Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Chapter 10 ~ Awakening

A deafening sound was coming closer... a siren of sorts. Noel jumped awake. The room was empty. She looked down at her body - her arms and legs could move, but were very stiff. She lifted her hand to her mouth to remove the gag, but it was already gone.

The door was open. Strange, she thought, wouldn't they have kept her locked up?

Noel noticed she was wearing a starched white hospital gown and nothing else. She spoke some words softly to herself, grateful that she had regained the use of her tongue.

Slipping out of the bed slowly, she tiptoed to the doorway and peered out. There was nobody there. The siren continued to wail.

Suddenly, a young woman - probably about 17 years old - appeared round the corner of the corridor. She was running barefoot, and Noel noticed she was wearing the same type of starched white hospital gown.

The woman grabbed her arm as she reached her and whispered urgently, "Come on Noel! We don't have much time... the alarm wasn't supposed to go off so soon dammit!"

Noel stared at her in blank confusion and whispered back, "Who are you? What's going on?"

The woman stopped dead and looked at her with even more confusion and what Noel suspected was a touch of dread.

"Oh my God! Don't you remember?"

Friday, August 25, 2006

Chapter 9 - Down and Out

It was raining hard. Noel was huddled against the fence, wire pushed into her skin, marking her. Breath is gasps, gulps of air needed to prevent her heart from bursting. How had she got here? Where the fuck was here? The rain continued. Noel felt herself slipping into unconsciousness, felt the warm embrace it offered; accepted.

She woke to screams, her own. At first the shock - were they real or inside her head. A second to work out where she was. Noel was laying on white sheets, clean and crisp like a winter's morn. She rolled her head against the soft pillows, breathing in the scent of her dried sweat, a mix of perfume and stale body odour. The cover was pulled up to her neck and she was unable to move her arms; struggling brought pain, a sharp stab against her spine. Eyes watered, limbs prone. What was happening to her? Pain increased. Mercifully, unconsciousness took her again.


When Noel finally came round she saw Jason's face close against hers, studying her features.

"She's awake, at last. No signs of lasting damage, maybe a few more scars but nothing debilitating." Noel couldn't see to whom Jason's words were addressed. Her mouth was cotton dry, clogging, as if her tongue were twice the size; choking her words before they left her throat.

"Gurghhhgreehurghhh," was the only sound that she could make. Jason's face moved away and another came into focus.

"Shush, my pretty one. Don't try to speak, we have disabled your tongue and you'll want to be careful of the gag as it has been known to suffocate those that attempt to speak and we wouldn't want that, would we?"

Noel thought her eyes must be deceiving her. Wasn't this the doctor she had killed only hours before, left with a broken neck behind a door in a cell? How? What?

A slight stab in her arm and she was under again, a wave of nausea her lasting impression of the world. Her dreams were wild, untamed in their expression and the nightmare they brought her felt as real as the pain she'd felt in her spine when she'd struggled. She was surrounded by fog, lost in a space that was both familiar and strange. She opened her eyes but closed them immediately.

"Oh yes, my lovely Noel. You thought you'd escaped, didn't you? Well, that was also a dream my darling. And we are not finished with you yet. Oh no, not by a long way."

Ms. Friday's laugh stayed in her mind as she passed out, this time into a dreamless sleep.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Chapter 8 ~ Intimacy

She sat in the air vent absorbing this new information. Her mind couldn't help but wander back. After her and Handyman finished their training they had one last weekend before they would be given an assignment. They decided to go out together, celebrating. Handyman had always seemed cold, and Noel figured he simply had nobody else to celebrate with. It suited her fine, she was alone herself.

They picked a local dance club that was large and always busy. Knowing it would be the last time she could let her guard down a little, she really went loose. After hours of drinking and dancing she was feeling mighty fine and a little unsteady. Handyman turned out to be a rather nice dancer, and he held his liquor better than she did. Dancing up against him, she let him steady her. Swaying to the rhythm of the music was intoxicating itself. It seemed only natural when he bent to kiss her.

When they had enough of the noise they took a cab to her apartment. They stripped quickly taking each other in a rush of hunger neither of them could explain. Lying on the bed together after it was over she looked at him closer. He looked so normal there beside her. Not cold and detached like he usually was.

"Tell me your name, your real name."

"Why does it matter?" he asked

She rolled onto him looking him in the eyes. "Because I want to know."


"Well Jason, we still have half the night. What do you say we do this again, but take things much slower this time?"

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Chapter 7 ~ Enter Handyman

The lab below was bathed in blue fluorescent light – essentially cool for maintaining the composition of The Corporation’s premium range of pharmaceuticals. Noel knew Ms. Friday made a 4 o’clock call to check on her babies and, with only an armed guard on the outside, Noel would get no interference when she dropped in.

At a few minutes to four Noel heard the distinct echo of Ms. Friday’s wedges on the steel runners. She’d already wriggled back into her clothes, used the doctor’s comb to jostle the maintenance cover out of its frame (handy weapon she thought) and now braced herself for an attack.

The door slid open and in stepped Ms. Friday….with Handyman on her arm. Noel gasped and jerked out of view. This was unexpected – Ms. Friday always did her rounds unaccompanied.

“That wily bitch has finished off Scramton and I’m not sure what her next move is. If she’s in the compound, I want you to find her and string her up for a slow death.” Ms. Friday’s voice trailed off as the two moved towards the tube-filled cabinets. Noel took a deep breath and remembered...

Handyman did a lot of Ms. Friday’s dirty work. He had a way with blades, especially the serrated type, and could target an inch of vulnerable flesh at 200 paces. The two were thick as thieves but make no mistake - Ms. Friday was both master and mind of the pair. Handyman and Noel had trained together but Ms. Friday never allowed them any contact once they’d been activated. Handyman was like ice and wood with nails in between – he never showed a glimmer of emotion. Except once…

Chapter 6 ~ The Early Days

The dark was still inpenetrable. How long had she been sitting there? Four hours? Maybe five? The waiting game. How she loved to play.

Ms. Friday had a routine, and it would be her downfall. Noel just had to wait for exactly the right moment.

Even with her patience, the air vent was starting to feel cramped and stuffy - probably because her small, muscular frame was actually blocking all air flow through it. But this was the only way. At least she had removed her clothes before settling in. Sweating wasn't her style.

Waiting gave Noel time to think and process the evening's events. When had Ms. Friday turned? And more importantly, why?

Noel thought back to when they had met. Noel was 14, living on the street and getting high on anything she could lay her hands on. Ms. Friday was the dealer's girlfriend. She knew her as 'Louisa' back then - a quiet, unassuming girl who watched the drug scenes unfold around her. Always watching, never partaking.

It was only years later that Noel realised Louisa had had the plan all along. One day the dealer showed up dead, stabbed in the eyes, throat, chest and crotch - 27 times in total. This had been personal.

Louisa and all his money was gone. And so was Noel.

The story continues here...

Monday, March 06, 2006

Chapter 5 - Saturday Mourning Part 2

The bitch! Noel thought as she quickly navigated the corridors. She had given The Corporation the best part of ten years' service and this was how Friday sought to repay her. Betrayal was nothing new to her, but this time it stung.

Noel snaked her way through the maze. There had to be an InfoPod somewhere, which would indicate where she was, and more importantly where to locate Ms. Friday. Undoubtedly her wrist chip and access codes would have been disabled by the See.

Checking that there were no cameras and no guards, Noel stopped briefly to remove her right shoe (standard issue) and unclipped the heel to reveal a Multi-Access Chip (not so standard issue). She had savagely dug the chip from a Seer's skull before dumping her body in an incinerator two years previously. It had been when she had first got wind that things were not as they seemed in the corporation.

Still the chip would be of no use to her without the InfoPod or an I-Station. She retrieved the chip from the well of the heel, snapped it back and slipped the shoe back on.

After rounding several corners unsuccessfully she finally chanced upon an I-Station. She brushed the chip across the access screen. "Bingo..." she whispered, a smile curling the corners of her mouth.

Noel found Ms Friday's location with ease. Payback was going to be beautiful.

Chapter 6

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Chapter 4 - Saturday Mourning

Noel had been waiting for a while. Something bad had happened, but what? She felt helpless, which was a feeling almost alien to her. Slowly, the fog in her mind cleared and she remembered: Ms. Friday.

She felt around her head for the lump she knew was there; the shock she felt as her fingers grazed a thick clump of blood and hair was still evident as she brought her shaking hands back to her lap. Why did she feel this way? It was so unlike her to feel scared, unsure. Noel tried to summon the strength and wherewithal to work out where she was, how she’d got there and how she was going to break out.

Glancing around, there appeared to be little for her to work with. A small table was bolted to the concrete floor, as was the squat chair in which she sat. A window – more an aperture – was placed high up on the wall, its glass strengthened with wire to prevent escape. It seemed hopeless, even to Noel.

Voices, faint and indistinct, were just audible to Noel as she sat contemplating her next move. She felt her body for more wounds, finding none; however, neither did she have her weapons. The voices came closer and she recognised Ms. Friday’s nefarious tone barking instructions at some poor subordinate. Noel wondered to herself whether he was a looker. Guilt washed over her as she recalled the last man she’d disposed of; he’d been quite something. Noel let out a sigh of regret and buried her head in her hands.

Ms. Friday opened the door and saw Noel, bent over and wracked by sobs. So, she thought, they had broken her at last. Noel looked up through her lank hair just as Ms. Friday entered the room, a small man with glasses trailing in her wake.

"So, you’re awake now, are you?" Ms. Friday hissed. Noel ignored her, wiping the backs of her hands across her eyes to remove any trace of her tears.

"Well," Ms. Friday continued, "Dr. Scramton will access you now and then we will decide how you will die. Believe me, it won’t be a pleasant method I choose, pain is something you will almost certainly feel. There’s something about torture that makes me wet." Ms. Friday turned on her spiked heel, laughing. The echo of the door slamming filled the silence of the room.

Noel looked over Dr. Scramton. He wouldn’t be that difficult to overpower, surely? He stared at her through his thick glasses, the clipboard in his hand resting on his thigh.

"Hi, Nnnn-noel – ccccc-can I cccccc-call you Nnnnn-noel?" he stammered.

"Sure thing honey," she replied, giving him her best doe-eyed look. "So, you need to give me the once over, do you? Best get it over with honey, I ain’t got all day."

Dr. Scramton moved towards her, shuffling his feet across the concrete floor. He stopped just out of arm’s reach.

"C’mon Doc, you can’t check me over from there." Noel moved her legs slightly apart, giving the good doctor a glimpse of her red lace panties. She saw his eyes light up. Then, quickly she was on her feet, her hands around his throat. The light in his eyes dulled as his windpipe was crushed.

"I’m sorry, Doctor, but Saturday is not a day on which I choose to die. I prefer death to be a Friday. A Ms. Friday to exact."

She moved the dead weight of the doctor’s body into the corner and rifled through his pockets. On his person he had one comb, complete with grey hairs, a map of the compound and a small torch. Nevermind, thought Noel, I could use the excitement of having no weapons. After all, the past two days have been fairly boring.

With that, Noel slipped out of the room skulking down the gloomy corridors in search of her nemesis, Ms. Friday.

Chapter 5