AL BRUNO III
Thursday November 8th 1996
There was a grinding sound whenever Helen Ginnmett’s Mark Thirty-Five Dissimulation Interface Unit moved. The back of the neck was a tangle of clear tubing and broken ceramic plating. It twitched and paused as it tried to respond to the directives from its biologic locus. Whenever Helen Ginnmett grumbled to herself, her teeth clattered and clicked.
She crawled, one leg dragging stiffly behind her, the other clicked ominously. The simple act of pushing the front door back closed made the remaining skin on her arm tear, microfilements drooled out of the wound. She pulled her cell phone from her pocket. Damaged armatures made her hand jitter and shake; she dropped the phone twice before she managed to hit the fifth speed dial.
“Yes.” She said, her voice fast becoming a metallic whisper, “We need an extraction for 26 Pine Stump Road, 42.7240 by -73.8139.”
A coughing sound distracted her, crawled over to Isobel’s friend to find the woman groaning and slowly drowning in her own blood. Cheryl’s eyes were open but she wasn’t seeing anything.
“How long?” a voice burbled.
Helen Ginnmett raised herself to her kness to see her partner’s biologic locus creeping towards her, where it passed the floor was left smoldering. “Peirs.” She said, “You’re naked.”
“The Cheryl woman. How long does she have?”
“Moments I think, can’t tell exactly. That damned Galen knocked my Retinohypothalamic sensors clear out of my head.”
“I want her processed.”
Helen Ginnmett nodded, it was a painful looking gesture, “May I ask why?”
The thing that played at being Piers Sauno ran a tendril across Cheryl’s leg, the flesh burned and dripped away, “Isn’t it obvious? This woman owed nothing to Galen or our adversaries. She put her life in danger because her best friend told her to. The Monarchs are always on the lookout for that kind of obedience.”
She turned her attention back to the dying woman, a slender needle-like shape slipping from her pinky finger, “Did you hear that guys?” She called into the phone, “Extraction for three.”
End of Book One