Author : Julian Miles, Staff Writer

The rage in her eyes has faded. My head is in her lap. From the look on her face, she’s realised it too.

“You stupid bastard.” Her voice is hoarse. My last throat-chop had been vicious.

We were both ultimates. For rival corporations. It was inevitable that we’d clash. This rain- and wind-swept ruin was the setting for our twenty minute battle. I spent the first few minutes running, having seen my mother’s face on my adversary.

“I thought you looked familiar.” She’s crying.

I swallow and smile. “You too.”

“Cleveland Bight?”

I nod and wince.

“With dad?”

I nod slowly. “Only for a little while. He wasn’t as good as he thought. Pilmarken took him down and adopted me as his protégé.”

Her face goes white with shock. “Mum turned down Pilmarken several times just after dad took you. The last time, he said we’d all be sorry.”

“What happened to him?”

“Napalmed in a dead-end alley.”

I smile at her. “Saves us having to kill him.”

She nods and smiles. “You’re not dying?”

I check my diagnostics. I had been. “Not any more. You came closest.”

I see my mum’s righteous grin on her face. “Too right. What now?”


“Swearing won’t – oh, of course.”

The Vory-Triad alliance has been desperate for ultimates. A brother-sister team with inside knowledge of two corporations? We’re a bargain no matter what we ask for.

“If you pull your cyber-breaker out of my lower spine, I can make the intercontinental on my own legs and do my share of the fighting on the way.”

Her eyes go wide and she gasps. “Oh crap! Sorry.”

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