The Shadow of Novembra

a short story by Dan Standing

The torn black fishnets gave no protection against the harsh freezing winds, but they didn’t need to. All of the Soviet chemicals and experiments had hardened her skin and flesh against the infamous Russian cold. In her chest beat a block of ice chilled by far more than any weather Mother Nature could throw at her – Mother Russia had seen to that.

Hand over hand she climbed. Likewise her palms needed no gloves to protect against the rough rope gripped in her long strong fingers. Her sharpened nails pressed against her own skin, but did not pierce it.

The thick boots ground hard against the stone edifice, wrapped around calves that were tight with muscle but still generally pleasing to the eye. The fishnet-covered thighs, which disappeared beneath a red and black skirt, were similarly built. As she moved along her vertical path, stepping over windows, anyone inside would have seen her scant undergarments, embroidered with the hammer and sickle.

It wasn’t long before she reached the roof, and her hands gripped the bricks that her obsidian colored weapon had latched upon. While pulling herself up her Communist-themed top dragged against the red masonry and billowed her already impressive chest. The garment was little more than a sports bra with a hammer in the center and a sickle on each side to accentuate her grapefruit sized breasts. The short top also revealed her toned and strong abdomen – again designed to be the zenith of both fitness and Western femininity.

Collecting her climbing gear she unclasped the rope from her dark sickle. Reaching back she holstered it with its sister weapon, and she attached the coiled rope to a hook on her belt. She checked the blonde ponytail that she had tied her shoulder-length hair into. The green band, the only part of her outfit not part of her red/black/yellow color scheme, was tight to the point of pain. It had been made from a piece of her predecessor’s bra, right after she had slain her. It was a constant reminder to always keep in mind what was behind her.

Looking up at the steep angled roof she could see that the moon, although particularly bright this night, had been hidden behind a deep patch of clouds. The light was not needed and she was better off in the dark; like her body her green eyes had also been enhanced. They complimented her long beautiful face, her plump lips centered below them. The only blemish was a scar left on her during the battle with her predecessor; a curved line wrapped around one eye which then ran down her cheek. It resembled the blade she carried.

Working her way up the slate shingles she eventually found the giant glass window she had been looking for. Approximately ten foot by ten foot, and made up of only four panes, she was able to get a clear view into the bedroom below.

Her quarry, a sleeping man who’s name was unimportant but whose knowledge was of great concern, was sprawled out amongst his satin sheets. Pulling out the curved black blade she had nestled against the hammer strapped to her back she stepped out onto the glass and was about to crack open the window when she noticed movement. Another figure had snuck inside the room. A thin redheaded woman, dressed in black and clearly an enemy spy, was slowly approaching the bed. The interloper put out a hand and shook the man awake, startling and gagging him with a palm, getting the entirety of his attention. It was clear that the interfering female agent was explaining that he was in danger and she was there to rescue him.

Well, getting one out of two right wasn’t bad.

As the Soviet spied from her perch atop the window the clouds finally moved away and her silhouette was projected by the moonlight down across the bed and floor. The other spy saw it and threw her head up at the watching Russian. The bedroom intruder was no one recognizable but clearly knew who the woman on the roof was. She pushed the man off the bed and pulled out her small sidearm. Taking aim she fired and screamed with an American accent;

“Novembra!”

The bullets shattered the glass and Novembra dropped through. The shards ripped at her fishnets and clothes but had no impact on her skin. One bullet did strike her in the upper portion of her right arm, but did little more than lodge in the muscle. There would barely be any blood, and it would in no way hamper her.

Novembra landed on the floor, leaving deep dents in the hardwood from the thick soles of her boots. The tight musculature of her body meant that her exaggerated attributes barely moved. She had purposefully avoided the bed and instead aimed her fall to put her between the door and the American. The moonlight glinted off her scar.

During her fall the interfering woman had continued to fire, hoping to be the one to finally take down the Soviet super spy. Only the one bullet had uselessly found its mark, and now the gun’s clip was empty. Before the American could reload Novembra flung her hammer at the woman, striking her hands and knocking the gun away. Jumping away in shock and pain the female spy watched as the gun flew over the bed and landed next to the cowering naked man – it would do no one any good with him. Novembra’s hammer lodged into the wall and stuck there.

“I don’t need a gun to kill you, Commie scum,” the American exclaimed, shifting her lithe and slim body into some sort of martial arts pose that meant nothing to Novembra. The Soviet gripped her sickle tightly and stood at her full height of nearly seven feet, which meant she now towered over her enemy. The slender redhead didn’t seem impressed so the hulking woman advanced, ducking and bobbing as legs and arms swung at her. The occasional strike landed but the blows barely registered on Novembra’s toughened form. Even her breasts, wrapped in the red and yellow fabric, failed to shift.

Neither fighter made a noise. Only the sobbing man and the cracking of trodden glass broke the night’s silence as limbs swung and struck.

When an opening arose the blonde Russian swung her weapon, but the American dodged and rolled away. Again Novembra swung and missed and now the redhead was on the door side of the room, but there was no fear of her running since the man was still curled up in a puddle of his own piss beside the bed. Novembra pulled her hammer from the wall and continued to advance on the other spy.

The dark bludgeon added a new aspect to the fight and it was clear that the American was not as sure of herself against both weapons. She did much more dodging and very little to shift the tide of battle, and soon Novembra had learned the pattern of her parries. Swinging the great hammer to one side the Soviet had already moved the sickle into position before the woman had even reacted. She dodged as predicted and cried out as the tip of the black blade sunk only a centimeter into her thigh. The Russian super spy immediately removed it and backed a few feet away. As Novembra retreated the American was clearly confused as to why she would land such a blow and immediately retract.

“What? Is that all you…” the redhead’s voice trailed off as the true purpose of the curved weapon started to become evident. She began to frantically pull at the fabric where the injury had been made, trying to understand why such an intense burning had started.

Suddenly the spy’s clothes began to disintegrate into ashes as the burning turned to flame. As the black cloth became black dust and fell away one could briefly see the soft flesh turning into what resembled bright magma. The appearance was fleeting however, because just as quickly as the flesh changed to living lava it instantly cooled. A dual wave spread across her body, ending at one end as red hair turned to liquid fire and then to black. The change wrapped around both legs and her ember-like toes could be seen momentarily amidst the remains of her heeled boots before succumbing to the cooled stone. Thin fingers had stretched like molten daggers but were now motionless rock.

Where once had stood a smug American spy now stood the nude statue of a woman perfectly carved from basalt. The light of the moon poured through the shattered window and played off her tight curves and petite chest, tiny flecks of light bouncing up from the pieces strewn across the floor and dancing on the stilled gray skin. Stone nipples stood like little caps atop her breasts, and every line of muscle was intricately detailed. The solid body could have been a model had a different career path presented itself. It was a shame that her face had been frozen in an expression of fear and terror, as the rest of her was rendered beautifully. The process had started and finished so quickly the American hadn’t even screamed.

Novembra admired her handiwork. Her weapons had been forged using arcane knowledge found in the books and journals of the slain Rasputin. The powers they wielded were kept as secret as the location of the black tomes. And what made the American woman’s fate even more horrific was that her mind was still alive within her stone shell, undoubtedly screaming and cursing at her fate.

At Novembra.

During the night the Secret Police would arrive and transport the living statue back to headquarters, where the best arcane scientists would attach electrodes and extract what information they could. When they were finished the helpless spy would be placed with the others.

Returning her weapons to their place Novembra turned to the whimpering man behind her. Approaching him she wondered if he was luckier or worse off than the woman who had come to rescue him. His hands were needed as much as his mind, and no stone fate would befall him.

For now.

Novembra swung her hand and struck the man’s temple, knocking him out. She grabbed a sheet and wrapped him in it. Heaving him over her shoulder she gave the petrified woman one more glance before walking away. It was only a matter of time before someone from the Soviet’s own organization came looking to do the same to Novembra, but until then she would line the halls of her handlers’ headquarters with a hundred stone spies.

To one day be defeated didn’t scare her; there would always be a chorus of tortured souls to scream her name until the end of time, forever trapped under her shadow.

That was her immortality.

Novembra smiled at the thought.

FIN

copyright 2011 Dan Standing Entertainment