Happy black friday :D enjoy a special treat!


Chapter 4: Present Day

"That about does it for today." A heavy-duty, robust woman stood up from her bench pressing machine. She was very tall and very muscular. She let her sweaty hair fall to her sides as she took it out of the bun that was holding it in. She prepared herself for a shower. She washed her body with a high quality cleanser that left her skin looking shiny and healthy.

Her skin was tan from being out in the sun exercising on her flatglass rooftop. Her hands had a permanent ruddy color from all the years of sword-fighting and weaponry classes she took and was still taking.

The ends of her hair were a pale bleach color, probably from the sun, and shortly where that ended, there was a pretty hue of reddish brown that was starting to fade into the bleach. At the top of her head, her strong black roots grew in, pushing the older hair farther down her back. This hair color was not uncommon for people who spent long hours in the sun every day. Her hair was quite ordinary.

Sometimes the woman would look in the mirror proud of her full spectrum of color. Other days, she'd notice her mucky mahogany eyes the color of dirty grass. They used to be brighter when she was a child. But now as she grew, they waned dimmer.

If only I could have eyes the color of the sky, or the sunset, she thought. As she stepped out of the shower, she heard a beeping coming from her (quite a bit more advanced than ten years ago) communication device.

"Bizo, can't it wait? I just got out of the shower!" The woman spoke to the man on the other side of the screen.

"You're a full time Peacemaker now. You just graduated six months ago. And now you try to tell me you want to pass up a possible job promotion just so you can take a shower?"

"Just tell me what the situation is, Bizo." The woman was getting dressed now, hastily.

"There's been a fight down at the Laser Quarts. You're going to have to meet me there, and in high-style, if you want to impress our boss."

"What would Gorgel be doing at the Laser Quarts? It's the lowest-quality fast-food place in the county!"

"Don't ask me! I'm just the messenger! Now are you coming or not?"

"What do you think?!" The woman smiled fiercely.

"…"

"Bizo you idiot!" She joked.

"Carra Dol, you know I'm not a man of many words!"

Carra closed her communication with him and put on her work clothes. They consisted of a simple white shirt and tough pants with a rayon interior and a flexible leather exterior making them soft, strong, durable and fashionable.

Her black steel-toed boots were sleek and shiny and made out of a material that man did not invent until the year 2625. Carra put on a black over-jacket and it shrunk to fit her body.

She pulled out a small remote from her pocket and pressed a sequence of buttons. A wall slid open, revealing a yellow hover-vehicle with two engines and two rows of seats. It had four small jets in the back and its tires were filled with a liquid mercury fluid that allowed them to hover when turned on. When off, the mercury was super-cooled to prevent it from turning back to liquid.

Carra put on a clear safety-shield over her eyes. She hopped into the vehicle and started one of the engines. It roared loudly and so she turned on the muffler. She grabbed both of the levers that allowed her to steer. With one foot on the break and one thumb on the advance, she turned on the intangibility and the vehicle passed right through the solid walls.

Up into the sky she flew and she speeded through the purple clouds and waved 'good morning' to the sun. Carra pressed hard on the advance, which was below her left thumb, and she accelerated to the engine's top speed.

Within very little time, Carra was at the Laser Quarts. She parked her vehicle in one of the parking slots and turned off the intangibility and the engine. She took off her safety goggles and out on a new pair of goggles—this time a silver pair. These goggles were no ordinary accessories—they were very special. They were made of steel, and yet they were see-through, but only one-way.

When worn, they could protect the user's eyes from any metal known to man. They were a standard precaution given to all Peacemakers.

Carra opened the front door of Laser Quarts. She opened it so fast that it slammed against the wall and bounced back, making a clear, loud smack. All heads turned. "Is there a problem here?" Carra walked up to the counter of the bar where the owner was standing in his apron and Chef hat.

The owner was terribly anxious. He cocked his head and considered Carra, and then at a skinny man over at the edge of the bar. The owner did not have to say a word for Carra to see what he meant. Carra slowly and steadily approached the skinny man.

He smelled bad, and he was sitting all alone. His skin was dusty, as if he hadn't cleaned it in a while. And his hair—it was well-brushed but also very greasy. And it split at the ends which meant that it didn't get washed very often.

"What are you called?" Carra asked him.

The man faced her with a cold deadpan, emotionless gaze. He looked to be in his late thirties. "I am called Sinjin."

"Do you have a problem with the owner of this restaurant?" Carra asked with a grim tone.

"No." Sinjin took a sip of his drink. "He has a problem with me."

"Why?"

Sinjin turned the swivel stool around and rolled up his sleeve to reveal some lettering on his arm. It was carved into him—almost like a tattoo. But it wasn't a tattoo. It was something else entirely. Carra couldn't decipher the language except to say that it looked like some of the ancient letterings she had studied in her final year of Preliminary School. She gasped and backed away once she realized what this all meant.

"You've never met anyone like me before?" Sinjin asked softly.

Carra continued to back away. Sinjin stood up. Carra had never before been so afraid. Carra used to brag that nothing in the world scared her at all. But that was a lie; she had only forgotten what used to scare her.

"What? You're a Peacemaker. So why are you so afraid of me?" His eyes widened madly. Or maybe Carra was just imagining it.

Cara closed her eyes and braced for Sinjin to hit her. There was a blaster-shot and Carra screamed. Sinjin fell to the ground next to Carra. Blood poured out of the back of his head like a fountain. Carra identified the bullet that had torn the man's skin apart.

The restauranteers stared at the scene. Carra chocked on her own breath. She was relieved to see her partner, Bizo, standing behind where Sinjin had fallen. Bizo was holding a small blaster.

"You're lucky he didn't kill you! Or worse. You're quite lucky to be alive." Bizo appeared at Carra's side. "Why didn't you fire?"

"I was scared." Carra admitted. She wasn't afraid to admit things like that, which surprised many of the restauranteers, who already were going back to their business.

"Carra…"

"What? I've never killed a man. And I really don't want to, ever."

"But then he'll kill you. And the county needs you! You're very good at your job!"

"Bizo—let's just call in the coroner."

"Right." Bizo had him on speed dial. In barely no time at all, the coroner arrived.

The coroner bent over Sinjin's body and instructed his assistants to remove the body and clean up the mess. "You're lucky to have survived—all of you. I'm surprised he wasn't the violent type because it sure looks like he could have been. I think we're all thankful he was stopped. That's just another one off the streets and we can all go home with a little less fear in our minds." The coroner gave Bizo a pat on the back, and then went to talk to the owner of the restaurant.

"What's wrong?" Bizo asked Carra.

"It's just a lot to take in." Carra took a deep breath. "But I think I'm better now. You understand how it used to be for me?"

"Your parents would tell you the stories about all of the bloody attacks on world peace."

"Yes, yes. And you knew my family was different because both of your parents were Tailors."

"But I chose the adventurous life, just like you."

"Yes. And now, here I am, and I would have failed my mission if you weren't here."

"That's not true! And we're a team. We need to be there to back each other up."

"Where's Gorgel? You implied that she'd be here."

Bizo led Carra to a table near the center of the restaurant. "Gorgel!" Carra gave a warm hug to Gorgel, her good friend and boss for many a year. Gorgel had also gone to the Inter-Planetary School Peace. Gorgel was a genius and a weapons prodigy. That's why she had been promoted so high up in the Peacemaker Workforce. She was now the county's Governor of Peace.

"Hello Carra. You are a very sturdy girl. And I can tell by your hair and your skin that you work very hard hours in the outside."

"How have you been, Gorgel?"

"I've been better. There's loads of work to be done. I've got a big meeting coming up and it'll involve all of the Peace Governors from the south continent."

"Whoa."

"You should take the week off, Carra. You look stressed too. And we know how stress gets. Go visit your family. Make yourself merry. Take all the time you need."

"But what if a situation should come up?"

"Then I'm sure Bizo will take care of it."

"Me?" Bizo joined the conversation.

"Of course you! I saw what happened over there—you showed excellent courage. I'll put in a good word to your higher-ups."

"Oh thank you!" Bizo enjoyed flattery. Carra hung her head in shame. Bizo shrank when he realized what just happened.

He had been following Sinjin to this very restaurant, and then called Carra and waited for her to show up. What Bizo wanted more than anything was to see Carra get recognized for the true heroine she was and is.

"Cheer up, Carra girl. Someday you'll find your true calling." Gorgel seemed to be sure.

"You don't think I make a good Peacemaker?"

"It's not that—I just don't believe you make a good Outside Peacemaker. Maybe you should consider a career more along the lines of an…Inside Peacemaker."

"I don't want to be an Inside Peacemaker." Carra tried to mask the distraught feeling that now entered her mind.

"Why not? They're just as valuable as the ones on the outside. Take a few weeks to think about it. Go on now." Gorgel waved Carra a goodbye signal. That meant that she wanted Carra to leave. Carra walked to her vehicle with a heavy mind.

"Carra? Wait! I know you're upset, but I have no intentions of taking a promotion without my partner."

"Well you just might have to, because I'm going to quit."

"Quit? No! Carra this isn't the time to be rash!"

"Why not?" Carra got into her vehicle. "My boss—and friend—just told me I am horrible at my job and I should consider one of those jobs where I sit in front of monitors all day, sending communications to Peacemakers on other planets. Where's the adventure in that?"

"Uh, I, suppose it could be, well—"

"It would be boring."

"Yeah, pretty much." Bizo scratched his head. "But you can't be a Peacemaker if you're afraid to fire your blaster."

Carra looked Bizo square in the eye. "Think about that, will you? What you just said is that basically, you can't have peace if you don't fight for it. That's kind of an oxymoron, isn't it?"

"It's kind of the truth." Bizo sighed.

Carra started her engine. Bizo covered his ears until Carra turned on the muffler.

"Wait! Carra, wait! Before you leave, I have an idea!"

"What?" Carra rolled down the glass window.

"Maybe if you bring back a live Ninja for questioning, Gorgel will respect you. You know that she's always wanted to sit down and carry out a decent conversing with one without fear of being killed in some crude and unusual manner. She wants to meet one, yes, and she'll want to know how they work. How they think. How their minds evolved into such twisted and sadistic thoughts."

Carra thought for a beat. Restitution was what she desired. She wanted to make a difference, and the task seemed insane enough for her to accept the challenge. Maybe some good could come out of this. "Allright, I'll bring back a Ninja!" Carra agreed.

"Great! I'll tell Gorgel!"

Carra rolled the glass back up and then pressed her thumb on the advance while also turning on the vehicle's intangibility capabilities. It was on the ride home that Carra thought through all the terms she'd agreed to.