"What are you doing, Engineering Tech Spanich?"
The words slipped out of him like bullets dropping from an open clip. "Preparing to die like a man." Truly, he had no idea.
"Mother," Austen said, his voice so low it was almost a squeak.
She gave Olivez Marquessa Inanometriano Parkinson sub-Ngome another significant look. Spanich took his cue and swung the toolbag hard, letting the strap pay out so fifteen kilos of metal and ballistic cloth took the bastard right in the temple. Two-dozen generations of exquisite germline engineering dropped to the floor like a stunned drunk.
"Guess you'll have to kill me yourself, Duchess," Spanich said, breathing hard. Austen was splayed flat on deck, hiccuping or laughing or crying or something. "Or is it Princess?"
"Is this how a man dies?" she asked, deceptively conversational.
"Yes." Spanich tried to catch up to his adrenaline, slow himself down. "Oh his feet, fighting for his life."
|Originally published at jlake.com.|