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Espionage IV: The Second Coming


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The sun was shining brightly. This was quite unusual, in that in Scotland the sun tended to give a half-hearted matinee performance and then disappear before the evening show began. The light gleamed on the large, black vehicle that slid silently along the road.

It shouldn

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Finally! Hopefully this one will be worth remembering :)

The sun cast it's last rays over the city of Manchester, ending an unusually hot summer day. Under the cloudless sky people were leaving their work offices, getting in their cars and got stuck in traffic attempting to get home before the traffic would get really stuck. In the various parks children were playing, enjoying the last few hours before their parents would send them to bed. As everything seemed to go according to daily routine throughout the city, dozens of press reporters scurried to a remote industrial area where something appeared to be going on.

The scene was dominated by SWAT vans and police cars filling up the sidewalks. News reporters and civilian bystanders were held back by police blockades. A few police helicopters were flying circles above the streets. Something big was clearly going on here. It was all about a modestly sized factory in the middle, surrounded by SWAT agents with submachineguns at the ready in case anything should happen. More SWAT agents were coming out of the building, escorting cuffed men and women outside. A black van was parked at the factory gates, by wich a man dressed in a trenchcoat was standing. He must have been somewhere between 30 and 40 years old, was well shaven and had black hair reaching to his neck neatly combed. He was giving instructions to nearby people while holding a cup of coffee in his left hand. The man almost seemed to be a movie director with the whole compound being the shooting ground for some new action movie, except that this looked far to serious to be a movie.

Derreck permitted himself a big grin. As he stirred the coffee he held in his left hand SWAT agents and cops were putting cuffed men into arrest vans all around him. Dozens of reporters had scurried towards the scene amazingly quickly, but were held back by the road blocks that sealed off the entire industrial compound, where the event was taking place.

"That's the last of them, sir. Should we send the radiation guys inside?" a cop asked. Derreck answered with a nod, not interrupting the pleasure of his coffee by uttering even a single word. Given the all-clear sign, men in radiation suits went into the factory.

Another job well done Derreck thought.

He and his team were a special section of MI6 devoted to monitoring terrorist activities and fighting them. Months ago they became aware of an impending attack by IRA terrorists involving the use of dirty bombs, but they weren't able to find out where they stored the required uranium until about a week ago. It was this factory in Manchester. Yet though they knew the spot, they waited until another shipment of materials came in so they could aprehend the delivery men as well. The operation was a huge succes.

Though he was thrilled with the outcome, he was kind of dissapointed. He would have to return to his office to manage smaller, less spectacular cases again that were under the level of him and his team. He had only one other important case, but that had pretty much come to a dead end, and it had been running without significant progress for almost ten years- ever since the "Cut".

Ten years ago a series of war broke out, and following that was a world wide breakdown of all computerised systems. Derreck and his team were among those charged with the investigation of this case, but they were the only ones still on it- on paper, that is. There hadn't been any new leads or information and the investigation pretty much came to a halt 2 years ago, but the case was never closed.

They had one name: "The Pelican". Everything seemed to revolve around this man, but nothing they found had brought them any closer to his identity. Apparently he or somebody else took great care in erasing all tracks. Over the years they had also gathered some minor information about three persons that could very well be connected to the Pelican in some way. There were 2 blond women, presumed to be family of eachother because of shared face characteristics, possibly they were sisters. The third was a dark haired man, who on all pictures appeared unshaven. He also showed resemblance to the two women, and everything pointed out that the three formed, or were part of, a family organisation of some sort. This was pretty much the only solid leads they had, and even those could not be verified.

"Come in" the voice of Derreck sounded. He obviously was in a bad mood. A man entered of about 30 years old, brown short hair and about average height.

"You sent for me, sir?"

"Yes, Charles I did." Derreck rose from his chair and turned to face the window, showing his back to Charles. He rubbed his chin with his left hand, and appeared to be hesitating.

"Well, I guess I'll just have to tell you plainly. The chiefs upstairs have ordered us to get working on the Pelican case again." Derreck said wearily. Charles sighed, and the swing of mood was obvious by looking at him.

"What do you mean? We've exhausted all of our leads already. They can't expect us to come up with anything new after all these years! Reopening the case won't do any good."

"The case was never closed in the first place." Derreck reminded him. The tone of voice made it clear that arguing wasn't going to get Charles anywhere, orders were orders. Charles breathed deeply and stared into Derrecks eyes, telling him that he understood but that he sure as hell didn't like it.

"I'll inform the rest of the team."

"Dismissed." said Derreck.

Charles left the room.

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The inner city of Glasgow bustled with activity as everyone went about their daily business.  The attacks 10 years ago had affected the city and it had recovered well.  The sun shone and Argyle Street was busy with tourists and shoppers.  In a flat on Byers Road, a young man was packing up his flat.  the flat was full of boxes all full with film memorabilia .  Shelves were empty and there were some remaining chairs in the centre of the room.  He stopped and looked about.  He noticed that a photograph was lying face down, obviously having fallen from a box and he stooped to pick it up.  It showed a couple, smiling, holding a small baby.  He looked at the photo then placed it in a box marked "Dad's Stuff."

There was a knock at the door and a woman entered.  Behnd came 3 men all smiling and laughing, one carrying a bottle of wine.  The woman was greeted with a hug and a kiss and the men with a hearty handshake.  The bottle was handed over and a gesture to the boxes was made.  The men picked up the boxes and started taking them to a waiting van.  It wasn't long until the flat was completly empty.  With a tearful look in his eye, he looked at his past, turned then strode on to his future.  Outside sat a van and a car.  They entered them and drove off.

The van drove out of the city and into the countryside.  It made it's way North, until it came to rural Scotland.  The van came to a small secluded village and drew up outside a cotage.  From the cottage a 40 something woman came out and waved and smiled.  The cottage was picturesque, and a stream laden with life added to scene.

"Yoshi, you're here."

Yoshi greeted her with a hug and they strolled into the house.  The others started unloading.

[4 Days Later]

"Do you want a cup of coffee Mum?" Yoshi called into the garden

"No, I'm alright Yoshi.  I'll get it myself."

She went into the kitchen and got herself a cup of coffee.  She then went into the main sitting room.  And sat with Yoshi.

"What you watching there Yoshi?"

"Just the news Mother."

"You're forever watching that."  She laughed, looking at Yoshi

Without taking his eyes of the screen, Yoshi replied, "Well, you never know what.....might....Mum?"

"What is it honey?" She was looking at Yoshi.

"Mum, look."  He gestured to the TV.

His Mum turned and looked at the screen.  It was a picture of Glasgow, and she recognised it as Byers Road - where Yoshi had lived.  The headline read;

'Large Explosion in Glasgow.  The ETA claim responsibility.'

All Yoshi could get was; "Mum?" as his Mum dived for the phone.

"It's Francis.  Tell me what THE FUCK IS GOING ON?"

The monotonous voice replied

"Stay where you are.  We will be round for you and Yoshi."

Within 10 minutes 2 cars where round and Yoshi was bundeled into one, Francis into the other.  In the car with Yoshi, and sunglassed, suited man, with no expression turned to Yoshi and remarked;

"You did well.  Your father would be proud."

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"Yet another long, and probably pointless journey with uncertain importance..." Sergei sighed as he peered out of the darkened window. To his right, Vivian said nothing as she calmly steered the vehicle. She was not entirely sure what was happening herself, but with the news being announced only a few hours ago she figured that there was more to come. Behind her in the spacious back seat, Mischa maintained contact with Morganna back at the house, which had been named 'Rilauven.'

Jared had picked up the news almost immediately, though he had seemed distracted. He had claimed that he had other things to take care of, and sent Nox through the various channels to investigate. First the bombs in Glasgow, and then Aberdeen. Responsibility claimed by the ETA. Jared had asked Vivian, Sergei and Mischa to go South to a specified location. He had explained that another group would meet them there, claiming a connection to 'old allies.'

Nox ran through the various 'high profile' incidents in the British police database. There appeared to be five, including the Glasgow and Aberdeen bombings. The other two were not of much interest, but he third... Jared had noticed that one, and sent him down a new path. Now his fingers typed tirelessly as he directed a connection through Hong Kong and Chicago to the police databanks, hacking his way in clumsily, but not overly so. He spent a few minutes searching around before having to pull back as the tracers began to close in on him. Removing his traces with help from Morganna, Nox pulled out and examined the data he had copied.

It was incomplete, but detailed the cases of the department involved with the Manchester case...

:We may not be as 'forgotten' as first we imagined, Midgar:

<What do you mean?>

:Nox has found details of a police department still working on a case involving 'The Pelican.' He can't tell me much more than that, but it shows that not all of the records that we hoped were lost in the Cut actually were:

<You mean we have legal trouble? NOW?>

:Perhaps. Nox couldn't tell me if the case was having any success and the place is crawling with extra security now, I can't get in without attracting attention:

<That's... not like you>

:In the old days, I'd have gone in and bluffed my way out. I did it all the time. The world's different now, more cautious; and so am I. I still haven't grown used to ten years of change:

<...Is it that bad?>

:Bad? No, I wouldn't say that. But I've been away for too long, I've missed too much. I suspect that my time in the system has changed me slightly from my original programming, given me time to reflect. I'm thinking too much. I was busy all the time in the old days, too busy to think. Now I've had ten years to think:

<So have I>

:Midgar... I'm sorry about Garnet:


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OOC:Oooh,I really wanna join!And I will :)

IC:Felix was hiding out in Cardiff,living in the slum alleys,feasting on thrown out McDonalds meals.He had been the founder of the small --but rapidly growing-- English Mafia,and was living like a king in one of his many villas,enjoying 800$ wines, eating black caviar by the spoonful.The Cut had taken it all away from him.His money...his power.A huge gang war had started between his fledgling Mafia and small,part time gangs.Of course,the Mafia had the connections,but the gangs had numbers.And numbers were all that mattered.In 2 years his organization was utterly destroyed,and Felix himself was almost bankrupt.A year later,he had 40,000 dollars left,scrounged up from selling his villas and fine suits of clothes.For two whole years,he survived on those 40,000.Then,in December,they ended,and Felix was just nother drunk with no money.However,Felix had not lost his brains,even during those miserable five years living as a hobo.

    As soon as the Cut was over,he began spinning his plans that had been sitting in the crib in his head,waiting for someone to come and lift them out...The help came.And now,Felix Helkar was once again the leader of a small band of gun-smugglers.His men respected him because of his smarts and power he seemed to radiate,and Felix...Well,he only respected his men because he needed them on his side, for a little bit,at least.They started out small,gun smuggling and low-level assasinations,then overseeing drug deals,but NOW,now they were going to do the job that would get Felix back up to the high level,to the level where he would again be able to start up his Mafia,and again be able to live in villas.


The Zigulis drew up to an exquisite apartment building,an apartment building,housing a one Mikhail Ivanovich,former KGB.5 men stepped out.Felix was among them.One thug went around to the back,opening the trunk,and withdrawing 4 Tec-10's,as well as Felix's trusty Walther P99.It was old,but still killed.Concealing their weapons in their large trenchcoats,they walked up to the doorman.

"Excuse me,young man," Felix kindly asked the young doorman. "But where would a mister Mikhail Ivanovich be residing?"

"I'm sorry,sir," the doorman replied stiffly, "But I am not allowed to reveal that information."

Suddenly,as quick as a lightning flash,Felix's left hand was holding the neck of the doorman,slowly squeezing it,and the right had the Walther pointed right beneath his jaw.

"Tell me,you little prick,or your brain will be...  OOC:Whaddaya you think?Sorry,just my mom is practically pushing me off the seat.

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"Who the hell is this?" A surely voice snapped from the shadows on the far side of the room. A log fire crackled in complience to narrative requirement, and there were few lights in the room. The windows, bizarrely, let in little light in here. It was from the deep and flickering shadows on the right of the fireplace that the voice emanated. "We drive all this way, to meet this?" The speaker emerged from the darkness, revealing himself to be a muscular and untidy man with a thin scar down one side of his face. It seemed to be fresh. His hair was black and unwashed, his face a scowl. He seemed about to continue when he was interrupted by the blonde woman in the red T-shirt, who sat haughtily in a tall chair and was against all practicality wearing sunglasses. She held up one alabaster hand, silencing the man with a gesture.

"Sergei, since you are obviously far too busy to read the data files that Jared gave us, or indeed examine the pictures, which I hoped even you would manage, I shall endeavour to provide you with a basic overview." She unfolded gracefully from the chair, the firelight playing over her features. Turning to look at Chris through her sunglasses, which creepily hid her eyes completely, she smiled ever so slightly. "I'll be just a minute." Turning back to the scowling man, she set her face. "The person that has just entered the room is the progeny of an aquaintance of our forebears, i.e. the son of someone our originals used to know. He is here for reasons that have not yet been made clear to us, but we are here to represent our own interests. We are meeting him because something important may be happening, and we want in on the deal. Understand?" She finished archly, raising an eyebrow. There was no reply. "I'll take that as a yes."

"Do you have to be so condescending?" Another voice muttered from behind Chris. He jumped slightly as another women who looked ever so slightly younger detached herself from the shadows behind the door and stepped into the light of the fire. For the first time it struck Chris that there was no other light in the room at all. The second woman was examining him through narrowed eyes, framed by black hair that was beginning to show blonde at the roots. She seemed disappointed. And then she dismissed him, turning to Aeris and directing a questioning look in his direction.

"...Well, now that we're all here..." He said, apparantly disconcerted by something. "I know that explanations are in order, but I shouldn't give them. Follow us please, there's something you should see."

"Oh great, another magical mystery tour..." The man grumbled as Chris looked back to him. "What're you looking at?"

* * *

:I'm looking at the files that Nox managed to copy: Jared muttered, his image slipping slightly as his attention was focussed elsewhere. :You won't be able to see it, since you can only read the text, but it seems that we actually do have someone examining the old case. It's not clear who, or why. In fact I have no details except that they are most likely lawful and don't have much to work with:

"So it would be best to just leave it alone?" Morganna suggested, her eyes never leaving the keyboard she typed fiercely onto.

:Possibly. I doubt that they'll find anything remotely useful to them: Jared sighed, his face becoming clear again, :not now that the case has been dead for ten years. On the other hand...:

"Why reopen it again after this long?" Morganna asked rhetorically.

:Indeed. You may need to get a closer look at this investigation, I don't want this family discovered so soon. Where's Nox?:

"He'll be back in a moment. Said he wanted a snack."

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The thug came back after several seconds.Felix smiled a chilling smile and said,"Floor eleven,apartment 263.Lets go."

The group opened the door and trotted into the building.

"Hello,good sirs,what business brings you here today?" a porter asked.

Felix smiled again.

"Oh,just visiting some...friends..."And the group jogged off towards the elevator.


On the elevent floor,apartment 263,Mikhail Ivanovich heard his doorbell ring.Going over to the door,he looked through the looker-through(You know,the round thing in the door which you can look throught)Immediatley,a bullet shattered the glass,flew through the door,squelched through Mikhail's eye,and imbedded itself deep in his brain.On the other side of the door,Felix calmly turned to his thugs and said,"Move,you pieces of crap,or we'll all get caught."


4 minutes later...

Outside,the Zigulis sped away,just as the police were arriving.

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"What a mess." Nox complained, watching the vehicle speed away from the scene of the crime.

:Hm?: Jared mumbled, moving one of his cameras to the screen that Nox was watching.

"It's a messy job." Nox said in disgust. "First a gun is pulled on the doorman, that was caught on CCTV. Then a man is shot through a door, without a silencer, in a crowded apartment complex with plenty of witnesses. And as the police arrive do they drive casually away? No, they break the speed limit before they turn the corner. Idiocy."

:Is there any particular reason why you're watching this?: Jared asked, as the picture wobbled. :And is that a helicopter camera?:

"See what I mean about the idiocy?" Nox said. "The speed they drove at alerted the police immediately. It seems that the man they killed-"

"One Mikhail Ivanovich." Morganna interrupted.

"had some kind of importance to the police." Nox continued, "They are not very happy at all. Hence the helicopter. It's been following them. This is hardly a clean-cut case. There's police cars too. Also, see this guy?" Nox brought up a CCTV picture of the man holding the gun to the door. "I'm pretty sure he's the ringleader. What kind of idiot does his own dirty work?"

:A true idiot indeed: Jared smiled. :Copy all of the CCTV footage and wipe the originals from the system. Mess up the chase as well, if you can. I want these people to get away, I recognise that guy...:

"Old friend of yous?" Morganna asked.

:I did a deal of some kind with him before the Cut: Jared explained, :He certainly won't remember the faceless computer screen that he paid:

"What kind of deal?" Morganna asked as Nox continued to type quickly.

:He wanted equipment, guns if I remember rightly: Jared said, searching his memory banks. :I was able to locate and connect him to a seller and negotiate a cheap price for him. Of course what he paid me was almost three times what the guns cost: Jared grinned. :Yes, I'd like to see this guy again. And give him some tips on not getting caught:

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Back from my vacation!

The door automaticly closed behind Derreck and he smelled the sterile hospital air. He was accompanied by Charles, his right hand man, and Eric, his newest addition to the team. Leading the way, Derreck walked up to the reception desk and showed his badge.

"Derreck Carter, MI5. I understand you brought in a certain Mikhail Ivanovich about about 4 hours ago?"

"That's correct" the blond haired receptionist said with some hesitation as she looked at the badge. "However, his condition is critical and you're not allowed to visit."

"Where is he?" Derreck demanded, yet in a civilised tone. "Witholding information to a MI5 agent is a serious offense and I warn you."

"Room 315, third floor." the receptionist said softly and baffled. Derreck and the two others walked to the nearest elevator with a steady pace.

They took the elevator to level 3, and proceeded to room 315, in the section for the critically wounded. Derreck slammed the door open, meeting the eyes of a surprised doctor. As he stould up, assumingly to send them away, Derreck took out his badge again and held it in front of the doctor.

"Derreck Carter, MI5." he put his badge back into his coat. He raised his left- and right hand respectively. "This is agent Charles Kerry, and this is Eric Fletcher."

He swept his eyes over the man in bed. Bandage covered his left eye and had tubes in his nostrils. The man appeared to be asleep.

"Is this Mikhail Ivanovich?" Derreck inquired, pointing at the man.

"Yes" the doctor said. With the tip of his wisefinger he pushed his spectacles a bit up. "He was in pretty bad shape when they brought him in. He was shot at with a 9mm pistol. The bullet had entered through his left eye socket and waded through his brain tissue. Luckily the ambulance arrived in time to save his life."

"Is he going to remember everything? Will he be available for questioning anytime soon?" Derreck asked, straight to the point.

The doctor looked through a few brain scans and charts.

"The bullet didn't damage any vital parts of his brains, but I'm not sure if he'll wake up soon. It might be 2 or 3 days. And I can't garantue he'll remember everything."

"Thank you doctor." Derreck left the room. His 2 companions followed.

As the door closed behind them, and with nobody else around, Derreck began to speak softly to his 2 subordinates.

"Now I have time to tell you more about this guy. He's a former KGB operative, retired when the soviet union collapsed, but still has plenty of connections in the FSB, the follower of the KGB."

"How does that relate to our case sir?" Eric asked. Charles gave him a stern look for no apparant reason. Charles clearly didn't think highly of the newcomer.

"Eye witnesses have told us that our good friend Felix is behind the murder." Derreck replied. Anybody could regognise Felix these days, as his picture appeared in the newspaper every now and then, initially with titles like "sleezy gang leader kills 2" on page 3, but now he scores a spot almost weekly with titles like "Rich crime lord accused of multiple homocide" or "The "Godfather" strikes again".

"And you think this russian guy knows anything important to our case? It might just be a simple quarrel over drugs or some other dumb shit." Charles said.

Derreck shrugged. "My instincts tell me this guy knows something big." Whenever he reffered to his instincts, he was determined to push his will through. Charles never bothered to even go against Derrecks instincts, moreso because they had proven themselves many times.

"Besides" Derreck said. "We don't have anything else at the moment. I want 2 agents stationed at this door and 2 more in his room for guard duty until he wakes up."

As Charles went outside to call for security agents and Eric was trying to get a chocolate bar from a candy machine without much succes, Derreck thought of what a treasure of information this person would have to posses. And that's not all: MI5 suspected, but Derreck knew, that the man who tried to kill him, Felix, had dealt with the Pelican's entourage in the distant past. They had, however, not managed to get anything on him- until now...

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I'm assuming the hospital room has at least 1 window. :)



Felix got up from bet and groggily turned on the light.


Slowly getting oriented,he grabbed the cell phone on the bedside table.


"Yeah?Yeah,its me,what? Whaddaya mean,"He's not dead"?I put a bullet through his -- how could he have survived...tough little bastard,I -- Uh-huh.Whats you plan? Right,hospital room window -- WHAT!?! RPG-7's?! How the hell did you get th -- Smuggled 'em in during the Cut? Holy Crap...Yeah,alright.I'll do it.Just let me get oriented.K,Ciao."

Felix hung up,murmurming to himself,"RPG7's...Holy Hell..."

An hour later a groggy band of thugs were assembled.6,counting Felix.1 overseer for the boss.Felix didn't want him tagging along,but he provided the report and weapons.They all crammed into an old Ford pickup and sped towards St.Peter's hospital...

The pickup pulled up softly,with its light extinguished,to the right-side parking lot of St.Peter's.Ivanovich's room was facing right towards it.As they all got slowly out,the overseer informed Felix in a cold voice,"3 to the left,2 up.2 rounds.2 chances.Fail,and every single association between us is gone.Felix was livid,but he didn't show it.He needed the money,and the boss was the only guy rich enough to get him back on track.Quietly commanding the thugs to unload,Felix checked his watch.He hoped there weren't any feds in there.If any of THEM were killed,he would have hell in his lap.

10 minutes later,everything was set up.Felix tried to act cool,but his hands were trembling.The overseer watched without emotion.A light was on it Ivanovich's room.

Crap...Either he's awake,the feds are there,or its a nurse.

Oh well.Too bad for them.The bastard should've died when he had been shot.Too bad.

He aimed,the was a muffled sort of roar,a flash of light,and a RPG slammed through the window and impacted a wall.There was a flash of light,and then fire came roaring out of the window.

Lights turned on.

Felix and his thugs grabbed the RPG and threw it into the bed of the pickup.The overseer as already in.

As people started screaming,the Ford screeched away...

OOC: Tell me if thats acceptable.Earthnuker didn't state whether there was security along the perimiter,so I'm assuming there wasn't.If it's unnaceptable,give me a good reason and I'll change it.

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"That's just too much. Far too much." Nox grumbled, cutting and slicing as he covered Felix's tracks. "I mean, does the man have absolutely no understanding of CCTV? Or satellite tracking?"

:Felix is a product of a dead generation of crime lords: Jared said calmly, :He rose to power before the Cut, way before, when the world was still shaking off the remains of the Cold War. In that time period his methods worked extremely well. There were no trackers who were not human, no cameras at every corner. Felix was very successful, he led a large group. In the ninties he began slipping though, and the Cut was the last straw. He lost nearly everything, and now he's trying to get it back through the methods that served him well before:

"Methods that simply aren't workable in a modern world." Morganna finished. Jared nodded. "I've taken the liberty of having a message sent to him. Hopefully it will curb his more excessive tactics..."

Paper letter to Felix (postmarked China):

Included in this parcel are copies of all the CCTV footage we have collected of you over the past few days. As you can see they are somewhat revealing, and the fact that this letter has reached you shows that we know where you are. We've been covering your tracks for you Felix, even as far as taking satellites temporarily offline. And we can stop doing this any time we like. We can also point people in your direction, should we feel so inclined. So tell us, what would you give to ensure our silence?

Message ends.

>Hmm, a new bank?< Jared thought to himself, wandering through various systems simmultaneously. He drifted in closer. Financial transactions, business deals, yes, it looked like a bank. Gathering a shield of distractors and disrupters around him, Jared slipped into the system.

>Well well well! Perhaps not so bank-like after all!< Jared thought to himself as the arms deals and covert encoded messages broke through the thin covering that disguised them as a bank. An irritating sensation, like an itch, made itself felt. Jared ran a quick scan. Hmph, he was close to being tracked. Figuring that he would come back later, when the system was less heavily guared, he slipped back out as quietly as he had arrived.

Still, the familiarity of that system was unsettling... he would have to contact Midgar.

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When Felix woke up the next morning,he found that he had mail.

Maybe its a paycheck from boss!

As he ripped it open,found 2 tapes.

Whats this?

As he read it,his eyes widened.

Included in this parcel are copies of all the CCTV footage we have collected of you over the past few days. As you can see they are somewhat revealing, and the fact that this letter has reached you shows that we know where you are. We've been covering your tracks for you Felix, even as far as taking satellites temporarily offline. And we can stop doing this any time we like. We can also point people in your direction, should we feel so inclined. So tell us, what would you give to ensure our silence?

Dumbfounded,he pushed tape number 1 into the player.It showed him pretty much everything that he had done in the past week.

But how could they have found me?Crazy people...I wonder what they want?I guess I'll have to give them whatever they want.Ohhh,crap...

Tearing from his bedside table an envelope and a blank piece of paper,he began furiously scribling down a letter.

"What do you want from me?I can give you arms,I can show you people in high places.If you've been watching me,then obviously you must know all about me starting my...My,err,organization.I can offer you a place on that.I don't know what you want,but I want you to know that I have completed the last step of my integration into the world of crime,unless,that is,that damn Ivanovich survived.I can become a very powerful ally.

Answer soon with your demands."

And with that,he furiously pushed the letter into the envelope,glued it shut,ran outside and shoved it into the mail box.

    After that,he felt much ore relieved,but shaky,and decided to go to the local bar for a pint of beer,perhaps a glass of whickey or two..

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Felix sat at the bar, drinking reasonably heavily. He felt better. He was surrouned by people who knew nothing about him, people who unconsciously protected him merely with their presence. Nobody would try anything in public. One of the waitresses smiled coyly as she placed his next drink in front of him. Somewhere in the background, a telephone rang. Felix drank. The message worried him, but not unduely.

He had been sitting there for some time when the barman waddled up to him and slapped a folded piece of greasy paper in front of him.

"Phone message for you." He muttered, before waddling away again. Feliz stared at the paper, the message scrawled in the barman's hurried handwriting...

I want nothing now, but you owe us a favour. For now, don't get in our way.


"Did you send that e-mail?" Nox asked, flying backwards as he switched consoles. He glanced across to his sister.

"Yes, yes I did." Morganna replied, concentrating hard, "I re-routed it through terminals in China and Florida. Hopefully it will be untracable after that."

:Hopefully: Jared muttered. :Morganna, would you be so kind as to investigate a system from a laptop? I'm getting a feeling that I shouldn't connect to it from this system anymore:

"Can do." Morganna smiled, finishing off whatever she was doing and pressing a button to cause another keyboard to slide out of the console. She detatched it, and began to type...

"It's a bank." She said, not looking up.

:Look closer: Jared asvised. :They don't know you and they don't know that laptop:

"It..." Morganna gasped. She scattered a flurry of small viruses to distract the defenders and backed out at once. "The inside is very heavily guarded. It's not a bank, but I don't know what it is."

Message to Midgar:

Have found heavily guarded system disguised as a bank. I can get in, but the tracing capabilities are very advanced, Morganna had to throw in a few viruses to get out, and this was in a closed system. I advise you to work from a seperate console if you choose to investigate. Also, look carefully at the patterns in the programs in that system. You may find them... familiar.


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Felix was not as stupid as most people thought.Before the cut,he had constructed an almost sentient AI system.Before the Cut,he had used it for advice.After the Cut,he very rarely even switched it on.

But now he had switched it on and was seeking advice from it.

"How could they have known?"Felix asked after explaining the whole story to Merlin,which was what he named the AI.

"Felix,Felix,FELIX.Your going in and shooting everyone metheods don't work as they used to.Technologies have advanced.The feds are smarter.Anyone with the right equipment can track you.Oh and by the way,Ivanovich survived the blast," Merlin announced casually as though it was just news that someones cold had healed.

Felix didn't say anything.

How could he have survived?He must have been indestructible.

"How do you know this?"Felix finally said,in a quiet voice.

"Simple.I hacked into the hospital system and found out he had been...removed.At least boss won't know too much."Merlin had a few things similar to Felix.He had the lust for money and power.

"Were is he held now?"

"How should I know,you bloody fool?Better concentrate on your Mafia and those pesky little trackers of yours."

"Yes...yes,of course.First things first."

The paycheck had been delivered,and Felix was ready for primte time.Time to start pulling the right strings,peddling drugs,hiring hitmen and gaining back his villas...

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[A dark room]

"Did you put it in?" Came a voice


"Did they get it?"


"Excellent, fools they are.  He hasn't got much.  Just a few names, and maybe a house."

"He bought it."

"Yes he did."

"Ha, wait till he does a search on all those names, and finds they died during the first world war.  The Covenant indeed."

Both of them burst into laughter.  Jareds buddy had been foiled.

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  [in a dark room]

As soon as Midgar came online he was tracked, his viruses were strong, and they seemed to be defeating the system.  But they were not getting to any useful information, only info that was planted.  Everything that was of any interest was indeed either on paper, or on a computer not hooked to any network whatsoever, and hence there was no way in.

"He's angry bud."  Said the computer user

"Then use that to your advantage." Said Chase.

"Right hold on, I aint god you know."

He tapped at the computer a few times.

"Oh hold on, whats this.  Oh shit.  Shoot the fucker."



Without hesitation, Chase pulled out his computer and destroyed the computer.

"What the hell happened?" Frank came running in.

"A bore sir."

"A what?" Frank and Chase spoke at the same time.

"A bore.  It sits in the computer, and, well..... bores.  No wonder we couldnt get him.  He knew exactly what I was doing.  Infact, this thing was so sophisticated, it knew what I was going to do....as if it knew me."  He said that last part slow

"Steven, what are you talking about?" Frank was asking this now.

"Sir, I know who it is.  And you ain't gonna like it."

"Who Steven, who?"

"Its Midgar boss."

Frank looked stunned.

"Conference room...now."

[A few minutes later]

"Steven has a few words."

The room was packed.  It was full of men all smoking Cigars and wearing suits.

"Well, I was attempting to safe crack the house, and you see, this charlie of mine was always one step ahead.  Using a cerebral, he managed to windcap us.  The thing is, he's a gook."  Steve spoke fast.

"Hold on there sonny boy.  Speak English, we all didn't attend school for the insanely geekish"  It was a strong American accent.  The rest of the room laugh.

"Right, sorry Tex. (laughter) Anyway, I was attempting to get track this hacker, hacking the dud info.  But he seemed to always be one step ahead.  It turned out he was using a very powerful program, called a bore.  This thing was always one step ahead of me, and I am the best.  But, I think he's a gook."

The viatnemese stood up.  Frank interupted.

"Hold on there, Sao.  I'm sure that Steve can explain himself."

"Oh, sorry sir.  A gook.  Basically, someone who knows your style.  Someone who knows exactly what you are going to do and when you are going to do it." It was said fast, and Steve was clearly nervous.

"And arrr yoo going to be able to get zis, gook?"  This one was French

"No...well yes.  It will take alot of work.  I need to rewrite all my programs, and change my style.  Which could take weeks, probably months."

"And so what do you reccomend boy?"  Tex spoke again.

"That we take all our stations off line, disconnect them from the network.  Only have the ones that runs the business, the bank and the agency.  Only have govermental stuff on the servers.  Stuff that we don't mind getting stolen from us.  But the thing is sir, I know who the gook is."

"Who?"  Many people spoke at the same time.


The room again asked who.

"He was a guardian.  He worked for Justin Redlak."

The room fell silent.  Frank stood and spoke.

"Well I suggest we do what Steve says, and we continue searching for the device.  Do we know anywhere we can do it?"

An old man, of about 70 stood up.

"I teach all about the guy in my class.  I'll set the essay.  Make it specific, no one will be suspicious.  They think I'm a crank, and it will be in the final exam anyway.  I will make sure of it."

"Good.  Anyone else?  No.  Right then, lets get to work."

Over the next few hours the place bustled with activity, the computers were taken down, and only the govermental information was left up.  All traces of the "bank" had been erased, and all Midgar had was his dud info on the Pelican.

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