Author: Cyric Masamune PM
In politics and buisness, the situation is always fluid. You never knows when the deal will go through, the bill will pass, or when the bullet will claim you. But you do know which way that fluid will run: towards the top. That's where we begin... afteRated: Fiction M - English - Suspense/Romance - Chapters: 2 - Words: 5,519 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 02-26-06 - Published: 02-13-06 - id: 2112073
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Dawn broke brightly through the thin clouds over New Chicago. The tall crystalline buildings glittered in the morning sunshine as commuters began to move throughout the spider web of transit systems that connected the monolithic buildings. The Misato Corporation Central Office stood at the center of the city along with the Nexus Academy: a school founded by Misato for the development of new minds, and new employees. As the city spiraled outward from the glittering silver buildings at the Hub, the architecture grew more antiquated. The oddest buildings in the cities were on the outer wheel: the Historic District. The most noticeable building within the District was the Red Star Cathedral, local Crusader branch office.
The Cathedral sat on its own platform, surrounded by smaller buildings and gardens that gave the church a feeling of total serenity. Built of red and grey stone, the Cathedral glowed in any light and was always visible to the traveling eye. Services were held daily in the chapel on site, or amongst the many pillars and flying buttresses that dotted the gardens. But the main job of the Cathedral was to serve as a base for the Crusader operatives in the surrounding area.
Emerson Arathi walked towards the glass breakfast table inside the quarters he and his team occupied at the Cathedral. He sat down and began reading the news stories that slowly scrolled across the glassy surface from the Uplink: the "information hyper highway". An anti-Marx Corporation rally outside of Moscow, a bombing in Hong Kong by the Zin Tao Corporation, another "anarchists" settlement captured in South America …it was all the usual stories with all the usual spin. He sighed and stirred his tea slowly as an article about a break in at the Misato Corporation Central Offices caught his eye. He smirked and shook his head.
"You made the paper…without me….AGAIN!" cried a younger girl from behind him. She glowered at him, crimson eyes smoldering. "I hate being left out! You and Lexi always get to go out and commit exciting crime! It is so not fair that I get stuck at home!" She took a deep breath and looked about ready to start yelling again when a pillow slammed into her face.
"God Mordrid but you do have a pair of lungs…" Lexington Connors grumbled as she walked into the kitchen, seeking out her high caffeinated Kohna coffee. She sighed happily as the warm aroma of blood thinning and heart accelerating liquid.
"How can you drink that swill?" Mordrid cried out, her midnight black hair pulled back into a loose ponytail. She was perched on one of the barstools that ran the length of the counter that separated the kitchen from the dining area. She scrunched her nose at the smell and stuck out her tongue. "That stuff is bad for you!"
"No worse than that energy supplement you take…" Emerson replied lightly, a twinkle in his eyes. Mordrid cursed lightly, eyes going wide as she turned halting around, getting ready to make a dash for the door to her room.
"Didn't I tell you to stop taking that horrid liquid Miss Ashleigh Mordrid Benefact?" Lexi asked with deadly calm. The younger woman let out a terrified sound and dashed off, heading out of the quarters and into gardens, screaming for the priests to save her. Lexi chased after her, screaming at the fifteen year old about duty, honor, and some other desire that young woman should have.
"Well…I guess it is officially morning…" Emerson said calmly. With a sigh, he stood and moved towards the kitchen, intent on working on his car a little before having to run Mordrid to her classes. He was about to leave when a small red lightly began to flash on the coffee table in the sitting room. His normally calm expression grew dark. It appeared that the morning had only just begun.
Ebony didn't wake up to the sound of her alarm going off like she was used to. No, of late, her father's most recently hired employee had woken her up every morning over an hour early, so there wasn't much of a need for the alarm. And every morning, just like this one, she was going to throw whatever was closest, perhaps one of those wine glasses that she burnt candles in . . .
Lee leaned his body down slowly and put his hand gingerly on Ebony's delicate shoulder, squeezing lightly to let her know it was time to get up. He tensed, his senses heightened and reflexes ready to bolt at the appropriate time. He knew that this seemingly docile sixteen-year-old was a force to be reckoned with when it came to getting up in the morning. And he also knew that even someone trained in agility for his entire life wouldn't be able to dodge the sheer number of objects this girl could throw in a five second time period.
The black candle hit him square in the jaw.
"Yeesh, Ebony!" he yelped, one hand going up to assess the damage. There might be a bruise later on, but nothing was broken . . . yet. "First you take at least two hours, accumulatively, out of your day to yell at me for doing my job, you throw things at me at every turn, and you even dye my hair to match my eyes. Can't you give me a break? Just for one day?"
Ebony peered hatefully from beneath her covers, the sight of Lee's dark blue hair bringing back the events of the night past like a pound of raw coffee being injected right into her veins. Springing up into a sitting position, Ebony's eyes widened and she bit her lip, pouting. He was going to yell at her.
Or so she thought.
Lee sat down next to her on the bed and wrapped an arm tentatively around her, as if expecting her to scratch him and scream, or something, yet at the same time; he seemed relaxed, unfazed. Ebony just stared.
"You know, if you wanted me to be yet another one of your . . . art projects; all you had to do was say so." Lee paused, taking in Ebony's more than guilty look. "But I know you a little more than you think I do, Ms. Misato. You were trying to get me to leave, weren't you?"
Ebony nodded feebly, wondering if she should push him away and yell, or snuggle up to him. She was overly torn between the two.
"You're not threatened by me, you know? And I know that you know . . . if that even makes sense. So you can stop being such a butthead about me following you around or getting close to you. It's not as if I'm going to molest you; I think we both know I'm gay."
The last two words hit like a ton of bricks being dumped over poor Ebony's already fragile head. "Say what?" she announced, pushing Lee away and staring him right in the eyes. "You mean to tell me that you let me berate you everyday for being another guy my dad's hired that follows me around, and yet you . . . you were gay the whole time?"
"No, Ebony. I only decided to be gay last night after you pointed at my dick and laughed," Lee replied sarcastically, rolling his eyes in a dramatic way that made Ebony laugh.
"Okay, okay. I promise . . . I'll uh . . . I'll only throw things at you sometimes, okay?"
Downstairs, Misato sat in an area designated as a sort of high-class restaurant right inside his complex. Then again, there wasn't much that Misato didn't have in the three-hundred-story building.
Ebony, now dressed in her school apparel, practically and half literally bounced over to where her father sat, reading the newspaper while drinking something that Lee expected wasn't coffee, despite the fact that it was in a coffee cup. Looked more like scotch from where he stood.
She kissed his cheek before running off to order breakfast, apparently not only for her, but for Lee as well.
"I saw what you ate yesterday, and ordered you something like that," she said when she'd come back from the kitchen area.
"I don't need to eat," Lee said, somewhat offended. What he meant was that he didn't need her treating him like . . . family . . . all of a sudden. Yesterday she didn't want anything to do with him; he was just another stupid male she couldn't get rid of. And yet today, he'd become her brother and best friend over the period of ten minutes.
Ebony just raised her eyebrows. "Oh, excuse me, I forgot; you're a robot, you don't need to eat. Silly me."
Lee grimaced, watching as Ebony gingerly picked up a butter knife. He almost told her to be careful with it, but thought better of it; he really didn't want her to start throwing sharp objects, too.
"Oh, and did I mention I'm an expert knife-thrower?"
He literally felt the blood run from his face.
Mordrid sulked in the corner nursing her wounds: bite marks and nail scratches hurt like hell and Lexi had both sharp teeth and nails. She was stretched out on a couch in the darkened briefing room within the Cathedral as Lexi listened to the dispatch from the Crusader High Temple and Emerson downloaded the mission information to his cerebrum. She frowned as the name Misato was thrown around again and again.
"Well…this is a fine mess…" Lexi grumbled, slamming her fist onto the control panel and shutting off the screen. Emerson flicked his eyes lightly to hers before going back to his download.
"I don't understand what the big deal is…" Mordrid said calmly. "Misato is always the bad guy here. So why are we worried? Emer knows the complex backwards and forwards by now. We just sneak in and get what we need." She nodded and went back to bandaging the bite marks on her forearms. "Oww…LEXI! You need to file down your canines!"
"It's not quite that simple…" Emerson said calmly, smiling lightly at the positively evil smirk Lexi had on her face: no doubt a result of the canine comment. "We aren't going after something. It's a stakeout mission. The Nexus Academy is above the Misato Compound, so it gives us the vantage point." Violet eyes quickly lost the green streams of binary as the cord to his bracelet was removed. Blinking several times, he leaned back in his chair heavily, the download taxing his nervous cortex a bit too much.
"Emer's right," Lexi chimed in, rolling a pen between her fingers thoughtfully. "The only thing we DO know about this mission is that Misato funds the Nexus Academy. Beyond that, we don't know a damn thing. Apparently the wireless backdoor hacks we implanted into the Corporation's mainframes did not expand to tap into the Academy's computers. There must be a separate mainframe and security system for that place." She sighed and shrugged. "I guess you two are going to have to enroll at the Academy."
"WHAT?!" screamed Mordrid. "No way am I being forced into some stupid high school! I don't want to deal with stupid teens again!" She stood and glared at the other two people in the room with what she assumed was a fierce scowl. She grinned inwardly at the look Emerson and Lexington where giving her…before they burst into laughter.
"Honestly mei-mei," Emerson choked out, whipping tears from the corner of his eyes. "You think those pretty little cheek bones of yours are made for glaring!" He fell back against the cushions of his chair, cackling at the top of his lungs.
Lexington gasped for breath before she pulled Mordrid down next to her and kissed the crown of her head. "Nexus is an academy for students that are beyond gifted. It's basically college kiddo," the woman said lightly. She smiled and ruffled the girl;s hair. "I promise you, boredom will be the last thing on your mind."
"So…if we have to go to this place…do we get to have some normal social parameters?" Mordird asked with a deviant twinkle in her eye. Lexington groaned, knowing full well what that question meant. She stood and stared down before nodding her consent and sweeping from the room. Mordrid let out a happy yell.
"Mordrid darling…" Emerson said as he rose from his chair slowly. "If you so much as get one drop of ANYTHING unseemly from one of those mid-life-crisisy men you enjoy so much near my room or on any cooking surface, I will make your life miserable." He glared at her with cold eyes as she glared back.
"Emer…you and your boy-toy's are the ones that go horizontal in the kitchen…not me!" She cackled as the brunette blushed crimson and stormed from the room. The young girl stretched out, resting her feet on the arm rest of the couch and yawning. Maybe the shift to a more public atmosphere would be good. She was tired of the priests at the Cathedral. They only knew missionary anyway…