seven right?" asked the bartender in a hushed voice.
right slick," replied Deluxe, aggressive as always. "How
many other fucken bags you got?"
then what the fuck? The only bag you got's obviously gonna be ours."
The portly bartender shook
his razor sculpted head and quickly disappeared into his cellar, leaving
the assassins on the dimly lit, stone stairwell. Deluxe sighed impatiently
and patted Onyx on the back.
birthday bro. Now let's just hope it's not bunky."
Onyx nodded awkwardly and
twirled his braid. "If he doesn't have any
Tracer blurted, talking at the speed of light. "This/asshole's/just/givin'/us/the/runaround/cuz/we're/not/from/the/Badlands."
cool. I told you I can get Onyx a wife. This dude's got me
shit before and he always pulls through."
being paranoid luv," interrupted Onyx.
Trace," Deluxe repeated teasingly. "Quit
being paranoid luv."
The crew froze as frantic
voices descended from above.
I/can't/see/that," informed Tracer.
Reaching into his suit pocket,
Symm withdrew a pair of plutonium sunglasses. Gliding them over his dark
eyes, light sparked from behind its opaque lenses. Glancing upwards,
he scanned the ascending staircase.
addicts and a whore from the Hive. They're both from the Badlands.
My guess is they're coming from one of the restaurant's private rooms."
one from the List. Business types I'm guessing."
The crew dropped their guard.
They were all a little jumpy, being in the Badlands and all, buying what
would normally be considered questionable goods. Tracer however scurried
past her fellow assassins and stood to meet them.
Trace," cussed Deluxe. "Don't do anything
Before anything could happen
the overweight bartender suddenly returned, a bag of brown sugar held tightly
in his scarred hand. "Here ya go."
Noticing the crew was edgy he asked what was wrong.
dudes coming down the stairs," answered Deluxe. "Hive
prostitute and her whack junkie tricks."
uh.. yeah. Okay I know who you're talking about. Your highness..."
he reached gently for Tracer, "it's okay. They've
been here for a while. Come on, let's go down into the cellar.
No one knows you're back here, so let's keep it that way, just like you
Everyone eyed Tracer and
she nodded her reply. They shuffled one by one into the cellar, passing
the door to the restaurant itself. Seconds later they were alone
again, Tracer scanning the brown sugar with her cybernetic eyes.
Deluxe pulled out a luminous
blue baton. "It's all here," she stated
and the bartender took his money. Tossing the sack over to Onyx,
he stuffed his future wife into a stylish rubber sidebag. "Solid.
Now we'd like a table," she continued. "It's
my friend's birthday here and we wanna celebrate. Cool?"
of course," he said with a smile, leading the crew back up to the
restaurant. The dining area was enormous. "Treble
will be your waitress tonight. Go easy on her. She's only two."
replied Onyx and Symm. The other two seemed a little preoccupied.
A goth-psychedelic approached
them, tightly cloaked in a stereotypic black and white tie-dye robe.
"Hi, I'm Treble. Is there anywhere in particular
you'd like to sit?" She stared at Symm's blueberry lips.
Onyx tugged at Deluxe's lavender
hair, pulling her into whispering distance. "Don't
even say it. I don't want you flirting with anyone while we're in
the Badlands. I appreciate what you did for me with the wife luv,
but I'm not in the mood for any fights. I just wanna relax."
okay. I promise. But she is cute for a newbie."
responded Tracer. "I/just/wanna/eat."
The four took a large booth
by the antique fountain. It seemed to be the only seating left, as
the restaurant appeared packed with customers. As they stated their
orders, Treble relayed the information through the many silver rings on
her slender fingers. She smiled courteously and left.
still hummin' from the ride Trace?" inquired Onyx.
still twitching neurotically, obviously lying.
better power down luv. I could smell the napalm on your hands back
man," added Deluxe. "I thought you were
gonna blast hellfire all over the fucken stairwell. Just in case!"
Tracer sighed, burying her
face into the crossed sleaves of her evergreen trenchcoat. "I'm/trying,
The assassins eased comfortably
into their spongy seats. It was like sitting on dense cotton candy
and clearly felt wonderful. Hopefully there would be no further problems
that night. They had spent enough of the daylight hours stalking
their prey. Soon their hot food would arrive and everything would
Onyx, what else ya wanna do for yer b-day?" began Deluxe.
guys. Getting married'll be enough."
it??" groaned Deluxe. "Come on man,
the night is young. Don't tell me we're just gonna go fucken home
I'll go to the Mountain, but no wild rides tonight. That punk Rapture
really injured a rib. My sundials'll probably be working on this
one all night."
solid," responded Onyx. "Symm you in?"
They all turned to Symm,
who was staring off into la-la land. That far-away look in his eye
was clearly visible.
slick, wake up."
Um uh see that goth-psychedelic over there?" He dropped to
a hushed voice. "The one in black... with the
silver stripes on his suit? Sitting alone in the corner?"
replied Onyx quietly.
he's one of Mother's techs." Tracer's adrenaline had faded.
"He's a mute. He runs security at the Palace."
fucken deal!" blasted Deluxe, indiscreet as ever. "He's
not on the List."
The team at Procedures thinks he could give us a go. Maybe even the
talkin' shit," Tracer scoffed. "No one
can touch the Hacker. That guy's fucked."
reminds me! You coming with us man or what?" quizzed Deluxe,
shaking her fellow crewmember by the shoulder.