Winter Kill – Chapter Four

Previous chapters:

The Azren Chronicles: Winter Kill – Chapter One

Winter Kill – Chapter Two

Winter Kill – Chapter Three

Do you remember that secret blogger cast member that I mentioned at the start of the first chapter? Well, that secret blogger is being introduced in this chapter!!! The blogger is:

*drum roll please*

Britchy!!!!

So, I hope you’re all now excited for this chapter and that you are enjoying the story. Now on with the story!!!


“Tell me again, why did you agree?”

Bond glanced over at his boss, Rue, after he posed the question. She glanced back at him briefly, then turned back to scanning the crowd for Racquel.

“I think that I need-”

“An escape?”

There was a pause. “Fresh air.”

He nodded slowly at her response then spotted a flash of black and red in the crowd heading towards them. He looked closer. Is that…?

“Ah! There she is!” Rue exclaimed and waved both her hands to get Racquel’s attention. Racquel pushed and shoved her way through the big crowd and breathed a sigh of relief when she caught up with them. She was wearing black trousers, red button-up shirt, black button-up jacket, and high heels.

She was also wearing a handbag slung over her shoulder and was carrying a clipboard and a pen. “I’m so sorry I’m late,” she quickly apologised. “Frantic yesterday. Was tired and ended up sleeping through my alarm. Resulted in a morning rush and Heavy traffic.” She paused as she pulled out her wallet from her handbag.

“We call that ‘Tuesday’ where I’m from,” Bond quipped.

Racquel chuckled and looked at both of them. “How late am I?”

“Twenty minutes,” Rue replied. Bond rolled his eyes.

Racquel groaned. “Oh no! Come on! We have to hurry to get our tickets!”

“Rue’s messing with you,” Bond piped up, shooting said person a well-deserved glare. “You’re only a minute late.”

Racquel shot Rue a glare and stormed off to the check-in. “That was cruel,” Bond whispered out of the side of his mouth. “You nearly gave her a panic attack.”

They found themselves at the end of a long line. Oh, that’s just great, Bond mentally groaned.

Twenty minutes later…

The airport assistant finished typing something on the computer and then handed Bond his ticket. “Your ship is departing from Gate Z in…an hour, Mr Steve Bond. Have a safe flight.”

“Thank you,” Bond grunted as he took his card and ticket, sliding his card into his wallet as he ran over to Rue and Racquel, who were standing off to the side, waiting for him as they had already gotten their tickets.

“Come on,” Racquel said as they headed towards Gate Z. “Let’s go.”

Three hours later…

Rue threw down the magazine. “What’s the matter?” Racquel asked, glancing up at her from all the legal papers infront of her.

“There’s nothing interesting to read!” Rue groaned, flopping down on a chair next to Racquel. She gave her a big puppy-dog eye look in good humour. “Did you bring any thrillers along with all that legal stuff?”

Racquel smirked. “Yes, as a matter of fact, I did,” she replied.

Rue shot up. “Really?”

Racquel nodded. “In my case I’m working on, there’s these thrilling details about two estranged brothers fighting over the ownership of their late father’s cat,” she said with a straight face.

Rue groaned. “Very funny,” she mouthed.

“You know, I wouldn’t complain about having a hand,” Racquel offered.

Rue gave a dismissive wave of her hand. “Thanks, but no thanks. I don’t understand all that legal mumbo-jumbo.”

“I could explain the meanings to you, if you like.”

“A sad, wasted effort,” Bond said over dramatically as he came into the rest room with a bottle of wine.

Rue was confused. “What are you talking about?”

He shrugged as he sat down next to Racquel, then turned to face her. “Rue’s brain does not warm up until after lunch time. Then only until 6 p.m.

Rue’s mouth gaped like a fish’s gasping. “That’s not true! I function like a well-oiled machine all day.”

“That’s lacking a little too much oil,” Bond deadpanned.

Rue huffed and slouched in her seat, crossing her arms across her chest. “You haven’t provided any proof for your statement,” Rue replied smugly.

Bond adopted an equally smug tone of voice. “Like the time after 7 at night Jones was busy and asked you for a hot chocolate? You gave him a coffee. With no milk.”

“I hadn’t made coffee in years. It slipped my mind.”

“That’s beside the point. Jones asked for a hot chocolate.”

Rue saw out of the corner of her eye Racquel lean back in her seat, watching the two of them, a grin on her face. “He was busy. Muttered it as he was passing me. I simply misheard because he wasn’t speaking clearly on his request,” Rue defended herself. “That’s not evidence.”

Bond nodded slowly, looking as if he was considering her point of view. “But,” and he raised a finger, “I was in the room. I heard him ask quite clearly for a cocoa.”

“No, not true.”

Bond raised that darn annoying finger!! again and flashed a booklet infront of her that he had gotten from his jacket pocket. “I even took the liberty of recording in this book as I knew I would need this for just such an occasion.”

Rue gaped. He didn’t.

Bond handed it to Racquel. Racquel was struggling not to laugh as she read the page he showed her. After she handed it back to him, he said, “Racquel, would you care to cross-examine her?”

Rue shot him a baleful look. “Well, Rue?” Racquel’s grin grew impossibly wider. “How do you plead?”

Rue seethed as she glared at his oh-so-smug face. “Guilty.”

Bond shrugged. “I rest my case.”

“Hang on! That’s only one shred of evidence!” she protested, stupidly too.

“How ’bout the time you tried to sing?” Bond said.

“I can sing.”

Bond raised an eyebrow. “It sounded like the orchestra were murdering their instruments.”

That really irked Rue. “Rubbish! I am perfectly capable of doing such a thing.”

Bond sighed. “You need to provide proof for your statement,” he replied smugly.

Oh, shit. “The very next time I get a chance, I will sing,” she stated. I just need to practice before then. Won’t even happen, in all probability.

“Who wants to sing the next karaoke song?” a woman asked over a microphone on a stage.

Rue slid down further in her seat. Please don’t do it, Bond. PLEASE don’t!!

“Good. Because here’s your chance,” Bond said ever-so-helpfully.

How did I get talked into this? Rue fumed as she stood up.

“Excuse me?” a voice said right behind Bond.

Bond and Racquel jumped and turned around.

It was a little girl with red hair. She looked innocent enough…then again, there was that scheming gleam in her eye. “Is it alright if I have one of those magazines?” she asked.

“Oh, it’s just a kid,” Bond said, sounding quite relieved.

An evil smirk appeared on the girl’s face. “Keep underestimating me, Butkus. It’s going to be such fun!”

Rue decided to go ahead and like her. Then she realized that she had seen this girl before. Her name’s…

“You’re that famous stand-up comedian, uh…Britchy, right?” Rue asked.

“Oh, so she’s not…” Bond trailed off. “Very sorry, ma’am.”

Britchy shook her head in bemusement as she pilfered some of the magazines and sat down next to Rue. Is that even safe? “You steamin’ great wassock!”

That evening…

They had made one stop during the afternoon. They were now nearing their next stop – a planet called Photoria. Rue tapped her watch and scrolled through the logistics of the planet. Better safe than sorry.

Photoria was the fifth planet from the sun in the Imdali Nebula System. Photoria was a terrestrial planet with an oxygen-rich atmosphere. A layer of single-celled photosynthetic organisms covered the entire surface of the planet, which gave it a uniform appearance and a vivid green colour.

She stroked her chin. It was a scarcely populated planet, but had some of the richest food sources in the Imdali Nebula System and had a lot of technological advancements.

Rue then checked the ship’s schedule. They were going to be in Photoria for three days, then continue on it’s route to Tarlyle.

Might be a great place to go on a sight-seeing trip, she figured.

A cough behind her startled her.

Oh. Bond.

“Where’s Racquel and Britchy?” Rue enquired.

“They’re having dinner. Discussing fashion, Britchy’s latest antics and whatnot.” Bond paused. “Does anything seem off to you about this whole trip?”

“Yes. When Racquel was explaining the reasons why she came to us, she made an off-hand remark about recent ‘scares’ with Ver’thad. Plural. We only knew about one – him stealing Azren’s data chips,” Rue replied.

Bond nodded. “I had the same thoughts. We only knew about that one – why haven’t we heard about the others? We keep close tabs on things in our galaxy. Seems strange that we haven’t heard about the others.”

Rue nodded. “But what else has Ver’thad been stealing? Has he been stealing other things from Azren other than the data chips that we haven’t been told about? Or on other planets? Or both?”

“I wonder what are on the data chips? What was so ‘critical’? And why was Ver’thad after them? Why didn’t he kill us as well as Jones? Why did he let us get away with the data chips while killing Jones as a ‘lesson’?” Bond wondered.

“What’s this legal case going on in Tarlyle? Is there more we’ve been brought along to protect?” Rue theorised.

Bond shrugged. “Racquel’s always struck me as the honest through-and-through type. I don’t think that she would lie to us about what this trip – or, if she did, it’s because she has been ordered to keep us in the dark. Maybe we’re running to conclusions about this trip. I just can’t shake the feeling that there’s something more going on.”

“Or maybe there’s nothing to this trip at all,” Rue yawned.

BOOM!!!

Screams filled the air.

BOOM!!!

Rue and Bond ran over to the dining room. It was now dark. One or two lights were flickering. Bond pressed a button twice on the side of his watch and it turned on a torch in the watch. Shining it around, they spotted Racquel and Britchy crouching on the floor, hiding partially underneath the table.

Running over, Rue noticed Racquel looked rather shaken while Britchy seemed angry, but otherwise unperturbed. “You two alright?” Rue enquired.

“What a terrible tragedy,” Britchy sighed. “I spilled a glass of Bordeaux. It was fabulous.”

A torchlight shone on them. Rue turned around and saw the ship’s captain and crew entering the dining room. “There’s been an explosion on an upper level,” the captain announced. Shouts quickly filled the room. The captain raised his hands for silence. “We are evacuating you to the lower levels while we attempt to fix the problem. Please come quickly and quietly.”

Helping Britchy, Racquel, and some nearby children up, Bond and Rue began heading out with the rest of the passengers. Rue and Bond hung back to speak to the captain. “Captain?” Rue said as the Captain passed, helping take the people to the lower levels.

“Make it quick.”

“I’m the Avenger. This is Bond. What caused the explosion?”

“Main pipe.”

Yeah, right. “Is there anything we can do to help?”

“Yeah. Keep out of the way.” And the captain left with five of his men.

“Well, if he thinks that, he’s in for a rude awakening.”

Rue turned and saw the speaker was Britchy. “Go down with the others.”

“Why? You don’t think that I can handle it?”

“Emm…”

“I have defending myself from many animals of the male species before. Several times,” and with that, she headed off after the Captain.

Rue sighed and looked at Bond. “Come on. We better make sure that she doesn’t hurt herself.”


The Captain and four of the men with him came out of a room wearing space suits. They must be going outside to fix the damage. Before climbing up a ladder, Rue heard the Captain tell the fifth man to stay behind and ‘keep an eye on things’. After they climbed up the ladder, Rue saw the fifth man touch his earpiece. “They’ve gone up. You can go in now.”

Oh ho. A mole. For pirates?

“We need to stop them,” Bond whispered in Rue’s ear.

“Agreed,” Britchy said and broke cover, waltzed over to the guard, who was eyeing her with a mixture of interest and suspicion.

“I can’t watch,” Rue said and covered her eyes. Bond winced.

WHACK!!

SNAP!!

There were several other unidentifiable sounds and then, “Come on! He’s ready to talk!”

Without a word, Rue and Bond broke cover and went over to where a grinning Britchy was standing over the bound soldier hanging from the collar of his coat on the wall. How the hell did she accomplish that?

“Where are the others going? The ones you just contacted?” Rue demanded. The man simply glared. Britchy took a step forward and the man let out a whimper and cowered backwards.

“To the cargo hold!” he stammered, eyes wide with fear.

With a curt ‘thank you’ Britchy then headed off towards the cargo hold.

Bond looked at Rue. “Hire her.”


Arriving at the cargo hold, Rue and Bond pulled out their guns. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw Britchy holding a large wrench. Okay. Where did she get that? She considered actually asking the question, but, judging by the look on Britchy’s face, Rue decided it was not wise.

Bond stepped forward and took the cover of the keypad next to the cargo hold door, then planted a tiny electronic bug inside, which would decrypt the door’s four-digit code so that they could get inside.

Finding out the code, Bond punched in the number – Rue saw that it was ‘4-3-2-1’ – and the door slid open. Backs against the wall, they crept inside…

…and immediately ducked when they saw a group of six people in military attire with guns and head torches checking through the suitcases, boxes, and cartons.

Crawling closer, they heard two of the men talking. “Where is it?”

“I don’t know where the Polychora is,” another man snapped. “Just keep searching!”

What’s a Polychora?

“I’ve got an idea! Turn on your scanners,” man #2 suddenly piped up. “It has an energy pulse. We’ll be able to detect it easily with the scanner.”

Energy pulse? Military get-up? This isn’t run-of-the-mill space robbers. And why is it amongst the passenger’s cargo?

A gun cocked.

Right behind them.

Rue slowly turned around and saw a tall woman standing behind them, pointing a gun at her. Flanking her on both sides, were two men in military uniform, and pointing guns at Bond and Britchy. The woman had reddish-brown hair, cool grey eyes and was holding her gun loosely, but confidently, with one hand at the hip. Rue knew then that she was experienced with a gun. The woman’s hair was in a bun and she had a black mask covering the lower half of her face, only her eyes and forehead were showing. She was wearing a grey singlet, short shorts and a pair of grey running sneakers.

“Well, well, well,” the woman tutted. “The three blind mice.”

Rue heard Britchy open her mouth. “Shh!” Rue whispered.

The woman turned to Britchy, but her gun was still trained on Rue. “Yes, missy. Please be quiet.”

Britchy huffed, but said nothing. Thankfully.

The woman turned her attention back to all three of them. She cocked her head quizzically. “Though, where’s the other one? Jones? He’s always with you two,” and she pointed with her free hand at Rue and Bond. “Oh! That’s right. He’s dead. Blown to bits.”

“How did you know about that?” Rue said, her voice low, but deadly.

The woman leaned forward, a smug smile in her eyes. “Because I took the fatal shot.”

Rue lunged forward.

Two pairs of hands gripped her.

She saw a flash of movement behind the three. Leaned back.

“Winter!” one of the people called as the person came over. The woman turned to speak to the person – a man. So that’s her name. “It’s not here.”

The woman – Winter – tensed. In a blur of motion, she whipped around and hit Rue on the forehead with the butt of her rifle. Everything swirled around her. Blinking, everything came back into a blurry focus.

“So,” Winter hissed, “where’s the Polychora? Hmm?”

“We don’t know,” Bond replied.

Winter gave a barking laugh. “Bullshit.”

“Yes, you are, chicken noodle,” Britchy shot back. Winter levelled the gun at her head. Finger rested on the trigger. Someone jumped down on top of the men, knocking him out cold.

Racquel?

It distracted Winter. Bond kicked her in the shins. She lunged at him with a knife. He twisted it out of her hand, slicing her hand and leg. Rue tried to stand, but her head felt heavy and she felt dizzy.

Racquel punched the other man in the jaw. Swung a roundhouse kick, grinding her high-heels into his nose. He let out a howl of pain and ran away.

Then Rue noticed that Winter had disappeared and that Bond was nursing a sore arm. Finally getting a grip, she stood up.

Bang! Bang! Bang!

Diving to the ground, Rue cocked her gun and raised at the nearest soldiers, and pulled the trigger in a steady fire. Three of them dropped, leaving three standing. The surviving three took various cover positions behind the boxes.

Rue, Bond, and Britchy jumped to their feet and hid behind some boxes. A bullet pinged off the boxes right next to her ear.

Rue then realised that Racquel and Britchy weren’t with them.

In fact, they were both rushing towards two of the sniper positions taken by two of the three surviving robbers.

Racquel was holding a crowbar.

Britchy had raised the wrench. As well as the level of profanities that came out of her mouth at one time.

Oh, come on.

As Racquel and Britchy engaged in a fight, Rue saw the tip of the third gun aiming at Racquel and Britchy. Rue and Bond raised their guns and fired at the spot where the third one was.

A body fell down.

Running out from where they were hiding, Bond and Rue saw Racquel and Britchy standing by the two unconscious robbers. Racquel and Britchy high-fived. “Yeah! Take that!” Racquel whooped.

Rue looked over to her left…

…and saw Winter running away.

Rue ran after her.

Winter looked over her shoulder. Spotted her. Pulled something out of a pocket. Pressed a button.

She vanished.

Just like that.


‘Steve’, as far as I know, is NOT bottomlesscoffee007’s real first name. I made it up with his permission.

Yes, I function properly all day. That conversation was probably a bit silly. But I did it for laughs and I personally LOVED taking the mickey out of myself.

Britchy’s line ‘Keep underestimating me, Butkus. It’s going to be such fun!’ is BASICALLY what she told me she would say in such a situation. I just inserted the ‘Butkus’ for laughs. I apologise if that was too much. When I remarked that she was ‘that famous stand-up comedian’, I was referencing her great blog and the fact that she is – justifiably and understandably – so darn popular!

Ladies, I hope you two enjoyed your kickass roles in this chapter. I was laughing so much as I wrote it and I hope you two were as well.

Yes, there is more going on. Hope you are enjoying the story so far.

COPYRIGHT

All novels and short stories on this blog are the works of @rue202 and Racheal’s Novels Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without the express and written permission of the author is strictly not allowed. You may use excerpts and links or reblogs of this material provided that complete and clear credit is given to rue202 and Racheal’s Novels with clear directions to the original content.

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