I went home from the club for a couple of hours rest, as I had begun to think of the recharging. I could go a couple of days on just normal free electron charging. If I wore the solar vest outside, I could go on reduced power indefinitely or so they claimed. I hated the reduced power phase, that is why I recharged as often as most people just sat resting. I guess it was pretty much the same thing. Replenishing the energy pool.
Whatever it amounted to I rested for an hour or so, then turned on my computer link to watch a TV show or two. I still enjoyed most of the things I had before the big change in my status. I went from human to the real terminator, even though I hadn’t been asked to terminate anyone. We still didn’t know, if I would do it or not. None of us knew for sure. We were all feeling our way along.
I needed to manipulate the system, since there was no way I could operate without it. I needed the input link and the spare parts. I had yet to make my case for the body upgrade, so for the moment that ball was in the creator’s court.
The theme from Mag7 played on the smarter than smart phone, so I answer it with, “Stone here.”
“Ms Stone my name is Thomas Wiliford. Is there any chance I could take you to lunch today?” the voice asked.
“Not unless I know more about you than your name. You wouldn’t happen to be the stranger. who was asking about me at the Cloak and Dagger would you?”
“I suppose that was me yes,” he replied simply.
“Well Tom, it’s like this. I have a couple of people who would enjoy seeing me dead, so I’m a little careful about where I go and who I meet with. I don’t much care to make new friends, if you get my drift.” I said.
“I can get you references, if you like,” he suggested very seriously.
Meet with him, the controller planted the message in my head.
Fuck you, I silently resplied to the controller. This yahoo could be setting me up for an IED.
“So who are your references, aside from Simon the Jew,” I asked.
“Well what if I had the Admiral call you?” he suggested.
This clown is a novelist, the controller said. Here, with that the image of a book jacket and picture appeared in my brain.
“Do you have a cell phone?” I asked.
“Yes, I am speaking on it now,” he said.
“Then turn it around and take a picture of yourself and send it to me. If you can do that and you match the picture I have of you, then I’ll meet you.” I said.
“Where did you get a picture of me. You were in my clubhouse and in that room are about a dozen people with cell phones at any given time. Do you really think no one took your picture or that I wouldn’t pull the surveillance tape after I was told you were asking about me?” I asked.
“Okay, I get it hold on.” A second later his picture appeared on my smarter phone. “So do I match your picture?” he asked.
“You look younger on your book, but then if I were providing a picture like that, I would look younger and with bigger boobs,” I said with a small laugh. What I didn’t say was that he was a handsome devil probably twenty pounds overweight, but not bad at all.
“So lunch?” he asked.
“Well today I am likely to be carless in Aster. My car is in the shop. Can you make it tomorrow or do you want to meet me at Helen’s Sit Down.
“I had something a little quieter in mind,” he answered.
“I’m sure you did,” While we spoke I had been checking some of his book review. The prick was the Michael Moore of the print industry. After the reviews I couldn’t believe that the controllers, or more likely the case officer, wanted me to meet with the prick.
“Do you really want to be seen talking to me,” he asked with a laugh. Then he added, “Why don’t I pick you up for lunch. I am sure that you can kick my ass and force me to bring you home anytime you want.”
“No thanks, I want my own ride. I might need to dump your body somewhere, it is much more convenient in my own car. Call me tonight and I’ll set up a time for you.” I hung up before he could plead his case further.
“Are you quite mad,” I said aloud to the wall. It was meant for the controller.
Your case officer is right here and he believes that you can handle Wiliford. The man probably wants to do a novel about one of your adventures. It will be fiction, but he most likely wants to get your take on it, was the controllers reply.
“You will be lucky if I don’t kill him in front of a dozen witnesses. He is most likely going to make me some kind of troll with a knife in my hand dripping blood.” I said to no one.
And that would be a completely false image? was the reply that appeared in my brain.
“Yes it would, I always wipe the knives clean. My daddy taught me to always clean my tools after use,” I snapped.
Temper,. temper, just meet with the prick and try to find out what his plan is. Then try to change his perception of you. It might be to your advantage later.
I had planned to go back to the Dagger after my rest, so I went over for a quick drink and to show that I wasn’t concerned. The show was for the patrons who might know that some stranger was asking about me. I didn’t want a ‘kill on sight’ order floating around for Wiliford. Of course that might not be a bad idea, I thought.
“Hey Maxine, I saw on the TV news last night you have been nominated for an Emmy,” one of the oriental men stated as I passed his table.
“I think there must have been a shortage of reality TV shows, so the pool of choices was very small. My guess is all of them got nominated,” I replied.
“Hey, I have seen that show. It really is quite authentic. You don’t seem to fake much for the camera. Of course that voice they use to explain what you are doing is phony, but otherwise it is a good show.” another of the customers suggested.
“I tried to get Sean Connery, but these clowns had no money,” I said joking.
“At least they could have gotten that little green actor from the car insurance commercials. I bet he doesn’t charge a lot for his voice over.” one of the women suggested. “And max you really do need to dress better for TV. You would be so much more attractive in a rubber cat suit.”
“Now that was catty,” I said laughing. Everyone broke into laughter so I left on a high note. I went home about 10PM. I crawled into bed plugged in and spaced out. I shut down more or less until the sun came up again.
I probably could drink hot water and get the same effect, but even with the mediocre taste buds coffee is nice. It stirs up so many good memories and I am all about the memories. That’s probably why I make coffee every morning.
I left for Helen’s place around 9AM. I waited until the bike would be good and visible. I also let the ‘hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work I go crowd’ get off the roads. When I got to Helen’s the crowd was mostly cops, firemen, and paramedics on the way home. It was the working man’s version of the cop out crowd.
“God morning Max, I saw you on TV the other night. The local station is making a big deal out of the Emmy thing.” one of the chick paramedics informed me.
“Yeah, it must have been a very slow news day is all I can imagine,” I said.
“Nah, they have you up there with Snookie and a couple of other bitchy women on that list,” one of the guys said.
“Well at least I’m in lousy company, what can I say. It’s just like eating here.” I gave them all a hard but non threatening look and laughed.
After that I rode the bike to the mall. My pocket played the Mag 7 theme. “Jen what the hell do you want?” caller ID wasn’t so bad after all, I decided.
“We need to go shopping for dresses today.” she said.
“We have a couple of weeks yet,” I replied.
“Not, if we want the good shit made for us,” she said. “I found a woman in Tryon who makes designer dresses.”
“I’m not paying a fortune for a dress to wear once,” I informed her.
“You are not going to Wal-Mart damn it,” she informed me.
“Okay, I have the cruiser in the shop. If it is ready by lunch we can go after I get home. If not, I’ll just get it tomorrow,” I said.
“And why did I need to know that?” Jen asked.
“Fuck you Jen,” I said.
“Not again,” she replied with a laugh. “I’ll be at your place at two. Be ready and wear clean underwear.”
I resigned myself to going along with Jen. She had about a thousand times more class than me. I was just not going there looking like lady Ga fucking Ga.
I rode the bike over to Deacon’s shop just to see where he was. I also had nothing to do till 2pm.
He looked up from under the hood of my cruiser and said, “What the fuck you doing here. I told you lunch.”
“I know but I was in the neighborhood,” I said.
“Right, white girl in this hood, is with a brother or looking for shit,” he said.
“Then you need to move your shop,” I replied. Just then one of those old Chevy impalas pulled up. It was all tricked up like something you might see on a street in south LA.
“Hey Deacon, this thing needs an oil change. Get on it now,” the thug demanded once he was out of the car.
“Be a few minutes, I need to finish the one I’m working on.” he said.
“It can wait, I’m in a hurry,” the thug said.
“Hey, so am I. It’s my car he is working on,” I said my bitch temper getting the best of me again.
“You way to skinny bitch, to be talking like that to me.” he pointed an automatic that looked like a cheap 9mm at me. He was holding it gangsta style.
He moved in way too close to intimidate me. It looked good on Gang TV, but it was nothing a real pro would do. Just as quick as I could I pushed his gun hand to one side, as I move away from it just in case he got a shot off before I kicked his kneed so that it hinged the wrong way.
I removed the gun from his hand as he lay on the ground rolling in pain. It happened so quick his homey buddy was still sitting in the car. “Now you mother fucker, pick up your friend and get him to the hospital. Be sure to give them your Obama care card, when you check in and remember to vote Democrate next election.
I cleared the pistol, then put it in the waist band of my jeans. I turned to the Deacon. “You really want to finish the cruiser now,” I said seriously.
“Lady, you are crazy, good but crazy,” he said. “Where did you learn all that?”
“I didn’t learn anything. It’s just a matter of timing. I already knew I was going to push that pistol out of my face. He on the other hand was not expecting it. He had to react after my move was already started. He just didn’t have reflexes that good. The knee thing I saw on TV.”
“Well I already knew that you were mentally capable of killing. I just had no idea how good you were at it,” he said.
“Deacon, nobody died,” I replied.
“Yeah pity,” he said.
“True dat,” I said all gangsta myself.