XIV. Temperance (A Quantum Tarot Part III)
Written by AuGoose :: [Monday, 11 May 2015 14:53] Last updated by :: [Wednesday, 29 May 2019 10:59]
(A Quantum Tarot Part III)
By Au Goose
A work of erotic fiction (safe absolutely nowhere). Any resemblance to anything or in the real world is too much to hope for. Mmmm— Nachos. Why is it -I- never get invited to these parties?
He stood beside the cold steel table. The stench of the morgue was frightening. They’d brought 73 bodies into the cold rooms under NYU Langone that day. Two furies had run amok downtown until finally, SWAT snipers had brought them down. But the woman on this slab was dead minutes before the battle had started. One of seven. Some said they were the lucky ones.
Long before he was ready to go a husky black man in a tailored suit intruded on his mourning with a sheaf of folders tucked under his arm.
“Mr. Kane, I need you to answer me quickly and without consideration or contemplation.”
“Fuck off. This is MY WIFE laying here. Who do you think you are!?”
“My name is not relevant. You are 41 years old, yes?” The interloper, probably FBI, launched into a series of questions, most confirming what he already obviously knew about Kane’s violent past, some almost nonsensical, getting him into a rhythm that distracted him from the black knot of rage at his core. He hated the man … but simultaneously was grateful for the bizarre distraction. After a few minutes of this …
“What would you give for revenge?”
“Everything. Anything.” Somewhere someone was the owner of the hands that had left bloody prints on his Alice.
“Ambitious. And you would have to give everything. Even your own life. What do you think of that?”
“In a heartbeat. Alice was … She was better than me. We wouldn’t be going to the same place even if I did believe in Heaven and Hell.”
The dark skinned man paused.. Something he hadn’t done since they began. “So you would forfeit even your soul, Mister Kane?”
“Yes. If I had one it would be black. So sure. My soul. Whatever.”
The man made a note on the outside of one of the folders he still held close to his chest, never having opened them. “So you don’t believe in any afterlife? Divine Justice?”
“People don’t go to Heaven. They don’t go anywhere but into the final dark. I know. I’ve sent enough folks on their way. But Justice is something you can find here … If you carve it out yourself.” He smiled bleakly, his hands unconsciously miming strangling someone to death.
“Not how I look at the world, but what’s important is that it calls to you. That your whole being resonates with your anger. Your rage. I believe it does.”
The strange man turned to leave as if the interview were ending.
At the door he paused. “What if I told you we could give you your chance? Amplify your hate until you could bring the monster that did this low with your own two hands. Bring justice to a god.”
“If you’re offering that, I’m buying. Where do I sign up?”
“You already have, Mister Kane. However, we will be taking further steps to ensure your loyalty to the program …”
- - - - -
“Up against the wall perra. Open your purse … and your mouth.” She noted from the corner of her eye that he’d still be about 5 inches shorter than her if she were resting her heels on the ground. All rich caramel skin over his lean whipcord muscles. Full black hair with a 5 o’clock shadow. He smelled like healthy sweat with a sprinkle of chili powder.
“I’m more cisne than perra.” she corrected the mugger/rapist absentmindedly, still examining her phone without looking up. She approved of his directness, but if he couldn't spot the superior predator … She’d landed in the alley to get some privacy before approaching the address in the coded message on foot. Her new source had sent her a message, claiming he'd found a tidbit she'd really like. He also said he'd take any reward she thought was appropriate if it did turn out to be useful. It was a bold statement for a professional fixer and she wasn't sure if he was flirting or baiting her into a trap. So her she was coming in low and slow. The meet was seven blocks away in a better neighborhood. The walk would let her take in the local mood. See the local color. Here it was already.
“Bitch! I will cut you.” he switched to English cussing, thinking this stupid white girl had misunderstood him. People sometimes thought he was weak because he was small. Usually, the knife made them respect, but this little lost lamb hadn't even looked at him yet! Sure as fuck she was lost if she’d found her way into this neighborhood after dark. She didn't belong here. Not with a body like that!
She smiled to herself still looking down at her phone. “Oh … I used to love this game. It’s been so long. How does this go again?” She finally looked up at him, her blue-blue eyes wide and innocent … and not even remotely afraid. Her lips moved like a woman's, but what came out was flat, robotic, deadpan: “Oh, help me. I’m so scared.”
The balls on this chicka were as big as her tits. And damn she had TITS. She also had legs up to his damn chest. Her lips were pillows of raw pink flesh. In his mind he saw her begging to have his big meat rammed into her softly yielding mouth until she choked on his massiveness. Yeah, she wanted him. They all did even when they begged for him to stop. Too much man for any of them. Even if there were a thousand bucks in her purse the real prize was still gonna be skull-fucking this angel right into the afterlife. Then he’d fuck her warm corpse ‘til morning and pay off Pedro to dump the blonde bitch.
If he’d been able to see the parallel train of thought going through her mind while examining the fleshy curves of his face he would have turned whiter than her. She was hungry. She always got hungry after long flights and she was seriously considering eating a little Mexican … It was LA after all. Her tongue wet her red lips and she arched her back, gliding away from him ‘til her shoulders touched the graffiti-smeared wall.
“That’s right, puta. Be good and I’ll be gentle. Lean forward and open wide. Get ready for some carne caliente …”
He. Just. Wouldn’t. Shut. Up. Irritated that he still hadn't gotten down to business she decided to have some sport. Again the cold, inhuman tone: “But what if I like it rough?” her eyes narrowed, “Let's make this interesting. I’ll give you three tries: hurt me, baby.”
Loco whore! Now the slut was mocking him! He slapped her face so hard his own hand stung fiercely, driving her delicately pointed chin down into the hollow of her left collar bone.
When she lifted her head to look into his eyes again he saw her pale skin was unmarked by his blow. Her pupils widened with dark need now. “Harder little boy. Don’t you know how to please a white girl?” her hands slid up under her sheer blouse. She grabbed an enormous breast in each hand and squeezed. “Too much woman for you?”
Enraged, his arm whipped around underhand and he knifed her in the crotch. It wasn’t the hole he was most interested in anyway.
“Hmm … Better?” she asked like she wasn't sure he'd done anything.
He felt his blade skitter oddly along her thigh until it settled in the crease between her leg and pelvis. She should have been squealing like a stuck pig but instead, her hips began to twist like a belly dancer's and his knife jerked out of his hand. Bitch leaned forward giving him a view down her top, her heavy breasts firmly clinging to her chest even as she continued to roll them around with her hands.
“Last chance. Make me feel you,” she crooned.
In a true frenzy of confused and thwarted rage, he grabbed her arms and swung her unresisting body fully around himself before slamming her back into the wall. It should have knocked her senseless, her head snapping back against the cinderblocks. The crazy bitch just leaned against the wall and kept feeling herself up as if nothing at all had happened! Like he wasn't even there. But something had changed: the hairs on the back of his neck stood up and he felt anxious, like maybe the cops were everywhere. The rabbit instinctively knowing when it was being eyed by the hawk.
She frowned, almost a pout. The reality was she took the blow easily on the muscles of her shoulders and buttocks, spreading the force far too thin to even scuff the brickwork despite its inferior hardness. “Your second try was better. Too bad. My turn.”
Her hands slid out of her blouse and slim white arms wrapped around his torso before jerking him into the air. They spun as they rose until she could pin him against the filthy wall with her broad hips. She held his head close, his toes dangling 40 inches above the sun-cracked pavement still giving off the warmth it had absorbed all day. She whispered in his ear, “You want to put your meat in my mouth? Ok …”
Zoe bit deep into his cheek right below his eye and ripped the pad of flesh off his skull with a sharp turn of her long neck. There was a shriek, the sound distorted as it bubbled through the toothy gap in the side of his face instead of passing between his lips. One wild eye pivoted in its ruined socket and saw the torn and oozing piece of himself being chewed with careful consideration after passing through those pink lips he had so desired only moments ago. Then went into shock from the pain, his heart fluttering erratically.
A chef in Beijing had taught her that when eating whole fish, the cheek meat was the greatest delicacy. A two tiny flakes, barely a mouthful, but rich and firm. She’d been meaning to see if the same was true of humans. As expected he had a spicy thread of chili in his flesh. Idly she wished she had a bottle of sriracha as she swallowed. ‘Rooster sauce’ would go good with this stupid strutting cock. Same fucking breed as Chad, she decided.
Satiated for the moment, Zoe dropped her would-be despoiler in an unceremonious heap. Taking only one bite seemed a little wasteful, but she needed to be moving on. If there had been any real connection – if he'd brought her even one iota of satisfaction with his weak pawing – she would have treated the body with respect. No, this one she would leave for the scavengers. The local wildlife should have it picked clean long before the police found it. There were two perfectly good fresh kidneys lying there waiting to be seized for auction.
On the other hand, her dress had gotten torn. Annoying, but where she was going it probably improved her appearance. Hard to say. She wasn’t usually much for clubbing.
Too many people.
- - - - -
A deaf person could have found the club just by following the bass beat shaking the air. Zoe had been watching the slow progression of the line into the club from across the street. Her contact was supposed to meet her out front. But all she saw were teenagers ambling around the block talking and listening to the concert within from outside. She tensed for a moment, feeling that someone had entered her personal space. She turned, poised to strike with terminal violence.
“Hiyas! You must be Miss Cygne. You’re beautiful.” The teenage girl in front of her held out her hand in greeting having detached herself from the camouflage of her peers. She was about Zoe’s own height before having grown into her new self. Tall, slim but toned, a blockier athletic build topped with a head of dark red hair. She wore a sleek cocktail dress like she had fully expected to get inside the high-class venue rather than just loiter out front.
“You are my contact?” Zoe took the proffered hand almost by reflex, shaking it twice, firmly. No reason not to be polite.
“Well, I’m pretty sure your mine. Neil’s description was quite specific: ‘hottest woman ever’. He knows what I like.”
What a bold creature, Zoe thought. Still … Best to avoid any confusion. “Neil?”
“The guy who sent me? Tall. Great smile. Really great ass. He said you thought he smelled good. Also said I should tell you he’s cut down on the wine. I’m Keira by the way.”
“Zoe,” she answered. It occurred to her that as often as she’d thought about that day in New York, she’d never thought to put a name to the face. Neil … Hmm … Neil … “That’s right. Then you should have a package for me.”
“Uh uh, sister.” The girl shook her head. “Swap happens inside.”
“I don’t think you’re old enough to drink.” Keira smelled young and fresh and familiar, though her scent was mixed with something sharp, tangy. It came from her hair. Not a scent any woman would normally have. To Zoe’s senses it just made her mysterious. Intriguing.
“I’m not. You get me in. That’s my cut on this transaction. Plus you’re buying.” she smiled brazenly, delighted to have the upper hand. At least as much upper hand as Zoe was willing to give her. Neil must be very certain of her goodwill to put his agent square in her path like this. Then again he was letting her name her price …
“Fine. Watch and learn, ‘sister’.”
They crossed the street together hand in hand, then Zoe planted Kiera firmly about 3 yards from the doorman, making it clear she was to wait with a silent look. Zoe poured it on, slinking towards the entryway with her heels lifted and turned out, highlighting the fullness of her ass. Basic physical seduction techniques.
“Suup?” The burly doorman asked having seen the two young women approach and still mostly successful in hiding his reaction to Zoe’s runway strut.
“Me an’ my little sister want to come In. I’ll keep an eye on her.”
“No minors.” He wasn’t worried about letting her jump the line - he was supposed to get mega-models like this into the club with as little fuss as possible. But still, there were rules …
“You sure?” she was close enough to drape herself over him and she did so with grace, fingers touching him lightly on the face and chest before really settling into him.
“Absolutely no minors … lose our license.” his voice trembled slightly.
Zoe pressed into him harder, lifting first one leg to coil around his ass, then the other to weave between his legs from behind. That she seemed to weigh absolutely nothing at all as she clung to his chest only multiplied the effect her embrace was having on him. In fact, she was gently rubbing her whole body up and down without even a toe still on the ground … Moves she intended to practice until she had them just right for …
“I … my job … this is a good place …” He stammered.
She licked him from the base of his throat to his eyebrow. “Tell me your number and I promise I’ll make it right,” she said, lips less than an inch from his ear.
He quickly whispered ten digits and stepped smoothly aside even as Zoe uncoiled from him, giving him one last playful pinch he’d be feeling for days.
The line, normally irritable at being jumped instead hooted and jeered with appreciation for the show. Phone cameras had been flashing madly as she made her ever so reasonable request. Guys in line would be giving the doorman knowing grins and high fives for the next twenty minutes.
Keira actually skipped like a schoolgirl as she went through the door trailing after Zoe, happy as a clam.
The heat and the musk inside hit Zoe like a wall. She started to perspire – she could endure the cold of space and the fires of the Sun, but her body still tried to stay comfortable. For a minute while waiting outside Zoe thought she’d be able to conclude the drop without having to go in. Now that she was in she didn’t know where to begin. She looked at Keira with an expression of puzzled questioning.
“Let's claim a booth. Then we can dance.”
“So where’s the best spot?” Zoe's wave took in the whole room and set heads turning.
“That one.” Keira decided on the fly. Nicely centered to the stage but also with a good view of the exits.
Zoe liked this girl’s instincts, seeing a little more of herself in Keira’s thought process. Neil had a better operative representing him than she had first thought. They sauntered over to the very occupied booth arm in arm. Zoe’s cold stare and a fan of four one-hundred dollar bills cleaned it out promptly and the staff materialized like genies to sweep away the previous party’s leavings, depositing a pair of menus in their wake.
They sat together quietly for a while, Keira softly bouncing on the plush bench as the band spun the crowd higher. Zoe tried to get the girl’s scent again, but the club was packed with bodies, most of them in a full sweat. She followed the trail of that strange, sharp tang, sifting the currents until … Now she had it. Chlorine. “You should wash your hair more carefully after you swim. It’d be a shame to ruin it.” Zoe ran her fingers through it, able to distinguish every strand like bridge cables as they slipped through her fingers. Considering how fine and thin her own hair was, she was a little jealous. Indestructible didn’t mean manageable.
Keira leaned in closer to her, allowing herself to be stroked. “Oh jeez. You’re right. I was in such a hurry to get here I only patted it off with a towel.” She finally picked up a menu, browsing with quick moments of her eyes. She chose fast even after having read the whole thing. Zoe warmed to her more, able to just sit without being talked at.
A waiter came round moments after Keira lowered her menu, angling for a good tip they were well on their way to receiving. While Zoe ordered a pina colada Keira just asked for a cherry soda and a burger to the waiter’s undisguised relief. The staff were already in slippery territory ignoring a minor’s presence, but if they actually knowingly served her …
After the man left Zoe asked, “You don’t want something stronger? I’m buying, remember?”
“Oh heck no. I didn’t come here to drink. I came for the muuuu-sic.”
“It is interesting,” Zoe said coolly, trying to think of something that would sound cool to a teenager. “Maybe I should get their album for my iPod …”
It had been a long time since someone had looked at her with pity. “Ear-buds? Eww. You are kidding? If you aren’t listening with your whole body you aren’t listening.” Keira launched out of the booth before pulling the larger woman to her feet. Zoe didn’t resist. Keira began to dance in front of her, swaying to the music, her arms twisting in a complicated pattern that had to be something she had practiced until it was muscle memory now, swinging them with a mix of careful planning and innocent abandon. The way the sides of her dress threatened to reveal a slice of her side-boob if she just shook a little harder actually pulled some eyes off of Zoe's staggering figure.
Zoe listened – really listened – realizing the girl was right. Zoe was hearing with more than her exquisitely tuned ears. She could feel the pulsing of the air across the tiniest hairs of her skin, a steady rattling in her lungs as the air rippled with the concussive waves of the bass beat and the higher thrumming of the melody … She realized she’d always been able to hear like this, but now she was soooo much better at it.
Keira looked at her, smiling. “Plus music made by people is always better than music made by machines. That’s why I told Neil I’d meet you here. Live shows are the BEST. They’re playing to you, with you, for you … there’s this connection …”
‘From out of the mouths of babes,’ Zoe thought, being swept away herself. If a mere human could get “lost in the music” Zoe’s heightened awareness could turn the song into an endless mirrored maze of overlapping reflection just by closing her eyes …
Keira saw the beautiful woman almost swoon as the beat finally took her. Just standing there all ‘ice queen’ she’d been gorgeous but as Zoe began to rock with the crowd, thrusting out her breasts and that massive ass … Keira couldn’t help herself, she stepped in to grind on the goddess as Zoe twisted in the music. It was like curling around a warm and living statue. Zoe’s body brooked no arguments: her space was hers alone … but Keira fit herself into the spaces between as speckles of reflected light played across them both. She even curled inward to lick Zoe’s swanlike neck, savoring the damp saltiness of her milky skin. She turned to taste the other side of her pale throat but Keira’s only-human reflexes missed a beat and one of Zoe’s surging pelvic thrusts threw her to the floor. She landed on her somewhat bony ass laughing uproariously at herself and at the two of them while two half-mesmerized guys who had been watching the pair kindly helped her to her feet.
“You’re a natural!” She called out over the musical maelstrom as the band hit a chorus with gusto.
“What do you mean?” Zoe asked, still not opening her eyes more than a slit. When you went to a firing range you always knew your score, but dancing? It was a mystery to her what counted as ‘good’.
“Well, for a beginner I mean. This is obviously your first time. I know these things” She tried to look both wise and conspiratorial but on her guileless face, it was just a sweet joke. She looked down at her watch. “Oh, shit. I’ve gotta go before I turn into a pumpkin.”
Even with her speed, Zoe had trouble keeping up with this girl. “What?”
“School tomorrow. Duty calls. I’m on the Jordan Swim Team. But you should totally stay here and have a good time.” She walked passed Zoe without a care in the world … slipping Zoe a thumb drive as she brushed past without even a downward glance.
‘Girl has moves. And not just on the dance floor.’ Zoe thought with a slight smile. Had she ever been that “in her environment”? Certainly not at that age.
It turned out Keira had gotten out at the right time. Zoe went back to dancing alone and as the euphoria grew she ended up leaving the ground behind, gyrating wildly above a packed crowd that cheered her on thinking the buxom, horny goddess twirling above them was part of the show. She stretched out to her full length horizontally, luxuriating in the pounding beat like she was laying between satin sheets, her fingers beginning to roam over her curves. She floated down like a black feather, sinking into the sea of flesh below and allowing a hundred hands – man and woman – to fall upon her with need to match her own. The house-lights dimmed tastefully and within a minute the entire dance floor had become a writhing orgy, human waves rolling across her unbreakable shores. Unlike all the times she had watched the crown rutting while she celebrated a meal, this time she felt comfortable joining in. The band showed heroic discipline keeping the songs coming until the end of their set. But when they did finish, instead of waiting for their rightful applause they dived off the stage and joined the other kind of show now swirling below their platform.
Zoe easily slipped away in the confusion despite her near nudity. If she had thought her skirt had been torn before, what was left now could only be called rags. She had no idea where her sweat-soaked blouse had gone – normally an impossibility with her acute awareness of her surroundings. She’d really lost it there for a bit. While the police were occupied elsewhere (there having been a gruesome murder discovered only seven blocks away), a whole line of ambulances arrived in response to the reports of a dozen or more broken limbs. Everyone agreed it was a wild party, though no one actually saw the flying girl hurt anyone with her softly thrashing limbs so dense was the press of bodies surrounding her.
Zoe decided no matter what was on the drive she owed Neil big-time. And his LA front-man, Keira. The girl had really given the hand-off the personal touch. Things like that mattered to Zoe. She also liked to settle up promptly, which was why when the sun next rose over LA it found Zoe sleeping in at the doorman’s flat. He was even still alive, if exhausted and easily mistaken for having been mauled by a bear. Practice, practice, practice.
At least they were definitely even. But what to do about Neil and Keira?
Someplace better lit but no less secret
“She’s getting sloppier. We were able to recover all kinds of footage from the club. Plus new samples. BioSec’s having a field day.” The analyst nearly crowed.
‘If you define field day as banging your head against a brick wall forever’ Jacob Cross thought to himself, filled with something as close to bitterness as he ever came. They still didn't know how or why just a few drops of Zoe's fluids could create monsters. Other players in the great game hadn't made the connection yet but the ‘furies’, those blood-crazed women endowed with super-human strength and toughness that had been popping up around the world for the last year? They were Her creations. She left them behind like bombs to cover her own tracks. But unlike their ‘mother’, the women she blessed could be – and usually were – killed by conventional weapons. High caliber ones, anyway.
The alliance’s best geneticists admitted they were a decade or more from being able to unlock the bizarrely dense DNA-analog Zoe Drew’s body ran on. A timeline he could ill afford.
“That’s not sloppiness … It’s confidence. It’s starting to sink in she doesn’t have to be afraid of anything. Or at least she thinks so.” The man flashed that same rigid, insincere smile as when he’d won the job. He didn’t care enough to do better in front of the minions. She’d be afraid of him when the time came. Nothing less would keep her from destroying him.
The analyst went on: “We pulled the house security and people’s phones. She went in with a young woman.” A collage of pictures appeared.
“Chamber’s sister. Or cousin maybe.” He announced after only a moment’s cogitation.
“You know her, sir?”
Cross looked at the man with unfiltered contempt. How could these highly paid ‘experts’ not know? It was as plain as her face. It was her face. The family resemblance screamed at him from every picture. ‘Fucking neurotypicals’ he huffed to himself.
“Just find her. The girl may give us hooks into Neil Chambers and that could be our lever on her.” ‘She’s paying far too much attention to the Chambers family to be coincidence … ’ he thought to himself. Trying to explain himself to underlings was just an exercise in frustration. Their ability to add one and one and one and still not even get to two-and-a-half pained him. Physically pained him. He rubbed his dark, shaven head, trying to massage away the tension building.
But Zoe … There was someone he wanted to meet one day. One day soon, if things went according to plan …
Things usually did. Soon Project Outrage would be ready and the curtain could rise on the first act of the play he was preparing for her.
End Part III