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September 20, 2005
A Story, Bit-by-Bit
Superego: Part 33 - Yojimbo
Posted by Frank J. at 02:05 PM | View blog reactions | Comments (25)

BEGINNING OF STORY

PREVIOUS (PART 32)

* * * *

"Though I am expecting a raise over Corloni, I think you'll see my rates are quite reasonable." I heard more guns firing outside. No woman screaming in pain at least. "Now, could you tell everyone to stop shooting so we can have a civilized discussion?"

Gredler took a radio off one of his dead bodyguards. "Everyone, stop shooting and put away your weapons!"

There was quiet. I opened the door a crack and yelled, "Tommy, holster your gun and get over here!"

The Senator had regained enough of his composure to stand up straight. "If you wanted us to hire you, you didn't need to shoot your way in!"

"I was going to hand my resume at the door, but your idiots fired first. Anyway, I think it made a good demonstration that your security isn't nearly up to par." Diane now came in the room, gun still drawn, Zippy floating by her side, and a face full of confusion (the one emotion that seemed to have won out over all the others probably raging inside her). "Tommy, put the gun away; the shooting is over. Right, Senator?"

"I would say so."

Diane holstered her gun and went to a neutral expression. I could tell she was ready to lash out in some fashion but was smart enough to just play it cool for now. It looked liked she might live through this yet.

"By the way, this is my associate Tommy."

"I thought you worked alone," Gredler replied.

"Well, there is alone and then there's alone."

He nodded knowingly to that meaningless statement.

A couple suited Randatti thugs cautiously made their way in the room, looking both confused and angry. I kept my arms crossed and didn't look to them. Diane seemed to be trying to act casual.

"Could you get the bodies out of here?" Gredler demanded angrily, "I'm negotiating some competent protection!"

"These people killed our associates and..." one guard shouted, but as he put a hand on Diane, Zippy shot him and he fell unconscious to the ground.

"Yes, we shot our way in here past all you nitwits," Diane replied sharply to those still standing, "So show us a little respect!"

She was a lovely woman, no doubt about it. I was glad I decided to take our relationship to the next level.

The bodyguards - dead, unconscious, and alive - were soon out of the room. Senator Gredler then took a seat at his desk, and I took one in front of it and Diane beside me. The Senator insisted on talking to us alone, probably to show he didn't fear us (though he reeked of fear).

"I know what you're thinking," I started (I didn't know what Diane was thinking, though), "'How can I trust this guy if he's so ready to betray the Corloni?' Well, they betrayed me first. I was hired to kill you - as you probably suspected - but then there was the leak. I'm no fool; the Corloni leaked the hit themselves to make sure they could start a war... and also make sure I didn't come out of this alive."

"They want you dead as well?"

"I'm very loyal, but I guess some of my methods are questionable. Rather than confront me on it, they lined me up for a suicide mission thinking I was too stupid to see it coming. If the Randatti treat me better, I can ensure them my loyalty and a chance to smash the Corloni once and for all."

"That's a bold claim; I can certainly get you asylum for information on the Corloni's plans."

"Asylum doesn't suit us."

"Not much for hiding," Diane added. Guess she felt like she should say something. She must be exploding inside seeing Senator Gredler nearly admitting his ties to organized crime in front of her.

"Anyway, you should know that there are other Corloni killers here already. They're led by a woman going by the name Morrigan Dawson and posing as a fed working on finding the assassin after you. Her job is twofold: to make sure I die anyway if I somehow succeeded in the hit on you, and to make sure you die if I didn't get far enough in the hit to off you. Her people are all female, so the backup would most likely be some new female relation you've made - I assume a Corridian."

I could tell from his expression someone came to mind.

"I'm sure word of my changing sides will get out quick, so she's likely to disappear soon - though, if you're quick, you can disappear her yourself if you're the vengeful type. Anyway, the Corloni will now be coming at you with a lot more than a couple girls."

"This stupid diversity speech is becoming way more trouble than it's worth!" Gredler shouted.

"The Randatti know their survival is tied to having a strong presence in the Galactic Alliance, and that means a strong Senator on their side," "Tommy" said, "The stronger the Corloni come at you, the stronger you'll be politically when you survive."

Good 'ole adaptable Diane. "And now we can set a trap to really weaken Corloni in this."

"Sounds good, Rico..."

"Just Rico."

"Well, Rico, I will relay this to my associates... and handle some other things. You're making a strong play here." Heh. He was assuring me of my survival.

"I'll give you how to contact me; we have some planning ourselves to handle," I answered, "What I need from you is all the information you have on the convention center where you are speaking. Send it to my other associate, Dip, and I'll have a slaughter set up for you. You shake hands with me, and you have a powerful ally."

"That I see," Gredler said. He then held out his hand, and we shook.

I stood up, and Diane followed my lead. "Sorry for the extravagant entrance. I'll let you clean up now. I'd offer to stay and give you some personal protection for the time being, but we have some loose ends to handle."

"I can offer you lodging here."

"Thanks, but not my style. Let's keep in touch."

Diane and I headed out of the villa, the remaining guards keeping a close eye on us. When we were outside, I told Diane, "Put Zippy away."

She complied.

"You handled yourself expertly in there, by the way."

She grunted in response.

"Out of curiosity, how many kills?"

She said nothing.

When we were further away still, I told her, "You said you wanted a chance to take down both criminal syndicates, now I'm going to give it to you. Hopefully the Randatti take the bait."

"Super duper," she replied dryly, not looking at me.

We made it back to her car, and I tossed her radio to her. "Didn't want you calling for backup and ruining everything."

She took it, put it away, and then the inevitable happened. She took a quick step away from me while drawing her gun and pointing it at my head.

It was time for us to talk.

NEXT

Rating: 2.5/5 (28 votes cast)

Superego
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