Gender: Male Age: 53 Location: Las Vegas, Nv
|Introduction: Escorting a ghost|
Amanda and her companion Cynthia were out hunting a fugitive and I was stuck doing paperwork. In fact I was the only one still here. I glanced at the comm when the holo of commissioner Drake appeared and sat back, “sir.”
He looked tired, “I was told you are the only marshal left. I need you to do an escort. She is already there but needs an escort for her next stop.”
I nodded, “name?”
He snorted, “good question. She isn’t in any system, she works for us in... private. Escort her to Hades and anywhere else she wants. She will find you at the starport VIP lounge.”
The holo vanished and I bent to grab my bag, “time to go to work Dragon.”
She leaped to catch my back and climb up as I stood and started for the hall and the lifts. I ignored the dispersing, if she wasn’t in the system they didn’t want a record. I used a public transport to get to the starport and headed in and straight to the VIP lounge. I glanced around but no one stood out.
I spun at the slight feel of someone behind me and froze. Samantha smiled and caressed my cheek, “you look well little brother.”
I tried to talk but nothing came out. She took my shoulder and pulled me to a privacy booth. She sealed it and accepted Dragon as she pushed me into a seat and sat beside me, “we need to talk.”
I found my voice, “you died.”
She nodded, “almost, they wanted me to suffer. I was given a zombie drug.”
I looked at her feeling hurt, “why didn’t you tell me?”
Samantha sighed, “because I needed as much help as you did. You had Marshal Jessop that had taken you in. I had a woman take me in and help me, even if I didn’t want to be an assassin I was conditioned.”
She looked down, “I have watched you many times. I was even watching when you graduated and became a marshal.”
I looked away, “but why not tell me or...”
She covered my hand, “because you were marked and watched. I accepted another position for the emperor and just being near you was dangerous. Hades wasn’t the only place that had schools like ours and the emperor needed someone that wasn’t in any data base.”
Samantha sighed, “I have still had close calls and had to kill...”
I looked at her before squeezing her hand, “only when you had no choice.”
She smiled, “perhaps but I do not like doing it.”
She looked around before standing, “we have a shuttle to catch. I already have our tickets.”
I took Dragon from her and stood with my bag, “why keep doing it?”
Samantha took my hand, “that is why you are here. This is my last mission and the emperor wants to make sure I retire.”
I looked at her and she laughed, “he dots on his little pet like a father.”
I smiled and shook myself before letting her hand go, “I don’t think me escorting you has anything to do with you retiring.”
She shook her head as we took a slid walk towards the distant gates, “He wants you with me on Hades. I have never been back and the school I am searching for will be dangerous and difficult to find.”
I nodded and took a breath to get my balance. I moved a half step in front of her, “once we are secure you can brief me.”
We were silent while we waited for the shuttle up and during the ride. Once in the cargo ship we went to the suite and left our bags. Samantha started to check the room and I began going the other way. We piled the bugs and two gas bombs on a table before I led her out and through the ship to one of the jump rooms.
Dragon crawled into her lap as we leaned back to wait. She smiled and pet her as she relaxed. I watched the other people that had already been on the ship and then the ones that came aboard. It was several hours before the ship began to move and then finally we jumped and the world turned inside out.
As soon as we returned to normal I stood and let Samantha out. The school she was looking for was teaching children to be spies and saboteurs. They also taught how to kill and that was what had brought it to the emperor’s attention. I was a little hesitant around Samantha at first but settled down long before we reached Hades.
We were on the first shuttle down and I led her through the normal customs without stopping. I changed tactics as we came out into the starport lounge area and crossed to a vehicle rental both. I slipped my ID in the slot and paid for a fast hover car. Samantha smiled when I led her out front and to the flashy vehicle, “this will stand out.”
I smiled, “not more than me taking a marshal vehicle.”
I looked at her after we were in, “where to?”
She leaned back with a sigh, “home.”
I looked at her for a minute and she finally turned her head, “I need to see it again.”
I shook my head, “that isn’t smart. The school will be watched.”
Samantha nodded, “the emperor left it intact with remote cleaning robots inside.”
I started the vehicle and lifted it before turning and accelerating. I didn’t need a map or directions, they were burned into my mind. It was quiet as we flew and Samantha looked at me, “Do you know the planet Keys?”
I looked at her and nodded, “a pleasure planet on the far side of the Empire.”
She smiled and leaned back, “a nice place to take a vacation.”
I kept looking at her before nodding and looking ahead. I brought the vehicle down inside the warning fence and parked by the side door. I slipped out with Dragon crawling onto my shoulder and moved around before I opened the other door. I continued to scan the area as my sister stepped out.
She smiled and headed towards the door as I walked beside her. Walking the silent halls and looking into empty rooms brought everything back. Samantha shook her head when we entered the display room, “some times I still feel what they did.”
I looked at her, “why come back?”
She smiled, “I was going to sneak you out.”
I nodded and reached out to take her hand, “how did they find out?”
Samantha looked at me, “we never found out.”
I looked around before turning to pull her out, “if they knew, why stay?”
She glanced at me as I led her towards the grand masters quarters, “we never figured that out either.”
I thought about the questions as I led her into the huge set of quarters, “I took his head for what I thought he had done.”
Samantha squeezed my hand and let it go, “time to get to work.”
I looked at her and she smiled, “you remember the masters and the grandmaster. There should be hidden panels or a hidden room.”
I nodded, “I killed the auto defenses but since they were here and fought I never looked.”
We moved apart and started searching the room slowly. I was going over the school layout in my mind and glanced to the right wall. According to the measurements that wall should be six feet further back. I moved to it and started looking at it closely. The grandmaster had been right here when I reached him.
I grinned and looked at Dragon, “smell the poison.”
She leaned forward and I let her crawl down my arm. Samantha crossed to me, “what is she doing?”
I moved slowly as she held the back of my hand and leaned close to the wall, “smelling for poison.”
Dragon looked back and chirped. I leaned closer to examine the wall and the slight discoloration on what looked like a knot. I nodded, “that’s one.”
I moved and nodded to Dragon and she went back to smelling. It was several minutes before she found the second. I lifted her to my shoulder and looked up before grinning at Samantha, “we would never get in this way without triggering a trap or bomb.”
She looked up, “the school library is above us.”
I nodded, “the tech holograph booths to be exact.”
She spun, “lets go see if we can cut through.”
I shook my head, “first we go to the work shop for proper tools and then we go up.”
Samantha grinned as she slipped her arm in mine, “suck eggs little brother.”
I grinned and glanced at Dragon, “not eggs big sister.”
She laughed and reached up to caress Dragon, “maybe not.”
Thirty minutes later I set the pack of tools down and began building a small vacuum chamber in a holograph booth. Samantha put an air mask on and knelt to start drilling a tiny hole. I finished and put my mask on before starting the pump. Dragon was sitting just outside the plastic and would know if I needed her to use acid to open the chamber.
Samantha looked at me as I watched the needle go down before nodding to her. She turned back and slowly moved the drill deeper. A laser drill would have been faster but knowing the grandmaster there may be explosive gas in the room below. My sister pulled the drill out and I handed her the tiny fiberwire for the holo camera.
She slowly pushed it into the hole until the holograph sprang up to show us the room. She nodded, “there is some type of gas.”
I turned, “checking the element detector attached to the camera.”
I read the list of elements, “explosives.”
She grunted and pulled the camera out before turning to the pile of things we had brought. She slowly inserted a tube before turning the valve on the small tank. There was a hissing sound but we sat and waited. Finally she shut it off and pulled the tube out and we checked with the camera again.
I nodded after reading the element list, “safe.”
She pulled the camera out, “and the ceiling is clear to cut. Removed this damn vacuum chamber.”
I grinned and flipped a switch to open the valves and let air in. Samantha used a sonic cutter instead of a laser just in case. I tossed the plastic and frame out of the booth and let Dragon climb back to my shoulder as I watched until my sister grunted and lifted a square from the floor. I knelt and helped her before she started cutting the section that was the ceiling of the room.
When we pulled it out I felt the material, “this is demo plastic.”
Samantha felt it and looked into the hole, “it’s a good thing I use sonics.”
I nodded and carefully set the piece aside, “me first.”
She opened her mouth and I grinned, “I’m the one that is supposed to protect you remember?”
She smiled and moved back as she gestured, “just don’t trip any traps.”
I sat and looked down before slipping in and dropping. I caught the edge of the hole and hung as I looked below me before dropping. I knelt to look at the floor and then carefully searched the room before moving and nodding to Samantha. She dropped down into the room with me easily and did her own check before going to the single shallow counter.
She plugged a device into the computer and waited until the screen blinked and came on. I was checking items on the other walls without touching them. Samantha cleared her throat as she pulled the device out, “anything else in here?”
I smiled, “besides poison or weapons?”
She grinned, “yeah.”
I lifted a small case with a broken seal, “this.”
Samantha took it before looking at the seal, “this comes too.”
I gestured up and watched her climb onto the counter and jump before pulling herself out. I followed and locked the booth door behind us. I led her back through the school and out to our vehicle. I looked at the six constable vehicles around ours with a dozen people pointing weapons at us.
Samantha shook her head and I grinned, “I told you.”
A four man team started for us as I slowly opened one side of my coat to show my badge, “Imperial Marshal.”
The lead man gestured, “hands out to the side.”
I sighed, “constables you saw my badge and you see the animal on my shoulder. I’m sure you know who I am but if you don’t, my name is Lieutenant Deputy Marshal Morpheus. I am not only authorized to be here, I am the only one authorized by the emperor’s own authority. Now bring a reader to scan my badge before you piss me off.”
They looked at each other and the response officer gestured, “I’m not telling you again.”
I looked at him and drew in one motion before stopping, “drop the weapon or I will kill you.”
He started to open his mouth and the constable commander straightened from behind his vehicle, “everyone calm down.”
I shifted to move in front of my sister, “I am on protection detail and here on direct orders of the emperor. Lower your weapons or I will be forced to take action.”
The commander moved out, “lower your weapons and put them away.”
I kept my pistol aimed at the response leader as everyone else straightened and lowered their weapons. He licked his lips and I saw his finger start to tighten. I shifted my aim and fired four times rapidly. He screamed as both shoulders were hit and then his legs. I shifted my aim as the other constables started to react, “freeze!”
They stopped moving and I looked at the commander, “move them back.”
He was tight lipped as he gestured and the men backed away. I glanced at the constable on the ground, “stay commander and come closer to your man. Keep your personal monitor on.”
He stopped moving before slowly walking towards the downed man. I opened the door for Samantha, “inside.”
She slipped in and I closed the door and moved to the downed officer. I knelt and pulled a small narrow tube out before touching it to his temple, “who gave you the kill order?”
The commander opened his mouth before closing it as the man spoke in a monotone, “Ser Daniels of the Phoenix school.”
I looked at the commander, “he is to go straight into isolation after you have a medic check him. No one is to speak to him and he is to make no calls or send any messages.”
He nodded and I stood, “you may tell your other officers why I shot him.”
I walked around to get into the vehicle before lifting and carefully leaving. I glanced at Samantha, “the school knows we are here but not why. I think they believe we were after something left behind.”
She smiled as she continued to examine the seal, “I know who this seal belongs to.”
I looked at her as I headed towards an unregistered marshal safe house, “care to share?”
She sighed, “the emperor’s nephew and advisor on the commerce council.”
I shook my head and watched as she pulled out a fancy comm and attacked what almost looked like another to it. The holo that appeared was blank and it was several minutes before the emperor appeared, “Samantha.”
He smiled at me, “I’m sorry we had to keep you in the dark Morpheus.”
I nodded and Samantha held up the small case and showed the seal, “we found this in the grand master’s secret room.”
He squinted before straightening, “anything else?”
I glanced at her as she nodded, “I cloned the drive of a stand alone computer.”
He nodded, “do your own check and be careful when you open the case. My nephew may be an idiot but the masters running your school weren’t.”
Samantha grinned, “the Phoenix school knows we are here but not why.”
He smiled, “find the location Samantha.”
The holo vanished and my sister sighed, “I hated to do that.”
I looked at her, “he knows what to do.”
She smiled, “his nephew doesn’t know it but he just retired.”
I dropped down and turned down a small side street before using my comm. I turned in at a well maintained house and drove into the garage. I stepped out and glanced around as the garage door closed and walked around to open the other door. I accept the two bags she handed out and stepped back as she stood with Dragon on her shoulder.
I had her follow as I entered the house and began to check every room. Samantha took precautions as I watched and finally opened the case. I reached for the small data stick and slipped it into my comp.
The small holo of a much younger man appeared, “you need to vacate the school master. I just found out my uncle has sent marshals to look for you. They had someone from your school give them information.”
He looked around and leaned forward, “I have done as you asked. When are you going to kill my uncle?”
I shook my head as the holo stopped and looked at Samantha, “this had better go straight to the emperor.”
She nodded, “I thought he was just a snitch but if he has tried to have the emperor killed...”
She held out her hand and I set the stick in it before standing, “if there is a spy school here it won’t be long before they know about and find the house.”
Samantha grinned, “I hope they do, we need someone to talk.”
I looked at Dragon and she jumped and flew towards the back door. I followed and let her out before returning to watch as my sister talked to the emperor and sent the data from the stick. I waited until she was done before going to the kitchen and making dinner. After dinner I nodded to the couch and she smiled as she crossed to lay down.
I slipped out and let Dragon land on my shoulder as I moved into the shadows. I absently fed her as I slowly circled the house before stopping in a thick bush beside a tree, “see the vehicle Dragon?”
She leaped into the air as I moved away and when a thick cloud passed over another shadow crossed the street. I moved silently as I approached and pulled a small box as I knelt. Dragon landed and took the box before crawling forward and under the vehicle. It would shut it down and keeping it from moving.
A moment later I saw her emerge and I slipped up to the side of the vehicle to yank the door open and toss a dart. The woman behind the wheel jerked and opened her mouth before freezing. I looked around before leaning in and pulling her out. I put her over my shoulder and closed the door before heading across the street.
I walked in the front door and stopped, “it’s me.”
Samantha appeared out of the shadows and I started towards the front room, “here is your watcher.”
She followed and knelt to search the woman after I set her on the couch. Once she was sure she had everything including the capsule between her lip and gums she woke her. The woman shifted slightly as her eyes flickered. I smiled, “we went to the assassin school.”
Her eyes went to me and I nodded, “just tell us what we need to know and maybe we can make a deal.”
She licked her lips, “and I would be killed.”
Samantha snorted, “listen very close. In three days your school will no longer exist. Now I can either put you in prison for life as a traitor to the empire or I can make a deal.”
She looked at Samantha for a minute before nodding, “what do you want to know?”
I shifted, “before you start you should understand what will happen if you betray us.”
She looked at me and I smiled, “I will cut you into tiny pieces. I will use sense dust and do it one piece at a time over a very long period and I will start with your pretty face.”
Samantha snorted, “don’t listen to him. He doesn’t like hurting people and he doesn’t like blood.”
The woman looked from me to her before smiling, “some assassin.”
I shrugged, “It was worth a shot.”
I looked at Samantha and grinned, “On the other hand I can perhaps offer a sweet. The emperor is going to be looking for a ghost. Someone that can slip onto a world to look for and find people or things, like your school. Perhaps that might interest you?”
She looked at my sister who grinned, “now that might be possible.”
I let Samantha keep talking to her as I listened. I could tell she was stalling and finally stepped closer, “enough.”
I reached out and touched her with a slim needle before turning her and binding her including each finger. I pulled her up and revived her before smiling coldly, “you had your chance. Now you will face the death chamber for treason.”
Her eyes widened as I pushed her towards the hall and grabbed my bag, “get your bag Samantha.”
She followed me as I pushed and shoved the woman out to the vehicle. I opened the trunk and started putting her in and she began to struggle. I slapped her, “you think I don’t know what you are doing? If your back up comes I will be forced to kill them. We will find the school another way.”
I shoved her in and closed the door before looking at my sister, “wait.”
I moved around the vehicle slowly and checked it before letting Samantha get in. I opened the outer garage door and then the vehicle door. Dragon flew in and landed on my seat before crawling across to my sister. I watched around us as we left and headed into the city and the Marshals building.
I lifted and landed on top and got out to look around before letting Samantha step out. I went to pull the woman out of the trunk and push her in front of me. When we came through the stairwell door onto the marshal floor I wasn’t surprised to see the room full of marshals. I kept going as they watched and took the woman down to the holding cells.
I cut her clothes off and pushed her into the cell as she kept trying to make a deal, “put on the prison clothes dead woman.”
I darkened the doorway screen and turned to lead Samantha back upstairs. She went to sit at a desk with a comp as I tossed my bag onto a chair and looked around, “I take it you are here to raid the school after we find it?”
The other marshals grinned and I sat and turned to a comp. I thought about what our school had needed and accessed the planet net for sewage and recycled waste. The list I started with was long but I started matching it with power records. I knew the school would hide those and nodded when I had four left on my list.
From those I used a sat to check each location and sat back to grin. I sent the information to the terminal Samantha was using and she glanced at me before looking at it. She straightened and looked at me again, “we need to go check.”
I glanced at Dragon on her shoulder, “all we need is to get close. They will have hidden vids and people watching. Dragon can gather intel.”
She glanced at Dragon and nodded before standing, “we should go while it is still dark.”
The house was on an estate so we stopped a couple of kilometers away. I had flown here close to the ground and parked in what looked like a lovers parking area. I let Dragon slip out before closing my eyes to watch. The signs around the estate were subtle, tiny hidden vid cameras and closed circuit laser trip alarms.
I knew before she even approached the house that they had used a thermal scan to see if she was a real animal. The windows only showed empty rooms but finally I saw another entrance. I was murmuring to Samantha the whole time as she added things to the estate map and relaying it to the other marshals.
Slowly Dragon found six more hidden entrances and a dozen air shafts. One vehicle entered but none left before Dragon found the way to sneak in. I was tense as she crawl and clung to ceilings while moving in and down. It was six hours before Samantha sighed, “enough.”
I opened my eyes and she smiled, “have her stay where she is. The marshals are en route with a full company of commandoes.”
I let Dragon know but continued to watch through her eyes. Between one moment and the next every entry into the school was blown and marshals and commandoes poured in. I lifted and accelerated towards the estate and lifted over the walls and landed in front of the manor. I got out and glanced around as I walked around the vehicle before opening the door for my sister.
At the front door I nodded to the marshal just inside and led my sister past him. Two people were in restraints on the floor as we went through. We used a set of stairs in the kitchen and went down to the first underground floor. The hallway went out like spokes and Dragon dropped from the ceiling.
Samantha nodded to a group of marshals and commandoes down a hall. I let Dragon land on my shoulder as my sister spoke with the marshals and then we were climbing down another set of stairs. Young men and women were on the floor in restraints as we headed towards a large central room.
When we walked in it was grim with men and women sprawled out dead. None had been shot, they had taken poison and died together rather then let us capture them. After we left it was to go down another two levels until we were walking down wood paneled hallways. The large apartment we walked into had a richly dressed man in restraints.
Four marshals were watching him and Samantha walked straight to him, “I want the comp codes and the location of your server room.”
He smiled faintly, “I don’t remember where it is.”
I pulled my sister back when I saw him shift and Dragon leaped and landing on his shoulder. He froze but his eyes locked with mine, “going to put me in stasis?”
I pulled my weapon and touched his forehead, “hands in front of you.”
The marshals shifted as they realized something had changed. The grand spy master slowly brought his hands around and clasped them as I stepped back, “now it is my turn to ask questions. The server room.”
He just smiled and Dragon bit before leaping. He jerked in shock and then froze, “what did she just inject?”
I smiled, “poison. You have ten minutes before you die.”
He licked his lips, “you wouldn’t.”
I gestured, “on your knees.”
I moved around and put the barrel against his head, “cross your ankles.”
I nodded to the marshals and they struck, grabbing hands and twisting until he was bent forward. I moved back to the front, “listen close coward. In a minute some of the toxins are going to be felt. You will feel stinging in your hands and feet, this will be followed closely a minute later by numbness.”
I smiled, “the stinging will be back, it will effect your arms and legs but feel much worse. When they go numb the real pain will begin in your stomach and chest. Your vision will become blurry and you will be extremely disoriented. It will be another minute before all your body functions stop and you die.”
I waited and he shifted before licking his lips, “I’ll talk.”
I shrugged, “we gave you a chance, now you will die.”
That was when he began talking, giving locations and codes and passwords. He gave us everything as I slipped a popper veil into a numb hand while he was distracted. The marshals brought a long pole and restrained his hands at each end with each finger locked in a stasis glove. Within hours those on the planet that were paid or associated with the school were in custody.
Within a couple of days those on other planets were caught. I stood in the starport and held Samantha’s hand, “since I know you can send an occasional message now...”
She grinned, “you know where I’ll be.”
I nodded and took a breath before hugging her and then bending to grab my bag.
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