This is the rest of the story. Click here for the beginning
“I’m sorry, I don’t follow.”
“I believe you know that Mr Roche wants to purchase your land, your store. For redevelopment. He urgently wants you to relocate.”
A pause, caution in the man’s eyes. A tense pulse to the shields and weapons to check their status. All indicated they were under his control, with no issues, a fallacy initiated within the subversion routines. He relaxed a little.
“I know the gentleman. And he knows I won’t sell. I’m sorry if that interferes with his plans, but that’s life.”
“Actually, that’s where I come in. Not to persuade you. I know many of his colleagues have tried that, and a fair number of them were never seen again. I’m afraid I’m here to remove you from the equation.”
The old man smiled gently. “You aren’t the first to try that either. What makes you different?”
“Me? Well the fact I control your weapons and shields for a start.”
Mr Able pulsed commands to disable the shields, lock the weapons on their owner. He smiled at the old man’s frantic efforts to establish control.
After a few seconds, and numerous attempts to regain control, the old man sighed. Straightened his glasses. He seemed very calm but Mr Able wasn’t fooled. Even the resigned ones screamed in the end.
“So now what?” asked the shopkeeper.
“Now your weapons have a malfunction, and you die. Very tragic.”
Mr Able pulsed the activation command to the plasma cannon, drawing the shops shields around himself. He had no desire to make the old man suffer, and no instructions to. This was a straight forward kill job. And besides, plasma cannons were great fun to play with.
The mighty energies unleashed from the weapon swept towards the shopkeeper. And disappeared. They weren’t deflected by shields, weren’t absorbed by anything. They just vanished several feet from the old man.
Mr Able wasn’t the type to be stunned by such an unexpected setback. He immediately activated the other weapons. With the same result. Both energy weapons and physical bullets simply vanished as they neared the shopkeeper, who still stood with a slight smile pulling at his lips.
Mr Able had had enough now. He activated the far more advanced armaments contained within his body. Lashed out with waves of intense radiation, energy, even gravity distortion waves designed to implode a section of the target. Watched in growing amazement as each one simply vanished several feet from the shopkeeper.
Not one to admit defeat Mr Able tried a different approach. Leaping forwards he reached for the shopkeeper, half expecting his arm to vanish at the same point the other weaponry had. It didn’t, and he continued the move to grab the shopkeeper’s throat. Then he tried to crush, but despite his enhanced strength being enough to crush steel like paper he was unable to make even the slightest impression on the old man’s throat.
The shopkeeper reached up and removed his glasses, and Mr Able learnt their purpose. The eyes that stared into his were not human, not in any way. Intense green at the centre was surrounded by a smoky mixture of brown and grey. No whites showed. Mr Able felt himself being drawn into those eyes, felt his awareness swept away. None of the exceptionally sophisticated enhancements in his brain offered any defence. As consciousness faded completely he heard the old man speaking.
“Really, this is just too much. Can’t I get any peace and quiet?”
* * *
Mr Able exited the ground car and made his way towards the offices of Mr Roche, ready to carry out his latest job. Entering the main office of the planets most feared crime boss to kill him wasn’t an easy job, especially when the job also involved wiping out all senior members of the same organisation. A job that truly called for his own skills. Few jobs did, which was why he did few jobs. And charged so highly for those he did take on.
He faltered for a moment, wondering just why his employer, Mr Roche, was also the target. The question soon passed from his mind though, washed away as if it had never come up. Mr Able stepped into the building, weapons already activated.
* * *
Some miles away a shopkeeper sat drinking coffee and smiling to himself. Maybe now he could get some peace and quiet, for a while at least.