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Miss Fortune

      The date had gone well enough, she supposed, though the wine had been sub-par. Blind dates rarely got very intimate, mild banter being the substitute for meaningful conversation. Normally that would have put her off, but tonight was an entirely different situation and she was thankful for the disconnect between herself and the man across from her.

      He was handsome, in a certain serious way. As with all military men, his face remained unreadable, his emotions buttoned up just as tight as his collared white shirt. He had an athletic build; a strong torso and long yet graceful arms ended with strong, well shaped hands. If he were any other man, she would be instantly attracted to him. Knowing who he was, what he was responsible for, made what she had to do all the simpler.

      The waiter interrupted their staring contest, offering a small fortune cookie to each of them. She politely accept hers with a small smile, he just kept his eyes on her as the waiter set down the cookie in front of him.

      “More water,” said her date, indicating his empty glass; the waiter nodded silently and turned for the kitchen. “What’s yours say, darlin’? You have to read it before you eat the cookie, it’s good luck.”

      She cracked open the cookie, it’s soft, warm fragrance lifting as the steam from the still hot cookie floated up. She pulled out the small sliver of paper that had been so artfully tucked into the hollow of the small delicacy. As she read, she was careful to keep her eyes neutral. She smiled, as if it were a funny little anecdote like all the others she’d ever had. Her eyes flitted up to his face, but she was really studying the two men by the door, suits hiding the weapons inconspicuously strapped at their waists. They were distracted by the waitresses who were showering them with flirtatious smiles; no man was completely immune to the advances of a pretty woman, not even one protecting important national dignitaries.

      “It’s nothing,” she said, a coy look in her eyes as she returned his gaze.

      “Lemme see that,” he responded, motioning with his head for her to hand it over.

      She slid the paper, face down slowly across the table. The waiter had returned and was filling up his glass. As the paper slid across the red satin tablecloth, her hand brushed by his glass and it began to tip. His reaction was lightning fast but, unfortunately for him, he reacted to the wrong motion. As her right hand tipped the glass, she struck out her left hand into the vest of the waiter, who had the grace to look surprised.

      She felt her fingers wrap around the cold, familiar grip of the handgun and she yanked it out with the ease and efficiency any professional assassin was expected to possess. She picked off each guard with four quick shots, two into each of their chests just above the line of their bulletproof vests. The two men tumbled to the floor like sacks of potatoes, blood fountaining onto the terrified waitresses.

      As she turned the gun on her date, he made a desperate lunge backwards towards the weapons of his dead entourage, but his chair had been precisely positioned to prevent that. Instead of a clear path, he toppled over the furniture into the next table. He twisted, desperately crawling toward the weapons only feet away. Two quick pops of her silenced pistol sliced through the tendons in his shoulders and he sagged forward on his knees, arms helpless. Her last shot went straight through the back of his head, execution style for the coward he was.

      She handed the weapon back to the man she had taken it from; he simply nodded and smiled as he wiped it down and placed it in the hand of her now dead dinner guest. As she regarded the the dead man on the floor, she felt no remorse, no sadness. The only thing she could feel was pride, the words from the fortune cookie paper scrolling through her mind on an endless track, as they had for her entire life.

      “Long live the Second Revolution. Long live the Liberated States of America.”

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