‘I don’t understand’ asked MarT ‘Why do you need it? I mean you already own half this city an incredible amount of the money why bother with this little trinket?’
‘This is precisely the reason why you never made it big. There are no small trinkets. If you think there are you will never make it in this world of ours.’ answered G1M angrily, he has been trying to get through to MarT for a long time, but some people just didn’t understand the way the world worked. No matter how many times you tried to explain it to them.
‘Get my Jet ready’ said G1M and with that he left the study room and walked into his inner sanctum, which was several doors further along a corridor. His inner sanctum was a serine place in the mad tower that was his place of business. It was here that he went before any mission to clear his head to get inspired. Back in the old days, before he gained his fortune, this was but a small compartment in his mind; now from a small compartment he created this incredible place.
The entrance to his inner sanctum wasn’t really hidden but rather elegantly disguised as part of the decor in the corridor. The corridor was all set in dark oak with wooden beams running along the ceiling. On each side of the corridor there were unique pieces of art, and large oak doors in a slightly different shade of oak. The door at the very back of the corridor was the exact same shade as the rest of the corridor making it difficult to distinguish. What made it even more difficult was the fact that it didn’t look like a door. The only strange little detail that might have drawn attention to it, should somebody scrutinize over it, was a small little bump in the wall. A closer inspection would show that this bump was in fact a button.
G1M pressed the button and a door slid into the wall itself, as G1M entered the door closed behind him. The room was filled with little plants and maps and many little unique items. Ownership of just one of those items would make a poor man very wealthy, but that wasn’t the most impressive part of the room. The most impressive part was the view. Stretched in front of him like a small toy city, was East side bay. He owned most of it except for some minor properties which were owned by petty lowlifes. He built it from the ground up. He started like so many other people here, without any skills, without any knowledge, but slowly through years of hard-work he amassed a fortune which he used to build an empire. His empire.
Besides the view, the room was full of little acknowledgments, little bits and pieces that were either taken or given to G1M as he accomplished deed after deed. A large safe build into the wall stored all of this; it was in here that G1M kept his most prized possession. He reached for the safe and after a complex code which he entered, as well as a DNA sample and a retina scan he was allowed into the safe. Inside he took something that looked like a simple piece of paper. On it were a list of numbers and figures as well as a character chart, the interesting part was that the numbers were not constant they kept shifting as though they were affected by the things around them.
G1M studied the paper intensively before putting it back in the safe. He had an eager look on his face, determined he got out of the door ‘I will win’ he said to the empty room behind him.
Private vendor stared at the plane landing, it was an unusual thing to see but he knew he would come. If not him than another big client would eventually come, it was all the same to him. He waited with his little product on the ground, for the noise to die down. When it finally did and Plane was still, the door opened and a young man carrying a briefcase stepped out. He blinked several times, his eyes adjusting to the sun and looked around. He seemed annoyed at something, he quickly walked out of the plane followed by most likely his assistants or bodyguards either would be a good guess.
The business man looked around searching for something and when he spotted the vendor quickly walked towards him his party in toe.
G1M was annoyed; he was told there would be a limousine there to take him to the meeting but now it turned out his meeting was with a generic Private vendor, and there was no limousine in sight. Still if the data he had was true he could get a trump card right now.
He walked down the small airway strip towards the vendor, the air was warm and stale and it felt like it was going to rain soon. Banana trees were shaking slightly and G1M felt on edge he looked around, it would be stupid to make a mistake now when he was so close to winning. He took a long hard look at his surroundings, a small deserted building from the looks of it, served as the control tower and other than that there was nothing man made, only some tropic trees, sand that was yellow red and the vendor. When he was finally satisfied that he could see nothing or no one he told his group to keep a close look out and sat down in front of the vendor.
‘Do you know something about 9am3?’ asked G1M.
The vendor looked at him and smiled a broken tooth smile. ‘Thank you for coming.’ he said ‘Please come again.’
G1M looked at him with suspicion ‘Tell me about 9am3’ he said.
The vendor looked at him and smiled a broken tooth smile. ‘Thank you for coming.’ he said ‘Please come again.’
There was a rustle from behind him and he turned to see five people wearing black suits, and sunglasses as though they were the epiphany of gangster wannabees. They all had their weapons still in their holsters, but they were edgy and waiting for something. G1M decided to wait for them to make the first move. Things usually worked out better that way. Two of the guys were circling his little group now they were clearly trying to stop them from communicating with the merchant, but that won’t do. He had an ear piece connecting him with his two bodyguards, and he quickly issued orders. One bodyguard was to take on the guy on the left the one that was trying to corner their little group by circling to the left, and the other bodyguard was to take the guy doing the same but to the right. That left three for G1M.
G1M looked amused the three people were no match for him. He could tell from the way they were standing that they were basic professionals but not nearly high calibre enough for him to even break a sweat. The only reason he kept the bodyguards in the first place was as cannon fodder. One of the key reasons he became such a big man was his skills not only in strategy but in physical and mental endurance. After he made his first bit of cash he exhausted himself on martial arts lessons, conditioning and peak endurance. He was a Dan 7 kendoka and master in 7 different martial arts: Krav Maga, Thai boxing, Kyokushin Karate, Capoiera, Wing Chun, Pencak Silat and aikido. He dabbled in others as well but was nowhere near the level he was in the others.
G1M stretched his legs slightly, put the briefcase he was holding on the ground next to him and walked comely forward, the three gangsters were nervous but did not move.
G1M smiled an innocent smile and said ‘How can I help you gentleman?’
Without a word the person in front of him reached for his gun, but he never reached it. G1M with three quick steps grabbed hold of the guys arm folded it until it snapped and the gun fell helplessly to the ground. The two others now had enough time to react though and had pulled their weapons out and were holding it to him. In one fluent movement G1M jumped back and kicked both guys in the lower back sending them flying to the floor. He was on top of one of them before he could even move and with one quick hit punched his nose so that it caved in. He didn’t push it upwards needless killing was not one of the things he believed in. A sharp pain from his shoulder told him he got cocky, he had missed a person there were six not five. He turned to face the new assailant and casually kicked the person that was on the floor struggling to get up, in the face, sending him back to the floor unconscious.
Unlike the others this guy was wearing cloth that matched the surroundings better; they were yellow brown with patches of green. He stared at G1M coldly holding a large knife in one hand and a pistol in the other. He smiled and threw the pistol away; G1M took this moment to survey everything around him. There were no other people around, his bodyguards had taken care of the hired guns and there was one remaining. He was still bleeding from his wound, but it wasn’t serious he took his shirt tore off the sleeve and tightened it around the wound. With that done he face his enemy.
This person was completely different than the others, to the untrained eye he stood very relaxed, but G1M knew better than that. He focused on his feet the joints, the cloth were tight enough to show that the person was applying pressure on the leg he was keeping in front as well as the leg that was back. This person was ready.
G1M motioned for his bodyguards to stand back. He walked towards the new guy and stopped just out of reach. He stared at the guy trying to see if the person had any hidden things on the body that he could use to figure out where he came from and more importantly what he wanted. There was remarkably little to go on. The cloths seemed to be generic army like cloth with no patterns or markings of any kind. The shoes were brown and although they were laced you could not see the lace itself. His face was brown from the sun and his eyes a light colour somewhere between blue and green. It was hard to tell how old he was, but he looked like he was at the peak of his health. His smile was closed lips, revealing no teeth, and they way he played with the knife showed that he knew how to work it.
G1M fainted a movement to the left, which the guy immediately reacted upon. He was quick, but from what G1M could see he lacked sharpness. His knife went to the area but without the precision he expected him to have. So maybe G1M misjudge, or the guy was testing him as much as he was testing the guy.
G1M decided to wait for the counterattack to come. He stood ready and looked at the guys eyes for any flicker, it was so quick he nearly missed it, but by focusing on the eyes and not on the muscles he nearly made a beginners mistake and got a knife wound for his troubles. As luck would have it because he was just a step out of reach the movement needed to bridge the gap was enough for him to block the knife wielding hand with a kick aimed at the knee. The kick didn’t connect as the guy stopped just short of it. The two were now circling each other looking for openings. It was the guy who took the initiative and jumped at G1M with several quick and broad slashes. That was a mistake the first broad slash went wide and before the slashing movement could return, G1M was already beside it. He grabbed the hand wielding the knife with his right arm quickly twisted it, blocked a punch from the left with his left hand and aimed a kick at the right knee. The knee shattered making a crunching sound and causing the guy to fall to the ground. G1M wasn’t content with that however; he locked the arms and head of the guy, by sitting close to him, his knees and legs blocking the arms and his arms holding the face.
‘Now you are going to tell me everything I want to know’ he said smiling. ‘Or I am going to be very upset. And trust me you don’t want to see me very upset’
The guy opened his mouth but no noise came from it. The guy had no tongue.
‘Great’ muttered G1M, then it was time to ask the other guys on the floor. He asked his men to check them while he quickly took care of his wound. He walked to his briefcase the merchant was gone, which was no surprise, opened it and took out a small metallic little cube. He sat down on the ground and pressed the cube in several points. The cube opened up revealing little metallic legs. He posed the figure on his shoulder near the wound and the little robot started working on removing the bullet and cleaning the wound. The robot’s small legs could easily dig into the tissue and get to the bullet, when the robot was finished removing it, it then sealed the wound be generating heat its side and gluing the two pieces of skin together. The pain was horrible but withstand able. G1M had experienced it many times and by refusing to use medication he felt somewhat more alive, as though he had passed another test.
Suddenly a figure shot out from a hiding place and quickly, while wielding a katana sliced G1M’s entire group before they could even life their hands. The figure was wearing a tight black suite with a hood covering its face. The figure was clearly a professional assassin, most likely hired by one of the other big shots.
He stretched his legs slightly and got up, the figure stood in front of him, it was remarkably small, its sword was already sheathed. He assumed a typical open position and waited for the figure to strike first. The biggest mistake most martial artists made was a lack of patience and let anger or other emotions get the better of you.
The figure moved in an instant it was remarkably quick, blink and you would miss it, G1M arched his neck and body backwards as the sword whooshed passed, if he would be even a second slower he would have lost his head. The figure continued the movement of the sword in a circular motion to G1M’s legs. It was too quick however and G1M couldn’t evade it completely, it took all his training to be able to evade it as much as he did. Whoever this was they were on a whole different level. He had never witnessed anyone as fast or as sharp as this. The figure took a step back and was ready for another strike. G1M wiped the blood from his leg where the katana scratched him, if it had been a proper hit he would have been cut to the bone instead of just a flesh wound.
G1M was at a disadvantage, the person in front of him was an amazing swordsman and he needed an edge, he couldn’t keep his eyes away from the person and the blade for even a second, or it would cost him his life. He decided there was only one thing for it he needed to be the dominator, he knew his skill was unequal he tested it against the best and he always won. He just needed to catch the figure by surprise, make a move that it wouldn’t be expecting.
With a quick dash G1M was in front of the figure, he jumped and launched a precise kick to the figure’s face. To his surprise he found that the figure was already gone from that place. In the instant that G1M jumped the figure moved at a speed that seemed unnatural, he was so fast that there was nothing he could do. His training never prepared him for something like this. While still in the air he could feel the figure and the katana at his back, he didn’t know how he knew this but he could feel his hairs standing on end, and before he even touched the ground the katana sliced him clean.
He fell to the ground his legs buckling under him, his face staring up. This wasn’t supposed to happen, this was wrong. He was the hero; he should have gotten the information just like any other mission, with enough time to get to other fun stuff. Not all was lost though; he recently got an upgrade on his hardware which he could now use. He whispered several orders into his headset telling his little robots to setup a perimeter and get him back to health. Just like the cube technology he used, he had a small chip in his arm that let him communicate with all his technology he was using that now to set some things in motion. However, something was wrong. The connection was being interrupted, which was impossible the connection was never interrupted before, the connection was in him. There shouldn’t have been any problem. All he heard though was connection error.
Above him the figure stood looking down. The hood flapped slightly with the wind and for a second he caught the figure’s face, an impossible face, the face of a young girl. Before he could raise his voice the girl raised her katana and with a quick swipe it came down too fast for him to even see.
LIRA closed her eyes and stared at the list that appeared in front of her. She finished the last list and it was time for the new one. The new one had 15 names, there were powerful names on the list, but also very low level names on it. She had to move quickly though, the community was already whispering that something was up, a cleanup operation that had been dubbed the surge was what the latest whispers said. This meant more work and more efficiency. Next time there won’t be a kill there will be complete removal.
She looked at number one on the list N00B52. She opened up her file, a workaholic spending hours on the job until it was done with a ferociousness that put the biggest guys to shame. However, she did not like to get her hands dirty she preferred to play a much more manipulative game and so she build layers around her, as protection, but also to help her find any rotten apples within her organization and remove them as efficiently as possible.
The base of operation for N00B52 was the docks; her home base was spread between Barcelona Spain, Moscow Russia and Zurich Switzerland. Her leisure pleases were also diverse but luckily LIRA knew exactly where she was. She closed her eyes and looked at the maps in her head, she scrolled through them until she located a blinking red dot with the name N00B52 on it. She zoomed out to see where the target was, and set off to make plans. N00B52 was in her base in Switzerland, this meant that she hired a lot of help, it would be difficult to enter that place it was a fortress. It would be easier to lure her out like she did the others but N00B52 never got out. She had to find a different way of removing her, something that would erase her completely as though she never existed. She thought for several moments, running different scenarios through her head until finally she found one that she was happy with.
She started by building the tools she needed for the job. For a job like this all you needed was technology and she knew exactly what to do. She had an affinity with technology a second nature almost. When she needed something done she found that she usually could just do it. She didn’t need to understand it or even follow the logic behind it, she just used the parts that fit in her head and build whatever it was she needed. For this job she needed an identity eraser, something that would remove the identity of a user. To do that all she needed to do was create a bypass, that way when information like security would be needed it would automatically be led to the bypass and there no information would be available. That would efficiently remove N00B52 from her environment or at least from her comfort zone.
However, N00B52 was a loner and distrustful of people in general, this meant that the tricky part in the whole operation was not hacking the system but rather finding the right location. LIRA quickly build the bypass device, she would now need to physically let in incorporate into the system at N00B52 residence, then wait until she got signal and she could start fine tuning the search for her.
Just to be on the safe side LIRA sent the bypass to all the possible centres N00B52 could be located in. This meant at least 5 different countries; she sent her information through to a 3D digital printer located near those places. The bypass would then walk to the residence and start the deletion procedure. As soon as it was build it should emit a signal so that LIRA would know that phase 1 of the plan worked. After completion of the second part another signal would be sent, after which the Bypass would self destruct and leave a little puddle of goo but nothing more. LIRA could have chosen to send the program directly into a 3D printer in the compound but that would mean an additional risk, if anyone would have found it, or even leftover data from the printed order the whole plan would be ruined.
LIRA waited patiently, after she finished her work and tested that her model system worked, for a signal. 10 minutes was when she got her first signal, 2 minutes later another and 5 after that the rest of signals arrived. This was normal, different places had different printers and each printer had their own work speed. It took several more moments until she got confirmation from all the little bots that everything was going smoothly. She closed her eyes and looked at the 5 screens that opened up there. In her mind she quickly scrolled through them.
The first place had nearly no people and everyone was very relaxed, there was no special security and only a handful of ordinary workers were in. First place could be removed from the list, she continued on to the second third fourth and fifth. Eventually, only one place showed any activity at all and that was the fifth place, the place in Zurich. What set that place apart from the rest was not that it had increased its security or workforce, but rather that several rooms on the second floor were completely cut off. They had no cameras there, no technological readings of any kind. This was too suspicious, and was most assuredly the place N00B52 was currently residing.
There was one problem, if she could not access the place than removing the details from the rest of the house would not mean a lot. Unless there was another system somewhere, but if even she couldn’t see it right now then she needed to go there in person. That was the only way, go there and remove her.
In the cover of darkness LIRA conveniently moved cameras and other sensors to exclude her, as she now had complete access to the facility she could just quickly sneak into the room she needed to get to. The closed and as of yet blind room was located on the third floor a quick look through the surveillance camera told her everything she needed to know; Where the guards were, what route to take and how to get in.
She quickly and with astounding agility leapt up the floors, avoiding the help and security until she stopped in front of a large door. She already knew she wasn’t going to enter the room through that door, it would take a much simpler approach, first she needed confirmation that N00B52 was here. She walked down the hallway and straight to the window, once there she opened it and climbed out towards the window that the room had. She just needed to get one good look at her and that would be enough. She got just next to the window using a little tool she constructed to keep her hooked to the wall and carefully balanced herself so that she could take a look into the room. Inside the luscious room there were two ladies, one was clearly meant to be N00B52 and the other the servant, but that wasn’t the truth of it. It was a show, she could see it clearly N00B52 was the servant. That meant she had to take out the help with a minimum of fuss, she had no tools with her to deal with such a job and going back was no option at the moment either.
She got back inside and stood next to the room, she needed more info. She went to the office of the head of security and prepared a little syringe.
She gently knocked on the door ‘lunch is served’ she said.
The door opened and a large man got out. ‘Lunch? What lunch if anything it should be dinner now’ he said angrily.
LIRA smiled an innocent smile and pushed the syringe into his back before he could say anything she pushed him into the room and closed the door behind her. Inside there were no other guards. She pushed him into the seat, the shot was already taking affect and he was looking very groggy. He didn’t even put up a fight which was strange, as usually most security she met at least tried one last resort.
‘Have you ever seen N00B52?’ she asked him.
‘No’ he replied automatically. His eyes were glazed and unfocused.
‘How does she get her food?’
‘It is delivered on a plate directly into the room’
‘How big is the plate?’
The guy motioned to a tray that stood on the table where he most likely got his lunch on. The tray was big enough for a large turkey; this meant she could most likely get in. People usually assumed she was incapable or innocent, both of which she made very good use of. Most people did not live long to regret their decision.
LIRA turned the guy back to his screens, in 10 minutes he would be back to normal with no memory of the last 20 minutes. She quickly got out of there and went into the kitchen. There were people bustling with activity. People were fussing around in the kitchen, which also worked in her favour; it meant she could blend in. She got a white overall from just outside the kitchen and got in as though she belonged there. A quick survey of the place let her through to the only place where the dinner could possibly go through. It was a small trap door and she could by flexing her body get into it. She waited for a bit doing little things the chefs told her until the food was ready to bring up. It was handed to one of the sous-chefs that went into the other room to put it in the hatch. He lifted it and before he could press the button he was stabbed with a small syringe in the back of the neck. He was pushed towards a chair and LIRA took the meal and put it in his hands. She quickly got in the door and asked the sous-chef to press the button which he obediently did.
It was very dark in the latch and LIRA closed her eyes, focusing on the job ahead. It was most likely N00B52 who would open the latch door, so she should be ready to take her out, she had 4 more syringes ready. She held them expertly in between her fingers.
The small elevator stopped and before the latch could open all the way, she had already thrown two syringes one into the person who opened the latch and one to the person lying on the bed. The syringes were a sophisticated little system that LIRA constructed. They had a small little chip in them that told them when to release their content, she designed them in such a way that as soon as they came into contact with buffered solution they would release their content automatically.
LIRA had a long and thorough look through the room; there were no other individuals here. She closed her eyes to make sure she got the right person. A little blinking mark told her that she did. She opened her eyes again; she walked to N00B52 and took out another syringe. This one was not to make you docile this one was to erase your mind. She knew now that this is what she should have done for the others. She pressed the syringe into N00B52’s neck and got out of the room and on to the next person on the list…
Kim opened her eyes and blinked several times. Her eyes hurt as though she hadn’t used them for a while. At first she was disoriented and a little lost, but then things slowly came back to her. She removed the extremely dark glasses that covered her eyes and shut down the world from her. Attached to the glasses was a wire with two earpieces that she forgot about, in her hurry to pull off the glasses she pulled the earpieces, which were firmly lodged into her ears, out. She rubbed her ears which were slightly red and irritated and stared around her. She was in her room, but what had happened? Why did she get out? She picked up the glasses again to see if she was disconnected from the server for a specific reason. There was a message waiting for her.
N00B52 has been disconnected from the server. LIRA protocol has been activated (Local Integrated Removal Application), this is security measure installed for users that spend over 30 hours in a row playing the game. As recommended by the health associations around the world after 30 hours of game play the LIRA protocol is initiated to disable the connection. Please log back in at a later time, your account has been saved and will be re-instigated when you are ready to continue.
Kim stared at the text she completely lost track of time in that thing. She suddenly felt afraid of it; she very nearly got stuck in it. She put the glasses away, thank god they had that security protocol or I would really have a problem she thought. Then another thought struck her, what if the first people didn’t have this protocol and got stuck in the game? Or maybe she was still in the game…