Author Topic: The Double Cross  (Read 2249 times)

Offline Quickdraw McGraw

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The Double Cross
« on: October 03, 2012, 12:00:52 AM »

This is a short story involving the Janis twin from my mutant war band I'm currently building.  I'm writing a story for each as they meet the mysterious Inquisitor Hark.  Then in time I will write a much larger book involving all the mutants together as they pull off the biggest planetary rebellion ever and escape inquisitorial justice in search of the Emperor reborn.

The Double cross

  In a dirty little bar on the edge of Mutietown, on a rainy Septaday night, a flagon of ale drew empty in my hand.  My twin and I were here for business.  But somehow Mack (the good looking one) found time for pleasure.  While he talked to a pretty little green skin, I scanned the floor for our contact. 

  "It's payday." I whispered into Mac's ear upon noticing Mr. Mason.

  Mack bid the dame farewell and we walked across the floor to the bar.  I reached into our back pocket and produced proof of the completed job. Mason, our contact, pulled out a scanner and examined the ear.

  "Yep, it's his ear alright."

  "No, Frag!" smarted off Mac.

  "Was it any trouble?" asked Mr. Mason as he slipped the twins an envelope. 

  "Since when did you start caring about our troubles, Mr. Mason?"

  "I don't give a plague rat's arse!  I just haven't finished my drink yet is all."

  We both were thinking the same thing.  He's stalling.

  “OK. I'll bite. A job's a job but this one was a real bastard. Here's how it all began… As you know our job at the municipal plant grants us certain privileges.  We spent 2 weeks hounding this guy.  We knew who his connections, friends and family were, every boring detail about his own personal habits.  We even found where he would most likely go to ground if everything fell apart.  All this was from the tracking device we put on his hover car.” I explained with a grin.

  “We likes to do our research, see?” said Mack.

  “So if anything goes less than planned we can adapt.”  I said getting us back on track. “We paid some desperate looking schmuck to shoot the mark during one of his campaign rallies.  He was an old imperial war vet who had taken to living in the streets. We even were able to falsify his public records to throw off the authorities and as your client had stipulated, the blame must fall on the anti-mutant party. So let's call this desperate fella Sal.” 

  “To protect the criminally involved of course,” Mack said laughing at his own joke. 

  “So Sal, the sniper, was a royal screw up, I just paid him to kill the mark and run.  But noooo, the fracking idiot shot the mark and left him alive! Luckily my brother and I always cover our bases.  This Dame, Cherry (because her hair is so red) was another hitter we would call now and then.  We placed her in the politician's security detail as watch.  She had been the one who made the shot to kill Sal before he could get away.  So yeah, he went to ground alright but now with 20 armed guards and an Apothecarius full of civilians!” 

  “Yes, my client was most displeased about this news.” said Mason exhaustingly.

  “Well, it was then and there Mack and I decided if you want a job done right you do it yourself. We both knew an ambulance driver who was good with computers.  The next thing we knew we were “bagged & tagged” headed to the Apothecarius's morgue on a sub-level next to the incinerators.  Now as you know the Apothecarius is huge and fortunate for us it does not connect to the main hive.  If things got ugly we could have our partner shut down access to the first three floors gaining us a little time to wrap up before the Arbites show up.” 

  “You should have seen the look on the medical examiner's face when we sat straight up!  Funny thing he's probably still wearing it too.”  Mack said laughing. 

  “Yeah, I'd have a heart attack too, looking at your face.”  I said scolding Mack. 

  “No, it was your ugly face...” Mack retorted weakly.

  “Gentleman, gentleman, can we get back to the story. Two more ales for my friends.” Mason said calling to the pub’s scaly bartender. 

  “Ah, you shouldn't have but I'd never turn down a free pint. So anyway where was I...oh, yeah the morgue?  So there we were... on the incinerator level.  Our mark was on the 60th.  The body bag next to me held our disguises and our weapons, which were smuggled in on the ambulance.  After a quick change Mack and I headed up to the 59th floor by elevator.  We ducked into the fire escape using our key pass and continued up to the 60th floor.” 

  “Why the fire escape?” asked Mason. 

  “There's no cameras, is why.” Mack said with that know-it-all voice of his. 

  “We carted a mop and bucket up to the 60th floor and began mopping the floor towards the mark’s recovery room.  Several apothecaries noticed us but didn't even give us a second disgusted look.  We noticed they had two guards posted outside the mark’s room.  Both wore fancy attire and sub-machine guns under their suit jackets.” 

  “Typical government agents,” Mason said shaking his head. “So, what happened next?”

 “It was like taking candy from a baby.”  I said with a devilish grin.

  The lights flickered and went out in the tavern followed by an explosion of light and noise from the front door!  Heavy boot falls and the whine of laze weapons arming to fire filled the air.  Zack opened his eyes only to find a laze gun barrel in his face. The man behind the gun barked for him to get on the floor. 

  “That's them officer, the killers and here's the proof.” Mr. Mason jumped up yelling excitedly still holding the ear. 

  The twins sneaked a peek at Mason just in time to see a stun baton strike him to the ground.  His body locked up stiff like a board as he reacted to the high voltage.

  The Arbites were arresting everyone at this point. 

  The Twins sat in an interrogation room for 18 hours before the Inspector checked in on them.  The Inspector introduced himself as Darius Herbrist.  He quietly began shuffling through their files and the incident reports.

  “Why are we here?” asked Zack.

  Before Inspector Herbrist could respond there was a knock at the door.  He stood up, answered it and began talking to another official who flashed a small parchment pad. Then Inspector Herbrist promptly exited the room.  The other man quietly sat down and drew a small device out of his cloak.  He sat it on the table, turned it on and began to talk. 

  “I’ve read the reports and talked to the eye witnesses…” 

  “Is this how the department treats all their guests?  We’ve sat here…” Mack cut in. But before he could utter another word he was sentenced by a strong back hand.

  “I wasn’t through speaking!  You would do well to use some manners around me! You will refer to me by my title, Interrogator.” He said with an even voice through gritted teeth.

  “I want to hear the true story. All of it!” demanded the Interrogator.

  “But you have our report there in front of you.” Zack said.

  “This report says you were innocent bystanders in the fire-fight at the Apothecarius. What a bunch of hog wash!  I know you’re involved in the assassination attempt on the Governor and I know of your second attempt at the Apothecarius.  But what I want to know is why you two changed your minds, saved an Arbite’s undercover agent and only cut the governor’s ear off.”

  “Sorry, Interrogator… sir, but you have the wrong person.  We were there just visiting our ole gran when…”  Zack tried to finish but the Interrogator tipped over his chair, stood up and pointed his bolt pistol at Zack’s head.

  “By the authority invested in me, I have every right to just waste you both here and now just for lying to me!  Not to mention you and your brother have a rap sheet a mile long.  I should just shoot you Zack in the head and let your brother carry your rotting corpse around till the infection kills him.  So, let’s try this again!” The Interrogator commanded of them.

  “Alright, alright just put the gun away please.”  Zack pleaded. “Should I start the story from the beginning or when we changed our minds?”

  “Start on the 60th floor.” He commanded as picked up his seat to sit back down.

  “OK.  Dressed as a janitor we began mopping from the fire escape towards the injured governor’s room. There were two guards posted in front of the door.  The other guards oddly were nowhere about. I told Mack to duck into the supply closet and gear up.  To our surprise another guard, like the ones in the hallway was bound and gagged in the corner!  As it turned out, it was one of your agents. What a stroke of luck we thought.  Mack mentioned that rest could be tied up as well, but I didn’t feel it was going to be that easy.

  I heard people walking down the hall and they stopped at the closet door. Mack and I hid behind a shelf and listened as two men entered.  They were talking about the assassination attempt and one told the other to inject a syringe into the governor’s saline bag during the shift change.  The apothecaries would believe the governor had an allergic reaction to the meds they were giving him and died. They both kicked the bound guard on the floor and called him names. Like traitor and spy, so I knew then he may be of use later. An enemy of my enemy is my friend, so to speak. I also remember being pissed that someone was stealing my mark.  But also thinking that maybe it was for the best.  Then when the other mentioned Mason’s name and how they were to shoot the mutant twins on sight.  I knew we had been setup.  We weren’t going to get paid but it was no longer about the money.  No one disrespects us that way!  It was the principle of matter, you know.”

  The Interrogator nodded.

  “Mack and I stepped out from behind the shelving.  The security agents were shocked to see us.  Before they could draw their guns, Mack broke the mop handle over his knee and spinning on his left heel moving us between the two agents he jammed the sharp end through one of the agent’s heart while I struck out with my knife slashing the others windpipe in two. Their bodies fell heavy to the floor.  We looked at the bound guard.  I told Mack to untie him. It was about that time I noticed more heavy boots began ringing down the hall, we must have alerted the others. We didn’t have enough time to put our flak on, before the first guard entered the door.  Mack gave him the business end of his shotgun and shoulder shoved him back out the door.  We rolled into the hallway and came up into a crouched position. As the agents tried to track our movements and not those of the screaming agent with a fist sized hole in his stomach, my stub pistol spat death at point blank range into the two agents standing behind Mack.  I could hear Mack’s shotgun cycling between shots followed by the heavy thumps of bodies hitting the floor.  Soon there were more running down the hall.  We ducked under a nurse’s desk.  A terrified woman had taken refuge there when the shooting started.  Mack told her to keep quiet, but this just freaked her out all the more!  The young nurse began screaming.  The desk was ripped apart in two halves from automatic gun fire.  Her screaming was quickly silenced.”

  “It’s a shame, too. The dame was a real looker.” added Mack.

  “Yeah, well that was going to soon be us, as we were pinned down behind that desk and low on ammo.” Zack said.

  “I was also shot in the leg. Mack said trying to impress the Interrogator, but when he noticed it didn’t, he corrected himself.  “Well, it was just a graze really.”

  “The desk we were under was being picked apart by automatic gunfire. I remember thinking if we stay we’re dead and if we move we’re dead to. There came two single shots that were distinctly from a different caliber over the rattling sub-machine gun.  Then all noise had stopped. I risked a glance over the edge of the desk and saw your guy, the one that had been bound, had shot the gunman. I had a good feeling about this guy the moment I saw him.  There wasn’t much time for talk obviously but I told him the truth.  We had been hired to kill the Governor, but our employer has set us up to be the fall guys and that just made this personal! We quickly devised a way to take down our “employer”. Unfortunately that required a piece of the Governor.

  I figured him to be a double agent, but I never got his name.  He wanted to check on the Governor.  Mack and I were salvaging some ammo from the dead when Mack saw the double agent reaching for the door to the Governor’s room. Before I knew what was happening Mack was sprinting for the door.  He barreled into the double agent just as bullets ripped through our empty space.  There was the last agent hidden behind the governor’s inclined bed. We both were growing tired of this, and had had it up to both our eye balls! There was a click as his gun drew empty, I could him trying to reload.  Mack’s shotgun would’ve hit the governor as well as the agent so I grabbed a bedpan off a nearby cart and handed it to Mack. Now I shouted! We rolled into the room and sprung to our feet as Mack hurled the disk-like bedpan at the shooter’s head. I wished I could have seen the look on his face but I could hear the pan ring like a bell as it struck his forehead!”  Zack said laughing. “It was your agent’s idea to cut the Governor’s ear off and manipulate “The Minute News” to confirm the Governor’s death. We wanted revenge and he wanted to bring Mason and his contacts to justice.  So we agreed to the plan and the rest you already know.  So how about we call it even, huh?  You caught a big fish and our record gets scrubbed clean, ok?” Zack said negotiating.

  “After all this and all you care about is a clean slate?!  Why so you can just fill it up again?” The interrogator held up a single clear, blank sheet of plasteel film from their file folder. Mack twisted in his chair so the both of them could see every crime they have ever committed scrolling from the bottom to the top of the page. Many of those charges didn’t stick and there were others that went unsolved.

  “That’s not the Arbites copy!  Where did you get that?!” Zack asked.

  Ignoring the twins, the Interrogator began studying the rap sheet.
  “I’m quite surprised many of these charges didn’t stick. They’re both mutants and the death penalty is the only punishment.  This proves they’re both resourceful and have many useful contacts.” The Interrogator mused to himself as he then stuck the film back into the file folder.
  He then stood and drew his bolt pistol again from its holster.

  “No, as I see it, you both only have two choices! Either death which will be carried out immediately or come work for me and pay off your transgressions against mankind and the God Emperor himself.”

  “Hey, who… who… who in the hell do you think you are?” stuttered Mack.

  “I am Inquisitor Nathan Hark.  Consider yourselves drafted.” the interrogator said as he flashed his inquisitorial seal.

I hope my English is readable and my story was worth your time.

Every time I see a math word problem in the warp it looks like this: 

If I have 10 ice cubes and you have 11 apples. How many pancakes will fit on the roof?

Answer:  Purple because Tyranids don't wear hats.   :P