Spacer Attack of the Snow Ninja! 10
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In which Needle begins to acquire her lifelong loathing of freeze weapons.



February 8, 1987

It's still snowing; Boston is buried under more white than it's seen for as long as we've been keeping records. It's not falling so fast as to cause real trouble, the plows are keeping up pretty well, but it just keeps coming. It's over three feet deep now.
    Maybe the snow has kept things quiet, but the only recent development has been a rash of robberies around town—I'll take that over sacrificial murders any day. There's been a couple of banks, some private homes. We've got some eyewitness reports, which mention very large men, in the neighborhood of seven feet tall and ugly to boot. They've stolen cash and objets d'art, and vanish entirely as soon as they reach the snow.
    Phoenix thinks they're ninjas. He even put a call in to this martial artist he knows, a woman named Jill Morris on the West Coast (longing thoughts of California drift through my mind as I watch the snow fall). She told him she'd check into invisible ninja thieves, and she's also having her agent send him an information packet; she does a lot of film work these days, stunt stuff. Talon is visibly thrilled by the mere idea. That boy needs to get a grip on reality.

February 9, 1987

God, what a day! So much for our relative peace and quiet.
    I was alone at base when the call came in this morning. The police have been keeping an eye on likely targets for the thieves to strike, and an alarm was going off. I called in the others from their various pursuits and got there first.
    The building was a nice one, and the victim had the entire top floor of the eight-story building for his own, one of those older places that makes the city look like Europe. The lobby was silent, no concierge in sight, and I debated with myself for about two seconds before heading upstairs, floating silently. If there was a robbery in progress, I didn't have time to wait for the others.
    Upstairs, I noted that the lock plate on the door was wet, which at the time was rather puzzling. I flattened myself against the wall and pushed the door open cautiously; insides, I saw one man with his back to me, another standing stiffly, one arm outstretched, as if frozen in place. I made ready to grab the one with his back turned. It took a half second for me to realize that he was a lot stronger than I could hold, and then he turned around.
    I froze mentally first. I hate to say it, but I did. It didn't look human at all, covered in dirty white fur, fanged, and huge. I didn't notice at first that it was holding a gun; then it got very cold and very dark.
    Lucky and Phoenix got there a few moments behind me, burst into the room and knocked my ice-encased body flying. Phoenix chased the thief down the stairs, but as soon as it reached the snow it vanished entirely. Lucky turned on the hot water and tossed me into the shower. By the time I was mobile again the police had gotten there, and an ambulance to take care of the apartment's owner, who was in worse shape than myself. They asked me about the creature, and at first all I could say was "Yeti ninja."
    But the more I think about it, the sillier that sounds. It was a big guy in a coat and a mask, and I got scared. I hate that, hate sounding unreliable. I let the EMS guys look me over, but I seem to be OK.
    Lucky disappeared for a while, then. When she came back, she let us know that she'd set up a meeting with a guy who might know how the stolen items are being moved. It sounded promising; the meeting was set for a diner down near the waterfront, a quiet area. He would meet Lucky and point the finger.
    Along with that, we got a fix on the MO we're facing, thanks to a tipoff from an agent of the Host who showed up at our door like we don't have a security system at all. Creepy guys though they are, we can use the help. Lord Fimbulwinter, as he styles himself these days (he started his career as "Doc Cold"), is a master of cold powers who might well be in the area. The gun looks like his kind of toy.
    We arranged to be at the meeting place well ahead of time; Phoenix lurked in the shadows and I floated overhead, out of easy spotting distance, as Lucky wandered past the diner's door, ready to meet her contact.
    Seven o'clock passed, and he didn't show. We waited a while longer, and finally Lucky went in; she says the guy she was supposed to meet had been frozen solid. A waiter knocked him onto the floor and turned him into a bloody slushie. At the time, all I could see was that she had gone in, then came out again, that stiffness in her stride that means she's angry, and she headed down the nearest dark alley like she meant to get herself jumped.
    Which is exactly what happened, only not by men, or even yeti. Gorillas came after her. Very large, angry gorillas who underestimated her rather badly. She beat two of them unconscious in a matter of seconds, then took off on the trail of a third, which had departed the scene in some haste. Phoenix followed after her, and I floated along behind, trying to keep an eye out for trouble.

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© 1999 Rebecca J. Stevenson