of Cmdr. Walsh
No. FUCKIN'. Way!!!"
Joseph Walsh sighed audibly. The boy was taking this even worse
than he'd expected. "Gooseman," he said sternly, with
just the proper amount of icy disapproval. "Calm down. It's
just a transformation like any other."
young ST stared at him in utter disbelief.
done far more complicated ones successfully."
if that were the point," Gooseman muttered under his
"Then what is the
point?" The commander asked briskly, deciding to either
force Goose to admit his problem or give in and accept the job.
Joseph just hoped he judged Goose's reaction to the matter right
and it would be the latter.
ST in front of him ground his teeth and said nothing.
Goose. We have to get the batch back. We can't risk having it put
to use or worse, being used to produce more metallo bacts. I
doubt I have to remind you what happened the last time some of
those escaped." Walsh made a dramatic pause. "Pensacola
isn't called 'Plastic City' since then for nothing."
it's so important, why don't you send my senior officer instead
of me?" Shane grumbled, stuffing his hands into his pockets,
giving a perfect impersonation of a sulking teenager.
wouldn't be immune to the bacts if he's exposed to them, and the
criminal behind the theft is known to be especially distrustful
towards men in general."
a military batch, Gooseman." Walsh bit off, his
patience wearing out.
trooper groaned. "So the critters produce
There's no one but you able to get into Wondermir's secret labs
and reclaim the batch. Now stop playing the sissy. Here are the
specifications for your transformation. They've been double
checked. Appropriate clothing is supplied at the charging
platform. Negata and QBall–"
Green eyes flared with panicked fury. "I'm not going to do
this–" he waved with the datapad holding the
transformation specs, "–with that gossip nearby."
He shuddered. "Negata will do. He doesn't see me as human
"Are you sure
to go with only one supervisor?"
won't be there?"
Walsh shook his head.
will be sufficient." A muscle in Goose's jaw twitched. "And
if anyone else ever learns about this..." his eyes turned to
threatening frost. "He's not bloody going to live to tell
Walter C. Hartford crumpled his nose in displeasure. "For a
state service duffer?"
shrugged. "It's your turn, Doc. So stop complaining. It's
not like this will take long. You don't want to tell me an
afternoon in downtown Phoenix is too much to ask of you, do
"Doc, I'm not
going to repeat myself. The state service asked us to back up one
of their agents who has to retrieve a stolen bacteria test
culture. They need help with the building's security system, so
you're the best choice anyway. Besides, according to their
dossier, this agent Shawna Frost seems to be very competent.
There shouldn't be major issues if you don't create them. Now
hurry. I expect your verbal report this afternoon."
went smooth as silk, Captain," Doc finished his report with
a summary. "She wasn't a minute late and we entered the
building without a hitch. You should have seen her," he
whispered dreamily. "A regal beauty if I've ever seen one.
So cool, so courageous when she distracted the guards so I could
tap into the surveillance system to forge her a building
clearance and direct her down to their security labs." He
shook his head. "Marvelous."
does she look like?" Niko asked. "Maybe we've seen her
tall, at least my height with endless legs – though that's
hard to tell with the high heels she wore – and moves
fluidly, like a goddess. I'm sure she must have some kind of
martial arts experience the way she handled the guard that
surprised her when she took the batch out of the safe." He
mulled a moment. "She could teach self-defense for women
with that style, believe me."
him, Shane rolled his eyes and returned his attention to the
report he was trying to write.
hair's light blonde, flaxen..." Doc fidgeted a bit while
searching for a description that did justice to it. "A wee
bit lighter than Goose's."
ST snorted. Audibly.
wears it extraordinarily short, so that it looks like icecrusted
fur, and reveals her slender neck. And she had the most stunning
eyes: somewhere between ice-green and grey-blue." Doc was
obviously a bit carried away with recalling his impressions. "You
just couldn't help but notice her the moment she walked in the
room." He hesitated. "I have a surveillance picture of
her, did you want to see it?"
bent over his desk and looked at the screen. "Strange."
After a moment she cocked her head and studied it from a
different angle. "Somehow, she looks familiar but I can't
tried to find her, Doc?" Zachary took a seat on the edge of
Doc's desk. "I mean, you have her name, you know what she
looks like and even have a decent picture of her. She shouldn't
be too hard to find."
what you think–" Doc sighed, much less tragically than
he felt. "She seems to have disappeared from the face of the
Earth after she entered LongShot to hand in the batch. I tried
everything, everything – do you read me? – to
find her. But zilch." The hacker snapped his fingers
in frustration. "Nothing. Nada. The only Frost I could find
was an 'Emma Frost', a rich industrial magnate, running an
academy for mutant children somewhere in Massachusetts. And no,
she definitely isn't Shawna."
The hacker snorted, frustrated. "Even checked her
Zach patted his
teammate's shoulder comfortingly and said nothing.
ranted on. "The way she disappeared, she seems to be secret
service, not state service." He shook his head, throwing a
longing look at his console's monitor still displaying the image
of her his tweakers had drawn from Wondermir's surveillance
systems. "Or even one of these supersecret military projects
it!" Goose snapped in, actually growling. "Definitely
if she was," the ST cut him off, "then you're never
gonna find her there. So stop whining, it's
Niko protested. "Show a little compassion, will you? Doc's
not. But he will be if he doesn't stop getting on my
Niko glared at
him. Behind them, Doc continued dreaming aloud of Miss Frost's
various wonderful attributes. And the telepath blinked. Why on
to S. 'Trivia' Blank for looking after my English.