Welcome to the 12th 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.
The Nothing’s Child
Life is a Dumpster Dive
Behind the Bookcase
Fried Eggs for Breakfast
Interrogation with no Egg to Stand On
Fried Eggs for Breakfast
“What the hell were you thinking?” she asked. I knew she would be pissed, but this bordered on interrogation. “Have you even seen the news over the past few days?”
“I didn’t think so.” She flipped on the wall video unit. “There is a city-wide man hunt for you now.”
“It was a job?”
“That’s right, you weren’t thinking.” I couldn’t tell if the look on her face was disappointment or anger. “The corporate networks are on high alert right now. They set a reward.”
“Really? How much?”
“Seriously, that’s your reaction? I know some heat comes with the job. But this… it’s different this time.” That look on her face, it’s been awhile since I saw it. This was the look of concern she gave me when we were together, just before we followed our own paths.
“You knew this was my life. You were the one who joined the corps.”
“You could still join me too. Stop all this nonsense and come to the other side.”
“I can’t do that and you know it.” She was always a sucker for my smile. “Besides, you have a whole new class of hooligans to pal around with now. I would never fit in.”
“You can stay the night, but this is the last time.” She walked away from the dining room table. “I have a good thing going. I can’t afford to damage it.” She closed her bedroom door behind her.
Wow, I think she meant it this time. Never thought I would see her go completely over to the dark side. There is an allure of running within the corps. Sure, steady pay and benefits, but they had their own version of intrigue. For me, it would never be the same as living the way I do.
Sure I might have the corporate cops on my tail most of the time but there was a freedom in that. I never had to punch a time clock. The work I did was for my benefit and I could pick and choose the work I did. She turned her back on all that for the safety of the corp. She turned her back on me.
She was gone when I woke up, left me a note. “Food in the fridge, be safe.” Some scrambled eggs and sausage, she still cared. Or she wanted to drive the point home? It hurt, just as much now as when we split. Still, there’s work to be done.
The eggs set it off. In the excitement of last night and then coming to Jen’s I forgot about the egg. The thing was a packet of information, now embedded on my brain. It set up some strange subroutines to imprint itself and then it faded away. I’ve never seen an app do that before.
To make matters worse, I can’t call the information up either. I can feel it in my head, like a thought just at the edge of my mind but I can’t quite grasp. I will have to check in with Greybunny and see if she found the buyer for this yet. That may be the only way of removing the egg from my brain.
Of course I still don’t know what happened to Drake. I assume he sent me the packet as a failsafe in case he bit it. Not always the best place to be in but you do what you need to do.
I set the plate in the sink when I finished then cleaned up the couch. Gave the place one last look before I stepped out the door. Jen would come around and welcome me back. She always does. This wasn’t the first time she kicked me out of her life.
On the street, I realized that this felt familiar. It was only a couple days ago that I was in this position. The day after the run on Universal Controls when I spent the night at Jen’s. Seems everything had exploded since that day.
I almost missed them in the lobby. This time it wasn’t the goons in riot gear but suits. The suits found me; the official look to get you into places like this. Everyone wears armor, just a matter of how it protects the wearer.
You would think they would have learned by now. I changed direction and headed back to the rear entrance of the building. No sense sticking around where they were waiting for me. Maybe they do learn. The gun at my back when I was about to open the door got my attention.
“You’re a hard man to find.”
“I’m a busy man.” I raised my hands to the air then slowly turned to face the gun owner. He wasn’t too big, unassuming even. The gun was imposing but without it he wouldn’t have been much to look at.
He tapped his temple, “Got him. He was heading out the back. Come to the rear entrance for pick up.”
“So, what you want me against the wall so you can cuff me or something?”
“Stay right where you are. Hands where I can see ‘em.” The man’s face was unreadable, blank. I felt like he was about to do my taxes.
The two suits from the lobby joined the gunman. The larger one slammed me against the wall from behind. Without a word he pulled my wrists down and cuffed me, frog marched me through the door and into the alley behind the building. Two black sedans waited for us outside the door.
“I never thought I was that big a deal,” I said. “You really needed four of you to bring me in?” They ignored me. The gunman opened the door and the big one shoved me into the back of the car.
They got into the front with the gunman in the driver’s seat. “We have the package. Returning to base now.” Another one-sided conversation at a tap of his temple.
I liked to keep body modifications to a minimum. Sure I had the dermal plates to give me a little protection and my Net connection. But that was the short list of how much I was willing to do to my body.
These guys had the corporate package, by the look of it. All they showed me so far was the tap and speak temple communicator. A communication device that connects in the ear canal and transmits from the vibrations of your jaw bone as you speak. They tap their temples to connect the calls. They operate on a frequency connected to other members of the team. I’ve heard they have a decent range with these things.
“So, guys, where we going?” I asked. You expect the villains to gloat and get all preachy like they do in the comics. But these two are just goons. They probably don’t know what’s going on anyway. They didn’t answer.
The cars traveled in formation. The car I was in took the lead with the other shadowing. They didn’t take me through the area I expected them too. I was sure we were heading to Universal Controls. I mean it is their item that I have now. But we were going the wrong way.
We pulled into the office compound for Teledyne Dynamics. Sure they were planning a merger with UC but what would I be doing here? This couldn’t be right, or could it? They pulled the cars into a private garage within the compound.
Doing a bit of a different plug today. A friend is working through a bit of a sticky wicket (look at the wicked slang I know). Check out the Abandoned Boob Chronicles and if you can, give a little to help support her struggle.