Daisy Chain/Fang Bang 1

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Fang Bang/Surgery

I don’t think I’ve ever heard Empress so pissed off.

She landed on the Founders Falls roof, on the balls of her feet, her legs absorbing the shock, and she’d stolen behind a chimney before the Crey sharpshooter realized she was there. A faint whizzing noise, a barely-detectable “tzinng” as the anchor bit in, and then she was leaping off the roof and across a canal. Three more leaps, and she’d landed at the indicated building.

Sixteenth floor, west side, third balcony from the left.

She stared across the narrow alleyway. The balcony she was interested in was dark.

Whizzz-tzinng! The Nemesis goose-stepping down the alley never looked up as she zip-lined across it above their heads.

This must be an important job. Normally we stay out of Paragon except when the little fish can’t handle it. And the target’s not all that high up in the ranks.

The unseen figure carefully inspected the sliding glass door of the balcony, located and disabled three contact alarms, then scribed a circle in the glass to the right of the latch. A suction cup was attached, and then with a quick strike, it was knocked inward, the rubber disc preventing it from falling. She retracted it from the hole, and then reached in and unlatched the door.

Oh. No wonder. The sound of lovemaking was fairly obvious, once inside the condo. The assassin carefully walked down the hall, her soft-soled tabi making no noise on the hardwood floor. She checked each room as she passed, and then at the master bedroom, listened for the sounds to grow in intensity. Strange. One of them sounded… muffled. The other was… quite vocal, and was using terms and language that, given her background, was a little unnerving.

I’m thankful Empress doesn’t engage in bondage and discipline, much. I’ve had enough of that lifestyle for the foreseeable future.

As the swearing and grunts and other noises rose to a crescendo, the assassin opened the door, and froze.

Oh. My. God.

"Cause of death’s going to be easy. His sternum’s shattered, drove his ribs right into his lungs, collapsed both of them.”

"What could do that?"

"I have no idea. Whoever did it, it was surgical. Nothing else on him is so much as bruised. No bullet wounds, no cordite, no residual psionic energy, nothing. It’s as if he was killed by the Boogeyman. The condo’s bare, only sign of forced entry was the disc of glass cut out of the balcony door, but it’s sixteen floors up."

"So? Lots of people can climb or leap or FLY in this town."

"Mmhmm. So, you want to go review the metahuman registry? Find all the heroes that can do that?"

"Well we CAN narrow it down. That Tsoo hooker we found, next to the body. She said she saw who it was. Some female ninja, or something, all done up in gold chains and a pony queue. Maybe it was one of theirs?"

"Carruthers, the girl is still tripping on a cocktail of LSD and Ecstacy, plus the toxin effect from those spines. I’m surprised she didn’t describe Barney as the killer. Ninjas! HAH. The Tsoo aren’t in this neighborhood, and never will be."

The detective drew on his cigarette, blowing smoke to the side. "Way this scene went down, whoever killed Roger 'Porcupine' Jerome did her a huge favor. She could have died, Carruthers. The pervert was mutilating her, man."

"She one of the ones that went missing, after the Rikti attacks?"

"Yeah, six weeks ago. The agency she works for put in missing persons reports, the whole bit, but they all got lost. From the scars on her, she’s been a guest of ol’ Rog for nearly that long."

"Figures. Well, she’s on the 'found' list. And maybe if she’s not too strung out, we can get a handle on Mr. Jerome’s killer."

"I dunno. Lots of girls coming forward, seems our ‘Hero’ here liked to play with his dates in unorthodox ways. Put five of them into the hospital, and there’s two others that are still on the ‘missing’ list from before the Second Rikti War. I’m thinking when she’s not so strung out, she’ll forget who it was that done him in."

The only reply was a shrug.

"It is done, Empress."

"Good. Normally I don’t give the Tsoo the time of day, but when someone uses a woman, even a hooker, as their personal pincushion, I take it personally."

"Yes Empress."

"Go, run us a bath, Dae Se. After saving a defenseless woman and removing a quill from the arse of humanity, I think it’s time I shed the ‘Empress’ trappings and rewarded you properly."

"Yes, Emp.... Yes, Sayuka. I would… like that. Very much."

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