Blue Roses Part 2
by Blaine L Winston
Green to yellow, green to yellow, junk data written, deleted, written again. His thoughts were being invaded faster than his NanoPort could stave off, trashing his receptor links being the first tactic in a NanoPort attack. The second was timing. The slower your opponent reacts, the easier you can plug them with a .50 caliber round human or android alike. The Deckar had been running subroutines to confuse the attackers, directing most of the traffic to a honeypot but even the sub's quantum processes were not fast enough. The sentries were state of the art yet Kevin had finally found a prime margin of error from the Deckars and it was a big slice of a percentage. These models were not even rated, more military unit than personal security. Luck would have it that his .50 caliber was equipped with high impact vibro detonation rounds and he had enough to take them all down with him. If it came to that. He fired a few pulse shots before hitting one of the sentry's midsection, grapefruit sized holes appearing and it was down. "Yellow to Red, you are dead." mocked a thin voice from inside Kevin's subnet, then laughter, then silence.
The windows burst inward, flecks of glass filling the room and pelting anything within it. As he stepped through the newly created entrance, the Deckar’s arm began to disassemble and shape into a multi pronged device. The pulse emission turned the sentry into paste. Yuan was nowhere to be seen and Kevin’s blast damage was minimal. For a silent moment the chaos seemed to settle and his thoughts were his own again. Without warning the ceiling collapsed and the protohuman sentries fell down into the room. A human security squad of maybe twenty filed towards them as the boardroom members began dropping one by one. The Deckar's eyes flashed a static blue while his deliberate and precise eviscerations of the board members melded into graceful movements of attacks and ripostes which made it a splendor to watch. However Kevin knew that this would be brief so he pulled a tactiperc grenade from his coat pocket and flung it towards the security unit.
The blast was furious. It kicked much of the debris up, flinging it out towards the helpless security detail, ripping through them instantly. This particular grenade was a custom from the Kowloonies who owed him a debt and a dozen of these were part of a generous repayment. He cracked a slight grin at the response to his demonstration of its abilities; gurgles, moans and the unmistakablesmell of shit mingled with copper. Most of the human squad was incapacitated or dead. Even to this moment, it amazed Hannigan how much a human would release upon dying.
Kevin watched as the last executive pulled on the fire alarm in a desperate chance for some type of rescue. The bypass still had thirteen minutes left and the sound proof office walls left this man the unluckiest on floor 183. Kevin took aim, acquired his target and pulled the trigger. The executive’s head was sliced into even chunks while Yuan uncloaked into view.
The team stripped their suits and made sure no stains soaked through unto their new change of clothes. The perimeter clear, they stepped from the board room and the receptionist turned towards them.
“I hope your meeting was pleasant. I’ll just need your ID badge to validate your visit,” she blankly stated.
Kevin pulled the badge from his pocket allowing her to interface as he watched those sickly milky white eyes reappear and with a smooth deftness, sliced her throat. Her eye lids continued to blink over her blank eyes attempting to retrieve data that will never be sent while her heart tried desperately to supply blood to her brain. Unfortunately, that road was closed so it took a shortcut through her neck. Kevin dropped the card at her feet as her choking was muffled out by the noise of their expensive loafers rushing over the marbled-floor. Yuan’s timer broadcast that the interception loop had less than three minutes before its job was done. A small smile creased Kevin’s lips as they entered the limo waiting outside. The rain beat off the top and syncopated perfectly with the countdown in Kevin’s head.
He lived for this part.
Thirty short seconds and three miles later the two-hundred and forty third floor of the Durant building was vaporized, the flash from the neutron brief and cleansing. Another day, another dollar Kevin thought. He didn’t get much time to think much anymore. Even trivial thoughts were a forgone reality, a reminder that he didn’t have time to waste processing power on insignificant facts or inconsequentialities. The jobs had steadily been increasing and the pay flooded their cloaked accounts like water filling an ocean. His com began to intercept an encrypted datagram from the client. The decoded transmission played in his head.
Purged by fire, the devils’ light paved the golden streets towards heaven.
He never understood the need for the cryptic, poetic bullshit but some of these clients were mostly wealthy men keeping profit margins in their favor. Obviously, to them, they were at a much higher level than the others in life whom could not find, build, or fraudulently create their fortunes. They could transmogrify words into terrible poetry as much as they desired but it didn’t matter what the reason was, Kevin got paid and his team was always handsomely compensated. Always.
“We need to head in,” Kevin said. “Deckar, I’ll need the interception data you were able to recover fed through our decryption unit now. Yuan review the video feeds from all perspectives, even the penthouse cameras you were able to secure.”
Yuan raised a sharp eyebrow and stated matter of factly, “I’ve managed to secure low tech shit like that before they started wrapping those Decks in nanosteak.”
Deckar’s eyes stared directly at Yuan as they flashed data to the comcenter, his lack of blinking furthering the unease in his reply.
“The ‘nanosteak' you refer to is merely a comfortable addition for sapient species to feel at ease,” the Deckar explained. “The model 9-Malcom nanoflesh series is the most advanced. I could regenerate a wound in mere moments as opposed to your gushing wound that will require aid soon.”
Kevin looked at Yuan’s stomach; her arms couldn’t mask the blanket of blood that was caked on her vest. She looked up at him with that usual fuck off grin and turned to the side. Her defiant nature has saved her ass as well as the team’s on too many occasions and he knew this wasn’t going to be her last.
Kevin said, “Deckar, when you’re done uploading be sure to attend to Yuan’s wounds and Yuan, don’t give him any shit, last time the repairs took me four days.”
Yuan maintained her pose looking at the inside door of the car. He knew she hid her pain well and held a defiant disdain towards synthetics. The Deck that traveled with them was fine tuned by Kevin himself and was a far more reliable asset than an entire recon team. Big money buys big toys these days and when business is good for some there is a chance that a really bad day could occur. Or most likely would occur. Deckar, as he called himself, already began to work on patching up Yuan; the nano transformation was incredible even now, thirty years after its introduction to the world. A micro surgery was occurring on the far seat of the limo and not even the street bumps jarred his precision.
“What got you Yuan?”, Kevin asked. “If there needs to be recalibrations on the reflection screens I will triple check the data. I am running analysis on your head cam now but mistakes like this must be avoided if we’re to retire alive and not in some shit filled cesspool. They knew we were coming, they blasted though our frequency and they were ready for us.”
Yuan flinched in pain as she almost jumped over Deckar to slug Kevin in the mouth. “Jesus Kev, can’t I get wired up before you start with the Holmes act? Yes the reflection frequency was off and a fucking fragment from someone’s special fucking grenade from the fucking Kowloonies nicked my fucking stomach.”
“Penetrated and lacerated your spleen, but went clean through, to be precise,” Deckar corrected.
Yuan shouts, “Shut the fuck up Deck! Listen Kevin, I am fine and it was a minor flaw. The job’s done and we can go home and drink ourselves into amnesia, ya know the usual weekend activities.”
“Yuan, you need to rest up. We have a few more jobs this season and I need you to be tops. I’ll have you dropped off at the loft while I take Decker back to com for further analysis.” Kevin paused. “This was no accident Yuan and you know it.”
She stared at his angered yet concerned face, the furrows of his brows rising up and down making his eyes appear to shape shift from marbles to dark almonds. His breathing was calm enough but he couldn’t ignore his suspicions.
Yuan tried to reassure him. “Kevin, it was an accident. The Deck will figure it out soon enough and we’re on our way again so chill out Kev. You’re making my MorphiGel wear off and I need to recoup, so kindly go fuck yourself.”
Kevin watched her turn over and mulled over how he always liked the way she could handle a tough situation but her antics made her less of a leader than he’d hoped. He had been running these teams for twenty-eight years now, not much older than Yuan, the Deckar was a luxury compared to the old days and the losses were insurmountable. It hadn’t taken long for the market to collapse again. The Great Depression was Coney Island compared to the crash of 2198. Entire corporations were wiped out, the jobless rate rose to 68% and the United States were no longer star and stripes, but scars, blood and maiming from the riots and sheer anarchy replaced those ‘stars & bars’.
The live broadcast of the president’s assassination by his own press secretary left the world more panic driven than the US. Central America became a wasteland after insurgent nuclear weapons stored there were detonated by a mob of rampant scavengers; nearly four hundred and fifty megatons wiped out millions in moments. Nearly triggering an international incident, the newly appointed president Jennings took to the air to ensure that the US was safe and that Central America was nothing but work by extremists. He began to tell the nation of how we needed to pull together or some bullshit. Kevin was only eleven when the first of eight precision strikes hit Washington DC, New York City, Tokyo, Beijing, Los Angeles, and the remaining three along Nebraska, Iowa and Indiana. The world was fucked and Kevin was lucky enough to have survived the horrors of the twenty years that followed. Once order was restored the cause for the strikes was revealed as a plot from a multisect group of activist that wanted to cull the population. They did a damn good job just not good enough. Within twenty years most of the US was restored but divided into smaller nation states. Kevin was in the Yuma Territory when they formed and order seemed to return. It wasn’t long before manufacturing and corporate control returned and those men who controlled the flow of goods and data were capable of grasping their own empires to be worshipped like tiny gods.
In 2230 there was a sense of peace that waved over most citizens. They was no war and humanity had their choices of life enhancing effects. Humanity was on the verge of immortality but greed still prevailed even in a new world arisen from those same greasy ashes. Before long corporations began to compete not only in the normal fashion but they also competed for blood. Once a rival was phased out and the data destroyed what does that leave you? Malcolm took good care of him and his team yet sides weren’t the issue for Kevin. Precision and money now that was a different matter. His team could cut through troops like a freshly sharpened blade, made marks with little intel and always cleaned their trail on the way out. There are no breadcrumbs to be left in this scary forest, no candy house to be led to and what could follow you is worse than any hungry witch.
back to Sci-fi