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Okay, Internet. Some stuff has happened.

I did something to my knee during soccer practice and had to go to this orthopedic center  place to figure out what I did to it. I either tore my ACL or strained my MCL (I’m hoping for the latter). While this was going on, I noticed two things.

1) We as a society are comfortable with certain things in a doctor’s office than we are outside of it. I let a relative stranger make me lie on a long sheet of paper while he wiggled my leg around, which, I can assure you, would NOT happen outside of a doctor’s office.

2) Knees are funny. I got some x-rays to make sure the bones were okay (which they were) and they’re just kind of amusing. Especially knee-caps. Just think about it for a while, Internet. I’m sure you’ll agree with me. Or not. That’s okay too.

Oh, and I have found a new appreciation for art. Which kind of makes me wish I could draw. And I also like pretty much anything minimalist. Possibly more than is healthy.

Anyways, I wrote some stuff. It’s not terribly high-quality, but that’s the nature of this kind of writing, isn’t it? Sequel to the post entitled “An Anecdote and a Snippet,” which I am, quite narcissistically, quite fond of. As of right now, it falls under the category of “car-chases and explosions, but very little plot.”

 

The door burst open and Shirin stormed in, flicking the lights on. “She called you!” she shrieked. Luz was on her knees on the bed within seconds, gun in hand.

What?”

“Emma! She called you, now she’s gone, her house is ransacked, and you IGNORED HER.”

Luz was off the bed in an instant, pulling on a pair of jeans and weaving a belt through the loops. “How the hell was I supposed to know? I was thinking it was a low blow for you to sic her on me, and I wasn’t going to answer because I didn’t want to deal with it.”

“Sic her—I didn’t! Don’t you dare blame this on me. If you hadn’t been so selfish and quit–”

Luz slapped her. Hard. “I did what I had to,” she said coldly. “how long has she been gone?”

Shirin swallowed, realizing Luz was all business now. “A few hours. Jake is outside with a car.”

“Good. There are a few cans of gasoline in the garage. Put them in back. I assume you have weapons.”

“What’s the plan?”

“We stick with plan B.” Improvisation

“What’s plan A, though?”

“Plan B.”

“Okay… what replaces plan B?”

“Plan Z.” Kill on sight.

A few minutes later Luz was outside with Shirin, sliding on a jacket and checking the weapons strapped to various body-parts. Jake nodded to her. “You look like hell.”

“Good to see you too, Jake. I’m driving.”

“You drunk?” Luz glared wordlessly. “Hey, I thought I knew you. Then you bailed on us and I don’t know what to think any more.”

Luz scowled and got in the driver’s seat. They’re right, though.

“Where are we going?”

“I know where she is,” Luz said grimly. Either that or I really am different than I used to be.

Now wasn’t the time to doubt herself. She put her foot on the accelerator, roaring through the mostly empty early-morning streets. “Will you please explain what’s going on,” Jake demanded.

Luz glanced at him. “Let’s get Emma first. I don’t want to explain, so I’ll either do it once we have her or die getting her out.”

“You are not dying,” Shirin said, “not until we have answers.”

Luz blasted through a red light and pulled into an empty parking garage. “If I die, there are directions hidden in here. Find a safe place to hide while you look for them, then follow them. You’ll get a safe place and your answers.”

She jumped out of the car and Shirin and Jake were right behind her. Shirin grabbed her jacket. “You’re not listening to me, Luz. You’re not dying tonight. Or tomorrow. Or any time in the foreseeable future.”

“None of the future is foreseeable. You make plans, they get screwed up, and you do your damnedest to make the best of things.”

She turned away from the younger woman and ignored the look Jake gave her. The arrangement had been broken, and she wasn’t going to play by the rules any more. I never was one for rules.

“Shirin, you’re the fastest. Once we’ve got Emma, you’re going to hightail it for the car and bring it here to get us out. Got it?”

The unspoken understanding being that if they were likely all going to die, Shirin was the youngest so they’d try to get her out alive. “Got it.”

They were practiced at making it look like they belonged wherever they were. Outside a loft in the downtown area in the middle of the night, stumbling drunk would make sense. “You’re sure it’s here?” Jake whispered as he stumbled into Luz.

“You think I’ve just been sitting around while my—while you guys were out playing heroes still?” This isn’t how I expected this conversation to go.

Shirin laughed, high and loud, and playfully slapped Jake. “Is this your loft, Johnny?” she giggled, stumbling toward the door.

“Let us in so the fun can start,” Luz drawled. Here’s hoping they don’t recognize me or my voice.

Jake fumbled, as if for a key, grabbing a small crow-bar instead, and stood close to the door as the two women crowded against him. “Sometimes the key doesn’t work very well, so you have to just give the door a shove.” he slammed his shoulder into the door after prising it open.

Two guards were there. Jake hit one with the crow-bar, and Luz clamped her hand over one’s mouth and slit his throat, lowering him quietly to the ground.

“I’m not going to question how you knew it was here right now, but I expect answers as soon as we’re out of here,” Shirin hissed.

“Yeah, sure. Let’s focus on the ‘out of here’ bit.” she stepped over the dying man and the three stole up the stairs, weapons in hand.

A knife buried in one guard’s back, a garotte to silence another before stabbing him, and a syringe into the neck of another, then they were at the top of the stairs. “And what if they kill her when they see us?”

“They won’t. They’ll use her to cover their own asses.” Most likely. Although banking on scum’s likelihood of trying to save themselves before anyone else is a pretty safe bet.

“I hope you’re right.” Me too.

In answer, Luz kicked open the door at the top of the stairs and took careful aim with her magnum, shooting two before someone, likely the leader, got a gun to Emma’s head. “Stop!” he shouted.

 

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