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The assassin chuckled. Stupid alien. Falling for such a simple trick. Her dependence on gadgets would be her undoing. After gaining the target’s data number from the planet’s hypernet’s central directory, he had sent Jaloon a call using a fol probe. It registered as a familiar number on their datapad, then attached a virus to the device after it was answered. This allowed him to track her all over the city, the whole system if needed.
His father had sold him the device and, until now, the assassin thought he had been ripped off. Surely no one could be so naive as to not have system protections built into their personal devices. Protection against the invisible eye and the lords-above-who-would-eat-you was one of the primal traits pounded into him as a child. But his father assured him that these lesser species, even ones that the Phentari people were friendly with, like the Orions, were incredibly lax and stupid. It was simply one more sign of how the Phentari were destined to dominate the other races in the Alliance.
Even as the target zipped around the underground transport system, the probe perfectly followed her across the city. He patted his hidden rifle, carefully stored in false items about his person. This was easy. Track her until she stopped. Wait for an opportunity. Pull trigger. Reap the rewards.
Jimune ran The Gizzemn- which was an insect on the Orion homeworld often ground up and injected into female genitalia as an aphrodisiac. It was also Orion slang for a digital whorehouse. If one supplied an image and voice pattern, maybe some raw footage of a person moving, they could have their fantasy molded for a reasonable fee.
A reusable polydropaline blob was dropped over a wire skeleton and shaped with digital guidance by lasers and micro-scalpels into as perfect a copy as could be. A modulator that mimicked voices was installed with an operator talking dirty on the other end, feeding the client’s experience. It felt and looked real, unless you expected the simulation to move, then you were disappointed.
It wasn’t always used for sex. If your boss was giving you trouble, you could recreate the bastard and beat him up. Decapitate that pesky neighbor. Rip the tongue out of that lying politician. Or gun down that one guy who took your parking space. The only limit was your perverted imagination.
Jaloon was called in because the run-off from the polydropaline was quite sticky and, if not properly maintained, could build up and clog the nozzles. Lo and behold, her cheap cousin didn’t schedule regular maintenance and things became fouled up during a session with a borough president’s aide when the thing melted on the woman. Threats were made. Permits might be pulled. Hence, the emergency call from Jimune to his cousin.
She crawled into the filthy works and shot suction probes down the gunked up lines, using a forced vacuum to get the stuff moving. All the while Jimune loitered around, trying to make small talk as if they had a healthy relationship.
“Are you going to that Gullges Day party over at Uncle Poy’s place?”
“No,” Jaloon said, very annoyed and equally dirty. A lot of sticky fluid was leaking all over her. “Last time I talked to him, he got me and his son mixed up in a smuggling deal with gangsters that nearly sent us crashing into the side of a planet on a dead ship.”
“Yeah well, he didn’t know that was how things would play out.”
“Besides no one celebrates that here. That’s from the old planet, Taos. I’d have to take an unpaid day off work and I can’t afford it right now.”
“Take a sick day.”
“I’ve used them all for the year and all my vacation time too.”
“Then claim some religious shit. A feast day for a dead guy like the Heyzeusians do.”
“Company clamped down on that. Any religious functions have to come out of personal leave days.”
“Isn’t that illegal?”
“Not if they do it to every religion uniformly. No discrimination, everyone gets screwed.” She pulled herself from inside the machine and rubbed filthy hands on already filthy overalls. “Looks like we’re all set.”
He lead her to the front waiting room, a small affair with a few gelatinous contour chairs and a virtual receptionist. They touched credit sticks and the money was exchanged.
“You got everything?” he asked.
She checked her overall pockets. “Yeah, I think…”
A small hole popped into the storefront flexglass window. Odd. She stuck her lower thumb in it. Perfectly round. Jimune shuffled behind her. Something splattered on the floor. She turned.
Her cousin had a corresponding hole in the center of his throat. Blood pumped out of it in spurts. Confusion wracked his face. He teetered, then fell face first on the floor.
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