Happy Birthday, you're dead

(or a funny thing happened to Geoff on his way to a surprise birthday party.)

Part 4.


March 9th 0635

Joey gasped as Eclipse turned and moved towards him. "What was that?" He asked.

"Some one was spying on us," Eclipse answered as he tossed Joey a blanket. "Wrap him up tight, we're going to have to get out of here."

Joey wrapped the blanket around Geoff as Eclipse gathered up his gear. Geoff was struggling again and his fever had risen dangerously high. "He's getting worse," Joey stated worriedly.

"I know," Eclipse answered as he tried to think. "But the drugs should have washed out of his system by now."

"Well they haven't," Joey answered. "I've screwed this whole damn thing up."

"Not you, me." Eclipse looked around and handed Joey a map. "You're going to have to take him here for me," he stated as he pointed to a storm grate several blocks from where they were. "I'll meet you there with the doc. Can you handle it?"

Joey thought about it for a moment. "There's no other choice," he agreed as he lifted Geoff into a fireman's carry. Eclipse paused until he was sure Joey could support his brother's weight, then he left.


Doc Waters looked at his watch and smiled. He expected to hear from Eclipse any time now, and this time he was ready. He'd contacted the powers that be and had managed to wrangle a deal for 1.2 million credits. It was going to be a profitable evening indeed. The thing his contact didn't know was that Geoffrey Mays was already as good as dead.

He tried to look surprised when Eclipse showed up, and it wasn't difficult. He had a way of just being there when you least expected him.

"Eclipse?" he exclaimed in surprise.

Eclipse nodded curtly as he looked around the office. "Need you doc." He said.

"I'll get my bag."


Tracker and Boomer kept their surveillance on the van as they monitored the search party's progress. They had started in the area directly under the van and branched out. Tracker wasn't sure, but he suspected that every Wilson family member over the age of 20 was involved in the search.

Boomer just looked at him and grinned. "And the hits keep coming," he stated as another small group rounded the corner and then slipped into the storm drain.

"We need to keep the street clear," Tracker reminded him worriedly. "Eclipse is even more paranoid than I am."

"You know the man?" Boomer asked quietly.

"Only by reputation," Tracker answered softly. "Only by reputation."

"And what is his reputation?"

"In and out jobs, hit and run. Always professional, always people he thinks deserve it."

"Then why Geoff," Boomer asked, the irritation showing in his voice.

"He didn't kill Geoff," Tracker pointed out. "Although I've never heard of him doing protection work before."

"Yeah, but he shot Duck readily enough."

"She's taken harder," Tracker reminded him. "And she was wearing her vest."

"I thought Bear said they were going to be going climbing," Boomer countered.

"We're talkin' about Duck here," Tracker reminded him. "She'd wear her vest swimming if she could figure out how. Especially if she was going with Bear."

Boomer chuckled,"you've got a point there."


Joey leaned against the wall for support as he tried to get his bearings. Geoff was getting harder to carry as he began thrashing around, and if that weren't enough he could hear people in the tunnels, and they were coming his way. He knew that he couldn't let them find Geoff, or his life would end, there in the storm drains under the city. The man deserved better.

'Just two more blocks,' he told himself. 'If we could have made it two more blocks. Geoff'd be safe, then we just wait for my birthday, I'd be of age, and I could control the money. Cancel this insanity.'

His uncle and cousins were the worst. They acted like they were doing the world a favor. Made themselves feel important and salve their conscience and the same time.

He hated them. More now than ever. They were greedy vultures before, and now... Its no wonder Geoff wanted nothing to do with them.

"Come on Geoff," he urged as he pushed himself back up. "We have to get out of here."

"Leave me," Geoff whispered huskily. "You'll never make it with me like this. Think about the others. Davy, use your head."

Joey tried to figure out the rantings. "Easy Geoff, we're almost there." He tried to move quickly, but Geoff was getting harder and harder to carry. Then he heard the footsteps around the corner. He started to turn, but there were lights behind him as well.

"Hold it right there," he heard a voice growl from behind him.

"I'll pay you anything," Joey pleaded. "Just leave him alone. I'll give you double whatever they're paying you."

"Double," one of the voices questioned with a laugh. Joey steeled himself as they surrounded him and looked at them defiantly.

"Leave him alone," Joey yelled as one of the men lifted Geoff off of his shoulders.

The man seemed to ignore him as he half supported Geoff. "Easy Ten, I got ya... I got ya,"the man said.

"Davy?" Geoff asked weakly.

"Yeah man, I got ya." Joey watched as the others cleared an area around them and the man turned. He could see the question in the man's eyes even as he mouthed Geoff's name in disbelief, then turned back to Geoff.

One of the others gently placed a hand on his shoulder and pulled him aside.

"Gina, I need a hot link back to the clinic now!" Davy called into the comm-link.

"Transport in 2, on your mark." Came the reply.

"Mark." Davy answered and they were gone.

"Who?" Joey asked in confusion.

"Wilson," the man next to him answered. "We look after our own."

"You're all," he started to ask.

"Ever'last lovin' one a us," another man answered. "Man, don't he look like Geoff?"

"Backer Brothers this is Rico, target has been obtained. Catch y'all later,"the first man stated into the comm-link.

The others started to drift back the way they'd come and Joey just watched in silence. Within a few minutes it was only him and the two men standing on either side of him. The one called Rico turned.

"Joseph, right?" he asked.

"Yeah," Joey answered in a confused voice.

"Come on, we'll tell you all about Geoff on our way back."


"Back to base. You want to see him don't you? That was what this was all about wasn't it?"

"That and to protect him. He won't be safe until the 12th of next month.

"What happens then?"

"On the 12th I turn eighteen. The rider on the will is no longer valid. You have to keep them away until then."

The second man smiled. "I think we'll keep this one," he said as he looked up at Rico.

"Rabbit," Rico chided as they started to lead Joey out of the tunnels.

"Eclipse, he's going to get the Doc," Joey objected.

"We'll leave a message for him," the one Rico called Rabbit assured him. "More to the point, Tracker will leave a message for him." There was something in the man's voice that made Joey very nervous.

Rico's laughter didn't help.


Eclipse drew his gun as he neared the storm grate. He could feel a presence, and he could tell it wasn't somebody he knew. As he eased around the corner, he felt a steel barrel against his neck.

"Lets talk." the voice said as a hand took his gun away.

Eclipse could sense the man's anger as he pulled him into an alley way and positioned him face first against the wall. Then he heard a second man. "The Doc and I are going to take a walk," he called. "You two play nice now."

"No problem Boomer. Eclipse and I are going to have a nice peaceful chat before I beat the crap out of him."

"You seem to have me at a disadvantage," Eclipse answered as he drew energy from the air around him.

"Kinda like Duck hu?" the man answered as he whipped him around. "Boo!"

Eclipse relaxed as the man laughed. "Tracker," he stated questioningly.

"The same." he answered there was a smile on his face, by there was still something dangerous in his eyes.

"Look," Eclipse countered. "Can we settle this later? I have to get the Doc somewhere."

"The doc's services are no longer needed," Tracker answered with an icy stare. "Unless of course, you need to see him when we're done here."

"What have you done with them?" Eclipse asked angrily. "You harm either one and I'll..."

"You'll what, shoot me for defending my friends like you did Duck?"

"I didn't know it was Duck," Eclipse stated as he tried to call the energy to him. "What have you done with them?"

"Geoff's safe," Tracker answered calmly as he sized Eclipse up.

"What about Joey?" he asked angrily.

"What about Duck?" Tracker countered.

"Look, you care about Duck, that was a misunderstanding. But that kid, he don't deserve that kinda trouble."

"I agree," Tracker answered with a wicked grin. "But accidents will happen."

Eclipse looked at Tracker and growled as he tried to call the power to him an failed. The world spun around him and suddenly he was on his back with Tracker glaring down at him.

"Fortunately, I ask questions before I shoot." Tracker told him. "And you'd do well to do the same."

"He's okay?"

"He's okay," Tracker assured him as he helped Eclipse to his feet. "If you hadn't been protecting Geoff, we'd be having more words." Tracker warned him.

"Duck, is she going to be alright?" Eclipse asked.

Tracker whirled around and stared the man in the eyes. He took a deep breath as he realized that the man's concern was genuine. "We don't know yet," Tracker answered softly.

Eclipse winced as he had another thought. "Y'all have a guy working for you, big guy, black hair..."

"You hit Bear?" Tracker asked in disbelief.

"Shit!" Eclipse exclaimed. "This whole thing has been one big fiasco."

"You should always buy a program when you're going for one of these involved family dramas," Tracker stated. "Helps you tell the characters apart."

"Anything else I should know?"

"Well, we did pull this off of your car," Tracker stated as he handed him the box Boomer had taken off of the van.

As he stared at it, Boomer returned without the Doctor. "Show him the party toy?"

"Boomer, Eclipse, Eclipse, Boomer." Tracker stated as he introduced them.

Eclipse just stared at the bomb. "And I thought I was so right."

"You were protecting Geoff," Boomer offered.

"Which is why you're still breathing," Tracker added.

"Thank heaven for small favors."

"I just wouldn't go near Bear or Duck for a while." Tracker advised.


"You playing this thing through, aren't you?" Tracker asked.

"Oh, yeah." Eclipse answered, then added, "if you'll have me."

Copyright 1998 - M.T. Decker

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