Maxwell knew more than he might have hoped. In his opinion there was only one Grafter who could pull this level of cloning off. Someone else might have gone in there guns blazing and tried to do the whole thing themselves. Dak brought in the boys. The Public Enforcers rained into the complex. Most of the men they found didn’t survive the ordeal and that suited him fine. The less that knew about Erin’s true nature the better. He himself had put a bullet in the Grafter’s skull when he had drawn against him. Maxwell had wanted the guy dead anyway.
In one of the cloning vats, they had discovered another of the bald assassins ready to go. The Grafter had just begun to animate it. Dak hadn’t minded at all when a half dozen trigger-happy Enforcers had mowed the clone in half.
Then it was nothing but the paperwork. It was a big bust, but like everything else it would blow over in a few days whenever something new came up.
Dak had no idea how much the repercussions of this bust would effect the rest of his life.
* * *
As the first part of their reward, Maxwell had set them up in one of his safe houses. It was a surprisingly nice villa in one of the newer sections of the inner Hub. Erin lounged on pastel floor pillows. The opened windows blew gauze curtains the color of pink coral across the room. Erin rolled onto her back the full length lace negligee did little to conceal…anything.
His Personal rang.
Erin eyed him. “Don’t you dare.”
“It could be important,” he said and she rolled back on her tummy and returned her attentions to a glossy magazine. If she thought that such a thing was punishment, she was wrong, because she looked delightful that way too.
It was Matthews. “Dak, Dak are you okay?”
“Yeah. Sure. Why?”
“The people looking into those blasters just gave me a call. I guess they had my number on file for the case. You know that officer that got shot thing. So it would speed up the case and all that.”
“Yeah, yeah Matthews.” Erin glanced at him over her slim shoulder.
“Well they have a tracker on them. That was how they were able to locate you. They went after Erin both times, so it’s probably on her.”
“Without overly sharing, I can assure you that Erin isn’t wearing enough to have any tracker on her now.” This got her attention and she turned around and glared at him.
“No, no this is high tech stuff. It could detect a spray of perfume or clear paint. They have chemicals that it takes weeks to wash off. Another agent could have sprayed her at a store or something.”
This gave him Pause. Erin sat up now her magazine forgotten.
“Don’t worry Matthews, we got them, I saw the last clone die myself.”
He could sense the relief. It was nice to have a friend. “Okay then, okay. I was worried. Just wanted to make sure. You might want to make sure Erin doesn’t have any lingering-“
”I’ll clean her up real good, Matthews. Good night.”
“Clean me up real good,” she asked. She was just about to stand up, but Dak was tackling her. He had seen the figure climb through the window only seconds before it unleashed a massive volley out of the all to familiar blaster rifle.
Erin had been drinking wine and the bottle was quickly lunched at the clone. Dak watched the wine spill in lazy arcs as it spiraled through the air. It took the assassin in the eye stunning him enough to spoil is aim.
“How many times to I have to kill this loser,” Dak snarled, as he leapt for his discarded overcoat. Erin went the other way snatching up her purse as she went. Dak felt like his heart stopped when another round of shots elicited a shrill scream from his love.
The clone really was more concerned about killing her!
Erin was firing some sort of small flashgun at it. Fingers tore at his jacket trying to get his pistol loose. Gossamer drapes hovered between him and his target. Many of them were burning. This emitted a thick greasy smoke. The clone was hovering over Erin. The rifle aimed just as Dak’s flashgun came free. He fired without looking. Earlier he had used his slug thrower during the raid, for he wanted to make sure things stayed permanent. He had never switched his Flashgun from its wide angle setting. The cone of energy funneled before him. As soon as it hit the clone he began to quake. Soon it was dissolving in a familiar pattern, but Dak wasn’t watching. One of Erin’s slim perfect legs had been nearly severed.
She was losing blood quickly.
“I guess they had already sent one after me,” she whimpered while trying to fight against the pain.
“Oh Erin, hold still,” he said as he began to apply pressure onto her wound.
“Why Dak? I never tried to do anything to hurt anyone.”
“Shh, I’m going to call for help.”
“No, no, it has to be my people, call Mace.”
Mace was about the last person he would ever want to call, but he did anyway. Still even with the Jumper Riggers, it was only Dak’s daring move to cauterize Erin’s wound with his flashgun that kept her alive long enough to make it to Maxwell’s personal Grafter. Rumor had it that the Doctor himself aided in the safe transfer of his love.
FInd out more about New Cluster and the Skinjumpers here!