“Freeze!” Geana barked, the muzzle of her high-tech blaster trained uncomfortably at her mid-mass. “Not one more step.”

Winter’s hands flew up immediately. She had hoped to have gotten further before being discovered. “Nice to see you too Geana. Miles is outside, would you welcome him similarly?” A step closer.

“Miles isn’t toxic like you cold-fish, stay right where you are.” The claustrophobic armoury was deserted. Drones offline or similarly hacked.

“Or else what, you’ll shoot me? You know that plasma pulse pistols store a precise image cone of the path of discharge don’t you? I could deduce what the victim ate for breakfast from that data. That would make hiding my murder somewhat problematic for you.” Another step forward.

“This blaster will die an unknown virgin, just like you if you take one, more, step.”

“Geana, if I wanted to harm you I would have done it a long time ago in a way that would never be traced back to me. It is the simplest thing to make a body turn upon itself.”

“I’m surprised it’s you not Sleet to be honest.”

“Sleet is drowning her sorrows in hedonism, I think you crushed her pride.” A shift of weight from the back foot forward.

“She’ll get over it, but you won’t.” The threatening muzzle dipped to indicate that she had noticed before re-centring on her torso. “What do you want Winter?”

“What you want Geana, out from under Snowflake’s thumb. I come baring gifts, Miles and the other tyros who tire of Sleet’s negligence.”

“I don’t give a ■■■■ about them, or you, or Snowflake for that matter. I don’t need the weight of you lot on my back. What’s in it for me? You can burn for all I care.” Uttered with the intensity of glowing embers.

Winter felt herself smile. “You, like me, do your best work under pressure. Together we have so much potential. Let them rot under water then and we’ll inflame a fortune from their demise.” She offered a hand for Geana to take.

She did.