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A sword pressed against her throat, “I’d like to say that I wouldn’t enjoy this but I’ve been looking forward to killing you.” Samantha, the woman who had trained and raised her, had a twisted smile on her face and Helena, no, Suzie, believed she’d enjoy it. “You know what your problem was? You were always too concerned with honour and what was right. That’s why we had to make sure you believed you were only killing evil. You never would have understood the cause.”
Suzie didn’t need to fight back tears; the heat of her anger evaporated them. “Do you know what your problem has always been?” She asked Samantha. “You’re slow.” In a practised single motion, she pulled her sword out of its scabbard and swung it against the other woman’s blade, pushing it away.
“I trained you. I know every move you have; do you really think you can beat me?” Samantha screeched.
Taking her sword into a right handed grip, Suzie lunged and bashed at the other woman’s sword. The wild tactic had the right effect; it panicked her teacher into attacking.
As the older woman attacked they locked swords and Samantha pushed down on her blade the two blades moving closer to Suzie’s face. With only her right hand on the grip of her blade she didn’t stand a chance and the blades would get close enough for Samantha to slide her blade across and cut her head off like a giant pair of scissors.
It didn’t come to that. Suzie knew she couldn’t best the other woman with sword skills alone. Her left hand shot out to the other woman’s chest. The energy she channeled out of the suit was enough to stop the other woman’s heart.
There was a smell of ozone and burnt skin as she stood over her mentor and made sure of the kill, just as she’d been trained. Her suit shut down. She’d used up all the suit’s power.
Movement caught her eye from one of the computer terminals. Hal was sitting there with a copying drive.
“What are you doing here?” she said confused.
“Have you ever had a key and couldn’t find the door it belonged to?”
For the second time that day she felt used, “You knew everything didn’t you?”
Lifting a hand and pointing at himself he said, “Prophet with psychic abilities. Of course I knew. Nice trick with the AI and navigation computer. Good thing I don’t need them. Oh and thanks for not killing me.”
“I haven’t made up my mind on that yet,” she snarled.
The sound of several people running towards the vault caught her attention.
“We’ll I’ve got all the information I need,” he shook the small drive, “Are you going to kill me or come with me?”
“What does it matter? We’re going to have to fight our way out of here one way or another.”
“I have another way out. Make your choice.”
She dropped her sword, the symbol of the Maidens and all their lies and walked over to him. He reached behind him and pulled out a sword. Its hilt had ornate depictions of a sun, and despite being the size of a longsword it was lighter than even her old blade. He handed it to her and she said, “What’s this?”
“A present. I’m more a talking or blaster kind of person so I don’t need it. It’s mine. I’m just re-appropriating it.” That’s when she recognized it as one of the many relics she’d passed on the way in. “Now take my hand, this is going to hurt.”
She took his hand as the guards rushed in. The next instant she felt like someone was slicing her insides to pieces and then blending them. Her vision blurred and suddenly she was on his ship.
Her body convulsed and she threw up everything that was still in her stomach and then some extra. Somehow he’d managed to put a bucket under her before she started.
“A matter transporter. Are you insane?”
“I know, they’re dangerous and illegal. I only use them when I know they’ll work. One of the perks of being a prophet.”
He was quiet then as he expertly manoeuvred the ship. Once they had jumped a few times she remembered the tracker, “You have a tracker on you.”
“Yeah I figured. I did a full body scan when I woke up. It’s on a ship that’s going to explore the outer regions of system.”
“Good,” was the only thing she could think of saying.
“We’re in orbit around The Adonis. I can dock and drop you off. If that’s what you want?” The silence that followed his statement was heavy with emotion.
Everything she thought she knew was wrong and she needed to think things through. Going to her apartment on the ship would be stupid. The Maidens were certainly going to hunt her down. She still wasn’t sure she could fully trust him.
“Is the job offer still on the table?” she asked.
He gave her that smile and a small part of her twinged in pleasure. Internally she cursed her body, this wasn’t the time. “Of course it is!”
“My only condition is that you never lie to me and I get full access to what you recovered from the archives.”
His brow furrowed, “I won’t lie but I will withhold some information if I think it’s important for a mission or your survival. And absolutely full access to it and my personal database.” She nodded and he seemed pleased. “Welcome aboard Suzie. Now there’s a woman that’s just developed a cure for old age. The Maidens have already sent two assassins to kill her. What do you say we go save her life?”
His enthusiasm brought a smile to her face. Strapping her new sword to her belt, she nodded and sat down in the co-pilot seat.