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User:Michael Bard/Consequences: The Simple Things

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Consequences: It's the Simple Things

Author: Michael Bard
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It was a moonless night and the natural garden was silent except for a rustle of wind, the repeating brrr of crickets, and the soft rustle of the brook that surrounded the garden and was kept in motion through an silent pumping system that moved the water from the end back up to the beginning. Some fish darted away and a glossy black head slowly rose up from the still surface, water dripping from its gills. Silently, slinking like a cat, it stepped onto the shore, raising it's long feline tail out of the water. A touch of a hand and the plaskin body suit fell into dust leaving a dry black form standing on the shore. Then it fell to all fours and padded silently across the long grass, the only sign of its presence being an intermittent glow from its eyes.

A short while later it reached the entrance into the Foundation offices and there it stopped. The door was almost invisible, only a slight scuffing of the white stone showing where it was. A quick search around the frame revealed a numeric keypad cloaked by a holographic façade that matched the stone. The figure reached into black belt and pulled out a black rectangular box that he pressed against the wall just below the keypad and then waited, careful of the monofilament wire that passed from the box and into his palm. Waited while monofilament trendrils grew from the box and poked their way between of the atoms of the stone until they touched the wires that connected to the keypad. Then, almost like a living virus, the tendrils grew and wound and linked into the circuitry. Then the box went to work.

For almost half an hour the man waited, crouched in the darkened grass, as the box played electronic war with the circuits. Although his body didn't show it, internally his mind wondered if this was worth it. Rumours on the street warned against raiding the Foundation compound. It was said to contain the ultimate in black ice - both electronic and biologic. And why would anybody want to raid it anyway? All the Foundation did was preserve and record bio-information from species already wiped out, or about to be. And yet the payment was too much to refuse. The payment was enough that he could buy a citizenship on one of the orbiting arcologies, get off the ruined earth, get out of the gettos and away from the corporate fortresses. Get rid of the cybernetic enhancements he still owed money on that enabled him to reach the top of his profession.

Silently the door unlocked.

Grinning for a second and letting his ivory teeth shine in the blackness, he waited until the monofilaments that the box had grew into the stone had decayed into neutral particles, and the strand that went into his palm got sucked back into the box. Only then did he reach up and pull the box loose and slide it back into its compartment on his belt. Then a stretch, a push with his claws, a slide sideways through the entrance, almost but never quite touching the wall, and then a quick push to close the door with his tail.

The corridor was black, completely unlit, but a mental click and the phosphorescent cones I his eyes were prompted to glow and then he could see, barely. An unaided human would be blind, but then how many of those were there anymore? It was simply a question of risk and chances - he needed to see and this was the minimum illumination he could see by.

Standing still he examined the corridor.