Spacer East to West 83
  | Asymmetry | Role-Playing | Villains & Vigilantes | The Revolution | Story So Far | East to West |





     I called Chandler's place to let Lucky know about guard detail coming up, and took another nap. I woke up when Lucky came in, met her downstairs. She looked at me neutrally. May as well get it over with.
     "I'm sorry I got so bent out of shape." I even managed to sound reasonably sincere.
     After a silent moment she said, "Yeah, well.... good. Thanks." She headed upstairs.
     "You're welcome," I muttered at her back, stung. Don't know what I expected, actually.
     A moment later an enraged bellow echoed through the building and sent me sprinting up the stairs to see what was wrong, but she had just discovered that the day's earlier invaders had destroyed her room. I sat at the kitchen table and watched her pace up and down the hall. She was holding what looked like a torn photograph.
     "I'm not upset about this," she muttered through clenched teeth, apparently to herself. "I'm really not upset about this. There's no reason to be upset about this." She got a grip on herself and resumed cognizance of my existence. "I'm going to pack up some clothes and stay at Chandler's."
     "OK. See you at the station at six, then." I've never seen her in a state like that; it was both illuminating and a little scary.
     We met up as planned, just as alarms started going off.
     "Hey—You're here! There's some sort of variant ruckus going on downtown, two people are tearing the hell out of one another!" a cop yelled in our direction.
     Lucky suggested someone should stay and keep an eye on the prisoners.
     "I will stay," Hans pronounced.
     "What sort of variant ruckus?" I inquired.
     "That big clay thing is ripping the crap out of somebody!"
     "I will stay," Hans repeated. I stared at him.
     "You don't want to be involved in this?" I thought this was his pet project.
     "I will stay."
     "You'd be just slightly more useful than me, since it's not organic," I pointed out.
     "I will stay."
     "O-kay then." No time to argue. We headed out. By the time we got to the fight scene (very near a Jewish temple, surprise), there was no sign of the two fighters. There had been a good deal of damage, cars and a bus overturned, white clay everywhere. Lucky tasted it and filed it away in her mental scent library. A roving news crew had caught most of the fight on tape and played it back for us. The golem was far faster than one would imagine. It had been fighting what looked at first like an ordinary man, until he took a blow and just bent aside from its force. Then he started growing huge, swordlike blades out of his hands, extra hands, extra mouths—very, very nasty to watch, and they just waled on each other for a while. Eventually the golem had taken off down a side street and dove down into a sewer.
     Scott pulled a match out of his recent research on variant criminals. This one should have been dead a long time now, but if not... it looked a lot like Chimera, a World War II-era German shapeshifter. It had done a standing jump of over a hundred feet and disappeared over the buildings. Lovely. Lucky sniffed around, but there were too many scents in the area for her to pick up a trail. There didn't seem much we could do at the moment.
     "Want some coffee?" she asked me in what sounded almost like a tentative fashion.
     She stopped by a coffee shop and got a couple of cups. Peace offering, I think.
     On our way back to the station (again) we picked up a paper. I took one look at the front page and dropped it with a groan. Washington has been killed, his police guardian is in the hospital in critical condition.
     There was one other man on the case of Felix Javlin—the head prosecutor, Mark Berault, is still alive. For the moment.

| Top | Previous Page Next Page


© 1999 Rebecca J. Stevenson