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Article - 'The Chain Story 2: Chapter Three' by Guest

An item about Miscellanious posted on May 11, 2005

Blurb

The Third Chapter of The Chain Story 2! This chapter is by BravoSector

Body

Chapter Three

Saturday 9:00 AM

Sam decided to have, what could be, his last look at the Naroko skyline. Some buildings towered two thousand feet over his head, making it impossible to see the bright sun. At least, it should still be bright, Sam hadn't seen any signs of it bar its light reflecting off the chrome lining of the buildings into the abyss. The denizens of these slums were mainly those who couldn't afford any decent housing. However, some were in hiding, most from the police, some from criminal leaders (like Cocopelli).

As Sam's eyes scanned the city, pausing momentarily at certain buildings, a solitary thought crossed his mind: "Amazing... With all the technology we have in this age; the aerocabs, the robots, and even this multi-billion cred chip... I can't believe there are still places like those slums..."

His trail of thought wandered off as a surgeon called for him.

"Mr. Onyx, are you ready?"

Sam nodded and allowed himself to be led to the operating room. A duo of surgeons met him at the door then showed him to the cold metal table. Sam was already clad in stained, light blue hospital scrubs and gasped lightly as the coldness penetrated them and touched his skin.

"Any final words, Sam?" asked Spike with a sly grin.

"No."

Spike motioned for the surgeons to make the patient comatose. The main surgeon had just placed the mask over Sam's mouth when a gunshot resounded. Everyone in the room, save for Sam (who was already out thanks to the powerful sedative), turned to face the gray steel door.

"What's that?" asked someone.

"Arney, check it out," Spike ordered one of his bodyguards.

"Right away, boss."

Before Arney even touched the door knob, it flew inward and hit him in the head, momentarily stunning him. This gave time for a woman with a dark coat to jump in and lay a bullet into his head. The other bodyguard wasn't prepared in time and so paid with his life.

"Everyone against the wall!" she ordered, pointing the gun in the general direction of the surgeons.

A brief silence followed.

"...Leila?" asked Spike quietly.

The once weak woman sharply turned to glare at Spike as Mario walked in with his darked clothed surgeons.

"Very nice, Leila. In fact," Mario said as he nodded towards Sam's limp body, "we made it just in time."

"What's the meaning of this, Cocopelli?" demanded Spike.

Mario's mouth slowly formed a grin as he answered smugly, "You of all people should know. After all, I gave you your first start."

"That was over five years ago! And that's not the point," Spike pointed at Leila, "What the hell is this? What is she doing with you?"

"I'm not doing this for him. I'm doing it for Sam," Leila replied uneasily.

"That's right, speaking of which..." Mario gestured for his surgeons to take over the operation.

"Mario, what are you doing? Didn't you give this job to me?"

"You didn't really think that I would allow such an important item into the hands of a common hacker, did you?"

Spike lowered his eyes to the ground and, even though he knew he would dread getting the answer that was comming, asked, "Then what was the point of giving me the chip in the first place?"

"I need a scapegoat for the theft of the chip, of course."

Perfect plan, thought Spike, Mario was full of them. He would label Spike as the man who stole the chip and turn him over to the police. And after his criminal record was recovered from the depths of the computer database, he would get put away for a while. Best part: there was no way the cops would ever take anything that exited Spike's mouth seriously.

During this time, Mario's surgeons had started working on Sam. Leila inched her way closer to get a view of the action, but was turned away more than once by the lead surgeon.

"Leila," Mario beckoned her to his side, "kindly escort Spike and his so-called doctors outside. There should be a pair of my men by the elevator."

"I can't keep doing this! When are you letting me go?" she demanded.

"As soon as finish a few things with your boyfriend there," Mario answered.

"A few? Didn't you say only until the operation?"

"Yes, but do you really think you're in a position to argue?"

Leila muttered something under her breath and motioned with the gun for Spike and his surgeons to go outside.


"Leila, why are you doing this?" asked Spike quietly.

"I told you; for Sam."

The surgeons had already entered the elevator, along with the two bodyguards, and were now awaiting Spike and Leila. There was a look of grief on some of them; on others, fear.

"No, I mean, why did Mario do this to you?"

"I don't know...And I don't care. As soon as Sam is safely back with me, I'm gone."

"What makes you think that Mario has any intention of letting Sam go? After all, he already changed the plan once. What's keeping him from doing it again and again and keeping you as his slave?"

The pair reached the elevator. Leila pushed Spike into it and walked in afterwards. She immediately made her way to the back, pushing through the crowd of surgeons, and faced the wall so no one could spot the tear slowly starting its trek down her cheek.


The Next Day 4:00 AM

Sam's eyelids clenched, then relaxed. As he opened his eyes, Sam saw Mario leaning in towards his face.

"Feeling better? It looks like you had a tough night."

"Night?" Sam glanced around the small, dimly-lit room, "Am I done?"

"Oh yes. In fact, the operation went flawlessly. The chip is now firmly inside your brain."

"And my cut?"

"Cut?" Mario chuckled, "Sam...you must still be woozy from that operation. Otherwise you'd know that you're not done yet. Did you really think that I would just implant that chip into your head and let you go out into the world? Of course not! You've got a lot of work to do."

Sam's teeth clenched as he knew he was once more just a meager servant of Mario's.

"Get some more rest, you'll need it."

Sam obeyed, to an extent. He closed his eyes and assumed a steady inhale/exhale rhythm. But he was constantly thinking of random things: how to escape, if he would ever finally be done with Mario, if he would be able to live on a private island sipping margaritas with Leila. When finally sleep did take him, he was thinking that if the chip actually did work, he would use it against Mario.


Selvi's operational systems switched on. She quickly checked her joints and CPU.

"All systems in working order," she stated.

No one else was around. Jaran was asleep and Isaac had gone home. Selvi quietly marched across the room to the sole computer in the room. She expertly tapped a few buttons with her metallic fingers and up popped a grid of the city. Then, taking a wire from her arm and inserting it into a jack in the back of the hard drive, Selvi typed in a few digits of binary. A tiny red dot inserted itself into the grid.

"Target has been found."

Suddenly, she heard a stirring from Jaran's room. Selvi swiftly turned off the computer and went back to her place.

"Selvi?" called a voice.

"Yes?" she asked, pretending to have just switched herself on.

"I know its a bit early, but I want to finish some things on you. I just can't relax knowing you haven't been fixed yet."

Jaran entered the room wearing only a pair of old jeans and a white undershirt. Clenched in his hand was a toolbox.

"It's quite alright," replied Selvi.

She followed the yawning Jaran to a table, which she sat upon. Jaran then commenced wiring in a few more weapons and utilities.


Three hours later, Sam was shaken awake by a henchman of Mario's. Sam quickly dressed then followed him to a large room.

"Sam, how are you?"

The falsehood in Mario's voice was apparent, yet it didn't make a difference to Sam. To him, Mario was a dead man. He would get his as soon as Sam discovered how to use the chip properly.

"I'm fine Mario. Let's get this started already."

"Whoa, whoa. I haven't even told you what to do yet."

Sam took a deep breath and waited for Mario to continue.

"Now, I already told you what the chip was for, correct? Well, I haven't told you how yet. So, if you'll look at the screen."

Mario pointed at a large flat screen hanging on a wall. Then he clicked a button and a graph showed up.

"As you can see, the chip is in the part of your brain which is responsible for processing information, around the middle part of the cerebellum. As you use a part of your brain, tiny electrodes send their signals to your body. But with the chip..."

Here Mario clicked another button and a different picture came up.

"Certain electrodes will enter it, in turn be magnified, and aimed directly at a piece of machinery."

Mario switched off the screen and beckoned Sam to follow him. Soon, Sam found himself staring at a small radio.

"Now, pretend you're turning on the radio with your hand, but don't touch it."

"Okay..."

Sam was skeptical, but nonetheless did as he was told. Nothing happened.

"Sam," Mario seemed unusually patient, "Step back a pace and move your hand as if you were using it to turn on the radio. Take your time and concentrate."

Sam inhaled slowly, then exhaled. He raised his arm and held it in front of the knob. He started to make a twisting motion when the radio snapped on, yet the knob remained off. Soft techno music filled the room.

"Yes! It worked!"

Mario quickly regained his composure and ordered Sam to turn it off. After three tries, Sam managed to do it.

"Sam, you're making progress. Slowly but surely you're making great progress. Take a break and tell me when you're ready to go again."

To be continued...