Into the Fire Chapter 1 (part 4)

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The sound was slight; nothing more then a thud, but it made Kaemper turn his head. A frown crossed the SK officer’s face. Could the authorities have caught up to them already? If they did, it wouldn’t matter to him because he had diplomatic immunity, as did the two SS men, but what would become of James and the information in his head?

“You two!” he snapped. “Check it out!”

James looked over at him, eyes wide. “What is it? The Police? Oh, God they couldn’t have caught up to us already? It’ll destroy everything!”

The two guards opened the door and slammed it shut as a hail of gunfire ripped into the walls. One of them cried out and went down, a hand over his stomach, blood pouring from the wound. The second reached into his suit and pulled out a sub machine gun. He clicked the safety off and started to back up towards Kaemper.

“SWAT,” he said to the SK officer. “An entire team…I count at least ten.”

“****, ****, ****!” James cried as he ran his hands through hair that was now sweaty. “This can’t be happening!”

“Calm yourself, James,” Kaepmer said, “I can claim your seeking asylum with my government and they can’t do anything to you.”

“Can you guarantee that?”

Kaemper snorted. “Of course I can’t! You forgot about Intelligence! Reyes wouldn’t stop at a subtle-or not so subtle-assassination either you know.”

“Oh hell,”

The door burst open and the first officer came through, weapon at the ready. Following on his footsteps were the rest of the team and the SS man wisely dropped his weapon. The armed officers took up places around James as a man in plain clothes entered the room.

The man shook his head. “You’re one dumb son of a bitch, James,” he said, “You picked this hotel and this region. Did you think I’d be asleep at the switch or something?”

“Mister James is seeking asylum with my government,” Kaemper said. “Which you have to honor.”

“Honor a request from a bunch of scumbags who want to kill anyone who isn’t like them?” the man snorted, “I don’t think the Foreign Ministry will go for it.”

“We are a peaceful people,” Kaemper said, “And civilized-“

“Does being ‘peaceful and civilized’ mean one steals the secrets of a sovereign government?” a woman’s voice said before the roar of gunshots filled the air.

The glass on the outer windows shattered, and the wind started to buffet the SWAT team. Before the sound had time to die, more shots rang out. James’ head exploded in a combination of red, gray and circuitry.


Brinkman watched James fall and his heart hit the roof of his mouth. Bastards! Intelligence had killed the man while he was in his custody! That Agent would be a dead woman!

“The window!” he screamed as he raced over to it.

He looked out and saw a woman hanging on a rope. She smiled at him and hit the quick release on her eyelet. As the stunned policeman watched, she dropped ten stories towards the ground-and certain death. However, before she reached the ground, the woman’s figured shimmered and disappeared.
Camouflage? Did Intelligence have a form of disguise that made them invisible? How much would that tech be worth on the black market and did James have that in his head? Was that why they killed him?

Brinkman grabbed the com unit on his belt. “All units!” he shouted, “Intelligence has killed the suspect, I repeat: Intelligence has killed the suspect. The killer is a woman and she’s descending the south side of the building without a rope! I want her body!”

He turned to look at the Germanics, and his expression was as hellish as he felt.

“Now what to do about you two…”


Kate felt the wind through her hair as she dropped. Outright panic washed over her like a tsunami. It was irrational fear, of course, because with a cybernetic body, it would take more then a ten story fall to cause physical harm. However, there was just something in the human mind, in her psyche, that rebelled against the drop.

She landed in the ally beside the hotel with a thud. The camouflage shimmered for a second and stabilized as police officers entered the ally from both ends. Biting back a curse, Kate slipped to her right and pressed up against the building’s wall.

<Rover this is Falcon,>

<Go ahead, Falcon,>

<It appears my LZ is a hot zone,> Kate sighed mentally, <I’ve got more cops here then you can shake a stick at.>

<Are you going to reach the rendezvous?>

<You can guarantee it,>

The officers approached, weapons drawn, their movements wary and careful. It was obvious they were looking for something: her body. Kate bit back a chuckle. Just how many of them would die if they knew she was cybernetic-despite the Alliance’s ban on such technology?

Once they passed, she slipped out of hiding and started down the ally. It was hard to avoid the water running down the pavement from rains earlier in the day, but it was necessary. Water and the electromagnetic forces in the camouflage didn’t play nicely together and the results were that outsiders could see what was hidden behind the screen.

A cat jumped out from behind a dumpster and Kate jumped in surprise. Both feet landed in the water and the splash was substantial. Police officer looked as the suit shimmered and dropped, leaving her visible.

Kate looked over her should at the police and both eyebrows went up. This couldn’t possibly be happening! Why was it that everyone else got a peaceful mission yet things went wrong at every turn for her? Reyes would hear about this, he could guarantee that!

“Uh,” she said, “I think I’ll just be leaving now…”

One of the officer’s pointed. “Get her!”

So much for that idea, Kate thought.

She broke into run, water splashing everywhere. Behind her, the officer’s started to follow. Ahead, two cars pulled to a stop and blocked the end of the ally. More law enforcement officials emerged from them, weapons drawn.

Well, Kate reflected, wasn’t this one fine crock of ****! They thought she was boxed in-boy were they in for a rude awakening!

Ok, body, she thought, don’t let me down.

She closed on the vehicles, the officer’s watching with wide eyes. In her enhanced vision, she could see sweat running down the face of one woman. The woman just needed to relax; this would be over in just a second-if the plan worked out.

With a grunt, Kate launched herself into the air and over the police cars. She completed a somersault while in mid-flight and landed on her feet without missing a beat. The four officers just watched, too stunned to move.

“Get out of the way!” an officer yelled as he slid across the hood and continued his pursuit.

Kate raced onto the sidewalk and out into a mass of humanity. An occasional person looked at her outfit. If it were a man, he would raise and eyebrow and wink; a woman would just subtly sneer in jealousy.

It’s not my fault Matthews gave me a perfect figure, Kate thought in protest.

She slowed down and let the people become an effective camouflage. Multiple couples and singles all crowded into a small area were as effective to hide behind as high tech. And unless the cops had air cars or floating camera’s, anyone pursuing would have about as much luck finding her as one would in hunting the proverbial needle in the haystack.

Behind her, the police officer came to a stop. With all the damned people out tonight, there wasn’t a way to track Kate. Either way, it meant she was clear to for the rendezvous site.

Within minutes, the small park came into view. Few people entered it at night, which had made it a perfect place to store their craft. Cloaked in a stealth screen, no one would see it. The screen would also keep the energy signature hidden from scanners too.

As she approached, the rear ramp on the courier opened up. Claudio Reyes, his salt and pepper hair blowing in the wind, watched her with cold, emotionless eyes. However, no matter how much he hid his emotions facially, the Admiral’s body language gave him away. He was angry.

“Think you could draw anymore attention to us?” he growled as she entered and the ramp closed.

Kate sat down in a chair and paused to catch her breath before speaking. “SWAT arrived two hours earlier then we planned. Who screwed the pooch this time?”

Reyes sat down across from Kate. “No one ‘screwed the pooch,’” he said, “SWAT just moved faster then we thought!”

“Maybe that’s what you told Rachel and Thad,” Kate countered, “But I don’t believe it for a second. Too many things went wrong on this mission-and I ended up killing the target. Was that the plan all along?”

Reyes looked at her for long moments. Then his ruddy face turned darker and he crossed his arms. It took a second to get his breathing under control before he spoke:

“Don’t you dare question me or my plans,” he said softly, menacingly, “I own you, Almir, remember that!”

Kate closed her eyes and let memories wash over her. “You do indeed,” she whispered, “Unfortunately.”

“We’ll discuss this later,” Reyes said as he started to move to the front of the craft. “You and I.”

Kate batted her eyes at him innocently. “Really? I can’t wait, sir.”

Reyes disappeared from sight, muttering about the ingratitude of people.

Kate leaned her head back and fell asleep.
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