Gw Temp

Menu

Article - 'The Chain Story 2: Chapter Two' by AzureFenrir

An item about Miscellanious posted on Apr 25, 2005

Blurb

The Second Chapter of The Chain Story 2! This chapter is by Azure Fenrir

Body

Chapter Two
However, the steps only grew closer, as Leila's hands continued to shake under a pair of strange moving shadows. She shouted a few more warnings, which seemed to only dissipate under the cold beams of the moon, lost in the darkness. She was helpless, alone, and surrounded by what seemed like brutal hostility.

Her eyes blurred, and focused again on the dark alleyway. The footsteps grew even louder, and the shadows of their owners danced around her, hostilely waiting to take her life. The shadows, glowing under the cobweb-covered streetlight, grew larger as they converged, revealing their master. Leila shook, and raised her gun a little more.

“Stay away!” she screamed, more desperately this time, “or I’ll really shoot!”

The man walked forward, brushing aside Leila’s warnings as if they fell on deaf ears. Leila could feel shivers running up from her spines, goose bumps popping up all over her body. She closed her eyes in fear, and subconsciously pushed her shaking index finger into the trigger.

“Bang!”

The man stepped back in surprise, as a pool of scarlet began to form on his chest. He stared at the young girl for a moment, still not believing that the bullet pierced through his heart. His eyes fluttered for a moment, and he fell backwards as a group of ravens gathered near his body, nibbling carelessly at this rarely found meal.

Leila stood there for a moment, paralyzed, with the fatal weapon still shaking in her hands. She slowly lowered her arms, exhaled loudly, and ran as fast as she could in the opposite direction.

“I have to tell Samuel what happened,” she thought as she ran, “This job is getting too dangerous...we need to get out of here or...or...”

Leila felt a sharp stinging pain in her right shoulder. She quickly threw her hands on the shoulder and felt a small tranquilizer dart, in the shape of an injection needle, latched there. She continued to run a few steps, her pace rapidly growing slower as the slums of Naroko blurred slowly around her. Finally, after a bitter struggle, the dart took its toll as Leila stopped and limped on the cold street.

A limousine drove by the ground where the girl had lain. Two agents, both wearing charcoal black suits and sunglasses, stepped out. They discussed something for a few seconds, and proceeded to pick up the sleeping girl and tie her to an open seat. One of them entered the front door and stepped on the gas pedal, carrying their silent captive off into the darkness.


“Huh?”

Leila felt a stinging pain in wrists. Her eyes opened, and blankly observed her unfamiliar surroundings of a limousine. The lavender-padded doors and royal red carpets gave the vehicle a hint of extreme luxury. A freezer box, filled to the brim with bottles of imported wine and sweets, lay next to the door, and a painted cedarwood table, crafted through days of tedious labor, lay in the center of the limousine, holding carefully arranged glasses plates piled with imported foods and champagne.

“Shit!” Leila thought, as her eyes focused on the fat face of Mario Cocopelli on the other side of the French table. She bolted to the door, but found herself bound to the chair behind her, with two sniper guns pointed at her chest.

“Did you have a good sleep?” Mario replied mockingly. He sipped his cup of champagne, and made a crooked grin.

“What do you want with me?” Leila asked desperately, remembering how deviously Mario made Samuel into his virtual slave.

“Now, now, let’s not get hasty, shall we?” Mario replied calmly. He took another slip of his champagne, and continued, “You’re that Leila girl that Sam is always talking about, aren’t you?”

Leila cringed. “Y...yeah” she muttered in a weak voice.

“Good. Now, tell me, who asked you to go with Sam? That chip was supposed to be a secret, dammit, and now you know about it.” Mario slammed his champagne glass on the table, and eyed the captive suspiciously. He then continued, “We can’t let you leave here alive now, can we? What’s to stop you from going to the cops, or maybe the corporations?”

Leila’s entire body is shaking now. She made a few more attempts to break free, but the rope coils held her tightly to the limousine chair. Mario made another crooked grin, seemingly enjoying the plight of his new victim.

“Oh, but I won’t kill an old friend’s sweetheart,” Mario narrated mockingly, and then continued, in a more serious tone, “Rather, I would like you to work for me.”

“What?”

“That’s right. I saw you kill one of my men tonight, and with only one shot. You have a talent for shooting, and we can’t let that talent go to waste, can we?”

“I’d rather die than to become your slave,” Leila screamed through her teeth.

“Oh, but you don’t understand!” Mario acted, “If you don’t agree to work for me, I can’t guarantee Sam’s safety. What if he died sometime during the trade?”

“What...what did you do with Sam?” Leila asked. She struggled harder against the ropes.

Mario seemed to be amused. He waved his hand, and one of the snipers stepped forth and cut the ropes that bound her to the seat. Leila immediately lunged at Mario, but the other sniper quickly grabbed her and pushed her, kicking and screaming, back into the seat.

“Now, now, don’t be hasty,” he replied, “Sam is fine. However, I can assure you that he is going through a very painful procedure right now in order to test that chip. After all, I spent billions of dollars in cold cash just to get it into my hands. I wouldn’t want it to fail me, would I? And those hacker surgeons are horrible at their work...what if something goes wrong? What if Sam dies?”

“You bastard!” Leila screamed. She tried to lunge at Mario again, but couldn’t break free from the sniper’s grasp. She growled, and spat at Mario’s shirt. Mario turned around and grinned, confident that he had won this battle.

“Now, if you work for me, I can dispatch my own surgeons immediately. They have enough experience to ensure that your boyfriend lives through this ordeal. I can provide him with that island resort that he always wanted...now, isn’t that a good deal?”

Mario amusingly watched Leila drop to her knees. “But my surgeons charge a lot for their services,” he continued, “far more than poor Sam will ever earn, even with the profits from this job. You’ll probably want to alleviate his burden a little, wont you? Or do you not care about him?”

“Fine, you win,” Leila replied, and sighed in resignation.

“Good, then from now on, you will work for me as an assassin. Your first job is to infiltrate the building where those hackers live. Kill everyone there, and leave. My men will retrieve the chip after you’re finished. We can’t let a bunch of lowly hackers get their hands on such a dangerous object, can we?”

“But...what about Sam? He’s in there?”

“You’ll do this tomorrow,” Mario compromised, “Sam should already be gone by then. That way, you can shoot freely at anything that moves. You needn’t worry, they are just a bunch of hackers. They shouldn’t have much of a resistance.”

“But...”

“Don’t complain if you want your boyfriend to be safe. Now, my surgeons will provide you with some assassin implants. This will hurt, but only for a minute.”

A tear rolled down Leila’s cheek as a group of black-robed doctors inserted solid metal plating under her skin. Images of her holding twin pistols, glaring coldly at piles of bodies scattered on the ground, flashed through her mind. Her eyes closed, and the teardrop flowed down her steel-plated arm, evaporating at the tip of a shiny new thermos plasma rifle hidden in a compartment near her wrists. She bit her lip as she realized that after this moment, she might never be a conscious human again.

“Sam...” she thought, as the last plate inched found its way under her once dedicate skin.


“What?” Mario roared over the telecom? “What do you mean you lost it?”

“Well, Mr. Cocopelli,” the other voice responded nervously, “You see, we’re trying our best to...” The voice on the other line was interrupted as Mario’s fists landed on the disconnect button. The telecom whirred, and obediently disconnected the call.

“Shit!” Mario cursed. His fists hardened, and a scowl appeared on his face. He angrily slammed a red button on the telecom, and the image of an agent appeared on the screen.

“Call my assassin,” he said, “Tell her that there’s a change in plans. She will destroy their whole building using explosives and make sure that there’s no survivors. I want to see those damn bastards suffer for what they’ve done.”

“Yes, sir,” a voice replied obediently before the screen turned blank.


The Next Day, 11:00 PM


The slums of Naroko sat silently under the shades of the moon, waiting for the sun to rise again. The streets were nearly empty, and in the far distance, the blurry figure of a vendor closed his crude shop and retired for the day. Only the sounds of the salesman’s boots were audible, and as the figure disappeared into the darkness, the street became silent once again.

A small breeze glided through a desolate corner of the slums. The wind picked up a small newspaper clipping - left carelessly by a hurrying stranger - and gently blew it past Leila’s dark figure, kneeling near a barren wall. The clipping, as if tired of being bullied by the wind, pasted itself onto a rusted garbage can. The wind tried to take the clipping back into its relentless arms, but the paper held on to its new protector, refusing to let go. Finally, with one hast raging howl, the wind changed directions and disappeared into a wall.

The figure of Leila cautiously studied its surroundings, unaware of the newspaper’s unexpected prevalence over the breeze. Confirming that no one is near, she gently lifted a small pocket in her utility belt, well-hidden under her long cloak. Her fingers reached into the pocket and pulled out a micro-sized laser gun. Then, with one last glance, she lowered her weapon and dashed towards a the center of the slums, where a shoddy and neglected building, with walls that slanted left from a horrible lack of care, lies.

Leila slowly crept towards the door of the slanted house. It was as banal as the rest of the ruinous building, sporting arrays of cracks near its rusted metal hinges. The figure slowly reached into a small compartment hidden in her right arm, and pulled out a small MF4 laser. The laser slowly worked its way through the cracked hinges of the door, until, with a final groan, the door acquiesced to the laser's power, revealing the dark and moldy rooms that it had previously hidden from the intruder.

She entered the room carefully and activated a small infrared scope near her right eye. The red-stained figure of a sleeping man, obviously overweight and slumped on a small wooden chair, appeared in the scope, and she approached him silently. A small laser sword emerged from her arm and worked its way through the man's neck. The man grunted, and fell silent as his head crashed into a wall on the other side of the room.

Her hands began shaking as she slowly walked up the battered staircase onto the top floor of the room. She recalled the man’s expressionless face as his head flew off into the darkness, and looked back at the bloody corpse, still slumped on the chair, that now took his place. A shill of terror crept up her veins.

“Don’t worry, Leila,” she reassured her self, as her feet shook harder on the decrypted staircase, “You’ll get used to it soon enough...”

She stopped at the door of the surgeon’s room, now almost devoid of people. A lone woman sat near the window, chewing on a cigarette butt lodged firmly between her crimson lips. Her eyes are fixed on the mysterious full moon transfixed in the cloudless sky. A closed laptop rested on her left arm, seemingly forgotten as its owner continued to stare at the moon.

Leila slowly unholstered her pistol and pointed the barrel at the woman, her hands trembling at the act that she is about to commit. The woman however, did not seem to notice. She continued to sit silently under the window, her eyes still staring dreamily at the moon. She sighed silently, and Leila quickly raised the pistol and pointed its trembling barrel at the woman’s heart. Her finder moved, and the silencer on the pistol did the rest.

The cigarette butt dropped from the woman’s lips. She fell obediently onto the ground, dropping her laptop onto the hard wooden floor. The screen opened, and the words “I still love you Missy,” accompanied by a 3D smiley, briefly flashed across the screen. The screen cracked, and the colors faded into the darkness as the screen slowly shattered into pieces.

Leila quickly glided down the stairs, and confident that no one else heard the sound, produced a T-7b rocket grenade from her cloak pocket. She bit off the safety and threw it up the crude stairway, while she faded into the silent moonlight outside...


An explosion shattered the already slanted building, causing pieces of stone and splinters of wood to fly off in every direction. This spectacular event attracted many curious people, as they gathered, some still in their sleeping rags, to witness what had happened.

Leila could hear sirens zoom past her ears, as police hover cars flew past the crowd and landed on the fallen debris of the scene. Her legs shook furiously as she desperately tried to find an escape route from the dangerous hover cars above her.

She can’t afford to let the cops see her - her trench coat and assassin garbs would attract too much attention, and one run through a metal detector could end it all. She knew she has to run as far from this place as possible. She waited for her legs to silence themselves, and immediately took off in the opposite direction.

She could hear the police sirens grow closer, as her legs grew numb, exhausted from the great burden and guilt that it was forced to carry. She could see a hover car approaching, with its bright hydrofusion lights surveying every corner of the street. Leila grew desperate, and kicked a crude wooden trapdoor behind her. The door crumbled under the force of Leila’s plated boots, and she quickly slid into the chamber beneath it as the hover car’s light began to turn towards the ground where she previously stood.

The sound of the hover car passing reached Leila’s ears, and, breathing a sigh of relief, she pushed a button, and a bright yellow flash illuminated the somewhat dark room, bring its rather crude features into view.

The room, rather hastily designed, containing many cracks in the cement-covered surface that revealed the bare layer of rough bricks below. A wooden bookcase adorned one of the walls, containing a few volumes of moldy magazines and dust-covered hologram cards, and many splinters. A crude table sat next to the bookcase, and Leila could faintly make out the figure of a young man reading under a dimly lit candlelight. Leila quickly pulled out her plasma pistol.

“Who’s there?” she demanded, pointing the pistol at the figure. It raised his hands and stepped into the illumination of the light.

“Who are you?” Leila demanded, her gun still pointed at the man.

“You’re the one who barged into my house,” the figure replied calmly, “I should be asking you that same question.”

“Argh!” Leila grunted as she raised the pistol at the man’s head. Within seconds, the plasma pistol flew across the room as the man pinned Leila to the floor. The man snickered.

“An assassin, eh? So you’re the one who caused all the commotion.”

“Who are you?” Leila asked again. Her confidence was quickly replaced by despair as she struggled against the man’s powerful grip.

“Me?” the man asked, “I was an assassin, just like you, or at least I was.”

“Huh?”

The man let go of Leila’s arms and picked up the plasma pistol. He examined it under the dim candlelight, and looked at Leila with a smile.

“So, you’ve been working for Mario Cocopelli?” the man asked. He noted the surprised expression on the girl’s face, then continued, “I knew him as well. He’s probably the only guy besides the corporations who can even afford something like this, much less give it to a pet assassin.”

“I’m not-” Leila protested.

“I know, Mario tricked you, didn’t he? Did he ask you to do a little job for him, and made you lose the merchandise? Did he frame you for a murder, and then offer you protection from the law if you joined his goons? Either way, you’re stuck with him for the rest of your life.”

“I..I didn’t do it for myself. I did it for my boyfriend.”

“In that case, Mario tricked your boyfriend into doing some dangerous job to pay for a debt, right? Then, Mario came to you and offered protection for your boyfriend if you became his little pet, and you accepted the offer, right? How...don’t be surprised, you are not the first one that he tricked this way. Don’t worry, I won’t sell you out to the police, although jail’s probably better than working for Mario Cocopelli.”

“How did you know all of this...?”

The man sighed. “I, too, was once one of his slaves,” he admitted, “Like you, I used to be a assassin, except I was a mercenary, taking on jobs that clients gave me. One day, my boss gave me an unique job, and I accepted. The job was to kill Mario Cocopelli, then a notorious leader of an illegal drug ring.”

“Then why didn’t you kill him?”

“Well, I did. I found him in an abandoned building and killed him...but it turned out to be one of his executives. He somehow convinced the cops that I was the leader of the drug ring, and forced one of his men to pose as me, so he could turn him in and collect the extra bounty money...that bastard...” the man clinched his fist in anger, and continued, “He offered to let me live in his mansion...even offered to rebuild Selvi for me, but the deal was too good to be true, especially from a money-hungry bastard like that Cocopelli.”

“Wait, who’s Selvi?”

“My late wife. She died in an accident a few years ago, and after that incident, there has always been a hole in my chest. One of my friends helped me build an android that looked and acted exactly like her. I even gave her my wife’s name, Selvi, in hopes that she will fill that painful void. We became assassins, and she was shot because of the mission. Mario took the opportunity and offered to repair her if I joined his men. I was depressed, perhaps even suicidal, at that time, and the new Selvi was probably worried about me. That’s when that bastard took advantage of her.”

The man wiped a few drops of tears from his cheeks and continued, “I tried to stop her as soon as I found out, but it was too late. Mario got to her first, and Selvi had already stolen a rare experimental chip - said to have the ability to make a person control machines with his mind - from a corporate laboratory. I tried to tell her that she didn't have to do this, but Mario got there first. He took the chip and dismantled Selvi so that she won’t leak the secrets. I managed to retrieve her memory cube and CPU, but everything else was already in ruins. That’s when I finally opened my eyes and ran away from Mario’s corruption. He’s probably still searching for me right now.”

“Wait...Sam was asked to deliver a brain-enhancing chip to a bunch of Naroko hackers or something. He told me that it was some device that can be implanted into the brain to make it control machines, and that Mario was selling it to the hackers for 40 billion creds...”

“Is Sam your boyfriend?” the man asked. Leila nodded, and the man continued, “Unfortunately, he’s probably dead. Mario wouldn’t risk letting another man know about such an item. But don’t worry, he might be lucky enough to escape before Mario’s men get there...although I do feel sorry for those poor hackers. Mario had you killed them, right?”

“Yeah...”

“Then your boyfriend might still be alive,” the man reassured Leila, “Meanwhile, let me introduce myself. My name is Jaran, and you are?”

“Leila,” the girl replied, confident that he could trust this friendly stranger.

“Leila...that’s a beautiful name. Either way, if you’re working for Mario, you better go back. The man hates waiting...oh, and you can have this back.” Jaran tossed the plasma pistol into Leila’s hands and watched as the girl disappeared into the surface.

Jaran lit a cigarette, and mechanically opened a steel door on the cracked inner wall of the room. A painted room rested behind it, illuminated by a florescent lamp affixed to the old ceiling. Wires were stretched across the room, and in the center lay an beautiful android. A white-robed doctor knelt behind the android, carefully connecting a complex array of wires resting inside the android’s left arm.

“The repairs are going well,” the doctor announced when he saw Jaran enter the room, “I’ve finished most of Selvi’s neurological interface and neuro-grids. She should be up and running in no time.”

“That’s great,” Jaran replied, and quickly added, “I just realized that I never properly thanked you, Isaac, so...”

“Don’t sweat it,” the doctor replied, “We’re old friends, aren’t we? Besides, you saved my life during that explosion, remember? That should more than make up for this little handy work. Now, Selvi, did you say that you wanted a grenade launcher in your left arm?”

“That would be nice, Dr. Vargo,” the android replied.

“Please, just call me Isaac. And while we’re on the subject of weaponry, I could also add a stabilizer and a holospectrum ray for maximum efficiency, and maybe a laser if you needed. Oh, and Jaran, I can work on your plating as soon as I finish connecting all of these weapon components to Selvi’s neuro-grids. It’ll probably take a while, so why don’t you get some rest in the meantime?”

“Yeah,” Jaran replied, “Thanks.”

“I’ll make sure that Selvi gets the appropriate anti-transmission interfaces. With that machine-controlling chip still out there, this will probably be the only interface that can block her neural-bit programs from that thing.”

“Yeah...and Isaac, there’s something that I want to tell you about.”

“Go for it.”

“It’s just that...” Jaran paused for a moment, and continued, “After almost losing her, I feel a lot closer to Selvi now. For the first time, I realized that even as an android, Selvi really cared for me. It made me realize how close this android really is to my departed wife...”

“Mario actually did something good, eh?” Isaac joked, “That’s not something you see everyday.”

“Yeah,” Jaran laughed as he slowly disappeared into the dark corners of the candle-illuminated room. “Let’s just hope that this good thing will never happen again.”

To Be Continued...