Mute’s first job was a blazing success in the eyes of whoever the fuck the employer was. The payment was made and then Mute was rewarded with a bag full of Werks, the currency up here in Eve. Small coloured marbles, the colour signifying value. Of course Mute had no idea so when he was paid he was somewhat confused. But he just sort of took it in stride.
He left quickly for Yuki’s pad, he was tired. After all, getting your ass kicked raw tires you out. He and Yuki both walked home. Apparently her and Save had worked out some sort of legal stuff. But she, and soon Mute, would both be hired as licensed mercs with Hit and Miss Mercenary Core.
Mute still dreamed of being alive that night. He dreamt of his last girlfriend before he died. She had long hair all the way down to her knees and it blew in the wind. They used to spend entire days sitting in the park just outside of the downtown district. They would lie in the grass and just stare up at the clouds, usually high. He awoke in a sweat again.
He exited the bathroom to see Yuki sitting on the couch and holding his bag full of what passed for money up here. She looked up at him and set it down on the table. He was drying out his hair with the towel.
“Hey, we should go pick up some clothes before we head in today. I mean how many days do you want to wear the same sweater?”
Mute looked at his turquoise turtleneck sweater. He died in that. He kinda disliked and was fond of the thought. But she was right. “Yeah, I wouldn’t mind getting some clothes.” He walked over and letting the towel rest on his shoulder picked up the bag of Werks. Inside were several different coloured marbles of small size. “So how much did I get paid again?” Mute asked not looking away from the bag.
“Uh,” Yuki crossed her legs and leaned back, resting her hands on the back of her head. “Like five hundred.”
Mute slipped the bag into his satchel, which is also where his shotgun was currently calling home, also a Mac 10, MP5, and a couple 1911’s. Guns, he was ecstatic about them being in his bag. He slipped the bag on over his black shirt that was usually hidden under his sweater. “Well let’s go.”
“Not gonna wear your sweater?”
Mute shook his head. Turning to the window. “It’s way too hot for that.”
The streets were rather crowded, it reminded him of pictures of crowded Japanese streets. He breathed in deep. He actually really like this idea of the afterlife. Maybe Welder was right and he was different than most. Though he still had that constant feeling that something wasn’t quite right.
Harkin’s Clothes, fine dress wear for fine men. It lay on Marcoss Street just a few blocks east of Yuki’s place. Mute found himself, with Yuki, inside it. It was just as the slogan stated, fine dress clothes. Suits and vests, dress pants and stylish shoes. Mute admired a nice slim fitting black suit. Really simple but a great material.
“I see you have a good eye,” A man dressed as nice as one would expect here. “Simple but very well made.”
Mute smiled at the man. “Yes, indeed. How much is it?”
The man walked over to the suit and picked up the sleeve. “This one, is actually on a sale this week.” He smiled at Mute. “Four sixty five. And it even comes with a free set of handgun holster, personal design.”
Mute could get it, and he was going to. “I will take it.”
Mute stood there in his suit. It fit like a dream. Like it was made for him. He smiled at himself in the mirror and thought how good he looked. He looked back at Yuki who flashed him a thumbs up. The man stood just to the right of Mute admiring how it fit.
“Look at that, made for you,” The man then made his way to the counter. “Now, would you like to wear that out?”
Mute put the bag on the counter and the man who had revealed himself to be Willem Harkin, the owner and creator of the store and all clothes inside picked out Werks. Nine purples, a gold, and a silver. Mute quickly figured out what the values of each of those were. Willem then pulled out a double holster which was meant to fit comfortable under a suit and placed it on the counter. Mute grabbed it. As Mute slipped off his jacket and slipped on the holsters, Willem explained something.
“Not I understand that Eve can get a little rough on the streets. So I include a damage policy on all purchased clothes. The first five repairs are free. I also repair anything, so even if you didn’t buy it here feel free to bring it in to get repaired.”
Mute thanked Willem and slipped two of the 1911’s in the holster.
Mute entered Save’s at around one with Yuki. Luckily for him the holster for his Blackhawk did not stick out so he would not need Welder to modify it at all. Save looked up from a book which he was reading on the counter. He whistled at Mute. “He check this hot sunnuvabitch out!” Save yelled into the store. A young looking girl looking at a Glock 18c looked up at Mute and checked him out.
Mute scratched at the back of his head smiling wryly. “Yeah yeah, I got some new duds.”
Save walked from behind the counter and threw his arm around Mute. “I would say! Hey Welder come check out Mute’s sick new threads!” He yelled at the curtains that lead to Welder’s workroom.
Welder poked his head out of the curtain. He smiled at Mute. “Looking quite good Mute, did you pick that up last night?” Welder asked.
Mute shook his head. “Nah, just before I came here.” He opened the jacket and showed of the holsters. “It came with these bad boys!”
Welder came out of his room and right up to Mute with an excited pace. “Whoa those are quite nice!” He lifted one side up. “Impeccable craftsmanship.”
Mute was beaming.
Save threw his arm around Yuki. “It’s a good thing you two are here today.” They began to walk to the back room behind the counter. “I’ve got a job both of you can do.”
In the backroom today were two odd looking characters. One was a short and thin girl with marble like skin, in fact her skin was marble. She had black eyes with white crosses as pupils and long white hair. She was extremely pretty and her face was covered with thick metal rings and piercings. She smiled at Mute. The other was a tall also very thin man. His skin was also mostly marble but some parts seemed to be made out of wire work and gears, as if the skin had fallen off to reveal a robotic underbelly. He was handsome and had short black hair. His eyes were the exact opposite colours as the girl. He didn’t look at Mute.
Mute smiled at the girl but was also perplexed by their appearances.
“Well look who it is.” Save said as he walked up to the table. “How’s it go, Shift?”
The man looked up at Save for a moment then quickly towards Mute and Yuki then back down to the map on the table. “Fine, who are they?” His tone was dull and disinterested.
“These are the two newest members of our little core,” Save waved his hand over to each of them. “This is Mute, he’s a bluie but he’s got some promise, and this is Yuki, sort of a veteran of freelance.”
The girl smiled at them. “It’s a pleasure to meet you two. My brother is pleased to, but he’s just bad at showing his emotions.”
Shift groaned at his sister.
“These two strange people are Resin and Shift. They’re sort of, like, robots I guess.”
Shift held up his hand, “We’re synthetic people. We have souls inside of us but everything else is artificial. We were created, much like a machine, but we are more than simple robots,” He put his hand down. “And yes, it is nice to meet you too,” He looked at Mute. “Mute Bluie eh?”
“Actually it’s Jaco-“ Mute began to say.
“Mute Bluie, hey I like that,” Save interrupted him.
Mute groaned mildly. He hoped that would not remain his nickname forever. He always had bad luck with nicknames. “It’s actually Mute Jacobs. But it is nice to meet you two as well.”
Save walked around the desk to go retrieve the job folder.
“So you’re synthetic? How did you get made?” Mute asked very curious.
Resin smiled at him. “Our father was a very smart man, he also could conjure souls. He put us together with machine parts and empty souls. Our skin is something like marble but much stronger than any material you’d find here.”
Mute stared blankly at her. She was very beautiful and his words got lost.
“How we were made is somewhat of a mystery to ourselves. Our father never explained it, and we don’t really talk to him anymore.” Shift said, eyes staying down on the map.
Save gave the job folder to Yuki and then passed a small parcel to Mute. “This, is a very important job. This parcel must make it to the G.B. Tower in the center of the city, by today. You cannot open the parcel or lose it or have it stolen from you. There will be people out there looking for it. It can only be relieved to the secretary’s hands, you got that?”
Mute nodded nervously and looked back at Yuki. She gave him a worried look.
“Now you two should be able to handle this, just keep your heads down and be quick about it.” Save smiled. “When you get back we’ll go out for drinks on me!”
Mute and Yuki walked down the streets towards the G.B. Tower. The G.B. Tower was a large looming structure which was visible from every section of Eve. It was at the cross section of all the main districts. The tower was thousands of stories tall and made of a mish mash of different architectures. Some parts looked like a normal sky scraper while others looked like something from 16th century Venice. The thing had a lot of mystery and speculation surrounding it. No one was quite sure what it’s purpose was. Some say at the top resides The Controller, a figure of myth that controls all of Eve and is very close in power to God himself. That is probably not true though.
The sun was shining down hard today and Mute had to slip his suit jacket into his satchel to avoid overheating. Mute had always disliked the sun, but in the shady streets it wasn’t too bad. People were out today, dressing light and having drinks. The front tables of restaurants and bars that sat in the streets were full. The curbs and stoops of convenience stores were all occupied by the bodies of those enjoying the weather.
Mute and Yuki had made it within a block of the G.B. Tower. The Tower seemed even more looming than from the other side of Waytown. The top stretched high above visible sight. Mute stared in awe.
“Okay right down this alley and we’ll be there,” Yuki said, she sounded anxious. “Keep your eyes open, this has been going to smoothly.”
They entered the long alleyway. It was completely empty and lines of drying clothes lead their way up the sides all the way to the top. Along with walkways leading between the two building between the fire escapes. There were a few people sitting up on the walkways smoking and talking.
Damon Alevaro, a young demon of the Seether class, sat high above Hale Alley and looked out over the buildings of Waytown. He so did love the city scape of Eve, specifically of Waytown. His personal favourite detail was the street sights that were on the roofs for rooftop travelers. He smiled his jagged smile and then checked down into the alley. Two mercenary looking types had just entered. He pulled out a small slip of paper with some notes scrawled on it. He looked up at the clear skies high above him and at the ever constant tower. He stood up and out stretched his arm. A long lance appeared in his hand.
“Living and dying, there is very little difference.”
A sharp intuition hit Yuki, and she thrust her hand out to Mute. Mute staggered to the left from Yuki’s push. He was about to ask why she had pushed him but his words were sliced by a long lance flying into the ground just where he had been standing. Yuki removed a knife from the belt of them she had around her waist. A curved crescent shaped blade, almost like a talon.
Mute stared for a moment when it occurred to him to get his 1911’s out from their resting places. As he did a figure fell down from the alley’s sky. He landed to the ground hard but seemed to not be too affected by the impact.
“Mercenaries I presume. Carrying something,” He looked up at Yuki and Mute with his jagged teeth. “Confidential,” It was not a question.
Yuki stepped in front of Mute. “Stay back, this guy looks demonic.”
Mute took her order and decided to stay behind her.
Damon stood up and let a Halberd appear in his hand. Mute’s jaw dropped. Mute was new to Eve and had yet to come into contact with a demon, well sort of. The materialization of the halberd did not surprise Yuki however. She knew instantly what he was.
“I was right,” She looked back at Mute. “Find another way around, I’ll handle this guy.”
Mute nodded and ran off down the other end of the alley.
“So a seether huh? You must be a Black Flag.”
Damon smiled at Yuki. “Well I could also be one of Revekers. But you’re right none the less.”
Yuki returned the smile. “Nah, you don’t look the Revekers type, your sweater is too nice.”
Damon looked down at his sweater. “Oh you like this?”
Suddenly Yuki was interrupted by an eruption of gun fire. She looked back to see the street behind her filled with flying metal. She darted back to go to Mute’s rescue. Damon lept forward arcing over top of Yuki. He thrust the halberd down towards her. She saw it and quickly jumped back. Damon swung the axe of the halberd at her from the ground, she side stepped it. Damon landed back down on the alley floor and smiled at Yuki.
“Quick, I like that.” Damon lunged forward for Yuki, thrusting at her with the spear tip. “Hate boring fights!”
Yuki dove over the attack and over Damon, slicing at his left shoulder as she did. Damon sent the end of the of the spears pole into her gut as she fell behind him. Yuki rolled to ground as the air was forced out of her lungs. Damon lurched forward as blood poured from his now open shoulder. Yuki climbed to her feet and caught her breath. Damon spun around flinging the spear at Yuki. She jumped up to one of the fire escape balconies and grabbed on. Another spear flew her way. She jumped from the balcony only to find that Damon was above her with another lance. He was thrusting down towards her. She twisted her way out of the tip of the spear and it sailed past. But Damon was quick, he swing the pole of the lance up and caught Yuki right in her side and sent her flying towards the other wall of the alley. As Yuki soared she managed to throw two daggers at Damon’s back. Both nestled their way into his body and he let out a pain filled cry. Yuki managed to recover herself before she collided with the wall of the building, she instead kicked herself back at Damon who was now falling to the ground. He spun as she approached and thrust another spear at her. Yuki corkscrewed around the spear and swung a Contact Dagger into his neck. They both hit the ground and Yuki pulled the pin of the contact dagger and lept off Damon’s body. He climbed to his feet as she spun the pin on her finger in front of him. He stared for a moment then realized what was in his neck. He screamed and tried to pull the dagger from his neck. Yuki dove to the ground as the entire top half of Damon exploded all over the alley.
Yuki looked up from the ground and saw the bullets were still tearing up the street outside the alley. She was glad, it meant Mute hadn’t been shot.
Mute followed Yuki’s order and dashed down the alley. He tore around the corner and into the street. He stopped. A large man covered in thick armor sat on a stairwell leading to some walkway on the side of the street looked over at him. The man point at him.
“Hey, where are you running too?” Then he looked at his guns. “Especially when packing heat like that?”
Mute froze. “Oh, uh. I just like to play it safe? This city can be dangerous. Right?” Mute said nervously.
The man picked himself up and walked down the stairs. He pulled up a Lewis M1940 machine gun. Mute was surprised to see such an old gun, but only slightly. The thing had a 92 round drum magazine, but the one on this gun looked a bit larger.
“Is that a Lewis?” Mute asked.
“Yeah, good eye,” The man admired his gun lovingly. “Dutch model, been modified. Magazine is 150 not 92, which is nice, and she’s got a custom grip.”
The man then looked at Mute and the love faded from his eyes and was replaced with a fierce resolve. That resolve was to fill Mute full of more holes than was comfortable for a person to have and continue to live.
“Now listen we can probably-“ Mute tried to begin to reason with the heavily armored man.
The man brought the face plate of his helmet down and took aim. Mute threw up his Handguns and ran for the nearest cover which was the side of a stoop of some building lining the street. Both guns let rip. Bullets collided with the man’s armor with surprising accuracy. If the man had noticed the bullets striking his chest he would have been fairly impressed. His bullets however did not fair as well as Mute’s and they instead shredded everything behind where Mute had been.
The street erupted into panic as people fled inside of buildings and some ducked behind whatever cover they could find or make and drew their guns. It was going to be a gun fight.
Mute released both magazines of his 1911’s and pulled two more from his the pockets on his holsters. That’s when he noticed that his satchel was no longer on his body. He looked all around him and it was nowhere. Then with much dismay he looked out to where he had been standing in the street and it was totally sitting in the center of it. As he looked suddenly a bullet ripped into his side of the stairs. The people who had decided to join in the gun fight, one of them had fired at him.
“Hey! I’m not the one shooting at you!” He screamed at them.
Some of them saw he had yelled and not shot back at them and came to the simplest conclusion, he was not going to shoot at them. So amongst themselves they decided to focus on the big obvious guy with the ridiculous armor. Bullets littered themselves all over the man.
Mute slipped two new magazines into the 1911’s and cocked them. He knew shooting the man dead on would be useless and he had to find some other way to deal with him. The man was getting closer and closer to where Mute was tucked away and if he got here he would surely make quick work of him. The people in the street were also growing less and less by the second as the bullets from his Lewis cut apart the street.
Mute looked to his left and there was basement window of the building next to him. He was not one to support property damage, but he felt he would be forgiven in this case. He slammed the bottom of the grip of his 1911 into the small window. It shattered inwards and Mute slid inside.
The floor of the basement a lot further away than Mute predicted and he hit it hard. He coughed and laid there on the floor for a moment as the sound of gunfire poured into the basement room.
Mute looked around from the floor, it was some kind of basement suite. He got up and made his way for the door. Inside the next room was a young man reading a book on his sofa. As Mute entered the room he simply looked up at Mute.
“It’s getting loud out there,” He said.
“Yeah, sorry if it’s bothering you.”
“Nah, I’m used to it. It happens all the time you know,” The man turned the page of his book and pointed to his door. “That’s the way out.”
Mute nodded and headed out the door. “Oh, I broke your window. Sorry about that.”
The man just waved at Mute.
Mute made his way to the front door of the apartment complex carefully. The gunfight was still raging outside. He cracked open the door a bit and peered outside. The gunner had made his way just past the door and was just a couple steps past Mute’s handbag. He swung open the door and charged for his bag.
Yuki came ripping around the corner and almost found herself covered in bullets. She rested against the corned and looked out down the street. She could see Mute charging from an apartment for his bag. The Gunner heard him swing the door open though and was turning to shoot him. Mute didn’t notice that though. Yuki had to risk it. She tore off into the street and straight for the The Gunner.
Mute dug his hands to his bag and thought about his shotgun, and sure enough he could feel it in his hands. He looked up to see The Gunner turning his gun towards him. Mute stared up in terror. This was it.
Yuki lept at The Gunner, she landed on his back and grabbed his helmet. She left back to the ground pulling off his helmet revealing his naturally surprised face.
“Mute! Shoot him!” She yelled as she fell to the cobblestone road and a few bullets flew around her.
Mute aimed the shotgun high at The Gunner’s head. He went to shout but it was overpowered by the blast of the shotgun firing. The spray collided with his face and shredded it apart into a torn mess. The Gunner fell dead.
Mute stared in stark horror at what he had done. He felt he might vomit, and he did. Yuki ran up and grabbed him.
“Hey hey. Calm yourself, he’s not really dead. Not forever.” She said to him to calm him down.
Mute wiped the vomit from his mouth. He took a second to center himself then he stood. He was lucky enough not to get any on his suit. He picked up his bag and slung it over his shoulder. He stared at the body of The Gunner for a second. Yuki tugged at his arm and he followed her.
At the foot of the G.B. Tower it looked endless. It faded far up into the blue of the sky and almost seemed unreal. The thought of being up that high in that building sent a sinking feeling into Mute. Some rumors say that the G.B. Tower has a city inside of itself. No one really knows what’s past the 80th floor of the tower. But probably not that.
Mute and Yuki walked up the stairs and entered the lobby of the tower. At a desk, a small black marble desk sat a young man. This man was the secretary of the tower and work 24/7. He never had any days off and rarely ever left the desk. He spent all of his days receiving visitors, couriers and employees of the tower. Most of the time he was on the phone with someone, though no one was quite sure who it was.
Mute pulled the package out from his satchel and handed it to the secretary who told the person on the other end of the line to hold on for a second. The secretary looked the package over. He knew where it went. He thanked Mute and Yuki and they left. He switched the phone receiver to the other side of his ear.
“There’s a package for you. Yes a young man and woman just delivered it. I’ll send it up immediately.”
The secretary rose from his desk and entered the small room behind it. The room’s only function was to transport letters to the other floors using pressurized tubes. Each floor up to 80 had it’s own tube, and there was one other. He opened it to find a red rose inside. He switched the rose for the package and closed it. With the flick of a switch the package was shooting up the tube and far from the secretary.
He returned to his desk, smelling the rose. He picked up the receiver of the phone. “You remembered.” He then looked at Mute and Yuki who stood in front of him he let the receiver from his ear for a second. “Oh do I need to sign anything?”
Mute handed the secretary a clipboard, he quickly signed it and it was returned. Mute and Yuki left without saying a word. The secretary smiled at their backs. He brought the receiver back to his ear. “Yes, I don’t recognize him, perhaps a new resident…Oh yes…Mute eh?” He switched ears, and picked up the rose. “You think he’ll be something now? This will be interesting then.”
Mute and Yuki both sat tiredly on the steps of the tower. Yuki was tired from her fight with Damon and Mute was still dealing with the murder of that man. The sun was just about to crest the walls on the far edge of town. Viewable down the only road which went from one end to the other. A few kids and people walked the streets, going to their favourite bars and clubs. Mute looked at the sun, which was soon to be setting. Not dead forever, ran though his head. He leaned back relaxed and sighed pleasantly. Yuki looked at him. She just noticed the scar along his neck. She knew what it meant of course. She leaned back to and sighed, though in exasperation. Mute looked at her. The scars were on her wrists.