Friday, July 6, 2012

Rue: Rats In The Cellar Part 3

Leading The Witness

It’s always depressing, having a client that has no idea what you’re all about. Don Yoku knew even less than the dolts back at the precinct. That would work in my favor though.

It usually did.

Amy had been murdered three years back by a serial killer that thought I’d get scared and back off afterwards. I found him the same night I found her left in pieces on our bed. Everybody was surprised I didn’t kill him when I found him. I broke his arm in six places but I refused to commit murder.

Mark Messier, this guy who killed twelve West Worthington guards with a broken chair, killed him. Mark owed me. I had testified that the guards provoked him and got him sentenced to The Bastille.

Don wouldn’t get off so easy as death.

Jade. Dragon semen. Don would have his dogs sniffing out the corners for anything vaguely reptilian. Twit. One would think greed personified would be a little more cunning. A little more world wise.

I drank my coffee straight from the pot one of Don’s dogs had brought me and took a seat at one of the security terminals.

Don wondered how someone had gotten past his security system. That part was easy. Obviously he hadn’t been paying attention as technology progressed. Everything was tied into the Chrysalis Falls central computer system in order to monitor energy needs and security risks. Security risks were mostly ignored or recorded in order to blackmail those involved. That was Morelli’s style.

But everything was tied together now and with the virtual reality explosion, the net was a war zone. Straightjackets, folks who left their body in spasms in order to let their mind ride the wires, had their own civilization online.

That’s where the Dragons were. They’d gone into hiding soon as the power grid went up. The Dragons were one of the first beings to realize the potential of technology. A couple words of power and they weren’t just in the system, they were the system. That’s how our unruly dragon and his lover had gotten in. They had skated up the conduit, shut off the system for their own little playtime, and popped out through a wall socket.

The things you learn when your wife is a nosy ghost.

That begged the question though. Why was he still here?

I slurped down some more coffee. Five hours to go. I had run out of ProTabs a couple hours back.

I had laid it on thick with Don about the thief wanting to defile his collection but I doubted the Dragon really gave a shit. Lover or no, he’d have wanted to bolt as quickly as possible and would’ve done it though any electrical outlet. Unless…

I’d been walking holes in Don’s rug, drinking coffee straight from the pot, and had completely missed the point.

A distraction.

This wasn’t a goddamn robbery, it was an assassination.

I ran back to the room where the rubies had been displayed and grabbed the nearest security terminal. The screen was black and I hit the button to turn it back on.

It didn’t respond.

I jerked the kiosk towards me and found its power cord dangling. Someone had unplugged it. I remedied that problem and jabbed the monitor’s power button again.

As the screen came to life, the Dragon’s plan was laid out before me. The cursor moved on its own and continued rifling through Don’s files. Temperature control, locks, overrides for the lighting’s brightness.

I grinned. Burn the place down eh? Not a bad thought.

I grabbed the mouse and moved it from the temperature control window back to the lock screen and changed a setting. Everything our little thief had been doing froze.

That caught its attention. I opened a word processor and started typing.

“If you’d left the locking program like that, the fire department would’ve responded within ten minutes. If you’re serious about doing this, there are some changes you need to make.”

A message typed itself out on the screen.

“Who are you?”

“The law.”

I waited for a moment, then started typing again.

“It seems Don’s broken a great many of them, including kidnapping. Care to give me a hand?”

“Oh hell yes.”

Finally, there would be something interesting happening tonight.

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