Dark Side of a Star: Midnight Raid
The screen was dimly lit, but it was still clear that there was a figure on the floor."You killed Santa Claus?" Bel asked, almost too sweetly.
"Not exactly."Keir retrieved the figure's bloody beard and held it up."The perv had the nerve, the absolute gall, to come sneaking down here for the sex show while still dressed as Santa. Probably came straight from bouncing kids on his knee and finding out what they wanted under the tree. If that's not worthy of a stabbing, I don't know what is."
"So you know what's happening down there," SimMan intoned.
"Of course I do." Keir flashed his sword at the screen. "That's why I come here. I'm like a minotaur in the maze, ready to shishkebab every perv who follows his dick here instead of his brain."
Korri spoke up. "We need to break some girls out of there. Would you be willing to help us?"
"Well, they don't bother me, and I don't bother them. So, I'll show you how to get in, and assuming you get out, if anyone follows you into the tunnels, I'll deal with them."
"How will you know who's who?" Alexia asked.
Keir thought about it.
"Have everyone who's escaping, run to my left when they see me. I'm right handed, so I'll try to avoid anyone coming in that direction who's not trying to stab me."
SimMan looked at the others in the room."You realize this doesn't end the trafficking problem. And whoever it is doing this can just pick up and start elsewhere."
"Yeah," Tassy replied. "But it won't be in our neighborhood.""And it might get some, or all of you killed."
"Maybe they should be afraid of us!" Benny added.
SimMan chuckled to himself
"Let's hope so."
They left SimMan's house.
"We'll all need weapons. You all got any?" Benny asked.
"I do!" Bel volunteered.
"Those of you who don't, there's a guy I know. He runs a bar..."
Benny turned in surprise, and looked at Korri.
"You know him?"
Tassy smiled. "She used to know him a lot better."
Korri blushed as the girls laughed. Toreda was a hard, bitter man who knew the streets. But she still harbored a soft spot for him.
And as they walked into the bar, she saw Toreda pause a bit when she came to where he was standing. He looked all businesslike when they explained what they needed, and told them to meet after closing time to pick up what they needed.
As they walked away, Toreda motioned for Korri to come back over.
He drew her close.
"It's not my business," he whispered. "But what ever you're doing, be quick. And be careful."
She pulled away slightly and looked back.
"I will," she said, softly. "Thanks."
On New Year's Eve, they assembled the team in Amy's kitchen. Sana brought dark clothes for the party, who all brought their weapons. Bel brought two, including a holstered pistol.
Primero took a sushi roll and placed the six pieces on the table. He lay the knife in front.
"After we clear the door, Sana will lead. First sign of trouble, she deploys a smokescreen and falls back behind the second line. Korri, Tassy, and I will advance first. We'll engage the guards when we see them."
"Bel, Benny, and Lexy will advance behind us. When you get a chance, go around or through us and make your way to the door. Shoot the door lock if you have to, and take the girls around and back."
"Remember," Lexy added. "Run to the right, Keir's left, when you leave the door on the way out."
The five guards were watching the show in the arena above them. A girl, mesmerized by the gas, gyrated for customers on the stage, while Rosebery's most despicable citizens watched. They were all surprised by the sudden burst of activity from the door.
Primero, flanked by Tassy and Korri, charged through the smoke. As the guards joined the melee, Sana peered through the smoke and saw Lexy's hair as she and the others headed for a door.
Six girls were huddled in the darkened room. All of them were partially dressed either in the clothes they had come in for the My Morning Star auditions, or in schoolgirl outfits. They listened when Benny invoked them to leave quickly.
The guards were distracted by the gunshot. Tassy took advantage and plunged a knife into a guard's belly. One of the rescued girls screamed when she saw the guard's blood; Benny grabbed her arm and pulled her toward the hallway.
Keir stood, impatiently.
I really want to stab somebody, he kept telling himself. They promised!
He watched for Sana's signal, trying to will her into giving it.
Sana saw the first of the girls run towards her. She waved the agreed signal for NO.
Keir continued to grumble, as the first of the girls ran by him. He could feel his palms sweat as he readied himself.
As Benny and the last girl ran past, Sana waved her arms to signal YES. She also set off an airhorn to signal Primero and the girls to retreat. The blast lifted Keir's spirits. He watched as Korri came out the door, followed by Tassy, Sana, and Primero. As a guard came up on Primero, he halted, as Keir's blade disappeared into his torso.
The swordsman reveled in his victim's gasp. He retrieved his blade, and plunged it into the figure behind the first. And another. And another.
It was a good day.