Destined to Fail: Part 07.

The Attack


Sam had only caught a few minutes of sleep, but it was just enough time for dreamy images to appear in his head. Dan Bridges was waiting for him outside his house with a gang of punks. They were going to kick the living shit out of him, but he had to go and walk to the station where he'd left his spinner… Then a beeping split his head, and he rose from the sofa and glanced at the phone. Holden was ringing him. He picked up.

"Evening Davie," he said. "What's new?"

"We've found them," came Holden's stone reply. "They were in a little abandoned storeroom by a warehouse a few blocks away from your apartment. Cops had had reports of suspicious people going in and out when it was though to be abandoned. They stormed it, and found the girl skin-job dead. The other two had flown the coop. We can only assume they're headed off world. I'm organising tighter security at the ports, you get on the streets and keep your eyes open."

"Understood," said Sam, wide-awake. He checked his gun, nodded to the phone and Holden hung up. Sam drew a deep breath and headed for the door, gun in hand.

The lift slid down the building slowly, and he reached the dusty lobby. He boldly stepped through the doors, out into the little garden and then onto the street. He stood outside the building and stopped.

He'd done patrol work before. One of his first assignments (no, wasn't it his second?) was to find a rep loose on the streets near the Tyrell building. He'd caught and retired it. Now it was just the same. Except there were two of them. And he had no idea where they were. They could have fled hours ago. Christ, they could be off-world by now.

He stared across the street. Something caught his eye. That bulky coat and hood… he recognised it. Slowly, doubt began to rise in his throat, mixed with a cold fear. The man at Howie's. The man he'd shown the photo to. The big man, why had he followed him home? The he realised it wasn't a man.

The coated figure was looking at him. Subtly, the shadow raised an arm out of the coat to scratch its head. It was signalling, Sam could tell. Who to?

He had frozen up in fear. Cold hands prodded at his skull. Then his body completely turned to stone.

The slender, feminine arm that had reached to the head, the arm that stuck up above the heads of the passing people. The arm that stuck out from a bundle of injured girl. An unfinished tattoo of some kind of brown bird. Half a wing and a bit of a body.

Somehow, his gun shot out ahead of him, bang on target. His finger broke the ice that had formed over his whole body and squeezed the trigger. The gun jerked, then there was a bang. A flash. The figure let out a shrill gasp as people scattered in all directions. Somehow his voice had cried "BLADE RUNNER, GET OUT OF THE WAY!" Somehow, he had hit the shadow. The woman replicant fell to the ground, and smacked onto the pavement. He gave her another shot. Her body jerked and lay still. He had retired her.

And he only remembered too late the replicant she had been signalling to. He turned his head to the right and saw the big man with the blazing eyes burn down on him. The punch came, then he was on the floor. And suddenly he felt this aching, numbing sensation on the side of his head. Was it the punch? Or the road? Either way, his gun had clattered to the ground a few feet away, and his muscles weren't working. A face came close to his, he couldn't focus on details.

"You've killed my girls," it hissed. "What are you?"

Was he meant to reply? What was this thing saying? The face dissipated, and was replaced by a foot. Sam gasped as the boot kicked hard into his face. And somehow his throat opened into a scream as a hard foot, supported by a pillar of leg crushed down on his leg, smashing his right kneecap. Another kick to the face, this time mostly throat, and Sam couldn't breathe. The face came close again, grinning. It was going to kill him now. Then there was another bang, and a flash from down the road, and the face had disappeared. Sam was spattered with blood. The face had gone. There was a big body lying next to him. The man was dead. Sam weakly raised his head to the origin of the shot, and just made out that stern serious face, those deep lines and brown hair. Holden was jogging down the road towards him. He half-smiled; his body numb with agony, and let his head flop down.

Then he was asleep again, and he and Dan Bridges were shaking hands.



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