but he was more worried about the explanations he would need to give to his seniors as to why there were no tire marks on Bitnick if he was found under an SUV, which had obviously run him over.
“They would never believe me,” he said with a sigh.
“Just tell them the truth,” I said knowing that he would never do that.
“You didn’t have to swat him with an SUV for toasting an Android.”
As I raised my brows he went to the girl on the sidewalk and pressed the side of her temple. The cranium swung open revealing come complex circuitry and wires. But then the shot was meant for me.
“At times like this,” I said as he joined me, “I don’t envy your job.”
“You better get underground until I sort this out. Any idea what you are going to do?” Commander said wiping his face and fishing out his phone.
“I think…” I stopped as I found the lady from the bar still there. No woman had ever stayed back after finding out the half monster that I am. But there she was in the wet red dress, not caring for the makeup or hair as they were washed by the torrent.
I smiled and for the first time thought of life outside the Force.
“I think,” I said taking my leave, “I’ll go to the beach.”