Far Horizons: Tales of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror. Issue #13 April 2015 - Page 56

units. He felt the gentle 1g push as the shuttle headed out for its destination. Colfax shut his eyes, next stop Ceres. Ceres base had seen better days and those hadn’t been much at the best of times. The only people who used it were miners, suits, and the pimps and hookers that followed the money. Colfax liked the place. He found a bar and sat down with a bourbon to go over the information that had followed him there, downloading onto his system the minute he cleared customs. In the infpack was a ticket to his next destination, a mining colony called Little Bronx. A brief message from Bennett told him that a narc had told them that the target was there. Bennett’s message advised caution; the target was a manipulator of minds, and there was little doubt he would have muscle around him. It didn’t bother Colfax, muscle had a core, and the core would be the target. The other information was more of a problem, nanosurgery. The target had bought a large stake in an outfit Earth-side and it was probable that he had used them to change his appearance from what even Bennett’s paymasters thought. Even worse, the surgery could have altered the target’s DNA making the detector useless. It looked like it would be a hard slog to find the target. Colfax emptied the glass and waved the barman over. “Another, thanks.” “Sure.” The barman put a glass on the table and filled it. “Where ya headed?” Colfax thought for a moment about saying he should mind the bar not someone else’s business, then thought better of it. Being open might be better cover; a man with a secret would draw attention that he didn’t need. “Little Bronx.” The barman shrugged. “I won’t ask why since it’s mid-shift and there ain’t nothing there to see so you have to be looking for someone, right?” “Yep.” “Personal or business?” PAGE 56 “I thought you weren’t going to ask,” Colfax said. “I lied. Besides, I’m a barman, we always ask questions.” “It’s a favour for my sister. She’s got a message for my son-of-a-bitch brother-in-law.” “Personal then.” The barman poured another measure into Colfax’s glass. “You won’t be the only one after some asshole up here who’s run out on their wife. They give mining a bad name. That’s on the house.” Colfax smiled. “Thanks buddy.” He rose and picked up his bag. “Wish me luck.” “Good luck mister,” the barman served another customer, Colfax was already forgotten. The shuttle to Little Bronx was small, a twenty-seater. Normally full of miners, it only had Colfax and a few execs. Colfax found a seat in the back and leant back for the three-hour flight to his target. Colfax hoped the man was unaware Colfax was coming. The flight was uneventful. Colfax had two coffees, three beers, and by the time they came onto final approach, the numbers of both attendants. Fifteen minutes later, the shuttle had landed and docked. Standing in the back of the small group waiting for the doors to open, Colfax readied his mind for anything that might come his way. It had served him well so far and it would again. The doors opened and the five passengers walked out onto the concourse and stopped dead. Colfax realised then he had walked into a total, complete clusterfuck. His target was a manipulator all right, but not only of minds. He was also a manipulator of DNA. He had changed everyone to look the same as he did. It was a needle in a haystack like Colfax had feared, but where the haystack was made entirely of needles.