“Reporters are currently saying that there has been a massive bombing in Haalm located on Planet Temprock in the Ezula System. Authorities are currently investigating the attack, however no suspects have been identified. So far there are over 1.2 billion confirmed casualties. Officials say-”
Razor shifted his weight on the white leather couch to look at the grandfather clock on the wall behind him. The burgundy finish stood out against the white painted walls behind it. He swung back around and picked his phone up from the couch next to him.
“Where the hell is she?” He began scrolling through his contacts when he heard the door unlock as a woman walked into the room. She had straight blue hair in a ponytail that streaked midway down her back with two bangs lying evenly down her blush cheeks. She wore a white, zipped leather jacket and black jeans, and deep blue eyes accented her hair.
“There you are, I was just about to call you,” Razor said, turning his head towards the door.
Sarah sighed, closing the door behind her as she stepped through.
“I know, I'm sorry. Security is even more ridiculous today for some reason.”
“I figured.”Razor nodded towards the television. Sarah walked over and examined the destructive photos on the news.
“Do you think it's Chaos related,” she asked.
“I highly doubt it.”
“Yea, I didn't think so either, but I was still hoping anyway.”
Razor let out a sigh, earning a gaze from Sarah in the process. His dark eyes met the ceiling, but his mind was far beyond it.
“What is it?” Sarah asked, sensing the frustration.
“Things just got a lot more complicated than what they already were,” Razor said, as he began slouching down on the couch.
“I assume it's because of this?”
“And because the lead I had on Chaos just turned into another dead end with another dead body.”
“Well maybe you should let me-”
Razor raised his hand, cutting her off, well aware of what her next statement would be.
“We've been through this.”
Sarah paused and stared at Razor, waiting for for him to beam his eyes in her direction for intimidation but he didn't turn his head. She hated how cautious he'd become since the night of her accident. First he had taken two easy cases, and now that she had convinced him to take their first serious one, he hadn't even allowed her to be apart of it.
She tried to begin again, but Razor didn't let up as he sat up on the couch, turning his gaze towards her.
“No Sarah, not with this.”
Sarah gritted her teeth.
“That wasn't the deal Razor.”
It was sickening for her to sit back doing nothing.
“You said that you would take the mission, and once you got a solid scope I would come on.”
Razor's rough hands met his face for brief moment as he leaned forward.
“We can't risk it,” he replied.
“And why the hell not?” she asked, her voice raising.
Razor stood up and paced around the room, trying to keep his emotions from bubbling to the surface. He'd made the deal thinking that this wouldn't be the most difficult of their career. Now that he knew the things that he knew, he was afraid of putting her back out there again. Mental fortitude was his principle, and he still couldn't get the image of her accident out of his head.
“Razor, what the hell is wrong with you?”
“This case that we're dealing with is already ten times more difficult than every other case we've had combined, including the one where you-”
He trailed off. Sarah sat silently as she analyzed Razor. This wasn't a Razor she'd seen before despite their history.
“What's going on Razor?”
Sarah could sense that something was off. A piece of the puzzle missing. Razor continued to pace in silence as the tension between them heated. She called his name again, slowly growing agitated over the sudden secrecy.
“It's nothing, ” Razor replied. This time he put force into his words, initially catching her by surprise. She got up and walked closer to him, her voice raising further.
“Are you going to look me in my eye and lie to me Razor? Is that what we do now?”
Razor brushed past her and ran his hand through his spiky black hair. His trench coat came up high enough to block his cheeks on both sides, and extended to his ankles. Despite his intimidating aura from his all-black mysterious look, Sarah wouldn't be cast down so easily. She called out his name louder, becoming increasingly aggravated with the dilemma.
“The table,” he replied without looking in her direction.
Sarah paused and turned toward the square birch wood coffee table in front of the couch. There was a folder lying on the center of it next to a black laptop. She picked it up and quickly skimmed through the initial reports and findings of the case she'd been desperately waiting to get on. To her dismay, there wasn't much besides the systems that the target occupied. No name, no gang, no sightings. Just a few references that lead to dead ends. Sarah closed the file and threw it back on the table before staring at Razor with a look of disapproval.
“You care to explain?” she said impatiently
Razor didn't look too eager.
“Like I said, it's a difficult case.”
Sarah wasn't satisfied by the response.
“Three months, and you've barely got a scope of the target.”
“Look at the laptop,“ Razor replied drowsily.
Sarah looked at the laptop and then back at Razor, wondering if he was actually being serious or just playing a joke of some sort. After a brief pause she sat down and opened the laptop. There were multiple tabs open, with articles on each. The first article talked about a ship belonging to an independent trading corporation whose components suddenly broke apart in the middle of space. The second article was about some politician who found half of his staff dead in his hotel room the day before a press conference. Apparently there was a leak in the filtration system, which killed all of them within seconds. Sarah processed the information as she went. To her they seemed like freak accidents.
“What exactly am I looking at here?” still unappeased by the rate at which she was getting answers.
“The less prolific murders of Chaos based on my presumptions.”
Sarah looked at Razor as if he just told her an extremely bad joke.
“Care to further elaborate?”
“8 years ago, the governor of Planet Di'Capor rid itself of all contact with other independent colonies in the Karra System without reason or warning. Now of course, it's a situation that happens on occasion, but the governor of Di'Capor was fat and greedy. In fact, Arkna, the capital city, was split into two sections, one containing other rich, fat greedy people, and the other containing nothing but absolute violent figures. The governor naturally tried to keep every possible trade route open to fuel his greediness. So you can see the suspicion when he cancels everything and disappears. To make things more interesting, not only did they cease all trade, but about a year ago they started receiving major credit transfers from businessmen and politicians across the system. It was around this time that a lot of other businessmen and politicians in the system began to die in a variety of ways from flat-out murders to freak accidents.”
“A contract assassin,” Sarah replied, her attention now fully grasped.
“And a fucking good one. He or she leaves no trace. They have eyes all over the Karra System. Of all the people I've contacted, only a few have talked. And of those that talked, all have been silenced one way or another.”
“There's still something your not telling me,” Sarah said, now staring Razor in the face. He hesitated, proving that she was right in her suspicion.
“Why have you been trying to prevent me from getting into the case?”
Razor held a moment of silence. “I told you, I don't know enough in order-”
“Bullshit. I'm the one that handles the majority of the information on our cases, which means if you didn't know enough, then you would have brought me on sooner to analyze what little you did have. So I'm going to ask you again Razor, and this time without the fucking deception. Why are you trying to prevent me from getting on this case.”
Hurt was slowly building up inside Sarah. Through thick and thin she had stuck with him and they told each other everything. No problem was solved alone. She knew Razor was keeping a secret from her, and her furrowed brow and teary eyes only glimpsed the pain she felt. Razor sat silently, realizing he had played his final card, and his face showed it. He began taking off his coat as he spoke.
“I've been to the Karra System 6 times now. I believe the only remaining way to get information on this guy would be to go right to where I believe home base is.”
With his jacket now off, you could see his muscular form outlined in the black long sleeve shirt he wore. Sarah continued her harsh glare, beckoning him to get to the main point. His face turned dark, and he turned his eyes away, unable to look her in the eye. She stood holding her intense gaze, trying to think what her other half was keeping from her. He raised is shirt up, and she immediately understood their entire conversation.
“I was at a mining base on the edge of the system. Didn't even sense anything,” Razor said solemnly. Sarah walked towards him, horrified. There was a series of gashes across his body that hadn't been there the last time she saw his skin. Her eyes looked as if they were beginning to water, but she held back the tears.
“When did you-” She trailed off as she examined the gashes. They looked relatively fresh. She looked up at Razor and backed off. “Last week,” she said recalling a recent conversation. “You didn't lose your communicator, did you?”
Razor turned away, refusing to meet her eyes. “No.”
“So you lied to me? Even though we agreed from the very beginning that there would be no secrets?”
Her voice was beginning to quiver. The phone started ringing on the desk across the room. Sarah, gazed to her right, looking at the phone but still focused on the conversation at hand. She walked over, looked back at Razor before taking a deep breath to control her fluttering emotions. She picked up, and struggled to keep her voice from wavering as she spoke. Razor put his shirt and coat back on, and started making his way back to the couch. Sarah hung up the phone, and he sat in silence waiting for her to make the next statement.
“We're going to The Guild.”