The Perpetually Crashing Train-1

Chapter 1: Where’s Thermo?

Dr. Jinlan Wu nursed a bottle of sparkling water, siping it gingerly and observed the gathering crowd. She was tired, which was a given; she’d been working in the lab almost non-stop for the past week trying to work out the finishing touches of what she hoped would be the masterpiece of her team; the queen of her chess game as it were.

She still had some work to do, but her roommate (and unrequited love) Nesrin had finally got back from vacation and had apparently crashed on the couch instead of her room. It made it hard to concentrate on weapon systems. So she had come to the club and found herself spacing out. Her thoughts crept to Vic… she hadn’t seen him for at least a week. Crap. He had supposed to be going on a date with the demoness K’Trone a week ago. Hopefully the kid was ok, if he wasn’t… well, no one would hire her to be a body guard/babysitter again… if she survived the kid’s big brother to take another Merc job.

Funny thing, the kid was a walking train-crash in progress. He thought his bro was a paperpusher, an accountant at some import company. Jinny wasn’t sure if he knew about his little bro’s new profession and that he had been kicked out of the military school, she wasn’t planning on waltzing up to Ros Kushan and asking though either. Aysel had met the guy apparently, said nice things about him, but unless he approached her, there was nothing she wanted to do about it.

Jin pondered about it. It was quite possible that the Merc knew all about his younger brother’s activities as Thermobaric. The Doc didn’t know who was paying the bills for keeping an eye on him any way, it was procedure not to ask about these things. Huh. Could be, she was referred for the job by another Merc… went by the name of Langley. He’d been an ass really, but sort of fun, wore a mismatched fedora and trenchcoat, a color clash that would have made Nesrin call for an emergency makeover. Jin had run some missions with the guy, for all that Jin could say for his personality, he was an efficient sort of person. So when he had paged her about the job, she needed cash for the finer bits of her new lasers, namely the diamonds… so she’d taken it.

Frankly, if she hadn’t become friends with the kid; and she wasn’t so damn close to finishing Fu’Miga Prime… she wouldn’t have bothered at all… but Vic was a good kid, and had a lot of potential… even if he was a bit fame hungry… and the assault bot… weeeeellll true she might have gotten the money elsewhere, but babysitting had been easy until she’d found out about the kid’s brother. At least she wasn’t alone in wondering how best to make the situation blow over; Hreb the demonic bartender was wrapped in things as much as she was. Speak of the devil, looks like he’d just gotten in. She continued to sip her water and waited to get his attention.

Took him a bit to get through orders, like it or not; he was good at his job, even if it was a spare one… and a good number of customers wanted their drinks done by him, no one else. About a half hour later things settled down a bit, and he came over.

No news… definitely bad news in this case. She tipped him and grabbed her coat… it was time to send out one of the bots to look for the kid… and finish up some other business as well.


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