Tightbeam The Maze

Discussion in 'The Terminal' started by Claudia Volpe, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. Claudia Volpe

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    "No, I think that will be all. Oh, I'll need another terminal soon unless you want another house visit."

    Volpe paid the last two fingers of drink no respect as she knocked it back. Her eyes widened briefly as the heat struck her. She placed the glass down on the counter and took a step away. Wearing socks only she had to avoid the broken shards of glass.

    Volpe had the sense not to walk across a hardwood floor in mag-boots. How, in the fuck of all that was holy, Dionisi was walking in this gravity in heels was beyond her. Coming from Earth she preferred the mag-boots in the metal floored corridors to keep anchored.
     
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  2. Lucrezia Dionisi

    Lucrezia Dionisi Hell in High Heels

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    Lucrezia didn’t grace the cheeky reply with one of her own – the arc of one perfect brow ought to be enough, even in the darkness of her flat.

    “I’ll keep you apprised of any salient developments whilst you recover,” she added once the operative had passed the hazard of broken glass. She’d engage the cleaning robot… later.

    “Though I don’t expect it should take more than a day or two.”

    Working for money had its perks.
     
    #22 Lucrezia Dionisi, Mar 16, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
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  3. Claudia Volpe

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    Claudia sat on the edge of the table, leaning forwards with her elbows on her knees. The sling was gone, thrown into a bright yellow bin marked for incineration.

    She grimaced as the doctor poked at her arm. A robotic arm swung out from its recess in the smooth white wall. Everything has such a sterile apearence here. The air managed to taste even more artificial than the rest of lunar base 4. It clasped around the wound and her arm.

    A full hologram of the inside of her arm came to life. The doctor started pressing buttons and different aspects were highlighted. Including what seemed like fragments of bullet.

    "I'm going to have to operate, but seeing as you've self medicated for the pain using alcohol I'm going to keep you in for the night before we put you under. No liquids or solids. Perhaps a saline drip for now though..."




    Claudia sat on the edge of her own bed in exactly the same pose as she'd taken the evening before. Peering down at her bare arm she resisted the urge to poke the new skin again. The clear gel that she had woken up to find all over her arm seemed to have started some process off that had the wound entirely covered in fresh skin already. She kept poking it to check that it felt right.

    Volpe sighed and slid off the bed. Her mental clock was off from the travelling and anaesthetic but given it was the evening it felt appropriate to wake up and actually put some clothes on.

    Any new orders?

    The new terminal had been on her bedside table when she had woken up. Volpe didn't know why - after the disaster in Tunisia - she was so keen to find something else to do. Perhaps because after so long doing nothing it made her feel alive to be at the pointy end again.
     
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  4. Lucrezia Dionisi

    Lucrezia Dionisi Hell in High Heels

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    The liquidation squad you killed were all dead ends.

    The trafficking operation is tied to organised crime in the region. Mob likely double-crossed a corp with better backing than they thought.

    You’re going to Paris.
     
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  5. Claudia Volpe

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    The atmospheric flight was far more comfortable than the dropship down from the moon. She had a comfortable reclining chair, a large screen that swung out in front of her and a nice lady topping up her coffee as frequently as required.

    She pulled across the privacy screen and decided to do a little research. A few old contacts were still working in Western Europe so Volpe went digging into what they were up to now.

    Jeroen was now running a eurasian task force out of Brussels. That was interesting, but he was a little senior to be bothering just yet. Most of the others were, unsurprisingly, doing private work.

    Swinging the monitor aside and pulling back the privacy screen she decided to see what else the hostess could bring her.



    Claudia had always wanted to visit Paris. More specifically, she had always wanted someone to take her to Paris. The buildings were old here and the streets narrow, but that was now considered relative to the packed cities of Tunisia and the narrow metal corridors of a lunar base.

    Her french was worse than her Italian but it was enough to check into her room without falling back on English. Given the appearance of the building from the outside she was surprised to find she had quite a large, airy room with its own balcony. No real view to speak of beyond the hotel on the other side of the street.

    Am here now. Please send on further instructions when ready.

    Kicking off her boots, Claudia flicked through the channels on the large screen. After some consideration she decided it would have been deeply unprofessional to scroll through her personal LGNP to indulge in some play pretend about being whisked away to Paris. Instead she decided to search the room service menu. It was supposed to be the best food in the world, but she didn't like the idea of sitting in a restaurant here alone.
     
    #25 Claudia Volpe, Mar 17, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
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  6. Lucrezia Dionisi

    Lucrezia Dionisi Hell in High Heels

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    In two days’ time an auction is to be held. Our friends might attend.

    There’s a care package waiting for you behind the bathroom panelling. It contains detailed instructions and the necessary equipment.
     
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  7. Claudia Volpe

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    "Oh this is getting..." Holding the panel in her hands, Volpe struggled for the right word to describe the kind of espionage going on here. Fortunately she was speaking to herself.

    She'd seen this kind of world, but through a filter from the other side. Visited places where terrorist cells had operated from, knew the techniques used to avoid detection. She hadn't actually enacted them.

    An auction was a good way to launder money and hide illegitimate business transactions. That would explain the wireless sniffer that could crack comms on the fly. It would give her insight into who was being instructed to buy what and for how much.

    Understood. Will lay low until then. Could do with a safe house in case I am recognised.

    She wished her arm would stop itching.
     
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  8. Lucrezia Dionisi

    Lucrezia Dionisi Hell in High Heels

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    I’ve arranged for a local contact to meet with you.

    [ encrypted file attached ]

    He’ll provide you with current intel on the attendees and serve as your backup during the auction.

    Do try not to get shot.
     
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  9. Claudia Volpe

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    Acknowledged. Will update when Keanu Reeves bullet dodging achieved.

    "That's a really old reference and you're going to get yourself fired," she muttered to herself. Claudia hadn't touched the minibar; it was cheaper to have a chilled bottle brought to her room. It was genuine French wine from real grapes. She expected the French would start another revolution if served artificial wine. It also helped to chase away some of the vivid images from Tunisia that were refusing to quietly settle into memories.

    Is your man going to get you some new art so we can blend in a little?
     
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  10. Lucrezia Dionisi

    Lucrezia Dionisi Hell in High Heels

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    She pursed her lips in a contained smile as Volpe’s cheeky message disappeared from view.

    “Jésus, Lucrezia.”

    Lifting her brows, the woman in question slowly looked up at her coworker. The other Deputy shook her head and all but collapsed into the neighbouring chair. “What’s your secret? We flew in from Luna at four in the morning.”

    “And?”

    Dassault closed her eyes and pressed the steaming mug of coffee flush against her chest. “And it’s seven, and you still look like you stepped fresh out of a L’Oréal commercial.”

    Lucrezia let out a good-natured chuckle. “If you wanted the contact of my rejuvenation surgeon, you needed only ask.”

    “Rejuvenation magician, more like. It can’t be that simple.”

    “Italian genes?” she offered with a mild shrug, then picked up her tablet again. “How’s your family doing, Margot? It can’t be easy, given the current situation.”

    “The current situation? The stupid fucking war, you mean?” The woman made a face. “Don’t have to pussyfoot, there’s no cameras around.” She let out a heavy exhale and leaned forward on the desk. The first aides were beginning to flutter down the corridor outside as the New York offices came alive. Another half hour, and they’d be embroiled in meetings again.

    Lucrezia carefully typed off her message, her face a mask of sympathetic interest as Margot continued.

    “Anyway, they make do. Dad’s business streak hasn’t dried up yet, and René is getting pretty inventive on his own. The old man might pass him the reins soon, I think.”

    “And yourself?”

    “Is ‘too busy to worry’ a valid answer?”

    They exchanged weary smiles as Lucrezia pressed send with growing glee.

    Why not buy something for yourself? You’re not limited to your old paycheque.

    If Dassault Defensive Solutions so much as breathed on any of the lots at the auction, Lucrezia would have the whole corporation strung up by the balls in full view of the public.

    One blight less on the face of the Earth, and one step closer to the plush seat of her Undersecretary.
     
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  11. Claudia Volpe

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    Might as well take the opportunity whilst here.

    When she had stepped across the corridor with gun raised she had not felt even a glimmer of trepidation. Now, by contrast, the idea of hitting Le Bon Marché for a designer suit made her belly do a small flip.

    Sternly reminding herself that she was in her forties, she gave some thought to carrying a weapon out to a fitting. She wasn't the kind of person who could be shot at without suffering some nerves afterwards. This was Paris, not Tunisia, but logic didn’t always control how one felt.

    It would need to be off the shelf or modified rather than made to measure with only two days left. Flashing a UN badge and having the jacket measured to accommodate carrying would make her feel a little more comfortable during the process.

    Keeping her holster on underneath a leather jacket she headed out onto the streets to hail a taxi.
     
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