Thursday, March 30, 2006

Episode 22

Now for the human factor.
Jean has a potent sleep agent
called AP600. Inhalant only.
Puts men out for at least 6 hours.
The question is how to get it in ...

In the square, under the cover of dark trees, Yuki took out the vaporizer. It was a bulky object, about the size of a rocket launcher, but with electronics designed to turn considerable pools of water into steam.

Yuki knew it was meant for escapes He had been brought up and made for handling weaponry. This being so, it had only three chargers. He aimed carefully.

The pulse that was released from the vibrating nose cone of the vaporizer swept across the square and engulfed a good part of Internal. Pipes below the surface blew, releasing steam, taps in the building popped off like champagne corks, a handyman's mopping bucket was rendered a white shadow from all the wet smog spewing out of it. A lot of liquid was vaporized in an instant.

And, most importantly, so did the coffee.

From their precarious perch, Ceri heard six guards collapse. Taylor gave a little bounce and hit the window sill.

"All of them down," he said, and calmly cut a sizeable hole in the glass.

The two of them were about to get in, when Alec's scream in their earpieces made them freeze in shock.

"Cameras are still working!"


Ross wiped his brow, then found his hand was just brushing his helmet.

"It's not that easy -" he started.

"Shut up and do whatever it takes to get in there." Sabriye snapped.

Alec's hyperventilating at the other end, Ross thought. He stared at the crisscross of red beams thrumming below the air vent

"No way i want to try -"

"What -" Alec said, slightly shaky, "- are our options?"

Ross grimaced. "Two. One, i use mirrors to deflect the beams. Highly risky, and the only mirrors i have is Sabriye's makeup kit."

Sabriye twisted his leg in the shaft.

"Ouch! That hurt! Sorry, Sabriye rubs mud instead of - oww!"

"Get to the point," Alec sighed. "This wasn't something we foresaw."

"Second option, blow a hole through the shaft. " Ross said, leg still smarting.

"Do it - and fast!"

"B-but i don't have any directional charges! If i place a bomb here we'll just trigger off the beams anyway!"

"From underneath?" Sabriye asked.

"I don -" Ross started, then stopped. "A bomb below the vent would have more space to release energy. The shaft shouldn't be covered with debris, and there'd be less chance the beams get hit ..."

"So what's the problem?" Alec asked.

"No knives." Ross said. "I need the grappling hook for the - what the hel -"

Sabriye had grabbed his butt and Ross squirmed to get out of the way, yelping.

"Idiot." Sabriye said, finally managing to get the screwdriver out from his back pocket.


It was now exactly fifteen minutes into the operation. Jean disarmed the Alcott alarm, walked to the front of the store and stuck a small plastic box to the bottom of the fire hydrant. She turned, made her way back to the alley and leapt through a small hole she had made in one of the windows.

The Alcott people were surprisingly stupid. They had alarms, yes, but the wires traveled to an outside grid that connected to City Hall. In the event of a break-in a police squad would be over in less than 3 minutes. Unfortunately, in the event of a smart burglar, the entire system could be told to shut down from outside.

Another dumb idea was the way the windows were fashioned. Not bulletproof, even though the truce couldn't possible last for generations, and the fourth floor had huge pane windows nearly from floor to ceiling. There were sensors, of course, if the windows broke, but not at the service area at back. Jean cut a hole and waited for her time.

She was now in, bag by her side.

Piles of clothes and silent marionettes met her as she entered. It was dark, with only some of the lamps in the square shining in, casting a gloomy orange glow over the merchandise.

Jean made a survey first. Chong Fen had been in as part of the preparations, but his descriptions had lacked details.

He never could tell me what was going on inside him - what to say outside?

Jean shook her head. What kind of ninja got distracted this far in a mission? She walked silently among the shelves, noting cameras that were recording her every move, but had no way of transmitting the recorded images.

She made her way to the fourth floor, stopping only to stick a tape on top of the recording machine in the security room, third floor. The ornaments and jewellery on the fourth floor were exquisite and beautiful, but Jean took nothing. Her family was rich enough on its own.

She walked over to the fourth window from the end and stuck a small electronic bug to the top of the frame. Just in case, Alec had said, the first escape 'plan' failed. Alec seemed pretty sure that it would, so much so that Jean suspected the first plan was just a ploy.

Leave the thinking to the strategist, Jean told herself. She had painting to do downstairs.

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    Anonymous arecnis101 said...

    Nice story. I hope you add more chapters soon. Sometimes I think the story has holes though.

    8:16 pm  
    Blogger Dienasty said...

    Hmm. I thought i had it well planned through. At any rate, can you help me point out where?

    11:11 am  

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