A/N: Okay, for the moment this will be the prologue. Enjoy it. For those who would prefer it, by searching 'Matthew Kaye' on Amazon you can find the Kindle edition, for iPads or Kindles.
Jared Matheson stood by the side of the road, smiling in anticipation of his plan. He was a fit man in his twenties, with short brown hair, and a mischievous grin that most people would immediately find suspicious. His plan was very risky, but if it went well, the benefits could be astronomical. He had been extremely lucky to even hear about it, and was one of very few people outside of the people that worked here to have any knowledge of it. The plans for the building had been difficult to obtain, but he had managed it, and after a month of surveillance, he was prepared.
He checked his phone, which was specially adapted for its current use. Any second now. Jared, dressed in his fluorescent reflective jacket, mounted the bike. As soon as he heard the noise of the van approaching, he started pedalling, and at the right moment, deliberately swerved into the middle of the road, blocking the driver's path. As expected, the van screeched to a halt, a few metres ahead of him, clipping the bike as it swerved in an attempt to avoid him. Jared jumped off smoothly, uninjured as the bike clattered to the ground. The van's driver wasn't happy.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" he yelled, making his biggest mistake by opening the door to him. Jared walked over to him warily, palms towards the man in a gesture of peace.
"There's no need to yell," he said calmly, now within an arm's reach of the man, who was just getting out of the van. In one smooth motion, Jared grabbed the arm nearest to him, his right foot forward. Spinning to put his left foot behind the driver's legs, he put his other arm on the driver's shoulder, swinging him head first into the side of the van with a metallic thunk. The driver staggered back, caught unawares, and Jared finished him off with a clinical kick to the head, knocking him out.
He wasted no time in stripping the man of his clothes and belongings, and dumped the fluorescent yellow-green jacket on top of him by the side of the road. By the time he regained consciousness and found a way of contacting anyone, his business should be done. He readjusted the holster under the driver's fleece. With any luck he wouldn't need the gun, but things could always go badly. Jared got into the van and restarted the engine, checking the man's belongings, noting the name on the card and the time on the clock. He didn't want to be late for the delivery.
He pulled the man's cap over his head, and began the drive to what he'd been told was Pioneer's laboratory, preparing for bluffing his way through the checkpoint. Fifteen minutes later, he reached it, and swiped his card through the machine outside the building. A man came out, checking the number plate and waving a scanner, probably to detect explosives or anything else that shouldn't be there.
"Just the regular stuff, I think you'll find," smiled Jared. The man checking it frowned, pointing to a dent in the side of the van.
"What's this?" he asked.
"Just some stupid cyclist accident," he said, waving away the question. "He won't be any trouble."
"Alright, let him through," he called, causing the big metal doors to swing open. With a smile, Jared drove the van in, and the doors drew shut behind him with an ominous clang. He was in a large, brightly lit warehouse attached to the laboratories of the building. The hard part was still yet to come, though. Two assistants in blue overalls came out to unload the van.
"Oh would you look at this?" grumbled one of them. "It's stacked right to the top. This'll take a lot of shifting."
Jared smiled. This gave him the perfect excuse.
"Need a hand?" he asked, poking his head out. "I can't drive this back until it's unloaded, so the quicker it's done, the better."
"That'd be great," said one of them. Jared hopped out of the van, where the two men were taking labelled boxes and putting them into a storage cupboard. Glancing up, he saw a CCTV camera watching from the corner of the room.
Jared helped unload the boxes, but also saw, rather interestingly, that some of the boxes had tranquilliser darts in. Now why would a normal pharmaceutical factory want tranquilliser darts? They would probably be able to justify it, somehow. Discreetly, he pocketed a few of them. They would come in handy.
"So don't the labs need any of these?" he asked as he placed another box of supplies in the cupboard.
"They'll send someone if they need anything," replied one of the assistants casually, moving ahead of him to put a box in. Jared nodded understandingly, and jabbed one of the darts into his leg. His eyes widened, and Jared caught him, laying him down in the large cupboard, out of view of the cameras.
"Hey come quickly, this guy just collapsed!" called Jared to the other assistant. The man rushed in, and the same result followed. Jared bent down, retrieving the keys attached to the waist of one of them, and took the ID card of the one who looked most like him. He locked the cupboard behind him, and walked briskly to the door leading to the rest of the buildings, unlocking that with his third try as he went through the different keys on the ring.
If he was extremely lucky, the men watching the cameras wouldn't notice anything for a while, as they were often inattentive. It still wouldn't be long before what he had done drew attention though, so he moved quickly.
The hallways were clean and white, not so different from those of a hospital. He moved with confidence, and nodded to a man walking in the opposite direction. Nobody else was in sight, so Jared made a show of stumbling, knocking into the man and stabbing him with the last of his tranquillisers. He put a hand around his shoulder and guided him into a thankfully empty room, to his left, taking his white doctor's coat and draping it around his own shoulders.
He glanced out into the hallway, holding his breath. Nobody had noticed. He walked with confidence now, fixing his eyes on a man in a white coat ahead of him, deciding to follow him in the hope that he knew how to get to where he wanted.
It was the middle of the night, so there weren't as many people as you would expect. The man went into a lift, and Jared followed him, swiping the ID card of the man he had taken it from.
"Doctor Jerome," identified the machine, as the lift doors closed. The man ahead of him frowned. Oh crap.
"You're not Doctor Jerome," said the man. Jared smiled ruefully.
"No, he asked me to use his card to go up and get some injections for the next batch of experiments. I'm just an assistant from the warehouse," he said smoothly, taking out the ID card of the man from the warehouse and flashing it quickly. "This is my real card. As it shows, I do actually work here."
"Oh right," nodded the man understandingly. "Jerome is always lazy when it comes to errands. I saw him heading down to the warehouse just earlier actually."
"Well there you go," Jared smiled. "So can you show me where the drug is then?"
"I guess," he said, as the lift doors opened again. "Follow me."
Jared let out the breath he had been holding and the man led him down another corridor to the right. They passed a pair of guards with guns and his stomach tightened. This was crazy.
"Just in here," he said, indicating a room. Inside, he saw a table strewn with papers, syringes, coloured liquids, and chillingly, a chair, like one you'd see at a dentists, with straps to hold a person in place and monitoring equipment around it. Jared moved to the syringes, picking one up to examine it. It had some liquid inside it that clearly wasn't water.
"This is it?" he asked. "This is the drug?"
"Yes," answered the man, frowning. "Now could I see that ID card again?"
Jared grinned, ignoring the question. He was flooded with adrenaline, despite the lack of exertion. This was it. He brought up his sleeve, exposing a vein, and plunged the needle into it, injecting himself with the drug. His eyes widened. He'd done it.
"Guards, quickly!" called the man who'd brought him here. Jared grabbed him to shut him up, but they had already been running as an order from their radios alerted them to the intruder. He swore. He ran for the stairs, jumping over the banister to get to the next flight.
He didn't know how long the drug took to kick in but he hoped it was quick. But as he barged through the doors, guards were waiting. Now would be a good time for the drug to start working, Hared thought, as he crashed into one, flooring him and going low to sweep away the legs of the next.
But as he did so, the first grabbed hold of him in a strong grip so he couldn't move. The third guard trained his gun on Jared, looking for a shot between the arms of the first guard. He struggled intensely. If he didn't get out of the way he'd be shot.
His eyes caught sight of a free space behind the shooter and suddenly, with no warning, Jared experienced a strange squeezing pressure, and appeared behind the man. The arms of the man who had been holding him released him in surprise. Both of them had moved.
"What the-" exclaimed Jared. He realised that the drug had finally worked, but before he could concentrate enough to make himself move again, he felt the sting of a needle in his arm, and soon, drowsiness overcame him, leaving nothing but blackness.