Sex, Substances, Sin, Salvation

How these 4 's' words are intertwined

By Masamune Reforged

WhenShootingStarsFalldotcom

Warnings: Yaoi (tons of pairings, but mostly 1x2, 3x4 and implied former 13x6. Lemons amuck.), cursing, drug use, violence, angst, insanity, cameos, AU, lunacy, racism. All the bad shit you'd expect in real life.

Author's Note - I use some terminology in this chapter that not everyone might be familiar with. This is when Heero refers to something as being at "twelve o'clock", "10:30", or any similar o'clock orientation. "10:30" and other o'clock numbers are pilot code for enemy positions, based on where the pilot is facing. So "12:00" is directly in front, "6:00" directly behind, "10:30" a bit off to the left. I thought Heero's mental process might involve some efficient, mechanical way of aiming like this. It's also a lot easier than writing the enemy's position every second. Also, remember that every time Heero changes directions, the enemy's orientation changes also.

Page V: Steps Down an Unlit Path

Part D – Superior to even Heero Yuy

Heero's POV

The hardest part, I thought to myself, would be creating the RDX slurry.

Living in the ventilation shafts, sleeping in sewage pipes, planting C4 in critical locations within the 81st International Bank over the course of five days was a 'cake-walk' compared to making the RDX slurry. That would be the hardest part of the mission, or so I had told myself...

The mixture for this critical component is very hard to stabilize, and, as such, I'd always enjoyed the thrill and risk of making it myself. The cyclonite slurry, to sum it up roughly, is created by reacting highly concentrated nitric acid on hexamine. Combine the RDX slurry with a plasticizer and binder compound (best to dissolve the binder compound in a solvent first) and distill. Creating the RDX slurry is the hardest part, as nitric acids in high concentration are a little volatile.

The RDX slurry was what killed all but one of the eighteen people who died yesterday night at the 81st International Bank on 3rd Avenue in Gotham. It accounted for 91 of my C-4 plastic explosives, and one mistake mixing it would have ended my life in a flash. Adding the compounds with an even hand, my heart would beat wildly at that thought. I, and only I, was master of my own fate as I stared down at the brown and grey mixture. I felt invincible, my head soaring and heart pumping, simply from knowing one error could blow me into a hundred tiny pieces. Obviously I use no tagger chemicals for tracing.

C-4, after being dried and filtered, looks and feels like white modeling clay. The difference between the two is that C-4 can destroy the thickest steel pillars (I use 9.7 pounds of C-4 for steel beams that are 8 square inches thick) when wrapped and surrounded by sandbags or other buffers, in order to direct the force of the explosion inwards.

On March 18th, at 3:30 in the morning, the explosions were not covered with sandbags or arranged in any demolition setup. I wanted to kill as many security personnel as possible, not destroy the building I needed to infiltrate. As usual, I used a remote detonator, the only reliable way of forcing C-4 to explode. (It can be thrown into fire, run over by a car or shot with a bullet and still not explode, unless surrounded by high temperatures, and those are very extreme temperatures). The only other way to detonate them would be blasting caps, which I despise.

So I pushed a red button and seventeen people died. The night sky lit up from the mesmerizing sacrificial flame. Deafening roars of eruption drowned out surprised shouts. There was a jaw-clenching screech as concrete, steel, and plastic were ripped apart and sent flying into the moonlit night. Plumes of gray and black smoke spiraled up into the clear sky. The sprinkler system turned itself on. Alarms began buzzing and ringing, warning sirens and alerts popping up, far too late.

I skipped several feet to my left as the revolving doors of the 81st International Bank flew out onto the streets of 3rd Avenue behind me.

The marble steps were lodged in nearby buildings and cars.

I checked my watch. 3:30 AM and 05 seconds.

Move out.

-----

Nobody coming out of the entrance. Run to the southeast corner. Lean against the stone pillar, comfortably warm. Survey the inside. Nobody moving? No, but lots of smoke. That's fine. If I can't see them through that smoke they can't see me either. But stay low and stick to the shadows.

The metal detector was melted into a heap of slag.

The security guards were in bits and pieces.

All of the smoke was billowing out the two story hole in the front entrance, right into my face.

Breathe through the oxygen mask. Squint to see if anyone is still alive. Be careful not to stumble over the steaming rubble and debris. Keep heading towards the vault.

I had a heavy backpack on. It had grenades, ammo, a KeyHack for any security systems still intact, a crowbar and the BeamSabre5000. The last was a battery operated device that would emit a small surgical laser, less than a foot long, and could melt through just about anything.

Amidst some rubble on the north side of the lobby, a survivor was panting and gasping as he fought to claw his way from under pieces of the ceiling. "H-hey! Help me!" the man cried out. A dark blotch of blood covered most of his face. A gnarled, three-fingered hand twitched. His legs were either stuck under the rubble or completely gone. It was hard to make sense of the black and red gore that was his lower body.

"Please, oh God, please, help me!" he begged.

Keep both eyes open, arm straight.

Bang.

I shot him in the head.

His hand dropped. His head fell to his chest, or at least what was left of it.

It was very nice of me to do that.

I scanned the building for remaining signs of life. I was in the center of the lobby.

Then, from above, "Are you one of those scary people?"

Swivel around. Wipe that water from the sprinklers off for better vision. Scan the balcony overlooking the ground floor. Smoke hasn't cleared there yet, unable to locate the voice. It sounded like a girl's... but...

"Are you? Are you a scary person who hurts people?" came the girl's voice again. What is a girl doing here? "Do you?"

Sounds calm... very calm. Drugged? Who would ask such a question?

Hurt people? Yes. Enjoy it? Also a yes.

The smoke slowly cleared. A figure was peering down on me. She was a young, blonde girl in a sparkling blue dress. She didn't have a cut or smudge on her. I shook my head. She was no older than I, probably younger. I stopped walking and my memories stabbed at me.

Don't think about that girl. That wasn't your fault. There's nothing you can do now anyway...

"If you know what's good for you, you'll get out of here now," I said. It really gave me no pleasure at all, killing someone as young and innocent as that. They weren't old enough to properly know fear. They couldn't hold out long enough for me to enjoy the torture. And...

"Neo says you're a scary man who wants to hurt Stellar," the girl said. I tried to ignore her, walking again towards the vault. The calamity of the explosion had obviously sent her into shock. "Would you hurt Stellar?" she asked.

I stopped. I looked up at her. She was completely unfazed, almost smiling. There was something out of place with this. There was something going on.

"Someone told you I'd be coming here?" I tried asking. I didn't have time to babysit, but I wasn't about to walk further into a trap. "Who is this Neo?"

"Neo takes care of Stellar." The girl, 'Stellar', smiled wide. "Neo is really great. He would never let anyone hurt Stellar. But-" Here the girl's face changed radically. Her face turned ashen and her large, green eyes seemed to be turbulent with terror. "But Neo said bad people might come here, people that would hurt Stellar, that would hurt Neo."

"Listen, girl." I shook my head, rummaging through my bag for the BeamSabre5000. The vault was nearby and I had to get started. This girl was obviously insane, shocked from the blast or something. She certainly wasn't any threat. "I don't know what you're talking about, and I really don't care." I pulled out the kit and was about to pass directly under the balcony. "So just get out of here so I don't have to kill you too-"

"NOOO!!!"

The scream made me look up. A glint of silver caught my eye. ! The hell?

I jumped back, dropping the BeamSabre kit and barely evading the throwing knife.

Thwack. It cracked the marble floor, sticking out.

Craning my neck, I raised my gun at her. I had to take a few steps back to keep a good bead on the target.

"K...kill Stellar?" she whimpered like a kicked dog. Her hands were tearing at her blonde hair. Her face was twisted in pain, teeth grinding, breath quick. "Kill... Kill Stellar?"

What was going on? She just threw a knife an inch into a marble floor! She'd almost killed me!

"That's right." I decided to give her one final warning. "If I have to, I'd kill anyone."

The girl called Stellar stood up ramrod straight and opened her mouth to reply. I could see her lips moving as she whispered to herself, fists balled, body shaking, but I couldn't hear. She hunched forward, hugging her shoulders, and now I could make out the sound of her wavering voice. But, again, I was too far away to make out the words. I had to get to the vault. If she was going to distract me, she had to die.

"I'll make them disappear!" she screamed, looking down at me with alarming features. Her eyes were merciless and tear stained. Her mouth was clenched and twisted. I'd never seen such an extreme contrast of emotions on an enemy's face before. It made me hesitate a moment.

"AAAAAAAHH!!!"

And in that moment Stellar let out a terrific battle cry. She grasped the hand rail of the balcony, a full seven meters above the marble floor, and threw herself over the edge. From that height there were two possibilities. Either she would break her legs, or she would have to execute a forward tuck roll. I only needed to prepare for one of them. I lowered my arm angle, aiming straight ahead to where she would land. While she was still in the roll, if she even knew how, I would blow her head off. The above thought process took less than two seconds, about fifteen seconds less than what it takes to explain.

Bang. I pulled the trigger. It would be the Nth 1 life I'd taken, nothing special.

But...

But this one was special. Stellar was special because she didn't die.

No, I did not miss. My shot was right on the mark. But Stellar didn't tuck-roll, and her legs didn't break on the floor. She landed on her feet, twenty-three feet below where she'd jumped, and she hit the ground running. The bullet in her leg? Might as well not have been there. I could hardly react, hardly convince myself that what I was seeing was actually happening. But there she was, still breathing, still on her feet, and she started to come right at me. But, not before she grabbed the throwing knife out of the floor, plucking it right out of the floor as easily as you pull a needle from the pin cushion, and she threw it at me as fast as lightning.

Things got a little complicated from there. It was all over in about two minutes, but by my conversion rate that would take about seventeen minutes to explain. So, for efficiency's sake, I'll just give you the highlights from what I saw.

Knife! Dodge to the right! Why's she not dead?

Stellar: "AAAAH!"

She's coming. She's coming! The bullet hit her in the leg, how is she running? Hn. Target from twelve o'clock, moving. Both hands on the gun. Aim for the heart. Click, bang.

She dodged it? She dodged a bullet? Try again! Closer now. Click, bang. She ducked behind that pillar, 10:30. Take cover yourself!

Silence, silence. Peek from behind the pillar providing cover. No movement. Had I hit her after all? No. Maybe the injury to her leg?

I peek out from behind the pillar. Blue material, her dress. Seems to be movin-

Clappa-clappa-clappa-clappa. I pull my head back. The stone on the pillar where my head had been is blown away, white plaster chipping. Clappa-clappa-clappa. Uzi. Fuck! Chipped plaster gets in my eye. Blink. Clappa-clappa-clappa-clappa.

Stellar: "Scary things... I'll make them disappear!"

Blink, blink. Clappa-clappa-clappa. The Uzi report echoes louder. The rate of bullets hitting the pillar increases. The enemy is advancing. Blink, blink. Get that shit out of your eye already!

"I'll make them DISAPPEAR!"

Clappa-clappa-clappa. Wait for it. Clappa-clappa. Wait. Clappa-clappa-chick.

Out of bullets.

I lunge out from the cover. Golden hair, blue dress. Reloading, a sitting duck. 10 o'clock. Blink. Vision still blurred.

Bang, bang, bang. I fire off three rounds.

"Ugh!" Audible grunt. Hit confirmed.

I stop, bracing on a knee. The target does not fall.

Keep your gun trained on her, but don't waste any more ammunition. Blink-blink. Finally! Vision clear.

Stellar is still standing. She glares. "You shot me."

Blood on the front of her dress, at least one bullet in the torso.

She does not fall.

Target has been shot in the chest at least once. She does not fall. Why?

From the folds of her blue and blood-spattered dress comes another, small, jagged knife.

Breathing hard, she looked at the blade, then up at me. I swore no woman had ever struck fear into my heart the way that crazy bitch with a Shabak Para Micro Uzi submachine gun did at that moment.

Blue dress, red blood, white skin, blonde hair, drugged-up monster.

I told myself that this must be some kind of bad dream. Or I wanted to, but-

KNIFE!

Jump back, right. Gun arm out-

Striking right hand, blade flaring out. A metallic clang, my gun clattering to the floor distantly as I weaved right and jumped backwards, up onto pieces of rubble from damage to the roof and second floor of the 81st International Bank. Another blur of blue, blonde, and silver. The knife cuts downward an inch in front of my chin.

Her arm ripped back upwards towards my face and I couldn't dodge. I braced and thrust my arms down on top of the hand gripping the blade, blocking the stab. The girl began to growl, bloodthirsty blue eyes fastened on my face.

I struggled with everything I had to keep the point of the knife away from my body. The girl bared her teeth and continued inching the knife towards my throat. I tried to push her arms down and away, but they were like steel. She was too strong for me. In strength, she would win. In a moment, she would drive it clear through my throat.

I folded my elbows into my shoulders, twisted my head sidewise, tucked into a ball and simultaneously pulled my arms back with her pushing while trying to slide myself under her shoulder, effectively flipping her. A sliver of blood ran down the side of my face as the knife grazed me.

Roll forward, spring to your feet. Now run!

I ran away from a foe for the first time that I could remember. I ran as hard as I could, trying to get back to my equipment bag. I didn't feel any shame or anger, only wonder, some confusion, and an alien, yet primitive fear for my life.

Three steps from the pillar where my bag lay, a white hot pain shot up in my leg. I cried out and tripped, landing heavily on the tile. Turning around, I saw the dagger sticking out from my left calf and a blur of white, blonde and blue racing towards me at a furious speed.

I pulled out the knife. Any more to the left and it would have severed an artery. The insane girl was closing fast. I scampered behind the pillar, grabbed my bag, and pulled out the first item my hand closed around.

-----

"DIE!" Whipping around the corner came the girl, Stellar.

One.

I threw my bag at her. She batted to the side easily. The bag fell behind her and to her right, only two feet away from her.

Two.

I made no effort to attack her, nor to run or even defend myself; and in turn she let the gap remain between us. For a second we stayed that way.

Three.

"You beat me," I told her.

She stared at me in confusion, then made a hissing noise and went to take a step forward.

Four.

"Wait! I-I have a gift for you," I said, allowing a confident smile to slip onto my face.

I held out my bloodied left hand, closed tightly.

Five.

There was a pause.

"A gift?"

Six.

"A gift for Stellar?" the girl asked.

"Yes, a special gift just for you." I took a slow step backwards.

Seven.

"Do you want to know what it is?" I asked, glancing over at the end of the pillar that I could almost reach out and touch with my right hand.

Eight.

Pillars in the main hall of the 81st International Bank are concrete around steel girders that are about 4.5 square inches thick.

Nine.

There was no doubt that the pillar was strong enough. I couldn't doubt.

"Here." I tossed the pin at the girl's feet. Then I turned and dove.

Ten!

Light, fire, deafening roar. Grenade.

And of course I was right. The pillar held.

-end "Superior to even Heero Yuy"

Part D in Page V of

Sex, Substances, Sin, Salvation

Next - Progress Report - Director Project Subject - Shinn Asuka

The next one is very short, so I should be able to do two chapters for next week.

ID Note:

Stellar Louisser is a main character from Gundam SEED Destiny. Here, like there, she is the subject of several biochemical experiments, resulting in her being unnaturally strong and deadly, but also mentally retarded. She has a child like personality, but becomes a desperate berserker in battle. The bitch is bona-fide crazy.

Notes:

The 81st International Bank is named after the number of Stellar's unit, the 81st Independent.

You better believe that stuff about explosives is real.

The end of this scene is slightly adapted from a scene in Cowboy Bebop. You'll know the one if you've seen it. Essentially, Heero grabs the first thing in his bag, which happens to be a grenade. He pulls the pin, but Stellar comes around the corner a second later. He throws the bag with the live grenade in it, and she deflects it. It falls near her. Knowing it's a ten second delay on the grenade, Heero buys time with his "gift ruse". Then, just before the grenade in the bag explodes, he distracts Stellar by throwing the pin. By diving behind the pillar just before the explosion, Heero manages to survive. Yeah, so if you were wondering what happened there at the end, that's it, in a nutshell. I figured Heero wouldn't have time to explain, and I actually don't think he would if he did have the time.

Thank you very much to ZaKai for her help. This was one of the hardest chapters for me to write.