Monday, 4 November 2013

Project: Leftovers 002

    'First thing tomorrow' it turns out was trying to get up from bed, setting the world into mad, spiralling motion. For one moment Lane thought that she would have to vomit violently just from that sudden attack of vertigo. She was saved by the dormant alcohol left in her blood waking up calming down her panicking animal brain.
    It took her a while to carefully, slowly, slide out of her bed in a way that her legs were mostly on the floor while her upper body remained mostly on the bed, all of that while not putting any kind of pressure to her moribund stomach or her raging liver. It took her ages to move to shuffle to the toilet where she attempted to maker herself look marginally presentable again. She gave up after a while deciding to take the long trek down to the hotel dining room. She thought about getting a coffee and a bowl full of aspirin delivered to her room. Decided against it though as her nose started to pick up the smell of alcohol and stale sweat in her room.
    The dining room it was.
    At least it was empty. Apart from one table. There Monica sat with her head resting on the table, her dark hair spilled out around her, the right hand outstretched with one finger resting on the rim of a coffee mug. She looked like someone who had crawled the way all through the desert dying of thirst almost making it to the saving glass of water but failing at the very last most tragic moment. Lane smiled at that thought until she noticed that smiling was a movement that was much to hectic for her upset stomach. She carefully moved over to Monica sitting down in front of her.
    "Are you still alive?" Lane asked.
    "I wish I wasn't." Monica answered in a deceptively clear voice.
    "You do sound suspiciously chipper."
    "Just my voice. My head is killing me."
    "From vodka? I thought that's impossible."
    Monica moved her head a bit so that she could cast a glance at Lane through bloodshot eyes. "Me, too. But what can I say. My head is a rebel." her she let her head sink back to the table.
    "You remember last night?"
    "The puzzle box. The one that tried to drink my blood and open a gateway to hell."
    "What about it?"
    "I remember that sometime, I think about two thirds through the bottle I went up to my room to get it."
    Monica's head made a nodding motion rumpling up the table cloth. "That happened. Yes. You showed that thing to me and then we carried it over to the reception."
    "OK. So I didn't dream that." Lane paused for a moment. "At the reception, did I give it to the concierge so that he could put it in the safe, or to put it in the mail so that it gets send back to England? Back to Martin? So that he gets to cut himself on it and the tormented by demons from another dimension.?"
    "You sent it to Martin."
    For the first time that day Lane smiled. A tiny little smile. "That's good." she said. She slowly lowered her head down to the table joining her friend.
    They remained there motionless and in silence for a while.
    "How about breakfast?" Lane asked.
    "Urgh..." said Monica.
    "When I say breakfast, I mean, maybe a glass of water."
    "That could work."
    *       *       *
    It took then nearly an hour to get to the point where they were able to move in a form resembling human motion. The day before they had planned to move back in into the heart of the city, starting a little competition about who could find the most outlandish artefact in the labyrinthine markets of the Marrakesh.
    They changed the plan very quickly when they noticed that the rout they had chose would lead them right through the butchers district. As the first smell of meat, blood and all manner of cleaning chemicals wafted towards them they instantly turned around both fighting their lonely battles against their post-vodka nausea. Once they had escaped to a street where they could breath through the nose again without the risk of turning into very offensive living fountain statues they decided that the desert was very nice this time of the year.
    A while later they were sitting on top a dune watching the Atlas mountains. They stood there standing guard over the desert, stoically enduring the eternal wind currents that were slowly grinding them to dust. Lane was not sure if it was because of her obstinate hangover, but those mountains looked more determined than other mountains. Waiting for the land around them to be ground into fine powder taking with it forbidden secrets. The hills themselves standing on the most horrible remnants, crushing them with their weight until they too would be nothing more than a tiny portion of an endless dessert.
    "What do those mountains look like to you?" Lane asked.
    "Like Rocks." said Monica.
    "No shit? I mean what impression do you have of them? How do they feel to you when you look at them?"
    "hmmm... They look old and tired to me."
    "Really? To me they look very resolute to me. They look like they are in a staring contest with time itself. They know they can't win but they'll be damned if they give up first."
    Monica cocked her head a bit squinting at the mountains. "You think so? To me they appear to be used up. Standing there in the desert, doing their job long after anyone has stopped caring. What else are they going to do? They are mountains. They can hardly get up and immigrate to Switzerland."
    "Why Switzerland?"
    "Because that sounds like a nice place to go when you are a mountain. Look to retire. You get a ski resort, maybe a nice little tunnel to get over your mid-life crisis to show the young hills that you still have it in you. People will come. Pay you respect and take photos of you. It certainly is better than to be left her in the middle of nowhere waiting for the world to end."
    "Bah. I bet after the world has ended these mountains will still be standing here looking all smug. They have seen the rise and fall of civilisations, they remember ages long since forgotten. They probably remember ages that only they can remember because no one else was around. I look at them and see mountains who no matter what happens will go on. When everything else crumbles those guys over there will still be standing."
    "You think so?"
    "of course. Just look at them!"
    Monica snorted. "Maybe you're right. They have been through worse after all. And who knows? Maybe one day they do get to move to Switzerland."
    Lane and Monica spent a good while on their dune looking at the mountains talking, thinking, moving very carefully to see if the hangover had got bored and left. When they were both finally feeling better they decided to return to the city.
    "It's not that late." Lane said, "We can still go on our scavenger hunt."
    "I'd love to but there is still some business that I have to attend to."
    "Business? Don't tell me that the wankers back home contacted you during your holidays."
    "I wish." Monica said with a smirk. "No this is family business."
    "In Marrakesh?"
    "Yep. Turns out that acquaintance of my cousins also had a message for me. I still have a few obligations that need to be taken care of."
    "You told me yesterday that you family was dead to you."
    "They are. Now more than ever. But I'm a professional. I do take care of my shit. It's what I do and in a way it's what makes me better than them. This will be the last fucking time though."
    "I would raise a toast to moral superiority, but that would remind me of alcohol."
    "Why did you have to say alcohol?"
    "I don't know..."
    So in the end they decided to split up. Lane could go exploring again. Find the most promising parts of the seemingly infinite bazaars, so that the next day armed with that knowledge they could go hunting.
    It went really well until everything went catastrophically wrong.
    They had parted ways as the sun was setting. Monica had returned to the hotel to get into more appropriate clothes, Lane just went right back into the markets. At first she was careful not to stray from the parts that sold only things made out of wood and metal, not trusting her stomach to decide to go on a revenge trip for what she had done to it last night. She slowly approached the spice markets, not unlike one would dip a tow in water that was looking suspiciously cold. Taking in all the smells without it feeling like a punch of the gut was work, but it did not turn into paralysing nausea. So slowly she made her way deeper into the parts of the bazaar that were not only filled with an untold number of exiting things but also with exiting smells.
    She even went so far as to approach the butchers district which was still bubbling with business. If it had slowed down at all that day then only to turn on the lights to keep the night at bay. It was here in the neighbouring markets where many food stalls were situated turning the raw materials from the other food districts into proper meals that Lane's stomach told her that while it still hated her and her stupid face, that it could be moved into peace talks if provided by some decent food.
    It took a few bites, but soon after they were the best friends again tasting their way through the exiting variety of dishes. Lane remembered her original mission only when she was sitting a little stall drinking spiced tea out of a little glass. Night had now taken over completely. When she looked up past the many coloured cloth covers that formed the irregular ceiling of the bazaar she could see a a black sky adorned with a dazzling array of shining stars. From where she was sitting she could even see the pale veil of the milky way draped over part of the firmament.

    Sitting around enjoying the very sensation of being alive was all well and good but she had come her with a goal in mind. So far though she had only wasted her time. Well not wasted. She had to relax her batteries and get her body back into functional shape. But now she was feeling OK again. It was time to move on especially as Monica was counting on her, and Monica had not had the luxury of relaxing for a few hours but had instead to do her family some kind of odd favour. She had hardly ever spoken to Lane about her family and when ever the topic drifted into conversation she usually commented it only with a dark hard expression and let it drift past.
    'All right!' Lane thought. 'I'm not only doing this for me. But also for Monica. Tomorrow I'll show her some of the strangest most fascinating things that she has ever seen in her life. That will take her mind away from her ungrateful family and focus her back to being on holidays. That's what we came here for anyway. To leave the shit from out former lives behind, gather our strength and start a new chapter in our lives.'
    She dove right into the depths of the market looking for the dark corners where one could buy things far removed from the ordinary. First she went to look for the 'grave robber' who had sold her the puzzle box, but try as she may she could not find the stall any more. She was rather sure where it had been, but the bazaar was folded in itself in complex fractal ways that made it incredibly difficult to navigate as a newcomer. That many parts of it changed sometimes as often as every couple of hours as some merchants left and others arrived, sometimes opening new paths while sealing off others further complicated things.
    Lane had been standing at a crossroads for a while trying to decide in which direction to go next. Down one path was a large stall selling all kinds of birds local and foreign which she remembered having past on her way to the grave robber, but in another direction was a little island of jewellers which she could have sworn were also on the way but she remembered being further away. It was at that moment when she remembered her last trip with Martin, calling that a holiday would have been like calling a morning visit at the dentist followed by days of pain a couple of days off. The trip had been a giant exercise in frustration and simmering rage slowly building into hard cold resentment. One of the things that now stood out in Lane's mind was Martins constant refusal to ask for directions ever. God fucking forbid that he asks someone, coming into contact with one of those strange people that mad that unknown place they were visiting their home when he could as well keep misreading his fucking map instead. Because that had worked out so perfectly up to that moment.
    So. Fuck Martin. Lane walked from one stall to the other, and approaching the people wandering around in between them trying to find out where the grave robber might have set up camp. While she did not find the man, she got to talk to several people who were mostly really friendly. Some tried to help her locate the spot where she most probably had found him judging from her description, while others pointed her to other places that would sell similarly strange artefacts.
    One of the best hints came from a man she had not asked. She had passed right past him as he looked like the type of man Lane would not have even asked for the time. A tall European type, but scruffy to the point of looking shabby who even at a distance had the smell of alcohol following him around like an olfactory warning sign. While his chest was actually rather impressive, the fact that Lane could see his chest because he wore his shirt almost completely open made him look even less trustworthy. This should have been enough, but that man certainly had gone the extra mile to make his dangerous alcoholic madman look a bold statement about his pathetic life style. The skin he exposed was decorated with all kinds of scars. They came in all shapes and forms, only a few of them from the manly impressive variety while most others looked more like monuments to moments of great misfortune and even greater stupidity. The scars were also impressive in that they made the tattoos peaking out from below the man's shirt look even more cheap and shady. This all was crowned of by several golden chains around the man's neck and wrists every one holding some kind of talisman, cross, pentagram. He looked like the after-shave advert version of a occultist hobo nerd.

    Lane did not simply not look at him, she ignored him with the fierce determination that allowed her not only to fade that guy out of her reality but also make it very clear to the one being ignored that he should do everything to make himself even more invisible.
    Which is why Lane was extremely surprised to find him standing right behind her after she had talked to a local man about where to find stalls that sold artefacts, preferably ones that did not sell any that had 'made in Thailand' engraved somewhere, or at least ones that went through the trouble of filing those engravings away.
    Lane was a bit scared. Mostly from the shock of having that nutter standing behind her all of a sudden but also because the pale dull eyes in his face were possessed by something that looked suspiciously like madness. Lane did not show her fear though. She worked at an office with a highly competitive atmosphere every day. An office mostly filled with men. She was used to them by now. She knew that the majority of them worked on the same level of sophistication as a badly trained dog. That meant that she could not show weakness, constantly projecting calm strength. It was the only way to train them to proper behaviour.
    So instead of taking half a step back as her initial surprise advice her to do, she slowly breathed in taking a full step towards the man.
    She arched an eye brow and asked, "What?"
    The man took a half step back. Lane allowed her self to relax a bit now that her alpha status had been established.
    "I overheard you talking to that man." the after-shave hobo said.
    "That is considered bad manners."
    "You talked, my ears just heard. You want people not listening to you, you might want to keep your voice down."
    "Your manners keep getting worse."
    "Sorry. That's not what I mean to say."
    "Go on then. What do you have to tell me." Lane actually wanted to tell him to fuck off, but she thought it would be easier to listen to him rambling for a while. That way he could tell her what ever was on his mind and then hopefully bugger off. They were standing in the middle of a well frequented part of the market so any kind of attack from his side was unlikely. She hoped.
    "I heard what you were asking. You are also asking quite a few people. And you are rather specific about what you want."
    "So. I am wondering what it is that you are looking for."
    "Artefacts. Strange things. Interesting stuff."
    "Which you can find in many places here. All fine choices for the discerning tourist."
    "I'm not a tourist." Lane lied. "I'm here looking for the good stuff." What the fuck was she telling that guy? Bah. If she was going to talk to a crazy man in the middle of the night about were to buy occult items she could go a bit crazy too. Why let the madman have all the fun.
    "Are you? You are... Why?"
    "That is not your business."
    The man looked into lanes eyes. His own going a bit clearer. He rubbed his face with his hand , trying to clear his mind.
    "None of my business." he said. He now looked anxious. "Right. It's just. This place here. Well there are dangers."
    'Yes' Lane thought, 'like ranting, drunk lunatics bothering people.'
    "Also, the way you are doing things here. That's not how it works in Marrakesh. You will hardly get what you want and you will attract the attention of the wrong people." the corner of his mouth twitched.
    "I attracted your attention..." Lane said.
    "True. Maybe you're lucky? Who knows..."
    "Are you going to help me find what I need or do I have to tell you to piss off?"
    The man remained quiet for a moment struggling with what whatever it was that was going through his mind.

    "I am going to help you." he said looking deeply upset about it. "I can tell you were to go."
    "Go on then."
    "Up here you will hardly find anything worth your attention. You might find a few grave robbers or curio pedlars who will sometimes stock proper artefacts. But finding them is hard, not letting them sell you any old shit is harder and because they usually have no idea what they are doing, buying random things from them is dangerous. More dangerous than buying an artefact is in the first place." as he said that the man rubbed an old round scar of his, that disfigured most of the lower half of his left forearm.
    "You need to find a a way into the lower market. Go to one of the main markets, there you will find an entrance. They are marked by special signs. Here, I will draw you a list." the man started to search his pockets. It took Lane all of her years of office hardening to not take a step back now. She scanned her surroundings with here eyes. She saw that several of the people around her were pointedly ignoring her and the madman but were doing so in a very deliberate way indicating that they were going to step in should something happen. That or run away.
    The man produced a crumpled piece of paper a receipt of sorts and started drawing on it with a stub of a pencil that looked almost as used up and pitiful as he did.
    "Here." he said handing the piece of paper to Lane. "The upper row shows you the markers for the entrance to the lower market. The signs on the second row is what the merchants will use to identify the kind of wares they have. Relics, talismans, artefacts, occult technology, remnants of the ancient civilisation, components for alchemical and other occult purposes, key and portals and the last one identifies items with unknown properties but which have killed those who tried to unearth their mysteries. Please," he said his eyes almost focused on the world outside his head now, "what ever you do. Keep away from the last ones. They aren't worth it."
    "Right." Lane nodded. "Thanks for the information. And the warning."
    "That," the man said pointing at the paper, "is generally not worth it. It seems like a great idea. But in then end it is a lottery where you pay a heavy price every time you lose."
    "I will keep that in mind. Thank you."
    The man looked at her for a while, his eyes clouding over slowly again as Lane just looked at him waiting for him to go away. He slumped his shoulders and turned around. "Please, take care." he said before he wandered off into the night. Lane pretended to be interested in a bit of pottery to make sure that the strange man had properly gone away instead of trying to follow her from a distance.
    She looked at the piece of paper shaking her had. At first she wanted to throw it away but then decided to keep it. So far this was the most interesting thing that happened during her voyage. It was also the closest thing she had come to a proper adventure so far. So she decided to keep it, it would make a great souvenir.
    She was still looking at the signs scribbled on her new treasure map trying to make sense of them, maybe they were some kind of vagabond code, when she noticed one of the signs engraved low on a wall of a coffee house. She felt a shiver go down her spine. What if that drunk idiot had actually told the truth. She had snorted when she realised how sill that sounded. In a way it was fascinating to see that even the mad ramblings of a drunkard could plant the seed of hope in the soul of someone. Well at least she knew that the signs were more than just gibberish. Maybe not the keys to untold treasure they were at least part of a secret alphabet used by vagrants to communicated with each other. Now she wished she had asked man to write down what the signs actually meant. Was this one a warning? Or did it show a place where a hungry man would get fed, or even be offered a place to stay the night.
    Well only one way to find out. Lane went into the coffee house that was bustling with customers despite the advanced hour. They were drinking the aromatic coffee heavy with cardamom and clover that was popular here. Many eating the sticky sweets that were traditionally served to accompany the bitter drink. Lane moved through the many small rooms of the place looking for an empty table when she discovered another one of the signs worked into the carvings of a door frame. Now that was some sophisticated hobo artistry...
    The door frame did not hold a proper door but instead a curtain of beaded strings. She looked left and right and then gathering her courage she parted the curtain with her hands, revealing a short corridor that had just enough room to hold three richly decorated doors on each wall. Looking around a last time to see whether anyone would protest of her sticking her nose where it didn't belong she moved past the curtain.
    It took her a while to make sure. Only one of the doors was marked with one of the signs of the list. She tried to open the door but it was locked. Of course. She was about to turn back to give up on this silly thing. She could get a coffee and then return to the Hotel. It was late enough as it was. At least she would have something interesting to tell to Monica. What held her back was that she was half way into a real, proper adventure. Of course soon enough it would burst like a soap bubble, but right now she was following a secret trail to a forbidden market. If she gave away now, it would for ever be down there under Marrakesh taunting her for not following through with her intention to go on an adventure. Of course the door would not open and even if it did she would probably find the most hobo friendly storage room, but then she would know for sure. There were no sweet possibilities left to taunt her.
    "What would get me through this door if this was all real." she asked the note in her hand. "Seems pretty obvious now that I look at you." she stretched out her hand to touch the sign that had been worked into the door. She almost shrieked when the sign gave way under her fingers, the door unlocked with a soft 'click' noise swinging open. Before her she saw a spiral staircase hewn out of a grey stone that looked nothing like the brown stone that was used to build the house surrounding it. Warm moist air wafted up from below carrying with it the smells of burning candles, strange aromatic oils and coal fires.
    "Fuck. Me." Lane said before stepping down the stairs.
    *        *        *       *
    Lane spent more than two hours in the lower market. Walking through its endless stone halls carved out of the bedrock below Marrakesh. Some of the halls were larger than an entire city block, the ceiling supported by giant columns many of which had been carved out to house storages, cafés and stores that needed extra protection. She had wanted to explore the place but was to overwhelmed by the strange sights and smells and sounds of the place that all she could do was to wander through the place working hard just grasping what she was seeing. Everything that was on display here looked strange. There were things that looked beautiful in a strange alien way that made them deeply compelling but at the same time repulsive. There was a store that sold what looked like a collection of stones. Not precious stones or carved stones but stoner that were so plain that they would have been rejected if they had been looking for a job on a gravel path. When Lane got near to them she could feel the aura of the stones, pulsating with a power bordering on violence. In another place little lizards were sold that could breath fire or that lived in solid ice, moving through it as if it were water.
    On and on the lower market went its wonders never ceasing. When ever Lane thought that she could not be surprise any more she came across something that was even more unreal.
    She felt a rush of relief when she turned a corner to find a doorway in a column marked with one of the signs of entrance. In this case Lane hoped it meant exit. At least that was what she hoped. Finding a deeper even more exotic level below this one would be incredibly exciting but right now she really needed to get back to the hotel. She had to sleep and she had to tell Monica everything about her discovery. Definitely not in that order.
    She entered the door way walked down a curved corridor to find after a few steps an equally curved stairway. Lane felt a massive surge of relieve washing over her carrying her all the way to the surface.
    The relief started to drain quickly from her when she came out in some dark side alley somewhere in the city, lit only by the half moon and the stars above. Her relief turned into a quickly evaporating puddle around her feet when she noticed that the door she had come through was a one way door that was now shut closed again, looking like a rather uncooperative wall.
    Her relief gave way to creeping terror when she heard stumbling footsteps and an inhuman wheezing howl hurrying towards her.
    She looked left and right. There was nothing but empty street to both sides. She decided to run. Sure she had no idea where she was or where she was going but moving into the direction opposite of the what ever that horrible thing was that moving towards her seemed like the best alternative.
    An added bonus to running away was that her footsteps did cover a lot of the horrible sounds that were getting closer to her. This turned out to be quite the disadvantage when she noticed that she had misjudged the direction from where the sounds were coming because of the echoes caused by the walls of the buildings. Instead of of getting away she had been rushing towards what ever it was that was stalking the night streets of Marrakesh. She turned leaning against her momentum, her feet skidding over the dust covered street, slowing her down, but not enough to prevent her from sliding past the corner that was the last thing between her and the monster.
    She was already running again, her feet trying to find traction on the slippery ground when the wheezing monstrosity hit her with full force sending them both stumbling to the floor. The thing on top of her was still making its keening cry. Lane tried to shove it off of her but the creature was covered with a strange slime that was slippery to the touch but quickly turned sticky in her hands. The creature stack of dirt and iron. Actually, Lane knew that smell. It was the smell of blood.
    She finally managed to push the figure aside. The 'monster' was a wounded man. The strange noise came from small but vicious looking wound in his chest that was seeping blood and rhythmically producing blood foam. The eyes of the man were wide in terror. At first he tried to push Lane away, his legs pushing feebly against the floor as he attempted to crawl away. He quickly realised that he was not going to get far any more. He changed his tactics. He tried to pull himself towards Lane or Lane towards him. His lips quivering. He was trying to say something. Lane realising what was happening was paralysed and did not resist the man. She tried to make out what he was saying but whenever he tried to draw a breath his chest wound made a slurping sound and when he tried to speak it made that horrible wheezing sound that would stay with Lane until the day she died.
    Lane pressed her hand against the wound of the man. The next time he tried to draw a breath she could feel how the wound started to suck the palm of her hand with its moist edges, it did help the man to take something close to a proper breath. At first it was just a feeble little thing, as he noticed that he was getting air again, he sucked in more air. After taking three or four more rattling mouthfuls of air he started talking. Lane did not understand a word. She did not even know in what language the man was talking. She was about to ask him to slow down when the side of the wounded man's head exploded.
    "I am sorry." said a cold voice.
    Lane turned towards it. Down the alley from where the man that now lay dead in front of her had come another man was standing. This one was wearing an immaculate white suit with a matching hat and coat against the chill of the desert night. Lane could not see his fade, it was obscured by the shadow of his hat, she cold see his white teeth bared in an sincere smile and the glint of the reflected light in one eye.
    "This is not personal my lady." the man in white said. "But this is a strict no witnesses operation."  he moved the gun he was holding in his white gloved hand pointing it at Lane. His smile never left his face, as the gun moved towards its new target it slowly filled with emotion. Lane's brain went into overdrive. She knew she was fucked. Her life was about to start to parade in front of her when it was kicked aside by her survival instincts which she had inherited from her ancestors a 4 billion year long line of organisms had furiously fought to live another day. Time slowed down to the bare required minimum. She went through dozens of escape plans, rejecting all of them working on new ones while the others were still falling to the ground. The ground! She clenched her teeth, grabbed hold of the dead man, pulled him up in front of her like a shield while she ducked. That was not going to save her life. But it would give her more time to think. A bullet exploded out of her corpse shield above her, sending bits of flesh and fragments of bone flying. Some of the bone shrapnel embedded itself in her scalp. 'I hope that guy doesn't have hepatitis... or worse.' though the most optimistic part of her mind.
    The man in white laughed. "I was going to make your death painless anyway, no need to amuse me, but the though is appreciated. Once I have sent you to your Creator I shall send a prayer after you so that you may find mercy during your judgement." he kept his pistol aimed in Lane's general direction. He could have shot through the corpse, he would have hit his target, maybe not with his first shot but he had enough ammunition to make sure that he hit. But that was not the proper way to do his job. The lady was an innocent bystander and she deserved at least a clean death." He moved forward trying to find a clear line of sight.
    "Fuck you!" shouted Lane filled with adrenaline, fear and fury.
    The man moved closer. Lane was still focused on finding a way to get out of this situation alive. She decided to move her cover and her self closer to the man in white. Maybe if she got close enough she could get hold of his gun? The man reacted to her manoeuvre with a gleeful chuckle. It made Lane furious. It was clear that there was nothing she could do to save herself, the realisation filled her with even more anger. Tears welled up in her eyes. As she blinked them away she thought she saw a shadow fall from above, lading behind the man in white. Initially she thought that she had just imagined that but the smile of the man in white turned into smirk. A thin silver line flashed above his head in the moonlight. As the wire constricted around his neck the smirk in his face turned into a silent scream. He pulled up his gun pointing it behind him past his shoulder. The wire around his neck constricted further cutting past his skin through his veins, his throat, his arteries, grinding to a halt when it bit into his spinal column. Blood exploded from the cut, the man let go of the gun trying to press his hands against the wound to stop his the bleeding. His hands just pressed into the wound opening it further. He sank to the floor slowly making whistling noises as he breathed through his now open neck, flopping on the ground for a while before he became unconscious because of a lack of oxygen in his brain.
    Lane watched this for what for a few seconds that felt like an eternity. Then she started vomiting. Long and hard. Right now vomiting was better than anything else around her. She barely registered the figure that had killed the man in white. Things probably had just gone worse. But she did not care right now. Now she was puking her guts out. She was hoping that she could puke out the memories. That she could puke away the last 5 Minutes of her live. Purge all of it. Wash out her mouth, brush her teeth and go on with her life.
    It didn't work. She was dry heaving now with nothing around her having changed. There was still a dead guy next to her. The man in white was still occasionally shuddering his way to the next world while the other assassin was still standing over him watching him go.
    'Pretty small for a killer' Lane thought watching the newcomer. She noticed that it was a she.
    The woman with the wire looked up.
    "Fuck." said a familiar voice. "Lane?" It was the voice of Monica. "Fuck!"
    *       *       *      *

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