"Mr. Giovanni is ready to see you now." When it came to these kind of meetings, the majority of us agreed to let Cameron do the talking. There was just something about him that drew you to him. This odd glow in his personality that made you want to trust him. He's kind of what brings us all together.
"You're Cameron Hunter, correct?" Cameron Cohen, but there isn't any need for you to know that, so you won't.
"Yes I am and it's a pleasure to meet you Mr. Giovanni. This here is Elena, she's my partner in crime." I nodded politely to him. Cam had this odd obsession with taking me with him when we first met clients. I'm sure apart of it was having a cute girl ease the tension, but I think on another level, he was wary of leaving me alone with Bert. After the incident, the man wasn't as solid as he used. His mind was slowly crumbling. I think Cam had this odd paranoia that when Bert snapped, I'd be the first person he came after, so it was better to have me close than to not have me at all.
"Hm. She's actually the reason I requested your services." The atmosphere took a quick turn. Cam was the star, he was always the star. He was the main extractor. He could get into someone's head and out in under half an hour in the dream world which is 2.5 minutes in the real world. He was able to get people to confess the truth to him, to tell them their darkest secrets. In short, he was the best. It was a surprise that Bernard Giovanni asked for him by name because it happened all the time. We were used to it. This on the other hand we weren't. I was the point man. I got the background information required. I was the one who observed our marks, who found out every little detail about them. I was good, I'll admit that, but I wasn't big. My name wasn't spread about, not like Cam's. I was just the sidekick. The cute girl sidekick sure but the sidekick none the less.
"I don't understand Mr. Giovanni. Perhaps you could explain what you mean by that." Cam's shoulders were tense, his hands clenched. He could tell when a meeting was heading downhill, and that meant run and run fast. Sure Cam was good, but that meant he made a lot of enemies. We always had an exit strategy. Mr. Giovanni seemed to notice this.
"The exits are guarded. The windows here are bullet proof, the emergency stairwell is locked off, and we've got your hotel under surveillance. Now, Cameron Cohen, which in case you weren't aware is your real name, you have no where to run." This was bad. Really bad. We'd walked right into a trap. "Fortunately for you, my problems aren't with you, but with someone else in your field." Wait. Did this mean that we were safe? That he wasn't after us?
"Someone else in our field?" There weren't a lot of people in the business of extraction. It was one of those things that was hard to get into, but impossible to get out of.
"Hm. Perhaps you've heard of Cobb?" Cobb was a household name to anyone in the field. Everyone heard of him, it was hard not to. He was the original. He wasn't the first to delve into peoples subconscious but he was the first to profit off of it. Rumor was he'd hit the jackpot and done some big jobs for some important people. To add to that, he was supposedly retired, which never happens in our field. He was the one we aspired to be. There was even a rumor that he'd performed inception, but of course that's just a rumor. Inception was impossible. We all knew that.
"What about Cobb?"
"There's an associate of his that stole something of great value to me. I want it back."
"I'm sorry?" An associate of Cobb's?
"He has something that I require, and I need you to get it for me. I need you to get the information. That's what you do, right? You steal people's ideas." I hated it when they undermined us like that. We didn't just steal peoples ideas. Do you have any idea how complicated it is to pull off something like that? It takes months of planning, and a ton of research, and that's all they call it? Stealing ideas. Yeah right.
"Wait a second. When you say an associate of Cobb's, you don't mean..."
"Yes. That's exactly what I mean. He's in the same field you are."
"Hate to break it to you, but it's impossible. Now if you'll excuse us, we should get going." Cam made to move up but was quickly pushed down by one of the three security guards. The situation wasn't looking good.
"You don't have a choice Mr. Cohen, so for your sake, I hope it's not as impossible as you claim it is." Crap. We were screwed. I could see Cam getting nervous, but I was sure he'd be able to fix this. Hopefully.
"Mr. Giovanni, there seems to be some sort of misunderstanding. You're aware that what we do is enter people's dreams, correct?" The man nodded. "Because of this, we've trained our subconscious to prevent anyone from entering. It's simple really. A thief's house is always heavily guarded, or so they say." I rolled my eyes at Cam. He totally just made that up. "So you understand why we can't enter his dreams and get the information you require. The level of difficulty is too high."
"Five million." Did I hear that right?
"Five million dollars, and an out."
"An out?" This time it was my turn to speak. Did he really say that? Was he actually offering what I think he was offering?
"Yes. An out." If there was anything that we enjoyed more than breaking into peoples dreams and stealing their ideas, it was not breaking into their dreams and stealing their ideas. Once you started, you carried on in necessity. It was near impossible to get an out. Mr. Giovanni was powerful. If he said he could do it, he could do it. The question was, what was so important that he would offer so much?
"Just let me get this straight. You want us to break into the head of someone who breaks into head, and get the information you're looking for. For this you're willing to pay us five million dollars and give us out? Mr. Giovanni, your offer sounds tempting but we don't know if you can deliver. We've got a lot of enemies, and it's going to cost you a lot to pay them all off."
"If you can do this job, not only will I give you the out, I'll still be in your debt." This information was valuable, apparently really valuable. Cobb's was legendary, no doubt about it, and as far as anyone was concerned it was practically suicide to go after him. He was protected by someone asian tycoon called Saito. This protection didn't extend to his associates they were fair game and apparently one of them screwed up real big.
"Just how exactly do you expect us to get into his head?" I could tell Cameron was getting frustrated. Planning was typically my area of expertise and even I was drawing a blank. Unless... no it couldn't be.
"This is why I hired you. You especially." His eyes turned in my direction, and I remembered him mentioning me earlier. "You're going to get inside his head before entering his dreams."
"Wait a second! You want her to seduce him?" Cameron wouldn't let this happen right? I mean, surely he'd put an end to it. I mean, sure I was cute, but I was cute. I couldn't play that whole seductress card, it wasn't my forte. But if he was talking about what I think he was talking about...
"Something along those lines. The look on your face tells me you understand where I'm going with this Ms. Prescott." Cameron looked at me, demanding an explanation, but not now. For later.
"We'll do it." For once it was me that spoke. "We accept your offer." Cameron looked like he was ready to make a retort, but even he couldn't. This was an out we were looking at. Nothing could change our minds when it came to this.
"And our target?" Cameron was straight to the point.
"His name is Arthur..."
So, that's the first chapter, and please leave reviews! What'd you like? What'd you dislike?How're you liking/ not liking the plot? I'm really curious to know, so please review and then I promise to have the next one out as fast as I can!