Murphy's Law In The Windy City
Murphy's First Law: Nothing is as easy as it looks.
On a dark and crisp September evening, on a rooftop in Chicago, a very angry agent of Project Freelancer was muttering every English and Spanish curseword in her, obviously very extensive, vocabulary.
Her tan-colored partner, on the rooftop adjacent to hers, winced in sympathy for the poor sap who had just delivered the bad news. The news that their entire plan for infiltrating the 70 story skyscraper in front of them was going... going... gone.
And every word coming out of her mouth was echoing over the radio.
In an attempt to get her to calm down and focus on more important things, Agent New York asked, confusedly, "So... What are we supposed to do now?"
His 19-year-old partner, tantrum thrown and ready to deal with the problem at hand, simply sighed and stood up.
"Wait, where are you going?" York said, even more confused than before, as she walked to the other side of her roof.
Agent Louisiana had chosen to reside on that particular abandoned building for two reasons. (A) The aforementioned abandoned-ness and (B) if she walked to the far side then, from his vantage-point several buildings away, their other companion lost sight of her.
At that point, she might have had to listen to the white-armored Freelancer whine rather Britishly about not seeing her, but she had already initiated what she called 'Dickhead Radio Silence.' Immediately after they got into position. Three hours previously.
Their objective: "Appropriate" (meaning "steal") some data files from an office on the top floor that supposedly held information about Insurrectionist leaders in the Inner Colonies.
The plan: Using the arrival of the guests to the charity event taking place on the lower floors as a cover, scale the building and quietly break in through the roof.
Subtlety was the key here, not brute force. That fact alone made Louisiana question what the hell the other agent was supposed to be doing on the mission, considering he was about as subtle as a purple elephant with yellow polka-dots.
'Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy' as she had put it after they were briefed.
But, as Murphy's Law proves, nothing is as easy as it seems.
"Seriously, this is just ridiculous," she said to herself softly, if not calmly, as she removed her helmet (revealing her oddly colored hair), inserted an earpiece to keep in contact with York, and began to fumble with the straps holding on her armguards.
"Hey, what are you-"
But she wasn't listening to York.
"Everyone knows that the security advertised for events like these are always doubled, sometimes even tripled, but doubling that?! Isn't that just a tad bit paranoid?"
Not bothering to allow any voice other than her own to respond, she answered her semi-rhetoric query with a semi-sarcastic retort.
"Of course, (A) There's no such thing as paranoia. And (B) Even if there was, then apparently it would be completely justified seeing as we, ourselves, are trying to break in."
A stunned York watched in fascinated silence as she stripped off the last of her silver over-armor, then blushed deeply and turned away quickly as she moved to unzip her black body-suit.
He jumped guiltily, and blushed even more, when he heard his other companion's extremely British voice asking "What the bloody hell is going on over there? Where did Louisiana go? I can't see a thing!" over the radio.
York quickly severed communications with the other agent when he realized that he couldn't hear Louisiana talking to herself over the incessant yammering.
"I can't believe I volunteered for this crap," she muttered disgruntledly, before York heard her pause and give a satisfied sigh. She relished the feeling of the cool air on her mostly naked body (it was times like these that she was grateful she wore undergarments under her body suit).
As York turned around to check on her, which brought on another bout of blood rushing to his cheeks (as well as other places), it hit him why she insisted on being positioned on that particular building.
Wyoming. That man had issues.
Then Louisiana continued speaking as she began to pull on a piece of black fabric (York had no clue where she'd gotten it),
"But, seriously?! Almost ten guys on the roof alone! Aren't you goin' a little overboard there, bud?" Then she sighed again. "Fucking rich people."
His composure regained, as well as his cocky attitude and usual coloring, York looked her over from head to toe. "Going somewhere, are we?"
"Not we. Me" was the clipped response he got.
"So... What with the flashiness?"
Another sigh. This one more depressed and defeated than the others. "As much as I hate to admit it," she began. "Murphy's Laws do tend to prevail, especially in my previous profession, and sixteen arrests for not having a backup plan have taught me to have plans through the letter G. At least."
"And this would be Plan-?" He let the question hang in the air as she slid on a pair of strappy, black, 4-inch heels with Greek-style laces winding up to the middle of her calves.
Where is she getting all this stuff? York thought, confused for the sixth time that night.
"This would be 'Plan I'. As in 'I hate this plan'"
"Why do you hate this plan?" He asked, curious as to why she would hate a plan that she herself came up with and was, in fact, implementing as they spoke.
"Too damn familiar." Clear and concise. Simple and easy. Bitter and irritable. And for York, it just brought on a whole new round of questions. But, those could wait.
She then donned a thin, silver chain with a black teardrop that settled at the hollow of her throat.
Done with that, Louisiana surveyed her completed outfit.
The dress was made of soft, black cotton that did a good job of curving around her torso without hugging it, then flaring out slightly when it reached her hips, and ended just above her knees.
Her left arm and shoulder were completely bared, while the full-length sleeve on her right arm mimicked the body of the dress. It was form-fitted to her arm until it reached her wrist, where it then flared out and ended at her knuckles.
"Your hair's bound to attract attention," he noted while eyeing the chin-length, royal purple curls. "It doesn't exactly match your established color scheme. And you should be thankful for those heels otherwise your height, or lack thereof, would attract attention, too."
"5'4" is a perfectly respectable height," Louisiana replied curtly, miffed at his teasing.
"No, it's minuscule," he fired back, smugly, before quickly moving on. "What exactly does 'Plan I' entail, anyway?"
She scrunched her curls, vaguely worried about helmet hair, as she smirked. "Simple. If we can't get in and take the files without them knowing, then I'll just have to bring the attention to me and have- What was the name of the guy throwing this bash?"
She looked at him expectantly for a minute before he realized that she was actually waiting for him to answer.
"Oh, um..." He fumbled around for a moment before he remembered. "His name is Antoine... Beauregard."
She nodded affirmatively, so he continued. "He's President and CEO of a... software company, born right here on Earth. In France."
She took a moment to mutter a sarcastic "Oh, yeah, I couldn't possibly have figured out the whole 'French' thing on my own."
"Hey, now!" York tried to sound wounded but Louisiana's attitude has always fascinated and amused him, so the grin on his face and in his voice gave it away. "No need to get snippy."
She glared at him briefly before muttering an almost unheard-of apology and continuing to share her plan.
"I'll have to look pretty noticeable to grab and hold his attention, then I'll... convince him to take me up to his office on the top floor."
York was hesitant to ask, he had noticed that the young woman's moods often ranged from distracted to irritable and rarely contained anything very friendly, but his curiosity was too intense.
"How are you gonna 'convince' him to do that?" As far as he could tell, his colleague was nothing but a small bundle of hostility.
As soon as this thought flashed through his mind, Louisiana proved it wrong by grinning at him impishly. She nearly gave him a heart attack in the process, too. But, what could he say? The girl looked good when she wasn't frowning.
Her response "The traditional way, of course" sent shivers down his spine as she sauntered to the stairwell on her rooftop and headed down to the street.
Several minutes later, York was being chewed out by Wyoming for ignoring his attempts at contact (and changing the plan without his knowledge) and Louisiana was standing in the back of the line of guests, all vying to get into the building that housed her mark.
She shivered with something as close to delight as she could remember feeling in a long time. Just using that word took her back to the times when she'd be doing something like this for actual money. Or just for kicks.
Back then, she was more likely to carry a knife strapped to her thigh than a sniper rifle to her back, like she did while in armor.
She missed the good old days. Days when she worried about bills and motion sensor technology rather than ammunition and motion sensor technology.
"Alright," she said softly. "Testing, testing, one two three. Do you copy, Foxtrot 12?"
"I hear you, Foxtrot 13. Loud and clear." York answered, good-humored enough after Wyoming's lecture to try teasing her again. "By the way, you look pretty good down there, Louisiana. You been workin' out?"
Louisiana gave a soft laugh, drinking in the familiarity of her current predicament, gaining confidence from it and letting it lighten her mood. "Yeah, whatever, York... Thanks."
Sometimes, familiarity wasn't all that bad...
"No problem." He responded, smiling victoriously under his helmet for finally making the uptight new recruit laugh. His personal objective for the last two months.
"Well," she said excitedly. "Let's get this show on the road.
Sometimes, familiarity was downright comforting...