Immortal Death (Kieran Grey Psionic Hunter Book 3), page 1
A Kieran Grey Psionic Hunter Novel
By R. B. Fivecoat
Copyright 2014 by R. B. Fivecoat
Table of Contents
It started with an innocent enough question. Then I was poked, prodded, groped, scanned, x-rayed, and even probed in places no probe should ever go.
To think that people actually pay for this torture!?
I pulled my blouse back on, buttoning it up as I walked out of the examination room. It had been my first visit to a gynecologist, and I was afraid it wouldn’t be my last.
Damn this female body. This was one experience I wish I could have skipped.
Only a little over a month and a half had passed since I became a woman. I grew up as a guy, but I made a number of mistakes. Mistakes that led to me being forced into selective memory erasure. I’d been at the right place at the right time however, and Dr. Amelia “Emmy” Grey cut me an insane deal. Instead of having my mind wiped away, she transferred it into what everyone had thought was the mindless body of her sister. The deal was simple, replace her sister and find out who had erased her memories and left her to die. The only problem was that the body wasn’t actually her sister. It was her sister’s clone. Once we found out, it only complicated matters. As if my life wasn’t complicated enough.
“You okay? You don’t look so good.” Emmy appeared as concerned for me as ever. I was the only connection she’d had to her former sister for weeks, before we learned the truth. So, not only did I inherit Kieran Grey’s life, but Emmy’s love as well. It was a sort of an instant family.
I entered the Doctor’s meeting room and collapsed in an exhausted lump into the chair next to her.
“That was without a doubt the most embarrassing torture I have ever had. Do women really go through all that on a regular basis?”
“Yep. At least once a year, well for most of it anyway. Fun, isn’t it? Just imagine how embarrassing it would have been like if the Doctor had been a guy,” she teased. “Did she say anything?”
“Not yet. She said to wait here why she got some results back.”
With that, Doctor Beverly stepped into the room with the trademark Archives pneumatic pressure door hissing closed behind her. Her excessively thick-rimmed glasses ruined what could have been a beautiful face, but she didn’t care. She was the head of medical research for the Archives. That made her special in two ways. First she was so busy that Emmy had actually had to come down with me and order her to do the examination. And second, she was the only doctor in the Archives besides Emmy that had enough security clearance to examine a Hunter Class GCP Officer. Namely, me.
Before either of us could ask a question, the Doctor put her finger to her lips silencing us. She sat down across from us and pulled a jamming cube from her pocket, activating it as she placed it on the table. That way what we discussed would be free from prying eyes and ears of any electronic devices.
That can’t be a good sign.
“Well now, we have a little dilemma on our hands,” Doctor Beverly announced leaning back on the couch she gave me an evil glare that made me want to crawl into the nearest hole and hide. “I think you need to explain some things to me.”
“What do you mean Bev? Don’t you know why she hasn’t had her period?” Emmy’s voice was full of concern.
I had yet to have any signs of the female monthly cycle since I’d taken over this body. Emmy – always taking enjoyment in my embarrassment – thought that I was pregnant. I quickly stopped that idea when I told her I hadn’t had sex with a man. I grew up as a guy, and even though I was now a woman, I still had problems with the thought of sleeping with a man. I had a girlfriend for that. Emmy had convinced me to come get checked out by Doctor Bev in the Archives, since we didn’t have an obvious solution to my lack of periods.
“Oh, I know why she hasn’t been menstruating. She doesn’t have the parts for it,” Dr. Beverly stated as if it answered everything.
“Huh?” I grunted, confused as usual.
“You don’t have any ovaries. According to the records, when you were in a few months ago you did, now . . . you don’t. It’s not like they were surgically removed either. There is no sign of surgery. If I didn’t know better, I would say that you were born without them. Also, I don’t understand why your hormones can be in any sort of balance with your body like that. Care to explain?”
Well now, isn’t this interesting?
* * *
“Do you think we should have told her?” I asked Emmy as we entered her plush new office.
Almost a month ago Doc – the old head of the archives – had turned traitor and disappeared after trying to kill me. That was when we found out that the old Kieran – now with punk-rock-purple hair and calling herself Vixen – had actually turned traitor as well. She had dumped the clone that I took over, as a red-herring in order to make everyone think she was dead. Then I showed up and messed up her plans for world domination. She was a little pissed at me for that. Well, that and a lucky shot that let me slice a nasty line up her face with one of my throwing knives. Though we have no proof yet, I’m pretty sure that shot ruined her eye. After that fiasco Emmy was promoted to take Doc’s place. She had been so swamped with work the last few weeks that this was the first day we’d had together in a while.
“Told her what? That you used to be a guy, and I had your mind transferred into that body thinking you could replace my supposedly dead sister? That you are really a clone of my sister and not her? You really think that would go over well?”
“What do you mean?”
“Here look at this. I didn’t want to believe it earlier, but I guess it is true.”
She handed me a stack of medical files. My head hurt just trying to read the first page. I dropped the files back on the oversized mahogany desk.
“Why don’t you give me the edited version and save me the headache of trying to translate that crap. I left my med-geek to English dictionary at home.”
I sat down on the edge of the desk, smoothing out my skirt and crossing my knees as an afterthought. I must have flashed my panties real well to her as I sat there with one foot propped up on the desk, until I remembered to act like a lady several seconds later. She sighed and leaned back into the large overstuffed office chair that went with the desk.
“Subtle Sis, real subtle. Look, that is all the information I could gather on the cloning projects being done by the Archives. It explains everything, more-or-less. A clone is born without a conscious mind. That is one of the reasons why the mind transfer project was created. A clone’s heart will beat, and lungs will breathe, but that’s basically it. They can’t walk or talk, nothing that requires higher thinking. They don’t even really have the intelligence of an unborn embryo. That, is why we thought your body h
“Normally it would take a lifetime to grow a full adult clone. However, Doc created a way to accelerate the growth process. He was able to grow an adult clone that was a perfectly exact duplicate of the original in only three months. With the accelerated growth came two side effects. First, any clone that undergoes any accelerated growth will continue to age at a faster rate than normal humans. You age about four months to my one. The second side effect is that the process used to accelerate growth also sterilizes the clone. Either by never growing the reproductive organs, or rendering them useless.”
As usual I blurted out without thinking before I spoke. “You’re telling me that I am already dying of old age, and that I can never have kids?!”
“Don’t be so dramatic. Yes you are aging faster than normal, but not that fast. Besides, I thought you didn’t want kids. Did you really want to be a mother?” She cocked an eyebrow at me.
Did I? “I . . . I don’t know, but I hate not being able to have the choice. Why didn’t anyone notice this earlier?”
She sighed in exhaustion and slumped down in the chair further, almost to the point of having her ass slide clear off the edge. “When your body was found it exhibited all the signs of a victim of a psionic mind wipe. There had been a number of them around the area in past years. . . . Shit!” she cursed to herself. “Come to think of it, I wonder now how many of them were clones instead of victims? . . . Anyway. . . . Other than a few blood tests to prove you were a genetic match with what was on file, the only examinations on you were neurological. None of us ever thought to check the rest of your body. It appeared healthy on the outside.”
“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it? I get that. So it’s true. I am a clone . . . not even a real human anymore. . . .” my voice trailed off with my thoughts.
I slid off the desk, absentmindedly pacing the huge office rubbing my arms for warmth. I was shivering cold, but not from the temperature. It was an imaginary cold brought on by my emotions that no amount of blankets would ever warm, but I felt bad enough to try it.
Emmy’s arms suddenly wrapped around me from behind. She held me tight for a second then turned me around to hug me properly. I was crying now.
When did that start?
“Sssshhhh. Don’t cry. It’s alright. I don’t care what Vixen said.” Emmy spat the name out in disgust. “You are human, and most of all you are my sister.”
I stood there and cried for a minute in her arms. Then it dawned on me. “Emmy you said that clones have no conscious mind, and that they can’t even walk right? So how come Jacob walked into the room if he was just a clone copy like Vixen said he was.”
She stepped back in thought. “He didn’t. Either that clone had a mind transferred into it, or else–”
The floodgates of self-pity closed off instantly by my anger when the realization hit me. “–it was the real Jacob!!! Dammit! I really did shoot that bastard! No wonder they were so worried about taking the body with them.”
“Now don’t jump to conclusions. There are other explanations you have to take into account, but you could be right.”
“Well, we know for certain that he wasn’t a cyborg,” a cheerfully familiar male voice called out entering the room through the pneumatic door without knocking.
“Tanaka! When did you get back? I haven’t seen you since Christmas, you punk.”
I left Emmy’s arms to hug Tanaka. He was the closest I had come to a romantic relationship with a guy, and that was only a kiss. I rationalized it to myself that since he was a cyborg that was built like a guy, he wasn’t really a guy. My mind kept telling me that he was just a robot with a bunch of tribal tattoos over his synthetic swimmers build. Even though his brain was still human, and all male. But don’t tell my mind that.
Since I was wearing heels I didn’t have to stretch up to give him a chaste kiss on the lips. A simple peck that was nothing like the French kissing that had left me weak in the knees last Christmas.
He smiled at me with an infectious grin while stepping out of my arms like a gentlemen. “I just got back in town a few hours ago. While I was visiting my family in Japan for New Years, I was given an emergency assignment there by the GCP. I had to help out the locals with a problem involving a telekinetic. Then I had a long layover in L.A.”
“Welcome back Tanaka. So, why is it you don’t believe that Jacob copy was a cyborg?” Emmy asked giving him a hug sans the kiss.
“When Kieran shot him, everything that got splattered on the walls was purely organic. Even those with a single cybernetic prosthetic have nanites in their blood.”
“Nanites?” I asked, feeling like I was suddenly an exchange student that didn’t speak the language. Which wasn’t far from the truth.
“Microscopic machines. Nano-technology. Every cybernetic enhancement has them to help maintain the body, and to keep the body from rejecting the synthetics. We never found any in the remains. That proves Jacob was not a cyborg. Speaking of cyborgs. . . . Since Doc is gone, a number of his old personal projects are no longer classified. Well, not as classified as they were anyway. Since I am a cyborg, I naturally have a personal interest in the cybernetics research lab. Anyway, I found something there that I think you both need to take a look at. Apparently, Vixen had placed a special order before she left.”
* * *
The Cybernetics lab was a cross between a machine shop and a hospital. It looked like you could have a physical while your car had an oil change all in the same room.
“If you would’ve asked me a few months ago, I would have said that it was impossible for something like this to exist,” I joked trying to take in the entire room at once. EKG machines sat next to a rack of air powered impact wrenches and other mismatched equipment.
“I came here a lot when I first became fully synthetic. Now I just come for maintenance. There is Creator, he is the genius that made most of the technology for the cyborgs. He’s a little . . . eccentric. Just play along with him and you’ll be fine.”
The Creator was a short, balding, middle-aged, nerd. No other word for it. He was a stereotypical nerd. Taped glasses, pocket protector, and a little red bow tie with yellow Polka-dots under his lab coat. A NERD.
“OH!!! Goodie, goodie you’re finally here, so much to show you, yes, so much, you have come at a good time, good time indeed, yes, come, come see, almost finished now, almost done, so pleased, you will be pleased too, yes pleased, come look–” walking away from us, he yammered on like he was on speed, or a massive overdose of caffeine.
I’ve seen junkies less wound up then this guy.
“Eccentric . . . sure,” I muttered under my breath.
Tanaka shrugged. Emmy giggled a little.
“–just like you ordered, what you wanted, only a few details left, so pleased, you challenged me, I win, you’ll see, better than expected, better than you asked for, stronger, faster, better, so good, look, see, good right?”
He fell silent for the first time. Staring at me with wide eyes that looked freakishly huge behind his thick coke-bottle lenses, he wrung his hands together in anticipation. I had to struggle not to cringe under that stare. In front of me were three sets of what appeared to be stretched skin and a skinless arm with metallic gray muscles.
Okay, what am I supposed to do now?
“Uh . . . Creator,” – who the hell calls themselves Creator anyway? – “pretend I don’t know what is going on, and explain things. . . . In as generic of terms as possible.” I threw in that last part because I could see us standing there for hours while he explained absolutely nothing of value.
“Oh ho, you wish to test me, I test good, good test, yes, here, skin, human skin, Tanaka’s cyborg skin, new skin, here, you cut, I cut, you cut, I cut–”
He took out a knife from the stack of tools on the table next to the skinless arm, and stabbed it through the first piece of stretched skin easily. On the second piece of skin he had to almost stand on the blade to get it to barely cut. For the third
“–good, yes, good, strong, one layer cyborg skin stronger than thirty layers human skin, new skin, one layer new skin stronger than fifty layers cyborg skin, strong, no cut, no burn, bulletproof, acid-proof, better than armor, better indeed, you get twenty five layers new skin, invulnerable then, stronger, better–”
I reached up under the hem of my miniskirt while he chattered away. The throwing knives were easy to access in their thigh sheath. I drew out one of the molecularly sharpened vampiric blades. It was sharp enough to cut through solid steel like warm cheese. I spun the blade in my hand before stabbing the skin Tanaka couldn’t cut. Or, actually, more like attempted to stab. The knife bounced off the stretched skin like a trampoline. I put all of my weight behind the blade. The skin stretched more, but never gave. My unbelievably sharp knife didn’t cut through. I tried a number of swipes against the skin. Each time I felt the blade drag against the skin, but nothing happened. No cut marks. I hesitated then touched the skin. It felt like real human skin, so much so that it was a little sickening. There wasn’t a bump, scratch, or mark of any kind from my knife.
This shit is strong indeed.
“–good right, yes good, strong, look, even better, better than asked, stronger, new surprise, I called “cat’s claws”, no one else like name, they call “knuckle blades”, memory metal, morphable organic tyluminum, a hundred times stronger than titanium, lighter then aluminum, harder than diamonds, strong, light, sharp, solid then liquid, change to solid again, look, see, look–”
Someone switch him to decaf! Damn he’s wired!
While he blabbered on he pointed at the naked arm on the table. Across the top of the hand was a steel-gray bar that looked like a sort of formed, tissue paper thin brass-knuckles. Creator pressed a button on the computer next to the table. The gray hand closed into a fist. The paper thin metal turned into liquid and expanded away from the fist. The liquid metal formed four knife blades, one at each knuckle. The blades switched forms, from straight one-sided blades, to double-edged, serrated, and finally a wicked medieval looking jagged edge straight out of a fantasy movie. The metal went back to liquid between each shift. Then the outer two blades retracted as the center blades merged and extended to create something like a sword as long as my entire arm extending out from the fist.