Since anyone living in Magna City could remember, the dark huddled streets had always been eclipsed by the Velourtech tower. It was the only place in the city where the technology company could showcase their greatest projects for everyone to witness. Standing at a high twenty stories with floors made up of offices, engineering stations and even a museum for them to show off their previous successes for the costly price of an admission ticket.
The security guard on watch this eventful night had watched many people pass back and forth between the barricades which could only be passed with an admission ticket or a security card. He would only give the resident a smile-less one seconds stare before they continued.
It must have been midnight when the power went off. Mr. Gordon had made his first evident move for the past twelve hours as he exited the chair to look at the monitors. Everything appeared to be shut off including the barricades that stopped any intrusion to the upper floors.
‘John, I think we have an electric problem in reception. You fancy taking a look?’ Gordon asked after removing the walkie-talkie from his shirt. The only positive thing he could take from his job was that he was kept inside while John, the only other guard on the bottom floor, was doing a patrol of the grounds.
There wasn’t an immediate answer and Gordon was left in the darkness for a lifelong minute.
‘Y-Yeah...What’s the problem?’ John replied in a low gruffled voice. Even Gordon who never exactly got on with any of his co-workers would glad to have heard his voice in the darkness.
‘Moron. I asked if you could check out the electricity for the reception! Its pitch black down here and I can’t see a thing!’
There was no response at first and Gordon began to swear loudly due to his situation. He was supposed to be home – A Clockwork Orange was on tonight and he was sure that Stella had left at least some of the bolognas.
“Outside you say?” John replied again in the midst of a coughing fit. “But I’m inside. Are you around here somewhere?”
This wasn’t what Gordon needed. He didn’t need someone like John playing up like a fool just so his day might go a bit quicker. Gordon moved from the reception desk and went around to the other side, removing a torch from his trouser pocket and shining it around the reception.
“Of course I’m inside!” he said over the walkie-talkie. “Where the hell are you? If he finds out about this in the morning then I don’t think we will be doing a nightshift for a long time!”
He walked slowly towards the door. Gordon couldn’t see anything through the glass. There was nothing there at all.
“I’m by the light switch…doesn’t seem to be that much of a problem” John replies which left Gordon relieved. “Come over so you won’t have to be taught to solve it again!”
There were footsteps, ranging from fast to slow, that only grew to puzzle the fat security guard. He made his way slowly towards the large lit generator, which was the size of two stacked large amplifiers, and saw the rounded body of John which appeared to be resting of it.
“There you are! Christ, you could have said something! With everything being so dark you never know if something terrible is going to-”
His words left him as John’s body dropped from the generator, which was now covered in his own blood. Gordon ran over to the body and dropped to his knees. Blood was running from his stomach and showed no sign of stopping. Gordon ripped open the navy blue shirt and saw a neon-circular mark on his neck.
“J-John…C-Can you h-h-ear me?!”
Gordon was so terrified, so shocked by the sight in front of him, that he at didn’t immediately notice the blood-covered teenage boy standing over him. Gordon slowly looked up in horror and saw the boy smile with John’s walkie-talkie in his hand.
“I’m sorry. John is not here at the moment”
The boy took the blood covered walkie-talkie and began to bludgeon it into Gordon’s head. While Gordon was much bigger then the skinny frame of the young teen, the teen moved so quick that the pudgy security guard was unable to keep up even until his demise.
“If it’s the building you want then take it!” Gordon yelled in horror as the taste of blood filled his mouth. He slightly glimpsed at John’s horrific corpse whose navy-blue work shirt was now entirely red.
‘Oh but I already have’ the teen simply answered. The style of the voice did not seem to match his appearance for the boy, who looked no older then eighteen, spoke as if he had many years of guidance and exploration.
Gordon’s torch relit in the boy’s hand and it was pointed at his face. Beneath the black goggles were a thin pointed nose and a wide toothed grin. His jet-black hair rested on his shoulders with its front fringe dangling over his face. The security guard couldn’t match the voice and the face. It was possibly the most horrific thing he had seen.
The security guard gulped as tears ran from his face.
“What are you going to do to me?” he sobbed.
The boy turned the torch at Gordon and the blinding light caused him to close his eyes for the final time.
“You know how your parents used to tell you that if you didn’t have anything good to say to not say anything?”
The light was ever so blinding.
“That most certainly implies right now”
The teen lifted from his knees and didn’t even bother to look back at the two bodies. He jumped over the disabled barriers and found himself at the elevator section. The boy had found a dilemma worth investigating.
“Finally a challenge” he thought.
While his young form would deceive you, he had most certainly been here before. The reception years before had been a small café in the early 1990’s before the coffee chains came and destroyed it. Then before that a woman going by the name of Susan had used it as a baking store when he had stumbled inside on New Year’s Eve, 1952. Every single tiniest detail seemed clear as day. With one hand, he removed the torch and faced it towards the elevator and removed a small black ball with the other.
The boy took a couple of steps away from the elevator and threw the black ball towards the door. He watched as the small ball tapped the elevator door only for it to spark with a bright light. Just as the boy was about to touch his goggles, the elevator doors had already disappeared. He began to step forward before he heard a loud beeping coming from the reception hall. Quickly returning to the scene of his crimes, he saw that a flashing blue light was emitting from the generator.
It was already rebooting. Time was running out. Now he had to move.
* * *
He emerged from the large elevator, on the highest floor, like an ant climbing a skyscraper. After pulling himself from the shaft and onto the carpet floor, he removed the advanced gloves he had used to climb and tossed them away. The only thing not entitled in this mission was a return journey.
He immediately checked his watch. Five minutes. Three hundred seconds until the generator turns back on. He darts to the doors and knocks them open.
The computer room was filled to the walls with large drivers, wires that ran all the way across the floor, lifetime supplies of keyboards, huge screens with one spanning an entire wall, tablets, bleeping sounds, headphones, Flashing LED’s.
It was enough to make him sick. It was more than easy for him to imagine some filthy obese waste of a human hooked up to all of these machines lusting over every last binary code. He had to control his anger as he passed the room and made his way towards the large screen.
He typed frantically as he darted firewall after firewall. A smile grew with every key press. He was ready to bring Velourtech down with one push of a button.
There were two passwords to go. One was the standard username to get onto the mainframe that Roger the security guard had provided him with. The other part was going to be difficult.
He was in. Now all he had to do was pull the file from the computer and everything would be in motion. He quickly began to type it in.
J-U-M-A-I-D-A. He clicked enter.
“That can’t be possible” he thought. There in large black letters read…
FILE DOES NOT EXIST.
A screeching alarm blared in the room and before he could get his head around this impossible situation, the room began to fill up with gas. He darted out of the room and proceeded into the corridor which had been lit with a red light. The young boy went for the elevator shaft before he was suddenly thrown across the carpet floor.
The young boy turned around and caught the sight of a figure in the smoke. It took a step closer and revealed an armed metal enigma of immense size. The young boy knew a lot of things but whether this was someone of metal or skin was a question he couldn’t answer.
“This gas will kill you, Jeremy” it said in a muffled voice. For a moment the young boy’s face dropped as the name was mentioned. Another step was taken and the figure tapped the side of the large black rifle it was carrying. “Don’t make me use this. The police will be here in ten minutes. Death does not need to happen tonight”
There was a moment when the young boy looked ready to burst into tears and give up. But like a flip of a coin, he regained his cheeky smile and paced for another set of doors.
The sound of gunfire followed as Jeremy burst through a large set of doors and entered darkness. Everything in the room seemed familiar, from the scent of the red carpeted floor to the desk overlooking the city. This was Edward Velour’s office.
He wondered how many of the people below, gasping for fresh air in the flood of loans, starvation and anger, had thought of being in this room demanding for the consequences of the company’s horrid actions.
As the doors flew open again, the red light had moved into the office. Jeremy knew in that moment that it was time.
“Don’t move, Jeremy!” said a voice closely behind him. This time it was not only much clearer but the voice had an emotion that had previously been absent.
“So you are human? Male?” the boy answered back with a lack of surprised his mind already focused on the next step. “That’s a first for anything around here. It’s a shame you have to hide behind mechanical puppetry”
The metallic guard remained silent.
“Let me guess, eye sensors incorporated into the front helmet that allows you to download information on your target. Guess that helps you when situations get ugly with a psychological punching bag. Am I right?”
“This ends here, Jeremy!” he replied and pointed his gun to shoot.
“No it doesn’t. Death does need to happen tonight and tomorrow and the day after that…Society has stuck on autopilot for far too long…This moment we are sharing right now is only a shadow of what’s to come”
That was the last words that left Jeremy’s mouth. He ran towards the large glass and to the city he swore to claim back. The soldier shot at the young boy, not only hitting him but the glass too. He watched as Jeremy Richards flew out of the window and then fell.
There was silence for a minute after the loud bang as the soldier tried to regain his thoughts. He moved passed the desk which had been covered with broken glass. He was so high up that he couldn’t even see that Jeremy’s body had hit the top of a speeding car many feet below. Removing the dark owl resembling helmet, he took a deep breath before he began to make the phone call.
‘How do you explain a teenage boy murdering two bodyguards and gleefully jumping to his death?’ he thought.
As the night grew darker, it became more apparent that Jeremy’s final words held a truth. For this terrible incident was a shadow of the events that would follow.