The Musashi Flex

The Musashi Flex by Steve Perry Read Free Book Online

Book: The Musashi Flex by Steve Perry Read Free Book Online
Authors: Steve Perry
well-trained soldier who was a third or half again as fast as an enemy? That would be worth enough to put it on a restricted schedule and limit production for official Confederation uses only. Not that such a thing would be a problem; nor would it keep the opposition from eventually getting its hands on it, either. Shaw hadn’t been working on the stuff to make stads anyway. If he went up and down the streets shoveling thousandstad notes out of the back of a van all day every day forever, he’d still be making more in interest on his principal than he could get rid of shoveling it into the street. At his level, you didn’t even need to keep score any longer; that much money was a force unto itself.
    That Randall had given up his spy by speaking of the apes meant that either he thought the man—or woman—was untouchable, or that he didn’t care if Shaw removed him or her. Mazes within mazes, gears meshing with gears, this was how the game went at this level, though none of it was a threat to his own purpose. Still, he would have to root out and eliminate the spy. Traitors couldn’t be brooked.
    The pause for these thoughts was short, broken by Randall: “I’ll get right to the point,” he said. “We are willing to overlook, um, the irregularities concerning the CDA protocols of this new pharmaceutical. But we would like to be kept up to speed on its development.”
    “You don’t slap me on the hand and you get first shot at it,” Shaw said.
    “Just so.”
    “And when it is perfected, if you like what you see, you will grab it for the Confed military in an exclusive run.”
    Randall smiled, leaned back in the form-chair, and sipped at his tea.
    For the sake of form, Shaw knew he had to protest. Such was expected. He was rich and powerful, and if he didn’t kick, Randall would be quick to wonder why. “This drug could be worth a great deal of money to my company.”
    “If it works, it certainly shall be. But you won’t miss a meal if it never turned a demistad. And we would want to keep the production limited to those who would not misuse it.”
    “Which, of course, the Confed would never do.”
    “Oh, of course not.”
    They both smiled at that one.
    “And if I decide to stand up for my rights to the free market, I suppose my CDA approval might be particularly taxing. Might not be forthcoming at all?”
    “It is always a pleasure to deal with a man of the galaxy about such matters.” He sipped more tea. “What are you calling it again? The drug?”
    If he knew about the rock apes, he fucking well knew the name, but there was no point in being ungracious. Randall thought he had the upper hand; let him continue to think so. “Well. We haven’t decided on a marketing strategy, it’s much too soon. We’ve been calling it ‘Reflex,’ though that’s just a working name.”
    Randall nodded. Nothing new to him. “My. Look at the time. I must be off, my spouses will be wondering where I am. So good to see you, as always, Ellis.” He stood.
    Shaw stood and gave the man his best fake high-wattage smile. “And it’s good to see you again, Newman. My best to the family.”
    After he was gone, Shaw said, “Cervo.”
    The bodyguard seemed to materialize from nowhere, though he had actually been watching through a one-way panel from a hidden room behind Shaw’s desk. “Sir?”
    “You heard about the spy.”
    “Yes, sir.”
    “Find out who it is. Don’t do anything to them yet, just find out.”
    “Yes, sir.”
    Cervo left, a human tank in whose path you did not want to step.
    He had to do that, it would be expected, and the fucking Confed would try to slip somebody else in to replace the spy, even though there was no real need. Besides, he might get some good use from the spy, whoever it was.
    As for the Confed, it could take all the Reflex it wanted. He’d still make a profit, and all he needed was a personal supply and exclusive use of it for long enough to achieve his goal. That wasn’t going to

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