Happy Birthday, you're dead

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

Part 6.


1130 - the control room.

Tracker turned as Rabbit entered the room. He could tell by his expression the news wasn't good.

"Rabbit?" he called as the others turned and waited.

"Geoff," he stated in disbelief. "The tranq, it masked a poison. I want to kill something."

"Rabbit?" He called again.

"It ain't good Tracker," he stated shaking his head. "It ain't good at all."

Tracker nodded. He knew what Geoff meant to them all, Rabbit and Davy especially. He kept himself from asking about Duck. Rabbit had enough on his mind as it was.

"No change," Rabbit answered as he turned and looked at the video screens. "Don't worry about me," he added. "Worry about them."

Tracker checked the screens but there had been no change. "Who?"

"They'll be there," Rabbit answered. "Ten minutes tops. They're thinking about how they're going to spend the money. First group anyway... second group... shit they're dead men... Toxic warriors... get suited up!"

Tracker looked at Eclipse and shrugged. "Ten minutes," he said. As he pulled out the environment suits and passed them around.

1137 - Control room

Tracker watched as a smile played across Rabbit's face. "Come into my parlor," he whispered to the screen "That's it, don't be shy, plenty of room for everybody."

"Rabbit?" Tracker called.

"Get ready," he urged. "The party's about to start."

Tracker checked his guns and nodded towards the others.

"You sure?" Eclipse asked as he looked over at Rabbit.

"Trust me," Rabbit answered. "They're coming."

"I got motion on the outside markers," Boomer confirmed. "Stand-by."

"No standing-by," Rabbit answered. "They go down, they go down hard. No mercy."

Tracker nodded. These people didn't care about innocent by-standers. They only cared that they hit their mark.

"Charge up the transport unit." Rabbit warned.

"You sure Derrick?" Boomer asked as he checked the screen.

"Oh, yeah. Block cleared?"

"Block is clear," Boomer confirmed. "Now what are you talking about?"

"They got some big hitters with them." Rabbit answered as he closed his eyes. "The hitters know the score. They're dead men walking. Rigged with tox-projection."

Tracker nodded as they broke into two teams. Tracker and Eclipse taking the right flank, Boomer and Rabbit on the right.

Tracker looked at Eclipse and nodded. "You stay close."

"What's his story?" he whispered as he looked over at Rabbit.

"Mad Rabbit," Tracker explained. "Recon. Worked with Geoff and Davy in the Angel's own...Got caught. After that he came a little unhinged, but it's like he can read your mind. Can't control it, but there are a lot of things he just knows."

"Reliable?" Eclipse asked curiously.

"In an odd sort of way," Tracker answered. "He can't control it, but when it does kick in, its dead on."

"Must be fun at parties," Eclipse commented with a shrug.

"Heads up," Rabbit commented over the comm-link... "And it is," he added to Eclipse.

Tracker watched as seven men entered the front office and began working their way backwards. The idea was to take them out in the regular office area, before anybody was the wiser.

He shifted the transport pack in his hands. He'd heard what had happened to Geoff one time when the pack had gotten hit, and he did not want an up close, personal demonstration.

He signaled Rabbit who nodded. These seven were the advance party. If they met any opposition, then the big guns would come and try to take out the building.

The Medical facilities had already been prepped and they were running on their own power and air. They were on the clock.

The first group eased into the hallway and fanned out. They were ready for anything. Well, almost anything.

Rabbit let out a scream as he opened up with his guns. Automatic fire reigned down the hallway, cutting a hole in the offenses.

"Send 'em back where they came from," Rabbit yelled. The men ducked for cover expecting more gunfire. Instead, Tracker heaved the pack into the center of their group.

"Fire," Tracker yelled as in the control room, Tommy activated the pack and set it for overload. They never knew what hit them.

"What the hell?" Eclipse asked as he watched the men disappear.

"T-pack," Tracker explained. "Limited range teleportation device, pre programmed to set locations."

"Where? Where did you send them?"

"Straight to hell," Tracker growled, "That one was set to blow."

"Next wave's ours," Boomer declared as he nodded towards his brother.

"Be ready to book," Rabbit warned. "These boys are rigged. They got nothing to live for, and every reason to take us out."

"Copy," Tracker stated as he slipped back into cover.

Eclipse watched as the next group moved in. He could see what Rabbit was talking about. They were drugged to the gills, a human delivery system for chemical destruction, and they were going off.

"Go, go, go," Tracker yelled as he read the chromo-reports.

As the men moved towards him, Tracker opened fire, Eclipse joined in as bullets sprayed all around them. As they fired, Eclipse could see Rabbit stop and shake his head. "They're too close, fall back." he growled.

"Can't," Tracker growled. "Take 'em"

"Tracker, you'll go with them," Rabbit objected.

"Too late," Tracker replied. "Suit's torn."

"Throw the damn pack," Eclipse ordered. "I'll get us out."

"Go!," Rabbit yelled as he tossed the pack.

As the pack landed Eclipse launched himself at Tracker, disappearing as the pack activated.

"Oh my god," Rabbit gasped as the air filters kicked in and cleared the area. The attackers were gone, but there was no sign of Tracker or Eclipse.

"You okay?" Tommy called from the control pad.

"We're okay, you got stats on Tracker and Eclipse?"

"Nothing," Tommy commented as he checked front offices. "Only two standing out there are you two."

"Damn," Rabbit swore as he slammed his hand down on one of the filing cabinets. "Damn it! Tracker!"

"We got movement," Tommy reported. "Back hall, near Geoff's office."

Rabbit and Boomer moved in on the signal, guns drawn.

1200 - O.R.

Kenny watched as Gina inspected the mechanical heart, and prepped it for final testing.

"Gina, you up to this?" he asked as she rubbed her eyes and calibrated the equipment.

"No," she answered frankly, "But who else can we trust?"

Kenny nodded as he tried to clear his mind for the job ahead. He called up Geoff's vital signs on the monitor and reviewed them. "He's getting weaker," he stated quietly.

"I know," Gina answered. "But we have to have everything ready."

"Just let me know what you need from me," he offered.

"I'm going to need you to monitor him, keep him alive while I put this thing in," she stated as she finished testing the heart out.

"You got it."

"We're up," She stated as she place the heart on the table next to Geoff.

1205 - the back hallway.

Tracker gasped for air as the room swirled around him.

"Easy," Eclipse called to him. "Disorientation is to be expected."

"What the hell," Tracker groaned as he tried to move.

"T-pack, magic style," Eclipse explained as Tracker began to cough. He turned and noticed the tear in Tracker's suit. "You breath any of that shit?" he asked worriedly.

"'Fraid so, where are we anyway?"

"Near the back office," Eclipse stated gently as he started to check out Tracker. "How many fingers am I holding up?" he asked as he held is open hand out in front of Tracker's face.

"Too many," Tracker answered as he sagged to the floor.

"Relax," Eclipse assured him. "Help is on the way."

***** ***** *****

Rabbit signaled a halt as they approached the source of the signal. He could hear voices up ahead, but they were familiar. "Tommy match the signal in the back against Tracker and Eclipse."

"Sensors are down," Tommy stated. "Blast took 'em out."

"Damn," he swore as he moved in closer. "Tracker, you better appreciate this..."

"Rabbit, can you copy," he heard a voice call over comm-link.

"Eclipse, that you two?"

"Yeah, but they got Tracker with some of the gas," Eclipse stated worriedly.

"Tommy hot-link to medical on my mark," Rabbit exclaimed as he ran down the hall.

"Tracker?" he called as he reached the two. "Hold on, We'll have you in no time." he urged as he helped Tracker remove the helmet. "Eclipse, get any on you?"

Eclipse checked his suit's readings. "Seems to be in tact," he answered.

"Tommy, make it a hot-link to ISO, you got that?" Rabbit called as he helped Tracker to his feet. "And start an analysis run on the goo those boys left, were going to need counter agents two minutes ago."

"Got it," Tommy confirmed.

"Boomer, Eclipse, you take over in the control room, get Rico to back you up. No risks, you hear?" He stated as he moved away from them. He waited for the thumbs up signal from Boomer then turned. "Mark it," Rabbit growled into the comm-link.

Boomer nodded to Eclipse as Rabbit and Tracker disappeared then signaled him to follow.

"Man, they're whittling us away," Eclipse growled.

"Don't I know it," Boomer answered.


Kenny wiped the beads of sweat off his face as he concentrated on Geoff. Things had been getting progressively worse. The contaminates in his blood were starting to effect his heart, and Gina was still getting the mechanical heart in place.

"Damn it," Gina swore as the transfer unit slipped in her hands.

"Hold on," Kenny whispered. "Just hold on."

"I can't get the transfer unit hooked in. Without it there's no easy way to switch the two."

"Then forget that," Kenny told her. "We don't have much more time. I'm going to stop his heart. You'll have 2 maybe three minutes to hook the new one in."

Gina closed her eyes, then nodded. "Do it," she agreed as she prepared her equipment. She tensed as she watched Geoff's heart slow and then stop.

"Go," Kenny whispered, no daring to say more. From that point on, his full attention was on Geoff.

Gina moved quickly, but carefully, divorcing herself from the personal aspect of her work. She was a mechanic, replacing a failing part, nothing more, nothing less. As she attached each part of the mechanical heart, she double checked her work. She was running against the clock now, and everything had to be perfect. After she had checked the last bit of her work, she let out a deep breath.

"Kenny," she stated evenly. "I need you to let it up a little."

Kenny nodded very slightly and allowed the blood to start flowing.

Gina inspected the area and nodded. There were no perceptible leaks. "Okay you can let go now," she stated.

Kenny gasped for air as he let go of his hold on Geoff's mind. Gina looked at him worriedly as she prepared to finish her work.

"Do it Gina," Kenny urged. "Its up to you," he added as he slipped into one of the nearby chairs.

Gina nodded and went back to work. She flicked the switch on the artificial heart and verified its functioning.

"Its in and working," she stated with a sigh. "Now we close him up and pray for the best."

I'll tell the others," Kenny volunteered, but as he tried to get up, he fell back into the chair. Gina looked over at him worriedly, but he waved her off. "I'll be fine with a little rest," he assured her, but she could see the effort it took to keep his eyes open.

Gina forced herself to continue. Geoff's survival depended on it, and her following all procedures. She washed the area one last time then began the process of closing up the wounds. She knew Kenny could speed some of the healing once he was rested.


Gina pulled her cap of as she left Geoff's room and headed towards the waiting area. Davy stood and helped her to a chair when her legs seemed to develop a mind of there own.

"He's resting now," she told him gently. "It was a very close call, and the waiting isn't over. We got the heart in, but there's still a lot that can happen. I've got Jenny watching him right now, but if you want to look in..."

"How are you holding up?" Davy asked.

"Nothing a week's sleep can't cure."

"Gina, go lie down," Davy suggested. "You've done all you can for right now."

"Where's Rabbit?" she asked as she looked around and realized that the only ones in the waiting area were Davy and Joseph.

"He's in ISO," Davy stated. "There was a tox-based attack in the offices. Tracker's suit ripped."

Gina turned and pushed herself up off the chair. "I'll go check on them," she stated.

"Gina,"Davy urged. "Let the other's handle it. You can't keep doing this to yourself."

"You're a fine one to talk," Gina objected, but she knew she was losing this battle, betrayed by her own exhaustion.

Davy picked her up gently and carried her into an unoccupied room. As he placed her on one of the beds, she turned and looked at him groggily.

"Davy Wilson," she whispered softly. "If you weren't my brother..."

"Rest Darlin'" Davy urged gently. "Just rest." Davy kissed her on the forehead then turned back towards the waiting room and Joey.

"Davy," Gina called softly. "Don't forget to get some rest yourself, ya hear me?"

"I hear ya,"Davy answered and nodded. "I just want to check in on everybody first."

1400 -iso chamber.

"Shit," Tracker groused as he lifted his head up and let it drop in frustration. The pain behind his eyes just wouldn't go away.

"Easy man," Derrick urged, as he worriedly reviewed the report from Tommy. "Dammit Tommy, he groused into the comm-link. I said I wanted the non-technical version of the report."

"Rabbit, that is the non-tech version," Tommy's voice replied. "You want I should translate?"

"Give it a shot," Rabbit commented.

"Subject will become increasingly erratic with periods of clarity intermingled with violent fits and delirium. Anti-tox serum must be administered every half hour for a total of 12 hours."

"See, now why couldn't you say that in the first place?" Derrick sighed, noticing that Tommy had left off the information on survival rate. "Just get me a pack of cards and we'll be good to go."

"Uh, Rabbit, You have to stay suited. Standard procedure is to restrain the patient, then only enter the chamber to administer the serum."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. We got the serum right?"

"Its on its way now," Tommy stated.

"Then throw in a deck of cards and we're set."

"Rabbit!" Tommy groused.

"Don't you 'Rabbit' me,"Derrick answerd. "Only Davy and Geoff can 'Rabbit' me. Well, and Gina, and Duck and Tracker... but only them!"

"Rabbit," Tracker called. "Listen to the man. Just get me strapped in before I do anything stupid."

Derrick looked over at Tracker and nodded. He tried to smile as he picked up the straps, but all he could think about was how pissed off Duck was going to be when she found out.

"Sorry 'bout this," Derrick stated as he fastened the last strap.

"See ya in twelve," Tracker answered.

"Like hell, I got a deck of cards and a seat over there."

"Rabbit, just tuck me in and get out of here, like Tommy said." Tracker grumbled

"I'm staying," Rabit assured him.

"Look, they need you topside," Tracker stated. "There's nothing you can do here, except watch it take effect."

"And make sure you don't go through it alone," Rabbit answered softly. "Side's it'll be a nice change to be the sane one."

"Oh, gee, thanks,"Tracker grumbled. "Glad to know I'll provide some amusement."

"Look Duck's not in any real shape to be bull-headed about staying with you, so I thought I'd fill in."

Tracker looked at him and shook his head. "Thanks."

"You just hang in there," Derrick urged. He looked straight ahead trying to avoid looking at the statistics.

"How bad is it," Tracker asked as Derrick sat down next to him.

Derrick stopped and shook his head. "I'm not playing that game," Derrick answered, but then he saw the look in Tracker's eyes. The man deserved to know. "35% Fatality direct contact, 25% on secondary contact. 10% possibility of damage to sensory organs, 10% chance of mental damage, 5% chance of ending up like me... Sorry man," he added.

"So, who's deal is it?" Tracker asked, trying to change the subject.

"I believe its mine."

Copyright 1998 - M.T. Decker

Next Part

Return to Story Page