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Minka and Trevor followed the armored officers as they cleared the house. Aside from a gray cat, the house was empty. She looked at the cat and noticed it had a very fancy collar. Minka went to pick the cat up only to have it growl and swat at her.

“You’re actually playing with the cat we have to tear this place apart,” Trevor scolded Minka only to have the cat approach him.

“Check out that cat’s collar seems it has a thing for you,” Minka said crossing her arms as she leaned against the wall.

Trevor looked over the collar and was stunned, “The collar reads Isabelle; holy hell is this silver and silk. Holy shit I think these emeralds?”

“So that’s what the doctor is spending his money on, pampering a cat?” Minka laughed.

“Well check out this entertainment system he has in the den,” shouted an officer.

Minka and Trevor followed. The sight was impressive a wall-sized LCD screen and holographic projectors with a custom leather chair with speakers and a command console built into the arm. Trevor walked into the den and was in awe, “It’s the latest tech and all custom made, so I guess that is where the money he doesn’t drop on the cat.”

Minka got down to the floor, and it had a good sum of cat fur in the rug even though the man recently vacuumed the rug and kept a clean home. “Well looks like Isabelle has free reign of the house.”

“Alright I want this place searched top to bottom and do a scan for any hidden rooms,” Trevor said taking a police scanner and began to map the first floor.

“Not using your fancy cybernetics, so do take him for hiding stuff in a room or, in a floor board? I honestly think we will find his stash in a secret chamber,” Minka said tapping the wall.

Minka followed Trevor into the back of the house moving the few pictures that lined the walls. “Looks like he has a thing for tranquil blue lakes and mountains it is oddly calming. Sadly the paintings aren’t hiding a safe.”

Trevor came to a halt at a closed door, “So the kitchen and dining area are there so what would be in this door?”

Minka opened the door and found a sight too beautiful to be true and could only utter a word “Shit.”

Trevor took his police radio and called for backup, “A second bedroom that holds a load of DNA blood bombs. Detective Rhodes is calling in; I need a forensic team to collect multiple DNA bombs.”

Minka bent down again to check the carpet for cat fur, “Why was the door closed. The cat comes into the room no more no less than the rest of the house.”

“Well he has the product ready to move the last thing he’d want was his cat's DNA all over the human DNA bombs,” Trevor said stopping the cat from entering before closing the door.

“I will be waiting to check the basement. You can take the upper floor,” Minka said going to the cellar.

A man in a car parked in watched as the police began to secure Henry’s home. He kept watching as the forensic van, and another squad car drove by. “We got lucky the cops didn’t arrive in time, and by now are finding the actual evidence connecting your, business activities to Henry. The only issue is I can’t find his original materials.”

“Very well we’ve thrown them off enough for now, but I am moving timetables up we need to get the ball rolling faster if our backers are going to have overwhelming proof for the media to present the need for privatization,” a woman replied before promptly hanging up.

The man in the car opened his car door dropped the phone he used and then made sure he drove over the phone as he left the neighborhood.

Minka went into the basement it was unfinished and used largely to do laundry and storage. The cat’s litter box was near a heater. She approached the finished walls and began tapping the walls. Finding an odd sound that was probably a hidden room she looked for a false door finding a shelf of books. “Seriously what is it with men and model cars? Well, this is probably the door,” Minka said looking at moving the shelf.

Trevor hurried downstairs and asked, “Hey the forensic team is here you find anything else?”

“Yeah this house has a hidden room behind this wall, can you do a scan of it I think this is where the door is,” Minka said looking at the self.

Trevor took a scanning device and did a quick scan, “There is a room back there, but it's small and there is ample safe in there. Possibly a gun vault here let me help you with this,” Trevor said looking to the back of the shelf.

“He did something to lock it in place well,” Minka said wiping sweat from her brow.

“He managed to weave the self's base into the floor of the basement, look for a latch or something hidden in the back,” Trevor looking for a lock or knob to get the self to move.

“Hey move that mirror with the BMW logo on it, that is probably hiding something,” Minka said realizing it was too flush to the wall.

Trevor took the frosted mirror down revealing the hidden room’s door knob, “Well here is the lock not very secure it’s a simple latch system.”

“Well Trevor this runner is pretty crafty I am surer now than ever that evidence we found, planted by a person who wants us to think we have what we are looking for,” Minka said as Trevor pushed the self away from the wall on what appeared to be wheels that were spring loaded.

“Right what makes you think a guy this crafty can’t keep his absurdly pampered cat from contaminating his highly delicate and detailed oriented criminal product,” Trevor said watching the cabinet slide away from the wall.

Minka was shocked at the ease at which the curio cabinet moved. Once she opened the pathway to the hidden room, she saw a vault. She then squatted down and ran her hand across the floor. She stood and showed her findings to Trevor, “Cat hair in the secret room. Are you starting to see a pattern?”

“Well, who would be willing to plant evidence, and have the evidence to plant in the first place? This rabbit hole just became a bit deeper,” Trevor said realizing things were deeper than he imagined.

“Command this is detective Shawe has our suspect woken up yet? We need to speak with him urgently,” Minka said into her radio.

“Negative, ma’am he is still out cold it’s only been 3hours since he got out of surgery,” said one of the officers guarding the recovering Henry.

“You may want to double the guard this guy has, well just double down on this guy’s protection you don’t need to know why,” Minka said knowing better than to make her suspicions known.

“Of course ma’am I will put in for added guards,” the officer replied.

Trevor spoke up “Minka we will have to explain ourselves eventually. Care to fill me in on what you’re thinking here?”

“Murders and other crimes go know where due to these DNA bombs. Now we have a man who makes the DNA bombs in custody he is a liability to a billion-dollar tax-free business. And this industry keeps tabs on its employees better than we ever could, if this little trick fails I am certain the Plan B is going to be to kill Henry Hardy,” Minka said after she ensured her radio was turned off.

“Killing one of their producers is easy these things aren’t complicated to make,” Trevor replied.

Minka sighed and continued, “Not complex yet, and that is if what we thinks is even true. So far we are in a state of perpetual catch-up, and now we have a way to be ahead of the curve. If this guy’s customer finds out we have him it’s going to be a free for all with the vigilante mercenaries for hire on the dark net.”

Trevor took a seat at the base of the stairs. “The customers don’t have the same kind of surveillance on this guy I doubt they even deal with him directly, so we have time, but the fact is we will need to force their hand. If we can bait them to play their hand early, we might just get the snakes to come out of the woodwork then cut them down.”

“Good idea; although I hope the snakes aren’t so numerous we can’t itemize them into manageable cells to be destroyed,” Minka said following Trevor up to the stairs.

China Town Chicago

Maria stood looking over her drug lab with a data pad searching, the daily news reports looking for information on the arrest of her DNA supplier. Her search was mostly fruitless except for a few moving images on social media. She tied her long black hair into a ponytail and went to provide her customers a tour of the drug production line.

“Ladies and Gentlemen I bid you welcome, this tour is for you to see your investment in action,” she said bowing slightly as a sign of respect to her investors. She was far less Chinese, but like many in her group, she chose to identify with her great grandfather’s side of the family.

“Yes well spare us your cultural pining we here to see what we gave you several million credits to produce,” said an unusually tall woman.

“Of course, to the point then please follow me. As you will see we have managed to repurpose an old 20th-century nuclear fallout shelter long since forgotten to both the government and the people,” Maria said handing out clean room clothing.

As the people followed Maria, they got a passing view of the lab and the packaging of the narcotics. A blonde haired man posed a question, “So tell me how do you transport these off world, and what are you doing to prevent law enforcement intercepting our shipments?”

“I am glad you asked sir, the transport of the new drug off the world will have several security measures. We have leaked several false transport methods to the police as decoys, our method of transport will remain classified, but your first shipments will arrive at your brothels on Belfast and the mining colonies respectively. The drug is highly addictive turning your temporary employees into willing sex slaves, and ensure your customers will keep coming back for more,” Maria said as she leads the guests to the packing section of her narcotics.

Several low-level individuals watched and worked over a series of centrifuges and spectrophotometers some distilled chemicals while others were adding materials with pipettes. The final stage before packaging was Ph level testing before packaging.

“Where exactly have you leaked this false information other cities I take it,” the tall woman said assuming Maria’s tactics.

“We have our methods and will not disclose them, it’s why we had you blindfolded as we drove you here,” Maria answered confidently, and hoping no one would call her bluff.

For a few minutes, the guests discussed amongst themselves. It became apparent that tall woman and blonde man were leading the group. The tall woman spoke first, “Very well, we will have limited faith in you for the moment.”

“Please do your best at proving our faith in you was not misplaced,” the blonde man said finishing her sentence.

Maria bowed before speaking, “Of course we aim to please, and your faith will not be squandered.”

Ivan waited in Maria’s office his time with her was mostly to serve as her enforcer. He sat down in her chair watching as the cars that took the visiting investors away. He spun around and propped his feet up on Maria’s desk just as she walked into her office.

“You have a lot of nerve,” Maria said swatting Ivan’s feet as a warning for him to get his feet off her desk. “You are too smug for such a failure! Do you realize finding Henry’s DNA bomb lab will ruin us and give the police an edge against us!”

“If I can’t find his stash we will just kill him in the hospital where he rests,” Ivan said nonchalantly.

Maria growled slightly before shouting Ivan out of her office, “Then get the fuck out of my office and go kill that son of a bitch before our entire operation goes tits up!”

“Very well I will get right on that when you pay me for previously performed services,” Ivan said lighting a cigar in her office.

“You will be paid when Henry is no longer a problem find him and kill him,” Maria ordered.

Ivan left her office with an eye roll and simple nodding of his head. He promptly headed downstairs and out the side exit of the tattoo parlor. Of all the rules Ivan cared about it was not being seen associating with traitors his way to the parking lot where he parked his car. The path he took had several gaps in CCTV coverage and provided him with enough overhead cover that a police drone would not be able to track him for long.

Ivan then drove several miles out of the way to a storage locker where he changed into a generic nurse uniform, “Yes this will do,” he thought before getting back in his car and driving Saint Anthony’s Medical Center. He drove passed the main entrance to the ER and then headed to the staff parking lot. It was easy enough to hack a gate computer from his laptop. He collected several tools needed to kill an invalid. Vials with poisons, bacteria, and toxins all for a standard medical jet injector he chose the bacteria. He only took one extra vial he knew that even with his reflective mask the chance of being identified was high.

Ivan was ready to sneak in with a large number of doctors and nurses all chatting or yawning as the shifts changed when he saw a few unmarked vans drove by and to the rear loading area of the hospital. The vans were uninformed and orderly enough that they stood out as police vehicles but he couldn’t be certain, he cleared his throat before speaking in a rather southern drawl, “Excuse me, but would you guys and gals please tell me how to get to the loading area? I am new, and my job is overseeing medical supply shipments.”

Some of the doctors were laughing at the stereotypical accent but kept moving only Vicky stopped. You must be our new hire David, the loading bay well I’ll show you where to go. It’s nice having another southern up in the windy city,” Kelly replied unknowingly motioning Ivan to his prey.

After arriving in the loading area, Ivan’s suspicions were confirmed, but he could do little about the situation. He also had a new problem to deal with but felt that it would be rude not to thank the woman. “I am grateful for your help and the keycard, “Ivan said in his actual voice.

Before Kelly could even turn around Ivan threw his fully augmented strength into a strike against the back of her head. He wiped his hand of her blood, and bone off on her shirt before he took her identification and clearance card. She belonged to the ICU team which would make his task easier. He collected her body and used her scrubs top as a way to clean up the mess that was her head. He found a nearby covered waste bin he threw the body in it added some garbage onto then wheeled it by the police without incident.

“Durak,” Ivan said strolling by the police sergeant.

Trevor watched over Henry referring to the unconscious man as his old friend, not that there was much friendship to be had. He looked over at his phone and said, “Sgt Roark arrived with the guards we wanted, but I still want to transfer him.”

“It’s hard to move him given that most of the airlifts are busy or the storm has forced them to be grounded. The governor has dedicated most of the National Guard helicopters to other means, and using private transport is out of the question,” Minka sighed leaning back and trying to relax.

“Yeah well this is going to be a long night I am going to get some food,” Trevor said leaving the room

“Thanks, I will make sure our floor is locked down,” Minka said unable to get comfortable in the provided chair. However, it took her a good deal of time to wake up.

Sgt Roark and his men arrived via the elevator, and he began to assign his men, “Alright I want two full squads at the exits to the stairwell and elevators. We will alternate observation of the elevator and stairwell CCTVs.”

Ivan had found himself wandering a bit aimlessly he had been sloppy but managed to confirm that the ICU was holding a VIP. He wondered the hallways trying to blend in, as he worked his way to the ICU without asking for directions. He managed to find a floor map in the cafeteria and enter the elevator.

Trevor with some food noticed an open elevator and shouted at the man inside. “Hey hold that door!”

“No little weakling,” Ivan said noticing Trevor.

Trevor also recognized Ivan. “Sgt Roark you have a hostile ascending to your floor using elevator 4C the guy is a transhuman soldier, I repeat he is a transhuman soldier!”

“We see the bastard now, and he is wearing a reflection mask to hide his face. Cut power to the elevator so we can slow this fucker down. You just need to get back up here in a hurry,” Minka said as the swat team took the position to defend the prisoner.

“I am on my way, the idiot took the slowest route,” Trevor said heading upstairs using the stairwell.

“Yeah well, double-time it! We only have four weapons capable of stopping this fucker,” Roark interjected.

“Build a kill zone around the elevator entrance and make sure he comes out just enough to be hit from all sides,” Trevor said only eight more stories away from the ICU.

Ivan looked for a camera in the elevator after it came to a halt. He knew the mission was all but a loss. He smashed out all the cameras in the elevator he then broke open the elevator. “Fucking hell that Crasian bitch can keep her money I quit,” Ivan said making a jump downward.

Trevor managed to arrive only to be stuck wondering why it was taking so long. “I am going to check the first floor cameras; I think we scared the fucker off,” Minka said leading a breathing sigh of relief.

“Shit that was close,” an officer said standing down.

Minka watched over the aid as he selected cameras on the first floor spotting the hit man, “Yeah there he is leaving calmly with a crowd of doctors, I can’t see his face but with that Blinder mask on he will stand out on every drone camera. This guy is an idiot, hey Trevor doesn't your Strike Force Marines have modifications for superior intellects?”

“Not part of the upgrade package Shawe. Plus this asshole was never one we let do the thinking; he was a stupid ass bear we put on point,” Trevor forcing open the elevator shaft. He shined a flashlight down and saw where Ivan smashed his way out.

“The liberals will have a field day with this,” Roark said with the growing sounds of helicopters and VTOLs.

“Now the governor sends in the fucking Guard,” Trevor said furiously over the delays.

“At least this guy will be safe in a National Guard bunker. I just hope today’s event didn’t cost any lives at this hospital,” said the attending doctor. His voice was clearly annoyed but not shaken by the event.

Trevor had an ominous feeling that the doctor would be sorely disappointed. He switched the safety back on and headed downstairs, “Ivan used a key card we need to find who he took it from, maybe there will be some clues.”

Minka began a search of the keycard utilized by the assassin. “He used a keycard belonging to Dr. Kelly Monroe pediatric burn specialist with class 2 clearance. She also never clocked in,” Minka’s somber voice reflected her feeling of dread that the woman was dead. Kelly’s body was found an hour later with the back of her skull smashed in, by sanitation workers.
So yeah a cat tipped off some suspicion. Sorry I took so long
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Submitted on
March 12
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