I conducted this interview before Kat met the Rat Bastards. She has existed inside me for years. I’ll probably ask her the same questions at a later date. I know some of her answers have changed. First, let’s get to know Kat before she meets Shooter.
*Kat sits across from me in the library. She is obviously nervous and is doing her best to hide that from me. She thinks she’s succeeding. She’s not.*
Me: Kat are you nervous?
Kat: No. I’m never nervous.
Me: Right, let’s get one thing straight right off the bat; I know the answer to every single one of these questions. You can either play along or I’ll answer the questions for you.
Kat: You suck Harper.
Me: I love you too. Now, let’s start off with something that won’t send you flying across the couch to slit my throat. Do you like animals?
Kat: No, unless they provide food or clothing, animals have no worth.
Me: You’re all heart aren’t you Kat.
Kat: No, but I’ve collected more than a few. I keep them in a freezer. You never know when a human heart might come in handy.
Me: K, ew. Have you ever met a smart ass comment you didn’t like?
Kat: I’m not a smart ass. I’m honest.
Me: That is true. OK, let’s test more personal waters. You worked for GSA as a mercenary, assassin, and contract interrogator. We know you hate GSA with a passion and a half, how did they recruit you?
Kat: They heard I was awesome, they asked if I wanted to kill bad guys, I said yes, I filled out my W2, they gave me a gun, and I started killing people.
Me: This is your one and only warning Kat.
Kat: FINE! My parents had just died. Tyler was off fighting in Iraq and I wasn’t handling being alone well. I joined a mixed martial arts gym. All these roided out muscle heads thought it was cute that I thought I could get in the ring with them. They didn’t think it was cute for very long. I’m undefeated. Anyway, one of the trainers was a scout for GSA. He thought I had potential. We talked and after he’d heard my poor pathetic story he asked me if I wanted to meet some friends of his that would pay me for my skills. I was working as a waitress and making jack diddly crack, so I agreed. At first I loved everything about GSA. They fed me this load of crap about how they’re making the world a better, safer place and I asked for seconds. GSA taught me to kill with any weapon and without a weapon. They crammed a bunch of propaganda down my throat that made me think I was the good guy. They sent me on missions all over the globe. I’d kill somebody, money would show up in my bank account, and I’d sleep like a baby knowing that I’d made the world a better place. They knew I was looking for a surrogate family, they provided that. As long as I killed for them without asking too many questions they gave me family. Just like every movie you’ve ever seen, they lied.
Me: Do you have a favorite mission?
*A smile spreads across Kat’s face as she remembers.*
|She's doing it wrong.|
Kat: My fifteenth mission. I was sent to North Korea to kill the head of their nuclear weapons program. I crossed into North Korea via the Russian border. I’d never been so cold. I hiked through the snow and the mountains for four days before I reached the facility. This was back when I cared about the family not seeing their loved one die. The target smoked, a lot. He didn’t have to, but he always went outside to smoke. I waited until he was alone, snuck up behind him, and broke his neck. The sound of a neck breaking is unique. It sounds like twisting a bunch of fresh celery. Not snapping it, twisting it. Anyway, I was captured, tortured, and I escaped.
Me: That was your favorite mission? The one where you were captured and tortured?
Kat: Yeah! They broke my right foot, my left hand, eight ribs, and every bone in my face, but I still escaped. I know what I can take and I know I can still fight and operate when any other person would just give up and die. Can you say that?
Me: No, no I cannot. So, at some point you stopped working for GSA and met Stephan Boudreaux. Then he died. Do you want to marry again?
Kat: No. I had it perfect and wonderful for a while. I was given more happiness with him than any human being has a right to ask for. I’ve had more than my fair share of good times. I’ve embraced my life as a single woman. I can either enjoy it or start dressing like a tramp and sitting on any available knee in the single’s bar. Besides, most men are intimidated by me. I don’t know why. I’m perfectly nice.
Me: Do you ever long to be with someone? Late at night when you’re all alone, do you wish someone was there you could cuddle up to?
Kat: First of all, I don’t cuddle. The only reason I’d want someone there is to attend to my more personal needs. Beyond that, I don’t need or want anyone. When you open yourself up to someone, you are putting yourself at a tactical disadvantage. You may let something slip that can be used against you in the future. No one is worth that.
Me: Do you have any hobbies that don’t involve killing someone?
Kat: What? *Pause* Oh fine! I like to make clothes for Samantha’s dolls. And I collect clothes. In my size, not for dolls.
Me: Good girl. Do you believe in God?
Kat: My parents used to take me to church every Sunday. We were Protestant. Since they died I haven’t been to a single service. Do I believe in God? Yeah, but I don’t think he believes in me.
Me: What do you mean?
Kat: You know my history. Do you really think God agrees with my life choices? I’m pretty sure he added another level to hell just for me.
Me: Do you think he’ll ignore all the good you’ve done?
Kat: I could find a cure for cancer, bring lasting peace to the Middle East, and scientifically prove the existence of heaven and I’m still going to hell.
Me: You’re not all bad Kat. I think that will count for something.
Kat: Well if you get there first, put in a good word for me.
Me: Will do. Final question, when it's late at night and you’re alone in bed by yourself, when the only sound you hear is your own heartbeat, do you ever have one of those If-I-Could-Have-Would-Have-Should-Have moments about anything you’ve ever done in your life?
*Kat is visibly uncomfortable with the question*
Kat: Everybody has things they’d like to change about their life. I wish I’d seen GSA for what they really were before I killed an innocent man. I wish I’d been kinder to my mother. I wish I’d spent more time with my father. I wish I’d never lied to Tyler. I wish I hadn’t fought with Stephan the night he was killed. I wish I hadn’t missed out on two years of Samantha’s life being self-absorbed and mopey. I wish I could be a better friend. I wish I could be a better person. If you’re asking if I wish I’d never killed or tortured anyone, the answer is no. I regret only one kill, the rest I feel no guilt for. I won’t apologize for my actions, so don’t ask.
*Thank you to Benjamin Russell, Andrea Truelson, Tawana Ynez, and Valerie Mann for their questions.*