Enter the Shadows

It was suppose to be easy...

The moon had just started to rise as London pulled up on her Suzuki Mirage to her apartment. She was glad that Serenity hadn’t decided to actually come and see where she had been staying. She was already on London about her current clothing choices, though to be honest London didn’t fully blame her. London looked down at herself. Her clothing was covered with nearly every bodily fluid possible in addition to the old diet coke that had been spilt under the table that she had taken cover in. She looked at her hands, the only part of her clean at the current moment. They mesmerized her for a moment. She hadn’t felt like herself in almost a year.
Tonight’s job was suppose to be easy. Walk in, walk out, 35,000 creds each, some wings, watch the game and call it a night. Easy, simple, nothing more than that. The team had just finished a run for a Johnson. It hadn’t gone as plan and every turn felt like an additional charge being added to the invoice. The “get in get out” that had been pitched to them had turned into a three day hold out and a depletion of nearly all their supplies. The only thing that had made it all worth it was knowing the fat paycheck that waited all of them when they got back. It was set that London, Serenity, and Thomas would go to meet the Johnson and pick up the credsticks. Bull and Inca tagged along for the after party, unbeknownst to the Johnson. He had been waiting for them in a booth a few seats in from the door. The place wasn’t classy on any level, really intended for the low class Joes to have a place to go after a shit day at work. A civil meeting to get an honest pay in a low profile location. Easy.
London had a gut feeling that there was going to be a catch as soon as she sat down. Something about the way the Johnson held himself, though the stunt he pulled was nothing close to what she had guessed was going on. She had made small talk with him to open conversation and be polite. The job had been hell, but at the time there was no reason to be uncivil. He stated that his wife was fine, and that his mistress was thinking about going back to college. London remembered taking a sip of the crap lager she had ordered out of protocol before stating that it was time to get to business, and inquired about the payment. The laugh that came out of the Johnson, she assumed later, was meant to be intimidating and maniacal, but instead she found it more annoying and forced. He obviously had some speech prepared for this moment, probably written in the shower while he pretended to be a super villain or something. He boosted how clever he was that he had gotten the team to do his dirty work, so trusting. How stupid they all were for coming here to think that they would honestly get paid. He laughed his annoying, whiny, contrived laugh while he informed London that not only were they never going to see a cent of the deal that they were promised but that now his hired guns were going to kill her and her two other comrades. London had taken another sip of the weak alcohol and sighed. She really had been looking forward to wings and watching the game, but knew that was all out of the window now. “Mr. Johnson” she remembered saying calmly “Are you sure that this is your final answer? We take not getting paid very personally and if it was just a joke I would like to give you one chance to make that clear?” The Johnson just laughed again, ending with a whistle to alert his hired guns to do their job. After that: chaos. Bullets and magic rained all around the establishment from all sides. London did her best to get innocent civilians out, so that there would be minimal collateral damage. Inca had been behind the bar offering support by hacking into the restaurant’s systems, and changing the field to her team’s advantage all while taking care of the bartender to make sure he didn’t have a heart attack. Bull, Thomas, and Serenity took care of dispatching the Johnson, and the hired guns. In the chaos London had been trying to get what she could out of his pockets when she had to take cover under a table, using the Johnson’s body as a human shield. She remembered the feeling when she sat down and felt the sticky liquid on the floor hit her skin. It made riffling through the dead body just slightly less worse. Then there were the second pair of hands that found hers. One of the hired guns was looking for the same thing she was, the creds they were suppose to get paid with. He had no problem using an axe to try to get through the body to get to what London had found. Crimson viscous matter flew at her as she tried to keep as far back as she could. She didn’t see what happened to her attacker, only that soon afterwards he was dead himself. By the time she was able to push the bodies out from in front of her everything had been taken care of. She removed the blue disposable gloves from her hands and tossed the to the side.
She was still looking at her hands as she walked into her apartment and locked the door behind her. She couldn’t help but be fixated on the irony that her hands were the only clean part of her at this moment. It made her very aware though of how disgusting the rest of her was though. London removed each piece of clothing carefully, making sure everything ended up in a trash bag and no drips landed on the carpet. Looking at the carpet though, she wasn’t sure if anyone would really question if there had been a drop or two. She left the bag in the kitchen and made her way to the bathroom. She looked back down at her hands. They were no longer clean as when she drove up. Old blood from the clothing had smeared all over them. She began to feel herself shake as her mind flashed. She remembered the day her brother died. She remembered how her hands were covered in his blood. By the time she got to the bathroom she was nearly hyperventilating. She could barely see the world around her, her mind filling her only of images of that day. Looking in the mirror she didn’t see her own face, but that of her brothers. London had to hold onto the sink to keep herself from falling on the tile floor, the blood down dripping down her legs and making the floor slip. Shaking, she reached into the shower and turned on the hot water. Before stepping in she grabbed a plastic bag out of one of the drawers.
Her hands were still shaking as the needle went in deep. It made the initial pain shoot through her arm like crazy, and she knew she would be cursing herself later for the bruise left behind. The hot water flowed over her body, slowly washing the ichor away down the drain. London sat on the floor of the shower, not bothering to cool the water down at all. The ‘Bliss’ flowed over her body warmer then the water did. The memories fluttered away like a dream, being forgotten for another day. She sighed deeply as she let herself sink in deeply. Later she would have to contact the rest of her team and inform them that the credstrip she did find was only for 20,000 total. She would have to pull herself together enough and work on finding her team a new job, a real job this time. Later she would have to put on a smile and charm and talk to another Johnson about money and what he wanted. For now, though, that was all later.

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