The copter came in fast, pitched to lose speed and touched down. It’s doors opened and four armed and armoured guards got out and fanned to each side. Jazz stopped. Lights came on illuminating Jazz, myself and the copter. But leaving the guards in shadow.
A middle aged, well-dressed man got leisurely out of the copter and walked a couple of steps forward. A couple of younger, juniors followed behind.
“Well Ms O’Riely, we do meet in the most peculiar of places,” he started to take off his leather gloves.
“Well if it ain’t Mr. Smallwood. Fancy meeting you here, Joe,” Jazz turned to face him directly.
He glanced over his shoulder, “Jane scan them, please.”
“Yes, sir,” The female junior came forward with a sensor and expertly ran it over Jazz and myself. Then started toward Sammy.
“Piss off,” he said as she approached. She looked over at Mr Smallwood, who waved her back.
“You may have heard me speak of a little list I have,” Smallwood said to Jazz.
“I have heard of your little expedition the other week.”
“You know you are on my list,” Smallwood opened his coat, reached inside and took out a pocket diary. “Did you know that your target was on that list as well?”
Jazz paused, and then almost smiled.
His hands became a pale blue as he switched on his diary. “One less name on the list. No blood on my hands. None of my operatives endangered. No leads back to me.” He made an entry, “Not bad for half a week’s work.” He looked up at Jazz again, “Is it?”
Jazz smiled and scratched the side of her head. “I guess not, Joe.”
“A trifle flamboyant though, Jazz,” he shook his head in mock despair. “You have been watching too many of those old American flats again.”
“Well I never did get the hang of Tri-D, don’t you know.” Jazz tapped the side of her head. “Hurts my eyes.”
Smallwood coughed, “Yes, well I owe you one.” He singled to the male junior, who came forward and handed Jazz an envelope. “There is an orbital leaving City Airport at 23:35,” he looked at his watch. “You will just be able to make the boarding time.”
“That’s very kind of you, Joe,” she held the envelope as if she did not quite know what to do with it. “Quite unexpected really.”
He made a gesture with his hand and his people started to get into the copter. “Yes,” he switched off his diary. “Just remember that you still have an entry in my diary.” He put it away as the last of his people got into the copter and the engine cycled up. “And that the number of people before you gets less every day.”
“Are you sure you can count that high, Joe?”
Smallwood smiled, accepting the insult as a trifle. “Oh, by the way,” he sat in the copter. “I am so sorry about your network.”
Jazz’s face transformed into anger, “What do you know about my network?” She stepped toward him.
“That was the other half of my weeks work,” His smile widened, as he patted the pocket where he kept his diary. Then he closed the door and the copter started to take off.
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