Thursday, August 12, 2021
‘So these Male Silkworms, aren't really Silkworms as you and I understand the meaning?’ Allison said the
next morning over breakfast.
‘No just thieves and opportunists. Make no mistake, they are lethal opponents, skilled in combat and other methods of a more intimate nature, but they have nothing to do with our history or organisation. They just took the name as a means to an end, a way of getting, what’s the word,’ Esha said.
‘An in,’ Allison finished.
‘Yes, thank you. They copied everything about us, right down to the structure, we base our group around Hives, so do they. Our history goes back over 2000 years, theirs, barely 200,’ Esha said with disdain in her mouth.
‘If they bother you so much, why not eliminate them?’
‘If we cross paths, we do, otherwise we just ignore them, kind of like a badly maintained house on a good street. You pick your battles and besides, they steer clear of us,’ Esha smiled at that.
‘So, they're scared of you, but compete against you. That makes no sense, why risk your life or livelihood if you know you can’t win, unless you know you can or someone says you can.
‘I’m willing to bet they are involved with TRIDENT, maybe not as a full member, but as an associate, friends with benefits. Thieves have a way of raising money on a constant basis, a cash flow. It's not too hard of a stretch to connect them to The Strippers Guild to you. The Male Silkworms have a cash flow and perhaps want more attention from TRIDENT than they are currently getting. Strippers love cash, TRIDENT see’s a cheap and easy way to eliminate a bunch of independent women by using a third party. Kind of a classic mob movie plot, only they didn’t count on the classic femme fatale angle,’ Allison smiled at Esha. ‘We need to find out how many are in that hive and what they are up to. Maybe we get lucky and get some of the items back if one of them leaves with it.’
‘This lets you out,’ Esha said looking at her blonde partner. ‘You stand out way too much around these parts. This is my role, but I will need a different wardrobe,’ she lamented.
He passed a woman sitting on a step who lay slumped over with a few discarded items at her feet so hoped someone would buy. He’d seen it all before, the streets were littered with them, he side stepped her doing his best not to touch her, then continued on his way. The dirty shawl moved just a fraction as a hand texted.
‘She certainly has been busy,’ Seetha said as she read the briefing Claire had handed her and the other
‘Once she gets going, she’s hard to stop,’ Claire said with a certain pride in her voice.
‘These are extremely unconventional ideas, nothing like we’ve ever done in the past,’ a Silkworm named Ranti said.
‘The past won’t serve us at the present,’ Seetha said as Claire hung back sensing this could devolve into something.
‘I agree with Ranti,’ Sangeeta added.
‘I agree with the others,’ Avati said as well. Seetha respected this Silkworm a little more than the others so she looked concerned, her judgement and in fact her leadership were being tested. ‘But,’ Avati answered after a long pause. ‘We will not survive, neither as a group nor as individuals if we do not adapt, that is true of all things. Adding another avenue to recruitment is not a bad thing. Over the course of our history we expanded into what is now Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. When we did that those women brought their own geographic skills and talents to the Silkworms. That integration made us better and helped further our expansion. Now we must look to that vision again or face extinction. Those assembled around this table and our absent sister Esha are the new foundation of the Silkworms, upon us will this succeed or fail and I want to succeed. Far from seeing this as the best of a worst choice scenario, we should embrace it, welcome new women from all over, dare I say, even from FORCE if they wanted to and with our hostess’s blessing, of course.’
All eyes looked at Claire with this last comment and Seetha looked a little uncomfortable and to Claire’s mind a little embarrassed at the afrontry of Avati’s comment.
‘Well, telling tales out of school,’ Claire said after a long and very uncomfortable silence that even Avati now wished she'd never made her comment Claire spoke. ‘We have tried to create, for want of a better term, A Mature Agent Section, but it has never really materialised. Mostly the women are used in highly specialised roles, not fully active agents. You can imagine the ego deflating blow that deals them. Some transition into teaching roles, which you will find out in the coming weeks, most just retire, a tremendous waste of a beautiful woman. That failure is on me, so I can in some small way help both parties, but it would of course be up to the individual women in question. You do realise the implication of that question?’ Claire asked.
‘Priorities change over time as do alliances and friendships,’ Avati answered.
Seetha was relieved on the inside, of course she showed nothing on the outside, but she could see all were in agreement.
‘I don’t want you because you need me at this moment,’ Claire said. I don’t ever want you to think of this as a power imbalance relationship. I would support you either way,’ Claire said, then Seetha cut her off.
‘I have explained your very deep reverence for us Claire, I know how deep it is, I think it's time you showed the rest of The Hive what I have seen.’
‘Very well, ladies please follow me,’ Claire offered.
Claire led the group out of the conference room part of the hotel past the front desk and down the hall to the casino. They turned into one of the halls, even at midday it was noisey with players and tables, slots and games, lights, bells and human noise creating a din of sound that the group pushed through along the way to a corner of the room and to a very secure door. Claire swiped a card and the door opened inward slowly. The hallway they were in was very plain, tile floor and white walls, although everyone could tell they were made of concrete. Claire walked down the long hallway that diverged in two directions. Here she stopped and addressed the group, the door behind them had closed so the whole place was silent.
‘That way is the Counting Room, as De Niro said in Casino, The Holy of Holies. Off limits to everyone, I know you’ll respect it. This way please,’ she said, taking the other hallway that ended in another large and very secure vault like door with a retinal eye scanner. Everyone, please step up and place your left eye against the cup, hold it there until you hear the beep.’
All did as requested, then Claire let Seetha come forward and scanned her eye, the door opened.
Claire walked inside to the centre of the room, Seetha right with her while the remaining Silkworms moved in slowly looking about as they moved inside the library.
‘Your Queen has already seen this room and knows its contents. All of you now have access to whenever you desire. I will leave you to it,’ Claire said bowing to Seetha before walking out.
‘A library, obviously, but a specific library. In here are books, teaching manuals, manuscripts, scrolls and even diaries of Silkworm history and others. Texts on yoga, weapons, dances, seduction, clothing, sexual techniques among other areas. The terminals offer instant search and cross reference abilities. You can look at the actual documents, but you must wear gloves, provided of course in boxes about the room. If you wish to study outside the library, you can access it online. I will monitor everything, online access means just that, nothing can be copied or downloaded, there is no exception to this rule. What you are looking at ladies is essentially the most complete history of the Silkworms in one place, including hidden coded texts that FORCE obtained and decoded. There’s much more, but I will leave it up to you on how best to use it ,’ Seetha finished then seeing looks about added. ‘Claire gave us this of her own free will, I knew nothing of it, she showed it to me one day without prompting. FORCE, with this knowledge could have finished us off with little trouble, but they chose not to, instead they let us be and came to our aid when we needed it most. I know for some of you, given your past, this is hard to accept, by that I mean help from others. We, as Silkworms are trained to be self-reliant and insular, perhaps too much so as it appears now. But, we have been given a second chance and a friend I would recommend we embrace both as we begin again.’
Seetha saw that they accepted what she had said as she knew they would. Many of her Hive had, as she had told Claire, had already formed friendships with FORCE agents who had visited the casino/hotel and with some of the higher management people.
‘The plan is coming together, slower than we would like, for me anyway, maybe a couple of more days,’ Allison commented as she worked.
‘Impetuous, you will never make a good Silkworm,’ Esha smiled.
‘Good thing I have a few years to work on getting less so.’
‘I admit, this is not my favourite part of the mission either, but we are very close.’
It was indeed several more days in the dusty alley. There were comings and goings of men from the building, all paying her no attention at all. That would change tomorrow morning. When dark started to fall she shuffled off as she had done every other day, the shadows in the alley enveloping her purposefully slow moving figure.
‘Here let me do it, you’re much too polite,’ Allison said as she made a fist and slammed it against the door four or five times.
‘Your sure you’re dressed appropriately for this occasion, me dear,’ Esha smirked.
‘What don’t tell me this was a formal assassination event!’ Allison mocked. ‘I like to move freely when I do this, besides this suit has a few hidden features. Hand to hand is fine, but not with twelve of these dudes. As many as we can kill quickly the better. Besides, you're one to talk about attire!’ she said looking at Esha with a raised eyebrow. ‘I hear someone coming.’
The door slammed open, just missing the woman with a can in her hand.
‘Please sir,’ was all she said, not even looking up, but he could see the tears streaming down her face.
‘Go away old woman before I make you go away!’ he yelled.
‘Please sir,’ she said again, thrusting the can into his face.
He was just about to yell again when a white powder exploded in his face and he fell forward with a thud to the ground. Allison was inside, up the narrow stairs in a flash, Esha right behind her.
Allison came into a main room, twelve sided with a door on each side and in the middle a raised display case on top of an electronic safe, the dimensions of the whole apparatus about 3’x5’
‘Come out and play,’ Allison yelled and got her wish. Five doors opened quickly, three in front of her, two behind. She cartwheeled backward, turning as she went and drove her foot straight up into the jaw of one Male Silkworm, the knife blade from the toe of the running shoe entering under his chin and embedding somewhere in his brain! Her other leg swung up and kicked his head free. She shoulder rolled to the floor and spun, the blade slicing the Achilles of the other who had been behind her. He fell back first to the floor when a now standing Allison drove the blade into his ear and beyond then braced her free foot against the side of his and pulled the blade out upon which it retracted back into her shoe.
‘Well enough of that, too much of a good thing and all. How about something else,’ she smiled and pulled two black items, up to now invisible, off her leggings and released them with a snap of her wrists.
Across the room two more Male Silkworms fell. ‘You are lucky number five, no razor thin resin darts for you, just a good old fashioned ass kicking,’ Allison said, the hunger in her voice unmistakable.
The Male Silkworm was wearing only a while loincloth, like the others and like the others he was well muscled, toned and bald. He did not seem afraid of this blonde assassin. He rushed forward arms and legs going about in a furious rate as he tried to connect. Allison pareed all the blows and when she saw an opening she struck. A hard upward knee slammed into his package stopping cold before a Scorpion Kick connected to his bald head knocking him to the ground.
‘You should wear protection down there,’ Allison offered as she grabbed one of his arms and broke it at the elbow. He was still screaming from that when she did the same to one of his legs. She kicked him over onto his back and pulled him into a sitting position with his good arm, twisted that into an arm bar then stuck a knife blow to his Adam’s Apple. He gurgled for a second before falling sideways dead.
It was at this point another door opened and out came Rudra Surve.
‘Your late, so I started without you,’ Allison smirked as she walked away from the body to the centre of the room and the display case. ‘Your associates didn’t want to cooperate and give me what’s in the safe,’ she added.
‘And what do you think is in there?’ he asked, taking a step closer.
‘All the items The Strippers Guild took from the Silkworms they killed.
‘And you want them for yourself?’ he sneered.
‘If I did, you’d already be dead oh and you can stop looking around for those doors to suddenly open. The rest of your Hive is dead, that just leaves you,’ Allison smiled. ‘Go ahead and look if you want, they were all taken care of days ago,’ she explained holding up a needle. “Aari needle used in embroidery and a Silkworm weapon. I created a time delayed poison, coated the end and well, in a jostling crowd and in the hands of a skilled user, a person would barely if at notice they’d been scratched. Seems I screwed up on the last two batches as the bodies would indicate, but the workout while short was fun, well for me anyway. Now the items please, all of them,’ she added her voice now serious and threatening.
‘I can see you planned this well, but the Master of the Hive is much harder to kill,’ he threatened right back, making a move for her.
‘I can’t take all the credit, I had help, which I brought along. Let me introduce you,’ Allison said as she walked to the stairs, extended her hand and brought someone into the light.
‘This is Graveeta. We only met ten days ago. Up until that point she was working in a, well, an establishment under not nice circumstances. Now she’s a Silkworm Trainee and if I may say an excellent one! Her skills with embroidery were put to good use over that time frame.’
‘So you’re a Silkworm then. I didn’t think they took Western women, but I guess they were desperate,’ he mocked. ‘This is good news for me, now there are two of you to kill.’
‘But wait, hold on, because this is a special occasion we’ll throw in a real Silkworm for free. Call now for guaranteed appointment with death,’ Allison continued as her hand extended again, pulling a cloaked figure into the light.
Graveeta came silently over, moved behind and removed the cloak
Esha was revealed in splendour.
She was bejewelled in a crown, a gorgeous ruby bindi, ornate circular earrings with an aquamarine centre jewel. The most striking were the gold coloured fingernail extensions on each hand. Her body was taut and magnificent, covered in a twisted gold cloth bandeau around her breasts while a slit shirt on both legs covered her waist and gave her legs freedom to extend and show their beauty. Her form swayed like a snake ready to strike its prey who looked at her in her captivation.
She said nothing just moved forward, her body dancing to a rhythm most beguiling. She got closer to him before he struck and missed completely, Esha hissing as he did. Her torso turned in ways Allison could not comprehend, always avoiding strikes from him. He lunged, overextending himself, Esha caught his torso on her back and using her arms in a graceful dance motion flipped him over hard to the floor where she swayed overtop of him before moving away. He got to his feet quickly and came at her, she turned away a hand moving fast across her body, then again as he passed by her.
‘You missed Silkworm,’ he smiled.
‘Perhaps or I just have a very light touch, Esha offered as she swayed away from him, the pace of her dance increasing.
He came after her, a graceful turn delivered a stinging blow to the inside of one of his thighs followed by another series of hands swaying about his chest and neck.
‘It appears I didn’t miss alt all,’ she mocked as she danced about while he looked down at tiny bubbles of blood on lines across his chest, arms and legs. ‘You don’t need to cut deep to wound,’ she added as a hand flashed out again and back, his loincloth falling away. ‘I see, you're not circumcised, one more cut required,’ she added, a wry smile on her lips.
‘I’m going to need a cold shower after this is over,’ Allison thought as she watched Esha sway about, imagining what it would feel like against hers.
Rudra Surve was not without his cunning or tricks, he kicked the loincloth away as he headed for a door and pulled from the frame of it a spear. Allison reached for a dart, but then noticed Esha was unfazed by it, so she relaxed, but just a touch.
‘I don’t blame you,’ Esha smiled. ‘The spear you possess was never going to trouble me,’ she said looking at his genitals to drive home the reference.
Rubra became incensed by the remark and the spear flashed about, always missing, Esha graceful, daring, flexible, rapid and always sexy in her motion. Allison and Graveeta marvelling at the martial art dance.
No matter what he did, the Male Silkworm could not land a blow on his female namesake. Esha was too cunning and slippery, her lithe body, sinuous and evasive to him. The other two were aghast at Esha’s speed and fluidity, she never seemed to tire, indeed her dance accelerated into a frenzied gyration, of arms and legs, the two transfixed by it then it ended with Esha posed stock still on the tips of her toes, her arms extended straight out from both sides, her metallic fingers closed slowly together much like a fan being folded up as her arms lowered to her sides. Allison had never seen a more perfectly displayed and desirable form in her life, the female form in perfection. She watched Esha, transfixed by her, unaware of the Male Silkworm clutching his throat with one hand while the other grabbed between his legs before the edifice fell forward with a thud.
Graveeta rushed to Esha’s side, the open cloak enveloping her while Allison shook the erotic image of Esha from her mind and came foward.
‘Well no great loss,’ she mused looking at Rubra's detached penis. ‘But you missed circumcision by a mile!’
Allison left the two and moved to the safe. She reached for the rubber heel of her shoe, found the tag and pulled it down then removed the decoder. ‘Depending on how complicated they made the code, this could take a little time,’ she explained about starting the device. And waiting for it to sync up. ‘It will work through the combinations. It's sync’d to our mainframe and we have priority access. I suggest we search the bodies of the others and anywhere else we can look while this does its thing,’ the spy said as the others came over.
They fanned out into the honeycomb of rooms, checking the bodies, furniture, anything. They found a few small things, rings, earrings,bracelets, nothing Esha recognized from any of the other Silkworms she knew, but she admitted, she did not know them all and Silkworms had vast collections. They returned to the safe about an hour later to see it had several numbers to go, so they waited until the click on the lock opened the safe and the drawers. Allison turned the handle then let go and stepped back.
‘Please Yogini,’ was all she said as Esha stepped forward.
Most people would have been frantic to open the drawers as she pulled them out, but Esha did this as she did everything in a refined elegant manner, then she lifted the cover on her pearls. Her hands shook just the slightest, Graveeta touched them and with the most tender of motions used the end of her scarf to wipe a tear from one corner of Esha’s eye.
The trainee lifted the necklace strand that Allison counted at easily twenty, on the palms of her hands and moved behind Esha then raised it up and over her head and down to her neck where Esha place both her hands to hold then as Graveeta secured the clasp then straightened them. Both women got on their knees and touched Esha’s feet with their hands, rising to find her face streamed with tears that a kiss on each cheek from the two only made worse.
‘We should leave, in this heat, no matter how back alley this place is, it's going to start smelling, Graveeta explained.