A Woman's Touch Can be Deadly
Nicole Marlowe takes a break from her jogging and casually chokes a man to death. This ignites a flashback some ten years earlier when Nicole, during one of their family workouts, is practicing a similar chokehold on her father, Christopher. Refusing to let up, younger brother Edward steps in to pull Nicole away, her twin Victoria and older brother Robert just looking on. Catching his breath, Christopher laughs off the incident, a minor speedbump along the road to making his children good “soldiers.”
After graduating from college, the twins spend a brief time working at their father’s security firm but then strike out on their own, forming Artemis, assassins for hire.
In a parallel plotline, we meet the Brugmansias, the royal family of the Kingdom of Dieffenbachia, a small country on the Mediterranean. Princess Hippomane convinces her father, King Conium, to change their constitution to allow females to ascend to the throne.
Hungry for power, Hippomane urges heir apparent Crown Prince Odollam to have her father killed before the change is finalized, thus insuring his assentation to the throne. She neglects to tell him that the constitution has already been altered.
The crown prince arranges for the assassination, hiring Artemis, aka Nicole and Victoria Marlowe. Victoria takes the assignment and kills the king, but is captured and imprisoned within the palace as “insurance” against unforeseen complications.
Concurrently, Nicole is fulfilling a Justice Department TOD (Termination On Demand) contract, which is the choking scene in the opening. Using hand to hand combat, she disposes of two of the victim’s five bodyguards and temporarily immobilizes the others, giving her a chance to run.
She “happens upon” Conrad (Rad) Hemmingway, pleading for protection from pursuers bent on killing her. Rad, a former Green Burets, easily dispatches with the thugs.
Subsequently, Nicole contracts with Rad and his cohorts at ICBM (Independent Contractors Before Missiles) to help rescue her sister.
Back in the Mediterranean, Crown Prince Odollam makes plans to steal gold bullion from the palace, having it loaded on a tractor-trailer, waiting for an opportune moment.
Nicole and ICBM initiate a rescue plan. Rad parachutes into the compound the night before the king’s funeral. There are gunfights and hand-to-hand combat before Rad rescues Victoria (and her guard roommate, Jade), using a handy escape vehicle (the gold ladened truck).
While the rescue is ongoing, Nicole is in the palace undercover as a diplomatic translator, where she confronts the crown prince about Victoria’s detention. She learns from the crown prince that Princess Hippomane was behind the assassination, a fact which will greatly distress Victoria.
The crown prince is jailed for the king’s assassination. Discovering that Princess Hippomane will be going on a shopping spree in preparation for her coronation, Nicole decides to take action to quell Victoria’s anguish. Arranging to “accidentally” bump into the princess in Barcelona, Nicole uses sleight of hand to add a shoebox to the princess’s shopping bag. The box contains a lethal viper.