Spacer Lest the Glaciers Claim the Earth 14
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Freeze weapons again.



February 12, 1987

It's almost reassuring, in a weird way, to find that there's no situation so bad it can't get worse. Having watched the entire structure of my life burn to the ground in the time it takes to make a phone call, yesterday continued to go downhill.
    Personally, I'm of the opinion that I was handling it pretty well. I sat there petting Newton, admittedly more or less in shock, for quite some time. Then someone knocked on the door. I ignored it. The doorknob rattled a little bit as Lucky picked the lock.
    "Go away," I suggested dully.
    I seriously considered dropping her out the window, but complications might arise and it probably wouldn't hurt her anyway, so I ignored her instead. Didn't work. Did I really need her of all people giving me a lecture on duty? Hell, no, but she went on for a while in the vein that shit happens, life goes on, what did I think I was doing sitting around feeling sorry for myself while Fimbulwinter was threatening to bury the city in snow?
    I tried to tell her that she was missing the point, but she isn't strong on listening skills. This is not like finding out you're adopted, for God's sake. And at least one person involved in whatever subterfuge I'm an unwitting part of is already dead.
    Dammit, this morning I was happy.
    But anyway. Fimbulwinter remained to be taken care of, she had that much right, and eventually Lucky managed to irritate me into motion, which was probably her intent—for one thing, she threatened to kiss me. We went looking for Phoenix Talon and eventually found him, cruising Boston's affluent neighborhoods and waiting for the thieves to strike again. He was looking up at the right moment when a blur of white leaped from one roof to the next. He headed up into the building to confront the thing.
    As it turns out, I wasn't crazy after all—at least, not where the creatures are concerned. They are something like yeti, and are apparently called yndraegen. Nice to know at least some parts of my brain still work correctly.
    Lucky followed Phoenix up the stairs while I floated up to check the windows; I was just in time to dodge Talon, who dove out a window and caught the ledge with one hand, followed by a massive outpouring of snow from one of their weapons. I landed on the roof and hauled him up. He winged one of the yndraegen with his bokken and nearly brained Lucky, who chased another one up the stairs and up onto the roof. Both monsters made a break for it.
    I was a little too close to the edge and got the necessary push from a passing yndraegen. Two stories from the ground I managed to catch myself, and something went click inside my head—like when you've been staring at a math problem for a half hour and suddenly figure out where you made the mistake. I've got a ways to go before I'm graceful at it, but I can fly.
    That's pretty much the best thing to happen all week.
    The yndraegen were hiding on the next rooftop, trusting to the snow to keep them hidden. Lucky sniffed one out and knocked it several stories to the ground; I let it fall and caught its gun instead—callous? you bet, but I wasn't feeling particularly charitable, and the fall didn't kill it anyway. The other monster got away. My sensitivity to bio-auras came in handy; when I examined the gun, I could tell that there was some sort of biological component to it. Turns out Fimbulwinter powers the things with his own blood, and there was enough there for a faint directional sense to be sparked; we could use it to track him down.
    We were delayed for a while because Talon's bokken needed new batteries; I flew to base to pick them up for him, moderately thrilled by this new ability, and then we were on the trail.
    We found Fimbulwinter in a building owned by a cryogenics company called Yesterday's Tomorrows. Lucky beat the transformer to death with her staff, then turned the thing to flame and welded the back door shut. Phoenix cut the glass and opened the main door, then moved out ahead of us to check out the situation.
    A minute passed, then another, and he didn't check in. Lucky tracked him, found that he had gone up a staircase. I lifted her up silently. At the top, instead of waiting for me she turned down the hall and vanished from my sight. I couldn't see any real course other than to follow (hindsight suggests that I could probably have done something a little smarter, but that doesn't make any difference now). The gun in my pocket started growing ice the way the other one had; I tossed it down the stairs, and soon had no route of retreat.
    When I reached the end of the hall, I found myself in a large room. Fimbulwinter and Traveler were there with one of the gorillas, and my teammates were frozen in a block of ice on the far side, cold but conscious and apparently no longer mind-controlled.
    "This is not my day, is it," I murmured.
    "I'd say not," Traveler agreed amiably. "Didn't I already kill you?"
    "Wrong one."
    "I did fulfill the commission," he pointed out to Fimbulwinter, "and expect to be paid."
    "Of course," he acknowledged, passing over the telepath's payment. The fact that they didn't seem at all concerned about me being there was more than a little disconcerting. Traveler was quickly on his way—it may have been interdimensional traveling, for all I know—leaving me to deal with his erstwhile employer.

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© 1999 Rebecca J. Stevenson