Kat was not focused on her surroundings as she entered the training area. Last night’s experiment with the lightning
gun didn’t go nearly as well as she had been hoping. She was thinking about what had gone wrong and how to fix it when
she walked in and saw Elías kicking the shit out of some holograms.
Shit, shit, shit ... umm, what to do, what to do? And of course, while she was still deciding, the dude who runs the
training area came up to her with his clipboard.
“So, Kat! What can we do for you today?”
Kat twisted her body so she wasn’t looking at Elías, in a second-grader’s logic of hiding: if I can’t
see you, you can’t see me ... “Shooting. I was hoping to practice shooting today.” She looked at the
clipboard-guy, almost hoping he’d tell her the shooting range was closed for ... repairs? Cleaning?
Clipboard-Guy only nodded and said, “Right this way, we’ll pull up a selection of firearms for you to practice
Elías hit the last target with a spectacular aerial roundhouse kick, and next to the ring a digital readout appeared, rating
his performance. As he grabbed a towel from a locker nearby to dry off, he noticed the training area coordinator leading
Kat over to the shooting range.
He picked up his bag and followed them, wanting to speak to Kat.
Kat shifted through the guns, and hefted them, trying to get a feel for each of them, and finally selected a sleek Sig-91.
She walked over to the shooting area, and got into position.
She loved inventing things, it was great, it was always so much fun, but shooting ... shooting clay birds or glass jars or
whatever the hell Clipboard-Guy was gonna throw her way ... it was almost soothing. Definitely stress-relief.
As Elías neared Kat his eyes were drawn from her blazing hair down her supple back to her shapely legs. Kat took her stance
with the poise of a seasoned marksman, preparing to fire. “Hey, Kat,” Elías said in his heavy Brazilian accent.
“Practicing with your guns again?”
Kat jumped when she heard Elías’ voice, and her finger slipped on the trigger. She scowled at the mark the errant bullet
had made, but it was really a cover to hide how flustered she was that Elías had snuck up on her. That he had followed her.
Once again, she wished she had decent hiding powers.
“Shit, Elías, don’t sneak up on someone holding a gun! ¡No bueno!”
“Please forgive me, I didn’t mean to startle you. At least I wasn’t electrocuted this time,” he said
with a slight smile.
Kat grinned in spite of herself. Mentioning her victory of their first match was a good move on his part, in her opinion.
She lifted her gun again and took aim. “You’ll have worse problems if you keep startling me while I’m
holding this.” She squeezed the trigger and nodded in satisfaction at where the bullet hit.
“Perhaps we could meet later, then. When you don’t have a pistol in your hands? Will you be long?”
Kat looked over at him in surprise, and decided it would be best to set the gun down during the rest of this conversation.
“What do you mean, meet later?”
“I was going out later, and would like you to join me. Do you dance?”
It took her a moment to realize that her mouth was slightly agape, and she had to force herself to close it. Is he asking
me out? Shit, I think he is! “Umm ... not really. It isn’t really something they teach in inner city high
schools.” Not that she had attended an inner city high school - she had grown up Manhattan - but it amounted to the
same thing. Shit, he sent me a mind-message that once ... can he read my mind? Is he reading it right now? Oh, fuck ...
“Don’t let it bother you, I can show you,” Elías said. “It’s very easy if you have a good teacher.”
He paused for a second, then asked, “What time should I come by your apartment?”
Kat was still slightly stunned by her (hopefully) good fortune. He might say it was easy to dance, but she wasn’t convinced.
“Umm ... whenever. What should I wear?”
“Something comfortable, loose, easy to move around in. I will come up to your apartment around nine.”
Kat had left her training early. Even after Elías had left, she found she couldn’t concentrate. Unfortunately, that
left her with plenty of time to worry about how she looked, and if she was dressed okay.
The elevator doorbell chimed, and Kat jumped. “You’d think they could have come up with a better system,”
she muttered to herself as she walked over to the door to let Elías in.
“You did really well tonight. Are you sure you haven’t done that before?” Elías asked Kat as they walked
out of the club. He was genuinely impressed by the grace that Kat had shown after a only short while on the dance floor.
“Your body moves well with the rhythm, I could tell that the first time we practiced capoeira. Didn’t I tell
you you would do fine?”
Kat grimaced, sure he was just trying to make her better about her disastrous dancing. Suddenly, she heard Elías’ voice
again in her head: Once you stopped thinking about how your body moved and just let the music move you, you danced very
Kat stopped walking and looked at Elías. He was grinning like a Cheshire Cat, and gave her a slight wink. She tried glaring
at him, but after a second the whole situation seemed ridiculous, and she laughed out loud. “Okay, not fair, Elías!
If you do that again, I’ll send you back to the infirmary!”
“Do you always threaten to injure people when they try to reassure you?”
Kat returned Elías‘ grin. “Only when they read my mind to do it.”
“So how many people have tried to read your mind?”
“So far as I know? Is there a trick to knowing when someone’s in your mind? You’re the only mind-reader
“What about Count Ortiz?” he asked.
“Oh, yeah, yeah, I forgot about him. Well, I still don’t know if he’s done it or not. If so, he’s
a lot sneakier about it. He doesn’t talk to me in my head.” Kat shot Elías a dirty look that was spoiled by
“I will try to keep my mind out of yours, but I can’t promise anything.”
Kat arched an eyebrow, looking up at him, and he laughed quietly.
“Your mind is a very tempting place,” he explained with a another wink.
“Well, I’ll try to keep my lightning under control, but I can’t promise anything either,” she grinned
as she looked up at Elías. This dating thing wasn’t too bad.