The Temptress and The Hunter-Part 8: The Strike
Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Dorm Harkaway acts on his new information, moving quickly to capture and escape with the woman he now realizes is Saffron. Sorry it tokk so long-I got distracted-Don't worry my New Years Resolution is to finish what I start so the last part is coming up. Feel free to abuse me-I'm a big boy, I can take it.


Special Agent Dorm Harkaway crouched in the darkness, a syringe clutched in his left hand. He’d found what he needed in the basement of the building where the drugs had lain untouched for the better part of twenty years. It didn’t matter that it was old; the shelf life of Thermodextrate was more than century and there had been more than enough to fulfill his needs. And as he had expected, as he had hoped there was Yosunkathiwed as well, which was by far rarer than the first drug but infinitely more useful for his purposes.

He raked a hand through his hair and blinked the exhaustion from his eyes. It had been a long day, far too long and now it looked like stretching into a longer night. Everything was prepared for his escape. A horse stood tied to a tree a dozen metres into the jungle, a rope was slung over the walls for a quick getaway. His satchel was on his back, full of the stolen equipment he needed. And everyone was asleep, including the guard, on the back wall where the rope had been hung. Of course the man had not wanted to sleep but Dorm had given him little choice.

The Thermodextrate he had stolen from the basement of The Hideout was one of the heaviest soporifics known to man, used to make panicked patients unconscious within milliseconds so that potentially life-saving operations could be carried out. One squirt of this anywhere in the body, even the furthest areas from the nerve center, and the recipient fell into what was little more than a coma for nearly ten hours. It had been simple enough to sneak up on the hapless sentry and plunge the syringe into his back. The man had been expecting any attack to come from without, not within and hadn’t even heard Dorm coming. He’d even propped the man up against the wall so that the other sentries wouldn’t notice anything amiss.

And here he was now, crouched in the darkness down the hall from Blake and Siph/Saffron’s room, a syringe of Thermodextrate in his hand, another in his satchel and one of Yosunkathiwed nestled along-side it. But there was a rather dangerous and unpredictable obstacle ahead of him that needed to be dealt with. Kosuke. By all reports the boy guarded Blake like a hawk at all times, sleeping in the corridor outside his room. Dorm would believe it when he saw it. So far he hadn’t seen Kosuke even look tired and it wouldn’t have surprised him if the boy never slept. He was certainly strange enough. Dorm shuddered. The young man was almost frightening, his efficient killing, his silence, his almost complete lack of emotions. The only time Dorm had seen him smile had been that first night he had arrived when he and Pat had enjoyed the joke they had played on Dorm together. At all other times he had been silent and somber.

And he was somewhere in the darkness ahead. Most likely with a knife or two, most likely alert and ready despite the day they had had. Dorm strained forward again trying to make out anything in the complete and utter darkness. There was nothing, no movement, no indistinct outline. Then again at least Kosuke couldn’t see either. Unless he could see in the dark. Dorm wouldn’t have put it put it past him, he was strange enough to be part cat.

Dorm shook his head, he was tired and his thought processes were all out of sync. No, Kosuke was as blind as him. He needed to try a different tack. He slipped he syringe up his sleeve and stood, reaching into his pack. He pulled out a lightstick and cracked it to see Kusoke leant against the door, head on his knees, asleep. At least he looked like he was asleep, but Dorm wouldn’t have put it past him to be-. He stopped himself again and walked forward. Sleepily, Kosuke jerked and looked up at Dorm. Surprised the dark haired lad jumped to his feet gastrulating wildly. Dorm put one hand, the hand without the syringe, on his shoulder in reassuring fashion.

“Relax,” He said soothingly, “I just want to give Blake something.”

Then quick as a flash his other hand shot out, the syringe catching Kosuke in the belly. The boy’s eyes widened and he slumped into unconsciousness. Dorm caught the still form and slid him down the wall until he was safely resting on the ground. Dorm smiled briefly in satisfaction and relief but then the green light in the hallway caught something shinning on the ground. Dorm cast his gaze downwards to see a knife clutched tightly in one of Kosuke’s hands. Dorm began to sweat, coldly. Both the boy’s hands had been empty when he had stuck the needle into him. In the brief instant of clarity Kosuke had had before the soporific overtook him he had managed to draw a knife.

Dorm tried to slow his breathing and nudged open the heavy steel door of Blake’s room, wincing at the creaking sound it made. He slipped inside the dark room and hung the lightstick on his collar, filling the room with a sickly green glow. There on the bed lay Blake and Siph, her small pale form clinging to his large and dark one. Dorm pulled out his last two syringes, the Yosunkathiwed marked with an orange strip. He needed to subdue Blake first then he could deal with Saffron. He crept around to Blake’s side of the bed, holding the Thermodextrate filled syringe ready. As he slid his feet across the floor, his boot crashed into something, a box or a chest. Inside the chest, glass broke and Blake’s eyes shot open. Dorm dived forward and shoved the needle into the man’s stomach, jamming his fist down on the plunger as quickly as he could. Blake bucked once, and then went still as the drug took affect. Beside the comatose bandit leader, Siph awakened, jumping out of the bed in shock, her nightgown flaring out.

“What the hell?!” she cursed then caught sight of Dorm, “Rendell, what the gao se are you doing?”

Dorm sighed, he’d hoped he could do this without waking the woman. Now it looked as though he would have to do this the old-fashioned way.

“For want of a correct name you are here by referred to as Siph. You are hereby bound by law for your involvement in the illegal killing of Howard Tuck and well as numerous other crimes the extent of which will not be divulged here.” He grinned showing his teeth, “I want to get out of here before the sun comes up.”

Siph’s eyes went dark, “You’re here to arrest me?”

Dorm nodded, “I would have thought that rather obvious.” He pulled his pistol from its holster and pointed it at her head. “Will you come quietly? Or do I have to carry a bleeding corpse through the jungle? The warrant doesn’t specify any need for you to be alive but this is a nice jacket and I’d rather not get bloodstains on it.” He wasn’t going to shoot the woman, she needed to survive to face real justice, but with every word he took a step closer, rolling the syringe between his fingers.

She glanced at the still form on the bed, the movement causing a very distracting ripple in her filmy nightdress. “What have you done to Blake? Why isn’t he moving?”

Dorm was surprised at the amount of concern in her voice. For someone who changed men like socks she was showing a large amount of compassion.

“Don’t worry about him. He’ll wake up about midday tomorrow with a throbbing headache and wondering where the hell you are.” He was only a few paces away from her.

“Where are you taking m-,” she cried out as Dorm lunged, plunging the needle into her exposed neck. She twisted trying to get away but then the drug entered her bloodstream and her eyes glazed over and her muscles went slack.

Yosunkathiwed was a member of a loosely grouped branch of drugs that had been termed Suggestion Drugs. It dulled certain areas of the brain that allowed for free thinking and imagination turning whoever was injected with it into little more than a walking zombie. They could perform basic tasks but with their creative thinking skills gone these were tasks that were more muscle memory than actual thinking. Despite this the drug had the added effect of making any injected person extremely suggestible following any commands that were issued to the best of their now limited abilities and comprehension. While Dorm could see how the Thermodextrate was entirely useful in any sort of normal hospital but the presence of Yosunkathiwed both disgusted and frightened him. He didn’t want to imagine what people capable of creating monsters like the Degens would do with a drug like Yosunkathiwed. It was normally used in the transportation of dangerous criminal and the subduing of animals. Dorm had come across it back in New Peking when a few case loads had spilled onto the Black Market, falling into the hands of the east side rape gangs. He’d spent the next three months picking dazed and violated men and women off the street after the drug had made them commit horrendous acts. It was a very nasty little drug and now Siph was under its control. This made his job so much easier as now no violence would have to be used, she would just walk out with him without any argument.

“Siph can you hear me? Nod if yes.”

Siph nodded like someone was pulling her puppet strings. Dorm grinned, he should have thought of using this sooner. He slipped the pistol back into its holster and picked up a pair of slacks and a coat from where they lay on the floor. He threw them at Siph, “Put these on. Its cold out and I don’t want to deliver you with frostbite.”

Five minutes later Dorm walked down the corridor towards the back wall, Siph shuffling along beside him. Things were going well, but every so often the drugged woman had to be pointed back in the right direction. They were almost to the wall, just a mere twenty metres when someone stepped out of one of the rooms to the right. Dorm jumped at the sight of the yawning Rachel as she walked straight towards him. Abruptly she stopped to as she spotted him.

“Dorm what are you doing up so late?” she said tiredly. Then she saw Siph and her eyes widened “Where are you two going? Siph, are you OK?”

Dorm didn’t hesitate. In a moment Rachel would be yelling for help and he couldn’t let that happen. He whipped out his pistol and pointed it at her forehead.

“I’m very sorry about this Rachel but your precious Siph is in fact a highly wanted criminal.” He quirked his eyebrow at her and dropped his voice low and dangerous. “So lets just consider what happens if you call for help; I shoot you between the eyes, your brains end up all over the floor and I still escape with Siph. You will be dead and you will have achieved nothing. Do we understand one another?”

Rachel nodded, eyes fixed on the gun.

“Good. Get back in your room. I’m going to lock you in.” He turned to the drugged and silent woman behind him. “Siph you stay here.”

He backed Rachel into her room at gunpoint ready to shoot the girl at any sudden movements. Before he closed the door, she looked up at him, confusion in her eyes.

“Who are you? A bounty hunter?”

Dorm grinned and shook his head, “No, Rachel. My name is Dorm Harkaway, Special Agent. And for want of a few offhanded comments by Blake, it would be you I would be taking out of here.” He chuckled as he saw her eyes widen, “Its funny how things turn out isn’t it?”

He pushed the door shut and drew the bolt across. He would miss this place he had decided. The people here were mostly good people, circumstance not choice forcing them into their life of banditry and crime. He was doing them a favor by removing Saffron from their midst; she would most likely drive them to more ruin and misfortune than they had experienced already. He would miss these people, like he had never though he would miss criminal provincials. He would miss Pat’s ready sense of humor, Rachel’s pretty smile, Ceran’s tough capability, Samuel’s steadfast bravery, Blake’s leadership, and even Kosuke’s air of frightening reliability. He ushered Siph down the rope and they found the horse where he had left it.

This was it he decided. The last mission. He would take his bonus for finishing the job quickly and the bonus for catching someone who was double black-flagged and retire to Boros. No more fighting, no more lying and deceiving in the name of the Alliance. What he had learned out here, made it all seem so hollow and weak. Somehow worthless while at the same time deeply wrong. He had spent his whole life in the service of a government that would willingly make people into monsters, know it was time for it to end. He would bring in his last criminal and be done with it all.

With that thought in his head he rode off through the dark jungle, Saffron at his back.


Tuesday, January 2, 2007 10:35 AM


oh, i like this story.

can't wait to read the next part


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