Secrets Are No Fun

Natalia awoke to a bright morning, which blazed through one of the factory’s few windows and successfully landing in delicate beams across her face. Natalia did not want to get up and face the day. Grumbling slightly, she adjusted her body and rolled over onto her stomach.

“Oi!” All of a sudden, a large boot was resting atop Natalia’s back and right side, gently shaking her before all but kicking her off the mercifully comfortable bed. But Natalia made no real response but a series of one-syllable grunts and groans. With an exasperated sigh, the wearer of the boot lodged their foot between Natalia and the bed, then they pushed.

Natalia found herself still in the patch of sunlight, as well as in an uncomfortable heap on the floor. There would be no more rest for the assassin, the day had dawned and the time to work was then and there.

“You up?” Sylvia asked, walking around the bed and coming to a stop at Natalia’s slumped figure.

Realizing she wouldn’t be able to get away with sleeping any longer, Natalia groaned and stood. “I’m up, I’m up, all right?” She stretched and rubbed her eyes, before putting on some clothing that she had stored in a trunk. She didn’t actually live with the Sontas, she just slept there some nights.

“Well aren’t you tired? What time you get in, anyway?” Sylvia asked as she picked up a curved dagger and shoved it in her boot.

“Late.” Was Natalia’s muffled response as she dug through her trunk for a comb. “You know me, I love to work in the dead of night.”

“And what have you been doing out in the dead of night? I saw you in town long before you could have possibly come in last night. So tell me, what did you do?”

“I went to a party.” Natalia said in a gruff whisper. “And I decided that I hate flowers.”

“Well, lookie there. The stone cold Knight hates another thing in life. No surprise there. But a party? What happened, you hate to be social!”

Natalia disliked the conversation the longer it went on. “That’s none of your concern. However,” she paused to really take a look at her friend. “What on Earth are you wearing?”

Sylvia herself paused to look down at her attire. She wore thick soled boots with a long flowing skirt, plus a shirt so tight and so revealing it may have been a corset. She had large goggles balanced on her forehead and just the smallest smear of grease on her cheek. She appeared to be a prostitute turned inventor.

“Oh, this?” She gave a little twirl. “I’ve got a job with an inventor. Small scale, mostly makes knick-knacks for travellers. But there’s talk that he’s made a breakthrough. A big breakthrough. So I am going to be his dream come true.”

Natalia looked at her friend. She was like a child, playing dress up. Lives were never held in her hands. She simply convinced men what they needed to do or got them to look the other way while they were raided. Mostly, they would be looking at her cleavage. She had once injured a jealous woman who was her client’s wife, but no serious injuries. Sylvia was clean as a bell when it came to killings.

Sylvia turned and headed out the door. “I’m on my way right now. The talk is he likes to sort through the scrap yard before he starts his work. I’ll be seeing you!” And so Sylvia left on her way to the latest victim of her romantic assaults.

Grabbing her own real goggles, Natalia decided to spend the day by herself, doing what she loved the most - creating gadgets and weaponry.

Natalia burst through the door to Bolts’ shop and shut it so quickly that the tiny bell barely had the time to jingle above her. A woman looked up, startled, and immediately frowned upon Natalia’s clothing. Not that she could blame her, of course. What with all the changes happening throughout the country on both political and social levels, many people found themselves breaking free from tradition.

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