Jor drove the groundcar towards his house. He knew what he would find there.
He would be there, with a team. He would likely be holding Naci hostage, hoping to use her against him.
It would likely work unless he could get the drp on them and free her before they knew he was there. It would be risky, but it was the only thing that he could do.
He parked the groundcar a block away from his house and went around to the back alley. He knew that the approaches would be watched. The conventional ones anyways.
He stepped back and palmed his knife. He wanted to have it at the ready when he needed it. Thus prepared he started to run, getting up some speed before leaping on to the garbage bins along the alley, then again up to catch hold of the edge of the roof of the building. He swung himself up onto it.
The morning was cool as he jogged along the roof. He hoped that, being as early as it was nobody would see him. Of course he wouldn’t have that kind of luck, but if he had been counting on luck he would have given up long ago.
He stopped, and stared down,
There they were. Three men. Guarding the front door, so that meant that there would be twice as many at the back door.
He threw his knife and the man rising from his roof fell with a gurgle.
He could still leave. Still back out.
He sighed and shook his head.
No, he could not. Not while Naci was in there.
He drew another knife and his pistol. Callion expected him to go in through the door. Well, he probably didn’t. Jor could never be sure just what Callion did or didn’t expect. The best example of that was when he had been back on Earth in the Undercity. The first time he had tried to run away from Callion.
But he could remember that later. For now he had to free Naci.
He leapt and crashed through the window, rolling, and shooting the guard in the room. Then he ran back to the window, shot the three guards by the front door, and climbed back out onto the windowsill.
He leapt for the next roof, and pulled himself up, then jumped a circuit around the house.
He stopped, staring at the south side of the house now. There were more guards there. He could see two, which meant that there would be five he couldn’t see.
He shot the two he could see, and dove for the door.
He felt bullets graze his skin, but then he was inside the door, and throwing his knife at the closest of two thugs.
The second one got a shot before Jor stepped forwards and delivered a snap kick that crashed the man’s temple.
Leaping ahead Jor drew his last two daggers and cut down another thug before the man could fire. Then he was inside the living room, and stopped dead as he saw Naci.
Callion looked up, and held his hand up for Jor to see more clearly.
“You know what this is, don’t you Jor?”
“A deadman switch”
“Thats right. And its attached to that lovely vest that I so thoughtfully made as a gift for your lover”
Jor looked over at Naci again. She sat defiant despite a bruise on her cheek and the gag in her mouth. But he could see the fear in her eyes.
He didn’t blame her; anyone would be terrified while wearing enough plastic explosive to destroy the entire block.
“Let her go Callion”
“Not until you come back”
“I won’t do that Callion”
“I think that you will Jor. Did I tell you that there are changes coming? Big changes. I’m respectable now Jor. I have a big job with the Arcernment. I’ve used my contacts to arrange for a position as head of security. And thats where my climb begins, not ends”
“Good for you. Go play at politics. You can leave me alone now”
“Not at all. Quite the contrary in fact”
Callion stroked the trigger a bit more as he looked around the room.
“You’ve made quite a nice life for yourself here Jor. But its over. You are going to come with me, be one of my star agents”
“No? Then poor Naci here gets to be exploded”
“Well then make your decision Jor. Work for me, or Naci dies”
Jor looked at Naci. She was shaking her head, but he couldn’t tell if she was telling him to save her, or to not surrender.
But he didn’t have much of a choice.
His knives hit the floor with a clatter.
The Agent sat in sickbay and stared at the wall opposite him. Mars. Where it had all begun, and had, in a way, all ended for him.
He was back here again. He had been for a while, but had been too focused on the war.
Now Callion had his new death fleet that would let him win. Once he had won the war then he would be able to take control of the Arc, in fact if not in name. Although then again, he may choose to instead take control of Earth, Mars, or the entire system.
He needed to be stopped.
The Agent looked down at his hands. Still stiff, still unresponsive. He had kept himself going by sheer force of will and adrenaline. Now even his impressive body could not keep him from feeling the effects of the vacuum.
He lay back, and stared at the ceiling instead. Now he had to wait. Soon enough his own metabolism would kick in and heal whatever injuries he had suffered, especially since he was sitting still, and had access to large quantities of the Tripuanolan medicine that sped up even natural healing.
Lian’s person to talk to had better be worth it. Had better offer them some hope of turning this war around, or else they were all dead.
Callion sat in the command chair of the Annihilator and smiled.
The world was his.
Well, not yet of course, but soon. Once this fleet destroyed the Earth Council ships then he would be the commander of the most powerful fleet in the Solar System. Even added together the other fleets could not match his might, especially not with all the ships answering directly to him. And he controlled the loyalties of a third of the other captains. He would have his domain.
Of course, the fleet needed to make it to Earth intact first.
He frowned as he looked out over the battle screens.
“What are you doing?”
He was currently matching wits with one of the greatest Earth Council generals out there, Adrimar Hapoli, the Gold Fox.
And unfortunately for him, he was losing, although he’d never admit it.
The Earth Council ravagers were darting in and out, blasting pieces off his fleet with impunity.
But it didn’t matter. He would win soon enough, when the jaws of his trap snapped shut. He smiled as he imagined the second half of his fleet sweeping around from two sides to pin the Earth Council forces between his half here, and the other two quarters.
Soon everything would belong to him.