Lieutenant Caarlgard couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “You want me to naturalize a North Korean who has been living here illegally for the last five years, make it look like she’s your adopted sister and sweep your unsanctioned rescue under the rug?”
They arrived at the conference hall with about an hour before it was slated to start. Even this early the floor was crowded with presenters and medical industry representatives. Victoria saw all kinds of prosthetic devices from lifelike reproductions of partial limbs to pieces with only passing resemblance to the body parts they replaced but with more functional capability. None of them came close to the technical complexity of hers though, only a few even used nerve function at all, and even then it appeared they were only rudimentary devices.
Before they had entered the hall, Eugene had paused and put his jacket around her shoulders. “No reason to spoil the surprise.” He had whispered with that grin that crinkled the corners of his eyes, “They won’t know what hit them when you walk out on stage.”
Now that they were inside, she understood his excitement and desire for secrecy. He obviously knew quite a few of the industry professionals and developers that were here. Most of them didn’t appear very happy to see him.
“Back again eh Arlington?” A man who wore a complicated looking metal forearm in place of a left hand that looked as though it had different interchangeable hands gave him a scornful look. “Looking for some sucker desperate enough to die for your experiments? Trying to lure them in with cute young girls won’t get you any farther than false promises!” Read more >>
Victoria knew Yeun-Ja was in trouble and she had an overwhelming need to help her; the texts she had sent didn’t make a whole lot of sense but it was easy enough to discern the basics. Someone had taken her father for whatever reason and now was coming for her.
What she felt went beyond a want; it was as though there was no choice. She closed her eyes for a moment and focused on attempting to talk directly to ADAM.
“Adam, can you help for a minute? I don’t know how to get to her. We must save her, it’s a matter of honor and … well I can’t explain it but I need to get to Yeun-Ja.”
The room swirled around her momentarily and she found herself a passenger in her own body. Everything became sped up as though someone had pushed fast-forward on her life. She saw herself hack the elevator circuitry to release the door, open the access panel and climb over Eugene into the darkness. It was a short climb up a service ladder to the next floor.
When ADAM returned control to her, she was standing above of the elevator staring at the closed doors to the fourteenth floor. She knew these were offline due to the power outage, but also knew this model didn’t lock on the outside, only the inner elevator doors did. With effort she her braced her feet and slid them aside, peering out into the hallway.
There was a man about four doors down with his back to her. He was wearing a neatly tailored suit and had a short military-style haircut but what really drew her attention was the gun in his hand. While she watched the man put his hand to his ear, nodded and made a couple of hand gestures. Read more >>
Victoria awoke feeling amazing, almost as though she had slept for a week. She stretched luxuriously and reached out to turn off the alarm just before it went off right at 6:59.
“Good morning Adam!” She wasn’t sure if he would get the message or not but she had a hunch that he had something to do with her being so rested. Texting Eugene so he would know she was awake, she made her way to the bathroom and took a very hot shower. When she got back to the bedroom she saw Eugene had sent her a message.
“I’m having breakfast in 20 minutes at the Bistro on the main floor. Meet me there?”
She texted back “Sure, give me 30 though.” Now to tackle the problem of what to wear, Victoria had a sneaking suspicion she was going to need to show off the entire spinal column and that was going to involve exposing her back from brain stem to sacrum; not an enticing idea in an auditorium full of bioengineers and robotics designers. Wrapping a towel around herself she wandered out into the main room. To her surprise she saw a small stack of boxes on the coffee table.
She read the note attached to the top box. “Huh, who knew Dmitri was such a thoughtful guy.” Opening the box she gasped in surprise, the biggest package was labeled Emilio Pucci… it was a dress and had to have cost at least a grand. There were also shoes from Badgley Mischka, a purse by Giani Bernini and underthings that would work with the dress which had a back that tied around the neck was scooped all the way to just before the end of her prosthetic. Read more >>
Eugene knew it was no coincidence that Dmitri was here, no twist of fate that had put him in the same restaurant and that his presence put both him and Victoria in danger. He was determined to discover the bastard’s true intentions before he could do any damage.
He ran his fingers through his hair, took a deep breath and let his face slide into a sloppy grin. The alcohol loosening his inhibitions was going to make this easier; he was always a little uncomfortable around women. Raising his hand he waved at the waitress, “Catherine, do you have a minute?”
She glided up to his table, “Sure Dr. Arlington, what can I do for you? Another martini?” Read more >>