The iFactor Chapter 28

Chapter 28

The lights along the walkway dimmed as the rising of Sirius’ larger sun started to brighten the horizon. The city planners set the lights to go off as the sun’s illumination increased to save energy, but they did not have it timed correctly, and the city walkways were dimmer than at any other time of day. The situation usually lasted for about seven or eight minutes. The colonists called it the shade, it was thought of warmly as a twilight time of contemplation, relaxation, a time for the romantically inclined to stroll hand in hand. It was also a great time to ambush an unwary pedestrian from behind a bush.

Matt’s assailant wore dark black clothing; it was an unfamiliar uniform style with no logos, markings, or insignia. His head was covered with a thin, stocking mask. Matt couldn’t make out enough facial details for identification, not that it would matter, once he made it back to the station, he would run a trace on his palm chip. The shining needle in the man’s hand told him, however, that however, this clown was serious. The man had to know that there was no way he’d get away with this, maybe on earth, but not in the dome. The ineptness of the entire situation made Matt want to laugh. The sound stuck in his throat as a second set of black-clad arms grabbed him from behind, pinning his arms to his sides.

Suddenly, the man closing on him with a nasty looking syringe seemed much less funny. Adrenaline surged through him, sped along by panic. He had lost control of the situation, and he wasn’t happy about it at all. Instinctually, his leg sped forward and kicked the intimidating apparatus from his attacker’s hand. What did they say about riding a bike, he’d been trained in unarmed combat more than a decade ago, yet when he was threatened, he didn’t need to think through his actions? His elbow struck the assailant behind him with enough force to leave him doubled over in pain.

The ambusher to his front dodged, attempting to reach the syringe where it had flown into the grass. Matt leaped at him using both hands clasped together; he drove them down on the back of the man’s neck as he reached to grab it. The man crumpled under the blow. The other man rushed at him, colliding with enough force to send them both tumbling over the body of the man he just flattened. As the men twisted, rolling on the ground, Matt’s knee came up catching the man in his groin. Matt rolled back up to his feet and kicked the gasping man in the face, sending him flat on his back unconscious.

“Confirmed,” a voice returned. “Situation?”

“Assailant’s neutralized. Require apprehension and investigations teams.” Matt would love to have done the investigation himself, but as he was the victim, there was an obvious conflict of interest and procedures on Sirius were less flexible on the matter.

“Officers dispatched.”

“Confirmed.” He waved his hand over the panel again to deactivate the connection

Matt looked up at the sunbeams as they spread across the top of the dome. It would be a lot easier to make observations vis-à-vis his attackers in the growing light. As he approached the spot where he’d been attacked, he could see the place where the ground was disturbed, but the men were gone. He’d been gone less than a minute. Matt was sure that the two had been unconscious. Had they been acting, or perhaps have help? He looked around. Visibility was getting better by the moment, but he couldn’t see any traces of men limping, or being carried away.

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