She walked in while I was cleaning my gun; Pulse-Settler .37, with a tight smooth body, all the right curves, a wide, unforgiving mouth, and a cold, deathly gaze — the gun not the girl. The girl was ok; a little too short and a little too young for my taste. I prefer them tall – taller than me – and old, not too old, just older than me. She was neither. She was no more than half my age and just a bit beyond half my height. Her hair was tied back in a sloppy ponytail, revealing her icy blue eyes and tightly rolled cheek bones. She moved toward my desk, her hips swaying excessively, her eyes dancing and sparkling as if bits of silver dust had embedded themselves somewhere in the rings of her irises. Then, almost instantly, she was standing before me, leaning close, her hand gently stroking my rifle.
With her other hand, she brushed my cheek gently as she whispered in my ear, “I need your help.”
Subtle hints of lavender and rose wafted from her alabaster skin as her ruby lips opened and closed just beside my earlobe. Her voice sent shivers over my skin. I could tell she was in trouble, but still her words did not tremble. She was calm, cool, collected.
I moved her hand from off my palladium muzzle and offered her a seat.
She sat, finding the only chair in the office painted in darkness.
I looked upward and to her left, light bulb was probably out. Figured I’d deal with it in the morning, after I helped this girl. It seemed very important that I help her.
I returned my attention to her. She was but one stocking-clad leg, nervously jumping up and down, jutting out from the shadows.
“What’s your trouble?” I asked the leg.
“Can I smoke?”
She wasn’t asking. The lighter flashed, once more revealing her icy blue eyes. A slender cigarette was nested between her soft, moist lips. She stared at me. Then she was gone. The flame had retreated and only the single breathing, red spot remained.
I moved my shoulders in a shrug of indifference as she puffed away.
She told me her story. Her voice sharply contrasted the obvious nervousness in her limbs. She spoke calmly as her shaking leg chased her burning cigarette upward with each quick jerk.
She told me of her father and his Last Will and Testament. She spoke of the man who married her father just before he died, and finally she spoke of her trouble.
“He stole it from me.” Her voice broke as she said the words.
It was all pretty standard. Nothing that should have concerned me, but somehow it did. I was determined to help her.
But, I still needed to ask, “Why me?”
She cooed, “I’ve heard about you. I need a judge, someone with an intuition chip, someone to see the truth. I know you’re the one for the job.”
“All right, I’m yours.”
I said it without hesitation. I knew she was telling the truth. If she wasn’t, my chip would’ve told me.
I added, “It’s five-hundred now and one-thousand once you’ve got what’s yours.”
She nearly jumped across the room, throwing herself in my lap. She tucked a current, five-hundred bill in my pocket.
“Thank you so much,” she whispered as she kissed me hard on the lips. She wasn’t my type, but wow did that kiss make me melt. It made my lips tingle, my hands go numb, and my stomach turn with butterflies.
Then the room went dark.
I woke up in my father’s study, my stomach still turning. I knew it was his because of the awful parquet floor he designed.
I heard papers shuffling somewhere beside me. I turned my eyes in the direction of the sound. There she was. She was waist deep in my father’s safe. She must’ve heard me looking at her because she threw herself around, stabbing me with her icy blue eyes.
“Where is it?” she snarled.
I was going to end this right now. I wasn’t one to ask questions. I reached my hand into my coat pocket, but it wasn’t there. I didn’t have my gun.
“Looking for this?”
She pulled the small cube from under her bra. It unfolded into the three-foot, palladium-coated barrel and rubber coated trigger grip of my Pulse-Settler .37. The side gauge was glowing hot with the green carbon isotopes inside, waiting to be fired, waiting to incinerate.
Fortunately for me, only my DNA could fire the weapon. Without the right genetic code, she’d just be sedated; knocked out instantly.
I watched her finger depress the trigger.
The floor beside my head became a ring of green fire with an empty center. I could see what was left of the pipes and wires inside, and beyond them, the Persian rug on the hardwood of the floor below us.
I was vapor.
She fired again, this time the beam went just above my head. I could smell my singed hairs.
She lowered my weapon.
With it resting ready at her side she said, “I can’t believe it worked. You had no idea. It’s brilliant what they can do these days. It even let me fire your precious gun.”
She moved her free hand to her eyes, rubbing them clockwise. As she did, her clothing changed. Her stockings dissolved into pleated, black slacks. Her sandy ponytail was reduced to a short, black, crew-cut. Her silver dusted, icy blue eyes became black, cold. She had become a he.
There, standing before me was my half-brother.
He laughed, “I never thought I’d be able to fool an Ex-Judge. I just needed you to get in here; a little truth serum and a sedative and you told me everything I needed to know. Your father stole from me.”
Raising my Pulse-Settler .37, he said, “I’m getting even,” and pulled the trigger one last time.