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A Terrible Idea 11

“I’ve got a mission for you,” Jennifer said. “Something I think you’d be very good at.”

“I’m good at a lot of things,” Ice Queen said.

“You’re good at one thing.”

“Not trying to win me over with flattery?”

“If I did, I suspect I’d wake up with an ice bullet lodged in the back of my head.”

“It’d be hard to do that from prison.”

Jennifer smiled. Her original plan had been to offer Ice Queen regular vacations from prison — the same deal she’d given Caine. But Ice Queen’s reaction to the thought of her son made it pretty clear that it wouldn’t work.

She couldn’t very well offer Ice Queen a reduced sentence, either: that bitch had killed a lot of people.

But she could offer the excitement of doing a job — the excitement of getting out there to do what Ice Queen did best. Which is to say: murder.

“The job I have would mean you could stay out of prison for a little while.”

Ice Queen snickered. “You’re not letting me out of here.”

“We would inject your bloodstream with nano-explosives, of course.”

“There’s no reason to take the risk. Who would pose more of a threat to the public than me?”

Jennifer hid her smile. It took a lot of arrogance for Ice Queen to say something like that, in a world of aliens and demi-gods and mutant madmen.

“I need you to help my team kill Galactic Man.”

Ice Queen had been so focused on Jennifer — analyzing the woman’s movements, her facial expressions, trying to sort out the truth from the lies — that she hadn’t noticed the painting of the naked woman.

The painted naked lady looked oddly refined: a white daisy sticking out of her dark-brown hair. She lay on a lounge chair, staring out at the world and having nothing to hide.

Jennifer sees this painting every day she comes into the office, Ice Queen thought. That’s when she realized that Jennifer truly was a crazy motherfucker.

“Kill Galactic Man,” Ice Queen said, wanting to feel how the words rolled off her tongue. She liked the feeling. “I’m in.”

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