Mavion stopped his task for a moment to touch his left cheek where the bullet passed through his upper jaw. Even he couldn’t have dodged the shot, but he reacted fast enough to choose it’s destination. There was enough blood, David assumed, to believe he was killed. Still, he was disgusted by the arrogance shown in not making sure he was a down target. Now and then he still got nose bleeds and the hearing in his left ear went out, yet he lived.
Sevie didn’t die, physically. The attack was a brutal warning to her father from a rival corp, Durflan Mining. Mr. Ordonez received 75% of his deposit back from Achilles Shield. It was a bit more than the standard payout for the service package he bought. It would’ve been less had the girl died. Funeral expenses would’ve been less than the life-long physical rehabilitation and counseling she would now need. These arbitrary numbers were the price of Sevie’s rape.
* * *
When able, Mavion visited her where she convalesced, but didn’t find the same young women he knew. The natural beauty forming was replaced by a cosmetic caricature of prettiness meant to conceal the damage. The eyes that held great wonder and reflection now gazed hollowly, even the real eye that remained was as cold as the new false one. Sevonia’s manner was measured and formal, her warmth extinguished. She thanked him for his efforts, but underlying the polite tone was a hurt dread only a once friend would hear.
In the hardest way she had learned the world was not safe regardless of guards, privilege nor the money that bought both. It was a place of predators stalking within murky uncertainty. The innocent were not beneficiaries of justice. She was just a corp-family asset to be plundered, “daughter” was a mere classification. Heroes could not protect her, as they didn’t exist beyond the commercial fictions. David Mavion was not, nor ever was, her hero. This realization numbed her heart, as much as it broke his.
Brought back to present, the lonely man at the table finished assembling the device and finalized the ceremonial by loading the tungsten razors into their cartridge. Magnetically propelled, this ammunition was silent and produced minimal recoil. Additionally, they would NEVER cause jams. It was what he had needed for the last job of his career.
* * *
Mavion entered the Durflan Mining offices, where Charles Gerbel operated. The reasons for his extortion of Ordonez didn’t matter. The look on Sevonia’s warped face was all David needed. He bought a hacker to circumvent their security and cripple their facilities to allow his infiltration. The half dozen agents that he couldn’t avoid would nurse broken bones and concussions to allow him to reach his target, and as punishment for being mercenary evil-enabling garbage – like David had been.
The doors to Gerbel’s lavishly appointed office suite opened suddenly and unexpected given the enforced security lock-down the building was undergoing. Mavion glided in to find two guards between himself and the executive that ordered the assault. They started but obviously thought he was one of their people here to report on the situation. The one on his left was the one from the ambush. He was the one that shot David and taught Sevie a brutal lesson. Mavion stood quietly meeting his eyes until the man’s horrific recognition spread over his pinched features a moment later. He calmly reiterated his previous challenge to the assassin, “Come on.”
The man sharply barked, “INTRUDER!” as he lowered and drew his weapon. Mavion waited until the weapon was pointed directly at him before raising his sliver gun in response and deftly pivoting his body to the right. Before he even heard the pistol’s report, he could feel the shot zip past his head in a parallel path to the one that felled him last time. His own weapon released a high toned hum as two magnetically-propelled ionized razors sliced through his attacker’s head.
The second guard managed two rushed shots at where David had been a second ago. The hum of the sliver gun belatedly announced where Mavion rolled to his left. A razor tore through his wrist and a second ripped his shoulder’s muscle and bone. He dropped his weapon with a shrill shocked gasp as his arm fell slack both bleeding and electrocuted. After three swift strides, Mavion closed and blurred a pistol whip across his jaw to bring on much welcomed unconsciousness.
Gerbel crouched behind his desk slamming frantically on the alert button that was disabled like the rest of the building’s com-network. David strode up to the desk as the executive shouted impotently, “Who are you? What do you want with me?”
David answered with all the steadiness of professional detachment, “Sevonia Michala Ordonez.”
Gerbel furrowed in confusion, “Who? Who the hell is that?”
Mavion’s then damaged left cheek twitched in what may have been a smirk or frown. “Daughter of Ricardo Ordonez, chairmen …”
“She was spared!” the man objected desperately, before realizing all pretense of innocence had just fled with that admission. Angered by his own folly, he indignantly pressed on. “A warning was sent! Ordonez complied! He threatened our interests, and we responded! Such IS business!”
David lowered his head wearily and released a shuddering sigh driven by his own anger and shame. That infected woman, Sevie and many others were just pawns in this “business” that was conducted amongst these monied monoliths. Nathaniel, Shime and of course himself were just the agents of this unchecked avarice. He was no different than the one that shot him and hurt Sevie: an instrument of death formed from a once human shell.
Mavion’s senses peripherally caught Gerbel reaching for something in a desk drawer as the man blathered on. “In these sort of large scale dealings, my friend, the naive fool should have know a certain amount of collateral dam …”
A protractedly long whine from the sliver gun cut off the executive with the finality only a torrent of tungsten could grant. Mavion turned his back to the blood splattered desk and reloaded before exiting the suite.
* * *
David sat with his newly cleaned, assembled and loaded Ares Viper pistol cradled in his hands. Its precise metallic lines mirrored his own mind more than anything in this life he now lead. He was still a protector, but now only to those his outdated honor deemed worthy. Down here, at the bottom of society, there were some that wanted to make a change to the world. They ran in the shadows of corporate law, which itself had little regard for their hardships and injustices. As a fugitive, there was no better place for him. Still living by the gun, but now only he decided where it was aimed and why the high whine would sound.
They say that in these times there was no right or wrong. They were wrong. Right was whatever it took to allow the mind to accept rest without regret. This was a luxury no salary, benefit package nor stock share could buy. It was, however, one David Mavion with his filthy apartment and dingy third hand clothing could finally afford.
It was time to cash in. Without a glance, he flicked the bottle cap and hit the room’s power panel. The yellowed light above ceased its harsh glare.