TITLE: Marlowe and the Spacewoman
The sting of the acid rain should have been hard to ignore, but the gun in his face made it easy.
"I'm sorry, but you know too much," said Toulene. "My new identity, the DNA profile I'll be assuming, and my route of escape. You provided all of them. I can't be found. The City isn't the only party trying to locate me."
These meetings always go sour, thought Marlowe. Everything seems to be going fine, and then someone jams a gun in your face. He put on his most winsome smile, which wasn't saying much. "You mind if I put my hat back on? I just got this face lifted recently, and I'd hate to void the warranty."
Interpreting not getting shot in the face as assent, he slowly reached down for the fedora hissing in the caustic puddle at his feet. The bubbling of the acid-resistant coating on the hat caused it to wobble. "Weatherman said it would be a 6.2, maybe 6.1," he said conversationally. "But I think the pH dipped to 4.9 or so. What do you think?"
Toulene said nothing, but the gun wavered in her hand. Amateur, thought Marlowe. But geneticists can hardly be expected to have street smarts.
"What do you think of the face?" he asked as he shook the excess water off the hat. "Recognize it?" He checked on Teddy's hiding place using the low light implant in his left eye.