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Michigan Jones: Hit Man: Chapter 8 Michigan Jones: Hit Man: Chapter 8
by Asa Butcher
2008-08-23 09:50:04
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Fuck knows how much time had passed since I had contacted Madame Zee, but judging by the number of cups of Hawaiian Kona that sat in front of me and the insane effect the caffeine was having on my system, it must have been decades or maybe seconds. What a world, Hawaiian coffee in a Russian Café… multi-global-capitalism-economy-whatever… it needed more sugar.

I hated waiting… no, that's not true. There are two types of waiting; one is on your terms, like waiting for a mark to leave his apartment, which is no problem for me because I'm in control. However, waiting on other people's terms, they have the power, the information, the fucking upper-hand, if you like. I hate it.

I had never known Madame Zee take this long to dig up personal information and the delay was beginning to take its toll. I dug the Ez1000 out of my jacket pocket and checked the display, battery power full, signal strength at max and no missed contacts. Damn. I slid the console across the table and instinctively looked up again, a man and a woman were looking at me. I didn't recognise them and they didn't look dangerous, but they were definitely staring in my direction.

I was about to go into full chaos mode and pull out the gun when the woman pointed just above my head, they nodded and walked to the café counter. I turned my head and looked above me, for fuck's sake, it was the café's bloody menu. I need to cut down on the Kona and package up these rogue emotions; I hadn't felt paranoia for a long, long time and it wasn't a happy reunion.

Seeing the menu had reminded my stomach that food hadn't been delivered for an intolerable amount of time and it seems that a cup of Kona had as much nutritional content as a bullet. The café looked as though it dabbled dangerously with food, perhaps the place should be renamed Russian Restaurant Roulette, spin the chamber and try to avoid the Escherichia coli and salmonella; do you feel lucky?

Anyway, when does food go bad? Is it edible and fresh one second, only fit for the waste the next? Does it really change that fast or is there a gray period when the risk between food poisoning and nourishment are evenly balanced? To hell with it, my system would start to crash if I didn't get something inside me and I'm sure the potency of countless cups of Kona was equivalent to a shot of penicillin.

I was about to order when the Ez1000 vibrated heavily on the Formica table, it was Madame Zee. I grabbed the device and answered the call, "What the hell have you gotten me into, Midge?" exploded her voice across the speaker. "Whoever the fuck this demigod_943876 was, she is top-level… I mean top fucking level." My head spun from the verbal assault not usually known to spill from Zee's lips and my head tried to make sense of the information, "I don't understand, Zee. Start from the beginning… fucking slowly!"

Madame Zee took a deep breath, I heard her swallow something, probably some heavy dose tranquiliser for horses, then she told her story, "I went through all the usual channels, probably the same you tried, and turned up nothing, which in itself was fucking weird. I called in a few favours and moved higher up through the security levels until I finally hacked my way to a file actually called demigod_943876 and then all hell broke loose."

She took another breath and probably another pill. "My machine began to crash as this virus materialised from nowhere. Come on, Midge, my system is literally impenetrable and this thing just comes strolling through the fucking front door. Next, my building proximity sensors go haywire and I see fucking men with fucking guns heading to my office… I escaped through my secret door to the street and when I looked back my office exploded."

Madame Zee began to cry. "My girls, my life, who is this girl, Midge? Who is she?" I didn't know what to do, my body was numb from shock. I downed the cold remnants of the cup of Kona and pulled myself together, "Where are you now, Zee? No, don't tell me. Let's meet at our old rendezvous. Stay off this line. Be safe." I threw down some banknotes on the table and then managed to knock the table over as I stormed out of the café not looking back at the shouting Russian voices.

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