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listening. He didn't recognize the alien tunes, though he suspected what they
meant; he knew each note that Bowie played from their shared past, however,
and understood those completely.
Emerson's efforts to contact his ward had been rebuffed, and the general
respected Bowie's right to be left alone.
Perhaps I never should have made him enlist; perhaps he shouldn't have
had to serve, Emerson reflected. But then, it would be a better Universe if
none of us had to. But it's just not that kind of Universe.
"That's enough. Take me back," he told his chauffeur, hitting the button
that raised the window.
Take me back...
This time it was a cascade of roses, tumbling down one Nova in a
fragrant red avalanche the moment she opener the closet in her billet to hang
up her cloak. Suddenly she wasn't bone-tired anymore, not even with the
liftoff of Emerson's strikeforce less than forty-eight hours away.
She let the roses shower around her, giggling and gasping, and tried
forlornly to understand alt the conflicting emotions and impulses that were
starting her own private war. She was knee-deep in flowers.
There was a-note taped to the shelf: Depot 7 at 2100.
At the elegant Pavilion du Lac, Marie Crystal pushed away her fourth
sidecar. If Prince Charming doesn't get here with the carriage soon,
Cinderella's gonna be too stinko to care!
Might even serve him right, she thought. She had blown half her savings
on a drop-dead white satin evening gown, and the most expensive perfume she
could find. Her walk was very different than it was when she was in uniform;
she had seen men panting, admiring. And rather than cut a swath through the
local male wildlife, here she sat, waiting for her Romeo.
She went out onto the balcony to get a little fresh air, sighing in the
moonlight, thinking of Sean, smelling the orchids there.
She had been shot out of the sky and he had mechamorphosed his
Hovertank, risen up in Battloid mode to catch her burning, falling Veritech.
He had sworn he would love her, and no one else, evermore. Had held her to him
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as his Battloid had held her VT to it. Had made her love him.
You beast! You toad! I've never been in love before...
Below, hiding behind a column on the portico, Sean grinned and got ready
to go surprise her.
Marie had shown up early for their dinner date, and she had decided to
see how long it would take her to lose patience. It hadn't taken long; he was
barely late at all. But I've kept her waiting long enough, he thought
guiltily, and got ready to run up the steps to her.
A voice behind him called, "Seanie?"
It was Jill Norton, an old flame, all decked out like a green-sequined
sea goddess, throwing herself at him to hug him. "It is you!"
She locked her lips to his, and he had to wrestle her in order to crane
his head around and look up at the balcony. Marie was giving him the kind of
stare that preceded homicides.
Just like Cinderella, Marie lost a glass slipper on the winding stairs.
In fact, she lost both of them. She pushed her way in between Sean and his
latest trollop, about to leave, but spun around suddenly and grabbed him by
the front of his suit.
Before he could move, she kissed him as hard as she could-she put all
her love and all her wanting and all her hurt into it. Sean was starting to
think he might survive the encounter when she pushed him away and rocked him
with a slap that almost took his head off.
In the poorly lit corner of Depot 7, Dana practically had to put an
arm-bar on Komodo to get him to show himself and approach Nova. As he walked
over, he kept turning around to make sure Dana was still in the shadows for
moral support.
However, his worst fears came true when he turned to Nova and got a
backhanded fist, knuckles cocked, that sent him whirling onto the cold
duracrete facedown.
"Stay away from me, Zor!" she shrilled. "You hear me, Zor?" But inside,
she feared that she might really have hurt him.
Komodo pushed himself up partway. "Lieutenant Satori, I hear you." He
wiped blood from his mouth.
"Oh my god! Captain Komodo!"
He levered himself up. "Zor, eh? Now I get it!" He lurched off into the
blackness, sobbing, running nearly doubled over, as if she had given him some
eviscerating wound. [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]