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Whores .07: On The Wall

05/13/12

  09:23:00 am, by Nic Wilson   , 3610 words  
Categories: Whores

Whores .07: On The Wall

Lisa had never climbed up a fire escape before. And she?d certainly never done it following a muscular woman holding a rifle nearly as long as she was tall. ?So what?d you do before this?? Lisa asked.

The top few rungs of the escape leading to the roof had been broken off with bolt cutters, and Mae stopped. ?I was a housewife,? Mae said.

?Oh,? said Lisa.

?And a designated marksman in the Corps,? Mae grinned, and handed her the rifle. Then she jumped for the roof ledge, and caught it with her fingers.

Mae grunted as she kicked her legs, trying to do a pull up with just the first knuckle's worth of her fingers barely clawing over the ledge. Lisa leaned her shoulder into the wall, and Mae put her foot on it to get a better grip, and pulled herself up.

Mae reached down for the rifle. Lisa handed it to her, and she set it down on top of the roof. Then she reached back down for Lisa, and helped pull her up.

On the roof, Mae kneeled down by the ledge facing north. ?You should stay down,? she said. ?They call these buildings the Wall; it?s not hard to see why.? The buildings were close enough for nearly a mile that you could easily move from rooftop to rooftop. Those that weren?t close enough to simply step between had pieces of sheet metal or boards between them.

She ejected the magazine, checked that it was full and that the rounds were properly loaded, and slid it back into the rifle. She chambered a round, and slid the safety off. Then she loosened the bolt on the Weaver mount of her scope, and slid it off the Picatinny rails on top of the rifle. She held it up to her eye like a telescope.

?Sometimes those mens? rights assholes set up counter-snipers up here. Doesn?t hurt to be careful. You got those binoculars??

?Yeah?? Lisa said quietly, but she was distracted. Mae noticed.

?You okay??

?Yeah, I?m just?? she sighed. ?No. Not even remotely. Two days ago I was a secretary at an elementary school. Yesterday I failed to save my neighbor from a fire set by the cops. And today??

?Today you?re trying to help.?

?I don?t even know what that means.?

?Support, mostly. We?ve got another clinic set up, outside the city. This one we?re pretty sure they don?t know the location. But the girl, Merril, had been consulting with Dr. Gerson, so it?s possible the cops have her flagged- hell, it?s likely. That?s why we?re being extra cautious.?

?I?m sorry,? Lisa said. ?You?ve been living with this, but for me it still doesn?t feel real. Everything is just so? fucked up. I didn?t question it, when I had trouble finding co-ed housing. But it was there, all along. How did we get this fucked up??

?I?ve been calling it the ?Lezistrata.? I figure it started as a ploy by some lesbian to beef up the ranks of prospective mates by turning all men into predatory dickbags. And it worked on me. Just like men aren?t gay in prison, ladies aren?t gay in wartime- you just do what you got to do.?

?So you weren't always a lesbian??

?I was married, to a fellow Corpsman. He once broke a man?s jaw for intimating there was something he could do that I couldn?t. When I protested that I could have broke the man?s jaw myself, he said he knew I could have, and would have, but that my hands were too pretty to mangle on some jackass?s face. I loved that man even more than his fabulous dick- and that?s saying a lot, because he had a really fucking fabulous dick.?

?What happened?? Lisa asked.

?He died at the beginning of the war, helping me escape. But the fucked up thing about that is, he would have fought with me. No question. If I?d only asked him to. But instead, I thought I could be all Vietcong, harangue the Dick Army but go back to our home every night and fuck his brains out. But it's men's righters who are the VC. They're cops, firefighters, doctors, they blend back into the population, and you never know who they are until they fuck up your entire world.?

She sighed, and Lisa could sense that Mae didn?t want to talk about it anymore. ?So what are we doing up here??

?That road leaves town. The cops know we use it to get to our clinic. But they don?t know where it is. It?s about the only one road that gets you there- about the only other way is a four hour, circuitous drive. But if Gerson's patients were flagged, a meandering country jaunt is nearly as likely to get them caught in a roadblock as the straight run.?

?But if they know your route, isn't it only a matter of time before they find the clinic.?

?Yeah. And we want to move the clinic, but it?s a tactical problem, and one whose solution is complicated, since it?s hard to move that much medical equipment without drawing attention.?

?But if they know the spot, and they might be watching the girl, isn?t this too risky??

?It's less risky than her holding off. Her pregnancy is ectopic. She?s in real danger of Fallopian rupture, which is serious- go into shock and die, serious. And that's why we're being careful. And why she's meeting Clint down there.?  

?Why Clint??

?We typically use male escorts. For one, it makes it harder for them to profile- they can't just harass every group of women leaving town by that road. And most of the MRAs are old-school misogynists; two women who knew nothing about our clinic got raped on this road two weeks ago; we're pretty sure they were targeted because the men thought they were with us.?

A little of Lisa's rage from the previous night came up. It was still impossible for her to deny that Anna and Mae were at least provacateurs. ?Doesn't that bother you? Women are getting raped because of what you're- we're- doing.?

?Of course it bothers me. But it also makes it more important that we do what we do. They're willing to use fear, and violence- even sexual violence- to cow us. That's why we can't yield. If it's this bad while we still have the will to resist, imagine what they'd be like if we let them win.?

?They might just leave us alone,? Lisa said.

?They might. Until you did something that didn't particularly sit right with them- say, not cooking his dinner quite right. And then you get a pop in the mouth. And that's not so bad, right? But it gets so he's beating you two or three times a week- a misplaced slipper here, a stubborn mustard stain there- and we might as well be back in a cave waiting for a man to bring us a mastadon steak.?

?You can't think it'd get that bad.?

?I never seriously thought a woman's right to choose would be taken away, our that access to birth control would be curtailed. And I never thought women's healthcare- and I'm talking pap smears and, and fucking mastectomies- would go the way of the back-alley abortionist. Or that we'd go back to back-alley abortion. But we're past the edges of the map, here; that's why I'm less surprised now that we've found monsters.? 

?You keep talking about men's rights, but it was the police who shot up my building, and it was they who set it on fire.?

?Men's rights activists- the term's a perverse joke at this point, because its not even a kind euphemism for misogynists, anymore- are everywhere. It doesn't take a wild leap of self-centered logic for men in authority to be swayed to the idea that gender equality is a zero-sum game. And in a way, it is. Because to get to equality, that means removing privileges from men, and giving rights to women. I mean, it's good to do that, but I get why it pisses some men off. I just wish they would take it in stride- my husband was that way; they were born lucky- but that doesn't entitle them to keep that luck the rest of their lives. You synched your watch up, right??

?Yeah, this morning, with Anna.?

?What time is it??

?Fifteen after two.?

?That gives us ten more minutes- which in sniping is crunch time. I want you keeping an eye out through those binoculars. We're more concerned about trucks and vans. They usually arrive in force- like they're worried if they didn't we'd start a firefight in the streets. But keep an eye out for men in uniform, or armed; also let me know if you see a glint of light coming from cover. That could mean there's a counter-sniper out there after all- or at least that they've got someone spotting.?

?And if there is, I introduce them to my lanky friend, here.? she tapped the side of her rifle. ?It fires one of these,? Mae handed her a round longer than her hand was wide. ?This is a Raufoss. It?s a .50 caliber anti-materiel projectile. It?s classified as such because using one on a human being is against all kinds of treaties, because it produces unnecessary suffering. That?s because the Raufoss utilizes an armor-piercing tungsten core, and an explosive and an incendiary component. The bullet will penetrate about a foot before it goes kablooey, so against an unarmored human, it?s basically a normal round. Through the side of a vehicle, or somebody wearing some extreme armor- it'll blast their spine through their backs like shrapnel, and leave a burning crater behind.?

?We're using the Raufoss because as a sniper in a support capacity, you never know what you're going to need to kill in a hurry- it's versatile. It'll kill people just fine, but it's also effective against vehicles and other materiel.?

?.50 caliber is also interesting domestically, because it's the maximum allowable bore before a firearm became considered a destructive device under the National Firearms Act of 1934- of course, that was before it was repealed- ahem, sorry, something in my throat, I meant replaced- with absolutely nothing.?

?You know, they?ve talked about taking all of our guns away? I mean, Anna, Jeanine, maybe even Ofelia, by dint of having the brand, they?ve de facto already lost their right to bear arms; there?s no one who will sell to them, not even at a gun show. And women carrying guns they didn't buy legally have started getting charges they used to reserve for gangs and traffickers. But the ?Congress,? if you can hold back the retching long enough to call them that, they?ve been talking about removing the right to bear arms from all women, making it only legal for them to have a firearm owned by their husband or male benefactor, and only legal to ever use to protect their ?virtue.??

?It's un-fucking-believable; they still refuse to close the gun show loophole, years after the preeminent terrorist organization in the world publically stated gun shows was their preferred way for terrorists to get their guns. Because of a weird politcal cross-sectional thing, the people who attend gun shows are mostly men's righters, or at least sympathizers; gun shows are basically traveling men's rights rallies. It?s straight-up dangerous for a branded woman to go walking into a gun show, let alone try to walk out with a firearm.?

?It used to be, MUPOF and their splinter groups, they?d just brand a woman and set her loose. That was all they had to do. You think a woman with an ?A? burned into her eye gets a call back after a job interview? You think a woman with a ?W? scar healing over her cheek can keep her job for longer than the week it takes her boss to get up the courage up to fire her for a pretext??

?And it isn't even that all men agree with this shit. But it's a reminder to them, of how bad things have gotten, and the fact that they can't protect the women in their lives. It's emasculating. And you know how fucking catty women can be; they look down their noses at us, because it could never happen to them.?

?But those fucks decided it wasn?t enough to turn women into outcasts who can't feed themselves. We still weren?t properly fearing them, so they started raping women they caught. But it?s gotten so that we look back with fondness on the days where you?d just get raped. The militias have started abducting women. They can?t just brutalize them in one go; no, that was too humane. So they beat them, and rape them, over and over again. The goal is to utterly break the woman, so they can send her back, so that women who buck the system can see what's waiting for them. I'd rather not come back, than come back like that.?

?But that's what this whole thing is about: quality of life. If you just want to survive, hey, you can hold that aspirin between your knees until you're married, then give your husband as many children as he wants- or more likely, spread for him as often as he wants which results in more children than probably anybody wants. Your only real mortal threats there are an abusive husband or hemorrhaging. But it also isn?t living, except in the most rudimentary sense.?

She slid her scope back onto her rifle's rails, and tightened down the bolt to keep it steady. ?We just want what the Founding Fathers wanted, what slaves wanted, what the sufferagette movement took the first step towards; we want control over our lives, and sovereignty over our bodies. That?s a life of quality.?

Lisa didn't know what to say to any of that. But she didn't have to figure it out, either, because a voice came over her radio. ?Mayday??

Mae keyed her radio. ?Everything looks clear from the nosebleeds.?

?I'll send him out, then.?

Mae set her radio down. ?SOP is to let the man come out, first. Again, it's because he's the least likely to get any flak. When the girl spots him she should come- there, running out from behind a tree. She must have had a good spot, since I didn't see her before now.?

?And there's our mystery man, coming out of the? Mae stopped watching through the scope, and raised her radio. ?It?s supposed to be Clint. What the fuck??

?She didn?t trust him. Something about his face. So Mike?s taking her.?

?And nobody thought to tell me??

?I thought you knew.?

?Well, obviously not. Things are otherwise Kosher??

?As a circumcised wang.?

?God do I envy Israeli women?? Mae said; she hadn't keyed her radio for that last part. ?Though I can completely see what she means about Clint. With that little half-beard, his mouth looks like the first rug I ever munched, back in college.?

?I'll take that as a compliment,? he said from behind them. Lisa dropped her binoculars from the surprise, but they swung harmlessly along the leather strap around her neck.

?You little shit,? Mae said.  

?When Anna said last minute, she meant just a few minutes ago. I was supposed to meet her inside one of the buildings, and did, but she was spooked, and said she wouldn't go with me. Mike stepped in, which is mostly luck, since it was beyond short notice. It's also... a little more dangerous, since it's a meet out in the open.?

?You just had to jinx it,? Mae said, her finger resting on the trigger.

?What? What do you see??

?Armed men, three of them, approaching.?

?Wait,? Clint said. ?Could just be a random foot patrol or-?

?I know my job,? she told him. ?I only fire if I think they're going to attack. Crap, gun!? Lisa heard the gunshot echo along the wall of buildings. ?He shot Mike,? Mae said, ?right in the head.? She took a deep breath to calm herself down. Then she exhaled, and while the breath was still trickling out of her she pulled the trigger.

Lisa watched as the man with the pistol's throat erupted in a cloud of pink mist. A fraction of a second later, the air behind the three men exploded, and fire leapt at their backs.

?He'll bleed out, eventually, but the dinguses with him will be focused on saving his life- after they put themselves out.? The man with the pistol fell to his knees, then on his face. His back was smoldering, and a large puddle was collecting under his neck. The others with him dropped onto the ground and rolled. ?Now, run, Goddamnit,? Mae said, trying to will the girl to move. But she was frozen, staring off.

?It's an ambush,? Anna said through the radio. ?Provide cover as long as you can, but I have to get out.?

One of the two officers went to help the gunshot man, but the other stood, and drew a revolver. He braced his arms to steady the pistol; Mae recognized the way his muscles were tensing as he prepared to fire.

?Godspeed,? Mae said, as she pulled the trigger a second time, and the man's chest opened up as the Raufoss punched a hole through his heart. This time the bullet's exit trajectory put it within a foot of the other two men before it erupted into a ball of force and fire. Ironically, the man who'd been trying to keep the throat-shot cop alive took the brunt of it- probably saving the other man's life. But it killed him, and without him to keep pressure on the other man's throat wound, he would be dead in seconds.

?Run, you goddamned idiot,? Mae said. Then she saw why Merril was frozen. A column of men were marching towards her down the street. They'd hardly sped up when the gunfire started; it was only then that Lisa realized only seconds had passed since the first shot had been fired.

?I love it when assholes bunch up like a soccer team.? Mae put a round through the first man on the left. It punched a hole through his forehead, and blew brains and skull into the man behind him; but he didn't have a chance to worry about it, because the bullet caught him in the throat, right before it exploded.

She knew she wasn't going to get another opportunity like this, so she fired the other two shots in the magazine into the center of the group, not even waiting long enough to target anything more specific than the navy mass of bodies. ?Magazine,? she bellowed.

Lisa stared helplessly at the girl through the binoculars. Finally she ran, away from the buildings. ?Type?? Clint asked, realizing that Lisa probably had no idea she was supposed to help with the reload.

?Regular's good,? Mae said. ?Lots of flesh targets.?

Clint reached into the bag Mae had been carrying, and pulled out a magazine with a blue dot on it. She handed him the spent magazine, and he put it into a separate pouch in the bag while she loaded the fresh one.

The column of cops were hardly moving. At least a few of them would live, but they weren't Mae's concern, anymore, because they weren't even crawling.

?Shit, car,? Lisa said, pointing. ?Cars. They're going to cut her off.? The cars came down the road from out of town, and slid to a stop so that they entirely blocked the road.

The girl turned back towards the buildings. But a second group of cops were spreading out towards her. They were deliberately keeping their distance from one another to limit the effectiveness of the Raufoss rounds.

Mae put a bullet through the door of the first police cruiser, and into the cop hiding behind it. That chastened the others in the cars- they weren't getting out, at least not for a few more seconds. And that gave her time to put a round through the hip of one of the cops advancing. But one of the others pointed up towards the rooftop where they were.    

Clint noticed. ?Mayday, we need to bug the fuck out of here.? She fired again. ?You can't kill every man in North America. We need to go.? She fired again. ?The new meat won't be able to make it out of here without you.? She fired again. And pulled the trigger again, but this time the hammer fell on an empty chamber. Mae sighed.

?Yeah. Spineless weasel though you may be, you're right. Living to fight another day is more important than going out slathered in the geysering spray from bullet wounded dicks. But I need one more.?

?Mae,? he said, but he was already in the bag for another magazine.

?For the girl,? she said, as she exchanged the old mag for the new. She slapped it in, slid the bolt back, and sighted her in. ?I'm sorry,? she whispered, and exhaled, and while she did, she fired. ?And for good luck,? she stood up, and fired a round each through the engines of the two patrol cars. ?That ought to slow their pursuit.?

?Did you just kill two cars?? Lisa asked, a little impressed.

?Yeah,? Mae said, ?and an innocent girl. Definitely not chalking today up as a win.? She handed the rifle to Clint, walked over to the edge of the roof and jumped down onto the fire escape.

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