Blitt’s arm instinctively raised to a level where he could easily read the digital imprint etched into the skin of his forearm. He pressed on the word ‘Danathan’ and was momentarily greeted by his employer’s voice sounding directly in his ear via bone conduction.
“Kidnapped yet?” he asked.
“Not yet. But I’m about to make a good try at it. Care to guess who my captor will be?”
“I wouldn’t dare to fathom. This case is getting more interesting each time I speak to you.“ His voice indicated that he was not amused, despite the small talk.
“Briggan’s here. “ Blitt smiled as he spoke.
“His men,” Danathan growled, matter-of-factly.
“No,” Blitt was all too pleased to reply. “The man himself.”
“Man, Dan,” was the usual amusing reply. “But that ain’t all though. Funny you should mention kidnapping.”
Danathan was obviously thinking as he spoke in interruption of Blitt’s words. Slowly and calculated he said, “Look, just get out of there. If we’re dealing with Briggan then this is out of our jurisdiction, out of our league.”
“By who’s directive? You know there’s an open order on Brigg. We can take him down.“
“Not we. You. You’re alone, and I don’t like that. You’re not doing it. Sit tight and I’ll have backup there to help you take him down.”
After saying “I’m never alone.” Blitt disconnected almost immediately. His hand went back to the arm interface. Danathan’s name was gone and in its place was a grid marked with various symbols. He pressed one of them, shaped like a circle with a lightning bolt through it. Instantly, the body sheet snapped away from his form. Blitt caught it mid-flight and gently shook it out like a dinner napkin, a cloud of fine light blue dust billowing away from it in a swelling haze. The sheet contained far more of the dust than seemed possible and it quickly fell to the ground where it formed into a neat ball about the size of a bowling ball. The ball, as if upon command, morphed into the shape of a dog. The medium-sized Doberman came waist-high to Blitt and perked to attention as he patted his head. Blitt gave a mental signal to his pet and its ears pointed straight back as it bared a set of snarling canines and emitted a low growl.
Wrapping himself once more with the body suit, Blitt mentally willed the dog around the corner to stand directly in front of the closed garage door. He hoped that his algorithms were good enough as the dog began to bark and snarl madly. To Blitt, the effect was convincing enough, but he waited anxiously as the garage door began to open. The large guard stepped out, toting the rifle. He motioned with the big gun and said “shoo.” As he did so, Blitt willed the dog into action, lunging forward at full speed, fangs blaring. The guard, frightened, quickly readied his plas-rifle – much quicker than Blitt would have thought possible, and fired a volley of pure white light. The dog, comprised almost entirely of microscopic light-receptive sensors, reacted just as quickly, dividing in two mid-lunge. Each piece formed into a densely-packed pointed shape resembling daggers that effortlessly ripped through the big man. Behind his falling form, the dog materialized again and let rip a blood-chilling howl.
Blitt nodded approval to the robot dog as he came around the corner, quickly holstering his pistol and picking up the rifle from the ground. He shouldered it and entered into the garage shouting, “Briggan!” The place was empty.
“Briggan, I know you’re here. And if I don’t get you, my dog will.” Blitt stepped over various sled parts on his cautious walk over to the fork lift. “I’m not here for you. Just the candy.”
God, he felt silly saying that. still, he maintained form and readied his weapon, realizing for the first time just how dangerous this was. “There are three of you, and the girl. I’ve only got me and my dog, but I promise you that as soon as you come out, you’re all dead unless you have your hands up and let me scan you.“
He was nearing the fork lift. It was parked next to a sanded-down sled chassis. It was the most likely place they would be hiding, so Blitt stopped right in front of it. “Last chance,” he called out. “You’ve seen what my dog can do. Don’t let him come after you.”
As Blitt spoke the dog growled his low grumble and the body suit responded, gently vibrating on the side of his body that the dog sensed trouble. Blitt turned quickly enough to see a dark figure rising from behind a rusting sled chassis, pistol in hand. Blitt could almost feel the visual recognition algorithm crunching space coordinates, determining the type of weapon being wielded against him. His brain was faster. It was a slugger. A loud shot rang out as the pistol fired, unmistakably a big high velocity round, but Blitt’s dog was again faster, its pieces lighter than air and propelled by minute chemical reactions on the molecular scale. This time, it formed a thin sheet of tightly packed particles, a shield protecting Blitt as he fired back instinctively. The shield was smart enough to allow spaces for Blit’s plasma fire to burst through. It hit the well-dressed man, instantly burning him, suit and all, as his slug rounds impacted uselessly against the near-impenetrably hard surface of Blitt’s nano shield.
Blitt was quick to circle behind the sled chassis and take aim at the old man, The Suit, and his Girl. “I told you he was fast. You give up? Or do you want to end up like him?”
It was the woman who came out first, hands up. She wore a disgusted look on her face that suggested inconvenience more than it did dislike. Blitt stared blankly at her before visually checking her for weapons. “And The Suit. You next. Real easy.” The well-dressed man stood, hands raised, and Blitt’s dog immediately paced over to him, sniffing at his jacket.
“Get rid of the gun,” Blitt said. “Slow, so he don’t eat you,” motioning to the dog.
He pulled the weapon out from his inner jacket, slowly with two trembling fingers and dropped it onto the ground. The dog kicked the weapon towards Blitt and visibly relaxed. So did Blitt. He said, “well, I’ve got a valuable prize here.
“No, I’m the one with the prize,” the old man immediately spat in response.
Blitt eyed him coldly and said, “I was talking about the candy. Not her.” He nodded at the woman standing next to Briggan. She sneered back, shaking her head with defiance as if he’d just been caught kissing her step-sister. “I was giving you the chance, but I now I can see that the reports are true. You really have joined the old man’s gang, Priscilla, haven’t you?”
There was no response from her. Briggan’s goon, however, quickly eyed his weapon, still on the ground near Blitt. The dog growled.
Blitt looked at him and grinned “Now how’re you coming over here to pick that up, big guy?” A slight-but-swift movement caught his attention, momentarily taking it off of the goon and towards Priscilla. Before he could react, the dog quickly crumpled into a heap of pale blue particles, their cohesion broken up by a blast of high intensity sound waves, far too high a frequency for human hearing. Still, the nano particles maintained their ability to travel quickly, and instinctively swarmed over the large guard like clumps of ants. The effect was harmless, however, absent the swarm AI’s ability to form into a dangerous shape in the presence of the intense sound waves.
Blitt quickly discovered the source of the interference: Priscilla, standing calm and erect with her left hand stretched out and upturned, but obviously concentrating on something other than the conversation between the two men.
Blitt mentally recalled the particles, executed a particle scatter algorithm and ran out the warehouse door. The scatter bought him enough time to get a good lead in his escape. Running, he willed the bodysuit to reclaim its particles from the guard dog program. It instantaneously clinged to him again, this time giving his real clothing a shiny transparent appearance – reflective coating that would protect him against plas-fire. Blitt knew, however, that the gang probably had sluggers. Priscilla for sure always kept a tiny revolver on her. Sure enough, just as he was about to turn the corner, he heard a shot ring out, accompanied almost instantly by the ringing ‘ping!’ of a ricocheting bullet.
He mentally willed his contacts to split his vision so that the top half revealed what was behind him. It was her, followed by the last of Briggan’s goons, taking aim as well. Blitt could feel the body suit’s processor grid crunching algos as it generated obfuscation patterns to throw off the laser weapon’s auto-targeting systems. As he rounded the corner he switched the algorithm to transparency mode, rending him nearly invisible to the attackers trailing behind. Priscilla and the goon both fired a wide volley in his general direction in an attempt to hit him, but by then, Blitt had already reached and entered his mag-lev.
He took off in it and immediately made another call to Danathan.