If you haven’t yet read The Genesis,
|Deleted From:||Contains Spoilers:||Word Count:|
|The Genesis||YES, MINOR||1,300 Words|
Catrina goes to the safe house to meet Fox and accept the job offer.
|Reason for Removal:
The story flowed better with the events in this scene happening in flashback.
Bonus scenes are added purely for entertainment. While every care has been taken to ensure their readability, in many cases, these scenes are not professionally edited (and in some cases a little rough around the edges). As such, they may contain the occasional typo or two.
The address on the card was farther than she’d expected. She thought she knew the city like the back of her hand. As it happened, this neighbourhood was entirely unfamiliar. The third time she’d smacked the back of the driver’s chair in impatience and asked if he couldn’t go any faster, he had threatened to kick her out in the middle of nowhere. She considered using the Beretta to speed him up, but since most cab drivers were armed to the teeth, and she couldn’t drive stick-shift, she relented.
Her watch said 20:04 by the time she threw herself out of the cab, leaving a fistful of notes for the driver to pick through. With her head too full of possibilities and what waited at her destination, she hadn’t taken stock of the area until the cab was peeling away.
Sirens wailed from a few streets over. Out of habit, she felt for her gun before approaching the stone steps outside the building. She was surprised to see that the sleek, black Mercedes parked outside the house was unscratched, or that there was even one there at all. Thieves and vandals were surely not deterred by the pale, pixie-faced redhead leaning on the hood with a cigarette hanging loosely between her smiling lips.
The girl caught her eye as Catrina passed, nodded a passing acknowledgement before returning her attention to the phone in her hand.
The door at the top of the stairs was locked. While there were what appeared to be ten apartments in this building, none of them were labelled with names. Static burst from the intercom before she had a chance to start hitting random buttons. “Look into the camera.”
“Hello?” she called back into the panel. “I’m here to see Fox.”
“Look. Into. The camera,” came the gruff reply.
When she squinted, she could just about make out a button-sized lens poking out from a darkened corner. She moved into its line of sight. The door buzzed open, and she pushed her way into complete darkness. Once the front door closed, another buzzing indicated the inner door unlocked, and she entered the building itself.
Disappointment swelled in her chest, assuming no government facility make such effort as to cover itself up as what appeared to be a very seedy apartment building. The whole place reeked of mould and mildew. Guided only by the knowledge that she was still armed, and that life without a little risk was not worth living, she approached the portly little man sitting behind what could laughably be called a front desk.
“You’re late,” he said without looking up from his newspaper.
“By four minutes,” she protested, without knowing who she was even arguing with.
He checked the nearby clock. “Six minutes.” He looked her over shamelessly, scratching the day-old stubble under his chin that was longer than any hair on his head.
“Getting a good look?” she challenged.
He rolled his eyes and jerked a thumb towards the end of the hall, returning his attention to the paper. “He’s in nine. Third floor, on the left. Oh, and the elevator’s broken,” he called after her, just before she hit the button for it.
Three flights of stairs with a bag full of her worldly possessions was not her idea of a great start. To make matters worse, the room Fox gestured her into when she finally met him on the third floor, had same charm of the rest of the building. It was the kind of place people came to either have illicit sex or consider suicide, perhaps one after the other. Everything was bare; the walls weren’t even painted, let alone papered, and the bed consisted of a bare mattress with pillows, but no sheets.
“You’re late,” he said as welcome, closing the door behind her.
“Yeah, I’ve been told.” She dipped her head, catching her breath, and adding, “Sorry. This place is…” A dump. “Really something.”
“It’s a safe house. It doesn’t have to be anything, so long as it serves its purpose.” He kept an unusual distance, close to pinning himself against the door, while concern marred his featureless face. He must’ve noticed her laboured breathing, because he then asked, “Are you alright?”
She took another sharp intake of air and wondered if will alone could stop her heart from thundering in her ears. “Elevator’s broken.”
Fox frowned. “No, it isn’t.”
“That bastard,” she muttered, cursing the man downstairs. She put the carry-all down. “Well, here I am. What happens now?”
“So you’ve decided?” His voice was strained, like the rest of his body language. She tried to smile at him; it went without a response and if anything he only appeared to be more agitated.
“I’m here, aren’t I?” This was not the man she remembered from the previous night. Something had to be wrong. Maybe the opportunity had fallen through. “Now, not to sound ungrateful from the offset, but when I start, I won’t be based…here, will I?” She looked at the boarded windows, the empty shell of a room inside a broken down building. “No offence, but this place is kind of a step down to what I already–” When she turned back, she came face-to-chest with him. He wasn’t quite looking at her, focusing more on a spot over her shoulder. She tried to take a step back, but he followed, keeping no more than a handful of inches away.
And all at once her brilliant choice didn’t seem quite so appealing. She was in a strange place, with a man whose unusual abilities were superseded only by his bi-polar behaviour.
Thankfully, she still had her gun. Fast though he might be, he would never outrun a bullet. She was already reaching for her weapon, before he spoke.
“You’re going to make this so much harder than it has to be,” he whispered as warning. “You have to trust me.”
“The hell I do,” she snapped. Like the calm before the storm, a few seconds passed in silence, with only the sound of their equally shallow breathing. She clicked the gun’s safety with her thumb.
“Don’t,” he warned, the word coming out like a growl, and the brush of his breath making her whole body shudder. He pressed the balls of his hands against his temples, seething. Seeing the only opportunity she might ever have, she ducked under his arm and made a mad rush for the door.
His boots thundered on bare floorboards as he came after her. She got her hands around the door handle only to find it locked. As she tried to twist it, strong hands locked her arms around her chest, forcing the gun out of her grip. He dragged her, kicking and screaming, away from escape. She kicked her legs out trying in desperation to break the door down, but it only served to push her closer against his unyielding body.
That’s when the needle went into her neck.
Any hope at stopping him died in the arms that remained locked by her chest. Her fleeting consciousness wondered how he could administer a lethal injection when both his arms were keeping hers pinned to her chest. She tried to open her eyes but saw nothing other than black spots marring a white canvas. Her own stupidity taunted her failing vision, at how easily she could have let herself be carried away by promises of greatness.
With her heart drumming in her chest, her final, desperate scream died in her throat, and her last shreds of consciousness slipped away, taking her life with it.
Downstairs, the bald man continued to turn the pages of his newspaper as the screams resonated through the building’s very bricks, and outside the red-headed girl looked up to the third floor, idle curiosity reflecting in her black, soulless eyes.