The girl sitting next to him was hot, but damn she could talk. Jes was Sam Blood’s latest potential new girlfriend. She hadn’t quite separated from her current man, but Blood had a feeling that this was imminent. The uComm beeped in Blood’s ear. He activated it on silent while pretending to continue to listen to what Jes was saying.
“Blood, we have another tasking order,” his partner spoke in his ear, “it’s a worker’s comp case, a back-injury claim. The insurance agency hasn’t been able to prove it, but their AI has indicated that this perp is a faker. I’m uploading the file now, have a squiz and I will pick you up in 10.”
Blood considered this and took a swig of his He-Man 9000 Super Strong Ultra Beer. It tasted like crap but what the hell, he had an image to uphold. He focused back on what Jes was saying: “… I can’t believe it, he was such an arsehole. Don’t you agree?”
Blood thought that he was pretty safe in going along with this, “Yeah — a total tool. Who is this again?”
“I just told you, my ex-fiasco! Were you even listening?”
“Of course, Babe, I’m just a little distracted at the moment. My partner and I have this big case that we are working on. We need to catch a cheater.”
“A cheater! I’m an expert on that.”
“Is that right? Tell me everything. I’m here for you Jes, I want you to know that.”
She frowned but began to speak, “I had just left our place for work and was a couple of kilometres from home when the flitter started losing altitude. I tried to switch in the compensators, but down she went. Anyway, I’m not mechanical so I just grabbed a lift back home to get help, and guess what I found?”
Blood couldn’t think of anything to say, so he nodded for her to continue and took another swig, making sure that the label was visible.
“I found that bastard in bed with my younger sister. She is half his age! I spent five years of my life with that sod. I don’t know what to do.” Tears welled as she looked deeply into Blood’s eyes, “I could really use your advice.”
Blood nodded wisely. Poor kid, she needed his help. “I know exactly what you need to do. First of all, check the injectors. Losing altitude in a flitter is often caused by dirty antimatter injectors. If that doesn’t work, then what you need to do is strip down the quark discombobulator. Those bastards are heavy though, you may need a hand to lift the casing.”
Jes sat there with her mouth open.
I’m good, Blood thought, and this gave him an idea about how they could solve their latest case. Blood winked and finished his beer, “I gotta run, Babe, my partner is waiting outside, and we can talk more when I get back.”
* * *
“Any ideas?” Georgia asked.
“As a matter of fact, I do. I need access to his flitter though, and one of those new nanocamera setups.” Blood regarded his partner smugly.
She shook her head and said, “I hope you know what you are doing. The file says that the perp should be in physio right now — that should give us a chance to get to his transport.”
“Let’s do it. I’ll explain on the way.”
* * *
Georgia kept watch while her idiot partner broke into the perp’s flitter. His methods lacked subtlety but who knows, the plan might work. He was back in five minutes, and said, “All set.” He winked at her and Georgia had to stop herself from stabbing him in the heart with her knife.
She lifted their flitter off and settled about 100 metres away. Bringing the nanocamera image up on the screen, they settled back to wait.
* * *
The screen showed the perp getting into the flitter and preparing to leave. “OK, let’s follow along, don’t get too close.”
“Got it,” Georgia replied.
It didn’t take long for the flitter in front to start losing altitude. It landed at a nearby parking spot, and the screen showed the perp opening the engine bay.
“That’s it, check the injectors,” Blood said gleefully. “No, that’s not the problem, could it be the dicombobulator?”
Blood checked that they were recording as the perp bent down and lifted off the heavy case. “Got you — that’s the money shot, Baby! Nobody with a sore back could lift that bastard.”
Georgia rolled her eyes.
About the Author: David Such was born in Brisbane but now shares his time between Sydney and a vineyard in the Hunter Valley. He has had over 20 short stories published in a number of online and print magazines, including: AntipodeanSF, Planet Magazine, Eclecticism, Infinitas, Static Movement, Dark Fire Fiction, Flashshot, and The Specusphere. David is a member of the Australian Horror Writers Association and would love to have you visit him at http://davidsuch.blogspot.com.
Story (c) 2009 David Such
About the Artist: Romeo Esparrago likes making pictures.
Illustration (c) 2009 Romeo Esparrago