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PostSubject: All The King's Horses   All The King's Horses I_icon_minitime2/8/2009, 16:46

Author: Eleutherophobia

Date Posted: 9/27/2006

Contact: http://lebobidabob.deviantart.com/

A metallic hum emanated through the decrepit shaft as the lift began to ascend. The safety inspector's last notice had finally disintegrated from the water damage on the car's faux teak walls. Fara Yazin was leaning up against the only remaining rail, staring up at a once mirrored ceiling with a flush light fixture. Of course, graffiti and age had taken care of that.

She had gotten the call about an hour back. It was the usual deal - ask as many questions as you want, so long as you don't expect any answers. In any case, Gray needed her in Roger's Way, rain had been pounding on the city for almost a week straight, leaving the streets all but barren. Good thing too, since her stilettos had caused her to slip on the wet, uneven pavement more than a few times.

The elevator shuddered and came to a grinding halt, and a friendly ding accompanied the unsteady skid of the doors. Threadbare carpeting attempted to cushion her unnecessarily elegant footwear from the scuffed plywood floor.

"This exile, Silver, believes that he can hide the key from us in a pirate construct, obviously, he is mistaken," stated Agent Gray, matter-of-factly. "As you and I speak, our technicians are working to break the security code protecting it. Proceed to the Venialia Cherub Hotel on James Boulevard in Roger's Way. Room three-seventeen, Miss Yazin. There is a tactical assault team awaiting your arrival, they will accompany you when the construct is...broken." He hung up immediately, not allowing her to say...anything.

Room three-seventeen's door was just as superannuated as the others. Egg-white paint was peeled around the peephole as if the apartment was trying to get a better view of the hallway. Fara removed her faded ivory fedora and ran a hand through her nacarat hair, still expecting her former locks to trickle out of the hat and down her back. Instead, all she felt was a perfectly highlighted isohaline crop of painstakingly styled hair. Her sunglasses...stayed on. She didn't know these people, and mirrored shades would be much closer to the norm than...

She tapped on the door lightly, and let herself in. The room was a monument to absurdity. Tattered papers were scattered erroneously around the "living area", and several desks had been unevenly heaped together to provide support for a bank of computers.

"Hey," shouted a gruff voice from behind a makeshift wall, "you must be Ele...Eleuth..." The man looked through the file in his hand, hoping for a phonetic spelling.

"Eleutherophobia, Ele will suffice," she retorted, feigning omnipotence.

Grinning, he walked up to her, nearly tripping over a pile of tools. "The name's Oblation, as soon as the eggheads here finish up, we'll be ready to..."

The lifeless, repetitive chime of her cell phone filled the room. As usual, the number was unavailable. "Operative, I am receiving an urgent communication. The key has been detected inside the simulation. Your presence is required elsewhere, leave Oblation's team there, they will only pose a distraction," droned Gray, not leaving any pause to allow for explanation.

"We'll be here when you need us," assured Oblation as he scratched his head, revealing an elaborate crucifix. Only then was it made so strikingly obvious that Oblation had been a man of the cloth. He had Latin phrases embroidered into his black leather gloves, and the Alpha Omega insignia tattooed onto a broad arm. Moreover, the guy had that typical Jesus-groupie look to him. "May the lord smile, and the devil have mercy," he stated in a comforting voice.

The rain stung. Every polluted, fat droplet was there to mock the ashen streets of the city, drowning every nonexistent tree. "The code signature of the key is being picked up in Camon Heights. It must have exited the construct. End this chase now Miss Yazin. Proceed to the housing project on Jeremiah Avenue and Fourth Street, floor eight. The key must be intercepted."

The building had no lift, that is, not to say the risk of death in the vein of Humpty Dumpty was out of the picture. The building's stairs were seemingly added as the afterthought of some low-bidding architect. Someone had spray-painted an elaborate chessboard on the rusted door to the fifth floor with some scratched out note under it.

Floor eight was the most impressive display of empty that could exist. The place had obviously already been scoured. Books, silverware, clothes, cigarettes, everything had been ripped from its respective place and haphazardly tossed aside. The deafening silence of the unkempt room was shattered by a call from Fara's current operator - Ooidal.

"You've got company," ushered in the sound of a nearby kichen door's corroded hinges bursting and the silhouette of one, two men crashing through. The camouflage fatigues and corbeau berets identified them as the General's pets. Both men oozed brute power, their fists identically clenched so forcefully that every vein in their wrists rippled with simulated blood. The trio stood static for an infinite moment, as if they were at an old west standoff. High noon, no mindless paperwork, no unnecessary bureaucracy, no incessant red tape, just an obvious distinction between good and bad, and two Smith and Wesson revolvers aching to spit fire at each other.

But the nostalgia of the moment was lost on the militants. Both men unsheathed gleaming Ruger Mark II handguns, not hesitating to discharge a barrage of fire at the sheriff. Splintering the illusionary world around her, Fara swam through the hollowpoints, hitting the floor with a subdued thud. As she pulled a .22 Black Widow from the holster on her milky thigh, the commandos lunged, firing rounds at the girl. The floorboards shattered as one assailant's knee re-established contact with the earth where Fara's head had been a moment earlier. His compatriot landed on his feet, stumbling for less than an instant.

It was more than enough time. Forcing the trigger closed with enough pressure to turn her entire hand white, Fara repeatedly slapped back the diminutive revolver's hammer. .22 pellets tore through the man's gloved hand, shattering inside his wrist. His Ruger fell to the floor, its furniture shattered by another shot. A blur of fists cracked the world and smashed into the back of Fara's neck. As her head snapped back a boot found its way into her stomach. Blood tinged saliva flew from her lips as her eyes shot open and she collapsed to the ground. Chewed fingernails found their way to a bulbous lump already forming above the elaborate tattoo of a butterfly between the girl's shoulder blades. The chime of an antique phone fragmented the room.

Each mineral warble sent a fiendish pulse spiraling through her cochleae and bouncing off the heels of her eyes. Haematic lightning slit her vision as she agonizingly crawled towards the phone. The tin man's composure already synchronized with the system; he stretched a tattered glove toward the stiff, dry-rotted cord, muscular knuckles yearning to tear it from the wall. Sweat blistered above her vinous painted lips as Fara scraped a knee across a noticeable lack of carpeting, fluidly lifting herself into an unsteady crouch. Her hand met the mahogany handle of an atrophied revolver as his encompassed the molded plastic of the phone's life support.
The world plunged into hazy, overbearing viscosity as a glowing round stumbled through the firearm's barrel, peeking bashfully out at the blanched light of the filthy room, then leaped towards the commando's already mutilated hand, coming to rest in the shattered remnants of a phone jack. The phone cackled for a moment, finding the whole situation insufferably hilarious. Fara rolled backward, pseudo-coagulated blood bouncing off of her shoulders as hollowpoint ammunition scissored through her shadow. She collided with an overstuffed recliner, vision stumbling a few dizzying steps ahead of her perception. Cotton foam landed as inverted pepper on the melanic leather of her accouterments, bullets tearing polka dots through the artificial snow.
Chance: a lull between explosions. Fara clenched the seat's ochre armrest with pink fingernails, the room's simulated gravity dissipating as she sprung over the chair, its frame collapsing of too many unclogged pores. Twenty-two pellets met denim, hair, sweat, skin, fat - one man fell, his thigh torn into ragged strips. The other twirled his handgun around a finger, gripping its glistening barrel with calculated ferocity.
He raised an arm, taking unnecessary time to wind up: obviously, a poor choice. A nylon knee met synthetic abdominal muscles as the cold butt of the Ruger landed on a heaved elbow. A round discharged, shattering a hanging lamp above, the drowning haze of the cataract outside leaked in through fissured windows. The handgun spun again, handing upside-down from a quaking ring finger. Fara fell at the sound of the gunshot, the slug strutting across her cheek, playing hopscotch on her sunglasses, and she dug a stiletto into the pistol's handle. Its clip dropped, only for a moment, before a small hand clutched it like a child to her mother's finger. The ruby bauble studded into the man's calotte shattered under the pressure of the lead Pez-dispenser, falling to the floor, blanketed by a camouflaged body.
A trembling hand dropped to Fara's stomach, another crawling around her neck. Both met soft, amorphous mounds of fluid, both gave her a groggy, sick feeling in the back of her throat. The repetitive siren of her cell phone choked back bile.
"You didn't kill either one of ‘em, you know," chortled Ooidal. "Don't dwell on it, Gray called back. Hey, are you listening? He said the key's being picked up somewhere else, but he wants you to take that long haired dude and his friends with."
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