Chapter 2: Let's Talk
The grey clouds that hanged cast a shadow over the city. The snowflakes that dropped piled up on the streets. This fresh new morning that she awoke to was also a sign of future snowfalls only worsening. For once her body felt rested even if only little. Carolina had managed to get some sleep, but more was left to be desired. It was nearing the time on the message for her meeting. She put on her coat, and gently wrapped a black toque around her forehead. Church studied her anxious form as well as her heart rate. "Going to see that assassin prick?"
Carolina let out a heavy yawn and nodded her head. "What's gotten you so riled up Church?"
"Trusting a strange message from a strange man to meet a strange person," Church retorted with his arms crossed rather cautiously. "Doesn't this sound like a setup to you?"
"It might be," she motioned a small pocket knife and hid it in her coat. "But I don't exactly have any other leads on who that assassin is and what can I do about the terrorist organization."
"Remember, I can't help you other than feed you tactical data. So do watch out for yourself."
"I'm well aware and I appreciate the concern," she smiled and motioned for him to transfer over to her implants.
She put on her snow shoes and left into the cold streets. Her breath literally escaped her. She felt the cold sensation of the snow landing on her cheeks. Carolina lowered her head to find the snow already a centimeter thick. She began to tread towards the location of the meet. On her way, she came across her old workplace where Madison died. The site was still barricaded by the police, and cleanup persisted but made slow progress.
She lowered her head as a sign of respect. He was a man driven to terrorism by the madness of losing his family and the vices of humans. I hope you are at peace where ever you are Madison. Maybe you have finally met your family again. She continued to walk past the site after creating eye contact with one of the cleanup workers. She crossed over from one street to the next until she finally reached her destination. She rubbed her hands together and let out a heavy breath.
The loud bells of the local church echoed in their surroundings. Carolina looked up to find a large wooden door. In this day and age, it seems that some things had yet to change. Carolina checked the hour on her watch and made it just in the nick of time. She entered the building and found it to be mostly empty barring a few priests and nuns. They gladly welcomed her with open arms and encouraged her to send prayers to their lord.
She sat in one of the rows with her head down. Her breaths were wild in an effort to catch whatever warmth they could retain in her body. The doors behind her creaked open, she looked up and back, no one was there. Strange. But she was far too concerned with her own body heat to think about anything else. As she turned her head back towards the front where a large statue of Jesus stood, she felt the sharp sting of a warm blade resting against her back. She tried to look back, but was quickly discouraged. "I wouldn't do that if I were you Ms. UNSC."
He was here. He had the upper hand and left her completely defenceless. She obediently looked ahead and took a deep breath to recover from the jump scare. "Why don't you show yourself instead of talking to me like this coward? You are the one who called me out here after all."
"I prefer to keep things a mystery if you will," he embellished. "It helps keep me on my toes. Plus who doesn't love a good mystery?"
"Why did you call me out here of all the places? You wouldn't be able to escape me so easily in this place."
"Churches are one of the few places that are free from surveillance," he pushed the blade a little closer to Carolina in response to her overconfident threat. "As for catching me, let's just say that I probably have the greater agility out of the two of us."
He chuckled to himself which left Carolina wanting to stand up and beat the answers out of him. This routine was getting tiresome. "You know, I didn't think you would show up. Skipping work to do it of all things, what a naughty woman you are."
"Get to the point already," her voice was beginning to sound a little annoyed. He shook his head and let out a sigh. "Well excuse me for trying to get friendly here Ms. UNSC, or rather Carolina. Which would you prefer?"
"Neither to a stranger like you," she leaned back and nudged at the blade. "And I don't think our ideas of friendships match."
"Fair enough, but I have my own interests to watch out for. I can't risk you screwing things up for us."
"Yes mam," he nonchalantly replied. "The organization that will open up your world while you are here in this country, the organization of your dreams."
"Don't test my patience anymore than it has been already."
"Scary," he lowered his head and whispered. "She is a lot like you. Or rather you are a lot like her. The similarities are what make you really scary."
Now what is he going on about? She wondered trying to decipher his cryptic tone. The assassin reached into one of his pockets beneath the slim body armor and threw down a small card to Carolina's right. "I called you out here to offer you a chance to avenge those who died because of the terrorists. You give us your skills, and we give you an opportunity to be able to get a good night's sleep. It's a fair trade wouldn't you say?"
"You have been spying on me," she concluded as the assassin easily agreed. "It's not hard to when you are so clueless about the environment around you, even if you have lived here for a while already."
"Just…whose side are you on?"
"We are playing the side game now? Let's see, should I pretend to be the perfect knight in shining white armor or the one whose ledger is filled with crimson red?"
"Answer the damn question already!"
"Learn to lighten up Ms. UNSC," The assassin's voice became a little serious at her sudden rebuttal. "Being so serious and brooding won't help you or anyone else. Life will just happen, so chill."
He contemplated his words for a few minutes before granting her an answer more to her liking. "Let's just say that we are not on the side that is planting those explosives and involving innocents into those incidents. We would much rather prefer peace, law and order over whatever ideals these terrorists are driven by."
Carolina looked at the card with an address on it. He smirked to himself noticed the serious look on her face. "Really now, I just told you to chill and you get even more serious. It's such a shame. You have quite a beauty about you, too bad it's wasted like this."
"I don't need your advice or your consolation," she answered with bitterness in her voice. She wasn't ready to be buddy-buddy with this man, especially not after how he stole her targets right from under her nose in the past. He simply shrugged his shoulders and said. "If you are interested in joining us, come to the address on the card tomorrow night. It is the same building where we last met. You will find me on the rooftop there."
The assassin activated his arm panel. "Remember, we are offering you an opportunity to do more than what your limited resources can with the UNSC here in America. We are offering you an opportunity to work with us to bring down the terrorists that plague the society. You have experienced their victimization first hand. I hope you make the proper choice."
Suddenly she no longer felt the tip of the blade against her. She stood up to see the church doors closing. She ran outside and found no suspicious individual, nor any trace left behind by her recent conversationalist. That's just great. Carolina scorned at her surroundings and kicked the snow in frustration. He got away again, like always. She held out the card she was given. What do I do about you?
A/N: Things are moving along, and have kicked off to a rather moderately paced start. What do you all think about the Assassin's character so far based on what little has been given about him?
Also as a reply to a recent review (even though I have already done it through a PM) for the rest of the readers to see. The review asked if I would do any side story of sorts with the Blood Gulch Crew. Answer is no. There will be no side stories this time around and all of the focus will be poured into the main story. The Blood Gulch Crew will get a substantive appearance in this season later on down the line as they play a critical role in helping Carolina. How they help is something you will have to wait and see :).
I hope you all enjoyed this little chapter. Constructive feedback is appreciated!