I wear black leather pants. I wear spike-heeled boots. When I kick, I pivot like a Goth ballerina and drive a heel into a villain’s face.
But I’m also smart, probably some kind of scientist. Psychology. Genetics. My lab coat sweeps like a silk chemise across my thighs.
Mostly I kick. I can throw a knife with pinpoint accuracy. I am a wizard at ziplines. I probably know how to drive a car, but my male team members always take the wheel, while I follow on a motorcycle, leaning low over the bars, my eyes focused, my ass taut and hovering just above the seat. I do not wear a helmet, and my hair streams behind me.
I can pound shots of whiskey like a stevedore. I never eat.
Really, my hair is impractically long for all of my action work, but somehow it never blows in my face. Strands of it never get stuck in my mouth. I’m just not an awkward, messy-haired, wobbly-in-heels, I’d-rather-put-on-my-yoga-pants-and-watch-Netflix kind of woman.
I do not have a sense of humor, except for an extensive repertoire of one-liners about penis size.
My male team members may have been skeptical of me at first, but I’ve earned their respect. I achieved this by fighting one of them. This fight ended with me pinning the man to the floor, straddling him, panting through my half-parted lips. And now? Total respect.
Scissor kick. Scorpion kick. Whip kick. Butterfly twist kick. Spinning hook kick. Crescent kick. My axe kick is like a beheading sword. My tornado kick is the wrath of an angry god.
There is some sexual tension between me and the handsome team leader, but we both know better than to cross that line. It would never work out between us; he’s too driven and haunted by the ghosts of his past. I’m an orphan who had to get tough fast to make my way in the world. Sometimes I catch him admiring the way my leather pants and top — is that a jacket? a bustier? — hug my curves, but we keep it professional.
Maybe I’m a physicist. That would make sense, because my roundhouse kicks can only be the result of intensive, government-funded study. Seriously, I’m like a goddamn human gyroscope. A gyroscope that kicks you in the face.
I can hot-wire a car. I’m a hacker. I can take a punch. When a trickle of blood runs fetchingly from the corner of my mouth, it matches my lipstick.
There may come a time in our mission when I’m required to go undercover, infiltrate a formal charity ball or an evening at the opera. I will don a strapless taffeta gown — deep scarlet — encrusted with sparkling beads. A diamond and emerald pendant will drip into my cleavage. My team members will be stunned by my transformation; they’ve developed such a deep professional respect for me that they sometimes forget I am also a woman. Our team leader’s mouth will drop open ever so slightly as I descend a staircase. He will recover his composure with a compliment or joke, and we will be professionals again. When the time comes for me to kick, I will tear a slit in my form-fitted gown and let fly in designer heels.
I almost never cry, but when I do — when I witness an act of cruelty towards a child, and my icy veneer briefly cracks — I weep only a single tear. I angrily dash it away, hoping my teammates haven’t noticed.
But mostly I kick.