The Ignis Fatuus

Intro

For the second time this morning, Jeremiah had to meet with his briefing officer Ophelia. This second briefing meant that there were some changes done to the mission, so he quickly made his way down from his quad to the briefing room. Fellow members of the firm gave him warm smiles and welcoming waves as the brunette walked down the marble hall to the executive wing. Some were off to their own briefing rooms and some were off doing what ever business they were assigned to. Jeremiah however was special and being special meant that he needed special needs, such as having a briefing room to himself instead of sharing with many others at one time. He was what we call a humanoid. In other words, a human created by man with the combination of organic and mechanic parts.

There standing at the door was the guard, who Jeremiah named Robby. The guard was also a humanoid, however, he was made in the "traditional" era of humanoids and still had very little brain to think with. He did his job and that's all he knew. Robby was of an icy cold blue, his hard exterior very un-welcoming and his outdated faceplate would make him junkyard scrap in the outside world.

"Please sir, follow through with the retinal scan," the guard says frostily, directing Jeremiah to the base where he lays his head. A bright blue light quickly swipes side to side, scanning both of his eyes. "Please sir, lay your hands on the base beneath the retinal scanner for a hack scan. Please spread your fingers out," he does what he is told and lays his hands on the base and waits for the familiar jolt as he is being hacked. A minute or two passes and he is cleared. "Please enter sir,"

When the large door opens a young man by the name of Xen from China steps out. He is one of the newest members of the firm. They both give each other friendly nods and carries about their own business, Jeremiah's of which was meeting up with Ophelia again. It's not that he didn't like her, it was just that he never quite liked ironies and it was definitely ironic being briefed by a humanoid much younger than him in appearance, yet, fifteen to twenty years his elder. She was built in between the "traditional" and "modern" era of humanoids, but she ultimately was a failed creation. Her growth software never communicated correctly with her hardware so she never looked older than the age of eight years of age. Jeremiah always wondered why the firm kept her after all these years, he sort of always thought of it as a sick, ironic joke.

Ophelia had long curly blonde hair that hang down to her shoulder; wore a sky blue dress and clung to a teddy bear which was missing an eye. She sat at the steel table waiting, her feet dangling from the chair.

"Welcome. Please sit," she said in her eight year old sounding voice. Jeremiah again did what he was told, distantly annoyed with the familiarness of their meeting. Ophelia slowly places the teddy bear on the table and he already knows what to do. He sticks his finger into the hold where the bear's eye should be and waits for Ophelia to hack him.

Once connected, Ophelia gets down to business. Out loud she recites the playwright Hamlet in fifteen different languages, all of which are dead Native American languages. She pronounces words in certain ways to hint to Jeremiah what she is trying to say, some louder, some lower. For example, if she says, "I Went to the grocErystore last evenIng to fetch some Reddish. There were None lefT." Giving heavier emphasis on some of the letters, Jeremiah can unscramble the letters to spell WINTER, which would be one of the words in the mission briefing. In this case, Ophelia is reciting Hamlet, using fifteen different dead Native American languages which is used to make it incredibly difficult to crack. There's also the lead surrounding the room which makes all forms of communication via wavelength impossible.

Jeremiah knew he was in Paris when he catches his first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, or the "La Tour Eiffel" as his friend James would so put it. The airplane circles the airport, the pilot waiting for their authorization from the French de Airport to land. Once down onto the ground, Jeremiah makes his way out of the plane, placing his "so in fashion right now" sunglasses on. Lime green, large, dangerously stylish and high-tech, the glasses not only looked great, they even completed his dark green jumpsuit outfit

"I like," says a female American voice from behind him. "Chanel, no?"

"Um...not sure," Jeremiah says sheepishly as he finds the source of the voice. She smiles, tosses her long brunette hair over her shoulder and walks along with him into the airport. She was short, yet did not look teenage. She was a fully grown woman alright.

"Well, they are. Look at the diamond incrusted logo on the side," she says, tapping the side of the glasses. She smiles again and pulls out a pair of her own, except her's are purple. The sunglasses matched her purple dress and knee-high boots which clunked down the hall as they neared the luggage pick-up.

"Well, I'm not much of a fashion lover. These were a present from a friend," He says while placing his thumb on the fingerprint scanner, his luggage soon coming down the chute underneath.

"But...I'm sure you love technology," she continues, using the glasses' operating system to run a popular e-mail provider. "I love being able to send e-mails and walk down the street at the same time. It's totally the "in" thing here in France, hasn't caught on in America yet,"

"Yes...of course," Jeremiah says, walking along with her again, yet, this time they both rolled luggage.

"Well, catch you 'round,"

"Wait! I didn't get your name!"

"I'm sure we'll meet again. It's impossible not to in Paris," she says over her shoulder, not giving him one last glance. Jeremiah smiles as he opens a file in his memory storage that holds all the briefing information. 'French-American woman with a keen sense of fashion,' he thinks to himself.

Follow her to obtain her taxi cab's licence plate number. These numbers will be the password to the notebook in the Suite 105 at Hotel Edouard VII Louvre Opera. To whom this suite belongs to is none of your concern. The notebook is on the desk near the window that gives you a clear view of the Louvre Museum. Retrieve the files in folder Ostipec.setc. Save them onto a zeta disk instead of your own internal memory to protect you from being hacked or traced. The zeta disk is preset to begin downloading the file, so you have virtual nothing to do, but wait

Grabbing the luggage handle, Jeremiah hurries to catch up, trying his best not to seem obvious. He notices that the woman is writing a e-mail on her Chanel sunglasses. He uses his humanoid functions to not only zoom in, but also using x-ray to see through the woman to view the e-mail she was writing.

Dear Sam,

I miss you so much! I'm in Paris and it is amazing. I

Know that this place would be great, but wow. So, are

You ok? I surely hope so. Oh, did you know Jamie and I

Are going to Fiji next week? I hope you start

Following us, because we are hittin' up all cool spots. So, didja miss

Me? You better...

Realizing that she was hinting that he should stop doing what he was doing, he started to worry a bit. He didn't want to frighten her, but he did need that number.

"What's the deal?" She asks loudly, turning around to face Jeremiah.

"I'm only going to the exit...I hope you didn't believe you were the only one allowed to...," He said snippily, almost sneering at her. She sighs and rolls her eyes, continuing on her path to the cab. Once her luggage is thrown into the trunk of the taxi cab, she enters the vehicle. She looks out of the window to find Jeremiah looking at her. He waves and smiles and she does the same, not able to be annoyed by him any longer. He watches as the car makes its way down the road. He got the plate number with ease and now he was off to Hotel Edouard VII Louvre Opera.

There was an old hotel building with near to no occupants next door to the Edouard and there was a reason why it seemed. The whole hotel seemed to be controlled by humanoids, which wasn't too popular in Paris at this moment. The country had just had their leader assassinated five or six years ago and a humanoid was blamed for it. This of course started some type of "war" that is still going on, it's just not as violent now and people are desperately trying to deal.Stepping inside, majority of the humanoids in the lobby instantly knew Jeremiah was one of them. Strangely, he felt comforted by being surrounded by those like him. Some sneered, some nodded friendly; Jeremiah took both in a positive way.

Once inside of his room, he quickly unpacked his things and walked over to the balcony. He didn't want anyone to follow him from the lobby so he decided he would make his escape from the balcony. Fetching the zeta disk and placing it into the right pocket of his jacket, he made his way to the window. He took a swift glance down, making sure no one was down there, and leapt from the balcony. Landing, he felt a cracking of the cement underneath his feet. He reluctantly checks it and indeed it is cracked.

"Hm, I'll send em an e-check," Jeremiah says to himself softly as he runs across the street to the Hotel Edouard VII Louvre Opera. He distantly thought of a successful way in to the suite as he ran and then flipped over a gold fountain of angels holding pitches of water, which the water sprang forth from. The grass was spongy and wet, feeling as if it had just been watered. This would sure be a problem, if he was entering though the inside, but he had a better idea. Quickly downloading the blueprint of the building, Jeremiah had decided to run up the side of the building, taking out the cameras along the way. He would then run to the correct room window and cut a circle into the glass to grant himself entrance. It was sloppy, but at this point he didn't really care, he really just wanted the mission to be over with. This was no excitement at all for him. Running up the building, taking out several of the cameras using short Japanese daggersknown as kunai, Jeremiah made excellent time, getting to the room in seconds.

With the short blade, he gently cuts a circle into the glass, pressing just enough pressure to cut the glass without breaking it. While kneeling on the windowsill, he activates his Thiania grips in his fingertips which gives him spider-like gripping abilities on the wall. Jeremiah then places his hand on the round cut of glass and removes it His incredibly slender frame allows him to stretch and bend in order to get through the fairly small circle. The notebook is to his immediate left when he enters the dark room. Without wasting anytime, he quickly pushes the top of the notebook open. An Incan Powers Co. logo is on the desktop of the notebook. This stimulates a memory in Jeremiah's head. Incan Powers was a company that produced more than half of the world's humanoids. Why was he stealing from them?

"Get back to the mission," he says out loud to himself and he pushes a key and is immediately ordered to enter the password. The brunette taps in the correct numbers and letters and is granted access to the notebook. On the side of the notebook he slides in the zeta disk and watched as a bar popped up on the screen representing the progress of the download. Suddenly he hears an alarm.

"Intrus! Intrus!" yells a man from a speaker, so loud that Jeremiah wouldn't be surprised that all of Paris could hear it. Finally the download is finished and Jeremiah begins to exit when a message pops on his glasses:

Take a snap shot of the individual light bulbs in the bathroom above the hand washing sink. The filaments are twisted in certain curls to form a message. The organic part of your eyes will create an after image as a result of the light burning your corneas. This will reveal the message to you. Hurry, the bulbs will blow in a moment. It's time to learn the truth of yourself.

-From someone who cares for you

Baffled, but intrigued, Jeremiah runs to the bathroom and instantly sees the line of light bulbs above the sink. He uses his eyes, blinking to take a snap shot of each of the light bulbs individually. Once he obtained the pictures he made his way out of the room. He could hear the advancing footsteps of the French police at the door and could hear the now increasing sound of a helicopter. Wasting no more time, he closes shut the notebook and leaps out of the window, catching hold of the side of the building. There was no way he was falling down right in front of the hotel, especially with all the police running around. Running on the building, he makes his way down the other side of the hotel, making sure he is not caught by the light of the helicopter. Once he lands into a tree nearby, he sprints down the street while using his left eyeball to view the message. It took a moment, but the after image and the filaments began to form letters, but not in English. The message was strangely in Hebrew. It read: Enter the heart of Paris. In Jeremiah's opinion, the Arc de Triomphe was the in the center of Paris, which could mean it was the heart of Paris.

Going totally on instinct, the brunette humanoid made his way down the famous Champs Elysees, an avenue that would lead him straight to his destination. He didn't know who sent him this message and he didn't know what awaited him, but he knew one thing for sure, whatever it was, it sure would be more exciting than anything the firm could assign him.


To those who've read Bounty 105. Didja notice any..."odes" to Bounty 105 here? hehe. Please leave a review!!