Friday, July 26, 2013

Finished Line

     Off in the distance she could hear the crowd go wild again. The announcer chimed off some pointless quip, and then there was the noise of a number of pods zooming by. That was the order of events. It had been for the last twenty minutes and it would go on for at least another half an hour. But at least the chairs in here were comfortable.

     She had been waiting in the tent of one Owen Morton for some time now. Based on what the announcer was saying it wasn't exactly Morton's best day on the track. She wasn't exactly prepped to make it any better, considering that in a few hours he would be getting thrown in a dumpster. 

     This was of course the worst part of the job. Waiting for a mark could result in a number of hours, if not days worth, worth of waiting. That was enough to make someone take to a more "exciting" lifestyle. Of course that didn't mean that bounty hunting was boring, it just meant that certain people would never take certain jobs. Instead they would take the marks that they could charge head first into, which left her with the slower paced ones. She didn't mind, though. Planning was half the fun.

     In the case of this job, the Hutt who had posted it wanted the body to show up somewhere else. Someone being dragged away from the pits to be killed, or to be killed in front of a crowd. So instead she would wait. He would be frustrated, and in an attempt save face would be told to cool down instead of talk to any reporter. He would come back to his tent, and she would be waiting. There would be an oversized trash bag when she left.

     That didn't mean that she was immune to boredom. During times like this, her mind like many people's would simply wander. Today's topic of choice was of course the previous night. No matter how many times she went over it in her mind it still made no sense. Perhaps it never would.

     In the distance she heard the small crunch of sand underfoot, slowly growing closer. Up until now there hadn't been anyone else here with her. Her eyes narrowed, waiting for the newcomer to pass. Her hand rested next to her blaster as she listened closely. The distant noise made it harder to do so. After two long minutes had passed, a jawa slowly waddled by the tent, a number of pieces of scrap metal in its hands. She sighed, relaxing and leaning back in the chair. Scavengers.

     Suddenly there was something cold against her throat, an arm wrapped around her to brace her against the chair. She jerked her head back, slamming into someone else's. Based on the sound it was likely that she'd just broken someone's nose. In one quick motion the assailant spun around her, turning her and tossing her to the ground.

     Daeria's vision grew blurry for a moment. When it cleared she found herself staring up at the Rattataki from the previous day. The pale woman sneered down at her, her previous business woman's tone replaced with something much more sadistic, "Still looking for the press tent?" Daeria's throat was pulled up and her hood pulled back from behind. What the pale woman saw seemed to amuse her. "Oh that's just the pwettiest pink hair I ever saw," she cooed, speaking like one might to a child.

     "You're going to regret this," Daeria said. It was a rather brave thing to say, considering she had a knife to her throat. She slowly began reaching for her blaster, only to find she wasn't being subtle enough in the motion.

     The pale woman smirked, picking up Daeria's sidearm and looking it over, the knife never once leaving her throat. "Oh this is a very nice blaster," the rattataki mused, "I might just keep this." Tossing it away her focus shifted back to the Chiss, "Now then. How should we go about this?"

     Despite the fact that Daeria enjoyed what she did, it was people like the woman on top of her that made her cringe. She enjoyed the tactical part of the job. The feeling of triumph over another person. One could argue that she did indeed enjoy killing. But it wasn't the actual killing. It was the time leading up to that point. The pale creature, though, she enjoyed the killing. The brutality of it. The feeling of power it gave her, perhaps. It made her sick.

     The attacker drew the knife back a short distance, giving her finger space to run along Daeria's neck. "You know, I've never killed a Chiss before," she said. Her head tilted to the side, "I wonder if you're blood is blue too...Or is it red like your eyes? Questions questions. I think we'll start with this pretty blue neck of yours. That's a good start. When that's slit we can get to gutting you." She blinked a few times, before growing a horrible grin, "Are your eyes still red after you die? Oh those will be nice little trophies."

     Daeria didn't so much as squirm. This could drag on for some time at the rate the woman was going. Thus far there wasn't a need to panic. Panicking would lead to a wrong move, and a wrong move would lead to her throat getting slit. Getting an idea, she offered a small smile, "I honestly don't know. It's been awhile since I've bled. And you forget things sometimes, you know?"

     "Oh yes, we all forget things, don't we? Color of blood. Sanity," the attacker said, nodding.

     "Forget that at home, did you?" Daeria asked.

     "Obviously. Do you see where I am? Do you know how long I've had to deal with this little cretin, waiting for the point where some dainty little hunter would come along so I can end him, and at least get some fun out of someone like you?" she asked. She didn't give Daeria time to reply, slamming her fist into the ground, not even feeling the pain, "Too long."

     "I think you forgot something else," Daeria said.

     "Oh is that so?"

     Daeria nodded, twisting her wrist upward, and smiling, "I have a flamethrower, and you have a knife." The pale woman frowned. Her hand moved to try to get her kill over with, but she wasn't quick enough. Flames rushed from a small pipe on the Chiss's glove, licking the side of her attacker. The pale woman reeled upward, screaming in pain. She quickly distanced herself from the Chiss, scooping up the blaster from the ground. "Oh you'll regret that one."

     Daeria's mind moved quickly. It picked up the pace even more when she saw her preparing to fire. She could rush her, but that would just make it easier to hit her at point-blank range. She could try to fire off a missile, but she wouldn't put it above this woman to simply charge her.  Something. She had to do something or she was going to get shot, multiple times if she had to guess.

     From somewhere close by a shot rang out. Daeria flinched, tensing to anticipate the blow. When it never came, she opened her eyes only to find the Rattataki stumbling to the side. Daeria's blaster was dropped to the ground along with the knife. Her hand found her shoulder which was slowly coloring itself red. The woman turned, almost like a drunk would. She only found another round being put into the right side of her chest.

     Daeria blinked, turning to follow the path of the shot, only to find Redamous standing there, holstering his weapon. The woman stumbled over, falling to the ground without so much as a cry. Daeria let out a long sigh of relief, "Nice shot."

     Red shook his head, "Not really." She squinted at him, asking the question without asking it, "I was aiming for her head."

     Daeria shook her head, smirking slightly, "Take the compliment."

     He nodded, "Figure I'll take it and scram, honestly." He motioned around, "I honestly don't feel like being caught around here when they start poking around a bunch of corpses. And I'm gonna guess that weren't the one you planned on killing."

     "Something like that," she said. He nodded one last time, turning to go. Once he was at a distance, she raised her voice so that he would hear, "Thanks." He put a thumb up in the air, but didn't turn. Her eyes drifted to the corpse. Soon enough she had it stuffed in a trash bag like she had planned to do with the corpse's "client."

     Resting back in the chair felt too relaxing. Her blood was pumping now, her mind still racing. It would be at least a few minutes until it would come to a calm. She almost forgot to replace her hood. By the time her thoughts cleared, the pits were slowly filling with people. Morton had lost, as she had expected him too. Now it was just a matter of waiting. And hopefully this time there wouldn't be any interruptions.

Hours Later

     "What the hell are they putting in these things these days?" a man asked, heaving a large black bag over his shoulder.

     "Why should I know? This guy probably just threw some party to make himself feel better," another responded.

     "I've seen him do it before. Guy needs the attention I guess."

     "Nice. I'm working with a psychiatrist now."

     "Oh har har. Screw him. Last thing I want to do is have to make two trips here."

     The first man pointed to another large bag, "Lets get the big ones and get this over with."

     Arriving at a large dumpster hidden away from prying eyes, the two flung the bags inside. One peaked into the large piece of metal, idly opening the bag, out of both boredom and curiosity. Blinking, he tapped his partner on the shoulder, "They threw away a pair of shoes."

     The second man turned, "No they didn't."

     "Yeah they did. Look."

     "That's not a shoe."

     "Yeah it is."

     "Let me rephrase that. That's not just a shoe," he said, his voice growing fearful.

     If the pits weren't completely empty, a few people might have heard the sound of two men screaming.

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