“After they’re done, you want me to kill him?” Rodimer asked.
“After you are done, there should not be a scrap of the hit-man, Boris Gant, left for anyone to find,” he replied.
Vivian Bracht (a.k.a. Waitress)
I dislike the english, but I loathe their countryside. Some random spot on one of their roads is not much better. I have no idea why I agreed to this, but at that salary - how could I say no? I will never have to work again if all goes well. For me, all always goes well.
I waded into the disgusting foliage of the roadside. My contact, who I was told would be here twenty minutes ago, had not even showed a glimmer of arriving. I doubt she was lost. If someone else showed up, there was no way I was going to be caught standing around.
Another twenty minutes passed, then a car pulled up.
I could tell it was not some passer-by needing to use the bushes; her headlights were off. If she had not been intercepted, this could only be her. The door opened and closed so fast that I only got a quick look at who it was, the vehicle’s lights flashing on and off. He killed the engine. Looked like a man.
It was too dark to see anything, and that’s what he must have been counting on. Sometimes, I am so foolish.
He must have left the window open, but I realized it too late. He managed blind me - presumably by reaching through aforementioned window - flaring on the brights and charging to where I was hiding. I lifted my arms to defend myself, but he darted to the side just before impact, grabbed me, and used his momentum to hurl me to the ground, pinning me under him.
“And who the bloody hell are you,” asked the man. From his voice, he sounded like an idiot, but he had spotted me and taken me down. This guy was a pro, or just lucky.
“A nice german lady with a knife to your neck.” I had managed to slip it out of my pocket when we went down and now I had the blade inches from his throat.
“I doubt it,” he replied, so I pricked him. He muffled a curse. “Are you the one they sent me here to meet?”
“That’s sharp you know!” I put the flat of the blade against his skin. “And cold. What’s that then, japanese make?” Actually, it was korean. I was frustrated that he hadn’t answered me, but impressed. It takes a lot to make a joke in this situation. I pricked him again. He just laughed. I wondered if he was demented after all. “Alright, I’ll let you up, just stop poking me with that little stinger of yours.” He got off of me, slowly, clearly trying not to startle me into doing something fatal. I nearly did anyway.
We both got up and brushed ourselves off. I had thought about wearing a skirt; I was glad I had picked the jeans instead. Back to business. “Where do they put the dossier?” He was walking over to the car.
“Usually under the brown rock, few feet from where your standing toward the road,” he shouted over his shoulder. My eyes had adjusted by then and I searched the rock out while he turned the car back on. I felt around under it until my fingers touched something plastic and I picked it up. I did not replace the rock. This was his drop off after all, and after what he had done to me he could fix it himself.
The man was a mountain, chubby. “What are you waiting for, get in!” he shouted. Quite the change of heart, from murdering to befriending me in under a minute, but if he had killed me his life was over anyway. Nobody would tolerate that…would they? I remembered the payoff on this job and it inspired me to feel safe enough. I hopped in the other side of car. He gave me a wide smile.
“Hi, the names B., but you can call me hubby.” I still might kill him, if the job offered me a chance.
“Why would I call you hubby?” I asked. I figured that it would not do to get off on the wrong foot so quickly, or had we already.
“You’re a woman, right? German girl isn’t some slang for transexual now, is it?” he asked. What the hell was he talking about. Could we not just read the dossier.
“No shit, I’m a girl. I am a girl from Germany. Waitress, hit-woman of more than three-hundred targets.” I was exaggerating. It was three, but he did not have to know that. B. looked at me, strangely.
“You don’t get it, do you.” Get what?
“Why do you think they would go to all the effort of bringing in a girl to work with me. From germany.” Because I am incredible.
“Because I am incredible,” I said. He nodded.
“Yes, that,” B. conceded, “and they needed someone to play the role of my wife to get close to the target, my love.” Okay, he is an idiot. A monstrously strong idiot, but still an idiot. He probably just forgot to turn his headlights on and close the window. He was still looking at me with this stupid grin, as if I had missed some great joke.
“I am ignoring you now, B.” I pulled the papers out of the plastic sheath. If he was going to act crazy, I would just read up on the dossier. I scanned the first two lines.
Operation: Lady of the Lake
Mission Parameters: Pose as married couple in order to…
I stopped reading. “Well, what does it say,” came B.’s nagging voice. I felt almost childish.
“Shut the hell up and drive, hubby.” And he did.
I was dreaming about the girl when I woke up. It was a pleasant, drift-like waking, one of the ones where your eyes open up and you’re good for anything; in my case, it was almost anything. I noticed first thing that it was still dark outside. My eye, where her father had hit me, pounded the rat-tat-tat of a sharp pain into my skin. That brought things back rather snappily.
“Dammit, what were you thinking, Arthur,” I murmured. I had slept facing the the hallway and didn’t feel like being woken up when Alphonse got back in the morning. Being the future-thinking man that I am, I flopped round on my bed and faced the wall several centimeters from my nose. My mind chose the moment when I was ready to shut my eyes and have another try at sleeping to mark out an oddity: the hallway. Why could I see the hallway? Alphonse is visiting his parents this weekend. Last night, I came in the door. I closed the door. Why is the door now open? I probably just didn’t shut it right. No, wait.
That made no sense.
At least, that’s what I thought was the case when the hall lights, which are on a timer and weren’t due until six, popped on. I could suddenly see the shadow of my head distinctly plastered in front of me. Something was majorly off, so I turned round again to face…an empty hallway with the lights gone out and my door shut. I wondered what the hell was going on - exactly those words. I know that’s what I was thinking because then a voice from behind my head, where my desk is, answered. “What on earth would be a tad more appropriate. Things don’t progress in hell as they do here, after all.” I admit it, I pissed myself. The voice was clear but in an odd sort of way, like an elderly narrator of a documentary - artificially clear.
I jumped to a conclusion. It was the wrong one. This would not be my first time.
“I didn’t know how old your daughter was, I’m sorry. Listen can’t we just-“ The voice started chuckling.
“I don’t have a daughter. My, you do wake rather strangely for one with such a great future,” came the voice from the dark. “As my first bit of advise, never make a decision before breakfast, unless there is a very good reason.” The way he had said reason made me pause for a moment. It’s not that I remembered it; it was so distinct and clear. However, the fact that this man had no reason to be here was slightly worse than having one.
“So, what do you want with me? Can I turn round?” I asked. I stumbled over the words a tad because my urine started making me feel cold. For the record, you would probably have pissed yourself too, so don’t judge. I heard a muffled cough and then he - I think it was a he - answered.
“I truly do hate to give you knowledge and then immediately demonstrate the exception, but this is a waking upon which you shall have to make a very significant decision.” He coughed again. If he was old, as old as he sounded anyway, I might be able to overpower him.
“And what decision is that then?”
“Ah, well, you see, it’s more of a matter of life and death.” I knew it. I knew it. He was going to kill me.
“Life and death?”
“You have to decide whether you are going to come with me or stay here. I’m Merlin by the way.” Okay, Merlin. This was a joke. Another stupid joke to play on Arthur Pendragon. I calmed down a bit. He wasn’t here to kill me, just to mess with my head. I decided to play along and tear the shit out of whoever planned this. Merlin. I bet it was Markus, the sod.
“Well then, Merlin,” I asked as bitterly as I could, “are you going to kill me if I stay here?” He took in a sharp breath. It surprised me; it sounded almost sincere. Maybe it wasn’t Markus. Maybe this guy was just a looney who heard my name at a pub or something. Maybe he could still be dangerous.
“Perish the thought, boy.” He sounded legitimately angry. Scenarios of running from an insane man through the dorms began running through my head. “I would never kill you. Perish the bloody thought.”
“Oh, so what happens if I stay?” I asked. I needed time to plan how the hell I’m getting out of this situation. That’s what I started thinking about.
“Fleeing from me won’t help me. I instructed you to perish the thought.” Unfortunately, I kept thinking. I told myself that the old man had just made a lucky guess. Then he said, “I can read your thoughts, boy.” Then I thought, oh shit, maybe he can. This girl from school, Alison, came to mind. We’d always made fun of her for believing in psychics and mysticism until she was seventeen. That’s when the old man clinched it for me. “No, that girl is completely daft, but it is unbefitting that one of your station should mock a daft girl in any case.” I decided he was legitimate. I shut up and listened, trying to keep my mind completely clear of any thoughts. He continued. “I desire earnestly to save you. The people that mean to kill you shall arrive a few moments from now. Either come with me, or don’t. As I said,” he paused, “it’s your decision.”
I heard him storm off toward the door and open it- the dark didn’t seem to trouble him much. He muttered something and the entire ceiling in the hallway lit up - as in the entire ceiling, not just the lights- which was all the evidence I needed to decide that going with this man, ‘Merlin,’ probably would have more pros than cons. That and I also decided I was either dreaming or high. In those situations I tend to go with my gut.
So, covered in piss, I got out of bed and followed the little man, whose features remained hidden from me as my eyes took in the light.
Next Part in 36 Hours