Day 31

This is a continuation of Day 30.


We spend the next few hours creating a list of places my parents might be. If Krex is to be believed, there are only three black sites close enough. Johns reluctantly hands me the holodeck, and I wave goodbye. I promised to wait, to not check any of the buildings until Johns scoped them out. Sorry, partner. I can’t let you alert them.

I update the holodeck, improving its capability to control the house, before slipping out the back, keeping to cover in case he’s still watching the house. I flick the living room light off and activate the bedroom light. I leave it on as I creep away from the house, waiting until I’m down the block to turn it off. Hopefully, Johns thinks I’m sleeping.

The first site is heavily guarded. I count fifteen men around the yard, all in full armor with automatic weapons. I zoom in. Safeties are off. I scan for a way in, somewhere obscured, somewhere I don’t need to take a life. I stretch while I watch, counting the timing between rotations, looking for a window.

My handcomp buzzes, an incoming call from Johns. I wait a moment, mustering the best sleepy voice I can before answering.

“Hello,” I mumble, trying to sound half asleep.

“Liz, I know you’re at the first site,” he says, annoyance plain in his voice.

I debate keeping the ruse, but there is no way I’d beat him to the house if he tries to call my bluff.

“Fine,” I say. “You know I can’t wait, especially if your poking around alerts them.”

“I know,” he says, his voice evening out. “I’m here, too.”

I scan the area around me, looking in infrared and low light. Nothing.

“You won’t see me,” he says. “I’ve got a spare set of gear if you’d like.”

I curse under my breath.

“Where?” I ask, gritting my teeth.

My comp pings with a new location. I hang up on Johns and head to the other side of the complex. It takes me about five minutes, moving stealth as I can in plainclothes. I see him there, standing in a full camosuit. He must have liberated gear from the station.

I nod at him and take the offered suit, pulling off my clothes and sliding into the tight material. It fits like a second skin, its surface shifting and reflecting, making me hard to see in the dark. I slip the helmet on, completely masking my body heat. He signals me, asking if I’m ready. I nod.

We make our way toward the site, using corp signals to communicate. I point out the skylight, zooming in and sending him an image of the cracked window. Someone was careless. He nods and we’re off, slipping between trees until we’re right against the fence to the site. I wait for the window in the guards’ rotation, tensing my legs, preparing for the jump.

As soon as the guard moves around the corner, I’m off, Johns close behind. Our cybernetics fully juiced, we streak across the open ground toward the building, a shimmering blur. We zigzag, making sure we look like interference in case there are cameras. The building looms before us as I charge my grapple. I grab Johns around the waist as I fire, streaking us up the side of the building. We pause on the roof, catching our breath. I hand him one end of the grapple, and he wraps it around his arm. I stand at the edge of the cracked window, looking at him. He nods, and I tip forward.

Here we go.


This story is continued on Day 33.


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