"Have you seen this woman?"
Peggy holds up a photo of a woman dressed in all black up so the bartender can see it clearly. The burly dwarf swishes his voluminous mustache back and forth a couple times before shaking his head.
"Can't say that I have, miss…"
"Nixon," the shapely brunette replies with a curt smile. "Peggy Nixon, PI."
The barkeep isn't quite sure what to make of that and slowly begins retreating backward.
Peggy notes his slow withdrawal with a little scowl. "She was spotted in here not thirty minutes ago. Are you really going to tell me you didn't see her?"
"I told you Miss Nixon… I ain't seen nothing," he further retreats while slowly shaking his head. "If you're looking to wet your whistle or dance on a table, you let me know… but for now, maybe you should—"
"I'm leaving," she says, cutting him off. "And if I had one of your 'drinks', I would throw it in your face. PI's don't dance on tables, mister!"
Having had enough, the small man disappears into a darkened back room.
"Coward," Peggy mumbles to herself as she casts her gaze around the rest of the bar. The normal seedy bar scene greets her. Large, scary looking men huddle together in darkened corners while women of ill repute see to their sordid appetites.
Peggy feels her posterior clench a little. Once upon a time, she was one of the unfortunate women working in these circumstances. The memories of rude comments and unappreciated touching, made her stomach curl.
"I saw her, sweetie," says a tall slender brunette as she slowly approaches. A lit cigarette dangles from the side of her mouth as she balances a serving tray on one hand. The worn look on her face hints at a possible drug addiction.
Peggy gives the other woman a look up and down before nodding. "Okay… sweetie… what did you see?"
The other woman stretches her arm toward Peggy and clears her throat a little.
Peggy rolls her eyes. "No free lunches here I see," she says with a mocking tone.
The other woman is unaffected by Peggy's sass and jiggles her metal wristband a little.
"Fine," Peggy says and extends her arm. She touches her own metal bracelet to the other woman's. "Authorize 10 credit transfer."
A little beep lets both women know that the transfer was completed successfully.
"Thank you, sweetie," the serving woman says with a little smile. "I overheard that woman in the photo say she was going to Misty Point."
Peggy narrows her eyes a little. "Misty Point?" she asks, "Why Misty Point? There's nothing there but… rocks and fog."
"It's not like I stopped her and asked for details," the waitress says as she saunters deeper into the darkness of the bar.
Peggy bursts out into the crowded street and taps her wrist band. A virtual display appears in the air in front of her. She looks at the 'cabbie' icon and blinks twice. Within thirty seconds, a sky cab descends out of the haze above her. A cone of light envelopes the lovely PI and she is sucked upward into the waiting vehicle.
"Misty Point," she yells at the driver. "And step on it!"
The yellow sky cab joins the rivers of vehicles driving overhead and soon the city becomes a blur.
"An extra fifteen credits gets you there at double speed, Miss!" the tubby driver shouts over his shoulder.
"Fine!" Peggy shouts back with a scowl and extends her arm forward. Another little beep signals another successful monetary transaction and soon the sky cab is climbing even higher into the sky. The brunette is thrown back into the seat as all of the vehicle's engines come online.
Minutes later, the cab descends out of the sky and into a dense patch of fog.
"Thank you for choosing Rooster Sky Cab, Miss. Have a nice day."
Peggy barely has a chance to tumble out before the flying transport disappears back into the sky.
"Moron," Peggy says under her breath. "I should call in a complaint and have his license revoked."
Dusting herself off a little, she stands and taps her wrist device once more. A virtual menu appears before her and she blinks at an icon labeled 'thermal imaging' this time. Peggy slowly looks all around herself. A little grin passes through her lips as two body-shaped heat signatures appear ahead of her.
Pressing through the heavy mist, she pauses behind a small rocky outcropping and listens.
"Awww please don't, Miss. I swear, I won't tell no one about you! I swear it! I swear it on my grave!"
Peaking around the corner of her stony vantage point, she sees a slender man in ragged clothes on his knees, apparently begging for his life. A woman dressed in a black outfit, not unlike her own, stands with her back to Peggy.
The woman speaks. Her voice sounds ethereal - like it's from a different time and place. "Mortimer… you know I want to believe you."
A glimmer of hope appears in the man's eye and he vigorously nods his head. "Yes, Miss, yes! Believe me! I won't tell no one! You have my word!"
The woman in black stands silent as the pathetic man continues to grovel.
"I can… I can go then? Continue to serve you, will I, Miss?"
Peggy feels her heart begin to beat a little faster. She's pretty sure she knows what's going to come next, and she feels for the ray gun tucked into the back of her slacks.
"Mortimer, thank you for your service," the woman in black says. She stretches out her arm in his direction.
The beggar gets a visible gleam in his eye. "Payment, Miss? For me? So, you're pleased then? A few credits for me then? Five? Maybe… ten?" He begins fiddling with the metal bracelet on his boney arm.
The woman's hand begins to glow red. "Your service has come to an end."
Fear quickly replaces greed and the ragged man recoils. "No! No!" he shouts as red mist quickly envelopes him.
Peggy's stomach turns as the poor man's cries become a garbled mess of sound. Mercifully, the terrible act is over quickly. The red smoke retreats back into the woman's sleeve, leaving nothing but a pile of bones where the poor man once knelt.
"Got you now!" Peggy shouts as she vaults over the rocks in front of her, ray gun in hand. "Caught you red handed this time… Miranda!"
The other brunette slowly turns around, a look of pleasure on her face. "Well, well…" she purrs. "Peggy Nixon, private detective."
Peggy levels the ray gun at Miranda and powers it on. "No more games. Surrender! On your knees! Now!"
Miranda looks amused. "How long have you been tracking me for now? Two… three years?"
"I said 'no games', remember? Get on the ground!" Peggy shouts and motions with her blaster.
The woman in black continues to ignore the woman in grey's demands.
"And now here you are. Here we are… face to face… finally."
Peggy's weapon makes a low humming sound. "Don't make me kill you right here, right now. You need to answer for all the lives you've taken - the lives you've ruined!"
Miranda's eye open a little wider and a broad smile crosses her face. "Yes… Yes! The lives I have taken! Like, for instance… what was his name again? Steve?"
The name of Peggy's former lover sends a shiver down her spine and she narrows her eyes a little. Her index finger begins to slowly massage the blaster trigger.
The woman in black continues to taunt her. "Steve… handsome, manly Steve. I loved draining him of his life essence. I took my time with him. He was special. He deserved all my special atten—"
The ray gun in Peggy's hand fires. Then it fires again. Then again, and again, and again, and again.
Tears stream down her cheeks as blaster bolts briefly illuminate the dense fog all around them. Finally, the weapon overheats and is silenced. Peggy's finger refuses to stop pulling the trigger, but she lowers the ray gun anyway. Visibly shaking, she steps forward to examine the steaming body lying on the rocks in front of her.
She taps Miranda a few times with the end of the red, glowing muzzle. The super-heated tip makes a hissing sound as it burns the fabric it comes in contact with.
Emotion wells up within her and Peggy turns from the corpse. "It's over," she blubbers, her eyes filling up with tears. "It's finally over. I've avenged you, Steve."
A pair of bloodied arms suddenly embraces her from behind. "Indeed it is!" Miranda hisses into Peggy's ear. "Join me in oblivion, won't you?"
Before Peggy can cry out, a plume of red mist engulfs them both.
Misty Point has claimed its final victims.