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Chapter 10

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      Tristan walked through the city. He didn't have to hurry; Alex believed that Jack's interview would take most of the afternoon. He made a stop to buy the memory chips he was going to need for the programs he would create over the next few days.

      After that he headed directly for one of the worst part of the city. He didn't worry about being accosted by the city's unwanted, the first time he'd been this way he had sent a clear message that he wasn't someone they wanted to mess with.

      He arrived to an old office building in the middle of the afternoon. It wasn't much to look at; most of the windows had been boarded over and the brick work was slowly falling apart. No one who looked at it in passing would guess business was being conducted inside.

      He walked in, and went up to the second floor. The receptionist at the top of the stairs was an old human female; she looked at him and then indicated the door at the end of the corridor with a nod. The previous time Tristan had been here she had fawned over him, making unveiled advances. He had made certain she knew they were unwanted.

      Behind the door she indicated was Harry's laboratory. Tristan closed the door and stayed near it. The only thing he recognized in the room was Harry's computer, a Celaran, not quite top of the line. He knew the rest were equipment he used for the bio-genetic work he did, but Tristan couldn't even hazard a guess as to what they did.

      The wall opposite where he stood was a glass partition, behind which Harry was working. Tristan waited for him to look up and see him. Harry was an older human, almost completely bald and so thin he looked sick. The man saw him as he reached for a beaker on shelf. He indicated he would only be a few moments more.

      Tristan nodded, he didn't mind waiting.

      In his youth Harry had worked for the Wandering Medics, a fleet of medical ship, which went from the site of one catastrophe to another rendering aid. Harry had excelled at creating serums to help the doctors, but he'd quickly discovered that there was much more money to be made by coming up with various illegal substances and selling them on the black market. When his superiors got wind of this he was kicked out. It didn't' stop him, he opened this laboratory and immediately sold his services to the more powerful criminal organization in the area.

      Tristan had found him going through the files he had copied from Mitch's computer. Mitch had compiled the human's extensive history, with indications as to which areas were the most apt to blackmail. Tristan wasn't surprised Mitch had employed blackmail to get what he wanted out of Harry. He hadn't used the same tactic; he didn't see a need to earn the man's anger when he could pay for his services.

      Harry stepped through the decontamination field before opening the glass door. "How did the pheromones work?"

      "They performed as you said they would," Tristan answered, "I'm here for other order I placed."

      Harry took out a vial from a locked cabinet. "I hope you realize how much work it took to find the right virus for what you want."

      Tristan watched the man carefully as he turned and displayed the vial. "Are you looking to renegotiate the price we agreed upon?" he asked with a noticeable edge to his tone.

      "No, no!" the human said quickly enough Tristan could tell that was exactly what he had been planing. "I just thought you would appreciate the effort this took."

      Tristan's gaze didn't waver, "I do." He said flatly. "What did you use?"

      "I started with the Ourobora Flu, it isn't indigenous, but it's close enough to something local that no one will question it. It can incubate within your body, but you won't suffer any of the symptoms since your specie is immune to it."

      "What is the incubation period?"

      "Its standard incubation time is three days, I was able to double it. After six days you're going to be contagious, but I can't guaranty how long it'll take your victim to come down with it; it'll depend on their own resistance. For him it could be a little quicker or slower. I hope that's going to be long enough."

      Tristan nodded, ten days would give him plenty of time to write the programs he needed, anything after that would just let Luminex's security grow more lax. "The effect?"

      "You wanted something that would hit him hard, within twelve hours of the first signs appearing, he's going to be bedridden. He's going to suffer with aches, shills, clamminess extreme fatigue for about two days and then he's going to get better. As long as he doesn't see a doctor when the symptoms start he's going to be out of action for probably three days."

      "How is it transmitted?"

      "Bodily fluids, like you requested."

      Tristan took out a money chip and handed it to the human, "Inject me with it."

      Harry inserted the chip in his computer and watched the screen as the amount they agreed upon transferred to his account. When the transfer was complete he handed it back to him.

      Tristan didn't worry about the money being traced back to him. When money chips were introduced they were hailed as the best way to keep track to where money went. Each chip was suppose to keep track of each transaction, both where the money came from and where the money went, it also tagged the transfer with it's own ID so law enforcement could find all the transaction a specific chip did. Those were suppose to prevent them from being used for illegal activities, but it didn't take long for criminals to find various ways around it.

      Tristan's chip introduced a program in the bank system with the transfer. Once it was complete it broke down the amount and spread the provenance to hundreds of different establishment, each one with a different chip ID.

      Harry attached to vial to an injector and applied it against Tristan's neck. Tristan kept watching him for signs of nervousness, or any other indicator that he might attempt to betray him. He didn't expect him to do so, but he never trusted anyone completely. Harry didn't behave in any way to indicate he had an ulterior motive so Tristan let him inject him.

      With their business concluded he left.

      * * * * *

      Jack opened the door to the scent of food. Alex poked his head out from the kitchen after he'd closed the door.

      "How'd it go?" he asked jovially.

      Jack shrugged, "ok, I guess." He replied without enthusiasm.

      Alex joined him in the entryway. "What's wrong? Did they turn you down?"

      "Not exactly, but they have other candidates to evaluate before they make a decision."

      Alex hugged him, "at least it's not outright bad news, when will they let you know?"

      "They said two weeks, I had to give them your com number," he said, slightly embarrassed, "I hope you don't mind."

      Alex pulled away a little and looked up at him, "Of course I don't mind," he replied smiling. "That means I get to enjoy your company for that much longer."

      Jack smiled back and traced Alex's cheek with the back of a finger, "thank you. I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't met you." He bent down and kissed him.

      Alex was happy to return it. "Think nothing of it Jack," he said when they separated, "you're probably the best thing that's happened to me."

      Jack started to say something, but sniffed the air instead. "What are you cooking?" he asked.

      Alex cursed and ran to the kitchen. "You're nose just saved these steaks," Alex said when Jack joined him, "have a seat I still have to tend to these for a while. What did they ask you about?"

      "They asked about my people," Jack said in the opening, his eyes fixed on Alex's back as he moved in front of the stove, "my planet, what I know about Glacomel, what I thought I could do for them. Lots of stuff I though were pretty useless." He moved behind him and wrapped his arms around Alex's chest.

      "What are you doing?" Alex asked him with a smile

      Jack nibbled on Alex's neck, "showing you just how grateful I am for your friendship."

      Alex moaned, "Jack, we should wait until after we've eaten." He tried to move away.

      Jack growled and held him tighter. He continued nibbling and licking Alex's neck while undoing the human's pants with a hand.

      "Jack," Alex pleaded again through his moaning, "please, we can't burn the steaks."

      Jack went down to his knees, pulling Alex's pants and underwear down. He was going to show him how little he cared about food at the moment.

      Alex was using the counter to hold himself up while he caught his breath, a little sadden Jack had released him, but at least now he could look after the steaks. He looked down as he felt fur move against his ass, only now realizing his pants were at his ankles.

      His hands tightened against the edge of the counter in surprised by the pleasurable feeling of the alien's tongue liking him somewhere very private. "J, J, Jack!" was all he was able to exclaim with a squeak in his voice.

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