Killing Time OST – 17b – Gadgets

<< 17a – Gadgets

I pulled the AP2G2 out of my backpack. The leftover the acid from Edouardo Delgada’s murder slowly streamed over the plasma-proof glass as I drew a small series of dots along the lock securing the see-through door. The glass was the flaw in the security contractor’s plan; it didn’t make a viable collision for the laser, sometimes reading like a wall, sometimes like an anomaly and ringing the alarm. To solve the issue, all the lasers stopped a feet short of the reflective surface.
It would be the security system’s undoing.
While the acid worked its way through the glass, I stripped out of my Kevlar suit and put on the deflective one I ordered before the whole nanobots debacle. Good thing the content of this room was so secret no camera watched over it; I wouldn’t want to be caught with my pants down. Or dead in this suit. I looked like that extravagant pop singer from the twenty-tens.
“But you won’t lose an arm if you lose your balance and graze a laser,” Vexx piped in. I shivered in disgust. There was no way I would ever get used to tech-powered telepathy, especially not after bots more or less controlled my thoughts for years.
My monocle adjusted over my left eye, I could now see the lasers brushing the room. The gadget automatically transmitted the information to Vexx’s computer back at the lab. Since the beams switched fairly fast, I couldn’t possibly analyze all dozens of them and determine if the pattern I looked at was the one I needed. The external help was a must.
“Proceed in two hundred patterns,” Vexx said.
Great. I shouldn’t complain about the wait though; it was better than standing by for an opening in a random program. The art of good laser security was a tricky one. Purely random programs were flawed by design; there was no way to prevent them from creating an opening. Any patient thief could eventually get through. A stable floor to ceiling, tight grid required a lot of power, ruined the walls and was way too easy fool.
Alternating patterns meant tighter security. And high-end criminals.
Luckily, the acid turned red halfway through the countdown to my starting pattern. I wouldn’t have to wait for the system to cycle through the thousand possibilities before coming back to the only one that gave me a shot at pulling this off.
I carefully pushed small electric probes in the gelatinous dots until they touched the lock.
“Hacked,” Vexx confirmed after a minute. I pushed the door open. From now on, I was in the range of the ultra-sensitive mike. No grunting under effort allowed. I unfolded the very well-oiled wheels under my backpack and set it on the ground by my side.
“In five, four, three, two –” I pushed the backpack in the room. It soundlessly rolled across the floor in a thin corridor a succession of three patterns left free of laser. It was too small for a human but the bag cleared the obstacle and stopped its course by hitting the lasers’ pillar on its tricked out cushioned hydraulic shock absorber.
“Next step in twenty patterns. You’re doing great!”
It sounded as if he expected me to fail.
“That’s not what I said!”
Right, forgot about the mind reading thing.
I silently walked in the room, carefully keeping myself within the laser-free space. A spot blinked in my monocle, telling me where my entry point would be in –
Overpower Thee began in my head.
Five, four, three… two… one.
I took a step forward. A square of lasers enclosed me. I swiftly turned ninety degrees to the right as the rays previously shoulder-wide now barely allowed space for my profile. Warrior Three cleared the next beat, and then I had a bit more time to move out of the arabesque. I twisted to put my hands on the ground so my folded handstand would have my back face my objective; the lasers’ source. I exhaled frighteningly loudly when my abdominal muscles strained to bring my folded legs to my torso without touching the lasers surrounding me – which meant not providing any leg propulsion to help the process. I waited for a note, my butt sticking in the air.
Had I made too much noise?
The alarm didn’t ring so I unlocked my elbow and rolled into a sitting position on the next beat.
One meter forward, five to go. As planned.
The choreography didn’t allow any pause and I continued the chain without even thinking. My suit and movements sounded loud in my ears but the absence of an alarm told me the mikes didn’t pick up on anything. Figure by figure, I pushed through the extenuating sequence. My muscles complained but their obedience never failed.
I spent a beat next to the lasers’ source, barely enough to pick one of Vexx’s device out of my backpack’s side pocket and stick it to the pillar. I crawled away on the next note as the machine burrowed its way towards hidden circuits.
The song was about over.
“You’re clear,” Vexx sighed. I stood and shook the pain out of my arms. I grabbed my bag, surprised that I couldn’t discern the spot where the device had entered the pillar. “Told you the chameleon would work.”
I thought you named it like that because it duplicates the lasers’ readings.
“That too.”
The idea was that if the security system believed the lasers still confirmed the room was empty, it wouldn’t mind us turning the damned things off.
I opened my bag and silently pulled my tools out. They were all wrapped in cloth so they wouldn’t clink together. Or on the ground. My things all lay out, I unwrapped the laser. I hated the thing. Vexx shouldn’t have told me he used it on my head.
It’s okay.
I adjusted my monocle’s setting and peered through the wall. The control panel appeared clearly against the rather uniform material of the room. The spider in pocket wiggled to life as I got close. I put it over the invisible panel.
“I’m in. Deactivating the alarm on mike malfunction.” That part of the complex audio-detection system was the less risky to fiddle with. “You’re good to go.”
I aimed at the audio processor in the control panel. Vexx taught me how to recognize it. I switched the laser on counted to ten, then switched it off.
“Mikes are down.”
I sighed in relief. Now onto the safe.

17c – Gadgets >>


About Aheïla

Somewhere in Quebec City, Aheïla works as a Game Design Director by day and writes by night. Known for her blue hair, unyielding dynamism and tasty cooking (quails, anyone?), she’s convinced “prose is the new crack”. She satisfies her addiction daily on The Writeaholic’s Blog and weekly on Games' Bustles View all posts by Aheïla

6 responses to “Killing Time OST – 17b – Gadgets

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