I'm not putting these out in full chronological order to keep my tricks and surprises close the vest. Once again:
She raised her hands, and shook her head, and cursed softly, before sighing. Damn it. Luck never seemed to be a lady when the proverbial woman stepped on stage. Kate gritted teeth, wondering when everything would break her way for a change. How many other agents find themselves caught by the people they’re supposed to investigating?
Sure seems to happen to me a lot.
Graves, wearing a pair of jeans and shirt, with hair pulled up in a ponytail, with bangs flopping down into her face, stood with hands on hips. It contrasted with the perfectly coiffed, sharply dressed and efficient image the woman had possessed earlier. Well, even the best woman wouldn’t look great if she’d either been awakened or interrupted while relaxing after letting her hair down.
“You’ve been busy, Almir,”
Kate looked at her mildly. “All in a day’s work.”
Katie, damn it, keep your mouth shut before you bury yourself so deep it’d take a front loader to free yourself!
“‘All in a day’s work,’” Graves’ eyes narrowed. “If only you know what you did.”
“I have a pretty good idea,” she said.
“Do you, really, think you do?”
“I released a nerve agent, and killed your scientists. Does that about sum things up?”
She stuffed her hands in pockets, never letting eyes stray off Graves, and shrugged. The transmitter felt warm after being close to her body for an extended period of time, and she moved it around subtly, while feeling for the transmit switch. There! A slight move of a finger and the signal started, and the transmission headed for the nearest star com, and wouldn’t stop until help arrived.
With luck, she’d keep herself alive the two days it would take for reinforcements to arrive. Given the situation she found herself in, and Koch’s plans, it seemed doubtful that would happen without some fancy planning. Would he make a mistake, which could be capitalized on to make that happen, though?
“Hands up!” one of the guards shouted.
“Hey guys,” she said. “You’ve got me, and I’m, darn it, unarmed. Figured it would get in the way of my little tourist excursion.”
“Either way,” Graves said. “I want them where we can see them. You can keep that at your side.”
“Gee, thanks,” she said, “it’s nice to know you care.”
“Just move it, Almir,”
The security guards, each conscious of the fact she could react faster then them, took positions several feet in front and behind. Graves followed behind the guards, her eyes never straying off Kate. The personal assistant’s stare penetrated Kate’s body like dual daggers. The death of the scientists had to put a crimp in Koch’s plans, at least Kate hoped it did, because if that didn’t, she’d wasted her time and killed a bunch of people without a good reason.
“I hope you’re proud of yourself,” Graves said. “You killed one of the galaxy’s top virologists and a great nano designer in the woman you stuffed in the laundry. In the laundry! How cold.”
“Sucks to be you,” Kate clicked her tongue for a couple seconds before looking at the floor. “And I tried to be caring and gentle with her body.”
“Didn’t look like it from where I stand,” the personal assistant flashed a vulpine smile. “It will be you who’ll wish you hadn’t come here.”
“Too late for that,” she admitted, “I already do.”
The other woman didn’t speak.
“So,” she said, “Tell me, Graves, since you plan on killing me anyway, what the fuck are you doing back there?”
“Mr. Koch will explain that,” the other woman said, “But you already know it’s a nerve agent.”
Kate fell silent as they trudged though the corridors, and passed the room where the butchered people lay, and onwards toward the entrance. Several thoughts raced through her head, and she didn’t like the answers. How could security, and Graves, react so quickly to her presence inside the lab. Had someone spotted her access to Koch’s computer, or did a scientist notice the difference between her and the dead researcher, but played along to make it appeared she’d entered undetected?
Either way, it didn’t matter now because they had her, and if Koch held to form he’d spend the last moments she had left gloating about the capture. The thing to do, if possible, would be to keep him talking, which would allow his arrogance to come to the forefront and create a higher possibility of a mistake that she could capitalize on. How she’d accomplish it would have to play by ear.
A ten-seat tram waited for them, and the leading security guards motioned to her to get in. She looked at them, shrugged and sat down in the particular seat, crossed her legs and waiting. The guards wouldn’t put themselves far away during the trip, because at this point they had the upper hand. Kate pursed her lips, watching them sit down, and let out a long, drawn out sigh.
She could understand the rationale behind their actions, and cold logic drove it. Where could she go if an escape attempt were made? They were underground, in a tunnel, with the closest possible avenue of escape the nearby hanger bay. Any person on the stick would be able to shut the door, or raise a force field before she could get out, thus effectively trapping her.
Nope, Katie, they’ve got you where they want you.
The tram accelerated quickly, until the lights flashed by in their familiar strobe effect. Kate sat back and tried to enjoy the ride as much a prisoner could, because she already knew, or pretty damn close, how the encounter with Koch would go. She didn’t know what her reaction would be because it’d be based off his actions.
“Tell me, Graves,” she said, “since you’re going to kill me anyway. How long did it take to build all this?”
“Build this? We started three years ago and have been operational for one.”
“Three years? That means you build it the same time the fabrication plant.”
“Ingenious of us, don’t you think?” the other woman said. “And you know the best part? Reyes’ money helped build it!”
Kate clapped her hands. “You must be proud of yourselves.”
“We are indeed,”
The tram pulled up to the basement loading docks, and the guards exited. They kept they rifles targeted on Kate, and motioned for her to get off. She looked at them mildly, shrugged and made her exit slow and theatrical. Why make it easy on Graves and the men? Obviously things weren’t leading to a happy ending, and she had no desire to rush off to death.
I wonder how a second one will feel?
“Delaying won’t change a thing,” Graves said, “so move it.”
“Oh, well,” she shrugged. “It was worth a shot.”
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