Author: DemonFox38 PM
A deal with a cunning business woman ends with the Spy and the Sniper being captured and dragged across the globe in search of a mythical location. Can the team rescue them? What horrors await at this supernatural destination? Grab your hat, kids! (Cover image by Py-Bun.)Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Humor - Spy & Sniper - Chapters: 23 - Words: 75,858 - Reviews: 142 - Favs: 70 - Follows: 47 - Updated: 07-30-12 - Published: 04-04-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7990962
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Wearing a tuxedo was not in the Demoman's contract.
He cursed the stiff fabric, picked at handkerchief lodged in his breast pocket. The colors seemed mismatched to him. The jacket was white, the trousers black. The latter was the worst part of the ensemble by far. The fabric clung to his legs, and the waist line was about two inches too small for him. It couldn't be helped, though. That bastard Spy wouldn't let him out of the base with a kilt on, and the only trouser pants he had really hadn't been used in over ten years.
"This had better be worth our bloody time," the Demoman cursed as he stepped out of the Spy's latest vehicular acquisition. How he managed to find so many Italian sports cars in the United States was beyond his knowledge. How he continued to destroy them? Well, that was more amusing than perplexing.
"We are being paid overtime and travel expenses for zis. We are also getting a decent meal." The Spy adjusted his tie. All things considered, he should have been much more uncomfortable than the Demoman. This was the first time in years that he'd stepped into the public without his balaclava on. Instead of his usual mask, he'd switched to a more subtle fedora to cast a shadow over his face. At least the night was dark. "I zink you would be a little more grateful."
The Demoman snorted once. "The whole thin' stinks ta high heaven ta me."
The third member of their team squirmed out of the back of the Spy's vehicle. It was nigh impossible to find a sports car with four doors. Never-the-less, the squashed teammate brushed himself clean, then fussed with his bow tie. "If zis deal goes zrough, ve vill have quite a bit of a raise, mein Scotsman."
"So ya go and hock this new stuff ya made," the Demoman grumbled. "Then what happens when this lass wants ta know about what else ya created, Doc? Gonna go off an' sell yer miracle gels?"
"It is not our problem right now." The Medic smoothed back his hair, taking a moment to twirl the errant curl on his head. "Zis is merely a byproduct. Just an accident. If zey want my mistakes, zen by all means, zey can have it!"
The Demoman clicked his tongue once, but stuffed his objections aside. It was the Medic's creation, after all. He had the right to do whatever the hell he wanted to with it. The Medic's attempt at creating a new medical gel had fallen flat on its face. The substance in question wasn't of any use to either the Demoman or the rest of his teammates. At best, it healed minor burns, removed scars, and evened skin tone. More or less glorified makeup. Miss Pauling seemed to like the stuff, at any rate. Perhaps there was a market for it.
The Spy gathered his two teammates together. "Just follow my lead. Keep quiet, and be polite. Do not speak unless you are spoken to. Do not eat or drink before you are offered somezing. Above all else, do not mention what we do for Helen. We are merely contract employees. Any questions?"
A voice buzzed in the Spy's left ear. "Yeah. Could ya blokes get a doggie bag or somethin'? Bloody starvin' up here."
The Spy shot a glare at a building across the street from the restaurant where they were meeting their client. The only thing that gave away the Sniper's position was a tiny flicker of light from the street lamps catching off his scope. At least the cheeky bastard had enough sense to turn off his laser sight. The Spy scowled, regretting his decision to give the Sniper an earpiece. Perhaps he was less of a nuisance than other earpieced, snotty-nosed brats on his team, but that didn't mean that he wouldn't get under the Frenchman's skin from time to time. At least the Engineer had created something small enough to hide from most prying eyes. He didn't need to have the device found.
Pressing on his ear, the Spy growled. "I zought I told you to eat before we came here."
"Mate, the only thin' I coulda picked up in toime was burgers. Not the good koinds, eitha." There was a short chuckle from the other end of the device. "If I wanted ta eat kangaroo meat, I woulda just ordered that. None 'a this cock and bull crap."
The Spy hissed. "Just shut up and pay attenzion. If anything goes sour, you will need to act fast."
Rubbing the back of his neck, the Demoman wondered about what kind of thieves' den they were stepping into. The Spy hadn't told him much about this potential buyer for the Medic's wares. All the Demoman knew about their client was that she was the owner of a very well to do cosmetic and warfare chemical manufacturer. A strange mix, no doubt. Not to say that the Administrator's enterprises made much more sense, but her business was fighting through and through. Then again, depending on the structure of a substance, a perfume and a neurological agent might not be all that far off from each other.
The Spy led both the Demoman and the Medic into the restaurant. How both the Frenchman and the German could be at ease, the Demoman didn't know. The three present men were completely out of their element. They were in a colorful city that they had never visited before, in a unique subsection referred to by the erroneous name of Chinatown. Every floor was lit lowly, paper lanterns and candles casting capricious shadows off the faces of men even shadier than himself. The walls were painted with a garnet hue, the furniture made of dark wood. Golden dragons on the walls shimmered in the night, teeth and scales glowing in the candlelight. The Demoman found himself flashing back to youthful terrors, wondering how out of place those ornaments would have looked at the bottom of Loch Ness.
It didn't take long for the three men to find their client. She was in the far corner of the restaurant, sitting out of the way of any direct view of the world outside. Curled around her head was a halo of blue cigarette smoke. She had a peculiar hairstyle, something not worn by most American women since the nineteen twenties. Her hair was auburn, short and curled above her ears, tucked beneath a small pillbox hat. There were some wrinkles to her face, but nothing obvious until the team was standing in front of her. She was no older than her late thirties, if her appearance in the dark restaurant was to be believed. Much like the owner of any cosmetic company, she had a perfectly decorated face. Her cheeks were polished smooth, colored with just a hint of blush. A faked beauty mark distracted only temporarily from her thick, red lips. Her mascara and eye liner were slightly heavier on her top lashes. She had the face of a classic beauty, more like a movie star than a business woman.
The Demoman was surprised, to say the least. "Here, I was expectin' some old—" A glare from the Spy silenced him before he babbled much further on. He coughed once, then shut up.
The business woman extended her hand. "Marian Gray."
"You will have to forgive us. We do not go by names." The Spy reached out, giving her a firm shake.
"Helen always does keep strange men in her company," Marian smirked. "I hope you don't mind, but I brought a few men of my own. Just as insurance of my safety, you understand." She waved her left hand twice, signaling for her companions.
The Medic and the Demoman tried not to gawk as two men as large and tall as their Russian teammate joined her on the red wrap-around furniture. They were impeccably well dressed, their breast pockets emblazoned with a five-thorned rose. Her company logo, no doubt. There was a low whistle from the inside the Spy's ear. "Musta spent a pretty penny on somethin' like that. Think this nest's got some 'a her shampoo 'round here. Same logo, anyway."
The Medic questioned their client's relationship to their leader. "How do you know about Helen?"
Marian grinned, crossing her legs at the ankle. "Networking, of course. We met at a party hosted by Mister Saxton Hale. Really something else, that man. Your Helen's a lucky woman."
"Ah, rubbish!" The Sniper's voice buzzed in the Spy's ear. "Ya see that smile she's got? Been bitten by the green-eyed monster, that one."
The Spy kept his face stoic, internally cursing the mouthy Sniper in his ear. Maybe he shouldn't have let the Australian bring such a great scope, if he was just going to bark about everything he saw. "Perhaps we should get down the business."
"So to the point! I thought Frenchmen like you were a little less hasty," Marian laughed. "Very well."
Nudging the Medic, the Spy gave the German control over the conversation. The Medic had to collect himself. He was too busy wondering what the young couple across the way was eating. It looked like they had some kind of grill in the middle of their table. They were throwing chunks of meat on it, drinking some clear kind of liquid as well. "Ack, you must forgive me. I do not see zese sorts of zings often, you know."
Their guest lifted an eyebrow. "A German, too? Fascinating!" She turned her attention to the Demoman. "And where are you from? Morocco? Algeria?"
"Scotland," the Demoman grumbled.
"I see," Marian said. It was hard to tell if she was blushing beneath all that make-up. She turned attention back to the Spy. "Perhaps we should get straight to it, then."
The Spy agreed. "Of course. If ze good doctor is ready—"
Nodding, the Medic produced a vial from his jacket. He handed the sample to their client, white gloves adding a touch of elegance to his presentation. One of her body guards picked the vial up. He examined it for a moment, then unscrewed the cap. He placed a droplet of the substance on his fingers. Satisfied that it wasn't acid or poison, he handed it to his employer. She tested it as well, taking an experiment sniff along with her prodding.
"Now, zis is not a panacea, by any means. You should find zat it is good for some basic skin treatments. It vorks vonders with healing scars and burned tissue. I'd imagine zat it might be all right for use against psoriasis, alzough I have not tested zat, myself," the Medic rambled. He was quite proud of his work.
Marian nodded, smiling. "I would love to see a demonstration." With those words, she reached for the center of their table. She flipped back a panel, then flicked a switch. A small grill kicked to life. All three of Helen's men frowned, unsure of what their client was requesting. She continued flashing her soft grin. "Well? I thought you said it worked against burns."
The three men glared at each other. With a grimace, the Spy removed his leather glove from his left hand. He held it over the grill, wondering how much money this really was worth. After taking a quick breath, he pressed his index finger down. The grill was not as hot as it could have been, but it still hurt. After keeping it down for a second, he retracted his finger. His skin was bright red, still cooking even after he removed it from the grill.
Marian was quick to take his hand. She rubbed a small amount of the substance across the burn, her fingers working as slow and deeply as a masseur's. With a pleasing tingling sensation, the low-grade medical gel began its work. The pain was quick to pass. His skin mended itself nicely, restoring his fingerprints and damaged tissue in only a few moments. It even had the same tone as the rest of his skin. There was no evidence of the wound on his hand.
Their client was impressed, to say the least. "I see why Helen hires men like you. Intelligent, and quick to oblige."
"So, vhat do you zink?" the Medic asked. "Should ve begin negotiations?"
Marian smirked. "Yes. But first, a toast." Giving a nod towards the opposite end of the floor, their client summoned a waiter. He place six small cups on their table, careful to avoid the heated grill in the center of the table. As he poured a liquid into their cups, the Spy investigated their offerings. It smelled safe enough, at any rate. Some kind of fruit wine. Most likely plum.
A jealous voice sighed in the Spy's ear. "Ah, mate. Looks good. Wish I could have a swig 'a that."
"Maybe next time," the Spy mumbled. He glanced up, realizing his mistake. Nobody else had caught onto his murmuring. He smiled, sliding back into his usual demeanor. He'd just have to be more careful. Perhaps not drive for an hour. Not that he hadn't done some trick driving in his time, but tonight, he preferred not to take any risks.
Their client raised her cup first. "To our business, gentlemen."
The Spy winced as an electronic screech rang in his ear. He glanced backwards, light catching the corner of his eye. A short pop followed it, along with the distinct, gut-wrenching sound of glass shattering. It came from across the street. What the hell was that? Did someone spot the Sniper? Damned fool couldn't hide himself if he didn't have some mud hole to wallow in. There was no siren, no spinning lights from the street below them. Not cops. That made the following sounds of gunshots all the worse.
A roll of fire brought his attention quickly back to the table. Someone had tossed their wine into the grill. The flaming sheet singed his jacket. He jumped out of his chair, yanking his teammates backwards. They hesitated for one moment, all there knowing that something was wrong but having no explanation for what it was. Two more bursts of flame erupted from nearby tables, corralling the men together.
As the men reached for any weapon they could find, there were two sharp cracks. Wood burst as the first projectile struck it. The second hit flesh and bone. The Medic gasped in pain, clutching his chest as he staggered from his attackers. Kicking into action, the Demoman grabbed the Medic with one arm and stole a wine bottle with the other from a near-by table. He bashed it against one lackey's head, shielding the Medic with the rest of his body. It didn't take him long to cut through the crowded restaurant, charging away from the scene like a mad bull.
The Spy bolted for the stairs, rushing through the gap the Demoman had created. The throng closed around him. As he twisted to get away, he crashed into their table's waiter. With his nose smashed against the other human's chest, he noticed that the waiter had a rather familiar symbol sown into it. It was a red flower, complete with five thorns. It wasn't just him, either. The man across the way? Another rose. Patrons in the back? Dotted with red flora. Merde. This was a set-up. Of course Marian could have done this. She was an associate of the Administrator's, a woman known for her liberal use of cartridges to solve problems. She certainly had the resources and manpower for something like this. Hmph. Well, if that was the way she wanted to play, the loss was hers. She could take the Medic's little mistake for free, if that was her goal. It wasn't like he wouldn't wake up in Teufort within a few minutes of his assassination.
Two guns pressed against the back of his skull, tipping his hat forward. Despite his incoming death, the Spy merely sighed. "If you just wanted to steal from us, zen go ahead. I'd razzer you did not kill me here, however. It would be an inconvenience for my associates to have my car towed."
A low voice slipped in his left ear, slithering around the hissing earpiece. "We've still got work to do, Monsieur Spy."
As he wondered how Marian came to know his title, a sharp blow to the back of his head dropped the Spy.
His skin was prickling by the time the Spy woke up. There was a pain in his legs, a rolling in his stomach. He jerked upward, off-put by the sensations. A seatbelt was locked over his waist. Two bands were fastened over his wrists, keeping him pinned in place. A growl built behind his teeth. He was cuffed in an airplane.
This could not possibly mean anything good.
As the Spy set about trying to break free, he caught a glimpse of the man tied to the window seat. His head was low, hat crooked. Damned Sniper. He leaned over to his teammate, then bit at his shirt sleeve. The cotton sent jitters through his teeth as he shook the Sniper. The Australian was unresponsive. There was a bright red scrape across his forehead, scarlet droplets on his back. More scratches and bruises were peppered along his arms. So, he'd been ambushed.
Several things were not adding up. The handcuffs, the attack on his teammates, the deception in the yakiniku restaurant. That was just what the Spy had scratched off the surface. Then, there was the status of this airplane. It was fairly large, two seats on the outside and three on the inside per row. Yet, it was completely empty, save for the Spy and the Sniper. This was a waste of energy. No standard flight service would ever take off with this few of people. No, it had to be private owned by someone very wealthy and extravagant.
Well, the Spy certainly knew who had kidnapped him. Now, if he could only figure out why.
Man, I was struggling to get writing again. Two weeks of vacation nearly ruined me for a whole week. I think I re-wrote this part three times. That's not to mention the two other stories I tried to write before this one! Ack!
I noticed there was a distinct lack of pulpy action stories for Team Fortress 2. Let's fix that. Got to have some adventure in this sea of love.
Tra la la. Tagging this as Sniper and Spy, while there will be no shipping of the two. Watching the girls cry is what I'm all about.