pop_tarts: xtina's ass (dirrty)
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"You're not like your mother."

Katrina punched him out, one fist to the jaw, and then took a bare foot and broke three of his ribs. Damn right she was nothing like her mother. Her mother would have stopped after the punch.

-

"They came looking for you again today." Oh, her mother. Some people should die before they grow old; it would be kinder. not her mother, though, her mother may have retired her letter in the ring, but not the life. They still lived in a tenement, her and momma, boxers still dropping by, still dropping drugs. Still hitting the club at least three times a week. It might have been kinder, having Chris die a harsh, brutal death, having her life cut short, but her mother followed absolutely no rules at all.

"What did they say?" Katrina now had the crowd shouting 'A', shrieking her fame.

"Vandalism, this time." Her momma was smoking tea; the smell was sweet, heavy. Katrina sat, shucking all but her kerchief. Her momma sat up on the bed, put the rolled cigarette out carefully. "You better watch it. They ain't playing."

Katrina strapped a pistol to her naked side. "Neither am I."

-

Sometimes her mother brought home a new person each night a week. Girls, Katrina's age, who shrieked loud enough to shake the walls; boys that she rode, tied them up or made them lay there face down as she fucked them. Usually though, her mother brought home the same people, always the boxers. Red from the club, Dea, the same faces. Katrina knew that in her own way these slum kids, all grown up, were family. For sure they were family.

It was saturday nights that her mother always brought someone home. Every saturday faithfully, they said, since pink died. Christina didn't go to the club on saturdays anymore.

-

They catch up to her in the tunnel, one of the deepest levels where there are still monitoring cameras. Two of them, in black suits, helmets and semi-automatics. The light down here is all green or yellow tinged; green from the many exit hatches, yellow from the old street lights, faded, nearly all burned out, glass encasing them covered in grime and pollution.

The light, or lack thereof, doesn't bother Katrina, not since the tour over to Asia with Gwen her mom made her take at thirteen. Out on the ocean, above deck, even out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the sky is still sickly yellow - but below decks is nearly pitch black, and soaking wet.

The guards, they're wearing infrared, night vision, and that's the piece of luck that saves her this time.

Ballet movements, nearly - slow motion, she drops to the ground as they run at her. There's the second mistake: they try and take her alive. A knife to the first kneecap, slicing the tendon, and one's down - the other, she smashes in the face with the butt of the .9 mil. He drops, howling, and then a shot to the head - step back, the second one's clutcing his leg and going white. Second shot to the head.

Her luck's been pretty good so far. A beeping in the corner signals a remote camera someone's tuned into - not that down here, anyone'll get a glimpse of anything. Aims, carefully and shoots the camera too.

-

Her mother admits she's never killed anyone before, but just because she's never had to. They define need differently, is all.

-

She gets in at nine am, staying out all night to confuse the cameras, emerging in a whole different sector of the city and two blocks away from her tenement. It's still a harrowing trip back to the building; her mother is waiting outside, and puts her own gate code in so Katrina doesn't have to register her presence at home.

"How long have you been waiting?" she asks her mother - even at high noon, the club closed out at six thirty and it's only a ten minute run home.

"A while." Her mother shrugged. "Len came by for a while, we smoked some tea."

Katrina doesn't know why her mother persists in keeping Len around; Len, who does goes home to a legal apartment and running water, who has a real job and even a cat. He's boring compared to the club kids her mother brings around, and yet whenever Katrina mentions it her mother refuses to explain. Sometimes, she just says, people matter. Katrina always answered, not to me.

"Are you hungry?" her mother asks, going into the tenement. "Pharrell sent a runner with some food."

Katrina barely ever sees her mother eat or sleep. "Are you going to eat?"

Her mother shakes her head. her shaved head looks sweaty in the stiffling room. "Sometimes," her mother says, putting food in front of Katrina, "I wonder if I did the right thing, keeping you from your father's people."

"My dad's dead," Katrina states flatly. She hates the tea trips her mother takes that end like this - she was inevitably rambly and sad. the only one who could handle her like this was Red.

Katrina's going to the Connect to get him when her mother said, "don't." She takes a piece of bread, dry, and starts to chew. "I'm fine, I have to work."

As she says it, she pulls out the straight razor she shaved her head with daily. It was a ritual before her mother went anywhere, and has been for as long as Katrina can remember. Anyone who shaved their head was in mourning, Katrina knew; it was the way club kids showed outward grief. One day, the first time Katrina dropped acid, she'd asked Red who had died.

"Half the world," red told her. "Half of A's world." Red was the only one that called her 'A' still. When Katrina pressed him about it, he told her, "your mother and father."

-

Katrina slept in the closet, to try and get out of the sun. She mises Al's call, she misses the second delivery Pharrell sends - glock pistols and a couple of authentic machine guns - she misses her mother coming back from work and getting ready to go out.

Monday is a safe night for the club. No one ever called her mother A, and the letter J was retired. Her mother refused to listen to the crowd calling for it - J was retired, and Red kept it that way. it had been since Katrina's father died.

-

Date: 2006-01-25 11:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cyclogenesis.livejournal.com
It lives! :o

I was just thinking about this 'verse the other day, it's interesting to see more of it.

Date: 2006-01-25 11:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ex-thissuga.livejournal.com
there's actually - I meant to write a whole other story before that, with plague that wipes out most of the characters, but I never got around to it. *G*

Date: 2006-01-25 11:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cyclogenesis.livejournal.com
Ha, I figured as much. I remembered the first of the plague stories, and I was all, I didn't miss anything, did I? Lise, you wacky thing.

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