Flatlander Woman.

Now that it’s done I’m starting to regret it. I said it in such a throwaway manner, I guess I wasn’t really certain it would have any effect. After all I’d seen first hand what Agent Navarre was capable of. It’s still hard to believe the power contained in those two words.

I didn’t really have a choice. What else could I do after learning that the organisation I worked for was responsible for harming the very people I’d sworn an oath to protect? She was on the wrong side, she stood in my way, it was her or me; at least that’s what I’ll keep telling myself. It’s an excuse though, and I know it, I’ve found creative ways to avoid supposedly insurmountable obstacles before, how was this any different? I just didn’t try did I?

I can’t accept that she understood the full extent of what she’d gotten involved in, she took her oath as seriously as I did. Our methods might have differed but out aims were the same. If I’d have a chance to talk to her, to explain, maybe I could have saved her.

I’d known Agent Navarre, Anna, for barely a day, and she was just starting to warm to me. One of the UNATCO troopers even joked that we’d make a cute couple; maybe we would have, though I think Gunther would have had something to say about that. She could be ruthless, even cold, but I guess she had to be. It can’t have been easy being a mechanically augmented agent. Constantly in need of repairs and tweaks, provoking fear and revulsion in equal measure from those she sought to protect. How could I ever understand what she’d been through, when I provoke barely a second glance? What tragedies in her past had driven her to willing sacrifice half her body to servos and electronics?  Was it all done willingly? There’s so little I really knew about her; I suppose I’ll never know now. Her accent was strong, Russian maybe, but her name was of Spanish origin, and I remember hearing somewhere that she served in Mossad.

I do know that she had a dream of a peaceful future, where: “One day every man and woman will quietly earn credits, purchase items for quiet homes on quiet streets, have cook-outs with neighbors and strangers alike, and sleep with doors and windows wide open.” But she must have realised there would be nothing for people like her or Agent Hermann in such a world? They were trained to fight, professional soldiers, good ones. What place for them in a world at peace? Maybe I did her a favour, a quick death instead of the eventual obsolescence and forced redundancy. Even if she’d managed to bring about her dream she was doomed never to appreciate them, her maintenance costs would be too high, and without a need for people like her who would be willing to pay? It was unlikely she could afford it, not on a government salary.

But then if a barmaid in Hell’s Kitchen could keep her augmentations in working order somebody of Anna’s intelligence and tenacity would have found a way. I did her a favour? Yeah right, that’s just me trying to assuage the guilt. I murdered her and I didn’t even respect her enough to give her a soldiers death, I kill her with a sentence; a death sentence.

Gunther will never forgive me, I don’t blame him. With his typical Teutonic efficiency he’ll find me eventually. He’ll never give up and I can’t run forever. The least I can do is give him a fighting chance.

If I survive, if I make it out of all this alive I’ll make sure they get a proper memorial, a nice garden somewhere, with their names engraved on a plaque, Anna Navarre and Gunther Hermann, together for eternity, in peace. I owe them that much.

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