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GM

 

Inside the SouTeq headquarters building, Thebes, Egypt, Earth-C-Tech-20970

50 years since big business superceded governments, 1 month since the creation of the Device, 45 minutes since entry, three and one-quarter seconds since things began to go wrong...

 

With a bone-jarring impact Marcel Suvou, one of the richest and most powerful men on Earth, flew headlong into a transparent wall, the creation of exotic polymers and high-stressed metal rippling around him as he slumped awkwardly against one of the obsidian lions inexplicably ringing the office. The archaic-looking wristwatch that would have ended her for good lay peacefully on Marcel's desk.

 

But, despite her lighting-swift kick, Scion was still in trouble. The alarm rattled and screamed through the thick, hot night air and even with the suitcase she had risked so much for mag-locked to her arm it would take a miracle to make it hers.

 

Outside, in the halls she had been sauntering through without a care, she could hear booted feet, the heavy tread of bullbots and the ringing shrieks of hawkbots as the small army she had ghosted past just minutes ago moved to trap her. Outside, beyond the balcony, she could see the complex moving into lockdown. She could also see the relatively gentle slope of the SouTeq Building's pyramidal facade.

 

At the least, it would be faster than walking.

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Usually, Moira - Scion as she was known to her employers - was one of the types that would get in, get to know the person, get them to trust her and then have that trust betrayed as she procured whatever she needed. This was not one of those times. Sneak in to one of the technical owners of the world and take his stuff. Which was made possible by her spirit conduit. Right now the spirits she had to work with were Carnal, Anger, Madness, and Light. These were not their actual names but the names she gave them based on the boons they provided. Light made her invisible. Anger gave her the power to knock Suvou around like a rag doll. Madness gave her the idea... to jump out of a window.

 

The bots were coming. She may have got a few of them but there were too many. She was glad she got those shock upgrades. This jump would kill a mundane. Not as graceful as she thought it would be - she could hear Madness cackling - but she was out and alive. Landing right where she needed to be. No one was around, so she had time for one little last goodbye. Putting Carnal through the security system jammed their footage, replacing it with some holo-smut. For the next few hours they'd be seeing the literal ass-end of someone's business. After Carnal came back, Scion pulled the key she nabbed from Suvou out of her pocket. Who used keys anymore? Or watches? Suvou, that's who. At least she had an untraceable vehicle.

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GM

 

Le Roi' d'Tenues had many eccentric tastes, but his passion for the painfully, impractically anachronistic knew few bounds. For example, the car Scion slid into and, after a few false starts, managed to key into an obedient electric purr, was a soft indigo replica of a Porsche Carrera, with a modern self-replenishing energy cell stuffed under the hood.

 

With a soft rasp of superfluous tires on sand, the magnetic field kicked in, and in a bone-jarring jolt the absurd luxury car hissed across the desert sand for the complex gate. The softest part of the intricate defensive installation, but still a hard nut to crack without some way to fool the e-Is.

 

In her gut Scion could feel Light tugging and squirming. The spirit had trouble understanding proper context, but this time it might have a point...

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Old tech. She admired it, but damned if she could understand it. Light's cloaking had a different problem. It couldn't even understand this fine piece of metal's design. The cloak flickered and fell. That didn't keep Scion from flooring it. Drek, that's the brake, she thought angrily, this is the gas. Not the smartest move either. Desert sand gave easier. Not a fact she was used to. The car shot off as fast as it could. At least it wasn't the type where you had to pull the lever.

 

Still, she was a sitting duck, sticking out like a sore thumb. If Light could not hide her, it could lead her way.

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GM

 

In the eerie rush of wind and the near-noiseless thrum of the fuel cell churning out watts, the vintage reconstruction hurtled towards its date with fate. In Light's failed attempt to entirely cloak the large, heavy vehicle from sight of the automated sensebots Scion had managed to slide almost up to the imposing towers of the complex gate, all but underneath the titanic barrier of impervium alloy suspended between them. 

 

But this wasn't some crude assembly of metal and wood, a drawbridge or portcullis needing a cumbersome and time-consuming process of positioning. It almost had even less in common with the old-fashioned electric gates still used in some rural areas from the Federal Era. This was controlled by a sophisticated artificial intelligence with eyes open to every part of the spectrum, able to track the march of an ant three hundred miles away. There were even rumors SouTeq surveillance gear was used to spy on the lesser corps who bought it to oversee their employees, able to see through walls and interpret the disturbance of atmospheres from sound waves created by speech.

 

More pressing to Scion was its power to accelerate the dropping gate by a factor of 10. The splintered second a sensebot saw Suvou's Carrera speeding for the gate with Suvou himself conspicuously absent, the wall of metal all but roared as its descent made the towers beside it smoke and hiss, the impervium glowing red-hot where it met its carriage from the friction trying hopelessly to halt the down-rushing edifice of certain doom.

 

Madness seethed and bubbled in glee, twisting and grasping at Scion's arms and legs, urging her to risk it all in one last dash for freedom!

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