Mavion adjusted the ejector port to align precisely with the primary actuator. David turned the fasten-wand so slowly it was hard to see the movement. A half millimeter mistake could cause a catastrophic failure in the device, which could quickly lead to the end of his life. Yet, it was important that he do this without computerized gauges. They may have greater accuracy, but still a mere human had programmed them.
Mavion had greater need to be on point. He must be responsible for this. He had to determine the course of his life. Safety was always an illusion.
* * *
Sevonia Ordonez was a sheltered seventeen year old girl of corporate wealth not unlike Mavion a decade and sixty missions ago. Bookish but blossoming into a statuesque beauty, the girl was intent on her studies in history and philosophy.
These were subjects David had himself enjoyed between the tedium of Virtual Programming 106 and Poly-planar Algebra 202. They discussed them often as he and his associates escorted her to and from classes, lessons, recitals and other engagements that her father, an Aztech corporate chairman, approved of. Although, papi was ignorant to her fraternization with the help.
Nothing went on between them that was … unprofessional. Sevonia, “Sevie” he called her, clearly has a crush on him but was too shy to try anything beyond a suggestive double-entendre. Mainly her aim was to fluster his implacably on-the-job cool. After several rough assignments, this low prioritized contract seemed the next best thing to a vacation for Mavion.
He felt … safe, but David didn’t see the target on his admirer until the trigger was pulled.
They caught Nathaniel and Shime by surprise outside the restaurant. He’d curse those two G3’s for their carelessness but it was a Tertiary Risk Assignment, and their deaths did alert David. He had the girl under the table and weapon drawn when they walked into the door as other customers screamed or dived for cover.
He fired over the assassins heads to halt them and avoid hitting any civilian running in between while also letting them know he was another source of danger, so stay clear! The single shot made the weapon jam, which no doubt had been aligned by the best computerized gauges.
The intruders had no such hard luck with their shots. One slammed into the armor over his stomach just before another hammered through his unprotected thigh. He regained his wits from the storm of pain in time to look up from the floor and see a shotgun muzzle aimed for his face at the end of a jacketed arm.
Burning claws seared his muscles as they hyper-reacted. Slowed like this, the attacker was able to watch his wrist broken, elbow dislocated, shoulder twisted then feel the pain of each before Mavion’s palm crushed his windpipe.
A scream snapped David around, his unsteady steps nearly toppling him – if what he saw didn’t. The second assassin had Sevie on her knees sobbing and wailing. Her long dark brunette hair bunched in his left fist and a pistol in the other. Four strides away, but with a agonized leg it might as well have been a mile. A smile crossed the bastard’s face, and for a moment he ever so slightly favored Garner Atwolf.
Mavion eyed the gun with all of his focus – measuring it’s aim as though he were holding it from the reverse point of view. He measured it as pointing to his left eye. Hard choice, but there was nothing else to do. The girl would be dead already if that was the mission – now she was just insurance Mavion wouldn’t kill them. He was the threat that endangered Sevonia.
He tore open his shirt to reveal the armor beneath and shouted with all of his fear for Sevie, hatred for his own failure and guilt for everything he’d done in his career to those that were as helpless as he was now, “COME ON!!!”
The man’s shot spun David’s head left and his whole body twisted to that side as he fell to the floor.
To be continued? …