Welcome to the 10th installment to The Nothing’s Child. The world is nothing like we know anymore. Or something…
If you are new to how the links work, each section shows all the links for the specific section. Otherwise there is a link for the start of each section. It is easy to catch up to where we are now.
Behind the Bookcase
This is where it can get tricky. Places like this tend to have security cameras in the halls. I know, I went to a lot of trouble already to avoid being seen entering his apartment. If I was cool, I would make a run on the outside and break in through the window. But I’m not that cool.
What I do have though is my helioscope. These things have a few good uses. You saw a couple already, now for one more. I made a couple adjustments on my datapad and sent the scope into the main hall. In the hall it linked in to the security camera system. This doesn’t work as well as running the system within the Net but it comes a close second.
Once the scope attached itself to the security system, it sent in an override command. I had limited command functions within their video system. I set it for an endless loop showing the past 10 minutes of footage. Crude but it would buy me some time to get into the apartment and back out again.
I opened the door and walked to Drake’s apartment. The hall was a bit more posh than I expected. New carpet, brass treatments throughout, but the clincher was the window at the other end of the hall. The thing out into the city and down into the lobby below. You could stand on the glass floor at that end of the hall and look straight down. His apartment was on the right, just past the elevator.
The door was locked, I mean really, you didn’t expect it would magically be open did you? Sometimes it pays to have a certain group of friends. The door was sealed with a magnetic key lock. I received this from a friend after a run a while back, Code Key 2000. This thing was designed specifically to pop open magnetically sealed doors.
It worked similar to my smoke screen apps when I am in the Net. I don’t really break the code to open the door. Instead this thing tricks the door into not seeing that it’s there. In the process the door opens thinking it is still sealed as it should be. I should be able to shut off the lock on the other side and retrieve my toy.
Drake was good, there could be no doubt of his abilities to organize a run. But when you look in his apartment, you really need to question some things. The place was a mess. My initial reaction was that it had been hit and searched. But really, it looked like it was naturally messy.
I wasn’t sure what exactly I was looking for but I figured it had to be something I could pop the code into. At the least he should have some clue leading me to what he was trying to tell me. I left the living room and went down the hall toward the bedroom.
The room on the left could best be described as the menagerie. Seems our friend Drake had a thing for lizards. Cages were everywhere. Lizards of all different shapes and sizes in every cage. Gave me the willies. The room across the hall was a bathroom, nothing to see there.
Two more doors at the end of the hall. One of them led into a master bedroom. The other looked like a library/office. I don’t know what you picture when I say office, but for someone like Drake an office is more like an armory. The man had some impressive weaponry, all part of the work he did.
The problem I ran into with all of this, nothing was really out of the ordinary. The cards were on the table with nothing standing out. It didn’t make sense. Of course the one thing missing was Drake. The place was untouched, no signs of struggle or tampering. I had one last option. The helioscope.
I pulled out my datapad and set in the parameters. Might take it a bit but the scope could scan the place and find what my eyes were missing. In this function I would see what the scope saw on my datapad. A bit crude but in a pinch these things can be versatile.
I released the scope then glued my eyes to my datapad screen. The layout of the apartment filled the screen. A look similar to vision through night sight goggles. It centered on where I stood within the apartment and spread out through the rest.
When the scope flew close to the kitchen a new area showed up on the floor plan. At first I thought it was the apartment next door but I noticed an anomaly that told me otherwise.
I know you will think this is crazy or cliché, but you know those old movies with a bookcase hiding a secret door? The anomaly showed up behind a bookcase next to the kitchen. I tried the classic. I pulled books at random, hoping something would trigger the secret door, nothing.
It was when I moved a couple books at chest level that I found the keypad. Letters instead of numbers on the face, this had to be it. I tapped bleuthor into the keypad and waited. The click after I hit enter marked my victory.
Half the bookcase spun open a small amount. I had to pull it open the rest of the way by hand. This was it, the meat of Drakes apartment. The inner sanctum where he planned the runs that paid his bills.
I had a feeling that I might be the only person to ever come into this part of his apartment. The question of the hour though, was why? What was it he wanted me to find in here? The room was roughly the size of the master bedroom. It was oddly clean and organized compared to the rest of the apartment. I figured he organized the things important in his life and let other things go as they will.
Just like the rest of the apartment I didn’t see anything out in the open that made me think there might be answers in here. That was until I found the Net jack. He had a connection in his apartment. Drake wasn’t a runner. Why would he have a jack? It was possible to use the Net without the jack but immersion wasn’t possible without one. Most people didn’t go that far.
I shut and resealed the door to the room. The only people I wanted to find me in here would be Drake. I had my doubts of him showing up though. Might not be my best idea right now, but I needed to jack in. Something told me answers would only be found where his connection took me.
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