Chapter 13: The Silencer
Carolina overlooked the city from a high vantage point under the beaming moonlight. Epsilon appeared besides her formulating a route and highlighted the various pathways to take. She licked her lips in boiling excitement. Let us go on a hunt. Epsilon looked from her to the city and agreed. Both felt their synapses revving and hunter's instincts taking over. She stood up straight to the edge of the rooftop. "Ready Church?"
"Yeah, let's go find a squealer."
She jumped forward into the air, far away from the safe confines of the floor. Like a free bird she flew in the air with the aid of her jets. Coming down hard onto the opposite rooftop, she felt her body shake from the impact. But at the same time it sent another rush of euphoria through her mind. It had been quite a while and unbeknownst to her, her body had been yearning for these sensations of a soldier all this time. Carolina followed the route displayed on her HUD as it highlighted her path in green. She jumped from one building to the next and repeated the cycle until she finally reached her target. Taking out a pair of binoculars, she surveyed her battleground. They are pretty tight on security. There are too many numbers for me to handle alone. Getting into a rumble here would be bad news. I will have to take this quietly.
"Agreed," Epsilon appeared beside her and prepared the necessary power diversions to her camouflage unit. "Land down near the side of the compound unnoticed. Once you do, I will activate our camouflage and let you take the steering wheel for the rest of the trip."
"Got it," Carolina jumped down to the marked area as quietly as possible. She studied her surrounding area. No one was alerted to her presence. Good, Church, hit me up. Church was quick to activate the camouflage unit. It's all yours now sis. Remember to take it nice and slow. Carolina moved past many by hiding in bushes or behind cover. Occasionally she was forced to take the risk of moving out in the open, but in large crowds. Though she managed to fool those around her, she also managed to become completely clueless as to where her target's location is. Church, did HQ not send the exact coordinates for his meeting?
Give me a sec here, Epsilon verified the contents of the data that was sent over. No, nothing here. Sorry sis but you are on your own with this one, can't rely on HQ. Carolina gritted her teeth and began searching for clues. As luck would have it, she overheard two soldiers discussing amongst themselves something of great interest. "Man, why did they have to pick this heap of shit location to meet of all places? And they chose to do it on a chilly night like tonight."
"Do you ever quit your bitching?"
"Yeah, but only when I am able to let my feet up comfortably in a heated room."
"Psh, if the boss heard you say that he would hang you up by your balls in the base to let you have all that heat to yourself."
"Oi, don't joke about that! I still remember what happened to Charlie last month. He hasn't been able to recover from it, I doubt he ever will."
"The boss is a scary SOB, so make sure to behave," the guard spoke to his friend. Carolina trailed them in the darkness. The boss, could this be my target? She moved from one bush to the other as soon as she had placed an adequate distance between themselves. She stopped to observe the two soldiers entering what looked like ruined buildings. From within the building, she could overhear several voices. Epsilon appeared beside her. "Get a closer look."
"Right, for now go into sleep mode."
"Right, right, you go it."
Her armor turned back to its normal color. She stepped out and ran towards the building. Resting her back against the wall, she looked up and decided to climb. Following the strength of the voices, she deduced that her targets were at the top floor. Carolina looked to her left to find more ruined buildings in plain sight. The rooftops of such buildings led to a populated street. That could make for a good escape route. Carolina finally reached the top and watched a deal playing out through the broken roof.
Four individuals stood in a room filled with cracked walls, and broken furniture all around. On one side stood a lone man with a briefcase in his right hand, and on the other side stood three men. The one in the middle was her target, and this man was certainly not a fan of athletics as evidenced by his plump figure. He wore a black suit fitting a business man, and his balding head did little to hide his age. Beside the target were two body guards, all dressed in a black suit and black gloves. Carolina could already sense that the bodyguards were dangerous. Compared to the army the target has outside the building, these two guards alone seemed more of a terrifying foe.
"Do you have it?" the lone man asked as he eyed their long and thick briefcase. The target motioned for one of his bodyguards to display the product to their client. "State of the yard, long range high caliber energy based sniper rifle. You won't find this in the markets anywhere."
"Yes, thanks to those bastard Government legislators, we are forced to buy these at a premium now."
"Whatever could you be talking about?" the target grasped his hands together and smiled through his teeth. "I am simply a business man exploiting an opportunity for the benefit of my organization."
"Hmph, it checks out," the client stood up and opened the briefcase of money. The target wore a rather amused expression. "Physical money in this day and age?"
"It's safer than a digital transaction that leaves footprints behind every step of the way."
The target handed a bill to one of his bodyguards who studied it carefully under a magnifying glass. The guard handed it back to the target and nodded. The businessman smiled and shook the client's hand wishing him the best in the usage of their newly acquired product. "I hope to do business with you again soon."
The client quickly left the building. The three in the room tidied up the briefcase and the target trusted one of his bodyguards to get it delivered. Though before dismissing the two, he looked up towards the ceiling and with a courteous smile he declared. "Would our little intruder please show themselves?"
How?! Carolina pondered. She stood up causing the bodyguards to draw their sub-machine guns. "How did you know that I was here?"
The target pointed to his eyes for Carolina to take a closer look. She was surprised to find someone with two prosthetic eyes with thermal detection enhancements. "Still, you are coming with me!"
"I don't think you understand your situation," the man scoffed as he pointed to his two bodyguards. "We have the big guns here girl. Give up and come down so that we can rectify your bad behavior."
"I have dealt with worse."
"Cute," the businessman was amused. "Such bravado can only get you so far. It's three on one."
"Yes," he drew out a small energy pistol and aimed for Carolina's head. "Like I said, three on one."
The target looked to his right. His body guard fell to the ground holding his throat covered in blood.
The target looked to his left. His body guard fell to the ground holding his throat covered in blood. The target felt a tremble course through his body. "W- What is this? How many of you are there?!"
But before the target could talk any further, he was quickly silenced with a blade piercing the back of his throat all the way through. Carolina held in the urge to gag at the horrible sight. Blood sprayed out from the target's throat as he tried to stop it. Gripping both his hands around his throat, he fell to the ground. The last of his air, and will power left him leaving him to succumb to death.
No! Carolina gritted her teeth at the new intruder. From the figure she could make it out to be a male wearing several pieces of armor underneath a black trench coat. The blade that did the deed retracted into wrist holsters. From what Carolina could tell, those blades extended and retracted automatically. He flexed his fingers underneath the black leather gloves and let out a yawn. In a rather arrogant tone, the young man spoke. "They always die so easily, why is it that none of them ever put up a resistance?"
"Who are you?!" Carolina infuriated with the events lashed out against the young man. He looked up, although most of his face was covered by a hood. He waved towards her a small apology. "Sorry for dropping in unannounced, but all is fair game on the hunt!"
"Why are you talking to me as if I am supposed to know you?"
"All of that will be made clear sooner or later," the man replied as he jumped up towards the opening on the roof. I will go straight from here, yeah that will do. He waved back on last time and jumped from building to building. Carolina leaped after him. Yeah right, as if I will let you get away so easily. He was quick to notice the pest behind him. Quite the dedicated one aren't you? He wall ran to get over a few obstacles along the way. When he had no choice, he slid on the ground underneath objects or jumped over them.
Carolina managed to chase him down all the way to the very last ruined building. But just before she could grab hold of him, he jumped down into the crowded street below. Carolina gritted her teeth and pulled herself back from nearly falling. Epsilon appeared over the edge and studied the crowd. The assailant was nowhere to be seen. "Crazy bastard…"
She poked her head over from the edge and punched the concrete. "Damn it!"
In a bout of anger she kicked a nearby pile of rubble causing it to scatter and alerted those down below. Epsilon quickly activated her camouflage unit. "Keep it down will you sis? We don't need a whole army on our ass."
With a huff and a puff she slowly calmed down. Epsilon began formulating their next step. "We need to get in contact with HQ. They will need to know what happened here."
"I know that!" Carolina looked for a safe way down. As luck would have it, a guard was passing by down below and acted as the perfect cushion for her fall. Exiting the premise, Carolina looked back one last time to ensure she wasn't being followed, and quickly made her way back home.
Carolina unzipped her suit that snuggled her body underneath the armor and threw it to the side. The frustration was still strong. Ever since my encounter with my previous target, it's been one failure after another. For fuck's sake, please let something go right for once! She hunched down by the radio and gripped her head in disappointment.
"Identify yourself please," the communicator over the radio gave the cue for Carolina to face her failure. "This is Agent Carolina of the UNSC. Special Agent ID number is D233564850, requesting permission to speak to the C.O. currently present."
"One moment please Agent," the woman answered as she transferred lines to the C.O.'s office who picked up his phone. "Hello Agent Carolina. I trust that there is some good news from your mission."
She remained quiet. It was enough to get him to sigh in disappointment. "This was not what I had expected of you when we chose to give you this special treatment and this deal with us Agent. Your failure this time is too great to overlook."
"Allow me to explain sir," she bit her lower lip. Time to kiss the C.O.'s ass I guess. The man waited patiently for her to continue. "There was an unaccounted variable on the scene. It was an assassin that interfered leading to the death of the target. Before I could catch the assassin, he fled into the crowded streets and I lost sight of him."
"Why are you here then? Did you not deem it necessary to spend the rest of the night hunting him down?"
"Fine, we will overlook it this time seeing as how this assassin seems to be involved in this whole thing as well one way or another. They will be marked as a target. I will transfer lines to one of the other soldiers, describe all that you can about the assassin to them."
"Yes sir," Carolina answered with a breath of relief. But at the same time she slammed her fist on the table as the C.O. transferred lines. Pompous jerk. After transferring lines and explaining to the soldier about whatever description she could recall in detail, she was assured that they will add it in as a note and that this will be looked into. They canceled the call leaving her to sneer at the radio. "God damn internal rules and politics. If I could do this just on my own, then maybe it wouldn't take so long."
"And how would you gather the intelligence that they are able to?" Epsilon questioned upon seeing her tantrum. Carolina laid back down onto the ground and closed shut her eyes. "Hell if I know."
"Exactly, you need them as much as they need you."
"I need them huh? That's only if I continue to serve under a contract for them, and remain a soldier."
"True, true," Epsilon noted with a hint of concern at the way she spoke those last few words. "Sis, are you alright?"
"Yeah, just dandy," she stood up and jumped into her bed. "Let me sleep, tomorrow is another work day after all."
"Right, good night."
A/N: So after quite a while, I have some plot for you all! :), even if somewhat cryptic.
I hope you enjoyed that chapter and look forward to the next one!
Thank you for your time and readership. Catch you all next time!