Date: 26 September 2035
Wesley Price took his job very seriously. Then again he took everything very seriously. He was born to a business man and didn't have any siblings. Thus, his father always expected the very best from him. He went to a private school and graduated not only top of his class, but three years early. While he was never the most popular student he was the most feared.
The fear people had for him followed him to university (N.I.C. Business Institute and N.I.C. Computer Engineering Institute) and later to work when he took over his father's company when the man had become bedridden. Wesley was known to do everything he can to get what he wanted.
He always succeeded.
Wesley had come to work expecting it to be a normal day. He knew a tour group was coming in and had already prepared to stay out of the way completely. The only thing he hated more than incompetence was children. He did however watch them on the video cameras which were connected to his personal PC.
It was a few hours before lunch when his personal secretary informed him that the Vice-President was on line one. Wesley knew there was only one Vice-President that would have the guts to command him like that. The Vice-President of N.I.C Incorporated.
"Mr Felix, how are you today."
"Don't play with me Price" a man’s voice growled, "do you have any idea what you've done?"
"I'm not sure what you are talking about Mr Felix." Wesley replied.
"I've just been informed that information on the Chip has fallen into The Wizard’s hands."
"Your department was in charge of this, Price!"
"Well I don't have a clue how anyone got the information. The only copy I had was stored inside my office vault and only I know the combination to it.
"Well you better find a way to get that information back, or daddy dearest will make a remarkable recovery"
"Don’t you dare threaten me with my father, Felix! Do it and the next Data Stream will consist of nothing but pictures of my idiot employees photocopying their butts."
For a moment both men were quiet, neither wanting to back down. However, both men knew that they will have to come to a compromise. This time, unfortunately (to one’s pride), it was Wesley’s turn to back down first.
"...my cousin is coming tomorrow. If anyone can find out what happened, she can. But I will get my people on it, Percy."
"Good...you know I wouldn’t actually wake that man, Percy. But this IS serious. Get the information back.”
"Understood, Mr Felix."
"Have a nice day, Mr Price."
Wesley put down his phone, pulled off his glasses and rubbed his face with his hands. He called his personal secretary and told her to get a meeting together with the department heads and security team immediately.
"But sir! What about the tour group?" the woman asked.
"Have someone else take care of it. Anyone not at the meeting will lose their jobs!"
The woman winced as she listened to the younger man. She knew he was serious. People would pay to work at EnterPRICE, one of the few companies that worked very very close to N.I.C Incorporated.
“As you all know, a few days ago I told you about the new product the N.I.C. Corporation want us to make. You also know that I didn’t tell you everything about this product because you are not eligible to know,” Wesley said as he started the meeting. There were a total of 7 men and women around him, most of them working for the company since his father was in charge. None of them interrupt him however, all of them willing to let the younger man have his say. All accept one of course.
“Excuse me Mr Price, but I don’t understand why we’re here. As you said, we talked about this a few days ago, so why are we-“
“Silence,” Wesley hissed, both his voice and his eyes cold. Immediately everyone went quiet, “Now all the information was stored on a flash drive and while it wasn’t the only copy, it is, however, stolen.”
“How?” someone asked suddenly, before slapping his own mouth. Thankfully, Wesley didn’t look like he was going to kill them.
“Good question. Why, Mr Thomas, was I not informed that my office was broken into?” Wesley asked his head of security. The man paled and looked around, hoping someone would help him, but no one did.
“Well sir, w-we didn’t know,” he told him in the end.
“I see,” Wesley said, his face set, “So you weren’t doing your job?”
“I- well, I-“
“Well Mr Thomas, I’m waiting for AN ANSWER!” he shouted, standing up.
“I’m sorry sir! I’ll get someone on it immediately sir!” the man said, pulling out his xPhone.
“Now, as for the rest of you. You are the only ones who know about the product. If I find that any of you had something to do with this, I will make sure you never existed,” Wesley told them.
Immediately everyone was tense. Several employs have gone missing, and when having asked their families where they went; the family didn't seem to know who they were talking about.
“Yes sir. Is there anything else we can do for you?” one of the oldest men asked, shaking as he did so.
“No I-” Wesley suddenly stopped, turning to the window. He was sure he saw someone. Someone with bright red hair. The same colour as- no. No, the only person that has that shade of red hair was part of the tour group.
He quickly walked towards the door and opened it, shouting, "Who's there?" He caught sight of the same red hair when he saw the door to the storage room close.
“Mr Thomas, get a security team and check the storage room,” Wesley said not turning around, “get me that girl.”
“What do you mean she got away?! You were top graduates at N.I.C Security Institute,” Wesley shouted at the three men in anger. They were a complete mess. One was soaking wet, another was covered in a variety of coloured powder, and one was covered in small paper cuts and had paper glued to him. Mr Thomas stood near the door, typing on his xPhone.
“Your all fired! Get out of my sight and out of my company! If you’re not gone in 10 minutes, I’ll have your replacements escort you out the door!” Wesley shouted. The three men scrambled and ran off. Wesley turned to his head of security.
“Have you gotten the replacements yet?” he asked calmly.
“I have, Mr Price,” Mr Thomas said putting away his phone.
“Good and the other search?” Wesley asked him. Mr Thomas tensed, his shoulder twitching.
“I’ve sent over all the security footage from two week ago to your PC. We ourselves haven’t found anything, but-“
“I see. You may go,” Wesley told him and the man left.
Once he was gone, Wesley turned on his PC and opened the files. He first went through the videos of his office but found nothing. It was pretty obvious that someone removed the footage. The question was who?
Frustrated, he decided to find out who the girl was and how she escaped. The now ex-security guards weren’t able to properly explain what happened, talking about ghosts and things moving on their own. He replayed the video from ten minutes before the meeting started. Seeing nothing, he fast forwarded it till he saw the girl appear.
At first she just walked around. Wesley sneered when it looked like she was strolling. She looked through several windows and peeked down several corridors. She stopped moving when she heard him shout. Wesley frowned. Why could he hear himself shout, but he couldn’t hear the girl walking?
The girl started crouching as she approached the door, but Wesley still couldn’t hear her. He watched as she reached the door and started to move up to see the meeting. She suddenly went down again and ran to the storage room. Wesley turned up the volume but he still didn’t hear anything. He saw himself come out and then a few minutes later came the three idiots. They walked to the storage room and quickly slipped in.
Wesley changed the camera to the one in the storage room. The screen split into four sections. The top left corner showed the door and the three men. The top right showed copiers, printers and fax machines. The bottom left showed a few rows of shelves for storage. And lastly, the bottom right showed some cleaning equipment. The red head wasn’t in any of them.
The room was dark, and instead of turning on the light, the three men left the door open. They walked in and once they were all away from the door, the door closed.
All on its own.
The men jumped as the door slammed shut and enveloping the men in darkness. The only light came from the printers, fax machines and copiers. One of the men walked to the light switch to turn it on, but it wouldn’t. Another took out a flash light from his belt and turned it on. He turned the beam towards one of the lights, only to find that it had been destroyed. Immediately all three men took out their flash lights and moved the beams everywhere before deciding to split up.
One walked towards the cleaning equipment. He carefully walked around it, checking everywhere. Afterward he turned around to walk away, but Wesley saw the mop rise and a shadow swing it, hitting the man in the head. The man quickly turned around but the mop was already on the floor. He looked left and right, but there was no one there. Again he turned around. This time a bucket full of water was lifted up and dumped over the man’s head. Then the broom was taken and swung at the bucket. After the man was knocked out, the shadow disappeared. It literally disappeared.
Another man walked through the rows, shining the flash light everywhere. He looked through the shelves and even under them. He stopped moving, probably listening to other sounds when Wesley saw a can tip over and drip on the man’s shoulder. The man looked at it, only to see goo. He looked up and saw the same shadow Wesley was looking at. He was about to shout when it suddenly disappeared and reappeared next to him. Wesley leaned forward, his eyes wide. Could this thing be what he thought it was? Wesley watched as the shadow pushed the man into the shelves, causing powered chemicals to fall on him.
In the top right screen, the last man was looking around the copiers and other machines. He abruptly turned around when he heard the yell and the sound of containers falling. He called out to the other two, but didn’t get a reply. Behind him the girl (Wesley could see her clearly) popped her head out from behind the printer. She opened the printer and plays around with the wires and settings. Wesley narrowed his eyes and watched that part again, quickly realizing what she was doing. She then pressed a button and ducks. The man turned to the printer when it started up and he is suddenly attacked by paper. Then glue dropped on the man, causing the paper to stick to him. He dropped the flashlight as he ran off.
Only then did the girl get out from behind the printer. She looked around, making sure she was alone before turning to one of the walls which were covered in shadows. She calmly walked to the wall and pressed her hands on the shadowy part of it. Slowly her arms started to sink into the shadows while the rest of her body turned into a black vapour like substance and flew into the shadows of the wall.
Wesley looked at the video in shock. The girl was a Torric. A Metamorph.