By Ren_ 17 Comments
Private Island off the coast of Marseilles
The private island home of Dr. Jacques Beauregard was heavily secured, one of the best that Mackenzie had ever come across. Casing it had been a challenge and securing a position on the wait staff for his illustrious get-together of the top minds in science even moreso. After four weeks of recon and building up an identity, Renegade had finagled a way in.
Cristal champagne was served in elegant flutes as the waitresses inconspicuously weaved in and out of the thronging crowd. All gathered in the lavishly decorated ballroom of the Beauregard Chateau, it was a veritable who's who of the cutting edge scientific community - the portion that took it upon themselves to design the weapons that people only thought up in nightmares.
The antique chandeliers cast warm light down on the blonde currently going by Elodie Durant, the newest in the reliable secure service that had been hired on to cater the event. The petite blonde Renegade effortlessly traversed in and out of the guests in the five inch Prada heels she had been instructed to wear as part of her uniform.
A menial position such as staff allowed her to come and go freely and without scrutiny. The target tonight was Dr. Beauregard himself. According to all information coming in, he was at the brink of finishing development on an as-yet-unnamed weapon that caused people to burn from the inside out. A test launch of the prototype had been conducted in Munich last week and it was safe to say that nobody wanted this going up for sale on the Black Market.
The disc with the 'blueprints' and all of his research was reported to be kept on his body at all times and the research lab was located on this private island, deep beneath the luxurious chateau that he'd constructed with ill-earned funds.
Glass tinkled against glass as self-congratulatory toasts were made and little Elodie wandered around unnoticed. It was she she saw Jacques slip out of the room in a rushed manner that she followed. Placing the tray she'd been carrying on a banquet table, she slid the apron off and followed, the shoes silent on the floor as she was precise in how she distributed her weight.
The fit 50-something doctor made a beeline for his private office up on the third floor. It was no challenge for Renegade to bypass the security measures that allowed her enough of a span to slip past unnoticed for the most part. All any cameras would see is a staff member who'd lost her way in the large chateau.
In the private family quarters now, she pressed one of her earrings, converting it into a comm system that tied her into Prophet, the seemingly all-knowing font of information who also happened to be one of her dearest friends. From this point forward, if there were any security breaches that showed up on the security hub screens, Renegade would have forewarning of it.
Standing in front of the door to the heavily secured private study, she picked off the heel of her shoes, converting them to flats. Pressing the indented button on the end of one stiletto heel, the small object converted into an electronic lockpick. After inserting it into the security panel, it was mere seconds before the door opened, allowing her access.
Ensconced inside the office was Jacques, typing frantically at the computer on his desk, the disk with all of the vital information gleaning softly underneath the light of the Tiffany Co. stained glass lamp on his desk.
"This area is restricted to family only!" The crisp French accent fell on unsympathetic ears as he spoke his native language. Slowly shutting the door behind her, Mackenzie walked over to the desk, nonplussed as he pulled a gun from a hidden compartment beneath it.
Holding her hands up indicating that she was unarmed, her body language slid into the scared, apologetic semblance of somebody who had accidentally overstepped their bounds. Allowing her to move closer to the desk in an unimposing manner. Her eyes darted from the disk to him as he took notice of how she was moving.
Instinctively, she ducked down below the level of the desk as he pulled the gun out and shot at her, Taking cover behind one of the couches, she slid a perfectly balanced throwing knife from her garter. Taking one momentary peek from around the couch, she threw it and made no noise as it cut through his hand, pinning it down to the desk.
A loud cry of pain echoed through the room. With split second precision, Ren was around the couch and standing in front of the desk. Leaning forward she plucked the gun from his hand just as the door crashed open. From their bedroom just down the hall, his wife who was supposed to be on bed rest after a tumultuous delivery must have heard the raucous noise.
"Jacques...?" The statuesque brunette beauty opened the door, her silk nightgown and robe covered her pale frame. Mackenzie grimaced, knowing that things had just gotten a lot more complicated. A steady hand held a compact handgun with a pearl grip handle aimed directly at Mackenzie's forehead. "Back away from my husband, this moment."
Mackenzie stood in front of the gun on the desk, blocking it from the wife's view. "Are you aware of what he's done, Marie? Do you know what monstrosities he has released upon the Earth of what acts of war he plans to help others perpetrate?"
"Non, non." She refused shaking her head slightly. Jacques moved miinutely behind Ren and she eyed him out of her peripheral vision.
"Do not move again." He stilled within a second's notice. "Marie, has he told you about Project Inferno?" There was a look in the other woman's eye that let her knew she was on the right path. "It's a bio-weapon, one that will be sold off to the highest bidder"
"No...no, he would never...he's a doctor!"
"Think, Marie. Concerning phone calls. Late night disappearances. You probably thought he was having an affair...but he was just conducting nefarious business dealings, deadly ones." It was clear that she was getting through to her as her brow furrowed. "Munich last week. That was one of the trial runs."
A black cloud settled over the stunning woman's face as anger filled her visage. Jacques began to move again, attempting to remove the dagger that still speared his hand. This time it was Marie that ordered him silent as she shifted the focus of the weapon from Renegade to her injured husband, resulting in all eyes in the room going wide.
"You received a call from Mark directly after that attack but before it had made the broadcasts..." It was clear that everything else was settling in her mind, puzzle pieces that were finally coming together and making sense.
"Marie." Mac spoke her name softly, calling attention back to herself. "You need to leave. Take your daughter, take the cash he has socked away and go make a new life for yourself. Stay far away from his contacts and colleagues. Change your appearance, change your name, change every habit you've ever formed." There was no reason his wife or newborn child should have to pay for his sins - or bear witness to his reparations - when there was any other way.
The woman slowly left the room, pain and betrayal in her eyes as she did so. "NO! Mon amour, no! Je t'aime, Marie, je t'aime." He begged for her, for her strength as she turned her back and shut the door.
"You're a despicable piece of sh!t, Beauregard." He looked up at Renegade as she placed the flats of her palms down on the desk and smiled grimly at him. She'd take no pleasure...okay perhaps a little....in what came next.
Retrieving the disk, she slipped it into the small leather pouch on her hip. It was the only one in existence. He wasn't foolish enough to keep a backup that somebody other than himself could get their hands on. "Please don't kill me...I can give you anything you want, riches beyond your belief, the name of any contacts, your own private island. Whatever you want, its yours!"
Casually holding the gun, Ren stood up and cocked one hip to the side, painting a pondering expression on her face. Staying silent for several moments, the tricky emotion known as hope began to trickle through on his features. It was a cruel game she played with him, but one that gave her more satisfaction than she would ever admit.
"Do you have the ability to magically bring the dead of Munich back to life?"
She could see the thoughts flash through behind his eyes. "I could find a way...there are dark magicks..." That right there told her everything she needed to know. Not as if she were going to offer him an out in the first place, but this redeemed it a bit in her eyes. He would never change, he would always be opportunistic scum and the world would be better off with his death.
Bringing the gun up, she took aim as he remained seated at his desk, the knife still through his hands. Her finger clamped down on the trigger and it was over before he knew it. Two shots point blank to his forehead.
It took a mere ten minutes to 'clean' the office and remove all trace of her ever having been there while Prophet went in and manipulated the surveillance footage to make it appear as if she had never left her station downstairs.
The cool night air whipped her hair across her face as she stood on an outcropping of rock, awaiting the boat that would be her transport back to the main body of the country. Gracefully slipping onto the sleek watercraft, Mackenzie hunkered down in the back, protecting herself against the spray from the water.
"Did you complete your mission without issue?" The French-accented voice that belonged to Prophet came through in the comm that she'd left in her ear.
"You know that it did."
"You know that's not what I meant." Despite their working relationship, a relationship mired in secrecy, the two women were close friends, perhaps best friends. Prophet, whose real identity was one of the illustrious Knightfalls, was asking a different kind of question, inquiring to Renegade's state of mind.
"He deserved death. The world is a safer place without him." Standing up she moved up to the bow of the boat. The wind pushed her hair out of her face as she stared up at the night sky. Venus was bright in the sky providing nearly as much illumination as the moonlight and making it safe for them to clear the waters without any non-natural light. "I have no qualms with what I did." And it was truly as simple as that.