Ok... one year and four months late.

That was the last time I posted in this story:

But, my new job has a lot of hold times… and since I wake up early in the morning, I had to do something along with the saturation of caffiene to stay up, so I resumed this to keep focused. And now, after… a hell of a long wait, I continue. Though, it is obvious I haven’t been working at this for a while.

And, comments are welcome, though lamer talk will be dealt with X style.

Oh, I have about four more chapters already made, but just posting them one at a time, for now

Chapter 26: Some Kind of Peace

Every step I took from that maze of humiliation Charlong called a training room grew heavier, like my body was slowly turning to lead. I could hear the hollow pounding of each step as I neared the bunks of the other Triad members. I didn’t care if I woke them with my steps. Hell, I didn’t even know their names. Despite the eight long months I was here.

Not that it was boring, just very excruciating on the cerebrum and the body… hell, if being a thief meant having your brain and muscles crammed to the point where even crawling could become a chore, I might have tried a more honest line of work. Well, if it wasn’t for the amnesia, the dark voice, and the fact I technically didn’t exist

For all of my lessons, I was cast into total blackness, with only the minimal light needed… from when I woke up at three in the morning, to when I was finally aloud to rest around eleven in the night. Twenty hours of lessons, four hours sleep. Amazing what a man can get used to.

And what I learned wasn’t all sneaking. I started off being forced to learn acting, then salsa. Charlong said it was to help with the two basics of his whole little school… mobility, and deception.

“To exceed, you need more then brains and muscles. You need charm, the ability to make others think you are innocent, no harm. You need to divert their attention with either lies, body language… even a nod or a smile can be the most powerful weapons, the best way to reach your target.”

After two months of such lessons, compacted with limbo, yoga, basic electronics. Each day something new thrown in with the old… a kaleidoscope of knowledge. The funny thing was, while I caught a few facts here and there, it seemed like the whole point wasn’t learning, but molding. Shaping my thoughts and body into something else… changing it, if such a thing was possible

But, after those two months being swept in a whirlwind of mental headaches, the training turned more physical. Sneaking into simulation offices, regular and electronic lock picking, working on how I walked… the works. I was amazed by it all. It seemed like everything I did in the past, in LA, was like a gorilla trying to imitate a skilled artist. There was a certain sophistication to this… job. Everything from how to stand in the shadows, so it looked like you disappeared, to how to handle even the hardest lock, without a sound. Charlong emphasized the silence. “Anyone can steal, but most who steal, get caught. Getting caught is the worse kind of failure, because if you can at least escape, you can try again. No such luxury in prison.” And the best way to not get caught… was to not be seen in the first place. A simple approach… but, like most simple things, harder to put into practice.

Up to my “death” at the hands of a paintball gun, I was still doing those lessons. For 20 hours straight, and only four hours to sleep, and 45 minutes for meals. I didn’t mind the work… better then living a thieving bum’s life off the streets. I actually had something decent to wear as well, though simple, and blah… black cotton shirt, and black pants. The only distinguishing figure was a dragon climbing over a sunset, its claws grasping on greedily, like it was declaring to the world “I own it, and I dare you to take it from me.” Appropriate for the Sunrise Dragon Triad.

I past by a bathroom mirror, catching a glimpse of my now clean-shaven face. When I entered the compound, the lower half of my face was covered in matted, dirty hair, like a dog that was frolicking in filth. I never had time to realize how much of a mutt I looked like, until I took my first shower and shave in ages. Hell, Charlon even had a barber touch my locks.

I looked much cleaner now. Hair slicked close to my face, my profile back to its original square, tense features. I felt close to my old self… even though my “old self” has only been around for little over a year.

I approached the bunks, the sounds of sleep from the other Triad members the only things breaking the silence of the night. This was as close as I get to the other Triad members, outside Charlong. I always ate alone, under my trainer’s eye. When going to the bathroom, alone… like I was isolated from the rest for some reason. Well, considering the awkward topics that could pop up, I suppose it was for the best. At least my sleep was dream free, for once.

I crawled into the bunk I always slept in, and closed my eyes. And, with blessed ease, simply fell asleep, to prepare for tomorrows lessons, like I did every night.

Cool, it’s back. Maybe one day we’ll find out some answers.


Now, for some setting. A little further in the future then I imagined, but it seemed to make the most sense to have a futuristic time, rather then the present. When new technology was barely heard of, and not yet out the door.

Anyway, enjoy…

Chapter 27: Reflections of the Past.

The four hours of peaceful oblivion came and gone in the blink of an eye, pleasurable and quick like a beautiful woman in a hurry, blinding past your senses. I awoke to the same rude shaking of my mentor, who somehow managed to do this without ever waking the other members, either by his choice, or by theirs. I never really figured that out.

And, like always, I sleepily followed him toward the restroom, to shower off the night’s sweat and dirt, and to wake up to a cold water from a rusty faucet. Not fancy, but functional. The shower was rushed, as always, but gave me a few minutes to think.

My tired thoughts shifted toward my new home. I never saw the outside of the base, always kept busy indoors, but I kept up with my history. Hong Kong was once a new pearl of China, once it was reclaimed from England back at the beginning of this century. Thanks to its influence, the Socialist Nation was one its way to becoming an economic giant, a powerful mixture of communism and capitalism. It was to be a new golden era.

But, only six years ago, in 2022, that pleasant dream fell for the nation. Some hardliners, the usual crowd who see corruption in the new, and believe the old ways are the right, and only, ways, the type of bearded old men who see the devil walk hand in hand with change, took sudden, and violent action. They heralded back to the “glory days” of Mao Tse Dong, of the pride and discipline of the old ways. But, their words were ignored as people discovered the pleasures of luxuries and owning material goods. But, the determined voices of the past would not be ignored.

They started off simple, but loudly, in the streets, attacking shoppers entering a mall. Beating, stripping, kicking… a brutal celebration in the wine of human blood, drunk in the intoxicant of human passion and violence. The tide was so great, even China’s infamous police were pushed back. In the end, this violence only ended up in more violence, as shots were fired indiscriminately into the carnage.

The minds capable of thinking behind the conservative movement turned the whole thing into the police, and the government’s fault. Turned the world media against the nation. They started the incident, but no one cared anymore. Their government betrayed them, attacked them. They wanted it out… they wanted someone new. By any means necessary.

So thus, a civil war erupted… Old and New clashed in the streets of Beijing, each side painting more and more of the city red with blood. In only three short months, the city was divided in half, by one long street, which today, in their language, is called the Street of Blood.

It looked like the stalemate would continue, but the Old Party did something drastic. Using the sewers, a force of conservatives managed to work their way underneath the capital building. And, directly underneath the seat of New Chinese Power, they reduced all the utilities being applied to their enemies side into rubble. It was a total blackout, followed by total turmoil and panic. It was only a matter of time before they were crushed by their zealous enemies.

A new chairman of the party was put in power, and a declaration that the ways of discipline, unity and communism have been restored. The cheering that went out that day was half-hearted, mostly out of fear then actual joy.

But, luxuries, in all forms, are addictive. Social standing amongst peers is a constant need for many. To have the best is to be the best. But, the only problem was, fulfilling such desires was a crime now.

And so, the people turned to criminals for their supply.

The Triads, semi-powerful during the previous communist days, and failing somewhat when items became legal, found a goldmine in the new government. Sure, the police where more of a danger, but that only upped the price of goods and services. Now, more then ever, it was profitable to be a gangster, or at least work for a Dragon Head. And in Hong Kong, where everything in China comes from and leaves from, the Dragons could fill their bellies on the delicate flesh of need.

“We are only looked down upon by those who still hold standards in things such as law… mostly those privileged enough to hold such lofty goals.” My teacher told me. “In essence, any country can not survive without an economy. And, as with the Russian Mafia, we make the wheels turn for the nation. Sure, the wheels are dirty, but they are needed. After all, dirt covers everyone.”

Personally, I could live with that. I’ve seen my own share of dark places. I know the necessity for some men to live “shunned” lives. Hell, I was living proof of that… I killed, I stole, just to survive, all for the sake of my own identity. I was merely learning to do it better.

“That’s what you think.” Oh… the Voice. Haven’t heard from for months. Why the hell was he here now? “Just to remind you… that I am in control…”

That faint feeling came over me again… like things were being forgotten. But, it seemed to be dimmed… like not all was taken away. “Just… didn’t want to be that cruel.” And, I quickly felt him leave. Weird… that was short, and almost hurried.

I quickly turned off the faucet, and grabbed a towel to dry off. I spent a lot of time in the shower already. I was going to be in for hell as it was.

Glad to see you still going.

As I’ve told you before, with a bit of a cleanup you could have the workings of a passable scifi novella here. :slight_smile:

And, another chapter…

Chapter 28: The Ability to Kill

Fortunately, my fears of impending doom from a tongue lashing where obviously misplaced. Though, his stony look was enough of a mental flogging. My brain was reeling from that hard stare, as he just gestured for me to follow. I had a hunch there was a change of plans that he didn’t really have a say in, which was only confirmed as we past what he called the thieving dojo. I was about to ask him, but a quick turn of his head silenced any attempts for information. Obviously, he was about to do something he didn’t agree with.

After what seemed like an eternity on my nerves, we entered what looked like an armory, or a shooting range. Guns of all types, from BB guns made for the junior marksman raised on cowboys and Indians, to items like rocket launchers for the more mature, and desperate, audience. There where also a few items I have never seen before… probably not released on the market yet. Very high tech, and electronic.

My gaze scoured over this room, admiring all the tools of death present. I felt giddy, a kid in a candy store. But, those kids usually have a parent on hand before they go wild. This was no exception.

“You are admiring these… tools, I see.” Charlon finally said. “But, don’t be swayed. Given the time I wanted, I would of forced you to believe in the right tool for the right job… but, powers higher then me want me to rush to this stage, disagreeing with me that your performance is… satisfactory.” No pleasing some people

“But, while I have my objections, I must carry on with my orders. And my orders are… to train you in weapons. The RIGHT weapons.” I was now curious. What did he mean by right weapons? “As you know, I have been training you to be quiet, to not be seen or heard. To work with finesse, and not with force. If, for some reason, you have to kill, it must be done with the minimum attention possible. So… save these…” Charlon gestured dismissingly at the bigger, explosive weapons “for the soldiers… for those whose only purpose is brute force… to throw their lives in the gamble of war and destruction. For you… something smaller… something quicker…. Something quieter.

That’s when he handed me a pistol. I was puzzled, at first. All these tools, all these advancements, and he handed me something a housewife would carry? He must of read my thoughts, for he frowned. “You judge by its size, I see… don’t.”

“Because what is size to a bullet? These semi-automatics, these machine guns… all shoot lead. But, they do so loudly… and they fire off several shots in rapid succession. A waste, especially when you can get the job done with this… “ He then fired off a shot at a silhouette target, in the shape of a human body. With a proclaiming, single bang, It blew a small, but effective hole right into his paper forehead, shredding what would have been its brains…

“That one bullet, even with an armored opponent, is enough to kill a man. Why waste several with a heavier gun? This is what I mean by finesse… THIS is what I mean by the right tool. Not overwhelming firepower, but the skill to use a smaller one with ease.”

He handed me the pistol. By touching at it, looking at it, rubbing my hand against its side. And, even unconsciously, caressing it. I felt more relaxed… like this weapon in my hand was part of me… I gripped the handle, and felt my hand mold into it, with familiar comfort… like I held a weapon for all my life. And, for some reason, I knew it may be true…

I took my turn with the target, and landed just under Charlon’s shot. In the blink of an eye, I changed to a different victim, and landed another head shot. And, like a rock star finding his beat, I fell sway to the rhythm of bangs as I fired shot after shot… a full symphony of noise and violence, ended when the clip clicked, saying he had enough.

Coming out of my trance, I noticed the targets, from varying degrees, were bleeding shredded tears from their forehead, a massacre of pulp. Seeking approval, I turned to my teacher, smiling triumphantly. But, the grin was not returned. “So, you can kill… helpful, but I am not wasting my time with an assassin. Still… you saved some time. It seems your past may have some hold on you after all.”

Funny… when he said that, I felt a chuckle coming from deep within, and a sense of dread… both at the same time.

And another chapter, in the continuing saga no one cares about!

Chapter 29: Payment for Wisdom

My time under Charlon’s instruction continued, combined with my newly acquired pistols. My lessons incorporated the weapons, but not just for shooting… I was also taught how to use them for knocking out human obstacles. “Killing is a last resort, and not for compassion, or honor… but, for discretion. Bodies eventually get discovered, and blood stains are hard to get out, if they are on you, or spilled on the floor. If you have to, it is best to knock them out. They may wake up, or be woken up, but at least you won’t have to worry about the blood.”

The regime lasted for several more months… along with the other lessons. And, a year and three months of the lessons, of waiting for whatever they had in mind, and to do the job they requested for my identity, the time had at last come. There was no ceremony, no handshakes, not even a nod of the head. Just a different hallway, a different room, and a different person. A rather chubby one, his stomach hidden by a colorful silk outfit, in an Oriental design. Bald, and with the faint beginnings of a mustache. Like some stereotypical Buddha gone bad. Still, it has hard to hate him… he had a certain charisma about him. Of course, he was a crook… but so was I.

I bowed, low and humble, to which he responded with a bellowing laugh. “Such respect. From listening to your teacher, I would assume that you would rather spit on me, rather then listen.” Ok, it wasn’t THAT hard to hate him.

“Anyway… you have been with us for a long time. Partaking of our hospitality, and our wisdom.” He said this with a nod to Charlon, who stood quiet in the corner, like a statue decorating the lavish chamber. “It is time to repay you for this act… a final exam, if you will. I need you to steal something.”

“Why me? Surely you got other guys to do your dirty work?” I felt my master’s stare as I spoke, as I was breaking some sort of rule asking such a simple question.

The fat man just smiled slightly, as if he was amused by this little stray yipping at him. “Yes, but none of them have your… uniqueness. While they are skilled in stealing, they can be traced by even a simple hair. Something which YOU can not, as you seem to be absent from all databases… not even a primitive fingerprint to trace you! And, considering the nature of the object, that is necessary.”

“You see, the government is not really found of the work we Hong Kong businessmen do. They feel we are taking control away from them… of course; it was never theirs to begin with. People have a way of deciding what they want, and what they accept. If anything, we are… economic revolutionaries. If we happen to earn a little to feed our families, so be it.”

I smiled. Such talk, I gathered, was common among the Dragon Heads, the leader of the Triads. Rationalizing their careers by beautiful words was probably an ease on the conscience, or a face for the public.

“Which is why I need you… the government wishes to interfere in our more aggressive policies. You see, our competitors are very violent, very dangerous. We have to defend our own, after all. So, we arm ourselves with weapons, as needed, as I am sure you saw.” I instantly knew that those competitors considered us in the same way. In the end, it was the most basic and primitive of warfare. Small clans, gaining what they could, however they could. Just because the tools were modern, it didn’t mean the methods where.

“I was trained to be a thief, not a soldier. How can I help against a government raid?” True, I was trained in fighting and guns, but if I was going to fight in a war, I think my time here would have a different flavor, a more violent and louder one.

The booming laugh of the fat man echoed through the room, mocking and condescending the poor, ignorant American in front of him. I was really starting to dislike this fat blob. “It’s not a raid, but just a… precaution. You see, the powers that be wish not to fight us directly, but strangle us, cut off our own arms. And then, when we are helpless and squirming… then will they swoop down for the kill. We just received word that they are inventing a new tool… a silent alarm, audible only to those behind control stations, able to pinpoint the source, and send an army against us.”

“But… our informants have let us know about a new development from one of our more… privileged foes. They have a work around against these new alarms. You see, what sets these alarms off is either the sound or smell of gunpowder. But, if we return to older ways, with more traditional weapons… or, more accurately, traditional weapons in a new metal.”

I was getting interested… I was beginning to see where this was going. “The Enlightened Path have developed a new weapon, using nanomachines infused with a laser… making what appears to be one of those beam sabers from Star Wars, with the ability to cut through steel like paper. A weapon like that… and we would rule Hong Kong.”

I was beginning to see where this was going. “And, to avoid having this attached to you; to avoid being the target of Triads with similar goals… you can’t leave anything that could be tracked back to you…”

“Yes… and that is why we hired you. Since this is a delicate matter, where we can’t be held responsible, we need someone impossible to track down, someone who never existed.”

“We need you, Mr. Glenton, to steal the sword.”

And from hence doth Sir Glenton aquire the mystical Dragontooth. Was wondering when you’d get aroundto that. :wink:

Sir Glenton… Nah, too noble for the likes of me.

Anyway… another chapter… and lets hope I can get my email back up so I can finish the one after the next.

Chapter 30: Threats From All Angles

The Chinese sun bore down on me with the unintended cruelty of a child frying ants with a magnifying lens. But, it appeared that feeling was unique to me. Not surprising, considering I spent a little over a year and a half indoors, and in the dark. I had to buy a pair of shades to just be able to step outside. Not that I minded. I meant to hide my eyes anyway. Still couldn’t get over how piercing they were.

But, despite the glaring heat, I enjoyed my own day out for “preparation.” Despite the harsh government change, Hong Kong was a nice, if slightly rigid, city. There were colors up and down the square, merchants… yes, merchants… were out in the street, extolling the values of their wares. Or, I think they were… my Chinese was still a little rusty. No social life.

There where police, but despite the fact I wore the Sunrise Dragon tunic, they didn’t bother me. Perhaps they were bribed; perhaps they didn’t really care about the foreigner playing gangster. Or, perhaps they knew, deep down, that the corruption we bring is needed for their city.

I walked into the plaza, surprised by the contrast between the merchants and the customers. While the sellers remained loud, boisterous, and smiling, the customers were huddled, just glancing at the wares, and then walking off. Almost like bees choosing flowers for their pollen. Very choosy bees. I did not know much about communism; mostly didn’t care, but I know that to share everything amongst one of the largest populations in the world would lead to shortages… I heard stories of the lines in the old Soviet Republic.

I just walked on. I didn’t have to worry about such… besides; I wanted to enjoy my day of fresh air… and perhaps buying something interesting, though I was instructed to spend my given stipend on something useful. But, that doubt quickly flew out the back door of my brain when I passed by a leather goods store, for inside was something that qualified for both: A pure black, floor length leather trench coat. For some reason, it seemed to scream at me to buy it… and I knew I could justify the purchase. After all, what better way to hide something that shouldn’t be seen?

I walked in the store, and gave the cashier my money, and instantly put it on… and instantly new I made a good choice after looking in the mirror. This jacket and I seemed to belong to each other. And, it was so full of pockets, I could carry weapons, and just about anything in here… without anyone knowing. The perfect thief compliment. Though, I couldn’t help but think how I looked like a Matrix extra…

That’s when it hit me… I remembered seeing Neo fly through the air, fighting agents, the whole scene with Trinity saving him… but, I never saw the movie.

That sudden thought put me in a daze, so I didn’t notice the limo pull up next to me, and was only brought back to reality when grabbed by a quick, iron hand, and pulled into the limo’s car, into what could be called the darkest interior of any luxury vehicle.

I saw only silhouettes, covered by the lack of lighting due to the tinted windows, and the divider separating the passengers from the drivers, covered in a barely visible, but highly pungent, odor of tobacco. To the right of me, was the perfect proof that the stereotype of the small Asian an untrue exaggeration. This one looked ready to rip me into human confetti.

The divider parted, revealing a slightly illuminated, wiry looking man, barely discernable in this devilish vehicle. He was smoking a long, filter cigarette, and I could picture the stare he was giving me. Finally, he spoke: “So… you are the one… the foreigner that’s feeding off the Sunrise Dragon’s plate… the food must be bad if they need to hire outside the city to have people eat it.”

“What do you want?” I knew the longer I stayed here, the more danger I was in. If the Sunrise Dragon Triad saw me enter this limo, I wouldn’t have to be a mind reader to know what they would think. And nobody likes a traitor. And… anyone who put this much emphasis in being threatening definitely was not good company.

The man just sneered. “So quick, and to the point, but some do like there business this way… so be it. Let’s just say I am a head-hunter from the Fanged Tooth Triad…” I wonder if he meant that figuratively or literally. “… and, we too are interested in a certain high-tech sword…”

“Who the hell uses a sword these days?” I attempted to play dumb, but all I got for my efforts was a jab in the stomach by Mr. Bruced-up Lee. After the coughing fit I got from the sudden impact, the conversation continued.

“Please do not insult my intelligence, Mr. Glenton… yes, I know your name. I know a lot about what goes on with the Sunrise Dragon. And, I know why they recruited you.
You are a man that goes everywhere like a ghost… you are seen, but never remembered. No one can find you, or know you. You are the scentless rabbit. And, I am hoping you are greedy. “

“You see… we, too want that sword. But, unlike the Dragons, we offer more then a place to live… we pay a recruitment fee for our new employees, if they deliver. Say, a certain weapon. For that, we offer our protection, and… five hundred thousand of your American dollars. What do you say about that?”

I said nothing. I felt the punches of the muscle next to me… I hate to see what he did if provoked more. And… I just wanted to get out of this alive. After a long silence, I finally said. “I need time to think.” At least I could buy some time.

I got a better deal instead. “So… you really are a rabbit. So afraid to earn money for yourself. Still… better to leave the door open. You may go… but if the Sunrise Dragons get the sword… you will lose more then money. You will lose a fountain of blood.”

I was shoved out the car, sprawled upon the street, my hands chaffed, but otherwise unharmed. The driver of the limo flew a piece of paper toward me. I caught it, and saw it just had a number on it… the number of the Fanged Tooth Triad. I quickly pocketed it, and looked around. Good, not much of an audience. Looks like the police around here were paid to ignore strange happenings, like this.

I dusted myself off and quickly walked back to the rendezvous, thinking about the Matrix movie… and how I knew it so well. But, I was quickly brought back to reality by IT again. “Stop wasting your time on stupid films! You have a chance to finally know who you are! That has to be worth more then any amount of money!’

“Yeah, but don’t you think its strange, of all the things I forgot, I would remember a movie? Think my mind would have other things on it…”

“JUST SHUT UP!” I was caught off guard by that exclamation, and just walked back in silence. The Voice was annoying, but rarely angry. More of a mocker then a yeller

What nerve did I just hit?

And, yet another chapter… And, I actually introduce someone new!

Though, I am having problems with my email, so the next chapter may be delayed…

Chapther 31: Hitting it Off

The rendezvous in question was a run-down hotel room we agreed to meet and plan our moves… more for function then rest. Bars in the window, holes in the carpet… and sheets that smelled like they haven’t seen a washing machine since the beds were first made. Yep, a typical slum dive… a dirty room for dirty deeds.

And in this disgusting pit, was a man getting ready for his first big heist, with the nervousness of a child taking off the training wheels. For the tenth time today, while waiting for Charlong, I checked my gear. Using a pocket knife, and some basic sewing skills, I was able to cut holes in my jacket, for all the gear left out for me…several different lock picks, of different degrees of advancement and style… the simple long, needles for regular doors, to a razor like contraption made for card locks, and a keyboard like tool, looking like a cheese grater, to open keypads… the squares acted like receivers that fitted over the keyboard picking up any positive/negative signals, in a sense, finding the electronic tumblers. . For more complex doors, like retinal or handprint scanners… I was on my own.

I also had two guns… while my shooting was superb, and I was able to clearing out all the dangerous paper targets in sight, I felt better having a spare. Though it was recommended not to kill, I requested the second pistol… hey, if I ran into trouble, I better do everything I can to take care of it. Everything about this was stealth… not to be killed or caught. And, if anyone happened to see me… the unlucky bastard shouldn’t be able to tell others… ever. Of course, it wouldn’t do to be seen with weapons in public, so I put them in the jacket, but in easy access, just in case.

I also had a typical lock activated grappling hook… strong enough to pull three hundred pounds, and able to extend about six stories, provided I could get a good grip. A common, but useful, tool for getting where I shouldn’t. I put that into the dark recess of my coat as well.

I had other slits in my jacket as well, mostly for… other things I may find. Hey, I may be at work, but I should help myself to something as well. Though, all they were used for now was hiding the Fanged Tooth business card from the Sunrise Dragon. Hell would await me if they found it. I really should have destroyed it by now, but it was just one of those things that no one ever thinks of, like cleaning out pocket lint.

My nervous and excited preparations were interrupted by footsteps… but different from Charlong’s steady, focused stride. No… these were quicker, rushed… I didn’t give it any thought, until I heard a knock. These unusual steps were looking for me. If I wasn’t so nervous, I would probably have acted differently, but being as high on adrenaline as I was, I immediately entered combat mode, pulling out a pistol, both hands on the grip, striding to the side of the door, my gun ready to blow anyone’s head off… the knocking persisted. I quickly moved one hand to turn the knob, and quickly open it ajar, just to get this game over with.

The knocker got the hint, and the door opened purposefully, revealing what I least expected: an olive skinned angel, with flowing black hair, down her whole back… which was covered in a tight, black tank top, filled out near the top, showing the fruits, while slim going down to her tight, tight black jeans. Such an eyeful distracted me from the little fact I had a gun pointed to her head.

Such a combination, in addition to dropping my guard while… checking her assets, enabled her to get in a quick jab to my gut, causing me to keel over, but I didn’t have time to groan, as a quick upper to my lip forced me on the floor. But, I didn’t have time to give in to the pain. I quickly recovered from the surprise, and grabbed her leg, pulling sharply, and knocking her down on the ground.

In mere seconds, I sprang up, my gun trained on her head… but I in no way had the advantage, for as I was peering down on her, she has a very long barrel from a rifle against my face. We stood there, in total silence, each one looking at the other, waiting for any movement, any excuse to shoot… while at the same time, steeling our nerves, not wanting to provoke the other into returning the favor… a test of patience.

Which was ended by a rather smug laugh, and a slight, amused, applause.
“Ah, I see you two have just met. PC, allow me to introduce your backup and support for this assignment. Miss Mia Koj. One of Hong Kong’s best snipers and… agents, for lack of a better term”

Backup? “Why the hell do I need backup? Especially from this bitch?”

“Excuse me? From what I heard, this is your first time, newbie. Seems to me, you need more then backup… you need a mommy to hold your hand.”

“Well, excuse me for not trusting anyone in a slum. Especially a gun wielding psycho dressed like a hooker!”

“Why you miserable, cocky little bast…!”

My teacher quickly interrupted our discussion. “If you two wouldn’t mind, we can save the assessments for AFTER the job. For now, I could with some silence.” It was rather aggravating, how passively demeaning he could be.

Mia and I took one last, cold look at each other. Yeah, she was a looker, but what they said about beauty was true only skin deep. And, I had a feeling that she would end up crawling in mine, even though she made my blood boil, in both the good and bad ways.

And I was expected to WORK with her? As we walked out the door, I started wondering if my past was worth this…

The next chapter… more action this time, and in the next few chapters. Please, feel free to say something. Anything, at this point. I hate to be the record holder for multiple posting.

Chapter 32: Shadowy Preparations.

The trip to the Enlightened Path compound was made in total quiet, the only communication were the silent, cold stares between Mia and myself. This woman was supposed to watch my back? I had a feeling she would rather stab me in it. The last thing I needed to worry about was a partner who didn’t trust me. I had enough to worry about myself.

The most dangerous job I did was my first… that bank heist in Glenwood, and that turned out to be a disaster, with a whole freaking army of Stalter troops appearing like locusts, to devour the only remaining crop left. Would my training with Charlon really pay off? True, I felt I was a lot better, in better shape… but still, a lot more was relying on this then just a little… ok, a lot of spending money.

The van drove by… at a slow pace, as to not attract attention. So, when we reached the compound four hours later, I got a good view of its majesty… its amazing, eye-popping majesty. It was like a miniature, modern fortress. Made of sleek black obsidian, with black glass windows… like crossing a modern skyscraper with Frankenstein’s castle. All it needed were lightning and bats. To put it simply, it was huge… two wide towers, connected by a wide stretch of building. I am not sure what crime the Enlightened Path specialized in, but it must be worth a bundle.

But, I wanted to know more, then just the gaze I was getting. “Anyway we can get behind it? I want to see what this thing is really like…”

“No.” Charlon responded in that emotionally neutral voice of his. “Circling it like vultures is a good way to let them know we are watching… these people are suspicious, and keep to themselves. They are like a cult… a cult of scientists.”

“Besides, I got some blueprints with me… you should be able to secure a route, if I choose to give it, instead of leading you to their intruder extermenation room.” Mia replied, with a cold, sarcastic tone.

“Some backup. Maybe I should have YOU removed-“

”ENOUGH!” Charlon bellowed, rocking the van. “Please keep in mind neither of you are getting anything if this fails. And, you two WILL need to work together. If you keep squabbling like preschoolers, I will take care of you both. Now…” Charlon’s tone calmed down, as he went into description mode. “Mia will be watching the outside of the building, taking care of any problems that may appear on the outside, and providing any on site support she can. I will be with her, looking over what little information we have. It seems these prints have a few gaps.”

“So, the great sniper is limited in intelligence? Not surprising.”

If looks were bullets, I would be pierced by now. “You are beginning to look dangerous… anyway, I will be giving you instructions via headset.” Mia tossed me a what looked like a MP3 player, complete with the headphone set… “Put these in… and leave it to me to make things interesting.”

I plugged in the headset, and put the wires on my purpose. I knew it was a radio, probably meant to keep in contact with Mia and Charlon while I was in this fortress. “So… what’s next? Any last orders, or any last words?”

Charlon shook his head. “You are on your own now, PC. There is nothing more I can say, except remain undetected, and careful.”

“And I have a few more words for you as well, jackass.” Mia commented, as she quickly and expertly unfolded her sniper rifle. “Don’t make a fool out of yourself… and good luck.”

I smiled, bowed, and walked toward the fortress, heading for the bushes. The biggest heist in my life so far was about to begin.

Wow, she can be civil.

I am glad you like it, demi… but seriously, guys. If you have anything to say, go ahead and say it, and I promise you, no subject is Taboo, except the subject just mentioned… oh, sorry… O-Ren Ishii mood.

Chapter 33: The Heist Begins.

I dove into the surrounding bushes, hiding myself from any curious or wary eyes. Moving slowly, making only slight movements in the foliage, so it appeared that only a small animal was moving this night. My vision was obstructed by green, but at least others couldn’t see me.

After spending several minutes in my natural shelter, hearing absolute silence, I dared totake a quick peek. Good, it was clear. I crawled out, sneaking toward the wall, moving slowly, my back against pressed against the black stone , until I reached a corner. I took a glance around the corner… guards, in heavy body armor, and carrying some serious firepower, in the form of military issue machine guns, and grenades. No way I could go in from there.

I retraced my straddling, my back to the wall, senses on high alert, prepared for anything that might appear. I reached the other corner, and just saw the grass was just as bad as the other side of the fence… more guards, equally armed.

I needed another way in, so I turned on the portable radio I received from Mia. “Hey… those blueprints say anything about a back door? Got some heavy resistance from both sides here.”

“Yeah, I noticed. The window just above the door has a grating, which leads to an air vent. Let me see if I can’t distract Laurel and Hardy here.” There was a crash, and I noticed one of the lamps near the entrance had gone dark. The guards reacted, on the alert, but looking away from me. I took the opportunity to get in closer, praying they didn’t turn around, when the second lamp crashed, on the other side, giving me barely enough time to dive into the new shadows, and get low, crouching in the darkness.

I would of cursed Mia by now, for her bad timing, but I was holding my breath, not wanting these two guards to see me. But, it seems my training had paid off, with my black clothing. I was right behind them, but concealed. Just another phantom of the night.

One of the guards brought out a walkie-talkie, calling for repairs, obviously. The other was near him, just nodding to the whole conversation. By the time either of them looked behind them, I was grappled on the ledge above them, looking 6 feet down at them.

The grate protecting the vent, fortunately, was loose, so it was a simple matter of just opening it and closing it, like a door. Guess even the most impenetrable fortress had a few kinks. While I was sung in the man-made metal tunnel, I took a few moments to converse with Mia.

“Glad to see you can kill lamps so quickly. Next time, make sure the thief is hidden before you continue, ok?"

“Well, you were the moron that had to rush it. Things would have been great if you just waited.”

“For what? For the guards to die of old age? I saw an opportunity, and took it. What else would you expect me to do?”

“I don’t know… maybe trust your support?”

“Not going to happen, sister.” I quickly ended the call. I was in no mood to argue with her right now. I crawled through the vent, moving slowly and softly, so as to not make any loud or noticeable bangs on the cold steel. I would have to get out soon, though.

After several minutes of worming my way through, I found an opening. I paused a few seconds, to make sure it was clear. Good, it was silent… but the lights were still on. It should be ok to enter, but I would have to be careful. I peered through the grate, to find myself in an empty office. It was late at night, around eleven pm, but obviously some employees burned whatever was left of the midnight oil. Well, Charlon was right… such devotion WAS cultish.

I opened the grate, and slid down… to the tune of the door opening. There was no time to think. I jumped underneath the only hiding place available… the wooden desk. I was crouching underneath when the door opened. Thanks to the windows being only one way, not letting you see in, there was a reflection. It was just a guard, like the ones outside, and not the worker. He walked in, gun at rest, and just moved his face side to side. Obviously, he was in for the light, and nothing else. After barely a minute, he walked out, and flipped the switch, enveloping the room in darkness

That was my cue. I walked back out from under the desk, sneaking toward the door… pausing suddenly, I froze, and remembered one little detail… and realized how close to capture I came.

I went back to the previously opened vent, and quickly put it back in place. I almost got poisoned by forgetting to close one, when I escaped Stalter, and I rather not have it repeat again. I was very lucky the card was apathetic and overconfident. I would be in a mess if he noticed the hole in the wall.

I left the room, into the hallway. There were plenty of corridors and offices. I had no idea where to look for clues, or where to even begin. If Charlon or Mia had any ideas, they would of said something, despite their annoying or bitchy tendencies. I had no choice. I pulled out a lock pick, and proceeded to work on a nearby door. The answer I needed was in one of these rooms.

Now, to find it before the guards found me.

And, in the ongoing story no one cares about, comes another chapter!

Chapter 34: Arrows Left by the Enemy

I was back in the shadows, panting, out of breath, and sweating, holding my wrist, massaging feeling back into it. An hour had passed since I started picking the locks in the hallway, and things have gotten difficult. It felt like I could no longer go on. I turned on the radio, and relayed my surrender to Mia and Charlong.

“Please tell me you have a clue on the sword. My arms can’t handle another damn lock!” An hour spent prying open door knobs, over and over, only to find neat, paper free offices, without even a computer for information, which I found surprising, was enough to give anyone carpal tunnel syndrome. The pain removed me from a daze of systematically unlocking door, after door. Even the guards, which I knew where patrolling, didn’t show up to stop the rhythm.

But, even the greatest maestro needs a break. At least I had hiding room, and plenty of shadows in these offices. If only these monuments to obsessive-compulsive cleanliness had something pointing to my goal.

A burst of static burst me from my reverie. “Sorry, PC. We got nothing. We know where the rooms are, but what they contain, or what’s in them… well, its one of the reasons we had someone like you do it.” I started to get annoyed, but then a sudden flash of inspiration put some ease into my mind.

“This sword… is highly secure, right? That important.”

“Yeah, obviously. Why?”

“This place barely has any guards, not enough to protect anything valuable. Either the Triad overestimated the sword’s usefulness, or…”

“Or, they are using electronic surveillance and defenses!” I grinned at Mia’s new excitement.

“Yeah… and that means, an extra concentration of wires, cables and other connections. Your blueprints show any of that?”

“Let’s see.” There was a rustle of noise, and some murmurs, flavored with the particular accents of Charlong and my backup… After a long period of waiting, Mia’s voice came back on the line. “Seems to be a great deal of power going down toward the basement, accessible underneath the two side towers. Something has to be there.”

“Excellent… I at least have a starting point, but I just can’t blaze in there. Anything branching off? There has to be someone manning these things, like a control station.”

“Well, according to what I have here, the lines from the basement run through the upper regions of the towers, parallel to the cameras. So, if one goes down, the other will be able to back it up.”

“And, considering the distance between the two, there is no way I can easily take care of both…” A flash of inspiration came, as I recalled one of Charlong’s lessons in electronics. “Unless I can find a way to increase the current to an extremely high degree. I would be able to burn out one station, and the extra voltage would short out the other station… and the cameras.”

“Well… it’s worth a shot.” I noticed Mia sounded skeptical of my plan… I admit, it did sound far fetched, but I was convinced I could wire something. “The eastern tower is the closest to where you entered. Now, get going, or lead will be the last thing you see.”

Funny… she actually sounded cheerful with that last threat. Oh well, I now had direction, and a lead. I peeked out the door, making sure it was safe, and then snuck out. The night was about to get a little better.

AT LAST! FREE TIME!! TIME TO WRITE FANFICS! And read other people’s!!

Well, not for long, I got another project for next week, so, gotta hurry!

Glenton, sorry I wasn’t able to post before. As I had told you, my free time has been eaten a lot by work and duties to my loved ones these days. But, rest assured, I’ve read and enjoyed your story, and will now give you the best review I can.

First of all, I’m glad to see that your writing skills are as good as I remember. Honest, PC: this reads just like a typical espionage thriller, the kind that sell like hotcakes these days. Everything, from you prose, to the characters description’s and their personalities, to PC’s exploration of his existence and surroundings, is very well written. My only complaint is that several typos have slipped in this time- the kind nobody cares for in fanfics most of the time (you misspelled Charlong several times, for example) but because the rest of the prose is so good, they can’t help but be noticed. Yes, I know finding those can be a bitch. Don’t you have a spellchecker? Preferably with a semantics-checking option? That’s what I use.

As for the story itself, I’m getting more convinced now that the whole thing is some sort of Virtual Reality simulation that Glenton is being put through. That’s why the Matrix reference is so important to PC. But, who’s the voice he hears? Is it the person who is manipulating the sequence, or is it his forgotten, true self, ala Total Recall? In any case, I’m very impressed by your use of the Chinese social, political and criminal elements; yes, what you describe could very well happen in the real world… and BTW, setting everything a few years in the future does indeed make things fit in better together, specially if my suspicion is true.

And btw, GREAT character there with Mia. And not just because she’s a Babe. :stuck_out_tongue: Her interplay with Glenton is great. Why do I suspect she’s going to end up dead… probably AFTER sharing a bed with PC?

Great work, PC. Don’t be fooled by the lack of comments, most people reading this probably don’t know what to comment, I mean things like “that was neat” don’t do it justice. Please continue the story, I’m sure we all will enjoy it. And I will continue commenting on it… time permitting.

Whoa, Wil… that is some high praise, especially coming from one of the best reviewers here.

I hope to keep it up, working on the next chapter, and trying to finish it as well.

The spelling errors, yeah, I plan to fix those when I give the whole thing one final look. I have a tendency for typos, its why I avoid chatrooms.

But, as for the grammer, I know its rather erratic, since I am so found of using … but, are there any other examples?

Well, will be back soon, with the next chapter.

… Still reading give me a day and I’ll critque it, I still have about 9 chapters or so…

Take your time, Alyx… I just hope you like it.

Anyway, this next chapter is more action then story… I wanted to go to the control panel immediately, but I figured this is a big building, and going through something like that without incident is unbelivable. Plus, I wanted to show off what I am capable of… though, for situations like these, I wish I had some sort of Metal Gear simulator to run. Make visualizing easier.

Anyway, here we go!

Chapter 35: A Narrow Escape.

The pain in my wrists soon faded away, ignored once I had a new goal, a new direction. I headed in the direction Mia told me, again on the prowl, and again open for any unsuspecting surprises. The hallway was long, so I had to keep watching my back as well as keep my eyes peeled ahead. I may be dressed for concealment, but it’s amazing how far the average human can see. At least I had the different offices to duck into.

I went like this, creeping from office to office, in total silence, until I reached the staircase. The trip was uneventful… it made me suspicious, just how quiet it was… but, I had no time to ponder this, and I quickly took a peek upwards. Quiet as a tomb… but the only ghost here was myself.

Stairs would be problematic. There was really no good way to hide, nor any way to avoid surprises. The best thing I could do was keep my ears open, listening for the tramp and footsteps of the patrols, and head away from the noise, toward an exit, if they were coming close.

I climbed, taking one stair at a time, walking slowly, gently. My shoes but a whisper on tiled steps. Floor by floor, on my way to the top. But, the wound of a door opening above me perked me up from my methodic reverie. Someone was here… and, from the sound of his steps, he was getting closer. I immediately turned around, only to hear a similar sound from down below, and getting louder as well. The sensation hit me immediately, and squeezed my innards like a giant claw, caught between two unyielding slabs. I was trapped.

I controlled my breathing, forcing myself to stay calm, and focused. I needed to get out. I knew that I was one level above and below, and the stairs and banister would hide me… the stairs would do a better job, so my main worry should be below me. Knowing this, I used the stairs above to their full advantage, and straddled myself on the banister, making every effort to be quiet. I saw the other guard below me, my eyes on him, waiting for him to get close to the top of the stairs, the one second where he would turn the corner.

When he finally reached it, before he could look my way, I shoved my body toward the lower stairwell, using a great feat of acrobatics to straighten myself mid fall, and grab on to the edge of my former post with just my finger tips. I waited a few more seconds, a few more steps, to give myself a little more time for my next stunt.

I let go of the side, only dropping a few feet, since my body was extended, and then on tiptoes, leaped down the stairs, skidding to a stop. Pushing against my built up momentum, I leapt toward the door, opening and closing it so quickly, it could be thought I was passing through the door itself.

The hallway was lit like the others, but I could not take the risk of escaping the light this time. It would take some time to pick open the doors in the hallway, and I had two guards behind me. My only hiding place was the door itself.

The adrenaline rush that helped me get here now wanted to betray me, exhausting my lungs, making them beg for air. But, I had to deny them. Any panting, any heavy breathing, could give me away. I needed to be silent. I crouched down, against the wall. The hinges on the door had a safety release, meaning they couldn’t close all the way, most likely to protect the wall, and to prevent any absent minded worker from being crushed by any herd of lunch goers making a mad dash to the cafeteria. And this safety feature was what I planned on keeping me safe, and hidden.

As I thought, the door opened, going as far as it could, its shadow casting a protective blanket on me. From this blanket, I saw the tip of a military issue machine gun, the same one carried by all the grunts here. I bristled, forcing myself still and silent, controlling my breathing, making it slow, and paced.

I saw one guard, in ready position, walking forward, his pace like a lion’s on the hunt, looking for prey, ready to spring at the slightest pin drop. He looked to the side, thankfully not thinking about the door, and crept forward, trying one door, seeing it was locked. With quick expertise, he unlocked it, and entered the office. The second guard was a perfect mirror, doing the same actions in concert with his partner, on the other side of the hallway.

I took this time to make my exit, moving through the door, and back up the stairs, moving silently, hoping the time it took to clear the office of any intruders would allow me to be some distance away. I walked up to the level I was on, and paused, waiting for any commotion, or any assault, but all was calm. No guards, no shots, nothing but silence.

I took the liberty of allowing my lungs the much-needed air, giving them the luxury of heavy breathing. I then continued my climb, hopefully without incident this time.


SO I was able to read the first few chpaters at school and then class was ending… so because I was se interested in what jhappened I printed off every chpater in the old thread and read them and then had to wait till I got hom to read all you new ones.

This is really wonderful, I wish I had the knowledge to critque it properly, but I do know I like the flow and suspense you got through out the story. So continue updating or else…

Heh… glad you like it, Alyx… though, I have a feeling this chapter is going to dissappoint.

Not only because it took forever to post. (about six tenths of that was doubt, BTW), but its not my best work… really stretching the ol’ book of physics.

Anyway, here it is. Hope you like it.

Chapter 36: The Gamble for Darkness

The rest of the climb upward was thankfully uneventful, the only obstacle on my way to the top was the sheer repetition of the stairs, going upwards and upwards, ruining my focus, and dulling my instincts with a haze of boredom.

Finally, the endless hike ended, at an ordinary looking brown door. By looking at it, you could not know the power that lies behind. But, like most things, is only a sham to hide what is truly inside. The natural form of deception, used in nature, and in human society.

The door itself was just another knob, like the ones below it. Nothing a little picking wouldn’t open. But, behind that door was the true challenge, and proof that my musings of natural deception were true. A solid metal door, locked not by keyhole, but by plastic card.

But, I came prepared for such inconveniences. Inside my jacket, in one of many hiding spots, was a device that looked like a calculator, but attached to the top were many wires, which lead to a metal card, with a magnetic strip on the other end. A pick for card locks.

I inserted the card into the slot, and turned on the “calculator”, which was really a digital decoder. The information from a card, like anything using computerized information, was just binary, on and off switches, which we translated to 0 and 1s, and in the case of long digits, like this could be, further translated to hexadecimal, a base 15 counting system. What this device did was send these 0s and 1s randomly, looking for a pathway.
It could easily be compared to a lock going through tumblers, trying to find a way in. When something gives, it goes in further

The display and buttons of the decoder was mostly there if the lock was more complicated, or the password had a feedback randomizer, which changed the information received. If a skilled operator noted a sudden change, he could carefully observe the movements, and see the variable that appeared most often. That digit, in hex, would be the correct sequence for a card-code. And, it also came with a memory option to store past numbers, to avoid doing the process all over again.

I managed to get the door open, correcting the randomized inputs that attempted to throw me off guard. The passage in was soon open to me, but I did not relish it yet. I had to be careful, so I put my sights in the new room before I let my feet take their first few steps. And, for the first time, I saw the first true hint of how secure this place was.

The whole area was at least two floors high, and about forty yards wide, from each end. A perfect square, filled with enough electronic surveillance to keep a whole country of stalkers busy and occupied. Monitors, computers, desktops, and even recordings, to rival those of network television stations. Big Brother would love this place.

And, in contrast to the mostly empty corridors and offices I saw so far, this place was crawling with guards, working on consoles, observing monitors and tapes, even chatting. At least I knew where they all were now.

This whole mess just got harder. I needed to somehow sneak in, and sabotage all THIS? Well, I only had to get inside a console, so maybe if I could work my way around, just next to a machine… there was an edge just next to the door. I hope none of these goons had to make their rounds.

I crawled to the end of one of the huge systems, only a few feet into the building. This was dangerous, but I had no choice. Besides, they all looked busy. Good, it had screws, and from the looks of things, it looked like this side has been accessed several times, most likely by these guards. Only the dumber Triads would ask for outside help, and risk spies and possible informants. Probably did the work themselves. As a result, they had to have easy access to the insides, as they lacked specialized tools, like the stronger power tools. Well, made my life easier.

I nervously looked out into the floor, sweat covering me like a second skin. I was low on my belly, my feet outside the room, past the metal door, using my hands to crawl forward. My gloved hands were pulling my full weight, and the strain of picking all those locks earlier was coming back. But, I had to be as silent as possible. Anyone looking in this direction would see me clearly.

Like I expected, the panel came off easily, and the insides were exposed. I took one nervous look over my shoulder. Good… no one was looking this way. Inside the device were a mixture of wires and circuit boards, of all sizes. For what I was planning, I would need something big, so I took the widest wire I could find. Taking a pair of huge clippers from my jacket, I then proceeded to cut into the beast, sawing into it, while taking another cautious peak. Good, everyone was still absorbed in their work.

Cutting this would definitely shut down something, most likely something that could be noticed. I could already hear the crowd stir. Quickly, I rammed each of section of the cut cable onto one of the smaller boards. The sizzling effect, accompanied with the ever-increasing smell of melt plastic was quickly overlooked by the chaos that ensued.

Everything happened quickly. The machine hissed; smoke coming from the dials, like a ghost leaving its mortal body, leaving only a cold, empty shell. I knew onlookers would come, so I quickly scooted myself back into the darkness of the small hallway. The guards swooped upon the sabotaged device like vultures on a corpse. It wouldn’t take long to find out what was long, so I had to work fast.

When the crowd reached its peak, I snuck into the room, and against the wall. With everyone distracted, I got near another set of dials, and moved them to the right, all to the right. The labels were in Chinese, a language I was hopelessly ignorant in, despite my time in Hong Kong, but I knew the same constants apply. If a dial increases power, it goes to the right.

I proceeded to the other machines, turning all the dials I could to the right. And, after I turned the last one, it became the Hong Kong Independence Day. Purple fireworks burst in the room, let out in joyful celebration by the all-seeing equipment in the room. The screams of panic let out by the guards were parallel to the screams of excited children as they ran among the sparkles and smoke. Hell, even the floor was celebrating, though it was obviously having trouble lighting the matches, and was suffering heavy burns.

And, just as soon as it started, darkness fell, and the party was over. The room was completely black. And, I chose to make my exit as well, not worrying about the guards, as they were evidently not used to the inky black like I was. From the bumps, yells and thumps, it was obvious they couldn’t tell a computer from a wall, much less a sneaky thief from a loyal guard. Though, I was concerned. I only wanted to shut down the machines, not destroy everything.

In the safe blanket of natural concealment, I decided to call my backup. “What happened? The whole room blacked out.”

“The room? PC, whatever the hell you did, took out the whole building! All the lights are off, its like the only thing there is a big, hard to see shadowy blob!”

In my zest to shut down the surveillance, I must have burnt out several fuses, at the very least. “So, I take it the other station is out as well?”

There was a few seconds of silence, but the irritation behind it was screaming out. “Yes, you took out the other station, the lights, and the vending machines. But, you turned on one light. The big neon sign screaming that someone’s been fooling around!”

I didn’t think of that, and internally agreed that she did have a point. But, hell if I was going to let her win. “So, I just work faster. What is the fastest way to the basement?”

“The stairs are the only way. This place has no elevators, so you have to WALK down there. And, with all the commotion you caused…” I got the point. The place would be crawling with armed guards. I may have darkness on my side, but the numbers would eventually catch up.

It was then something came to me. “Mia, on my way here, I saw something that looked like a small door… what would that be?”

“Probably a garbage shoot. A place with this many secrets would have to be careful what they threw out. Don’t want some homeless person discovering something they can trade for food.”

“So, it leads to a disposal facility? Where is it located?” I was silently pleading, to whoever listens to amnesiac thieves, that it would take me where I needed to go. The one place that all those wires were leading to.”

“The basement… wait, you’re not actually thinking of…?

It was too late. I was beyond thinking. I quickly sprinted toward the cute, and jumped in. I had my shortcut, and was not passing it up. This would be just what I needed to avoid the guards. But, my hopes were dashed as soon as I began my descent.

“NO! The basement has a backup generator that adds power to certain functions. Like immediate, basic security, and sanitation functions like the TRASH INCINERATOR!”

As soon as she said that, my elation turned sour, as I thought why the hell she couldn’t tell me that SOONER!

Hm…its written very well, but PC doesn’t seem as focused and calculating, for lack of a better term. If seems like it was just blind luck that he did all that in the tower, also wouldn’t security be a little more alert? They way you portrayed them, i almost saw them eating donuts and watching the computer screen with a glazed look.

It a good chapter, but it seems a little off to me, but I don’t really know how to say what is off with it :-/ and perhaps its just me as I’m no literary critic. But PC, you write really well so continue on as I want to know if he burns up or not. Burn…Hehehehe…