Bad Girls On The Strip


I’ve been lugging a weight around in my gut since I killed…

Vegas doesn’t work out for everyone. Young women with an eye on opportunity and physical stamina might get a break somewhere on the strip. Or they might get thrown out of work in an overcrowded market.

Me? I can’t get thrown out of this universe. This is my third damned day as an FBI special agent. Yesterday I had to kill a perp to stop him from blowing up thousands of people. Normally the Bureau would put me on leave until I’d been debriefed and counseled, but we’re closing in on the Kinetics this morning and I’m the one -they tell me- with the most invested in the case. How can I not be allowed to go?

But I’m not me, in more ways than one. After killing Boxcar I feel scared. It’s confusing. In the past when life was normal and I imagined being in a life-or-death scenario, I saw myself saving the day and feeling proud. I thought I’d be happy for the chance to kill a terrorist before he could kill us.

Then it happens. Suddenly I know it doesn’t matter what the bad guy did. When I killed him I made death real. Death can come for me just as easily. It already has. It just hasn’t taken me away completely, yet.

Or is it even worse? What I did pointed out the absurdity of self-importance. Anyone can take out anyone. None of what we do to protect ourselves matters if someone exercises a will to power as a desperate final satisfaction.

After a short flight other FBI agents arrive with me at the Luxor II. We’re acting on a tip that the Kinetics will pull something within the next 13 hours at or from this location.

Not being from this miserable gray universe I have no concept of these Kinetics. I do, however, have access to the files and a long ride with a bunch of stiffs.  I turn on the Internet.

Kinetics is a gang of three women. Each woman carries a photon gun, these are guns that blind and stun in 3 ranges. They can shock you as a warning. They can stun you into temporary paralysis. Or they can electrocute you. So far they’ve killed five victims in three states.

So where do I come in? The Department of Science and Technology is needed to deal with the array of high tech being used by them individually. Hilariously, I never shot a gun before yesterday.

I’m not sure how I passed the post assignment evaluation last night. I’ve been lugging a weight around in my gut since I killed Boxcar. I thought it would be righteous and heroic. It felt agonizing. I watched the life bounce out of his tumbling limbs as he stumbled in front of our momentum. I felt the bump as our car ran over him on the tracks.

Today, what must I do? Kill a woman or two? These bitches are deadly. But it’s gonna be like battling Circque Du Soleil. Take this Wonderwheel for instance. According to the records I encountered her twice…

Wonderwheel has a motorized pedal-controlled unicycle capable of self-balance. She didn’t even have to think about balancing, and could make that thing go any direction by leaning. She was the best shot. After three tries she nailed me with a paralysis bolt. I remember seeing her up close and thinking how pretty she was. I hate getting crushes on the bad girls. I was trying to stop her as she ignited an arson fire. She was pulling out at 85 mph in seven seconds from a motionless upright parking mode. Photographic inspection of her equipment further reveals a 25-foot high extension stem, a gyroscopic ejection seat for emergency balance or expulsion, fire-resistant materials, and auto-balance so that she cannot slip, be knocked over without resistance or otherwise be forced to the extreme horizontal.

The next time myself of this Earth encountered Wonderwheel was three weeks later and she was with her two partners. One, Uber-Shoes, was hanging upside down using fantastic footwear -controlled by toe buttons- with a rainbow of modes including one that enables trampoline-power buoyancy, and other modes including surface clinging static-electrically activated sole fibers, swim propulsion and concussive air blasts, leap frog auto jump power, a kangaroo hop, high fall impact absorption and running mode stride extension. There was no way to lay hands on her. She knocked me over three times with air blasts from her soles.

And the third one, Rollerghost, has friction-resistant wheels, spark-shooting rims, instant skid stop, emergency jump, a mesmerizing stare, and an ejection button for instantly ditching the blades. She’s the one doing the actual killing. Of them all, she’s the one I’ll most likely have to shoot.

But if I feel like this after one killing, what happens after two? What becomes of a professional life-taker?