Unknown at the time, two other survivors of the destruction of the planet Earth, had been Duke Magnus and the Lady Susanna. Wise to the machinations of the Rabbit and the Girl with the Red Hair, they had hitched a ride with The Rabbit. A chance remark had betrayed their sympathies to the Friend’s cause. Now, naked and freezing, they hung upside down in one of the cells deep within a forgotten asteroid.
It was only chance that had alerted the Friends to the fate of Magnus and Susanna. In an infinite universe, entanglement creates powerful connections.
Haydrift Eaglebeard passed his palm over the electronic lock of the door. Silently it opened. It was one of many amazing abilities of his new hand he was discovering.
He took a clockwork mouse out of his pocket, and whispering his instructions, sent it off to explore the cell complex.
Lord Stiletto ran his fingers along the cold steel of the blade, from which he took his name, and slipped it back into the sheath on his wrist. As a diversionary tactic, Stiletto was going in through the front door.
Sarah, Lady Bane, was unrecognisable. Gone were the silk skirts and bustles. Gone was her whole appearance. Stiletto’s technicians had completely changed the structure and appearance of her face and now she resembled a cross between a demon and a reptile. The fluorescent yellow slime oozing from the corners of her eyes was a touch Stiletto was particularly pleased with.
Spleenspew, the guard, was mean. He had been serving The Rabbit all his life, for his was an hereditary post. A complete bastard by all accounts, he had served in the Grakkam campaign, clearing out the uranium mines infested with the indigenous rebels, and had “cleared” many more with his hands and spiked knuckles than with his blaster. Spleenspew liked to get up close and personal.
Which was Sarah’s situation at this moment. The local dialect was pretty much like Slavic mutant spat through gravel, and Sarah delivered her lines perfectly, demon eyes boring into Spleenspew’s. She thought she had him, but brutal and mean as he was, he was also efficient. Feeling his welling thought communication, with lightning speed she drove the point of her blade through the mutant’s throat, before the alarm could be given.
Unaware of the drama taking place hundreds of levels below, Lord Stiletto wandered through the main entrance of The Rabbit’s lair.
A frock coat and top hat is not every day wear on an asteroid, and the girl on reception, used to seeing battle-weary troops, and the scum of the universe, sensed trouble, a concern which was confirmed by the sensors that showed Stiletto was carrying more personal armaments than a Zidian space trooper.
Years of training had given Haydrift Eaglebeard lightning reflexes. Unarmed as he was, except for his bone blade which was able to escape detection by the sensors, he felt the incoming threat and as he spun, palmed the attacking energy with his new right hand. The wall to his side exploded with molten metal, and all elements of surprise were lost.
Sarah, Lady Bane, held the mutant eye up to the scanner and the door silently dematerialized to reveal the holding cell. Shivering with the intense cold, she glided across the freezing cell and released the captives from their bonds. Magnus and Susanna fell with sickening thuds to the frozen floor and Sarah realised she needed help.
Lord Stiletto had only gone about ten steps before alarms sounded and blast doors slammed down all around him. With no break in his stride or composure, he pulled a metallic capsule from his pocket and lobbed it into the busy atrium, full of soldiers, guards and mercenaries. The nerve toxin, to which he had been made immune, rendered a fatal paralysis on all within touch of its rapidly expanding vapour.
Eaglebeard knelt beside Sarah, and passed his right hand briefly across the foreheads of the two captives, who immediately began to show an improvement in their colour.
Extending his hand like a blade, he opened a fold in the very fabric of the universe, and within the blink of an eye, they were gone.