The Purple Ninja Chp. 2

Dragons Breath

They crawl from oceans, to paint the caves/
But I’m working all weekend, I need to get paid.
– Conor Oberst

Chase

Heat radiating off the steam engine between her legs kept her warm, as the Purple Ninja weaved through traffic on her bike. A violet knit scarf covered her nose and mouth, the ends trailing in the wind off her shoulders. Traffic was thick and unpredictable as the bars let out, so she had to be extraordinarily observant as she slid between vehicles. Unfortunately she did not have time for delays of any type.

20131212-001718.jpgImage by Corboin

Pursuit was dogged. A small fleet of private drone’s owned by a bounty hunter known as Dragon, were hot on her scarf streamers. Flying just a few yards above traffic, the slight, grey, unmanned vehicles darted across the sky, seeking her biosignature, anomalous movements, anything that might enable them to identify a target.

1 of the automatons caught sight of her. Then they all did. In formation, they dove towards her position. She feigned right then cut hard left between a the front end of a taxi and the rear of an SUV. Horns blared. Unfazed, they went left. In the middle of the intersection, They surrounded her. A chorus of car horns wailed in protest; of the traffic blockage, not her plight. She spun a full 360 seeking egress. There was none. Each drone took a road, hovering between her and the approach. The primary hung above, a spotlight from its underbelly highlighting her.

She came to a full stop in the center of the intersection. Left foot on the ground, hands remaining on the grips. The primary drone took a position above and in front of her. Its light centered on her eyes. She did not flinch.

The horns stopped. As people realized who they were looking at, camera phones began to appear. She leaned on her violet street bike, a 12 speed “girls” bike that had been converted. A series of stacked Pyrex glass containers connected to PVC tubes, set into the leg space for nice girls, could be clearly seen as the main components of the steam engine. At the back of the purple banana seat, a small set of saddle bags had several tool handles sticking out, as well as some rope, and possibly a bag of chinese takeout. She wore a pair of lavender, fleece pajamas, purple boots to the thigh, and a purple, knit scarf wrapped around her face. Purple streamers hung from the bicycle handlebars. Blonde hair, ends just slightly highlighted purple, hung loose about her shoulders.

For a moment there was no sound, but the hum of engines, as the Purple Ninja and the drone sent to catch her, faced each other.

Slowly she reached into her right boot, with her right hand. The drone shifted to her right. She paused.

Somebody shouted and honked. The drone adjusted its position again. She drew a silver tube, aimed for the drone, pressed a button on the side with her thumb, and a net flew out, magnets pulled it closed around the metallic beast, completing the circuit and sending enough volts to stun a human. Or wreck a drone, as it turns out.

It smashed into ground, sending pieces flying, but she was already gone. As soon as the net had discharged, she turned her bike and headed full speed for the nearest exit. The other drones were disoriented by the disruption to the network. She was banking on it taking long enough to reboot for her to be safe.

7 Days Earlier

“Sir, I would like to introduce, Kyle Drake.”

“Ah, yes, Mr. Drake, you come highly recommended.”

“Yes, I know.”

“Um, well, good then. I uh, why don’t you sit down?”

“I’ve been sitting all night.”

“Very well. I;m going to have a drink. Would anyone like a drink? Liquor, beer, tea?”

“I’ll have water, sir.”

“Whiskey.”

“Whiskey, that I have. This is from the private reserve of an Irish noblemen who died 300 years ago.”

“I hope it wasn’t the whiskey that killed him.”

“Hah! He died because he didn’t ay people what he owed them.”

“That does happen.”

“Indeed. Which brings us to why your here. Not to kill or anything.”
“No of course not.”

“No. We want to catch her.”

“Her?”

“You don-, he doesn’t know?”

“When he and I last spoke, we didn’t know.”

“I see. Well, yes, we have pictures now. Show him the pictures. They’re not very good but they show gender, height and build.”

“More.”

“What?”

“They show more than that. This bike motor is custom. Either she built it, or someone she trusts did. The community that knows how, and supplies them, can’t be too large. We also know she rides a regular bike, or this would have never occurred to her. We know she’s educated, she’s picking her targets based on her knowledge of their public acts.”

“Which mean?”

“Which means I have an area to begin the hunt. And when I catch this bitch, I’ll cut off her head and stick it n a pole outside your front gate. As a warning to the world.”

“What? No! Don’t do that.We want to arrest her. Arrest. Alive and preferably unharmed.”

“What kind of a message is that?”

“Listen, you are being paid to bring her in alive, for the police. Agreed?”

“It’s your money.”

5 days ago

Dragon walked down the center aisle of fruit stands. Plain Amish women, in plain Amish clothes busied themselves making the produce attractive for sale. The open air farmers market was thriving in early autumn. Rivers of humans flowed past the stands.

He was far more interested in the people than the produce. A few blocks from several colleges and several bike shops, this seemed like the region of highest likelihood for the prey to nest. Striding through the middle of the masses, head and shoulders above them, his gaze scanning back and forth raptor-like, Dragon made his way to a tree stump between 2 stalls, and took seat. He watched as people walked by, looking for any anomaly that may lead him to his prey.

Angela bounced, just a little, to the music coming through her headphones. The people around her had faded into background, as she wandered from stall to stall dropping fruit in the wicker basket dangling from her arm. Every so often she would drop back into the moment to haggle with the shop keeper over a dollar or 2.

Coming around the bend, she headed towards her favorite bread stand. However, Jimmy wasn’t there. Instead, there was a guy in a long black coat and dark sunglasses sitting on his stump. Disappointed about her bread, she walked up to the guy.

“Where’s Jimmy?”

“Who’s Jimmy?”

“This is Jimmy’s spot. He’s sells bread here.”

“Oh, he’s not here.”

“I know he’s not here, that’s why I asked where he is?”

“Fair enough.”

She looked at him, eyes brows raised.

“Remember, I don’t know who he is.”

“Fair enough. So you’re just sitting on his stump.”

“Seemed comfy.”

“Leaving your wife to shop?”

“No wife.”

“Just hanging out at the farmers market?”

Jimmy smiled, “Maybe I’m shopping for a woman.”

“By just sitting here? I’m sorry but have to be a little more proactive.”

“I’ve got you on the hook, don’t I?”

“No.” she spun on the heel of her purple slipper and walked off, 1 foot in front of the other. Dragon toyed with the idea of following her, but then returned to his work, scanning the crowd for anything remotely related to the Purple Ninja.

3 days earlier

“I don’t know Angela,” Edgar shook his bald, shiny, ebony head, “it seems like hitting this Jensen guy again is just asking for trouble.” He continued to lean over his work bench, magnifying glass clenched in his left eye, carefully adjusting the inner workings of a watch he held in his left hand with a tiny screwdriver in his right. A task made more difficult by the massive size of the paws on this 6’3″, 230 lbs man. His plaid shirt was rolled up at the sleeves and tucked in at the blue jeans, which were in turn tucked in at the work boots.

She leaned up against the side of the old fridge, to his left, chewing on her thumb nail and contemplating her reaction to his odd appearance. Not for the first time. “Hmm? Maybe, but he has it coming. And I’m going to have to have some reruns eventually.”

Knowing she was coming here, she had put on heels, jeans, a loose white top, and put her hair in pig tails. None of which was an outfit she would normally put together. She practically had to dust off the Black Honey lipstick before using it. Why does he do this to me. He barely even knows I’m here.

“Well, I think there’s plenty of people on the corrupt politician list yet.”

“Yeah well, I’m not driving all over the country. This is my neighborhood.”

“All politics really are local.”

“Hah.”

“Look, I’m just saying, these are powerful people you’re fuckin with, as you know. They’re not going to just take this lying down. Sooner or later, you’ll show up, and find them waiting for you. Maybe, just maybe, hitting the same guy, twice in a row, inside his home, is kind of dangerous.”

“That is why I’m here Edgar. If you’d stop messing around with your toys, maybe we could get down to building me some gear.”

Edgar sat back, let the glass drop into his hand, and turned to face her, “Messing around? Messing ar-? This is a $50,000 watch, hand made by Swiss Monks over 200 years ago. It is 1 of the most precise timepieces ever made.”

Angela reached into her back pocket and pulled out her phone, “This was hand made in China last year, and its nano-second precision is kept by satellites. It only costs $300.”

Edgar sighed and returned to his work, “Savages.” He looked back at her, the glass now in his right eye, wagged the tiny screwdriver in his left hand, “The digital age has ruined society’s appreciation of craftsmanship. Its all about instant gratification and what’s next. Nobody knows how to savor anything anymore.”

“You may be right. However, I don’t think anybody ever savored being captured. So if we could…” She waved her hands, shovingly.

“Why do you have such a bug you butt about this guy anyway?”

“He makes the perfect symbol for my whole point in doing this. He inherited his wealth, got his job from daddy, who made his wealth because of our society, now he’s running for office on a platform of undermining that society in a way that will only benefit the corporations who pay for his campaign. A campaign to get a government job. And then he tries to sell it as populist tough love. He’s a total douche.”

“Well, okay, when you put it that way.”

“I’m glad you agree. So can we get to work? I’ve only got 3 days.”

“Fine.” He set down his tools and stood. “I’ve finished a couple of things for the bike, and I’ve got something really special for you.” His eyes light up as his focus changed to the other projects.

Present

For a moment there was no sound, but the hum of engines, as the Purple Ninja and the drone sent to catch her, faced each other.

Slowly she reached into her right boot, with her right hand. The drone shifted to her right. She paused.

Somebody shouted and honked. The drone adjusted its position again. She drew a silver tube, aimed for the drone, pressed a button on the side with her thumb, and a net flew out, magnets pulled it closed around the metallic beast, completing the circuit and sending enough volts through the metallic mesh to stun a human. Or wreck a drone, as it turns out.

It smashed into ground, sending pieces flying, but she was already gone. As soon as the net had discharged, she turned her bike and headed full speed for the nearest exit. The other drones were disoriented by the disruption to the network. She was banking on it taking long enough to reboot for her to be safe.

Leaning into the curve, she narrowly slid past the driver side of silver Lexis stuck in the traffic jam. The old lady inside stared at her, wide eyed and pursed lips, tightly gripping the steering wheel. Popping upright as she passed the bumper, she weaved to the left of man in goggles calmly leaning back on his motorcycle. As she passed, turning to nod at a fellow biker, he smiled and kicked her in the chest.

Barely moved his upper body. He just lifted his knee and planted his large, booted, foot directly into her ribs. The Purple Ninja went flying off of her bike into the red Jeep in the next lane. BAM! She felt the vibrations of her bone marrow as her left side slammed into the hood of the Jeep. As the breath forcibly exited, she watched the face of the guy driving change from shock to deep concern. Blood splattered out of her mouth onto the windshield. Her bike pinwheeled in its side into a Dodge pickup, then a Kia, finally resting half on the hood of 1998 VW Rabbit. She slid to the ground and lay leaning agains the giant tire.

The man on the motorcycle stepped off, light a cigar, and walked over to stand above her. The driver of the Jeep started to get out. As the goggled man looked at the young driver, the remaining 4 drones assumed formation hovering above his head. He looked at the Purple Ninja, and back at the goggled man, and just walked away.

The man with the goggles took a knee next to her. The drones held their positions. He removed his goggles, then reached out and pulled back her mask, “Get the fuck out! It’s you.””

Angela squinted to clear the fog of pain from her eyes, “The shopper of women?”

“Hah. Most people call me Dragon. By the way, I was only shopping for 1 woman, you, and now, you’re mine.” He put the cigar in his mouth, shifted the goggles to his left hand, and reached out with his right to grab her by the hair.

“Just because you want me, doesn’t mean you can have me.” She grabbed his wrist with both hands, pulled herself up, and kicked with everything she had, landing her left foot square at the back of his head. He fell on top of her like a bag of rocks. White light filled her eyes, a drone could be heard nearby, and then she was unconscious.


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