[identity profile] riksowden.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] shadow_writers
High summer of 2001, a small, abandoned town somewhere in the American mid-west. Midnight and nothing stirs, dust blowing silently through the dry wood town, a door creaking noisily in the otherwise still air.

In the darkness a figure drops silently to the floor through a now open skylight, quickly and quietly taking the lethal black shape of a handgun from a holster under her shoulder, and makes a move towards a door to the sound. Hearing something the figure turns crouching to present a smaller target and stepping backwards into a pool of moonlight. The light shows a lithe and compact figure dressed in military-style combat trousers and armour, with long hair pulled back into a tight ponytail, weapons slung close to hand, guns on the hip – surprisingly feminine, and predatory.

A high-pitched drone approaches quickly, and then with a smash that sends shards of glass flying another figure enters through the large bay window. A man dressed in tough, worn looking motorcycle leathers, a battered hat on his head and a length of cloth hiding his face quickly scans the room as the large off-road bike he’s riding is spun to a halt. Several short spears are thrust into a leather bucket at one side of the bike – another held loosely in the hand, ready to be thrown – and other weapons liberally festoon rider and bike both.

Spotting each other the two trained warriors react quickly – spear ready to throw an instant after the unwavering barrel of the large-calibre handgun points steadily at the riders eyes. A finger tightens on the trigger as the coiled Amazon just waits for any reason to pull the trigger – silence no longer any concern.

The riders face under the material shifts slightly, a grimace or a grin perhaps, and a voice echoes over the noise of the bike. Unexpectedly English, a twang of something different he addresses the other “You're thinking that the bullet is quicker than my blade are you?” Her voice is confident, smooth as she coolly replies "I'm not thinking."

He guns the bikes engine, cloud of petrol fumes and the smell of burning oil filling the room "Good. Because I know the answer to it”. She straightens, gun remaining fixed between his eyes as she rises to a more comfortable position “Who are you?” then a smirk “I can save you the waste of time, and send you home now.”

The rider shakes his head slightly, watching the other carefully "Who I am don't really matter much does it Bab, here for a reason and don't plan on leaving till it’s done” a nod to her handgun "Greasers or no."

A smile spreads across the face of the woman, not quite touching the eyes “Well it's done, so you're welcome to leave, I can handle it from here.” He chuckles and replies "Why don't you put the pop gun down, and i'll pop my sticker away, then we'll see, eh?" She keeps the gun pointed at him "sure" and then lowers it some, pointed more to the fuel tank than the man atop it now.

"Petal, that ain't away", there is a note of something, amusement or frustration perhaps, in the voice as he tosses the spear up a few inches into the air, catching it on the way down so that its held less ready to throw and more suited for stabbing. The spear held loosely, not quite pointed at her, but not far from it.

She grins “Well, the name's not petal, and why should I go first?” “Simple, mine's more of a pain in the arse to put away safe is why, and what name would you prefer I use then?" She smirks and lowers the gun completely to her side, offline but pressure still on the trigger, ready to come back into play “You can call me Princess.”

Tension eases slightly, "And don't you look it Princess, but fair deal." and he twists around thought always keeping her in sight and pushes the spear into the bucket. There is a slight metallic click as something grips it and he turns back empty-handed. He swings the now empty hand forward, resting on his right thigh - a handful of inches from a sawed-off shotgun holstered there.
She watches him, not blinking, gun still in her hand, a lioness regarding a strange cat in her territory. “Now why the hell are you here?” An eyebrow quirks under the battered leather hat "I’m just sightseeing Princess. The shooting iron." She laughs “Cute” and looks around quickly, scanning the doorways and looking for her destination – the job at hand on the top of her mind.

A growl comes from the bike, a hand on the clutch all that stops it leaping forward and she finally places the gun away, slipping it silently into a holster at her shoulder. Satisfied he glances about taking in the room properly for the first time "Thanks for that, guns make me nervous" and the bikes engine reduces in revs, for the first time the low noise being produced for the style of bike being clear. She laughs, taking the opportunity to take in the room as well, looking for the "target" or doors to check out.

"What are you here for Princess? Now that we're all friendly like." She replies with an amused look “I took a wrong turn” A shake of his head "Really? Don't let me stop you heading out then." And a grin from the girl “Oh, no, I think I like it here” as she takes a step toward a door leading to another room “Since we're all friendly like, you got a name?”, all the while her eyes carefully on the other – both of them clearly feeling the urge to attack, to rend this rival, from the beasts within.

He revs the engine as she moves "Uh uh, lets not be hasty whilst we're being all friendly like. And sure Princess, I got a load of names. Call me Kestrel" She smiles, her voice light, almost teasing “What you're not interested in what's behind door number 1?” He shakes his head "Not convinced Princess should be interested in whatever's behind that door - figure it’s long gone by now; whatever it was."

She nods “Probably, can't hurt to look then, can it?” which brings a slow nod from Kestrel, who eases the bike towards the doorway.” Sure, but I’m all jumpy so nothing too quick and I’ll do the same favour, eh". Another nod “Sounds like a deal” then reaches for the door. By the way she stands, to one side, minimising the body behind the doorway, it’s obvious that the Princess is a professional. With a quick motion she flips the door open – the pitch of the bike rising as Kestrel makes ready for trouble – then glances inside, sweeping with eyes and handgun.

Replacing the gun again she nods to the rider “You might want to check this out” and he seems to hesitate then knocks the bike to neutral, kicking the side stand and stepping off. Princess keeps note of the fact his right hand stays handy for the gun the whole time – and that the bike’s controls are reversed. Standing its clear that Kestrel is heavy-set, powerfully built and around average height – a ponytail of brown hair hanging down his back. He approaches the door making sure to keep Princess in front of him, and to his right and she takes a step back which seems in some way respectful, but the eyes watching him show a cautious awareness of her surroundings, and her predatory nature.

Kestrels walks through the door quickly, his footsteps deliberate and light. As he looks into the room his manner changes slightly “Arse”. She nods “Yeah. I think we’ve been set up” Kestrel turns to look at her "Sure I didn't come in on you leaving?" watching her reaction carefully, but Princess just meets his eyes.

“It is possible, but, then why would I have opened the door? And I wouldn't still be here.” He nods, slowly "Depends on how far you'd got to go in getting out...but I don't figure it’s likely. What were you here for?" A quick reply “I could ask you the same thing” to which he nods agreement as she continues “I have a feeling we both know the answer.”

"Figure so, worth saying though." There is a moment of silence before she replies “I was here for him.” Kestrel questions "Taking him, or gakking him?" and this time the response is immediate, almost offended “My orders included him living.”

After another short moment Kestrel nods, tension flowing from him "Yeah, I was here to bring him in alive. Seems like there is a third person here - and not long gone neither. We ash up proper quick.” Princess’ nod is agreement “Very true. I didn't see him when I came in, which means he timed his exit impeccably. In a "I knew I'd be having company" kind of way” The man calling himself Kestrel looks thoughtful for a moment "I swept round before coming in - there wasn't any sign of any other vehicles, which means either he was long gone, or didn't use transport. Guess I could have missed a bat or something" Princess nods at that “Very possible. It’s something I must have missed as well, I must be slipping.

"This place is in the middle of nowhere, nothing here, I had my crew surround it and watch for a couple of nights - so I don't think so” he looks her in the eyes “Don't suppose you're a shadow? To get owt from the body like.” She shakes her head, eyes scanning the surroundings again. "Figured not. Hey, were you told a time to come for him?" She replies tersely “Tonight” and he nods "Me too, and when I said my crew were in place and I could go before, was told had to be post midnight tonight. Not before, not after." She nods “Same here”

The two predatory figures exchange glances "Are you thinking same as me? We've been set up” a pause "You been paid yet?" She shakes her head “No, not completely.” "Half up front, half on delivery?" She nods “Yes, you?” and he nods back.

With a sudden violent motion that has Princess half step back and reach for a weapon Kestrel spins and kicks the wall hard, shouting “arse!” as he moves then glares malevolently at the body “I hate getting fucked!” “Yeah, you’re not alone” agreement from the other, which raises a smile and a return to calmer temper. "Well, sometimes it’s alright" and winks then goes serious "But if we've been set up we should clear the hell out of here"

“Yes, we should.” A moment of silence. "My guys didn't signal you were coming in, so I figure you've not got wheels. I’ve got room for someone on the back; if I can trust you." She looks at him closely “I think I have that same question. Can I trust you?”

Kestrel grins widely "Hell no, but I’ll give you my word that I'll see you out of here to wherever you want, within reason, and won't do a thing to you less you want it." A hand is offered, the first time the right hand has strayed more than a foot from the shotgun "and my word is iron."

“I'll take my chances” Princess takes the hand, giving a firm and confident handshake “Lets get out of here.” Quickly the two get up on the bike, the engine guns into life and the sudden smell of rubber fills the room as the back wheel spins. They launch forward hitting the door and smashing through the old, dry wooden boards with an explosion of kindling. As they quickly vanish from the area a strangely out of place giggle can be made out…
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Shadow Writers

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