Killing Time OST – 19c – Inception

<< 19b – Inception

Though the prospect of sorting through billions of files should have nailed me to my bed, I woke up after six hours of sleep. Compared to my crazily agitated nights for the past twenty-five years, what most people considered a shortened night was more than enough for my body to function. I dressed up, devoured the made-from-scratch barbecue ribs Julia cooked for lunch – one of the rare recipes she actually did get perfectly right – and headed downstairs with a pot of coffee.
The empty lab hummed louder than usual; Vexx pooled all his technological resources to process the information we copied from Merrilyn Tech. We ordered quite a few hard drives and memory bars for the occasion. The external drive I filled with the Device’s content blinked in a corner, decompressing its treasures as fast as it could.
I logged into Vexx’s computer. The security of Merrilyn’s infrastructure rested on fragmented and misclassified documents. I knew the Device had assembled a part of the info for us but I still expected a progress bar to show me how much hell was left to upload while I started to play jigsaw puzzle with what I had. The holographic display had quite a surprise in store for me. As each file decompressed, a program scanned it and sorted it in a folder. Schedules, itineraries, clients, suppliers, researches, employee records… the list went on and on. Every element on it simplified my life tenfold.
I giggled. And here I thought I was getting myself into endless months of headache.
“I could kiss you right now,” I said to a sleepy Vexx barely stepping out of his apartment. He nearly tripped in his own feet. He pulled up the pajamas I gave him while he rebuilt his composure and took in the hologram behind me. His bewilderment grew.
“You hacked my computer?”
I laughed. “Of course not! I’ve known your password for weeks.”
“Ah!”
I smiled as I watched him shuffle toward the coffee pot and empty mug. Instead of pouring himself a cup, he bowed and pulled a box from under his workspace.
“Well, since you already saw half of it… Happy birthday!”
I cocked an eyebrow but walked towards the box nonetheless. “You’re in a silly mood today. My birthday isn’t –”
“– It’s this weekend.” My jaw dropped. “You lost track of time a little bit. No one can blame you with all that’s happened.”
“Oh, I can deal with that.” I pulled the box closer and tugged on the cord circling the standard mail service’s brown paper. My mood deflated at an incredible rate. “Not sure I can deal with the dinner party at dad’s home.”
“Well, this might help,” Vexx tapped the box with a pair of scissors. I pushed my concerns down so his excitement could win me over.
I cut the cord and tore the wrapping away. Foam pellets filled the box, completely hiding the gift it contained. I reached in and my hand touched a cold slippery surface. I looked at Vexx and smiled, pulling out a glass box containing my Desert Eagle.
“Oh, am I glad to see you!” Yes, I rejoiced at the sight of an object meant to kill people. At this moment, I didn’t care. It sparkled and that was girly enough for me to feel at peace. I needed to nip this pity party habit in the bud.
Vexx handed me a hammer and a screwdriver. I carefully unsealed the showcase box. I didn’t fear for the gun as much as I didn’t want the standard protection jelly to ruin my clothes. The substance kept the ‘artifact’ in pristine condition but it also was a bitch to clean.
A plop punctuated the rebirth of my gun.
“It’s not really a gift if I paid for it.” The corner of my mouth curved.
“Well, if my employer paid me and let me wander off, I would have bought you something.”
Vexx pushed a cup of coffee towards me. I took a sip with my goo-free hand before I started disassembling my gun to clean in thoroughly; it wouldn’t fire until the protection jelly was gone. The mechanical process sent my thoughts on overdrive and they soon returned to the birthday party problem.
“I guess it’s utopic to believe we could wrap this up before my birthday, isn’t it?”
“Sorry. I’m not that good. We’ll need a couple of weeks to get anything out of the files. ” Vexx’s eyes lit up while he drank some coffee. “But maybe we can use the party.”
The firing pin jumped out of my hands and Vexx fumbled to keep it on the counter. I put down the gun before I lost a piece to stress and the lab’s mess.
“Maybe we can go on fake vacations again!”
“Lor,” Vexx said. It didn’t sound good at all. He played with the firing pin and his thoughts while I waited for him to lay them both on the table. I rubbed my hands clean with a rag to hide the shaking. “Your dad is a walking key.”
The memory of the wedding ring gave weight to his statement but I hated the idea. Since Dad didn’t advertise his job at Merrilyn Tech and no one knew the company’s head chef, it stood to reason that he was Mister VIP pass.
“His DNA, his prints, his voice, his ring. Probably a couple of biometric sensors as well. Everything he carries on him at all time is a potential security checkpoint.”
I closed my eyes. “We have to get samples without him noticing.”
I feared I would break some teeth but I couldn’t get my jaw to loosen. Suspecting my father had something to do with my troubles had been hard. Realizing he was involved had nearly led an innocent to lose his life to my anger. How could I actively deceive him?
“I’d rather just kill him,” I whispered. But it wouldn’t solve anything. For the company to crash and the ‘build your assassin’ project to be buried, we needed fireworks. Lots of them.
“We need to do it here,” Vexx said, inches away from me.
I opened my eyes and took a deep breath. “We need Naomi.”
“Oh hell…”
And it was only the beginning.

20a – Dinner >>

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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

7 responses to “Killing Time OST – 19c – Inception

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