Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Experts

As the dust settled around them, a figure stepped through cloud, moving toward them both.  A ghost.  A demon.  The angel of death.  

Devra realized they had met before.  

855 lowered the 45 automatic in his hand toward his side.  

“You must have a lot of conflicting emotions right about now,” he said.  

Devra and Farlowe both stood in silent shock.  

“Okay, I’ll admit that no one is ever happy to see me, but I mean, come on.  That was pretty good.  Farlowe?”

“Impressive, no doubt,” Farlowe replied.  

Devra found her voice.  

“What are you doing here?”, she asked the assassin.  

“Not killing you, surprisingly,” 855 smiled.  As he moved closer, she could see he had grown different since their last encounter.  He was bald now.  His face was covered in stubble.  He looked more fit than before, if that was possible.  A human chameleon.  He was wearing a khaki shirt and pants, as if he was a tourist on an outback safari.

“You’ve changed,” she said.

“So have you.”

“What do you want?”, Devra asked.  She was getting over the shock of the explosion and of the sudden appearance of the man who once almost took her life.  

“You, obviously.  You both, actually.  You’re going to join my team while you’re repaying this favor.”

“I thought you worked alone?”, Farlowe coughed out.  

“True.  Until recently, that was correct.  But you think I could do that?” 855 said as he gestured to the smoking, fiery debris that was once one of the world’s largest mining truck.  “I mean, security systems, no problem.  But hack a drone?  Especially one of Hulong’s, which is basically built to Chinese military specs.  Nope.  For that you need an expert.  Fortunately, I have one.”

“Hello, Dr. Bogdanovich”, a voice said from behind them.  

Devra turned to see a man walking toward them.  He had two portable computer cases with him, both slung over his shoulder.  He carried a large backpack over the other.  A long antenna extended out from it.

“Henry?”, Devra mouthed in shock.  

“As you can see, I didn’t kill him,” 855 said, sounding almost surprised himself at the revelation.

“Turns out being an expert is a remarkably good way to stay alive.” Henry Bowles smiled.


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