Project Cypher, Chapter 10 Garage

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Elsewhere that same night in the corner of Aurora, a seedy garage is still open despite the late-night hour. The seedy men chat in front of a sleek mint green vehicle. Some of them smoke brand cigarettes, while others drink from their cheap beers. And the more audacious members do both holding one in each hand. A shaved buff man in a leather vest stands up as the crunch of footsteps can be heard on the gravel. The other men’s guard goes up as they all tense and stop their chattering.

From the shadows of the cars a figure emerges, a woman wearing dark designer sunglasses despite the late hour and obvious lack of sun. The boss of the garage a tawny bearded man with sideburns studies the approaching woman. Short brown channel hair, average face, and body, simple black tee-shirt, a fitted black leather jacket, comfortable blue jeans and leather boots that are not only expensive but the best combat boots money can buy. And strangely, a purple backpack with a sparkly unicorn engraved on the front.

The woman’s stride was confident and not a single trickle of nerves or hesitation can be seen. Clearly not anyone from the suburbs, but not the cops either. Cops either strutted like they owned the joint or were tense the entire walk. Plus, no cop would wear a sparkly unicorn encrusted purple backpack. The bearded man lets out a sigh, unable to get a good read on the woman. Either way, he was ready, the bearded man thought to himself as his hand eased towards the gun at his waistband.

Some of the guy’s wolf whistle as the more audacious members let out catcalls. “Hey baby, how about I show you my ride?” Suck Dic*?” “Yo girl, you’re as* is mine!” “Wander into the wrong part of the neighborhood, bit**?” “We’ll show you a real good time, sugar.” The last two crass comments got some real loud laughter and jeers from the men.

The woman doesn’t react and stops a few feet away. The bearded man silences his men with a glare as the men shut their traps. The night is silent as the bearded man climbs to his feet. Not only tall and buff, the bearded man flexes showing his well-built muscles. “Sorry about this unruly bunch, they tend to get easily excited. Well, what can I do for you, little lady?” The bearded man asked, crossing his arms over his buff chest as the blue shirt stretched over the taut muscles.

“Apology accepted,” the woman answered causing the men to choke in shock. The bearded man warily smiles as some of the men tense feeling insulted. “I heard you sell cars that can’t be easily be tracked,” The woman carefully said.

“Hey, you a cop?” A muscular tattooed man with a white tank top boldly declared and stood up for emphasis. The man threateningly reaches for his gun as the rest of the men follow and reach for their hidden firearms.

The bearded man seeing the woman not react carefully rises and takes a step forward. “Yeah, we got what you need, but it’ll cost ya,” The bearded man challengingly said.

“Yes, I was told that was to be expected. Anyhow, I need a black or blue colored vehicle. Simple nothing fancy, just an untraceable vehicle,” the woman resolutely asked.

The bearded man scratches his beard thoughtfully. “Hey girl, you on the run or in trouble?” The bearded man curiously inquired.

“Both, I guess,” the woman honestly answered.

The bearded man nods his head. “Fine, that will be 10k and you got yourself a deal,” the bearded man said with a grin. The men remain tense waiting for a response from the woman.

“8k, the crap you sell can’t be worth more than that,” the woman fearlessly responded back.

The men fume, but the bearded man lets out a cheerful laugh. “I like you girl. Deal,” the bearded man said, before adding, “Tony, go get the sedan.” The tattooed man in the white tank opens his mouth to protest but swiftly moves after a glare from the boss. The men visibly relax as they remove their hands from their weapons and begin to smoke and chat softly. However, they remained alert keeping an eye on the woman before him.

The sound of a car engine is heard as a car pulls out from behind the garage. A non-descriptive blue sedan still in relatively good condition charges for the woman. The woman doesn’t move as Tony and her play chicken. At the last second, Tony brakes as the woman remained standing still until the car bumper screeched to a stop a scarce two inches from her body.

The men let out chortles of laughter as the embarrassed Tony slams the car door shut and stomps towards the guys. The car is still running as the woman walks around the car and stops. The bearded man gleefully says, “Girl, you’re the craziest person I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen crazy.”

“That is a spot-on observation, actually,” the woman nonchalantly replied and pulls out a stack of cash from her jacket. She tosses the cash to one of the men who easily catches it. The man swiftly weighs the stack of money and says, “It’s about 10k.”

The bearded man raises an eyebrow at the added cash amount. “To ensure this transaction never transpired,” the woman clearly specified.

The bearded man nods in response as the still angry Tony shouts, “And if we don’t?”

The woman cocks her head, before smiling. The men feel a chill crawl down their spine at the maddening smile. “I will return to collect plus interest of course,” the woman softly said, before adding, “And I don’t mean a refund.”

The threat hangs heavily in the air as the men remain silent and Tony rapidly pales. The bearded man nods slowly at finally understanding what the feeling he had been feeling. It was caution and fear. “Don’t worry, Miss. I’ll personally take care of the problem, should that situation arise,” the bearded man much more respectfully answered. The woman nods with satisfaction, before entering the car and driving off at full speed. The tail lights soon fade away as the men in the garage all swear and curse at Tony. Tony curses weakly back to only end up being beaten up by the rest of the men.

The woman in the car reaches the highway, before removing her sunglasses and tossing the brown wig into the passenger seat. #017’s gray hair is pulled into a neat bun, despite having worn a wig. She sighs in recollection and grumbles, “Men are so unreasonable only thinking with their pants.”

#017 glances over at the sparkly unicorn backpack and uses one hand to reach inside. She pulls out a black cap, that reads, Thinking Cap. Charmed with the hat, #017 had impulsively bought it at the clothing store. She pulls on the cap on to ensure that any highway or ticket cameras wouldn’t capture her face.

#017 switches on the radio as she heads down the interstate highway to her destination. The radio switches on as a song’s chorus come on, the male vocalist singing vibrates through the air.

“I’m sorry for everything

Oh, everything I’ve done

From the second that I was born it seems I had a loaded gun

And then I shot, shot, shot a hole through everything I loved

< Property of | outside of it, it is stolen.

Oh, I shot, shot, shot a hole through every single thing that I loved-.”

“How true,” #017 mused out loud before changing the radio stations. With some relief, a catchy pop song comes on the new radio station. #017 happily sings to the pop song, speeding down the highway and onward.

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