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A Most Unusual Date

“What did you say it was that you do?” ice clinked in the small rotund cup of gold liquid in Meijong’s hand. He peered over the edge of his glass with searching eyes that gobbled up as much as he could of the divine creature across from him.

“Research,” the woman’s smile was coy with some private joke or other and she brushed her short coppery hair with a bit of a chuckle. “There’s nothing I can’t discover if I set my mind to it.”

Meijong chalked the laughter up to nervous attraction. Plenty of women had lost their good sense around the most powerful man in all of Taranis. Well, most powerful if you didn’t count those damn Haydens… and Meijong did his best not to think of them.

The music and chatter of the private club disappeared behind glass doors as Meijong dismissed his guards to stand outside the plush VIP room. With a swipe of his hand, he dimmed the outer glass to near opaque. Music still thrummed from the dance floor and shadows walked by but now he was entirely alone with… what was her name?

Meijong turned back to his quarry and found himself nose to barrel with a small but lethal looking weapon. He tipped his head and raised his eyebrows. This was hardly the way things usually went.

“My apologies,” the woman smiled, slipped her hand inside his jacket and retrieved a slim rectangle of metal, Meijong’s personal data storage. “Small talk isn’t my strongest skill.”

With one hand she slid the data device open. A small blue-lit pad highlighted the front panel. She shook it in front of Meijong. “If you’d be so kind…”

After a moment’s hesitation he stuck out his forefinger and set it on the pad. A red light blinked once, twice and then the device lit all over with steady blue icons. He sat back in the overstuffed sofa and crossed his arms over his chest.

“That will hardly do you any good.” He tilted his chin and tried to think of all the times something like this had ever happened. He couldn’t think of one. “My finance information has a top of the line encryption and security program, it would take you weeks to crack it.”

“Weeks? I’ve never been so offended.” the woman slipped her weapon closer to Meijong’s neck and pulled the trigger. A paralyzing dart pierced his skin and within seconds his body stiffened and his eyes glazed. She leaned close to his ear. “I’ll know everything there is to know about you in less than fifteen minutes.”

The woman plugged a cord from the data device into a hidden port behind her ear and slipped into the virtual environment. Apparently, Meijong had already put the system on high alert and instead of the expected faux office appearance, she was faced with a towering wall of flames, red beamed Roamers and a massive, many armed Squid.

Her eyes widened and something stuck in her throat. Fear?

Perhaps she’d been a little overzealous…

 

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