Lev.DN.....Index.....Identity Crisis, page 17 (c)1996 Lee Skidmore.....Lev.UP

"Was. He was nothing. A fourty year old leech. I had never met him, at least when I was old enough to remember it. Hell, he should have been dead forty years ago anyway. Never even knew about him until my mother died two years back. I heard her sorry confession from the lawyer who read the will."

"Cold. Real cold. I could almost feel sorry for you"

"Keep your damn sympathy to yourself. I did him a favor."

"Not to mention yourself," said Johnny. Du Quesne's face flushed. His arm that held the gun stretched out towards Johnny. "Okay, okay, you're a nice guy," Johnny praised him with a real lack of sincerity, "It must have been a smooth piece of work to get my slug into him. How'd you pull that off? Siege gas had something to do with it, right?"

"Very good, Mr. Super Detective. You win a walk on the beach. Come on, lets go," said Du Quesne as he helped Johnny up with a wave of the gun barrel.

"But, how did you pull it off? Where did you do it?" said Johnny, as he pulled himself up. One hand rubbed at his knee, the other gripped the back of the swivel-chair to steady himself. "The apartment was clean. So was I when I got up this morning. I know one thing, there isn't anything messier than a high caliber head shot."

"If you can call that place clean. It should have been, because it didn't happen there. It happened in the apartment across the hall. I've had you, and your little whore watched from there since you started interfering," snarled Du Quesne.

"Well, I've had it with you messing in my affairs now. And, nobody calls her a whore," said Johnny. He sent the chair rolling at Du Quesne, who pulled the gun's trigger as he side-stepped the chair. Astonished, he pulled the trigger again, then again. Still nothing. The gun never fired, yet all nine round-reporting LED's showed green.

"You know, I've hated smart guns, comps, all this damn smart stuff, all my life, but I've got to admit this smart armor they've got us wearing is really something. It killed the firing-circuit control chips in your bullets. Pretty cool, huh?"

Du Quesne snarled as he threw the gun filled with dead bullets at Johnny. He followed it, his big body leaping at Johnny. Johnny's foot slid back into fighting stance. A blocking arm snapped up while a solar plexus punch streaked out. Johnny knew he was finally going to have some fun today, and he said, "Oh, how sweet it is."

Lev.DN.....Index.....Identity Crisis, page 17 (c)1996 Lee Skidmore.....Lev.UP