Friday, November 11, 2011
Thursday Fiction on Friday
Happy NaNoWriMo! Anybody but me writing a 50,000 word novel (or 50,000 words of a novel) in November? As of last night, my word count was 23,000. Which is awesome and means that if I need to slack later in the month, I will have some wiggle room to do so. Whew.
So I am writing a little something for NaNo that I am calling, “The Redemption of Assassin Blu.”
It's the year 2070, and Kam, Alley Jack are scruffers - kids left on their own when their parents are taken by the Rapture. In that odd time of life in between childhood and adulthood they must learn to survive on the fringe. When Kam and Jack realize there's something way hinky about the people being Raptured, they head north to find a man called Yeshua, who Kam's heard is all to the good. Just before they catch a train north, Kam and Jack run into Kam's lifebond friend, Moxie. Turns out Moxie's already fallen under Yeshua's spell, and she insists he's the real deal.
Blu's handler sends her to pass Judgment on the so-called prophet Yeshua, but every time Blu gets near him, her technology goes on the blink, and she remembers more and more what it is to be human. Yeshua says no one but God Himself has the authority to pass Judgment... but if he convinces Blu that she's been a bad, bad little assassin, can her psyche handle the guilt or will she self-destruct?
Would ya’ll like to meet a girl named Blu? Yeah, I thought so. Here you are then. (Remember to be kind – this is rough draft in the raw).
An excerpt from “The Redemption of Assassin Blu”
There was some thought trying to grow way deep in my head. It was niggling, pushing, and I kept searching it out the same way my tongue liked to worry against a sore tooth. Something, something. Yeshua reminded me of someone, or made me want to remember something, or at least wanted me to be aware that I'd lost something.
No. None of that made sense. Anything I'd lost, I'd been willing to give up. I mean, that was a given the first day of training and every day after – that I'd chosen this path for a reason, and it was an acceptable reason, and there was nothing in my old life that needed remembering or care. Nothing.
Don't wonder. I let go of the handle bar with one hand and lifted it to finger my ear lobe. Counted notches, and forced myself to review past missions, looking for mistakes, missed opportunities, fuck- ups.
The only significant fuck-ups involved bystanders, those goddamned unpredictable people that were forever getting in the way. There was a kid once, just a little tyke, broke away from his momma or caregroup, and ran into my legs, tangling me up in myself, and I almost fell, and I was cursing because the Judged was in my sight, and I had one shot, and if I missed he'd go to ground and I'd never fucking find him ever again. And that would be failure. But the kid was there, and too young or too stupid to realize he was interfering, and without conscious thought I picked him up and threw him aside. And then I found my stance, took my shot, and watched the Judged go down. And it was whole long seconds later that I heard screaming and wailing and realized I'd tossed the little shit right into the street. The sirens came, and I got the hell out of there. But I got my quarry. That was the important thing.
It was better to review the ones that went like clockwork, though, when I could congratulate myself for a particularly smooth operation.
The ten-two-three exercise, for instance. Ten targets, two square miles, three days. Every death had to appear natural or accidental, and if a single one raised enforcement flags toward an outside source, the whole mission was a fail and would require repeating.
We worked in pairs, and the targets had no rhyme or reason, except three of them worked for the same anti-Church organization, which was definitely tricky, because number two sure seemed suspicious in relation to number one, and we had to stage a murder-suicide for number three because it was the only thing we could think of that wouldn't raise suspicion. Lost a half a point for killing number three's wife, but then got a kudos from the handler, because the anti-Church organization continued afterward to implode itself out of existence.
We got our assigned targets one at a time, and only received the next when the last was deemed a clear kill.
Target number nine was a fellow training mate that I'd sort of gotten attached to. Attached in the sense that we shared a dorm, and, more often than not, a bed in that dorm. We talked long into the night sometimes, assuring each other that we'd made the right choice, that we'd get through training, that we'd be good enough to survive. We counseled one another not to fear death, but to accept it, and not to hope that death wouldn't come, but to hope it came with dignity. I listened to my handler whisper the name into my ear, and my stomach clenched and my heart seized. If there were any moments during training that I felt joy, they were moments spent with him. But now he was the Judged, and I would have to set aside my personal feelings and do my job.
Sometimes, when I let myself, I wondered at my ability to succeed. But that was in the early days, and I no longer allowed myself such thinking.
I did what I had to do. If I failed, I'd become a target on someone else's list. I was crying when I pressed his windpipe closed, almost gently at first, and I stared into his eyes and let him breathe a little, just long enough that he could stare back into my eyes and fill me with his seed. And then I pressed my lips to his, pressed his windpipe closed, and tasted my own tears from his skin as he died.
My partner participated only as much as being my lookout in the hallway. I wouldn’t allow him any more than that, because if number nine didn't die with dignity, I knew I would have to kill myself.
Target number ten was my partner.
I'd assumed up to that point that we were working off the same list.
I supposed that I was his number ten. Not that it mattered.