“Are you sure this is a good idea?” May asked over the radio. She stood on a crowded corner waiting for the light change; staring at a pale woman in a white suit. The woman was sitting at the bus stop surrounded by a crowd waiting for their ride.
“What, now you’re getting cold feet ’cause of what happened to Buzz?” Coop asked through her earpiece. “‘Rich woman like her has probably never worked for anything in her life,” he added. The light change and the crowd lurched forward. May hesitated for a moment, then joined the tail end.
“That’s another thing,” she said. “Why do we think she’s loaded? Last I heard we can’t find anything on her.”
“It’s not cheap to buy the kind of manpower it would take to disappear like that. Trust me; she’s stupid rich,” Coop said.
“You’re really arguing she’s rich because we can’t find anything on her?” May asked as she reached the sidewalk. She kept walking instead of turning to the bus stop; she heard the bus pull up behind her.
“Yeah,” Coop said. May heard a familiar smugness in his voice. “But it doesn’t matter what I’m arguing. I’m not trying to convince you, I already convinced the boss. Are you going in, or not?” May sighed.
“Fine. I just want to go on record saying this is a bad idea,” she said.
“She doesn’t look dangerous from here,” Coop said.
“No,” May shook her head. She was trying to think of a way to explain what she saw in the woman. “Not dangerous… comfortable.”
“Comfortable?” Coop laughed into May’s ear. “You’re wettin’ your pants ’cause she’s comfortable?”
“She’s expecting us, but she might as well be waiting for an ice cream sundae,” May added.
“Then go introduce yourself and set her straight,” Coop replied. May took a deep breath and approached the covered bench as the latest bus drove away. The crowd was gone leaving only the woman waiting patiently.
“Really bad idea,” May said under her breath as she ducked into the shelter and sat next to the woman in white. “Don’t stand up,” she said. “Or my colleague will put a bullet in your head. Look slowly – rooftop, across the street, second building from the left. Now, let’s talk about the money.” The woman turned to look at May; she somehow looked down on her even though she was a bit shorter. She gave a bored sigh and May’s stomach immediately knotted itself; the stranger was too at ease.
“Must you thugs always be so theatrical with your threats?” she asked. “What’s wrong with just talking? I’m trying to find the person that was buying Buzz’s corpses; I believe he’s your boss,” she said. May shook her head.
“Not how this works, lady,” she said. “First you tell-” May was interrupted by Coop yelling in her ear. Then a heavy thud landed on the street in front of May. She recognized Coop’s black leather duster flapping in the wind as he pushed himself off the blacktop.
“It’ll be faster if I tell you how this works,” the woman said. She pointed at a woman in a black suit standing next to Coop. “That’s Melody with your partner that you pointed out so helpfully.” Melody wiggled her fingers at the air; a tall black hole opened behind Coop. “Melody will destroy this entire Earth if I leave through that portal,” she said. Without another word she stood and began striding toward the portal.
“You’re bluffing!” May shouted. “You want our boss, you wouldn’t destroy that.” The woman stopped walking and turned around to look May in the eyes.
“If you’re going to die I’d like you to know how useless it was. I am looking for your boss,” she shrugged. ” But it’s not anywhere near as important to me as you seem to think. I’m here as a side project; a hobby. I’m doing something for my own enjoyment,” she waved at May dismissively then turned around. “And I know when it’s time to put my toys away,” she resumed walking to the portal.
“Stop!” A deep male voice boomed through the air. “What’s your business with me?” he asked. The voice seemed to be coming from the black portal that Melody opened; all eyes focused on it. A humanoid pitch-black figure walked out of the portal. He wore no clothing but his features were impossible to see. He was solid black from head to toe like a living shadow. “I’m their boss,” he said. His face was completely black and featureless; there was no mouth to be seen. The woman smiled brightly and walked up to the shadow figure.
“I have a question for you,” she said. “What’s your favorite number?”