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Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of violence.
This work has reached the exceptional level

Chapter 10 of the book Assassin Nation
Millie and C.C. are raised under the supervision of Dr. Wu
"Flashback Millie and C.C." by Bill Schott

Red Appleton, President of the United States
Jason Marr, Vice President of the Senate
Connie Highland, Senate Majority Leader
Samantha Anthra, Chief of Staff to President Appleton
Manuel Kontroz, Assistant to the President
Ben Baker, aka Butcher of Baghdad aka Bobby Do, assassin, in hiding
C. C. Connor, former Chief of Staff to President Sullivan, child in flashback
Millie Connor, twin sister of C.C. Connor, child in flashback
Dr. Wu, genetic engineer, guardian and mentor to the Connor children
Amps, Bolt, Watt, and Edison, training facilitators for Dr. Wu
In the previous flashback chapter:
Dr. Wu had artificially inseminated Annie Connor, who delivered twins, Millie and C.C., circa 1953. The mother was euthanized.

Millie picked the fifty cent piece off the floor with her two smallest toes.  Holding a stork pose, one leg bent, coin in between toes, she began rolling the minted, silver disk from digit to digit. She smiled as the tiny Benjamin Franklin portrait flipped through her toes as she quickly moved each nimble appendage to that end.

Her brother C.C. watched with admiration as his sister performed.
"Flip it!" he shouted. "And call it!"

With that, Millie snapped her big toe and sent the coin towards the ceiling. She planted the formerly bent leg on the floor, raised her other to form a figure four with the bottom of her foot facing up.

"Heads!" she proclaimed, standing straight, eyes locked on her brother's, as the rotating four-bit coin landed on the pad of her waiting foot.

"Heads it is!" shouted C.C., leaping up to grab the coin from her foot.

"Not so fast, Cube," she said, flipping the coin to be grabbed by her toes.  She then moved her leg to a right angle in front of her body.

With the toe-clutched coin in front of his face,  C.C. asked, "What must I do?"

"Name and define the final word on page 330 of the Funk and Wagnall dictionary in Dr. Wu's library."

"Do I get the fifty cents then?"

"You'll get a chance to spar for it."

Smiling, with a toothy grin he had developed over time, C.C. said, "I can tussle with any of the others and it costs me nothing."

"You've never beaten me though. This is an opportunity to try. You may even kill me if you can. Of course, you won't, but, how often do you have a chance?"

"All that AND a half dollar.  This is a splendid tenth birthday present."

"The word?" she said, reminding him of his first requirement.

"The word is INDURATE. Verb. To make or become hard or unfeeling. From the Latin, to harden."

"Too easy, I see." she said, smiling.  "Next time it will be from the Oxford."

"Yes, but you'll be dead, so -- shall we meet on the field."

"The kitchen, I think. Cooky is baking a cake for us. When she steps out to fiddle with Professor Smiles-a-lot, we'll duel to your defeat."

"To the death, you mean."

"As you wish, Cube."
Out on the playing field, Dr. Wu and four of his facilitators discussed the day's events.

"The President has been assassinated in Dallas, Texas." he began.

"When will the public know?" asked Amps.

"He was apparently killed in full view of spectators and while being televised."

"Amateurs?" asked Bolt.

"Likely retribution from the communists for Cuba.  We are not involved, obviously."

"Will we be called though, from others?" asked Watt.

"We'll see.  I expect, since, in confusion there is profit, we'll be interjecting some equalizing actions throughout the world."

"Do you feel any of the students are ready?" asked Edison.

"Yes. The Connors are both ready. They are only ten years old, but I know them to be strong, nimble, intelligent, fearless, and, most importantly, totally detached from sensibilities. I could ask them to do anything and both would risk their lives to complete the task."

"Where are they now?" asked Amps. "I am looking at fifty teenagers on the field, but the two youngest are absent."

"They are very likely trying to best one another in some game. I dare say that either is unbeatable in any competition. They are unable to do one thing, however, which is why they will be our best instruments."

All smile and walk over to the other children, who circle around and listen to the facilitators.

In the kitchen, Millie laid out four cutlery selections on the three-foot butcher block. 

"Here are a butcher knife, pastry knife, cleaver, and a nut pick."

"Nut pick?"

"Choose one to start. If you're disarmed you can only use what's on this board."

C.C. ran to the board and grabbed the meat cleaver. With a quick hand vault over the island counter, in mid air, he hurled the heavy chopping knife directly at his sister's head.

Millie dodged the potentially head-splitting tool and moved closer to the cutting board.

Before getting there, C.C. grabbed the pastry knife and jabbed the twelve-inch blade at Millie's face and chest. The blade was a hair off her throat on the left, passed between her arm and ribs on the right, and kept missing the target as C.C. furiously continued his seemingly fruitless assault. Finally, attempting a slashing movement across her body, Millie blocked his downward thrust and stepped in for a palm punch to his face. When he moved forward again, she hooked his shoulder and threw him across her hip and onto the tiled, cement floor. 

Bouncing once, the boy leaped up in time to catch the butcher knife, which had been playfully tossed to him from across the room.

"You've used up all the big utensils, Cube. I guess I'll have to kill you with this nut pick."

"That's the weapon a nut would pick, certainly.  Come and get me, nut."

Millie waited a second. She knew what her brother's moves would be if she went forward. She would parry, then blind him in both eyes within two seconds. That was, of course, if she actually wanted to injure him. The rule was always kill. Injuries were only used to assess options before the killing blow. If it were anyone else, that person would already be dead. She wanted her brother tested and given the greatest opportunity to improve, which required keeping him alive.

"C'mon, Millie!" he shouted, grinning like a skull in a thin bag of skin and hair. "Show me your guts!"

Millie reached down to the floor and retrieved the long pastry knife. She then stood erect,   raising the knife in one hand and the nut pick in the other.  When C.C. stepped forward she threw both projectiles. The knife hit his right foot, splitting it beween his second and third toe.  The pick pierced his artery in his neck. Blood spurted from the pin prick in the vein.

C.C. stood confused. He still had a knife, but felt great pain in his foot and knew the bleeding had to be stopped immediately or he'd die.

"I never really thought you'd kill me, Millie."

"You're not dead, Cube. Just smarter. Place pressure on the neck wound until you can get it fixed." 

He wanted very much to slash her throat as she helped him out of the kitchen and down the hallway to the infirmary. Something kept him from doing it, though; if it were anyone else, he'd have killed them in order to complete the activity.  He didn't know why he spared her. It wasn't in his nature or training. The inability to act on his need hurt almost as much as his foot.


The book continues with In Country flashback. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
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