Red Hering, part 2

Resa gave the cab driver 20 credits, 15 of those were a tip, to take the ride off the books. They couldn’t allow their current ID’s to be logged on the way to the pickup for a failed assassin. Zack crawled out of the cab, painstakingly avoiding any puddles. He was wearing his single most expensive suit, and having it dry cleaned was not in the budget, even with the extra 5 grand Resa picked up from the stranger. They would probably need that money to pay off some Mafia operative to get new documents, and they might need those fast. Clean sheets were a rare commodity in NYC, and extremely useful if you wanted to evade PD harassment.

Grand Central was swarming. Men and women in suits, wearing aluminum cases, families in their sightseeing outfits, flashing their pads, taking pictures, using up valuable space to move freely, bums begging for money, gathering tin cans and recyclable bottles, reeking of cheap liquor and sweat, bachelors and bachelorettes on route to their drug-induced pub-rages, and all those other punks with no idea what the world and life is about. Resa and Zack assimilated themselves into this amalgamous river of flesh and followed an eddy to the luggage lockers. 005 982 855, that was their destination. The locker was jammed, the key was stuck and couldn’t be removed without damaging the lock, so nobody used it. Administration had simply slapped a “defective” sticker onto the door. An envelope was stuck to the top on the inside, containing another 5 grand and a note: Meet Russ in New Brooklyn, Pete’s Corner, Main street/Park Ave. New Brooklyn, Park Avenue may sound exquisite, but the only expensive thing to find there was your own demise. It was a good place to duck from the limelight, as the PD’s sphere of influence was called.

“That must be the guy who wanted us whacked” the deep, smooth voice was one of the few pleasant aspects of Zack. Lilly didn’t even like that, mostly because of the rough content that left Zack’s mouth on a regular basis.

“You bet. I got a call from Lilly. Bill’s gone, Ted’s critical, but it ain’t lookin’ good for him. It’s payback time” Resa didn’t speak often, and she kept it short. People say, she doesn’t like the way she sounds, not ladylike at all, more of a hoarse growl. In fact, there wasn’t much that Resa liked about herself, or anyone else, for that matter. She did like her 50 cal, though. The way it felt in her hands, how it reared up after a bullet left the barrel with lethal precision, the sound of the cock when it snapped to send said bullet to its destination. She also liked getting shot up, herself, though not with a bullet, but she had her consumption under control, most of the time. She didn’t have anything on her, right now. She could use some Stim if she wanted to shoot up the drecks, so she went up to one of the punks and slipped him a 5 to find someone who was holding. There was a run-down men’s club around the corner, the place wouldn’t be alive if the barkeep didn’t sell under the table. His code was Havanna surprise, and a dose cost 50 credits. Resa bought his entire stash of Stim for 2 grand. She only needed one for now, but his was a good rate, and he gave her an extra Buff for her custom.

“Ready to go?”

“Sure” Resa sat in the back of the cab and refilled the clip of her 50 cal, while Zack gave the driver instructions and 15 in advance to keep the ride off the books.

Even though Grand Central was cleaned once a day, it was pretty dirty due to the massive traffic. New Brooklyn on the other hand had very little traffic for NYC. That meant, there was an actual distinction between normal traffic and rush hour, and during rush hour it was still possible to drive a car, even if it was stop and go for three hours. Zack handed the driver another 10 fair, and they climbed out of the cab, which left in quite a rush. Everything was dirty and shabby around here. Zack, who was rather small, stood out because of his suit, which was at least three times the price of the heaviest bling anyone was flashing around here. Zack didn’t like the idea of wasting his perfectly good suit in this den of inequity, but if there was anything as important as a clean sheet, it was street cred, which eroded quickly if you didn’t avenge your mates, and no suit was worth losing cred.

There were a few patrons in Pete’s Corner. Everyone there was inked on their right forearm, all with the same symbol. At a glance, Resa spotted 5 goons, including the Barkeep, and all were carrying.

“We’re lookin’ for Russ” Resa’s hoarse growl was unpleasant to listen to, but this didn’t look like an English Gentlemen’s Club, so it suited the situation.

“Who’s askin’?” the Bartender slipped his right hand under the counter

“Someone who doesn’t mind feeding bullets to babies” Zack could be so macabre at times, and oddly, his soft, calm voice made the threat even creepier

Two of the patrons stood up from their stools and moved towards the newcomers, presenting the impressive muscles on their 6 foot tall bodies. Resa didn’t hesitate to pull her piece, and before the others had drawn their pie shooters, the two goons lay on the ground with a third eye.

“Told you, she’ll feed bullets to babies” Zack grinned as he spoke, because Resa had her gun aimed at the Barkeep “Where’s Russ?”

An old man, near 70, entered the room from a door in the back, carrying an old AA12 “I’m Russ. What d’you want?”

“Payback” Resa and the old man fired near simultaneous, but her bullet never failed. She was, however, knocked to the ground from a hit to the shoulder. Lucky for her, it was her left shoulder, which had been replaced by a bionic implant years ago. Zack’s SMG salvo perforated the barkeep and the two other goons. Resa’s vision began to blur as the Stim wore off due to the loss of blood. The last thing she saw was Lilly and Zack pulling her into the car. As always, Lilly was late for the action.


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