Chapter 01; Part 03
The night before I had just dumped my Util-Vest on the floor of my wardrobe without restocking; now I have no time for it. My father had always said that laziness was the downfall of fools; it’s not that I didn’t learn the lesson I just had opted for bed over sitting and restocking the clips of my pistols, so I grabbed a full box of bullets and some extra satchels of pre-made mixed herbs and stepped out of my room.
As I locked the door to my wardrobe I saw Guffey was straightening my bed. The lithe and industrious blonde with musculature like a lightweight boxer, he was usually paired up with me when we took down OtherWorlders. He knew my emotions before I did, almost like a natural empathy.
“What do you think you’re doing?” I asked between clenched teeth.
“What?” Guffey responded stepping away from the bed, hands up in surrender. Uncertainty played across his face as I realised I’d confused him. Usually Guffey was left to do most of the domestic duties because he liked doing them; normally I would never have a problem with him making my bed, but then, today was a little different.
“We have no time for housework,” I said hiding my emotional turmoil at seeing anyone else get involved in what Giffen had perpetrated.
“Oh, it won’t take but a second,” he actually clucked at me as he moved back towards the bed.
“You know what… how about you make yourself useful and restock my pistols?” I asked chucking the box of ammunition on the bed which upset the line that he’d already pulled the doona across. He snatched up the box and frowned at me; he knew something wasn’t right but wasn’t de classe enough to ask about it. But as soon as he went to touch the bedding again I’d had enough. I stalked across the room and gripped the mattress at the lower edge then flipped heavy load; the mattress up ended and slid off the otherside of the bed frame – taking all the linen with it.
“What is your problem!” Guffey extolled, his face a mess of emotions that I couldn’t deal with right now. I turned and strode out of the room. Other peoples need and wants; fears and cheers; would need to take a back seat today. I couldn’t always pander to the needs of people who were used to getting their own way through my easy-going personality. Not now, not while Giffen was out in the wilderness trying to hitch a ride across a portal.
I stalked out of the room and across the short hall made from concrete walls which separated two vast rooms. The ice factory was previously required to cater for large trucks resulting in the need for an undercover dock area; accessed from the ice factory through a large roller door. This door stood open waiting for me and I knew that Guffey was on my heels when I heard the door start to close as soon as I crossed its threshold. The dock area was a large U shape of building that originally had no fencing at the external end; this was replaced with a high brick wall, razor wire and a bullet proof roller gate. The gate stood open; as did the rear passenger door of the extended frame matte black SUV that was purring in front of me.
I strode to the SUV and snatched open the driver’s side door. Gaito sat looking at me as I demanded he exit the seat. He was the least prone to fluctuations in his emotional state out of the whole Unit; it was like he was always weighing up the benefits of choosing whether the fight was worth the expenditure of energy and the fight never was. He was more a thinker than a doer, but when he did something it was usually worth the time and effort expended. This was the same for his fighting; he was a quintessential marital artist; his movements were always technically correct and usually extra quick. To watch him fight was a thing of beauty. As he sat starring at me and evaluating the situation he cocked his head to one side and gave a slight nod; then he flowed from the driver’s seat and went around to the rear of the SUV.
Basically the SUV had forward facing front and middle seats then rear facing seats at the back. The glass and chassis was bullet resistant for 10 hours of sustained continuous fire; the tyres were ‘run flats’ and there was a kicking stereo. Gaito took up residence in the rear seat while Guffey took up his standard residence behind the front passenger seat.
“Guns,” he said and I flipped him the weapons before climbing into the vehicle.
“What’s going on?” Gabriel asked from the front passenger seat.
“I’m driving bitches, if that’s OK with you Miss Daisy;” I said knowing that the reference would fall flat.
“Who’s Miss Daisy?” Groman asked from behind me as Gabriel asked;
“Are we going to wait for Giffen?”
“Not fucking likely,” I said engaging first and hammering the accelerator. The car shot out of the gateway like a cannon and someone tapped the gate remote to close up after us.
“Slow down!” Gabriel hissed at me and I tapped the sound up button on the stereo.
OtherWorlder’s don’t have cars in their dimension; these vehicles were a very new concept and usually very confusing to them. Gaito and one other OtherWorlder were the only ones I knew who had taken the time to learn how to operate the technology. There was no point, in their dimension to have these vehicles because these guys could run at pretty much the same speed I drove; which was the reason why I was so anxious to get on the trail of Giffen. Every minute I spent sucking up the arse of a suit about something inane, was another minute that Giffen’s trail was growing cold.
The Inter-Portal Enforcement Agency existed within a ‘Federal’ Building in Melbourne’s CBD; we lived approximately 10 minutes from the building and the most active portal was 20 minutes from Melbourne’s Post Office. The building was one of Melbourne’s ‘landmark’ edifices; it had neo-gothic columns and arched windows, very pretty from the public side of the building.