A Wish the Heart Makes: Fornever in Blue Genes
Story by Tigger - - Art by Brandy Dewinter
Chapter 26: Cavalry Charge
The last checkpoint fell as easily as the first. "We have to move quickly. We've been lucky so far, but we're overdue for one of those guard posts to have missed a check in."
The Leader nodded and moved to the final door to Mandy's secured apartment. She put her thumb against the touch plate and looked directly into the retinal scanner.
Once again the door opened and the attack team went into action, only to find no one guarding the reception area of Mandy's apartment. The team leader made a quick inspection and hand signaled the others to follow.
The Leader suddenly grinned. "MacPherson was supposed to be on watch in here," she whispered. "Donovan obviously forgot she needed a replacement when we took her little Scotswoman plaything."
"We need to finish this quickly, Leader," Number One said. "We've got to get Sorenson out of here before any response team counter attacks."
Moving quickly, the team leader and Point moved to Mandy's room while Number Two and her partner moved to Cat's. At a hand signal from the team leader, both pairs burst into the respective rooms.
Cat's combat trained senses almost saved her. She was rolling to one side just as the first stun burst hit her bed. She came up shooting, her own weapon on kill, but she wasn't quick enough to get both attackers. Number Two's shot took her down just as Cat was lining up her second shot.
The group gathered in the main lounge. "Two, what happened?" Number One demanded.
"She got Ivanova - dead," the tall woman growled as she dragged the unconscious Cat unceremoniously out of the bedroom. "Hell, she almost got me."
A still sleep-muddled Mandy was shocked awake by the sight of Cat so still. Grimly, she consciously began trying to shake off sleep doldrums when she glimpsed the Leader, and saw herself. "Who the hell are you?" she demanded.
A smug smile lit the Leader's face. "Why, I am you, Sorenson, or at least, I will be as soon as we have finished dealing with you. And then, all this will be mine as it should have been weeks ago."
"You've been behind this insanity?" Mandy roared as she strained to free herself from the grip of the two women who'd dragged her from her bed.
"Insanity? Hardly, Sorenson. Pure genius. I've been watching you for almost thirty years, seeing you get credit for ideas that should have been attributed to me. Well, now, I am taking back what should have been mine."
"Thirty years? Watching me? I don't understand. Who the hell are you?"
The slightly mad smile grew wider. "Oh, I think I will let you go to your death wondering about that. A worthy revenge, I think. Number One. Have your troops strip her of those clothes for me before they escort her to the air sled. We will dispose of her at base. You remain behind and help me figure out how to dispose of the great Captain Donovan."
"Yes, Ma'am," she responded, moving over to cover Cat while her Number Two took Mandy's arm to lead her back to her bedroom. Leader?"
"Yes, Number One?"
"We need to get a move on. We don't know what kind of nasty surprises this one," she said gesturing at the fallen Cat with the barrel of her weapon, "has planned for us, and we don't need to help her troops by staying in one place."
"Good point," The Leader agreed, and then a very nasty smile lit her face. "Wake her up and make her tell us," she ordered.
That order stunned the team leader and she hesitated. Ma'am, that may not be a very good idea. That woman is dangerous, and right now, she's out of the game. Besides, how do we know she will tell us anything?"
"Number Two!" the Leader called. "Bring that bitch back in here." At the acknowledgment, the Mandy-Leader smiled at Number One. "She'll talk to spare her boss pain. Administer the antidote, Number One, and we'll cut off a finger to show the Great Cat Donovan that we are serious before we ask her any hard questions."
Uncertainly, the Team Leader put away her dart gun and took out a blaster before she administered the hyposprayer. The effect was almost immediate. Instantly alert, Cat started to jump to her feet only to be brought up short by the muzzle of Number One's blaster. "Easy, Donovan. You don't want to die any sooner than you have to."
"Dammit!" Morag fumed. "I can't even call for help because they won't believe I am who I say I am." She'd . . . no, it was *he* now. . . he'd been barely able to make it into the air sled once Teri had gotten her . . . him out of that medical lab.
"You could just call them and tell them where the attack is," Teri pointed out.
Morag considered that. "They might not believe me and think the call was a hoax or a diversion. In either case, they might not send enough troops to the scene to make a difference. No, we have to go there ourselves."
Teri looked at him aghast. "But you're in no condition to do anything and I'm not trained for that kind of action."
"I know that, Teri, but think. If an unauthorized aircraft violates security, they'll have to send a response team." "Oh, all right. Here, take the controls for a minute," Teri ordered as she rummaged in a bag and pulled out a hypo- sprayer. "This contains adrenalized glucose and some other "uppers". It will only last for about fifteen or twenty minutes at the most. I'll give it to you just as we cross the security boundaries. It won't do anything about your balance problems, but it will take care of the weakness. At least until it wears off."
"And then?" Morag couldn't help asking.
"You'll probably pass out and sleep for a day or two."
Morag sighed. "Sounds like a plan. Just do me a favor?"
"Don't warn me before you hit me with it. I . . . ahh . . . well, I don't deal well with shots."
The loud hiss of the hypo was his answer. "Let's get it done, Morag."
"Shit, that hurt," he cursed.
They found the open security doors, and the downed guards. Furious, Morag swore fluently at the lack of response from central watch. "They must be inside the main apartment. Come on."
Morag started to put his thumb on the touch plate, but Teri grabbed his arm and pulled it back. "Your retinal scan won't pass muster. It will just alert them that they've got company."
"You're right," Morag hissed. "Okay, come over here." She led the way to the main security desk. "See that button," she said pointing to a red one, "and that green one there?" Teri nodded. "When I tell you to "go", push the red one and then immediately push the green one. That will call away a security alert and open the door."
"Remember that your fine motor skills are confused, too, Morag," Teri warned. "You may not be quite the marksman you were as a woman."
"Got no choice," he responded as he took position to one side of the door. "Do it, Teri."
Cat was watching, waiting for her chance. The woman called Number One was good, she thought, too damned good, but Mandy was the wild card. Cat knew from personal experience that it was all too easy to see the cute young female and forget the mature, hardline masculine mind that inhabited that sexy little body. *Maybe Mandy will distract her long enough for me to make a move on her.*
Suddenly, the main door whooshed open and a tall, gangly scarecrow of a man dove into the room, a hand blaster at the ready. Instinct took over and Cat was already moving when the man fired. She felt the heat of the blast crackle above her as she hit the deck and heard the sizzle of blaster-beam on human flesh followed by the muffled sound of a body hitting the floor.
Mandy's door whooshed open and the other two hostiles came out firing. Their shooting disrupted Cat's savior's aim and his next shot went wide. Cat snatched up Number One's weapon and took down the one on the right, but the other had the man dead to rights and was shooting when a petite, blond haired woman streaked into the room between the man and the attacker.
The new woman took the dart intended for the man while Cat got the final invader.
*I'll worry about her once I get Mandy to safety,* Cat thought moving toward the bed room. She entered, weapon at the ready, and stopped.
There were two Mandy's inside . . . both of them nearly nude. *Oh, shit! The fake one must have run in there during the fire-fight and stripped, too! Cripes! Which one is MY Mandy?*
"Cat, help me!" one of them called. "She's not me."
"No, help me!" the other said. "I'm the real Mandy!"
Grimly, Cat looked at the two beautiful, nearly naked bodies. She tried to find the smallest difference that would tell her who was who . . . or at least, who was hers, but there was nothing definitive. Nothing she could be sure enough of that she'd take the other one down.
"Oh hell, Donovan," the one on the right growled, and suddenly spun on left foot with her right leg fully extended. The deceptively graceful movement ended with her instep snapping hard into the other Mandy's solar plexus.
The kicked woman went down hard, gasping for breath. Cat smiled as she recognized the last move she'd taught *her* Mandy before . . . well, before Morag had been lost.
"My Mandy, I assume?" Cat asked, a small smile on her lips.
"Yes, and I think if you weigh me and her, you'll find that she is what I was in those first few days. She practically fainted while she was stripping. I'd have had her sooner if she hadn't kept one of those dart guns pointed at me, but she pitched it when you ran in to try and confuse the issue. If you check her arm, you'll find the hypo-tracks of whatever it was she was shooting into herself to overcome the post- transition weakness."
Just then, the security response team burst in. They quickly secured the two still living attackers who were sleeping off the drugged darts Cat had shot into them.
Morag was starting to feel the drug Teri had pumped into him wear off, but he forced himself to stay awake. "Cat," he called, "Teri . . . help her . . . please . . . she. . . saved . . . me," he got out.
"Who the hell ARE you?" Cat demanded striding into the room followed by Mandy.
Morag lifted his head, trying to answer, but saw a third figure creep out of the bedroom and raise a weapon at Cat's back. With his last strength, he raised his blaster, and fired.
Stun-bursts from several weapons only finished the job of knocking Morag out.