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Running Scared

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"Hey Peters! Get your ass in here right now. And when I mean now-"

"You mean ten fucking minutes ago, gotcha."

God, Bryant was such a damn tight-ass, Tony Peters thought to himself as he gulped down the last of the brown, slimy mixture that the people in this precinct called coffee. It had been so long since Peters had any real coffee that he didn't know what it was supposed to taste like anymore. Well it kept you awake and that was all Peters thought was important when you were a Blade Runner and your business was killing. "Whoops, sorry, 'retiring'", Peters corrected himself, as he casually strolled into the lion's mouth that was Bryant's office.

"Took your sweet-ass time didn't you Peters?" Bryant called the moment Peters stepped through the door. "Sit down, we've got a problem."

"How many problems?" Peters asked as he settled himself down into the uncomfortable wooden chair opposite Bryant.

"I don't know yet, but some strange shit's been going down lately."

"Such as?"

"Two hours ago a high level Tyrell employee named Michael Lee took a high dive from the top floor of one of the towers."

"Great, one less Rep-making scumbag. But what's it got to do with us?"

"This guy said he'd found out he was a Nexus 6, couldn't stand it, so he jumped."

"Hey, even better news, if more skin-jobs were suicidal we'd have less work to do. What's the point, where are you going with this?"

"The point is, he wasn't a fucking rep Tony. He was human."

There was a long pause.

"Holy shit, man that's a tough break. He must have spent so long seeing reps that didn't know what they were that he questioned his own humanity. It's a damn shame but I still don't know what the hell you want me to do, it's not my job to bring loonies back from the dead."

"Well I'll tell you what you can do. This wasn't any ordinary mental breakdown, closed case shit. This guy had been a marked man for months, we've had one of our own guys watching him to check out if he was a rep after we got an anonymous tip."



Spinelli was one of the old guys in the department who'd started out walking the beat. Peters thought he was a damn good cop, and an excellent Blade Runner.

"So what did he find out?"

"On Lee, he found zip but he did find out that we weren't the only ones watching Lee. He found out that a strange woman's been skulking around Tyrell headquarters for days trying to find information not only on Lee, but also on several other Tyrell employees. Unfortunately we never found out who those others were. She left the Tyrell building a few hours before Lee took his skydive."

Bryant threw a photo across to Peters; it showed a woman in a flyer cap, goggles, a respirator and a bulky windcheater. A bit odd, Peters thought to himself

"Is anyone following her?"

"Spinelli got Zuckov on it.

"Zuckov?!, Randall Zuckov?! That piece of shit? He's the worst guy on the damn force, never mind in Rep-Detect. A damn monkey could do his job better!"

"You should have told Spinelli that before he put him on it. Zuckov lost all trace of her."

"No fucking surprise."

" But there is some good news-"

"What? That he didn't crash his damn spinner on the way back?"

"Shut your fucking mouth for a minute will ya. He's upstairs being given a rough talking to by the chief as we speak, so he's gonna get what's coming to him. No, the good news is that before Zuckov lost her, he saw her meeting with a contact in the Sushi Tower. And Zuckov says that she was giving him some state-of-the-art rep detection equipment. Do you wanna guess who it was?"


"Yeah, your old buddy Thorne."

Peters had been taken off guard by this. Thorne and him had at one time been partners in the unit. They were a damn good team. However Thorne learned that he could make a better living whacking skin jobs for corporate fat-cats, who had far deeper pockets then the LAPD. There was never any official evidence linking Thorne to a single illegal retirement, but every time somebody found a dead rep with a bullet in his head, everybody knew it was Thorne. Ever since Thorne had left, Peters had sworn that some day he'd nail his ass to the wall. It personally offended Peters that Thorne had left the unit not to get away and to start anew, but to keep on killing just with a higher fee. That Thorne no longer cared if he saw a rep unless he was paid to made Peters feel personally betrayed. The fact that Peters was utterly against citizens taking the law into their own hands was also a major part of his hate. Peters believed it created anarchy and chaos. Deep down Peters still loved the guy as a friend and respected his skill but Peters' anger about Thorne's morals overshadowed it totally.

Bryant continued. "Yeah Zuckov also said that this woman gave Thorne a few files as well, one of which, we suppose, was on Michael Lee. Zuckov stopped following her when she began to leave and decided to stick around to tail Thorne and as you can guess he soon lost him."

"Dumb choice, Thorne could always spot a tail from a mile away plus it's standard procedure to stick to only one person. What was Zuckov's disguise?"


"Jesus Christ! How stupid is that guy?"

"Very. So as you can guess, after Zuckov lost track of Thorne he tried to go back to his original target, the woman, but of course she had already left the Sushi Tower without leaving a scrap of evidence as to where she was going. So in short, he lost both targets. All Zuckov could do was head back here and tell us what he saw. Anyway I think if I made your assignment any clearer it would be in crayon."

"You want me to track down Thorne. To find out who this woman is and why she's giving files on Tyrell employees to him. To find out more about this Michael Lee and who the other people in the files are. And to find out if any of them actually are reps. Even though we have no damn clue where they are."

"Big job for a little man, but I've got nobody else to give it to."

"What about Spinelli? It is his case."

"After Zuckov's mess-up, Spinelli's been put on another assignment."

"Why can't we go back to the good old days when you gave me a target and I killed it? This is a huge task."

"I know it's a bitch but everyone's got a job and this is yours, so get the hell out of my office and get to work. All the information you'll need's in the ESPER mainframe."

Peters got up and walked out the stuffy office, but as he left Bryant called back his attention.

"One more thing Tony, you'd better move fast. If Thorne really has been hired to kill the other employees and he thinks they're reps, he's going to do it soon. So you'd better find out who the fuck they are and what the fuck they are quickly or we're gonna have corpses in the morgue."



Option 1 - Tony Peters takes trouble to Thorne

Option 2 - Tony Peters investigates the clues

Option 3 - Spinelli

Option 4 - Something else

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Date: 2002-07-07 12:30