Read all of the episodes of Kain’s story here.
Lilith. Ze had enough knowledge to find the name amusing. Given zir name, ze’d certainly been the recipient of zir own set of jokes and comments. Perhaps this one chose the name on purpose or maybe it was just a happy accident. “So, Lilith, we can talk about why someone would want to chill you. Then maybe we can figure out a way to make this fun for the both of us.”
“Fun?” Her full lips curled into a smile. “What about the money? Or the reputation?”
Ze shrugged misshapen shoulders. “I don’t need either. They both serve their purposes, but may have a lower priority.”
Lilith shrugged off the red rain slicker and let it slump to the floor. The black catsuit she had on underneath was made from some diamond nanotube weave. it let scans through and was breathable, but would stop nearly any kind of penetration. Kinetic energy was still an issue. It also did interesting things to her full figure, hiding nothing but revealing nothing fully. “Fair enough. Where we’re going, we’ll have the privacy to talk business.” She reached down and pulled back a section of the thin flooring squares used in these sorts of hotels. The metal underneath was stained, but solid enough. After pressing hard for three seconds and releasing, the section popped up enough so she could pull at it and lever it open.
If ze had eyebrows they would be crawling up zir head. But, ze didn’t and that made for an excellent poker face.
Lilith went down the ladder first, into the pitch below. If the darkness bothered her or slowed her down, she gave no sign.
Kain adjusted zir eyes with a series of rapid blinks to be able to see what awaited zir. It looked like nothing more than some kind of service tunnel. Fitting into the hatch with zir oddly shaped body was a challenge, but ze managed it with a few wiggles. Ze was even able to pull the panel closed behind zir with a click. It would leave the carpet square off to one side, but there was little to be done about that.
Once at the bottom of the ladder, she lead them through a series of tunnels. Wide enough to drive a small car through, navigating it wasn’t hard. It was still pitch black, but she moved with calm assurance.
Kain rethought the notion that she wasn’t an upgraded human. She’d have to have some kind of eye mod to be able to see, unless those blue eyes were some sort of lens. Ze pulled the mass driver free and held it, more for comfort than anything. Ze was nervous, but it was the kind of nervous you got right before you opened a present.
After at least three minutes, she stopped. “Here’s good.” Her voice echoed softly in the dark. She reached into a pocket on one sleeve and twisted something. Soft reddish light streamed from where epaulets would be on her armor.
“Talk to me about why I shouldn’t chill you or you me. I don’t mind an interesting trip, but I’ve got places to be.”
“You’ll like this, Kain. I’m part of a small group of beings who wants to return the human race to what it once was.” The smile on her face was brilliant, even in the low light. “We are all fully human, and I’m their leader. The ones who want me dead are the ones responsible for the world being what it is.”
Kain didn’t think the world as it was was such a bad thing. Ze was tempted to shoot her in those crazy teeth. “How so?”
“I know the official story is there simply isn’t enough pure human genetic material left to re-populate. All we have are genetically modded people and a large chunk of mutants. That was no accident.”
“Part of the sodding hyper-war, wasn’t it?” Kain was once sure of that fact, but this Lilith had a quality about her that made zir want to believe what she said. A charisma that insinuated its way into a beings’ bones.
She wagged a finger. “Official story says yes. My story says, there was no hyper war and the leaders wanted sentient life on Earth to be beholden to the government to reproduce. The war, such as it was, was a sham.”
Kain chuffed. “A little too much to believe. And if I did, why should I care? I ain’t planning on doing any reproducing.” Ze pointed the mass driver at her forehead. “One more time with feeling. Why shouldn’t I chill you right now and claim the bounty?”
“You do, and your dead.” The male voice was deep, but smooth rather than gravelly. It came from more or less behind and above Kain. The whine of a large energy discharge ramping up couldn’t be ignored.