The Femme Fatale considered her student. The girl was 10 or 11 years old. Her dark hair and eyes could let her pass for three different ethnicities easily and many more with a little make up. It was something the Femme Fatale envied, as she herself was very clearly of Asian descent. (Not that that had hindered her career too much. It just meant she had to work a little harder in certain situations.) The girl was petite but strong. She had been working for the Femme Fatale for the past 8 months. Together they planted bombs, rescued hostages, and carried out assassinations. Yet, the student had never killed someone in front of her. Yes, she poisoned and bombed, but those deaths happened after the girl had left. The Femme Fatale was slightly concerned. Was this girl even capable of true murder? The Femme Fatale frowned. She wasn’t sure. Given who her student’s mother was and how the girl had been raised, she would think so. But she had yet to see the girl kill, and it was worrying.
“Fille,” The Femme Fatale said, her French clipped and professional. It didn’t matter that they were far from France; the Femme Fatale always spoke in French when she was alone with her student. It was a matter of tradition. “Êtes-vous prêt?” Are you ready?
“Oui, ma’am.” Yes, ma’am. The student answered faithfully. Her French wasn’t as good, but she was improving rapidly under the Femme Fatale’s tutelage. She removed the fancy clip from her hair while her teacher discarded the canvas tube she’d been carrying as a blind. People still thought of blueprints as bulky pages rather than a microchip that could easily be hidden in a girl’s barrette.
They had already scouted out the abandoned apartment building and knew their buyer, but it was better safe than sorry. The Femme Fatale taped a gun under the table. She noticed her student sticking a knife to the wall behind the closet door and wanted to smile. The girl was already picking up on the Femme Fatale’s habits: habits that would keep her alive.
The Femme Fatale glanced around the sparse room. The table was the only piece of furniture, it was heavy wood and as dilapidated as the rest of the apartment building. They both wore heavy gloves in case they needed to use the gutter outside to make a fast exit through the window. “Il est ici.” He’s here. The girl said. She had sharp ears. The Femme Fatale stood at the table facing the door, both of her hands resting on the table’s surface. The second the buyer walked in she went for the gun in her holster. She wasn’t fast enough. A shot rang out. The Femme Fatale hissed as the bullet grazed her shoulder.
“Don’t.” The buyer commanded. The Femme Fatale gave him an unamused look. “Raise your ands, Fatale. You’ve always been an excellent acquisitions specialist and I hope that we can continue to do business after this, but I will shoot you if I have to.”
“You’re trying to rip me off.” The Femme Fatale asked flatly. “You?”
“Step away from the table and raise your hands.” The buyer insisted. The Femme Fatale rolled her eyes, but complied with the request. “You, girl.” The buyer looked at her student. The Femme Fatale felt her hackles rise slightly as he addressed the girl. “Slide me the hairpiece.” The buyer ordered. The girl hesitated, then walked to the table. She reached for the hairclip. The crack that broke the tension of the room nearly made the Femme Fatale duck for cover. Instead, it was the buyer who fell to the ground. His face hadn’t changed except for the red circle above his left eye. The Femme Fatale looked at her student. The gun she had hidden beneath the table was raised at her waist. The Femme Fatale watched as the girl walked around the table and looked down at the man she had just killed. The girl seemed perplexed, if anything. Then she looked up at her mentor. She smiled. The Femme Fatale smiled back.
It seemed her student could handle it after all.