I was only sitting at the park bench for ten minutes before Kristin walked up and sat next to me. We exchanged a quick kiss, and she nestled into my shoulder. From there it was all whipsers.
"I see you made it alright," she started.
"Yeah, I did. For what Jack and I were supposed to do, I wasn't concerned. How'd stuff go on your end? How is everyone?"
She shrugged against me. "Jack sprained an ankle as he made his escape. Going down the stairs to his subway exit; he tripped. Not a big deal, but he's going to be bitching for weeks." She was silent for a few moments before continuing. I waited patiently. She did seem very edgy. "Listen, there was a pretty big problem. The guy riding shotgun decided not to let us get away. The other two kept yelling that the devices were bombs, and he was going to get everyone killed, but he was all up on duty or whatever." She paused again. "He climbed out the window. We didn't really know what he was doing until Eric and I jumped out of the car and he was standing there, holding a gun on us... Le Contesse was still in the van... and she shot him."
"What?" I shouted. That drew some looks from the casual passerby, and so I whispered to her, "What? I thought Le Contesse was the one that said there'd be no weapons."
She waited a few moments for interest in us to die down, and for people to walk away. "Le Contesse is never unarmed. Why do you think s/he's always wearing those huge panniers? There's an arsenal under there."
"Yeah, shit. I don't think she killed him, but I wasn't about to sit around and find out. Unfortunately, it was just at that moment that the magnets gave out. We barely had time to get away, as it is, we almost missed the rendevous. And when the three of us spent a few extra minutes running around with empty bags, just to throw the trail off of the bag-lady... well, I was nervous as hell."
"I can't belive it. So what are we going to do?"
"Nothing. What are we supposed to do? We wait for the money to come back from the 'cleaners'. We use it to fund our operation, and hope that the investigation doesn't get too close. It shouldn't... I'm pretty sure we made a clean getaway. Take Back the Streets did a good job of keeping the cops busy, and keeping traffic too chaotic for them to get to us in time."
"This just changes things alot... I mean..."
"You didn't want anyone to die. That's specifically why you were on bike detail. The revolution isn't a dinner party Thom. People are going to get hurt; it's unavoidable. I'm sorry it had to happen... I mean, people like him, the people that work for the Establishment because it's there- not because they have any specific love in it- those are the people we're trying to help. Things like this just turn them against us. But when it comes down to it, we have to be willing to have a body count. We shouldn't try for it- we should try and minimize it, but when someone points a gun at you, you reply with force. Just remember, that the establishment has more guns and money than we do. Brute force won't help, but a careful application of it, in the weak places, can work miracles."
"You sound like the sensei I took Karate from in middle school."
Kristin grinned. "That's because I'm a triple dan. Though I really prefer the little Kung Fu I got to learn. Though a few of those Ju-Jitsu positions can be interesting positions for... other things."
"You're just full of surprises."
"Listen, I have to get back to work. But now that we're caught up, there's a few more things. First, you still in?"
I thought about it. I still didn't think I could kill anyone. But as Kristin pointed out, we didn't want to. And I had to admit, the plan was designed to hurt no one. It just failed. So long as the plans stayed that way, I could probably handle it. It would always leave a bad taste in my mouth, but honestly, what could one expect? "Yeah, I'm still in."
"The ability to govern stems from efficacy; if people belive that the government serves them, they'll serve the government." She reached into her purse and pulled out a CD in a paper envelope. She pressed it into my hands. "First, read the files on this. Then, drop an email into LeContesse's secret drop, and she'll give you further instructions. Oh, in there is your secret email address and password." She kissed me again and stood up. "And listen, tomorrow night, want to do something that doesn't involve saving the world? A band that I'm friends with is playing at the Batcave."
I sighed heavily. This was still all too weird. "Yeah, sounds great."