Space Cowboy

A Simple Passenger Job, Pt. 4

Koto Obe's Decision

The boy was getting sick, seeming to recognize the facility from other than his implanted memories. The Preacher stabilized him by convincing him to use his superior martial arts abilities (which he may or may not have had) to break down the door. He did it with a mighty kick that also shattered almost every bone in his foot.

Most of the guards refused to help or hinder the Crew. Obviously the facility was in the middle of some kind of coupe orchestrated by Obe and they weren’t certain who would be paying them by the end of the day.

The middle girl recognized the way to the “treatment” room and made a run for it. While Andromeda and Frenchie chased/calmed her down, The Swami, the Preacher and the body guard took the boy and the younger girl to the room… where Obe and three armed guards were waiting. Obe explained that he bore them no ill will. They could leave the children (to die) with him and be on their way, with their pay.

The Swami refused… with gunfire. In the hail of return fire, the body guard was badly injured. The boy took out one of the guards with a single blow, but another guard shot him with what looked like a fatal would. The Swami took down that second guard while the Preacher distracted the third by surrendering, all the while slowly getting the girl set up on the treatment table (she was beginning to get sick).

But Obe produced throwing knives and planted one into the Swami’s heart. Even so wounded, he held Obe off until Andromeda and Frenchie caught up to them. Frenchie held Obe at gunpoint while Andromeda helped the children onto the treatment tables.

The Preacher set to help the Swami but the Swami insisted that he try to save the children first. He stabilized the boy and with Andromeda’s help, figured out the extremely complex gene therapy machines. With seconds to spare, the children were gene infused and their vital signs returned to normal.

Meanwhile, Frenchie and Obe were eye-locked. Obe had one last knife. Could he get it out before Frenchie (a scientist, not a killer) pulled the trigger. There was an intense mental exchange punctuated by a single soft phrase from Frenchie: “Don’t do it.”

Frenchie saw the resolve flood Obe’s eyes: even if he was not fast enough, death was better than the dishonor of capture. He went for his knife. Frenchie pulled the trigger. The outcome was never in question and Obe fell, dead.

With the coupe thwarted and the conspirators dead, the next highest lieutenant profusely apologized and paid the Crew, including a handsome bonus for their troubles. He also did not object when they used the treatment room to patch their wounded – and stole every identifiable medical supply that wasn’t nailed down.

Before the Crew left, the body guard introduced himself as Lucius Khan, a humble servant of his master who must remain nameless. But should they need anything a simple body guard could provide, he owned them a debt of honor.


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