The Chinese Prototype
Part of the Flash Fiction Train
She was giggling. She couldn’t stop. One minute she was having some fun, and next thing she knew she was giggling.
Five minutes ago
He’s pretty hot. She flicked her hair back as they walked to the bar car.
She didn’t expect much on a train trip but the selection here were acceptable for a side distraction on her mission. She knew she should probably not be drinking, but this is too long a ride, too cold an air con, and too boring a mission.
“So, what do you do?” asked the pretty hot guy next to her.
“I’m a postgrad, at Tsing Hua University, art major — painting, sculpture, you know..” She smiled her best smile. Art gets them interested. Nude modeling fantasies, blah blah.
“Ah! That sounds really cool. Do you.. um.. draw nude models there?”
B.. i.. n.. g.. o. She almost rolled her eyes.
Instead, she gave a blush. Her jet black straight hair gave a stage curtain effect while she looked down at the floor. She felt Alex’s body leaned forward. Musk? She felt a little dizzy herself, might be the swaying of the train.
She had approached Alex at his seat an hour earlier, where she offered him to share a small bottle of sake. They finished that, and then Alex kindly offered her his half drunk scotch that he smuggled in. They finished that, so they’re now on their way to the bar cart to get more. They’d exhausted the usual travellers lines, and now questions were getting personal.
Her note so far on him was:
Name: Alex (Alexei? Alexander?)
Height: 183 — 185 cm
Age: Early 40s
Hair: Ash blonde dyed
Specials: Old V scar below left ear to left jaw
Habit, but she was technically on the job. He didn’t fit the description. He’d kindly introduced himself as Alex — though it probably was a throw away name for a quick train trip fling, from Belarus.
She was sent to track a missing Chinese gun prototype № 53A3F, sold to the market by an unfortunate opportunistic staff member. Unfortunate because well.. they found out. The gun had a tracking chip embedded in the casing mould itself, something all prototypes were equipped with. Retrieve the prototype, no collaterals, no drama.
She’d spent the better part of the month tracking it from Beijing to all over Europe, to a small boring village where she almost got her hand on it, only to have it sold off right under her nose. Who’d buy a Chinese prototype?
Her last information about the gun was that it was on the train, but she hadn’t found it yet. The tracking was only approximate and there’s a lot of people in this train. No sweat, she has time. It’s a looong trip after all.
Anyway, Alex seemed up for what she had in mind in the meantime. Unlike that guy she spotted earlier. What was up with him? He looked suspicious, kept looking at her when he thought she wasn’t.
Height: 178 — 180cm
“So Samantha, you grew up in Beijing?” Alex brought her back into the conversation.
“Yeah, all my life. When we get to Beijing maybe I’ll show you some nice place to eat, yes? Where will you be staying? My house is right near a small hostel, the Three Legged Frog Hostel. It’s not bad.”
She kept her principle. Leave one random true statement about herself to each guy. It’s a show of respect.
They entered the bar cart just as a guy threw a tumbler? in the air. Her reflexes working, though unstable, she rolled to her right and slipped out her cigarette blowgun from her left boot. Her favourite hat fell off and she quickly grabbed it as she ducked behind a chair. She spotted two men standing in the aisle, one facing her, and the other towards the opposite door; everyone else was squatting. What the …?
What’s with the tumbler? A grenade? She knew they have all sorts of new fancy stuff in the lab, and he did look suspicious. Otherwise, 你疯了吗?! One of the men standing was handling a gun… oh, no.
Thunder. The man with her gun shot the tumbler-throwing guy. The man with the even bigger gun raised his gun.
She looked at the tumbler-throwing guy. He was shot from the back — that coward! His neck and jaw bleeding as the man fainted in shock. The tumbler rolled to her feet.
Suddenly she was giggling, remembered the lame joke Alex told her earlier.
Two Russians walked into a bar. Someone got a shot.
That was a stupid joke, but now it seemed really funny. Where’s Alex anyway? Why can’t she stop giggling ? This isn’t normal at all. Did someone spike her drink? Or was it just one too many drink? Her thoughts jumbled among the haze in her brain.
She tried to stifle her mouth as the laugh escaped and the gunmen were looking for the source of the noise.. 我尻…
This story is a part of a collaborative chain of flash fiction stories. Resources and links are available in the master post here:
- Samantha ? — Chinese agent with a hat (Red? Big? Round? Who knows?)
- Man with a Gun
- Man with an Even Bigger Gun