White Lady – Chapter 3.1

Armory

Third Instalment …

Guns … Guns … Guns.

A lot to choose from in the armoury.

The last time I was here—forever ago—the place had been buzzing and hopping. Crack teams of chiseled war vets and legionnaires laughing and joking, thumping and jostling, locking and loading. A choking fog of testosterone had made it nearly impossible to breath. Not that I wasn’t macho, myself—tut-tut, heaven forfend—but I preferred to ooze it out slowly over the course of a mission rather than bathe in it at the outset.

Now the eerie silence gave me chills and I would have given my right nut for the camaraderie. The only sounds now were the chinks and clicks of metal on metal as I checked over the ordinance. Racked the pistols. Collected more rounds.

Now the limo driver was the only other person in the white-floored steel walled storeroom. The only other person alive besides me and the Big WL.

What about …?

I squelched the thought. She had to be dead, too. Okay, so she was the real reason I hadn’t lifted any of the shrouds back in the warehouse. I couldn’t have handled seeing her—not in that place, not like the others—knowing that she was dead. It’s one thing to be separated from someone; it’s another to know they are gone … really gone. No longer in the world. To know you can never see their smile, hear their voice, touch their skin …

“Will this take much longer? Ms. Petrenko needs to leave soon.”

It was the limo driver. I didn’t even know his name. Didn’t care to, either. Young buck. He had the air of someone who was waiting for the Next Big Thing. I wondered if he realized he might actually get what he was waiting for—soon. Until now, he had been hulking against the massive vault door, alternating his time between examining his nails and biting them.

“Petrenko? Is that the name she’s going by now?”

The limo driver gaped. “That is her name.”

Idiot.

It was sad to think that he was one of the survivors. Some guy I’d never known. Never worked with. Probably alive today simply because he had been ordered to stick close to the White lady. Possibly had never been on assignment … out there. I could think of at least ten others I preferred to see alive in this world rather than him … and one person in particular.

Guns … Guns … Guns.

The firearms weren’t actually my focus; I just couldn’t get that damn Guess Who song out of my head. Nonetheless, I did choose a 9mm Glock look-alike, selected a long-range sniper rifle similar to Accuracy International’s L115A3—only this one fired 50 calibre rounds instead of .338’s—and … oh what the hell … a faux Uzi for those awkward pitched gun battles in the street when aiming and finesse weren’t options.

All three firearms had been manufactured by an off-the-grid corporate subsidiary of the White Lady’s organization innocuously called Hammer and Tongs Electric—HTE. All three plastic, lightweight, and issued on the understanding you could not leave them behind. All three undetectable to x-ray, metal detectors and explosives sniffers, including canines. All three very illegal, as if that mattered.

Run, take the money, here’s a bullet for your boyfriend.

The problem was, I didn’t know what I was going to be up against so I had to cover several contingencies with minimal weight. How many were they, our enemies? Had to be B.I.G. to take out the White Lady’s entire syndicate in such a short time.

Guns … Guns … Guns.

On the other hand, maybe the killers had been two highly trained individuals, or only one person, someone really stealth …and fast. Ex-White Lady recruits? Could have used high-tech delivery systems, too. Drones. No personnel involved at all. Speculation abounded and was worse than useless without more information, but one part of my mind was obsessed with processing, analyzing, while another part forced itself to prepare.

It was my way.

You be the red king, I’ll be the yellow pawn

My bet was poison … or a bioweapon … or maybe the White Lady’s army had simply been scared to death. I know I was—scared to death, I mean. If only I could be as ignorant as the limo driver.

Guns … Guns … Guns.

I decided I had enough firepower. Now I needed something more elegant. More aligned with my emergent feminine side. Something unexpected.

“Can you get me into the weaponized chemicals section?”

The driver nodded with a pained expression.

Godspeed Mother Nature

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