To BUY on Audible: http://amzn.com/B01604IWKO
In an industrial area, known as the Chalk Pits, Eve drove her black car to a concealed area. From there she walked to a chalk cliff face, followed a footpath that zigzagged down to a white cavernous area. Once inside she pressed a button on her mobile phone. That button signalled to security that she was outside waiting.
Eve stood with her back to the wall, surveyed the area to make sure no-one could see her and stepped backwards the very second the door opened. She was now in a storage room, used for tools for the quarry – to an innocent but curious visitor that is all that it would ever be. In the corner was an old wardrobe where overalls, those luminous yellow safety jackets and bright yellow safety helmets were stored. Manipulating the coat hooks in the usual sequence resulted in the whole back wall swinging away to reveal a cubicle the size of a telephone box. In that cubicle there was nothing other than a secure storage for explosives.
Stepping lightly into the cubical, a sensor closed the door behind her and a discrete green light illuminated the confined space. She counted to ten and predictably the cubicle slowly rotated 180 degrees. A steel door slid back into the wall and she stepped into a plushly carpeted and discretely lit corridor. Almost in! Two more doors that were sensor controlled – a thumb print for the first and an eyelash follicle DNA scan for the second and finally she was in the CLAN headquarters.
‘You did well,’ said Gemma, the stocky security woman, said in a matter-of-fact sort of way. No real enthusiasm or warmth. Gemma had been sitting at a bank of screens that had monitored Eve’s descent into the quarry, and her transit through the security system. Gemma was short and solid with a mousey pony tail. She had an attractive face flawed with some pock marking from an attack of shingles only a few years ago. She had foolishly scratched and paid the price. In a certain light, or from a certain angle her face was hard, it revealed the perceptive side and underlined that she wouldn’t take any shit. If anyone so much as dared to enter the CLAN’s quarters without permission, she would efficiently electrocute them and transport the intruder to ‘the clean room’ where they would be ‘sanitized.’ Shoes cleaned, clothes minutely vacuumed in the way forensic investigators work at a crime scene; fingernails and hands chemically cleaned and then creamed. No vestige remained, no carpet fibre, no dust, and no chalk. Nothing that could pinpoint the CLAN’s location. What’s more, a day or so later they would return to consciousness in a random location completely unaware of where they had visited.
Gemma frowned while she scanned Eve. ‘You know I’m beginning to notice a pattern in your assassinations. You seem to be growing showier the more confident you get. Is there some kind of competition going on?’
Eve wasn’t falling for it. ‘No Gemma, there’s never any competition going on. That wanker was asking for it and to me it was the most effective way to take him out.’
Gemma smirked, Eve always took the bait. ‘Eve, I was only joking. Stop being so bloody serious!’
‘That’s how I am Gem.’ Eve shook her head, ‘Gemma if you worked doing what I do, then I doubt you’d be laughing hysterically every day.’
‘Have it your way. Anyway I will be doing what you do in a year or so when I complete my training. Oh! Talking of training, Madam wishes to see you. From what I can gather there’s someone for you to train up.’
‘But she knows I’m not willing to train anyone.’
‘I’m just telling you what I know. Don’t assassinate the bloody messenger!’
Eve smirked, ‘Sorry Gem... Thanks by the way.’
Eve, wearing her most simple black clothing, followed the white marble staircase through the endless pristine white corridors. At the end of the corridor was an interview room. The lights inside the room were bright and the room austere. Eve sat on the overly modern chair and attempted to make herself comfortable on its hard surface. She could not. Eve sighed, she hated the whole routine - she didn’t see the point.
After a short while a beep sounded and the whole wall retracted. Sue, a woman in her fifties, entered the room carrying a white laptop. Expressionless, just sharp, astute eyes under immaculately plucked eyebrows that arched perfectly, one of which revealed a tramline scar mirroring the exact arch of her left eyebrow.
Eve fiddled with the dry skin on her lip and watched Sue intently. Sue was a hunched, twisted woman with dark impossible to read eyes. Her hair was nondescript and her manner highly analytical. Her on-board sensors and antennas enabled her to analyse, assess and read every subtle gesture of every person who came into her presence. She constantly scanned for the slightest revealing subconscious motion and Eve hated it. Every time she met the woman she lifted her guard.
Something felt wrong, why didn’t she ever make eye contact? Eve followed Sue’s strident entry into the room; she appeared calm for someone wearing a permanent snarl. Eve never knew what to make of Sue and her facial scars. One thing was for certain: she wasn’t going to take any of Eve’s games, she never did.
Using her hand, Eve concealed a sigh, it was ‘necessary’ to be debriefed; it was the same routine they always followed. Of course ‘they’ had to check she wasn’t emotionally effected. Emotional suppression could endanger the whole operation. ‘They’, the management, perceived that such suppression would affect decisive decision-making. She had to be pronounced clear before she was given her next assignment. ‘They’ were always so meticulous when it came to the emotional self. It seemed ironic considering the rest of society was actively learning to suppress their inner-most feelings, to appear sane. Here, the CLAN actively forced the Feminas to face up to their emotions, their rage. That way they could let go. The view held was that the individual was more effective in their abilities and their thought process precise when emotional torment was released.
After what appeared to be an age, Sue sat down opposite Eve and silently prepared her notes and laptop. ‘Hello Eve,’ she said, once the neat paper shuffling and stacking exercise was complete.
‘Hello Sue.’ Was the automatic reply.
Sue sighed and glanced at her computer. ‘How are you feeling?’
‘The same.’ Eve said with a half shrug of her shoulders.
‘What does that mean?’ Eve responded incisively. ‘I’m just going through the motions - as always. I do my job, go home and get on with my life.’
Hadn’t Eve said this two or three times before in previous debriefings?
‘Your job is your life.’ Sue typed and did not remove her eyes from the screen.
Eve nodded, ‘Correct.’
Again, Sue didn’t glance up. ‘Nightmares?’
‘Are you taking sleeping tablets?’
‘No I work out and after a hot bath it takes me only moments to fall asleep.’
As though working down the checklist, Sue continued ‘Any physical aches or pain?’ ‘Nothing! I’m not repressing anything.’ Always the same questions, same answers. Eve fought to suppress visible irritation.
‘You always say that. Anything at all just tell me. Anyway we all repress and suppress things. You’re human not a vacuous robot. Now if you’re not effectively ‘feeling’ anything, it goes without saying that you must be diverting it elsewhere. Maybe the exercise is effectively transporting it away, but we don’t want you flipping out on us. Now as I said, we’re all human, so we all need a release. Is there anything you wish to tell me?’
‘He deserved it. He is dead. What more can I say? There, that’s my release!’ said Eve in a cool tone.
There was silence. Sue chewed the end of her pen and stared at her notes.
Eve began to tap. Very subtly, but in her usual groups of ten, her mind quickly relived the series of events. Eve consciously slowed her tapping, calmed her breath and then focused on a point directly ahead of her.
Sue shook her head, ‘Hardly a release Eve. More of an assumption on your part. Plus I know you’re far more complicated than that. God you’re a bloody tough nail to...’
‘Maybe I’m already hammered,’ retorted Eve barely concealing her anger. ‘Maybe that’s why I’m never affected. Anyway Sue I don’t need this analysis shit. I spend enough time self-analysing, doing unwinding release and I don’t need you to do it for me.’
‘Eve you only analyse from one point of view, you need objectivity. Sometimes it takes an outside party to understand the greater picture. Plus I would guess your self-analysis borders on self-obsession. You know it’s listed within your character profile: tendency to over analyse and generate unnecessary tension through repetition.’
Begrudgingly, Eve had to admit Sue was right, but that was what made her excel at what she did. Sue watched Eve’s reaction closely and then tapped her pen on the table and jiggled her leg. Eve didn’t like it; it was distracting and broke her own rhythm.
‘Do you really have to do that?’
‘About what?’ Asked Eve.
‘About your lack of emotional response. I find it perplexing. Do you ever laugh?’
‘Rarely. Sometimes at comedy.’
‘Do you cry?’
‘I once cried for days. Cried myself dry. I don’t cry anymore. I must be an emotional desert or something. Anyway you were there. You witnessed it. In fact you instigated it remember?’
Sue frowned at her computer screen. ‘Do you feel remorse?’
‘Of course I don’t! The bastards deserve what they get... well especially... nothing,’ she said sharply.
‘I think you need to finish that sentence Eve.’
‘Especially after what happened.’
Sue studied Eve’s empty eyes. ‘Do you get angry?’
‘Yes and as I told you before I run and run until it is out of my system.’
‘Would you say the last answer was defensive?’
‘No... I mean yes... Look I don’t see the point of all this. I do my job well. I always consider everything to the finest detail and...’
‘And it’s just too perfect Eve. That’s why I have to check you out. You know my role is to understand the intricacies of your mind. Only then can any plans be fool-proof. What’s more, I need to understand your vulnerabilities as well as your strengths. I have to find those chinks in your armour. And it makes it difficult when there doesn’t seem to be any and honestly Eve that’s a concern. You are like a wall.’
‘Maybe I’m a machine then.’
‘Don’t be ridiculous! Now do you get laid?’
‘That’s personal! God I hate this shit. You know I don’t - you know I don’t like personal interaction. God I hate that bloody question! Why do you have to ask me that?
‘Masturbation or getting laid?
‘Neither... Anyway what has that got to do with anything?’
‘If you get laid, you often sleep next to the person. Who’s to say you don’t reveal all your secrets in your sleep. They always emerge somewhere. Plus masturbation is common amongst schizoid personalities. It is suggested the act connects you to the world without having to experience intimacy. Remember you do fall into the schizoid category and your ultimate fear is loss of individuality,’ said Sue.
Eve clenched her fist, she was not a type! ‘Since you boxed me as a borderline schizoid you’ll remember I hate interaction. If I had the choice I wouldn’t be talking to you now. So the answer is no I do not get laid. Nor am I likely to. I don’t actually know any men.’ ‘Maybe you should. It might chill you out and put a smile on your face.’
Eve eyed Sue sharply, she was joking.
‘So it’s just the exercise then that you use to alleviate yourself.’
Eve sighed, ‘Yes that is exactly it. Running. That’s all. Actually no... biking as well... Plus weights and cabin exercise. Now can we get on?’
‘Do you feel tested?
‘Not really. I just feel as though I’ve fallen into a routine and my mind just goes through the motions. I have now worked out a system and don’t really feel tested. I do try and spice it up with more evolved techniques, but all that’s needed is a bit of research.’
Sue nodded and typed up her notes. ‘You know Eve; you’re the strangest one amongst the Feminas. The others cry and vent in this room. Not you. Remember when you build the walls they will ultimately be broken down. Now I suggest you find a way of emotional release. We don’t want your repression or suppression to affect your work. Maybe you should invest in a punch bag.’
‘I already have one.’
Sue looked Eve over. ‘Eve for someone so young you’re certainly straight faced. I find you fascinating; your eyes never show any expression. Your body language reveals nothing and nor do your eyes. There’s no laughter, no hatred, nothing. It’s as if you’re blank, robotic, an automation.’ Sue chewed her pen for a moment and watched Eve subtly tapping. Something about it bothered her, she noted it down.
Sue took a deep breath. ‘Eve you are clear... but mark my words I’m watching you. I have some concerns. If these concerns increase you’ll have to go through whitewash.’
Eve’s expression contorted, ‘What? I haven’t done anything wrong! I don’t want you messing with my mind again... Sue, I can assure you I don’t need to go through whitewashing.’
Sue, not speaking, studied the minute teeth marks at the end of her pen. Putting it down Sue tapped the keys recording Eve’s resistance to having her mental slate cleaned. ‘You don’t like letting go do you Eve? Does it make you feel out of control?’
Eve had anticipated Sue’s provocation. ‘Sue let’s be honest who likes experiencing their emotional pain physically? Do you?’
‘What else do you resist Eve?’
‘I resist liars, manipulation and being controlled. What about you Sue? You must have a few issues?’ Sue did not answer. Expressionless, she closed her laptop and gathered her notes. ‘Eve I’m watching you. Some of your behaviours indicate something is amiss, just not quite right and I can’t put my finger on it right now. I don’t know what it is yet, but if anything slips, mark my words it will be time to face your demons again. Now you may continue onto your next assignment.’
‘Thank God for that! And... thank you!’
Sue paused. ‘I mean it Eve, we’re all human. We all carry emotional baggage. We all carry our past. And whether we like it or not it will catch up with us no matter what you think. I say this because I care. You have been working with us for two years now and not one iota of emotional release. Internally you must be like a shaken bottle of coke. That tells me something is due to snap. Stress and repressed emotions always break out in some form. You may not know what that form is yet, but emotional darkness is lying dormant somewhere. It might just be something simple like you develop a habit. You can run from your problems, but they will run with you until one day you will be forced to face them.’
Eve sighed, ‘Sue don’t worry about me. I’m not that kind of person. I never will be.’ ‘Then I pity you.’
‘Emotion and emotional release enable you to experience life more vividly.’
‘That’s your opinion and I don’t share it. You are not me, so therefore you will never experience life in the same way as I do. Now I must see ‘Madam.’
Sue stood and watched Eve leave.
Eve sensed she was being observed and glanced in the reflective surface that she knew concealed a camera. Big mother recorded every word, every facial expression and every involuntary action or nervous tic. From the reflected image, Eve could see that Sue was still frowning and as she gathered up her papers and let out an audible sigh.
For a moment she paused and glanced over her shoulder, should she say something? ‘Sue... don’t feel sorry for me.’
‘I don’t. I sympathise with what you’ve been through and survived. The little girl in you has been locked away. That is what saddens me. Although, the experience has made you what you are - a professional killer with no emotion. The CLAN is grateful. Your experience has driven you.’
Eve blinked, studied Sue then continued out of the door, Madam was waiting.
OTHER BOOKS by Ruby Allure:
AUDIBLE LINK FOR A SHORT COURSE IN CREATIVE WRITING: http://amzn.com/B01390THLK
TO BUY MONEY FARM ON AMAZON.com http://amzn.com/B010F04W9O