3

Lester Wilder stood in front of the telescoping podium. Four heavily armed guards stood in each corner of the plain, hospital white room facing him.

"What is it this time, Mr. Wilder," asked one of the guards.

"The new micro-processor," stated Lester as he took out two keys from around his neck. He held up a black rectangular case. Lester inserted the first key and turned it to the right. Then he quickly inserted the second, turning it 360 degrees to the left until a metallic click signaled the unlock. The lid opened automatically with a long hiss.

Pulling on rubber gloves Lester carefully withdrew a small blue microchip. And placed it on it's plastic stand.

"Think about it gentlemen. In this little chip is enough processing power to run every computerized object in the city flawlessly for nearly a decade," whispered Lester taking a last look at the marvel.

Lester closed the case and walked briskly out of the room through a open bulk head door. The four men stood at the ready, constantly watching the chip on the topmost column of the extended retractable podium.

Hours passed until there was a small almost inaudible scratching sound.

"Hey, Steve…you hear that?" Asked a guard.

"Shut up, Nate! I'm tryin' to figure out what it is!" said another.

As soon as it appeared it was gone. The guards nervously looked at each other, unsure of what it was.

Minutes passed with utter silence. Unexpectedly a defining whir shook the room.

The guards fell to the ground. They looked on in horror as the podium began to retract into the floor.

A guard grabbed his two way radio at his side. "SafeGuard Room 13 breached! Podium is retracting into fail safe chamber inactivated!"

A voice crackling through, "Copy. Were going down to retrieve it now!"

Below the room Lester, two guards, and a trainee ran down a small corridor lined with pipes and wires. Steam and mist were everywhere, visibility was limited.

"Someone vented off the moisture evaporators into these emergency corridors," yelled through the thick haze.

"Stay close," yelled Lester unlocking a thick steel door marked 'Fail safe 13'.

Inside the door the mist was worse, covering everything in a slippery dew. Lester and the trainee walked up to a large black steel box hanging from the ceiling. They withdrew blue access cards and inserted them into two slots. There was beeping and a button glowed next to each slot.

Lester was about to press his button, when the body of an unconscious guard flew through the air knocking the trainee to the ground. In shock Lester peered into the mist, but saw nothing. For out of nowhere a red beam fired off hitting him in the chest. Lester was immediately stunned. The guard behind him stepped over his body and began firing wildly into the mist.

From the fog Dark emerges, bullets bouncing off a spherical greenish plasma field.

"You," stuttered the guard.

"Me," said Dark throwing a Dark blade through the field into the guard. On contact the disc emitted a sonic blast, sending the guard into the wall.

Dark walked casually to the box. He pressed both buttons at the same time. There was loud buzzer and the bottom of the box came down revealing the microprocessor on the disc of retracted podium. He took it and put it in his side bag.

Dark turned on his heels and pressed the Dark sign on his hand. Instantly he disappeared into invisibility and walked out of the room as a group of guards ran into the room.

Cassandra sat in her history class. Mark Hurtly sat to her left staring dreamily at her. Jason McStien sat to her right carving C.S J.M into his desk. Cassandra her self was thinking of Dark and what he said.

"Hey Cassandra…Cassandra!" hissed Mark leaning over the isle.

"Huh? Oh, what is it Mark?" Cassandra asked.

"What are you thinking about?"

"Um…a…g-guy."

"Who."

"Well this is flattering," said Jason smugly looking at Mark.

"No no not you Jas," said Cassandra

"Ha! I knew it was me," said Mark nearly falling out of his seat.

"No it's not you either," said Cassandra. Both boys looked at each other.

"Who?!" yelled the boys in unison. The teacher shot them a menacing glance.

Cassandra looked at Mark then Jason and motioned to come in close. Quietly and carefully she began to tell them the story of Dark. And in time the two boys began to see not only an adventurer, but a threat to their goal…Cassandra.