Kurt’s call basically caught me by surprise. I had not planned to allow for any examination of the DNA scans but, we needed to calibrate the array and we would use nobody’s but our own. I looked at Andy and he just shrugged and pantomimed “Why not?” So, I told Kurt to go ahead and we would meet him at Hanna’s!
On the short walk over, Andy worked on his wrist comp and sent Kurt specific authorization to use our files. “Might as well cover his rear,” was his comment! After Kurt got his samples and left, we proceeded to have a leisurely breakfast. I looked at Andy and asked, “What are you going to do today. I have to amble around and find someone willing to be a clerk for the Lab. When we get rolling it’s going to be a full time job to track the incoming samples to the person who brought them in!”
Andy took a long pull on his coffee, “Wander around and see who I can help. Not much I can do with the slizzard till the Lab is up. Hydro projects on hold till I pull the bots back from Joe and he needs them today! So, go see who needs some plain ole muscle.”
With that we finished up our coffee, cleaned up our table and left!
I was actually able to kill most of the morning doing just what I had said. It was amazing how many different things that people had going that six foot four and 250 lbs could help with. Robots could easily apply more energy but, I did not have to be trained. I actually saw Ash leaving the showers with a shave no less. Something had to be going right! Moving around like this let me meet more of the people and build up my reserves from yesterday. I had spent most of the long drag back with the slizzard on the edge of speed. That took more out of me than most people would guess!
I was walking out of Hanna’s place after a sandwich for lunch when Ash’s call cracked out of the blue. I had no idea what could be happening at the Lab but with Ash going into mil call signs and calling HOT I was not about to ask! Speed run to the tent, then back into speed for the run over the bluff. Dropping to the ground in front of the Lab I shouldered open the door with both Colt’s in hand. To see Ash’s face suddenly realize what he had said and Kurt Kellerman in shock as he was face to face with the Reaper for the first time!
“Ash, what the hell are you doing. Are you trying to scare Kurt to death or what?”
For once the jerk actually looked contrite! “Sorry Andy, the time component is certainly a HOT situation. I am just so damned tired I forgot what your response would be!”
I holstered the Colts and stacked the Robar off my shoulders and into the corner. “OK, Ash whats the great problem?” As he went into his explanation I could feel my anger at Mariana’s EX starting to mount. Damn that bastard. Did he just have to ruin every life he touched. I found myself asking Ash, “Why the hell did he do this?”
His reply was the last I was expecting, “To provide a cover story for the Deputy Director of Operations for UNWG Military Political Intelligence.”
“That bastard killed my chance at children for a cover story?”
Then the bombshell from Kurt, “Not necessarily, with the right RF equipment I can kill that implant!”
I stared at him for a moment then asked, “What do you mean and why is it a secret?”
His answer came in as cold a voice as I had ever heard. “I felt that we should have a means of killing that non-removable implant just in case a mistake was made. Of course in doing so I implied that the UNWG could possibly make a mistake! They hounded me out of my practice and with the threats I could do very little!”
“So you let some threats keep you from stopping this kind of shit!”
Kurt’s stare was as cold as I had ever seen. “They did not threaten me asshole, they mentioned things like brothels in East Timmor. Sally is not Mariana Stuart, She would not survive that crap!”
Ash and I traded looks that could only be described as stunned, what would we have done in his place? Kurt Kellerman was no tame wolf, there was no way he COULD have gone down fighting!
“OK Kurt, believe it or not I understand. What do you need to make this work!”
His answer was to reach to his collar and pull up a cord which suspended an old fashioned USB jump drive. “Got anything that can read this?”
Ash grabbed out of his hand in a flash and plugged into the unit we had put into the Lab. “Kurt, when you find something one of Andy’s little monsters can’t do I’ll let you know! Damn Andy, it’s engineering specs!”
I stared at the file and rapidly paged though the 60 pages of specs and requirements. I knew even Ash could barely keep up but, for once I did not care!
“OK, I can do this! It will take several days at least! One thing is paramount, no one says anything to Mariana until we are sure we are ready to go. Understand?”
I got two very affirmative nods in reply and a look from Ash like he finally understood this guy! In a way so did I.
“Kurt, have you ever told Sally what they threatened you with?”
His reply was sharp and short, “No and the only person I have ever threatened was the Goon who was going to tell her!”
I gave him a look I hoped he would understand, “When this is over I will. I owe you one and her big time! Kurt, call Mariana and tell her the Lab is open for business. Ash meet me at our tent in about ten, I have to get out of the “Scare The Bad Guys” rig. Kurt, our house is your house; your fight is our fight. Now, get to work!”
With that I collected the Robar and left. The file of Kurt’s was now accessible from any unit in the array and they did not know I had the Daddy of the whole shebang in my pocket!
Kurt looked at me and asked, “Was that what I thought it was?”
“Yep, The Sword of Clan Stuart now guards your back. There’s you Ace in the hole! Now get to work and make it mean something. Sally is safe, get that crap out of your mind! The UNWG is not going to threaten her here. Not unless they get through Andy, Me and Mariana first. I have the distinct feeling that we won’t be the only one’s.”
I left as Kurt was making the call to Mariana. Took my time going to Andy’s place and timed it about right. He was back in his normal “wouldn’t hurt anything” look.
His first comment was, “Lets go to Hanna’s place and get some coffee!”
Sounded good to me so we went over and went in the side flap of the big tent. The scene was ugly and looked like getting worse.
Suddenly Andy barked, “Stop now! If any of you spineless roach eaters take one more step your ass is done!”
Of course I added, “Yall don’t want an old fashion ass whoopin to go down in here, do Yall?”
Surprise, Surprise. The wanna be Wolves slunk off and the Benjamin’s closed ranks.
As we walked out without our coffee Andy commented, “One of these days those punks are going to make me do something!”
Having seen too many times Andy’s ‘Having To Do Something,’ I just grunted “Hope they are smarter than that!”
I just watched Andy staring at Jai Benjamin comforting Emily Parker and saw his face. Dear God I hope they are smarter than that; for as sure as life Clan Stuart was committed to defend that Young Lady!