NaNoWriMo Day 29 - VICTORY!!!!!
Yeah, the novel is pretty terrible but I am amazed that I pulled it off.
Final Word Count: 50,083
Everyone gapes at General Xu in shock. He gains his composure first and struts across the floor like a peacock, surveying the room. His eyes light up like a kid on Christmas morning. He exclaims that he knew they were up to something strange, but when his spies told him exactly what had been going on down here he knew he had to see it for himself. He barks a quick order in Chinese to one of his men and the soldier hustles over to the control console and starts trying to figure out what does what. Cleaver brushes some of the dust from the explosion off his immaculate suit and gathers himself. Now see here, he says to Xu, I am the CEO of Nanodyne Defense Systems and the owner of this facility. What makes you think you can just barge in here like this? Didn’t you people learn that you weren’t in charge here when we removed you from power? You only continued to hold your position because we let you. He says this with a satisfied smirk, the same one I’ve seen in a thousand meetings when he is berating someone he deemed inferior.
The old man’s speech took him face to face with General Xu, who seems greatly amused by it. Like a cobra, he backhands Cleaver hard across the jaw. The old man sprawls to the floor with a feeble cry, and Jenkins scrambles across the floor to his fallen boss. Cleaver looks at Xu with true fear, he isn’t used to these things being settled physically. Xu tells him that he is relieving him of this facility and all of his assets, effective immediately. He nods to the soldier at the control panel, who starts fiddling with knobs. Just like that, I lose control again and I start to stiffly approach Cleaver and Jenkins. Cleaver backpedals in terror, ordering me to stop where I am. I don’t fight it this time, I let all of the frustration and humiliation of all the years I bowed to him course through my veins and I actually smile as I stalk him. I grab his silk tie, and Jenkins tries feebly to swat my hand away. I kick Jenkins in the chin and pull the old man to my face. Mr. Cleaver, I say, consider this my resignation. I yank the tie and it closes around his throat like a noose. His eyes bug out of his skull as he chokes, vainly trying to take a breath. I keep tightening the tie and something squishes, I think it is his windpipe. With a final gurgle, he dies, the regal spark drains from his body along with his life, and he is just a sorry old man.
A renewed moan of fear rises from the rest of the board, and Jenkins crawls back to them with a bloody mouth. I let him go, the fear in his eyes is satisfaction enough. Xu orders them rounded up for processing, whatever that is. Two of the soldiers start binding the frightened executives, and the rest he orders to secure the rest of the complex. They all file out leaving only three armed men in the room, plus Xu. Molly and I stay quiet, unsure of what his plans for us may be. Candy looks sick to her stomach, and it is she that he addresses next. He says that he seems to recall selling her into slavery, and making quite a nice profit by doing so. He wonders if he would be lucky enough to get such a nice sum from her a second time. Candy starts to cry, shaking her head weakly. My anger rises once more and I tell him to leave her out of this and let her go. He smiles and informs me that I am in no position to make such demands. I puff up and tell him that if he doesn’t let her go, I will kill him myself. This greatly amuses him and he nods to the soldier in control, who sends me flopping to the floor. I struggle to move as Xu calmly walks over and steps on my throat with a heavy boot. He asks me to repeat that but my jaw is locked shut, I can only make frustrated growls as I fight to move.
Xu is occupied with Joseph and the soldier controlling him is focusing on keeping him on the floor. The other two are watching the board, who weep and cower at gunpoint. I dash full speed toward the control panel, and by the time anyone is able to react I am in mid kick. The soldier’s neck breaks with a sickening snap and he falls to the floor dead. Joseph bursts from the floor, knocking Xu on his back, as the other soldiers point their rifles and yell. Joseph picks Xu up and orders them to drop their weapons. Xu fearfully orders them to comply and they do. I tell Candy to retrieve the guns and bind the soldiers with the plastic ties they used on the Nanodyne people. She does so quickly, pausing on her way to stick her tongue at Xu. He struggles in Joseph’s grip, fumbling for the pistol at his belt. Joseph sees this and tears his belt off with one strong pull, sending the gun clattering to the floor and poor Xu’s pants to his ankles. Joseph throws him down hard. He begins to beg, sitting there in his tightie whities, promising safe passage from the country in exchange for his life. I walk over to stand next to Joseph, picking up Xu’s pistol on the way. I look at Joseph and ask if he would like to do the honors. He shakes his head and tells me to go right ahead. Xu is in mid plea when I shoot him in the forehead. His eyes go straight up and he falls to the floor drooling.
I survey the room to try and figure out just what the hell we are going to do next when my arm jerks without warning and shoots Joseph in the chest. Everyone is surprised to see Brandt, looking very much the worse for wear, struggling to work the control panel with only one functional arm. Joseph gasps but does not go down, and my arm swings toward Candy. She dives behind one of the bound soldiers just in time and I shoot the man dead. My aim swings back to Joseph, who is still standing there in disbelief. He finally moves and slaps the gun away with a mighty swat before I can get another shot off. Brandt frantically switches to control Joseph, since he can’t do both at once with his ruined arm. Joseph takes a step toward me but stops. I can see veins pulsing in his forehead as he fights with everything he can. As I watch in disbelief, he staggers to the soldier that I shot and pulls a grenade from the bandolier around the man’s chest. His breathing has become very labored, and I can tell that the gunshot wound has almost taken its toll. Brandt shrieks and fights with the control panel as Joseph approaches him slowly, like a zombie.
I can feel air sucking through the wound in my chest and everything is going blurry. Every muscle in my body is resisting, but I keep pushing. Brandt seems incredulous that I can actually fight his control. As I get close to him, he desperately stabs something on the control panel and I freeze. I summon every ounce of strength and will that I have left, shaking with the effort. Suddenly, something goes pop in my head and all I can see is red. The last thing I do before I slip away is pull the pin on the grenade in my hand.
I cry out when Joseph pulls the pin. He falls heavily on Brandt, pinning him to the floor. Brandt’s screams are cut off when the grenade between their bodies goes off with a heavy thump, making quite a mess and killing them both. I turn away, horrified, and swallow a gag. I look over at Molly, who also looks pretty shaken. She catches my eye and nods, acknowledging the pain of Joseph’s heroic death. She holds up her left arm experimentally, it looks like the blast also took out the control panel. She asks if I am ready to get out of here and I nod, hoisting up one of the rifles. She takes the other and we cautiously make our way out of the room, leaving the Nanodyne execs to be dealt with by whoever finds them. There are still scattered gunshots from all around the complex, the last of Brandt’s men holding off against Xu’s men. Molly finds an intercom system and picks up the microphone with a wink. She announces that Brandt is dead, Xu is dead, that there is no reason to continue fighting. Amazingly, the gunfire stops. We continue on, passing the occasional pocket of soldiers who watch us tensely, but allow us to pass. No one seems entirely sure about what to do. We find a huge ramp that leads to the surface, it looks like they used it to bring down and store vehicles. Molly finds a jeep and hotwires it expertly. I hit the control to open the hatch and we tear out of there, into the bright sunlight.
There is a lot of chaotic noise as we approach the town, and I am fearful of just what we will find there. As we get closer, I realize that the noise is cheering, many, many voices all singing happily. We roll in to see the townspeople in full celebration mode, dancing in the streets. An excited teenage boy runs up to the jeep and tells me that the peasants formed a revolution and overtook the hardliners. They are finally free, he exclaims, although I’m not really sure if he has any concept of just what that means. I ask Molly to take me to Pratima’s house, I need to make sure she is okay. When we arrive, I run from the jeep and bang on Pratima’s door frantically. I see scared eyes peer through the slot and then she opens the door with a joyous cry. We embrace happily, crying like a couple of girls. I promise her I would come back as soon as I help Molly get home.
We head to the Ministry of defense, where a collection of village elders has quickly been assembled to rule. Molly tells them everything, about the abductions of townspeople for experiments, about the puppet government, and about Xu’s defeat. The elders converse briefly, and promise Molly that she will be allowed safe passage from the country. She breathes a sigh of relief and turns to me. She says that she is glad to have met me, and that she hopes I lead a long and happy life here. We embrace tightly, sharing the memory of Joseph, and she leaves with an escort to go wherever life may take her.
They are just starting to release the various political prisoners that the hardliners were holding, and I am overjoyed to find Chirag alive. A little shaky and malnourished, but alive. I make sure he is ok and go back to Pratima’s house. She asks me all about my grand adventure, but exhaustion hits me like a tidal wave and I assure her that I will tell it all another day. She pouts but leads me into her bedroom where I crash hard and fall asleep almost instantly. As I drift away I am comforted by the joyous sounds of the town all around me. I think things are going to be ok.
My new employer, Red River Security and Retrieval, is a lot more fun to work for than stuffy old Nanodyne. They looked a bit doubtful when I strolled in and told them I was looking for work, but when I took my new boss down with a Judo move, they got a whole lot more receptive. I even got to learn all sorts of cool new stuff, like zero-G fighting and psychic combat. I’ve sort of shacked up with a guy named Reese, one of the instructors. I say sort of because relationships between instructor and student are frowned upon, and neither of us know how serious we want things to get. The sex though, my god it is amazing and worth every hour of the grueling physical training required to stay at the top of my game.
Sometimes I think back on my old life, and how if it weren’t for the whole awful mess that happened, I would still be meek little Molly the wallflower. Now, I’m badass Molly the mercenary, and no one dares mess with that. When I first got back to the States, I turned in my resignation with Nanodyne immediately. Things were in such chaos, with the CEO dead and the board missing, that I don’t think anyone ever noticed. It seems they were having trouble with the authorities in determining just what exactly happened. Hell, I was there and I still couldn’t explain it all. That was when the U.N. got interested, and it was all downhill for them from there. Last I heard the corporation was liquidated, and more than a few bigshots were arrested.
During my first job with
My days are pretty much routine, unless there is a job. I train in the morning, meet up secretly with Reese for a bit, train some more, horse around with the guys, and hit the sack. I stopped counting how long I’ve been with
Other than a few other minor goofs though, we run an extremely tight outfit. Our reputation for efficiency and discretion was unparalleled among all of the other private security firms. I was welcomed into the fold quickly. There was no macho bullshit here, once they realized that I was perfectly capable of kicking ass like anyone else, I became a member of the family.
Maybe I’ll settle down and go back to a normal life when I’m old and can’t hack it anymore. But for now, I’m having too much fun. If there is a heaven, I hope Joseph’s self-sacrifice earned him a golden ticket. And if the powers that be lighten up on the whole “thou shall not kill” thing, then just maybe I’ll see him there when my ticket gets punched. We’ll have a beer together. Things are good, and all I can do is hope that they stay this way. Unfortunately, circumstances have a way of changing just when everything falls into place like you want it to be. All I can do is stay sharp, and try to keep my ass out of the fire. I hope Candy is doing the same, wherever she ended up.