Awefilms' codename: female ' operation sergei, part two (illustrated)

by kj

a deadly assignment for Awefilms' secret agent Rowena, star of an upcoming video

(click here to access Part One or Part Three)

Rowena slid the wire from around the guard's throat; the vigor of his struggling had forced it deep into his windpipe, and air bubbles had collected around it. Her side throbbed where his elbow had smashed into it ' she would have a nasty bruise tomorrow. If there was a tomorrow ' the night was young, and she wouldn't be done until she had killed Sergei. And it had to be long and slow ' she didn't know how long it would take. Her fingers still ached with the sting of the wire. She wiped them on her thighs, but the stickiness remained, and the copper smell of the blood. Her thoughts strayed for a moment. What was it that Carl had said to her?

 

We're both hooked on adrenaline. You and me. That's what keeps us coming back for more.

 

That was the week she had sprained her wrist on the handcuffs. They had been trying a new position ' sitting on the floor, with her hands shackled to the bedposts above. In the heat of the moment, Carl had suddenly twisted them both around, forgetting that she was restrained ' or had he? Sometimes it was hard to know what was going through his head. But he went even further when she was in charge ' by the time they were through he had usually blacked out. He liked to go beyond his limits ' especially after they'd done a job. The nature of their work did not leave room for mistakes. On the job he was coiled like a spring -'all calculation and cool precision. But on some level he reacted against this, and when they were free he was always looking for an excuse to go wild.

 

It wasn't the same for her. In her case, the control was the rush. Whatever was happening, some part of her stayed calm, watching from a distance. There was no conflict in her between work and play ' in both cases, she walked the line between surrendering to the experience and playing it like an instrument. She wasn't looking to fall off the edge ' it was the idea of seeing how far she could go while maintaining this perfect balance. Being an assassin allowed her to take this balance to new levels. She didn't want to lose her grip, like he did. He was wrong about her. Wasn't he?

 

Lately she had been letting the endorphins get to her ' she could have been more careful with that guard. She was lucky his elbow hadn't broken her ribs. Sloppy. But what a rush it had been! Would she admit this to Carl?

 

She dragged the guard's body inside and started down the hallway, her feet sinking into the plush carpet. They'd had the place under observation for weeks now, and so any surprises should have been accounted for. It would be just the two of them ' her and Sergei.

 

What would she do to him? Carl had insisted they practice together ' he had acted out the role of Sergei, and once she had immobilized him they'd gone through a variety of scenarios ' twisting limbs, smothering, electricity-Once they'd started, he pushed her to go further and further. Again, she'd had to be the designated driver, setting the limits. Sergei, of course, would not require such caution-

 

Sergei was a recent arrival ' as a new kid on the block, he'd soon caught wind of FEMALE's reputation for getting nasty little jobs done to order. The job had been another hit (so many of those lately ' was the Boss trying to redefine their outfit, or was there just more of a demand for killing these days?). Some rival hood ' not too big (FEMALE wasn't out to make waves among the Russian mafia ' they had their own position to think of), but bigger than they'd expected.

 

Rowena had taken care of that one, too. What was his name ' Kostya. It had been her standard call girl act ' she'd paid off his regular "masseuse" and gone in her place. The hit itself had gone smoothly ' Kostya'd had a thing about Jacuzzis, which made things easier. She'd slid into the tub with him and then grabbed him by the neck in a scissorlock, holding him under the water till he drowned. She wasn't sure which tickled more, the "honeymoon" whirlpool feature or Kostya's fingers curling around her legs frantically as he fought for air. The only strange part had been when his teeth suddenly floated to the surface ' what was a guy his age doing with dentures? She was going to stuff them back down his throat, but then decided to leave them. So he died toothless ' it hadn't taken that long ' his head twisting between her thighs, his eyes bulging up at her in amazement, his gums locked in a grimace beneath the water. So far so good ' may even be able to pass it off as an accident, she'd thought.

 

Somebody else didn't think so. The next day FEMALE got a call from the local Russian patriarch, demanding a hundred grand to redress the "insult." Who were they trying to fool? They'd botched a hit on him themselves just a month before, and he'd been trying to win back their favor (though nobody talked about this). They weren't interested in explanations, and the Boss wasn't eager to mess with Moscow, so he took care of it and then demanded the money from Sergei as an extra expense.

 

Not only did Sergei not pay, he immediately went out and bought a Porsche, as if to rub their noses in it. FEMALE may have been an independent operation, but it had earned respect in a fairly short time. Reputation was everything in this business, and the Boss couldn't afford to be embarrassed twice in a row. Fortunately, Sergei didn't have Kostya's connections (if that's what you called them) ' he was an outcast himself, which is why he'd come to New York in the first place, hoping to regain some of his former glory. Well, now it was his turn to squirm. Rowena looked around as she climbed the stairs to the second floor.

 

Everything about the place flaunted money. The gold chandeliers, the tacky marble statues, even the ridiculously soft carpet below her. Hell, she wanted to walk on it, not fuck it. Sergei went nuts over the wealth he still had ' and that had been his weakness. He'd been fooled by FEMALE's small size, throwing his weight around before he'd gained his own balance. How did someone this stupid get so rich so fast? Sheer brutality? Well, types like that rise fast, but they don't last too long. Her job was to make sure he went out with a whimper. Kind of like the one Carl had made the last time he passed out on her. Too bad they hadn't had the tape recorder handy.

 

Sergei was a big man, and he had to be subdued quickly ' she didn't want to risk killing him too soon. Rowena pulled out a cloth and soaked it in the chloroform she'd brought.

 

A soft purple glow was emanating from beneath the door ahead of her. She could feel the vibrations of music ' some old rock singer crying plaintively with this amazing gutteral voice ' a Russian Tom Waits? She pressed her ear against the door, but nothing else could be heard over the music. Slowly, she turned the handle.

 

The door opened gradually to reveal an enormous whale of a man, his naked, hairy torso turned away from her, vast folds of flesh undulating to the steady beat. Anyone else around? No ' coast looked clear. Just Sergei sitting on his huge bed, legs draped over the other side. What was he doing anyway, hunched over like that? He seemed to be eating, but what an odd position. Rowena inched her way to the side to take a peek around the bed.

 

A naked woman was kneeling on all fours, tangled blonde hair framing a face made up like a rag doll. A silver tray was on her back, and Sergei was shoveling food from the ample dishes there. She quivered as his meaty foot traced a path along her leg to the shackles clamped around her ankles. Her body was covered with welts and cigar burns. The tray started to clatter with her trembling, and Sergei barked something at her that stilled her immediately. With a start, her eyes met Rowena's, and a grim look of anticipation came over her.

 

Rowena wondered why Carl hadn't detected this woman ' they'd been casing the place for weeks ' even before Sergei's double-cross. The woman must have been locked up here all that time.

 

Rowena carefully edged her way to the corner behind Sergei, positioning the bedpost between them. In a flash, her arm whipped out, in one motion clamping the soaked rag over his face and yanking him back into the post. Just as quickly, the dinner tray capsized and the other woman leaped up with a triumphant snarl, brandishing a carving knife. She leapt onto the bed and sank the blade into Sergei's shoulder. No! Without releasing her grip on Sergei, Rowena whirled around and sent a kick into the captive's jaw. The girl flew off the bed and landed on the floor, where she lay motionless.

 

Meanwhile, Sergei was thrashing wildly ' he'd almost freed himself in the confusion, but now Rowena secured her position, leaning into the post to anchor herself. Her arm was locked around Sergei's throat, squeezing him against the bedpost. With her other hand, Rowena massaged his nose, working the cloth deeper into his nostrils. She tightened her biceps, cutting off the flow of oxygen to his brain, and then suddenly loosened them, pressing the cloth into his face as he gulped for air.

 

"Come on, baby, relax. Shhhh-."

 

He lurched away from the post, but he had no leverage. Rowena caressed his face with the soaked cloth, blowing softly into his ear with her peppermint breath. She started to tighten her arm again around his throat, feeling it bulge as his stubble pricked her skin. He flailed helplessly on the mattress like an infant, but his own weight held him down. He tried to pull her hair, but she adjusted her stance to ease the tension. Besides, his strength was rapidly draining, and his muffled cries were turning into whimpers. He gagged for air as she squeezed his throat. For a moment, she was tempted to just keep strangling him, to feel his trachea collapse against her muscles. So easy, it would be, as she felt his frame convulsing against the bedpost as it fought for air. Shhh-.she blew into his ear some more.

 

At the last moment she released her grip. His chest heaved as he swallowed air through the cloth. Finally, he succumbed to the chloroform ' and with a shudder he was still.

 

*******

 

Even before the light returned, nausea consumed Sergei. As the room came into focus, the first sight that met Sergei's eyes was the face of his prisoner, a terrible grin on her face as she crouched over him, holding those noxious smelling salts against his nose. He was spreadeagled across his own bed, handcuffed to the posts, a sharp pain in his shoulder. Then he felt a soft breath against his face, that same peppermint fragrance from his dream. He turned to see a dark muscular figure leaning beside him, her large eyes regarding him with a strange intensity. The figure spoke:

 

"Larissa, why don't you tell Sergei those nice words we learned today?"

 

The terrible grin widened on Larissa's face, made grotesque by the doll makeup Sergei had forced her to wear. Her teeth were stained with lipstick ' or was that blood? A chill went down his spine as she turned to him.

 

"Die screaming."

 

(For more on the world of CODENAME: FEMALE, sit tight for the video, coming soon from Awefilms at www.awefilms.com/codename.htm)