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Switchblade Pisces: Pt 16

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Chapter 16


Sleep comes like a ninja from behind, and I fall, vanquished like a random lackey from a rival clan, into the bed.

In my dreams I’m running through stacks of old computer towers, their fans whirring searing hot air onto my calves and shins. I am naked and I can’t figure out where I’m supposed to go. And then I find a surge protector with many cords plugged in. I start to follow the cord for that and I start running following it because somehow I know that getting to the source is important. I run and I run, servers and computer towers spitting hot air at me as they rise higher and higher around me. Finally I come to a circular clearing and I see Janis on the ground at its center. The cord runs into her chest, between her breasts into her heart.

For some reason, in the dream, I pull the cord.

Janis screams.

I wake up.


I can sense the urgency as soon as I open my eyes. Outside my room, I can hear quick footsteps going back and forth. I slept in my clothes so after checking myself for any embarrassments, I open the door to see what’s going on. No one is paying me much attention, just rushing toward some area of the building. I decide to follow the general flow and find myself in the back of a small crowd of people both in and out of lab coats gathered around the doorway of a large office. A man with an impeccable hair cut and a laid back charisma is talking in the lazy drawl of a southern gentleman to Dr. Ecklund through a large flat screen display.

“…Oh I’m well aware of the work you’re doing, Dr. Eklund. I know all about your little mad science projects, and while I’ve wanted to take you down for years, the government—” The man says the word “government” with the same palpable contempt with which he said Dr. Eklund’s name “—felt a wait-and-see approach was more ‘prudent.’”

“My research could be of great benefit to the American people and the military I assure you, Mr. Delacroix.” Eklund speaks in a somewhat flabbergasted tone, as if someone suggested borrowing his underwear without warning.

“We can take your research, Dr. Eklund, and we will. You see you have kidnapped a federal agent, and that is a big no no.”

“We’re saving his life!” Eklund protests.

“It doesn’t matter what you’re doing to him, doctor, it ain’t done with his permission, and it ain’t done with the the permission of the American government. Now I’ve got this friend, Sal. He’s in charge of the local SWAT division? Way I see it you got two choices. You can either come peacefully and let us ransack your little establishment and take what we find useful. Or you can get your switchblade pisces, I’ll get my guns from Sal, and we can have ourselves an altercation.”

“I have rights! My patients have rights!”

Delacroix gives Eklund a condescending look. “Dr. Eklund, that was before you committed a federal crime! You came into this yard looking for a cock fight. Don’t you stop struttin’ now.”

The display goes dark. Everyone is silent for a moment. One of men next to asks, “What are we going to do?”

Strangely enough, I think I have an answer.

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Switchblade Pisces pt1


There’s a beautiful woman in my apartment. Unfortunately, she’s about to kill me. I suppose you got to take the good with the bad. The only reason I’m not already dead is that the floors of my crappy efficiency apartment are so squeaky they’re pretty much ninja proof. The woman’s on the other side of the room right now wearing khaki shorts and a light blue sleeveless top. She has a utility belt and her milky blonde hair is in a braid. The odd thing is that she’s got these two small, black boxes on the top of her head. That and she’s wielding two knives in her hands.

I’m probably going to die.

She advances on me slowly. I’m still sitting in my swivel desk chair, turned around from my laptop. I wonder what James Bond would do in this situation. He’d grab the girl’s wrists and seduce her into a kiss, and then she’d tell him everything as she languished beside him on silk sheets. And in the next morning she’d be conveniently dead.

Well that sounds nice, even if it seems a little like retroactive necrophilia. I stand up, my hands out like I’m about to catch a beach ball, and I clear my throat, preparing my best Bond impression. “Um…could you stop please?”

Yes, I’m afraid that was more or less entirely unlike James Bond. Particularly the “um.” I’m pretty sure he never ever said “um” in his whole made up life. Then again, whatever I said seems to be working.

The beautiful woman has stopped.

Her skin is perfect, except for a thin, barely visible scar across her right cheek. Her eyes are an enchanting shade of purple, and they are dilated. I read somewhere that if a girl’s eyes are dilated, it means she likes you.

What does it mean if a girl has purple irises? Oh yeah, that she wears contacts. I haven’t seen colored contacts much since the late nineties though, and while I’ve heard of platinum blondes before, the girl’s hair seems more soft and liquid than shiny. I’ve never seen hair like that. It definitely isn’t bleached, or at least I don’t think it is. Who knows maybe there’s some new product out there that I don’t know about.

I’m not sure what to make of the two black boxes protruding out of her skull on either side of her braid. I could almost convince myself they were decorative bows, except for the blinking LEDs and the little computer fans whirring on the sides of them.

“Could you, ah, drop those knives?”

“No,” the girl says in a melodious soprano, “I cannot.” There’s an uncomfortable pause. Then the girl says. “They are surgically attached to my body.”

“Huh?” I ask, intelligently.

By way of answering my question, the girl straightens and lowers her weapons. Then, in a motion so quick I almost don’t catch it, she retracts the blades and the handles into her wrists.  “What the… who the hell are you?”

“I am a Pisces,” the woman says as if that explains everything.