Freaks and Monsters
Life never really works out the way you want it to. One minute you’re top of your class at the police academy, well on your way to making a real difference in the world... the next you’re choosing between death row or life as a government pet. Get out of jail free card? Not quite but thats the way they worded it.
Flash forward a few years and you might just find yourself in the home of a suspected terrorist, ready to do something you swore you’d never do. There had been a line once, but that line was long since gone, and all that was left is a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach that you’re now used to ignoring.
Three years ago she wouldn’t have done this job for all the money in the world. But ever since her little trick was discovered she hadn’t had much choice in which jobs she was given. And unfortunately for her, her trick required skin on skin contact to work.
It made her skin crawl to feel this bastard’s hands on her body, but already she’d managed to pull out the location of his next target. The rest of the information was harder to find. He was insane, she’d felt that without even having to touch him, but now that she was in his mind all she could see were a blend of faces and colours, nothing linear or easy to understand. He was paranoid and was already confusing her with other girls he’d been with, both real and imagined. All the better for her really, things were so much easier when she didn’t have to worry about leaving a trace.
But first she needed to finish the job, and in order to organize his thoughts she’d need to do a bit of leading. “So what do you do for a living anyway, hot stuff?”
He smiled, and she saw a flash of faces, not recognizing any of them from her notes for this job. “I’m a biological chemist, baby. If I wanted to, I could kill half the world’s population with a single vial of the things I work with.”
“Mmm wow. That’s so hot. I love a man with power.” She almost threw up in her own mouth with that line.
All of a sudden she saw a flash of red in his mind. Usually that meant panic but physically he hadn’t reacted at all. “Hun, is everything alright?”
He pushed her off suddenly, throwing himself onto the ground next to her, his head in his hands as if in pain. “My... my head... it’s exploding!”
Fuck. She knew now what the flash of red had meant.
“James?” She used his real name, the one from her files, not the one he’d given her. “Hey, look at me.”
He couldn’t, his entire body shaking under her touch. Soon enough his mind would collapse in on itself, and any secrets he had would be taken to the grave. She could easily touch his face and take the secrets herself but she couldn’t bring herself to move her hand from his shoulder. She was... scared. Not for the first time a man was dying in front of her eyes, and there was nothing she could do about it.
When his body went still and tipped towards her she let him fall to the ground. He seemed almost innocent, curled up as if he’d just fallen asleep. Only the small dabs of blood beginning to leak from his nostrils indicated anything was wrong.
She pushed him onto his back, staring at him for a long moment before moving to her feet, leaning over to him delicately, as if he would come back to life at any minute. Eventually - and with a very shaky breath - she reached out, placing a finger on his bare neck. She wasn’t searching for a heart beat, she was looking for mental activity... and in any case she found neither. He was dead. Not for the first time she’d killed a man without meaning to. But this time it had been scary, she hadn’t even been on the offensive... she’d just been skimming his mind.
She grabbed her burn phone, dialing her partner’s number.
A girl’s voice answered. Girly, sounding a lot younger than its owner really was. “Juliette? Is everything alright?”
“It happened again.”
She didn’t need to say anything else. “I’ll be there in a minute. Don’t kill anyone else in the meantime, okay?”
“That’s not funny, Dene. Hurry up.”
Denebola was there in seconds, almost tripping over James’ body before backing up, stroking her chin as she looked down at him. “Oh wow. You weren’t kidding. Did he figure out you were playing him or something?”
Usually Juliette could handle Dene’s stupidity but today wasn’t one of those days. “Don’t be a moron. I can handle paranoia, I can handle fear. Hell uniformed officers could have been in the same room and I could have made it so he didn’t suspect a thing!”
“Then why’d you kill him?”
“... I don’t know. It just happened.”
At the very least Dene knew not to ask any more questions now. “Um... I can call it in if you want to get dressed.”
“Sure. Thanks.” She slipped out of her lingerie, replacing it with another, tighter outfit. Neither she nor Dene had any sort of uniform to wear, their division wasn’t even supposed to exist. Juliette had wanted to be a cop, instead she’d become a gun for hire... without a gun.
As Dene put her cell away, Juliette was already walking past her. “And where do you think you’re going?
“I didn’t get the information we needed.” She answers. “You think I want to stay here for that lecture? No thank you. I’m going out.”
“Okay... so what should I tell the boss when he figures out you took off? He’ll be pissed.”
Juliette almost scoffs. “What’s he going to do to me? He’s already got me doing all his dirty work, and god knows I’m tough enough to deal with whatever punishment he can think up.”