Chapter 6: CINNAMON
Quinn sat in an office full of people who gave him their full attention.
“Hello everyone,” Quinn began, “My name is Quinn. A police officer for the third district of Ceris. Yesterday, we apprehended a man who we found is a member of the AFU, an offshoot group of the NAFU that believes in the old prophecy that humans are a grave threat to this universe. We caught him sending a signal we believe gave the location of this planet. He stated that this planet will be attacked.”
A man raised his hand to speak, “When?”
“I don’t know,” Quinn answered.
Another man raised his hand, “What is the size of this force, so we may respond appropriately.”
Quinn folded his hands, looked down and said, “I don’t know.”
A woman then raised her hand, “We need to know the extent of the threat. This could just be a small incursion that will take a few days at best to weed out.”
Quinn nodded, “That may be so,” he said, “However, I wouldn’t risk it.”
Everyone in the office began to squabble amongst each other.
Outside, Brad strolled alone through a park not far from where his friend was speaking. He was simply waiting when, at a distance, he noticed two cruzers oddly parked next to each other.
One cruzer was obviously newer and more blinged-out than the other. There was obviously some kind of exchange going on. Normally, a cop would just let people carry on with their business and mind their own but, Brad was getting all sorts of gut feelings to check.
Brad phased on his suit and used its surveillance mode to eavesdrop on the cruzers.
“…a new batch of cinnamon. This one is good.” a voice said.
“I’ll be by with the rest of the money tomorrow.” another man said.
‘Cinnamon’ was slang for a dangerous drug. Brad knew this so he decided to follow the cruzers around. He could only follow one cruzer at a time so he phased out two trackers and targeted both cruzers for the trackers to attach to.
Brad went after the nicer cruzer first. He didn’t need to be directly behind the cruzer to follow it. The tracker told him at all times where it was. He jogged at a good speed to keep the distance reasonable. It was a breeze with the suit.
The cruzer eventually came to a stop at a large house which may as well been called a fort. It was a nicer area of town. In this place, no one would ever suspect the mansion to be a source of dangerous drugs.
Brad eventually caught up to where the cruzer was. He hid himself the entire time behind some brush. His visor brought up a map for him to study the place carefully and find an entry spot. It wasn’t a trustworthy source of info but, something was better than nothing. An interior of the mansion wasn’t even on file.
‘Good money.’ Brad thought.
The only viable entry was on the roof. Brad snooped around to avoid the guards. He managed to get in the back yard where he checked to make sure no was looking before he jumped. The roof was quite far and high but, nothing Brad couldn’t handle in his suit.
A human guard who hadn’t seen Brad, roamed around with a SMG (submachine gun). Brad didn’t want to mess around with that so he quickly phased out a stun gun and took aim. It only took a second for his visor to get a lock before he fired.
Brad’s HUD showed a nearby door he could use. He quickly ran over to the unconscious guard and scanned him with the visor to copy his bio readings and enter the mansion. A short trip down the stairs led him to an attic filled with covered items. It was easy to move through, his visor navigated a path. Switching between vison modes allowed him to see where the guards were, even through the walls. The guards had a communication device implanted. There was no removing it and all it would take is one shout to get the others attention. He also noted that his transmissions were being blocked, so there was no calling for help. Going through another set of doors and down another flight of stairs he found himself in a hall, ‘One of these guys has to be the leader.’ Brad thought, as he picked a direction to go.
There would be no avoiding the next guard. He stood still in a place Brad needed to pass. Waiting did no good, the guard didn’t move.
With his stun gun still in hand, Brad quickly leaned out and fired. The guard dropped like a sack of potatoes. The stun gun had a disabling affect on their radios. Brad moved on down another flight of stairs to a larger hall. He stuck like glue to the wall and continued observing everyone’s movements. This is when he noticed some of the people were cooks or regular maids roaming about.
Brad could tell on his radar he’d be spotted soon. He ducked into the nearest empty room and waited for them to pass by. Exiting, he quickly snuck down the hall and into another where he found himself having to duck into another room.
Brad didn’t like the situation, as he could see there was a maid in the adjoining room. Two doors connected his room with hers. He quickly backed up and into a closet when he spotted a man, a guard, enter her room. Brad closed the door so only a small slit was visible. This wasn’t done so he could see anything. It was so he could open it as quietly as possible. He watched as the couple frolicked their way through one set of doors into his room and onto a couch. He wasn’t about to wait and watch, this was his chance to get out.
The couple was too busy on the couch to notice Brad sneak his way across the room and through another set of doors. These doors were more of the traditional kind with knobs, Brad was just grateful that these were oiled up and made no sound as they were turned.
Now in the next room, Brad checked his radar again to enter the empty hall. He snuck pass any hall that seemed unnecessary to go through. It was almost counterintuitive though as he headed to an area that seemed the most dangerous. He came across two flights of stairs going up to the same balcony on the floor above him.
Peaking up, Brad could see four guards standing at a closed door, ‘How am I gonna do this!’ he thought. He peaked again and noticed none of them had any guns. One entered through the doors so now there were only three of them, ‘Tough but, against three with no guns should be a piece of cake.’
Brad, equipped with his stun gun, ran up the steps and fired two shots taking out two guards. One, managed to get out of the way before Brad could take aim at him, ‘It’s alright,’ Brad thought, ‘The person I need to get is right behind these doors.’ He took aim at the last guard and before he could pull the trigger he was shocked to see the him phase on a suit.
It wasn’t as advanced as his suit, lacking; sensors, a HUD, no nodes and a shield system but, everything else was the same. He so surprised that he didn’t notice the guard who’d left came crashing through the doors, tackling Brad off the balcony. The impact caused a small crater but, didn’t cause either man any bodily harm with heir suits on.
Brad found himself being picked up and tossed into the nearest table stand. Before he could regain any composure, the other guard jumped down and pushed him against a wall before tossing him to his partner who then slammed Brad into the ground.
Through all this Brad never lost his grip on the stun gun. Laying on the ground, he quickly took aim at his nearest attacker and fired.
The stun gun did just that, it stunned the guard in place for only a few seconds.
Brad took the chance to get back up on his feet and regain the advantage, “Freeze!” he said.
Right then a tig jumped on Brad, causing him to stagger back.
A tig was like a dog, only bigger and more ferocious. They were colored and had a pattern like a tiger. It definitely wasn’t a family pet. A second one jumped on Brad, causing some panic as he tried to get the creatures off by stun gun, only to learn stunning them didn’t work. Before he knew it, two more tigs were on him.
Brad, in his suit, held up fairly well even with four tigs hanging on him, ‘Time to play hardball.’ he thought. The stun gun phased back in and was replaced by an SMG.
One by one, Brad shot the tigs off. A guard attempted to grab him only to be shot at pointblank range. With no shields, the bullets, especially in rapid fire mode, eventually penetrated the armor and killed the guard.
Brad held the gun up to the other guard, who could do nothing but put his hands up. While keeping a close eye on the guard, Brad phased out a small barricade ball and tossed it into a hallway that then erected a see-through blue barrier that blocked anything from passing through, “Phase off the armor and turn around,” he said, blocking off another hallway.
The guard did as he was told. There was no handcuff that could hold someone who could just phase on a suit and use its strength to just break free. Brad changed his weapon back to the stun gun and used it to put the guard unconscious for a few hours. He ran back up the stairs to find a hole where doors had been.
Standing in the doorway Brad could see just beyond it was another person in a suit. This one twice the size of the previous two and welding a large chain gun. He quickly ducked to the side of the hole to avoid the massive amount of gunfire that then came pouring through.
Regular people were not supposed to have suits but, there was a black market for everything and if one had the money they could get one. This drug dealer obviously had done it to themselves and a few of the bodyguards.
‘I’m standing right next to the doorway and they’re using a chain gun.’ Brad thought. Who knows what money can do but, he knew its software couldn’t be too advanced. If they were using the latest and greatest equipment, the person shooting would know where he was and know better than to waste bullets, even if they had a ton of them and to weed Brad out, why not use something else, ‘They probably have nothing else.’ he thought.
Brad’s visor had recorded everything. Unless the person switched positions, they’d be in the same pose as when he first stepped in the doorway. He now had to completely trust his suit. Using the previous information, he stuck the stun gun out and fired.
The person with the chain gun froze. Brad used this time to quickly duck out of cover and switch his stun gun for a shotgun. With it he kept firing until the chain gun was disabled.
Now, it was just Brad and whoever was in the suit, “Do anything other than phase off that suit and you’re dead.” he said, then phasing out a second shotgun.
The suit phased off and Brad was surprised to see it was an older, shorter lady. He didn’t know who she was but, found it sort of comical that she’d be in charge because of her age and short stature, “Is there anyone else?” he asked, looking around the room and changing his vison mode a few times to check.
Keeping both shotguns trained on the woman, Brad moved to the nearest window and broke it to send out a call for backup.
In this day and age, it didn’t take long for backup to arrive. Teams of police men in suits secured the mansion and were soon crawling all over the place.
“We’ll take it from here, sir.” an officer said.
“Be careful,” Brad cautioned, “Her and a few of her bodyguards can phase suits.”
“It’s alright,” the officer said, “We’ll use a dephaser to get them out if we have to.”
Brad had heard only doctors use that kind of technology. The dephaser was a small device used to phase part or all of a suit off. It was especially useful to those in the medical field treating those with phased suits on.
Brad then transferred his tracking info on the other cruzer to the officer, “That’s another cruzer that was dealing with these people.” he said.
“Got it.” the officer replied.
Back at the park, Quinn looked around calmly as his friend came up.
“What happened?” Brad asked.
“The meeting just ended,” Quinn answered, “With the director of Planetary Defense running a system wide sweep and the sensor station going dark in the middle of it.”
“What are they going to do?” Brad wondered out loud.
“They sent out a repair team,” Quinn answered, “I have a bad feeling about this. I’d call Kimberly and reschedule your weekend.”