Happy Birthday, you're dead

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

Part 16.


1625 Backer Brothers - Makeshift Control Room

Geoff looked at Duck's screen as it sat there, blank except for the flashing message, "We'll be back after these important messages."

Geoff looked at Gina and reached out for her hand. "They've got him," he assured her. "And they aren't going to let anything else happen to him."

Gina nodded and looked at Geoff questioningly.

"Davy's a good man," Geoff assured her. "He's just blind to what's in front of him."

"Am I that obvious?" she asked.

Geoff shook his head. "Gina, I've known you a long time, been your patient more times than I care to think about. Its obvious to me, because I know you, and I know Davy better than most."

Gina laughed, "So how do I tell him."

"Davy," Geoff asked softly. "A well placed two by four would be a good start. Problem is, he thinks of you as his sister and without any outside influence, he'll always see you that way."

Gina nodded. "How's Rico doing?" she asked as she looked up at the overhead display.

"He's gotten through their security and is now trying to take control of the drones," Geoff answered. "See that construct that looks like a phone booth? He has to take control of that area, pretty much boot the other guy out of the way, then take over. He only has to control the drones long enough to have them take each other out. Then the others will have the clearance they need.

Gina held her breath as she watched Rico's hands move across his control panel. "And Duck?"

Geoff looked over at the flashing message from Duck's machine. "She's up to something," Geoff agreed. "And she doesn't want us to know about it.

"We have to do something about these people," Gina stated. "Not just ride things out."

"I think that's what Duck's up to," Geoff answered.

"How can you tell?"

"I've known Duck for quite some time too," Geoff offered. "She takes very little lying down, especially when it comes to her friends."

"Then why blank the screen?"

"So we can honestly say we knew nothing about whatever it is she's doing."

Gina shook her head as she looked from Duck to Rico, then back at Geoff. "How do you all do it?"

"Do what?"

"You're so calm about this all. Like its an everyday occurrence."

"Gina, you do the same in triage, I've seen you." Geoff offered. "Its just like triage, you help those you can, do what you can and take everything as it comes. A world of what-ifs and worrying isn't going to help, in fact, it can kill you."

Geoff scanned the screens as he let Gina think about what he'd said. "He's got them!" he exclaimed. "Eclipse, get ready to Transport, Striaght to medical! Boomer you're clear... Boomer?" >

1630 Gryphex

Boomer winced as a stun beam connected with his arm. His world exploded around him as the charge passed through his body.

"Boomer?" Tommy called as he reached out for his brother. "Boomer?"

"Aw, man," Boomer managed to gasp. "Ow!"

"That's what I said," Bear agreed. "You okay."

"Heavy stun?" Boomer asked in disbelief as he tried to move and found he couldn't.

"Yeah," Bear agreed.

Then Tommy heard the call. "Geoff, man, tell me he's got them!"

"Tommy?" Geoff stated in surprise.

"They got Boomer, heavy stun, same as Bear. Give me some good news man, give me something."

"Rico's got the drones, we're ready to transport on our end."

"Amen!" Tommy answered. "Let me get everybody together."

Tommy smiled encouragingly at Bear as he hefted Boomer up and joined the others. "Geoff, take us home," he sighed heavily.

1645 Backer Brother's - Makeshift Control Center

Geoff waited as Gina finished her preliminary traige and looked up at him. He could see the tears in her eyes as she finished checking on Davy and nodded.

"I think that if Bear hadn't gotten to him," she whispered. "He's going to be okay," she added when she noticed the worried look on Geoff's face. "They'll all be fine. Most of what they all need is rest."

He nodded as he watched Joey hover over Davy as he was eased onto a gurney and wheeled out of the rooms. "This is all my fault," he growled in disgust.

"Geoff," Gina urged softly.

"No!" Joey added as he eased himself next to Geoff. "Geoff, no, this is not your doing."

Geoff turned and saw the pleading in Joey's eyes. "I'm so sorry," Geoff answered softly.

"We'll be fine," Joey promised. "We'll all be fine."

"Ah Joey," Geoff sighed. "I wish... I wish..."

"Easy," Joey urged. "You're aren't in much better shape yourself." As Geoff nodded and eased his head back down, Joey turned to Gina and nodded towards the door.

"Joey, I'd like to take a few X-Rays if you don't mind," she stated.

Joey nodded then turned to Geoff. "I'll be right back," he promised.

Wilson Family Clinic - Exam Room

Gina helped Joey up onto the table and prepared to scan his chest for damage. "What's on your mind?" she asked.

"I didn't want to upset them any more," Joey answered softly. "What about Rabbit?"

"Kenny's been working on him," Gina assured him.

"They did something," Joey added again sensing the urgency.

Gina nodded. "He was rigged to blow, but Davy got a message through," she assured him.

"How?" Joey asked. "And how did you find us?"

"They dumped Derrick out in front of Wilson Travel," Gina answered. Rico tailed them with a remote, Duck backtracked through security cameras all over the city. Once we had a building, Duck did her thing. Signaled Davy that help was on the way. That's when he kept asking what they'd done to Derrick."

Joey bowed his head and nodded. "Is Davy going to be alright?" he asked softly, then added. "And please tell me the truth."

"Bear got him over that hump," Gina assured him. "But he and Geoff are going to have to take it easy. The electro charges, they did a number on his heart, but he's strong, and like I said, Bear took care of things."

Joey nodded as the machines adjusted to his position and began their scan. As he waited, he heard the door open.

"Joey?" he heard Eclipse call. "You alright?"

Joey nodded. Then bit his lip. "I have another favor to ask you," he answered as the equipment finished running.

"I figured you might," Eclipse answered softly.

"Before you do anything," Gina answered. "Talk to Duck, she was asking for you."

"Me?" Eclipse asked worriedly.

"Yes you," Gina stated. "And you," she added as she turned back towards Joey. "You are going to have to have your ribs taped, I'm afraid, and then, you're going to get some bed rest."

"But I'm fine," Joey objected.

"Look, Joey, I know the shape that Derrick's in. I also have a pretty good idea of what they did to Davy. I sincerely doubt they let you off with nothing more than two broken ribs."

"Gina, we have to stop this," Eclipse growled as he watched Gina gently tape up Joey's ribs.

"Just talk to Duck," Gina urged as she finished taping Joey's ribs and began prepping a needle.

"What's that for?" Joey asked.

"Mild sedative," Gina explained. "And its mostly to threaten you. If you don't agree to get some rest, I will administer it."

"That won't be necessary," Joey answered with a sigh. "I'm not going anywhere but to bed."

"Good." Gina answered.

"How is everybody?" Eclipse asked as he helped Gina easy Joey into a wheelchair.

"Kenny's still with Derrick. He wants to make sure that he's gotten everything before he brings him up here. Bear's with Davy. Both should be fine in a couple of days. Boomer's recuperating. Geoff's still on the mend and should really be sleeping. Tracker's still recovering from Detox, and Duck's trying to set herself up for a heart attack," she answered. "I don't think she's going to rest until you see her."

"I'll talk to her," Eclipse promised. "Now, what about you?"

"What about me?"

"How are you holding up?" he asked gently as he brushed her hair out of her face. "Gina?"

Gina looked up and was startled by the worry in his eyes. "Eclipse?"

'James," he offered gently. "My name is James."

Gina nodded. "I'll be fine," she answered with a nod, then smiled. "Thank you, James," she added.

"Sure thing," Eclipse said with a smile. "I'll take Joey back for you," he added as he started wheeling Joey out of the room.

"And I mean what I said about rest," she called out after Joey. Once they had left the room she shook her head. 'Things used to only be mildly complicated,' she thought to herself.

Eclipse stopped about halfway down the hall and looked at Joey. "So, talk to me," he stated as he knelt next to Joey.

"It was my uncle," Joey stated. "You didn't see what they did to them," Joey growled. "I..."

"Don't worry about it," Eclipse assured him. "How are you?"

"Me?" Joey asked softly. "They tried to use me to hurt Davy," he growled. "What they put him through, what they put us through... and Derrick, my god... "

"Easy," Eclipse urged. "You just concentrate on getting better, I'll take care of everything." he promised. He put a hand on Joey's shoulder as the young man started shaking uncontrollably.

"Gina!" he called worriedly.

He wasn't sure how she knew, but Gina was there in an instant, with the shot. As she pulled the needle out of Joey's arm, she looked at Eclipse worriedly. "They did a lot more to him than he's willing to admit," Gina told him. "Bear said he'd be needing his help before this is all over. They all will."

"What did they do?" Eclipse asked angrily.

"I only caught a glance, Duck has a lot more information," Gina assured him. "Geoff says she's up to something. Please talk to her. I know Duck, she's going to keep on pushing until its over or she's dead, and I don't think she really cares which."

"Seems to run in the family," Eclipse sighed. "I'll talk to her. Now, about Joey..."

"He'll be fine, Bear'll see to that!"

Eclipse nodded. "Think I better go talk to the Duck."

Gina nodded. "I'll take Joey back to Geoff's room. Jen's got three more beds going in, so they'll all be together."

"Good," Eclipse stated with approval. "Where can I find Duck."

"Two rooms down from Geoff," Gina answered. "If you haven't heard, the rocket flared. Got her eyes."

"Damn," Eclipse swore.

Eclipse paused at the door, giving himself a moment to gather his thoughts, then pushed the door open. Once inside, he paused as his eyes grew accustomed to the light.

"Hello?" Duck called softly.

"Sorry," Eclipse commented as he moved forward. "Gina said you wanted to see me?"


"Yeah," he answered as he looked at her. He saw the bandages and winced. "Sorry," he added.

"Well, I get to say something I never thought I'd say," she told him.

"Scuse me?"

"Thanks for shooting me," she commented with a soft chuckle.

"I'm really sorry about that," he apologized again.

"Look, knowing Tracker and Bear, you've probably been put through enough for that," she assured him. "You probably saved my life."

"Is that why you wanted me here?"

"No," she answered softly. "But I figured we should clear that out of the way before we got down to business."

"Business?" he asked softly as he took a seat next to her and moved closer.

Duck nodded and continued to face him as he moved. "We got Davy and Joey back," she stated. "But now, we have to put an end to all of this nonsense."

"You don't worry about that, " he stated. "That's my department."

"Well," she said sheepishly. "I've already dealt with Joey's Dear uncle."

"You... what?" he asked in disbelief.

"Guess you'd like the long version," Duck mused. "I never was much for the long version."

Eclipse waited while Duck pulled out her deck and turned it on. "When I was working on getting Bear and the others to Davy and Joey, I found two Deckers waiting for me. They've been neutralized."

Eclipse noticed how calmly she talked about what she had done. There was no regret in her voice, just a simple statement of fact. As she talked, she set up the system to display a series of preprogrammed messages.

"But not before one of them broke into Joey's uncle's apartment's security and released a toxin into the air system. Chromatography reports indicate the same toxin as was used on Tracker. After he is treated, he will be up on attempted murder and kidnaping charges."

He watched the images on Duck's screen as she explained how she had handled Joey's uncle. He realized that the chromatography reports were the one's Rico had made during the tox attack in the main offices. By planting the reading in the apartment's environment systems, she had guaranteed that Joey's uncle would pay for what he had done.

"You didn't," he stated in surprise.

"Why not," Duck asked. "Do you know what that attack did to Tracker? No matter what the law does, no matter what strings he pulls, that's one thing he won't get out of. And maybe, just maybe, it'll make up for some of what he put Joey and the others through."

"Girl, anybody ever tell you, you have a mean streak a mile wide?" Eclipse asked as he shook his head.

"Me?" she asked innocently. "I'm the peaceful one."

"So what do you need me for?" he asked.

"I want you to deliver a message to the other 4 members of the Mays family that stand to inherit should anything happen to Joey," she answered.

"I thought there were 5 others," he corrected.

"The other one was was one of the deckers I dealt with," she answered softly.

"You know this could come back and haunt you," he warned.

"That and about seventy other missions I've been on where I pissed somebody off," she sighed. "If I worried about that, I wouldn't get up in the morning."

"Joey asked me to take care of things," Eclipse added. "I'm used to this kind of heat."

"Eclipse, I've had people out to get me since I was seventeen. Ain't nothing new for me. But I'd rather not have any of this on Joey's head, even indirectly. Kid should have a chance and I think he's been through enough already."

"What did they do to him," Eclipse asked angrily.

Duck shook her head. "No," she urged. "That won't help him or you."

Eclipse felt his fists tighten as Duck's breathing got heavier. He could tell from her reaction it had been bad. "Easy," he urged as he remembered Gina's warning. Duck was in no shape for any of this, and still she kept on pushing.

"I'll deliver the messages," Eclipse agreed. "You just take it easy now, okay?"

Duck nodded and finally allowed herself to relax. As she drifted off to sleep, he picked up her deck and moved it to the side. He stayed with her until he was sure she was asleep, then slipped back out into the hallway to find Gina waiting for him.

"Well?" she asked expectantly.

"That's one interesting lady in there," he commented. "Wicked sense of justice."

"Are you going to tell me anything more?"

"Not really, " Eclipse answered. "She's resting now."

"So, what did she want?" she prompted again.

"She asked me to deliver some messages," he answered as he followed her back down the hall. "And to thank me for shooting her."

"What sort of message?" Gina prompted ignoring the shooting comment.

"The message she showed me was simple," he answered. "The matter of GEM is closed."

"What about Joey's uncle?" Gina asked. "The one who started all of this?"

"Duck seems to have already handled the matter," Eclipse assured her. "And if what she's done isn't enough, I'll finish it."

Gina shook her head. "God help me, that doesn't even bother me."

"It shouldn't," Eclipse assured her. "He's hurt a lot of good people, directly or indirectly. A lot of good people."

Gina nodded. "I better check in on Kenny and Derrick," she stated as she started back down the hall.

"When's the last time you took a break?" Eclipse asked as he blocked her path.

"Look, I appreciate what you're trying to do, but I've got a lot of work right now," Gina objected. "And we're a bit understaffed."

Eclipse shook his head as he moved out of her way.

"Thanks anyway," she added as she moved down the hall.

Eclipse nodded as he watched her walk away.

1930 Wilson Family Clinic

Gina sighed as she allowed herself the luxury of a cup of coffee. As she propped her feet up on one of the nearby chairs, the door to the break room opened and Kenny shuffled into the room.

"How's the coffee?" he asked.

"Ususal," she answered as she took a sip.

Kenny nodded as he let the black fluid flow into his cup. Then he slipped into a seat across from Gina. "We still operational?"

"Tommy, Eclipse and Rico are running the show next door," Gina answered. "You, me, Jen and Nancy are on medical."

He nodded. "When do you want to go over the case load?"

"Tuesday?" Gina asked then let out a sigh.

"Hey, we survived," Kenny reminded her with a smile.

"I'll get back to you on that one."

"Everybody's going to be fine," he assured her. "Bear should be up in a few hours. That should help."

"We should be fine as long as nothing else comes up."

"Tell me about it.

Gina nodded as she watched the steam rise from her cup. As they sat together in silence, the inter-comm lit up.

"Gina, Kenny, you there," Rico asked.

"You know we are," Gina stated with a grumble. "What is it this time?"

"I'm feeding some vids to the breakroom, think you might be interested," Rico answered.

Gina turned on the vid unit and sat back down as the newscast was forwarded from the control room...

"... In other news tonight, Albert Mays, brother of the late Edwin Mays was rushed to Mercy General when his nephew Mitchell broke into his apartment security system and released a cannister of TriChlorolPsycantial. This nerve toxin, if left untreated could lead to sever nerve damage even death. Because of the swift response of Mays Security, a full recovery is predicted.

When questioned about Mitchell, the Security Chief was quoted as being extremely distressed about the whole affair. But further investigation indicates that Albert Mays had ordered the murder of his nephews Geoffrey and Joseph Mays. Details are still sketchy and we are awaiting news on the status of these two...."

"TriChlorolPsycantial," Kenny stated slowly. "Isn't that..."

"The stuff they hit Tracker with," Rico confirmed. "Looks like somebody broke into our security and duped the chromatography reports from the attack."

Gina snorted as she watched the televised report. "Guess we better have somebody check over our system security," Gina offered.

"Think Duck and Tracker could go over it when they're declared fit?" Rico suggested. "I just don't understand these things."

The three of them dissolved into fits of laughter.

Copyright 1998 - M.T. Decker

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