Ah, finally finished the third part of this trilogy. as always it is vastyl unedited as for the moment I don’t even wanna look at these stories but i will go back and edit and re upload them before i start a new project. Enjoy.
Night time had fallen in Indus. That was to say that the shield around the city was now projecting the image of a night sky, the artificial light had been dimmed and the civilised society of the city had retreated to their homes. In The Sty bars and seedier businesses had opened their doors and the whores and low lifes had started to fill the streets. Music could be heard drifting across the still air, accompanied by the ambiance that accompanied the consumption of alcohol, starting of fights and commencing of crimes ranging from petty theft and vandalism to full on gang violence and any smart man would have put their money on there being a few more bodies on the street in the morning.
Alistair Kyte relaxed in the back seat of his car and smiled to himself as he was slowly driven to a small construction site just on the outskirts of The Sty. It was his meeting point for the assassin he had hired only that morning to take out a small time corporate salary man. The man himself was mostly irrelevant but his death increased strain on the medical supply routes he managed, the increased strain would make it much easier for Kyte to bring in and distribute his own medical supplied from the neighbouring city of Aster. It was simple corporate sabotage but it had been effective in the past and Kyte was pleasantly surprised at how efficient the assassin had been, much faster than any in Aster had ever been.
Pulling up at the construction site Kyte looked up at the empty shell of a seven story building never finished, still surrounded by scaffolding and still as it had been when it was abandoned years ago after the cave in of the original districts of the city. Kyte had moved his operations from Aster to Indus when he realised that the competition between companies had been too fierce and that he would never be able to build it big with so many fighting for the top spot. Indus was much simpler; despite the numerous corporate players in the city they were all fairly small time except Apex which had a controlling stock in almost every industry in the city. All Kyte had to do, he reasoned, was to take advantage of the assets he had brought with him from Aster, employ some more underhanded tactics and in a few years he reasoned he would be a major player. He wasn’t stupid of course, he knew he had to cover his tracks and a significant amount of money had been spent to hire someone to make sure he was completely untraceable on the net, as far as the city was aware he didn’t exist and he could afford it to stay that way until he was ready to make waves.
He told his driver to wait for him in the car and then headed towards the construction site. Kyte had bought the site before he had even arrived under his old company name, a name he had already shed and was planning on finishing the building and making it his small time headquarters until he could afford somewhere nice in the centre of the city. Slowly he climbed the stairs to the seventh floor, idly feeling the butt of his personal pistol with his left hand as he climbed. It was small and inoffensive looking but he had tried it out at the range and it packed plenty of punch and he had become quite the quick draw with it if he did say so himself.
Kyte took his time on the stairs, pausing occasionally to enjoy the view of the city from each story. The city proper was lit up in all the different colours of neon as adverts danced and flickered, trying to entice customers into restaurants and cinemas while The Sty was mostly just illuminated in the dim yellow glow of failing streetlights and the occasional orange glow of a fire. The stark contrast was something, Kyte thought, that any artist could paint and make beautiful, but would never scratch the true essence of being there and seeing it.
Despite taking his time Kyte was still surprised when he arrived at the seventh floor and discovered someone else was already there, facing away from the stairs. Gripping his pistol tightly he walked up the last few steps and said cautiously
‘Are you the assassin?’
The figure didn’t reply, just simply raised its hand as a gesture to show it had heard. Kyte took a few moments to take the figure in. it was wearing dirty combat trousers and boots with what seemed to be a black tarpauling as a cloak over its upper body, with a hood over its head. with increased care Kyte approached.
‘That’s not an answer’ he said
‘I am an assassin’ came a deep male voice in reply.
‘You’re the man hired?’
‘No other reason I would be here’ came the voice again
Kyte relinquished the grip on his pistol but kept his hand by his side.
‘You’re not quite what I expected’ he said, attempting to take on a lighter, faux friendly tone
‘You’re not from this city; I wonder what you did expect’ replied the figure, still not turning to face Kyte.
‘No I’m not, where I am from people like you tend to look a bit more…professional.’
Now the man turned to look at Kyte, his face still shrouded in his hood and making it difficult for Kyte to make out his features other than pale skin with heavy stubble and glowing yellow eyes, the man was clearly heavily augmented.
‘Oh? You’ll have to forgive my appearance; I tend to take more pride in my work than my appearance.’
Kyte wasn’t sure if the man was joking or not, his voice was all but monotone and the only change of expression that could be seen was the brief increase in the glow from his yellow eyes.
‘Well pride in our work is a trait we share, you have killed my man then’ said Kyte, continuing the façade of friendliness
‘No’ said the man in the same, flat voice.
Kyte paused, stumped for a moment by the unexpected response.
‘No…you haven’t killed him?’
‘That is what most would have understood by that answer.’
‘If he is not dead then may I ask why you are here?’ asked Kyte, unable to stop a degree of frustration slipping into his voice
‘He is dead, it just wasn’t me that killed him, I am here because I have the data you requested.’
‘Maybe it’s those differences in culture we were discussing earlier, but where I’m from, it’s the person that did the job that gets paid for it’
‘I did the job, I have the data, the man’s killer doesn’t have it and I believe the data is maybe even more important than the death of the man himself.
‘I do wonder how the other assassin would feel about you trying to get paid for doing half their job’
‘Why don’t you ask them?’ said the man, his tone had not changes the whole conversation
‘She’s above us’
‘…she?’ managed Kyte before something dropped down lightly behind him.
Kyte didn’t so much as hear the person drop down behind him as he felt something moving. Trying to turn around and back away at the same time Kyte almost tripped, falling into a stagger that almost saw him dropping onto his arse. The woman who now stood behind where he had just been was wearing a dark skin suit that seemed designed to accentuate her figure as for any other purpose. Her figure was slightly too thin, though it was bolstered by the combat rig that ran along her arms and the backs of her legs connecting to low altitude drop boots. Kyte remembered similar technology being tested back in Aster, designed to help the wearer land safely should they need to drop from moderate heights such as buildings, but at the time he had paid it no attention.
The woman was beautiful with her pale skin and light blonde hair, though she wore a look on her face that was almost condescending as she looked down on the almost fallen Kyte.
‘Aww Kurt, you ruined the surprise’ she said sarcastically, not looking across at the man, who had not moved since he had turned around.
‘What surprise? I knew you were there’ the man, Kurt, replied.
The woman looked at him and tilted her head in an almost pitying way before turning back to Kyte.
‘I’m her to collect my money Mr Kyte, I am the one who killed your corporate friend’
‘Collect your money Lynx? You have the data then’ said Kurt. In his flat and unchanging tone it didn’t even sound like a rhetorical question.
The woman bristled slightly, perhaps annoyed that Kurt had used her name but she rebuilt her composure quickly.
‘As Mr Kyte was just saying to your Kurt, you can’t get paid for doing the lesser half of the job; it was an assassination contract after all’
‘I believe you are mistaken Lynx, we were just saying how the data was the important part of the deal, without it how will Mr Kyte track the medical shipments that our target was organising and have them intercepted?’
‘What?!’ spluttered Kyte upon hearing this last part ‘That’s not what I was planning’
Lynx gave him another pitying look and even Kurt turned his head slightly to observe him for a second before turning back to Lynx.
‘Like I said, the man’s life was secondary’
‘That was not what was said Kurt, don’t try and screw me on this one!’ said Lynx, a temper starting to flare
‘Screw you? I was the one in perfect position to strike until you interfered’ replied Kurt, cool and emotionless as ever
‘You…? I had the data before you stole it from me! I had everything!’
‘If you had everything then why aren’t you paid already?’ said Kurt.
‘Because you…’ started Lynx before Kyte, annoyed at being ignored in his own meeting, interjected
‘Excuse me but as the man with the money I think I am the one who should be deciding who gets paid and who gets…’
‘Someone else is coming’ interrupted Kurt, his hand bursting from his poncho, brandishing a pistol
Lynx also had a pistol in her hand, it was as if it had materialised and Kyte found himself staring down the barrels of two guns and doubting how fast a draw he was after all. His hand moved to the butt of his own pistol while his other waved stupidly in the air in front of him as if he hoped he could somehow ward away bullets.
‘Look it’s no one with me…It’s impossible for anyone else to be here, who else knows we were…’
But he was interrupted by a sudden high pitched wailing sound that filled the small open room they were in and exploded out into the night air through the unfinished walls. All three people instinctively flinched, their hands going to their ears and Kyte, the closest to the stairs, felt something slam into his back and he went sprawling to the floor, his face slamming off the concrete busting his nose open and sending his gun sliding across the floor.
Three more figures had burst into the room from the stairs, dressed in the old, worn and personalised combat gear befitting rogues from The Sty they had guns trained on the two assassins who were returning aim but were clearly at a disadvantage. One of the rogues, a woman with pale skin and her face half concealed by a fabric mask and the sides of her head shaved to leave only a long ponytail down to her lower back, had a pistol trained on Kurt, while the rogue next to her a tall man had a short mohawk and a black stripe painted across his eyes had a smug, almost twisted look on his face while he aimed a revolver at Kurt’s head. The last rogue, another man was dark skinned with thin braids in his hair and a pair of pistols, one trained on each assassin.
The female rogue leaned over to the tall male beside her and appeared to shout something over the noise while not taking her eyes or aim off Kurt. There was a brief discussion in which Kyte could hear nothing before finally the woman shouted loudly enough for everyone to hear
‘Will you turn that shit off!’
The man, finally understanding what she wanted quickly dropped his aim and fiddled with a small silver cylinder on his belt. A few seconds later the group were plunged into sweet silence.
‘Thank you, for fuck sake’ said the woman
‘Little device seems to work quite well though’ said the dark skinned rogue with a smile.
‘It could come in handy’ said the mohawked rogue, aiming again at Kyte before nodding one in turn to the two assassins.
‘Kurt, Lynx, fancy seeing you guys here.’
‘Where there’s bounty there’s business’ replied Kurt
‘It’s more of a surprise to see your little troupe here Markus. To what do we owe this interruption?’ asked Lynx, her voice silky but with a concealed edge as if she already knew she wouldn’t like the answer.
‘Well the process of elimination plus the clearly drawn firearms would make someone assume we’re here for the same reason you are Lynx…’ replied the female rogue, not even trying to conceal her own distaste.
‘You’re rogues; you don’t collect bounties Tris’
Kyte shifted slightly on the floor. The blood from his nose was starting to run down into his mouth and his head was throbbing. He was confused and terrified but he was already wracking his brain, he could come up with some way out of this, there had to be a way if he could just stall these newcomers perhaps he could signal to Kurt or Lynx somehow…
‘Bounties…’ he stammered ‘How many people in this city tried to kill one…’
‘Shut the fuck up!’ Lynx, the female rogue Tris and the mohawked rogue, Markus, all at the same time.
‘Oh we’re all here for the same reason…’ said the dark skinned rogue ‘it’s just that you’re here to kill this poor fucker for money, we’re doing it because he fucked with us’
Kyte’s blood ran cold as ice through his veins
‘Kill me? What have I done to you? I haven’t done anything! And who put a bounty on me! Who even knows I’m…’
There was a crack as Kurt’s boot collided with the back of Kyte’s head and the world seemed to spin from the blow.
‘The ladies asked you to stop talking, it would be rude not to do so’ came Kurt’s calm and cold voice.
‘Surprisingly, that man you had us kill, his employers weren’t too happy to have their schedule disrupted. Your bounty is for the inconvenience.’ Said Lynx.
The groups were still all stood with their guns raised and aimed at each other but even Kyte could tell that the threatening intent that they had all started with was starting to fade away, being replaced more with an air of keeping up appearances. Markus was starting to throw sideways glances between Lynx and Tris while the dark skinned rogue would occasionally spin one of his own guns around in his hand.
‘And I assume you knew that guy who you had killed, he was involved in the shipment of medical supplies to a few different pharmacies…’ he said between tricks.
‘One of those shipments, we were gonna rob. Literally hours of planning gone to waste because of your little power play’ continued Markus with a twisted smile
‘In short, you die as a message to people not to fuck with our plans’ finished Tris.
‘But he is my kill’ said Lynx ‘you three blundering in here has ruined one payday for me already, I am not losing another because you arse holes want to send a message that people won’t even notice.’
‘You’re not in a position to bargain Lynx, walk away and make this easy for all of us.’ Said Markus
‘How is it easy for me to walk away from my money?!’ shouted Lynx her gun aimed square between Markus’ eyes.
‘Why is it that I am left out of this conversation?’ jumped in Kurt
‘Kurt all you have is information, information which will be worthless when this guy is dead. You have no stake in this anymore.’ Replied Lynx, glowering at Kurt before returning her scowl to Markus.
There was a brief pause where Kurt seemed to take in this information and process it before lowering his weapon and quietly cursing to himself under his breath.
‘No…NO! Kurt, please, I’ll pay you for that data! I’ll pay you double just don’t let me die, you can’t let me die!’ screamed Kyte, crawling across the floor towards Kurt, a pitiful sight as a grown man with tears in his eyes blubbing like a child. Kurt raised his gun and a single shot rang out like a thunderclap. Kyte’s kneecap burst like a balloon as blood was spattered across the concrete floor. Lynx’s gun jumped from Markus’ head to Kurts as she screamed in shock and frustration
‘What the fuck Kurt!’
‘What? He’s wanted dead, not taxidermied’ Replied Kurt, his expression blank and his voice seeming even more lifeless than before, he slowly turned to Markus before speaking again. ‘Just don’t let her get the bounty.’
Kyte was a crumpled heap, the pool of blood spilling from his leg rapidly expanding and Markus took a small step back to avoid it running under his boot.
‘Look…’ he started cautiously ‘How about this, first a show of good intent between us’ and he lowered his weapon from where it had been pointed at Lynx.
‘We don’t need the money, just the kill, but we need to leave a message. If we do that, you don’t get paid, so how about this, you take this guy’s computer, Kurt I have no doubt you could rinse all the funds he has from that, then you two can split that whatever way you want, that’s between you, and we all just walk away happily having done our jobs.’
Another short pause in which the wind was the only sound to mix with the quiet groans from Kyte as he passed into shock. Finally Lynx sighed angrily and lowered her gun, followed by the dark skinned rogue and then, very reluctantly, by Tris. The tension seemed to seep away from all of them and the dark skinned rogue smiled.
‘Thought we were never gonna end that stand off shit…’ he said addressing the room at large.
‘Hey Garrett, there is some chain over there on that box, go grab it will you?’ said Markus before turning to the bloody pile that was Kyte with another twisted smile.
‘He’s Garrett by the way, not that it matters but you seemed to have been introduced to everyone else already.’
Kyte tried to say something which was likely more pleading but was too quiet to be made out. With a smirk to match Markus’ Lynx took two steps forward before pressing her heel down into Kyte’s shattered kneecap. The man screamed, the pain snapping him back to reality instantly.
‘What was that last bit? My friend seems not to have heard you’ she said in a mockingly sweet tone
Tris stepped forward, a glare focused on Lynx but Markus stood up turning and wrapping and arm, across Tris’ chest to stop her getting within arm’s reach of Lynx who laughed at the display.
‘Oh relax sweetheart, I’ll keep my distance from Markie here, heaven knows I’ve had enough fun with him.’
Tris tried again to get to Lynx, who took a quick step back with concern etched on her face as Markus continued to restrain the furious rogue. Lynx was athletically built but slender whereas Tris was lithe but muscled and there was little doubt between anyone who would have come off better had it come to blows. Clearly all parties involved had either forgotten or didn’t care that they were still holding fire arms.
There was a clinking of metal and Markus turned around to see Garrett walking over with a length of chains in his hands. Stooping again Markus searched inside Kyte’s expensive suit jacket and plucked out a small computer pad which he examined for a second before throwing it to Lynx who caught it nimbly.
‘There, now you two can fuck off and kill each other for it.’
Lynx turned to face Tris even as she addressed Markus, an evil smile on her face.
‘You’re still so sweet to me after so many years, careful or people will get ideas.’
‘Let’s leave Lynx, would hate to see you get yourself killed before we can split this pay’ came Kurt’s icy voice.
‘I do hope you don’t think you’re getting more than a few measly credits for this Kurt, you have done nothing to deserve it’ started Lynx as she started descending the stairs, Kurt following behind. Their argument could be heard even as they wandered off into the night.
‘One of these days I am going to murder that bitch’ said Tris, her voice filled with anger.
Markus stepped over to her and gave her a quick kiss whilst running his hand over the shaved side of her head.
‘And I hope I am there to see it, but not tonight. They still have value to the cause and a fed dog is more obedient.’ He said
Tris smiled at this and leaned her head against his chest for a moment before they were broken from their moment by the rattling of chains and the panicked objections from Kyte. Turning they saw Garrett with the chain wrapped around Kyte’s neck and using it to try and pull him back to his feet with little success.
‘I am sorry about the archaic nature of this execution method…’ he was saying with a complete lack of sincerity ‘But you see we’ve been doing this for a while and it has kinda become a rogue calling card, if we didn’t do this then people wouldn’t know that you were killed by rogues.’
Markus joined Garrett and helped take Kyte’s dead weight as they steered him over to one of the open sides of the building where there was an exposed chunk of steel girder sticking out into the night air. Markus held Kyte as Garrett pulled himself up to the girder and managed to secure the loose end of the chain to it before jumping back down to join them.
‘By the way…’ said Tris as the two men positioned Kyte so that his back was to the air, facing inwards so that he could see Tris. ‘It was your business partner who sold you out. You weren’t even in the city before he had sold your real identity to Apex.’
‘Lot of hackers and computer experts in this city Mr Kyte, not many good ones either and even less loyal ones. You should have come to me, I could have done the job for you and kept my mouth shut, not that it matters now but…just saying’ said Markus, shrugging.
‘Any last words from the departing?’ aske Garrett.
Kyte muttered something hard to understand with the chain around his neck and Tris shrugged before kicking his square in the chest, sending him backwards out the building where eh dropped out of sight. The chain went taught and there was a crunching sound, the chain shuddered a few times before starting to swing lazily back and forth.
‘I guess not’ said Tris, smiling at Markus who returned it while Garrett chuckled.
The trio leaned over the edge to spy their handiwork and Markus raised his gun, using the barrel to scratch a burn scar that ran across his temple before Tris pulled his hand back down.
‘You keep doing that man you’re gonna burn yourself again.’ said Garrett
‘Can’t help it, it’s become a force of habit’ replied Markus with a sigh
‘Then unforce it or I will’ said Tris flashing Markus a devious smile
‘That doesn’t even make sense love’ retorted markus before pulling Tris in close and embracing her again.
Garrett rolled his eyes and looked down at Kyte’s body as the two kissed again.
‘That car we torched went up really good’ he said idly as he watched the blazing remains of Kyte’s car, the windshield shattered from where Markus had put two rounds through it and into the driver.
‘You know this part of the city is kinda secluded. Said Tris breaking away from Markus, ‘you think it’ll take him long to be found?’
‘Who knows? Could be days’ Said Garrett
‘Come on, let’s go’ replied Markus, leading the trio away.
‘This was fun guys, we should do it again sometime.’ Said Garrett, bringing up the rear.
‘I’m sure we will, but for now, drinking’ said Markus.