The Switch II: Clockwork (sneak peek)

The black-garbed officials soared above York, their jet-blasters strapped to their backs... past the clear tunnels that webbed across Tyrol. The beige and white towers of the city, rose around them.

Connections in their helmets enabled them to speak to each other. Although they were yards apart, their speech were as clear and sharp as if they were standing next to each other.

“What did you think of her?” Kilo, the pudgy official flying on the right asked. He dipped expertly to avoid an oncoming hover craft.

“Who? Ms. high class, stick up her a** Z100?” Dazz asked. He was a thin, swarthy man.

“No your mother... yeah her.”

Dazz smirked. “Watch your mouth about my dear, old mom you putz. I think she's a rich, sexy b**** who ought to be taught some manners. I'd like to teach her naked– preferably on her hands and knees in handcuffs.”

Kilo chuckled. “Okay, if you're done with your fantasy... I meant what did you think of her story?”

“It doesn't matter what I think,” there was a shrug in Dazz's voice. “She's powerful enough to have us demoted – hell she could take our badges if she wanted to.”

“When we get back to the hub let's file a report.”

“Hell no.” Dazz said emphatically. “I don't care if she's building a bomb in her bathroom. It's not worth me risking my job over.”

“Look, we can file a curiosity report without taking any heat. It'll probably be ignored anyway. But just in case something is wrong, we'll be in the clear. We might even get a promotion... I'd love to see her knocked off her high horse.”

Dazz snickered. “And on all fours?”

“You got it.”


Simone2 was a honey-brown woman, with bobbed hair and green eyes. She was dressed in the unfamiliar, upper city garb of white jumpsuit and boots. And the unfamiliar skin of another woman. She'd altered her appearance so that she was identical to Z100.

A stylish purse was strapped about her waist. An onyx-handled derringer was strapped to the other side The room she stood in was lavishly furnished with a futon, wall screen and coffee table. Facing the divan beside the screen, were three transparent cubicles where Z kept her android playmates.

Her favorite, “Jason,” a muscular, dark robot sat on the futon: a blank expression on his face.

“I had a lovely time Jason,” Simone said dryly. Her words triggered his response chip to read: Date over.

Jason rose and walked stiffly to the third opaque closet. It slid open and he stepped inside. Simone keyed in sleep on the curved stand facing the closets: deactivating him. The mansion also came equipped with a robotic butler and virtual house companion; which included a recording and alarm system. The house had been in sleep mode now for over an hour.

The woman gazed at the stairs of Z100's mansion; preparing herself mentally for what she had to do. She was worried about Dumas, Carlos and Richard. Especially Dumas. But there was no time for that now.

If I don't play my part right, we'll all wind up with our heads on a stick... in front of the guillotine.

Copyright 2011 Valjeanne Jeffers all rights reserved

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