The BRC hovered above the circular shaped landing pad, Merci looked out of the driver side window looking down seeing a short cut dark haired woman with her arms crossed behind her back. As the BRC landed Merci saw that Viceroy Minnelli was an attractive woman, her lower body thicker than her upper but she was in good shape and solid but she wasn’t a tall woman. Her skin was olive, eyes round and dark. Her hair was cut short on the sides and not much longer on the top. The driver side door opened, Merci could smell the Viceroy’s perfume on the wind. The Viceroy’s face was serious staring at Merci while she got out of the vehicle and walked toward her. It was only once Merci stood before her did Viceroy Minnelli show a smile. 

“Welcome! It is an honor to have the legendary enforcer 188762 Merci Gabrielle Trudeau grace my substation!” Viceroy Minelli said kindly yet with authority. Merci was still feeling her superior out but nodded slightly out of respect.

“Thank you ma’am If you don’t mind I’d like to skip formalities and go straight to work.” 

The Viceroy nodded her head in admiration. “I have heard of your great work ethic, and to see that it isn’t just glorified talk is a pleasure!” The two women briefly stared at one another looking the other over, Merci could have sworn that the Viceroy was looking at her with sexual attraction, not just admiration for her work and the image she had for being the well known enforcer that she was, but she blew it off, she even felt honored that the Viceroy saw her as attractive it meant that she had good taste, she smiled softly.

“I plan to go to Meridian County to personally interview the most current victim.” 

The Viceroy raised a brow. “I have taken the liberty of booking a hotel here in Oxley for your convenience. The hotel staff is friendly with us and will respect your privacy and they are familiar with enforcer polices.” 

Merci’s eyes squinted, she felt that Viceroy Minelli did not understand what she had just said. “Thank you very much, but I want to be closer to the most recent victim, I need to learn everything I can from them while the incident is fresh in their mind. Maybe there is something else she might have forgotten. There has be something I can pick from her!” 

“There was another rape an hour ago, the victim lives right here in Oxley County, we have her in protective custody.” 

Merci stared the Viceroy in the eyes. “Another rape victim? Are you certain it was the mutate?” 

“Yes she has already been interviewed, and she has been threatened to not abort the pregnancy or she would be killed like the other victims.” Viceroy Minelli looked at Merci’s hair fondly. “Such lovely red hair, are you Irish or Scottish?” It was so off beat from the current conversation it caused Merci to stop in disbelief. Was the Viceroy that smitten by her? Merci eased her own irritations forcing a smile. 

“Both parents are French actually. They migrated to L.A. from France before I was born.” 

Viceroy Minelli stepped closer to Merci staring deeply at her hair. “How interesting, and exotic. The French are known as good lovers.” She did not try to hide that she was attracted to Merci. Merci reached into her jacket and pulled out her pack of cigarettes. She pulled one out, self ignited it and began smoking. 

“Do you mind if I smoke?” It was really too late to ask, smoke was already pushing from out of her mouth when she asked. Viceroy Minelli showed a half smile.

“Please, go ahead.” The Viceroy said with soft admiration.

“May I ask something without reprimand ma’am?” Merci said.

“Go ahead.” 

“I can’t help but feel that you want to fuck me, or am I wrong?” Her question was direct.

The Viceroy’s face seemed flustered almost in a passionate way but she contained most of it. “An upfront woman, I like that.” 

“Are you lesbian?” 

“No. I am bisexual though. Why keep myself a prisoner to only one type of sexual play?”

“And you feel comfortable hitting on a subordinate?” 

“It is not against director, viceroy, or enforcer policy that dating, a sexual tryst, and even marriage can not happen between us. In fact there are some among viceroy ranks that are married to enforcers. And there are many others who are fucking one another. As long as it does not affect work and all parties can remain professional it is permitted. Do I make you feel uneasy enforcer Trudeau? If so I will refrain from my adoration of you. I do though find that your openness is quite refreshing. But make no mistake, you are not a distraction from my job.” 

Merci took in what the Viceroy just told her and found it impressive how she presented it. It was her turn to nod in admiration, she took a few more puffs of her cigarette before tossing the butt to the ground and rubbed the smolder out with the tip of her shoe. Merci looked down to make sure the cigarette was fully out before looking up at Viceroy Minelli. 

“A conversation for another time. I really do need to talk to the newest victim while the incident is fresh in her mind.” She smiled slightly at the Viceroy who in turn smiled back but had shifted from being intrigued by Merci, to being focused on the job. She meant what she said about not being distracted or allowing her lust for Merci affect her job.

“At the moment Miss Fatima Basara is being held at a safe house just out of town. We are going to be moving her out of state within the week for her safety.” The Viceroy acted as if what she had just said about her admiration for Merci never was said at all, she was a true professional. 

Merci just reflected on something, her face shifted back to the job as well. 

“Has the victim voiced her concerns for carrying the baby and going to term if she is pregnant?”

“Yes, she said that it would be a disgrace to carry the child. She is Arabic and her faith is Islamic. She said that it would be better to be killed by the mutate and die an honorable death than to give birth to a child in disgrace.” 

“Does her family know?”

“Yes. Her parents back her decision. They technically have turned their backs on her to save face from the community. So Miss Basara has no problem being taken to a safe house outside of Florida. She plans on aborting the child if she is pregnant.”

Merci shook her head. “Sometimes you can’t make this shit up!” Merci said angrily. “This means it’s only a matter of time before this mutate tries to kill Miss Basara.” 

“But that won’t happen. I have top agents guarding her now until the transfer.”

“You have a mutate that can shape change into anyone, and we don’t know yet if he can shape shift into anything else which would really make a shit situation for us and Miss Basara, we can never assume that the impossible can’t happen. I need to see her now. Please take me to her! We’ll take my BRC.” 

Merci turned back around walking toward her vehicle, Viceroy Minelli was walking behind her. The two women got into the BRC flying up into the sky headed to the safe house on the outskirts of town. On the way Viceroy Minelli filled Merci in on Fatima Basara. Fatima was nineteen years old, that in itself made this situation tragic. She was so young being at the start of her adult life for something like this to happen. She was a student at Oxley State. The rape actually happened on campus, and right after Fatima had just left an evening program where she mentored young Muslim girls. The mutate actually told Fatima that he chose her to challenge the notion that there was even a God. If there was he would stop the rape, and of course after the rape he made fun of Fatima for having faith in someone who didn’t exist. Since her parents looked at her as if she was the reason that she got raped she felt getting an abortion and being damned could be no worse. She wanted to be rid of any memories of Oxley. Starting over someplace else was a welcome change. Merci felt compelled to make sure Fatima’s life was able to have a fresh start, and that meant capturing the mutate, and if she couldn’t capture him, then at least put him in the grave. The flight from the substation to the safe house was only fifteen minutes. The landscape had changed from crowded buildings to tall trees and forests as far as the eye could see. Merci spotted a log cabin planted in the middle of a forest she couldn’t believe it. 

“How many enforcers are guarding her?” Merci asked, Viceroy Minelli could hear the disappointment in Merci’s voice. 

“You are not satisfied with the safe house?” 

Merci’s BRC hovered above the safe house, the wheels slid out of the wheel wells tilting vertically. Once the wheels were all locked and in place the car slowly lowered landing in front of the house. Merci stared at the small cabin before speaking.

“A secluded cabin in the woods just has please come and kill me written all over it!” Merci got out of the vehicle, the Viceroy excited from the passenger side. A red laser light flashed over both women’s bodies. Merci looked up seeing two oval shaped machines, they were SAD hover machines. Search And Destroy hover machines were enforcer issue robots that used to be man controlled, but where now able to work on their on. They weren’t quite A.I. but they could problem solve for seeking out targets and or being taken out by an enemy. They were used for common body guard protection in unit.

>Scan complete. Welcome Viceroy Minelli to site G Oxley safe house. Do you grant Enforcer 188762 Merci Gabrielle Trudeau entrance to safe house G?< The voice of the SAD hover was robotic and without emotion. The other SAD hover floated above Merci lowering itself behind her, two small compartments opened below a circular shaped glass eye that began to glow red. It was preparing to fire if the Viceroy said that Merci was an intruder. Viceroy Minelli looked over her shoulder at the second SAD hover before she spoke.

“Authorization to enter safe house G is given to Enforcer 188762 Merci Gabrielle Trudeau until otherwise revoked.” The Viceroy said. She looked over at Merci with pride. “We have two enforcers inside guarding Miss Basara. Two SAD hovers are on twenty four hour surveillance on the property. They have body heat, heartbeat, and DNA scan detection capabilities. No one is getting on this property without my permission!” The SAD hover took a few seconds to input the information that Viceroy gave before speaking.

>Affirmative! Enforcer 188762 Merci Gabrielle Trudeau is now authorized to enter safe house G until permission is revoked!< The two SAD hovers disappeared going into cloaked mode then floated back into strategic positions. Merci looked around the property briefly.

“The SAD hovers are a good addition, I won’t deny that. Are they the 011 models?” Merci asked.

The Viceroy seemed just a tad perturbed by Merci’s question. “No, both are the 07 models. Why do you ask?”

“The 011 are MAG clamp resistant. Any models below an 011 are not and can be shut down by the aggressive magnetic shock of a MAG clamp.” Merci replied.

“True, but I don’t think our mutate rapist is that tech savvy. Any SAD Hover can still be taken down by stronger magnetic waves. None of the victims ever reported that he used anything but his shape shifting abilities to commit the crimes.” The Viceroy cracked a firm smile. The two women walked up to the front door of the cabin, the door opened an a male enforcer walked out in greetings to both women. He was shorter than Merci with dark wavy hair and brown skin and a boyish look to his face which made him look younger than he was. His eyes were light brown and had an almost innocent look to them. Merci noticed the cleft on his chin and cracked a smile as she made a joke about it to herself. “This is enforcer Ramirez. Ramirez say hello to enforcer Trudeau.” Viceroy Minelli said coldly. If Merci didn’t know better she could have sworn that the Viceroy was jealous. The other enforcer quickly came out of the house upon hearing Merci being introduced.

“Holy shit! The famous enforcer with a vagina?” He said. Instantly Merci didn’t like him. He had an air to him that said he was an asshole in so many ways. She was never wrong about people. Viceroy Minelli gave him a stern look. 

“Enforcer Mills watch your manners! And why did you leave Miss Basara alone?” She said coldly. Enforcer Mills was a tall muscular man, very attractive and he knew it. He was average height, his hair was all shaved off leaving a frizzy coat all over his head. His skin was dark, his eyes brown. When he smiled Merci had never seen teeth so white. 

“The Muslim chick is taking a shower, she gets all worked up if she thinks you can see her skin.” Enforcer Mills said, but he spoke in a derogatory sense. The Viceroy frowned quickly walking up to Enforcer Mills she stared him down.

“You will refer to her as Miss Basara, not as the Muslim chick ever again! Respect what she has been through, respect her religious beliefs! We are governed protectors of the people! Respect is something we command, and something that we also give to others who are deserving! Is that understood?” She stared him in the eye as he nodded yes. Merci walked up breaking the tension.

“I would like to speak to Miss Basara.” Merci said. Viceroy Minelli looked over at her curiously.

“She’s in the shower.” 

“With all due respect Viceroy every minute that passes without me questioning her she could easily forget something.”

“There is a full report of first contact by the Investigations team.” The Viceroy didn’t like being challenged in front of her men. 

“I will still feel better once I am able to question her myself.” Merci wasn’t going to back down, but she kept it respectful. 

-Warning! I detect an explosive in the cabin that is primed!- Barry said in Merci’s earpiece, he triggered a high alert alarm. The cabin exploded sending the enforcers to the ground before Merci could even warn the others. She could feel the heat from the explosion on her face, her vision was blurry. Struggling to get her focus she touched her earpiece. 

“Barry, scan the fire for survivors.” Merci said gasping for air. 

-Remains are detected. DNA scan confirms that the remains are Fatima Aaliyah Basara.- Barry said.

Merci pounded the ground with her fist angrily. The enforcers started to slowly stand as they drew their guns from their holsters, none of them had been hurt by the explosion thanks to their battle suits absorbing the brunt of the force. 

“This is just fucking great!” Enforcer Mills said. ” A bullet shot through the middle of his eyes reeling him backward falling to the ground, his lifeless hand still gripped his weapon. Upon seeing this the remaining enforcers dropped to the ground laying flat, Enforcer Ramirez looked up at the tree tops. 

“That shot came from a high vantage point, the shooter has to be in the trees!” Enforcer Ramirez said. A bullet hit him right between the eyes after he spoke . His head bucked from the bullet impact before falling to the ground. A single trickle of blood slowly made its way from the hole down the side of his face going past one of his eyes that stared blankly off, there was no longer any sign of life in them. Viceroy Minelli looked up at the SAD hovers frustrated. 

“Command code 43, seek and destroy perpetrator that shot and killed Enforcer Ramirez and Miles!” She yelled out to the SAD hovers. Merci dove at the Viceroy grabbing her by the arm while rolling, a bullet hit where the Viceroy’s body had just been barely missing her. If not for Merci’s quick thinking the Viceroy would be dead. Merci came to her feet unleashing a barrage of laser fire in the direction the bullet came. The lasers were not deadly, they exploded causing bright flashes which bought Merci and Viceroy Minelli time to get cover behind the BRC. The Viceroy was angry at the current situation, looking over at the SAD hovers she shook her head. 

“I don’t get it, the hovers are just circling slowly! I think they have been hacked!” She yelled. Merci thought about what Viceroy Minelli just said and realized that her BRC warned them of the explosion but soon after did not warn them of the sniper. 

“Barry, can you detect the shooter?” Merci asked while she kept her back pressed against the vehicle with her head low.

-I’m afraid not Miss Trudeau. All systems are failing. I detected a violent radio wave after the explosion and shut my systems down briefly to protect my core against it.- 

The core was the brain behind any artificial intelligence. All A.I. were built with the capability of protecting itself from harm against destruction. Those degrees of protection varied on each situation. Against humans unless otherwise instructed no A.I. was programmed to use lethal force to protect itself. 

“Do you have any systems up besides core?” 

-Just air detection, the radio waves are still hanging in this area. If I were to open all systems I’d end up mindless as those SAD hovers above. I would like to offer aid, or even open your heavy weapons cache in the trunk but if I did I would shut down completely and my core would be lost. I still can if you need the heavy weapons Miss Trudeau.-

“No just wait until the waves are gone, I can get by with my MU12.” Merci responded. 

“That bomb had an electromagnetic radio pulse! It’s one of the only things that could damage a BRC’s core, or do what it did to the hovers!” Viceroy Minelli said flustered, she slid against the BRC hunched over next to Merci. Merci looked at her surroundings, trees were everywhere which meant there was cover. She looked down at her watch, it was blank. This confirmed the Viceroy’s theory. Her MU12 had a computer system, that part was shut down. But there was also a manual override. 

“Barry, how much time until the waves dissipate?” Merci asked. A bullet ricocheted off of the hood of the BRC near Merci. 

-A total of twelve minutes before the wave has ended.- 

“When it does track the shooter and lay down cover fire or shoot to kill if this isn’t over by then!” 

-Copy that Miss Trudeau!- Barry said. Merci started to move off to the side of the BRC when Viceroy Minelli grabbed her arm firmly.

“What are you planning?” The Viceroy said. The two women locked eyes.

“I plan on bringing this piece of shit down! We won’t be able to get any backup here until Barry can call it in. That won’t be for twelve minutes including the travel time for back up. The sniper could easily reposition before then and take us both out!” 

The Viceroy didn’t hesitate. “I’ll go the opposite way, we’ll close in on him!” 

“So much for this guy not being tech savvy eh?” Merci said with a wink before taking off. Viceroy Minelli took off the other direction. They both had enforcer issue MU12 hand guns. Unlike civilian guns that were still projectile weapons, military and law enforcement carried guns that shot lasers that could be set to stun or kill modes. The MU12 also could be set to release stun flashes. Merci and the Viceroy both shot into the trees in front of them releasing another barrage of stun flashes. A bullet flew hitting the Viceroy in the shoulder, she spun then caught her balance before diving for cover behind a tree. 

“I’m hit!” Viceroy Minelli yelled out. Although the battle suit took the bullet and absorbed some of the impact it still hurt pretty good. The hit slowed her down, she had to catch her breath and fight through the pain.

“How the hell did the sniper see through the flash stuns?” Merci thought to herself. A bullet sped toward Merci as she ran for cover it clipped the back of her lower leg, she dove for cover, stinging pain sounded off from where the bullet hit. Doing a dive roll she got behind a tree when she stood, laying her back against the tree she rubbed her leg where the bullet hit her. It hurt pretty bad but she wasn’t injured. The battle suit did its job. Taking deep breaths she rubbed her leg. Looking over she saw that the Viceroy was ok, she waited until they had eye contact to know it was time to press on. Another bullet sounded off speeding toward the Viceroy, this time Merci was able to get an exact location. Not far from her was a hooded figure in the tree tops in front of her. They were green camouflage that helped them blend in better making it more difficult to see them. Merci switched her gun to stun mode, if she could take him alive she wanted to. Aiming her gun the sniper turned toward her, it was too dark under the hood to see his face , his scope pointed right at her. She pulled the trigger firing repeatedly at the sniper, he pulled the trigger once. His bullet sped off toward Merci. Her lasers hit him dead on causing him to shake from the volts that went through his body, he rocked back then fell heavily to the ground below. His bullet found its mark at her MU12 as she moved to the side. The gun was knocked out of her hand falling to the ground. She saw that the sniper was hit, looking down at her gun she saw that it was useless, the bullet hit the center breaking the charger which kept the gun powered. Viceroy Minelli saw her time to act once the sniper fell from the tree, she rushed forward with the speed that the battle suit provided. The hooded figure stood up swatting his arm at her. She brought her arm up for protection just as the strike came at her. She ducked underneath the arm shooting right at the stomach of the sniper who did not seem fazed, he reached out grabbing her by the throat lifting her easily off of the ground. Viceroy Minelli swung her leg over his arm spinning while breaking his grip on her throat. She attempted to break his arm. He kneeled swiftly slamming her to the ground knocking the wind out of her. Merci yelled out catching his attention. As he turned to look he was met with a swift spinning hook kick to the face which knocked his hood off, at last she could see the rapists face. Pulling her foot back she felt a throbbing pain in her heel from kicking the mutate. But once she looked at the face she knew it wasn’t a mutate at all. There was no face, just a smooth black metallic surface. It was the face plate of an N09. An android bodyguard that wealthy civilians used for protection. Drug lords used them as hit men as well. N09’s were illegal unless you had a permit to have one, but that didn’t matter to the underworld lords that got them illegally anyway. N09’s were stronger and faster than an enforcer in a battle suit so by law they had to have strength and speed adjusted to human levels. Seeing the N09 made Merci wonder if the mutate was even here at all, but if he was that meant there was a new problem. 

The N09 quickly stood reaching out for Merci’s leg, she stepped back avoiding its grab. It stepped forward throwing a front kick, Merci was able to keep up and side stepped. She wasn’t going to kick it again, it would just end up hurting her foot. The android swiftly threw punches and kicks picking up his speed. Merci could keep up at first until finally she was hit in the stomach, she staggered back trying to fight off the dizziness. The N09 struck her across her face, blood spurted from her mouth she fell to the ground. The Viceroy stood up fighting off her pain to assist Merci. The N09 delivered a swift back kick without even turning dropping Viceroy Minelli once again. Quickly walking over and picking up its sniper rifle the N09 pointed it at Merci. 

-All systems online. Tracking target. Target locked. Releasing mini rail gun.- Barry said in Merci’s earpiece. The mini rail gun popped out from the right side of the front hood of the BRC and started spinning. A tracking laser was pointed right at the N09’s face plate. A bombardment of laser fire shot at the face plate with deadly precision filling it with holes. The firing continued for thirty seconds exactly before stopping. Smoke fumed from all of the countless holes in the face plate. The sound of the N09 powering down calmed Merci who was still on her knees. 

-Oxley substation has been notified, reinforcements will arrive in fifteen minutes. N09 systems core is terminated. No other threats are detected in the area. Full fifty mile radius scan detects no threats. One hundred mile radius no threats detected…-

“Ok I get it Barry. Stop threat scan!” Merci commanded. She forced herself to stand up. Walking over to the still standing N09 he looked it over. Viceroy Minelli was still down trying to recoup from the kick to her stomach. She looked over at the Viceroy walking to her. “Are you ok?” She asked leaning down. Viceroy Minelli looked up with a sour smile.

“My pride is bruised but I’m alive.”

“The mutate is a lot more tech savvy and well prepared than any of us thought possible. He is no longer just a civilian threat. What he did today proves he is a national threat!”

“You know the board will ask questions about this incident.” Viceroy Minelli said finally sitting up. 

“Yea, all that formality bull shit.” Merci said glancing back over at the N09, then looking at the smoldering cabin that was still on fire. 

“They will say that we need to know without a doubt that this was him.” The Viceroy said looking over all of the destruction that was caused. Merci’s face fumed while looking at Viceroy Minelli.

“Who the fuck else could it be? The victim was killed before anyone else!” 

“Yea but you know procedure.” The Viceroy said it calmly in an attempt to calm down Merci. 

“Yea, yea. It doesn’t matter, that fucker is still at large. And he has guaranteed my permanent stay until I catch him!” Her mind was already working on her next plan of action. She shrugged off the pain and soreness of her body preparing for the long hours that would lead up to the apprehension of her most prized suspect. 
Merci was resting in her hotel room sipping on some rum, she’d just taken a shower and it was time to get some much needed sleep, her first day was a full one. Her mind kept playing back over a few clues that she picked up at safe house G. She was in her robe sitting on the edge of the bed. Her earpiece lit up and started buzzing. Looking over at the desk where the earpiece rested she took a few sips from her drink then stood up and walked over picking up her earpiece putting it in her ear. 

-It is Viceroy Minelli Miss Trudeau.- Barry said from the earpiece.

“Put her through.” 

-Yes ma’am.- 

“What’s up?” Merci said once she knew the Viceroy was on. She was off duty and did not feel like being formal. Her body was sore and she was tired from the days events. 

“I know it’s late, but I thought maybe you’d like some top shelf vodka?” The Viceroy asked.

“Well I’m sipping on some rum, I’m about to head to sleep.” Merci said kindly suggesting that she just wanted some rest.

“The board contacted me about thirty minutes ago. They agreed unanimously that the mutate rapist was involved with the events that took place today.”

“Well good, it is so obvious.” Merci said feeling vindicated.

“Let’s not celebrate just yet. The board also are suggesting that a team of enforcers be put on the case to find the mutate rapist. But you are not one of them. And possibly calling in an elite humanitie to bring down the mutate.”

“What?” Merci said surprised. “Director Clemons assigned this case to me! I’d like to see the board try to overturn that!”

There was a knock at her door, walking over she touched the video screen to see who it was, upon seeing that it was Viceroy Minelli she opened the door. Merci wasn’t surprised that the Viceroy had gotten there so quickly, she might have already been waiting when she called. The Viceroy was holding a bottle of vodka and a disappointed stare. Merci chugged the rest of her rum then looked at the bottle of vodka.

“Can I have some of that now?” Merci asked flustered. The Viceroy laughed giving Merci the bottle. Merci turned walking over to the desk placing her glass down so she could break the seal of the vodka bottle. “So those fucks want to try to take my case?”

Viceroy Minelli walked in shutting the door behind her. She watched Merci pour herself a glass noticing that her robe was open exposing her frontal areas of her nude body. Merci did not care, she turned holding her glass toward the Viceroy. 

“I take this case personally now! That fucking mutate made me look bad today, I won’t stop until I’ve caught him!” She drank the small shot then continued. “Even if they succeed in taking me off this case I will still go after this asshole!” She sat the glass back down pouring herself another shot bracing the cup with one hand as she poured. Viceroy Minelli stared at Merci in admiration.

“So full of fire and determination, the red hair suits you.” The Viceroy said softly. Merci picked up on the romantic tone of the Viceroys voice. Closing her robe she lifted the glass swigging down the vodka. 

“Viceroy.” Merci said. 

“Please we’re off duty, call me Italia.” The Viceroy said endearingly. 


“Yea, my parents were proud Italians. My father went to the extremes I suppose.” 

“We have already established that you want to fuck me, and possibly under different circumstances we might have fooled around. But two things. One, although I have been known to play with chicks, dicks are my toy of preference. And two, I have to be in the mood for pussy, I just can’t jump into it.” Merci staggered feeling her body draining. Her muscles started to feel stiff and heavy. 

“Oh my dear Merci, I will be able to fulfill your dick request.” The Viceroy smiled wickedly, Merci saw a different look in those eyes that were brown before, now they were blue. Merci looked over past the bed where her battle suit was plugged into the wall sitting on a chair. Her gun was resting beside it. Merci’s vision blurred for a moment. 

“What ssid you give me?” She struggled to say, her words we slurred. The Viceroy laughed. 

“You have about ten minutes before complete paralysis. The drug works quickly, and it will last for eight hours. The longer you are upright, and the more you move or talk, the quicker the drug works.” Merci tried to jump for her gun but ended up falling heavily onto the bed, more laughter came from Viceroy Minelli. “It’s already taken hold of your motor skills thanks to that little attempt. If you stay still you might be able to move in small motions but that means you would have to crawl at extremely slow speeds to go get help.”

“Barry…” Merci fought to say, her voice was weak.  

“I used my rank to have your BRC shut down, then I wiped its memory before terminating the core. You will be getting no help tonight!” 

Merci slowly rolled over facing the Viceroy who laughed at the spectacle of how hard it was for Merci to move. 

“You just helped the drug work the much faster with that little manuver.” 

“Who…?” Merci forced out, then she could no longer speak. She was able to slowly move her head onto her pillow. The Viceroy made sure the door was locked then moved closer to Merci. 

“Who am I? Is that what you are trying to ask? I am Mark Taylor, the real Italia Minelli is a few miles from here resting at the bottom of Lake Hope and has been for the past two and a half years. Now look upon the man who brought the great Merci Trudeau down!” The Viceroy’s body shape morphed into a thinner yet taller shape. The face moved about like water being disturbed until a new face shifted. A long face, thin features and pale skin. Dirty blonde hair that was shoulder length. 

“You know..” his voice was deep. “I was starting to get bored. I was never going to get caught. But then Director Clemons called me bragging about the great enforcer Merci Trudeau. He said that you would come and bring the mutate scourge to justice, he was so sure of this. It made me excited! To see if you were any good, if you were the legend that the director made you out to be.” The mutate stared at Merci coldly, a crooked smile formed at the side of his mouth. “You failed miserably. But I decided that I would give you the fire needed to make this the greater cat and mouse game!” He undressed, Merci looked down at his penis that started growing. 

“Being a shape shifter has its advantages. Twelve thick inches should do the job. I want you to be sore, a reminder that you are carrying my child. Of course if you terminate the pregnancy the game will still be quite the thrill!” He started walking closer to the bed when three lasers broke from the pillow striking him right in the penis. Blood flowed from him, he put his hands over the bloodied area, blood poured through the crevasses of his fingers. He shivered, eyes wide in disbelief before dropping to the floor dead. 

Merci was not for sure if the Viceroy was involved, but she knew that the mutate had infiltrated the substation. The N09 had a seal on its leg that showed it had been confiscated by the Oxley susstation which meant it had been programmed by an enforcer to kill Fatama Basara. Also there was no way that the mutate could have found Miss Basara that quickly, he would have needed help on the inside. Merci didn’t know who the mutate was but she took no chances. She hid a pistol under her pillow just in case she received a visitor while she slept. She was still shocked that the mutate was the late Viceroy Minelli. Closing her eyes to rest she felt vindicated, she had taken down another criminal. The only thing that frustrated her was the fact that she couldn’t smoke a cigarette.