Chapter 3: Destroy the Evidence
I sit in my room flabbergasted by the events of the day. I knew I'd get caught one day. I turn to my machines and I use the most excessive means of wiping my drives to make sure that; if and when they come for me, my slate is as clear it can be. I know I'm being optimistic. I'm not naïve, if they have already walked into my life, they already know, but why help them dig my grave. I flip through the folder Ms Smith gave me and get to work at tracing the profiles. Deep down I hope that their trespasses have been worse than mine and that this is Metacortex's attempt at a slap on the wrist and bringing me to their side. One can only hope.
In my search I find strings of IP addresses, MAC addresses. I trace them and I definitely sense their masking. I mean who could jump from Alaska to Africa within a matter of hours. No algorithms I've come up with help me triangulate a position out of this dummy data. They've all been planted. I sigh loudly and swipe across my desk, sending my wireless keyboard flying into the wall. Is feeling like my life is on the line, based on what I can find, any better than being locked up in a jail cell? I ponder the question and pound my forehead onto the desk. No computers in jail, I'm betting. I'd be screwed. Computers are my life.
Picking up the keyboard off the floor, I resume my traces and thumb through the information in the folder. There are some lovely mugshots to go with the John and Jane Does lucky enough to make the shit list. A sea of faces. I wonder if they have mine somewhere. I hope it's a flattering one, but I bet they have a photo of me gorging on tacos. I love tacos. I smirk to myself. Tacos make me happy. The thought brings me to my happy place, where for a moment I am content. I have to shake myself out of it and resume my fingering through the papers. The set of people they are targeting look dark and dangerous, but I have to admit they are also remarkably attractive, with the exception of the one called Javelin. He looks sweet, but he doesn't look like he belongs with this bunch.
Now, one particular caught my eye. A beautiful blond bombshell wearing a pair of rectangular brown rimmed glasses. She was a stunner. Alias: Morrigan. Just my type, if only I was tracking her for different reasons. I flip past her to the next target since I'm out of ideas on how to track her down. I'm curious to how these real life ghosts managed to have only one picture in this day and age. Cross referencing images across the Internet for a match came up with these same pictures from the National Security Agency. I come across the one they call Avalon. Strong looking woman, her jaw is set and her eyes are sky blue, almost unnerving. A pang of recognition hits me, it feels like I've seen her before. Something about her speaks of deadly determination, so I know I would have remembered if I met her in person. I chalk it up to my stomach growling in hunger making my mind think crazy things.
I begin my search on Avalon. I activate my utility onto autopilot and set off to the kitchen to grab something to eat. I'm not too bad of a cook, but a table for one usually loses its appeal for rustling up gourmet meals, so I settle for a microwaveable meal of Salisbury steak and Macaroni and cheese. If someone looked into my window right now, I'd fit the perfect role of bachelor. I stick it into the microwave and stand by it when I hear a noise in the other room above the hum of the microwave. It sounds like a slight tap on a window. In my already paranoid state, I rush to my closet and grab my phone and my softball bat. My 'go to' gear, since the area has been having a rash of burglaries lately. I quietly enter the room, my back flush with the wall the window is on and wait. I'm going to hit a home run tonight. Burglar home run.
I climb the brick building effortlessly, looking for Morph's apartment balcony. I've trained in the construct to find that I really excel at defying gravity in the Matrix. I'm a veritable cat woman if I have any hand holds or footholds. Actually, cat woman, has got nothing on me. I smirk as I finally reach the window. I observe Morph as he types away. Such a petite man. I feel bad for him. I bet he has short man syndrome or something. Mean little buggers always trying to prove their adequacy by masking it with meanness. I don't want to startle him nor do I just want to appear in the window in front of him. I can't just appear at the door as I'm sure that the agents are crawling all over the building monitoring the area, Scaling a wall in the dark seemed to be the more probable way to reach him.
I see Morph get up and head into the other room and so I make my move. Quietly as I can, I slide the window open. Thank goodness for trusting people who leave their windows unlocked. I'm as quiet as a mouse, but I hear footfalls and a door open. Damnit! She heard me. It's a good thing there is a bathroom in the room so I sprint in there for cover as I hear Morph return from the kitchen with a bat and a phone. I try to keep myself from snickering at the sight. He doesn't have a chance with those odds. I watch him sidle up to the window shaking like a leaf in the breeze, waiting for the window to open and for a dumb ass to pop out like a jack in the box. This cannot possibly be the one that the Oracle foretells. I observe him guarding the window. He's petite but not wiry. But, sorry to say for him, the best I could compliment his stature is that he would make a very muscular woman. Poor Morrigan. Here comes another disappointment. How could this pitiful specimen be 'The One'? Besides there is another secret that I haven't told anyone else either that confirms my suspicions.
On a visit to the Oracle, after everyone else had headed off to make arrangements, I was pulled aside by the Oracle. She told me a nightmarish destiny. I am destined to fall in love with, and die for 'The One'. Ever since then, I've practically dreaded every new potential 'red pill'. Who the hell needs love in a war zone? Someone tell me that. I sure don't. Just by looking at this one though, I know I'm safe. There is no way in hell that I'm falling for a pint size man who I can probably take down with my thumb. Speaking of which, it's time for action. I sprint for the howdy doody and know that he'll be powerless against me. The thought makes me giddy and a smile invades my face at my glee.
In a blink of an eye, Avalon darted from her hiding place in the bathroom to alongside Thane with her hand across her mouth. Startled, Thane swung the bat at the gust of wind and was shocked to find that the intruder was not outside the window, but actually behind her. A shiver of fear ran down her spine as Avalon, ducked and weaved to situate herself in front of Thane. The blond took another swing in front of her, hoping for luck this time, but the brunette was inhumanly fast enough to catch the sweet spot of the bat and hold it in place before it could make impact. Thane breathed heavily in shock as she looked straight into the bright blue eyes of the woman she had just been studying in the folder on her desk. The one her utility is scouring the Internet at this moment. She remembered that dangerous look in Avalon's eyes and winced at what was to come. She surely had discovered her digging into her business and probably came to assassinate her. Thane swore immediately to stop watching all action movies involving assassins if she could just survive this ordeal.
"Oh Hades! Don't kill me. They told me to do it!" Thane yelled, shutting her eyes and wincing bracing for impact.
"Wow, quite the fortitude you've got there young man." Avalon sneered, "How Pathetic." she thought. This joker was all talk and no fighting skills compared to her. It disgusted her.
"I'm not here to kill you, but you need to listen carefully and do everything I say. Otherwise I will throw you out that window and blame it on agents, do you hear me Morph?"
Thane stiffened at the nick name used. "My name is Thane, thank you very much. At least address me properly before you kill me."
It was obvious now that Avalon was probably here to kill her. To cover her tracks of anything she had found. The only thing was that it didn't make sense that she is bothering with the ruse that she wasn't going to annihilate her.
"I don't believe you. Just kill me will you? It's probably better than living in paranoia that Metacortex or the NSA is using me to get to you before they kill me." Thane replied.
"One moment you are begging for your life like a coward, and now you want me to off you. You must be insane. Or Bipolar." Avalon answered, yanking the bat and tossing it onto the bed, demonstrating that she wasn't here to bludgeon her to death.
"Look, Morrigan sent me. One word, Matrix." Avalon stated, hoping to clear up the misunderstanding.
Thane's eyes opened wide in shock. Although fear rushed through her veins and her body screamed to run, Thane answered instead, "Take me to her! I want to know what it is!"
Her self preservation was overcome by her thirst to know the mystery behind the veritable Fort Knox of her exploits.
Avalon pulled out her knife from it's sheath within her bra and came toward Thane with a look of determination. She pinned Thane to a wall and cupped her hand over her mouth. Thane struggled, but couldn't get loose from Avalon's hold. The brunette brought the knife to Thane's stomach, just above her navel and pierced the skin with precision.
To be Continued in Chapter 4
**Author's Note: Thanks for the reviews on the previous chapters :). Reminder: Thane=Uber Gabrielle, Morrigan=Uber Aphrodite, Avalon=Uber Xena. Also, everyone thinks Thane is a man when in fact she is a woman.**