No Good Deed
Donabate Community College,
It’s difficult to sleep with warning signs floating across your eyes. Grid was unlucky enough to wake up like that. His head shot up. Someone had set off a motion sensor outside his apartment window. In a panic, he jumped up and checked his cameras.
“Nothing. Must’ve been a malfunction”, he grumbled to himself. His ‘echo’ implant had never been the best, but recently it seemed to be worse than usual. Today of all days, he didn’t need it to be fickle. As quickly as he could, he shut off the alarm, and began trying to connect his echo to his laptop. When it worked, the echo was a marvellous piece of equipment, a super-advanced mix of augmented reality and artificial intelligence, along with a direct connection to Grid’s personal database. When it didn’t work, well, Grid had some less than pleasant names for it. As it booted up, he could feel his brain come alive, all the information he had gathered over the past weeks flooding into his brain.
He peeked outside his window. There it was! The beautiful mass of neon lights and high-rise buildings he called home. And right in the centre was his target.
He headed for the door, checking he had everything. Flash drive, laptop, Militech 9mm. Check, check, check. He took one look back at his apartment and headed out.
Grid’s eyes struggled to adjust to the light as he stepped outside. The lack of any natural light meant everything was lit up by bright neon signs. On the skytrack above, Grid could see his train zoom past. ‘Dammit’, he thought. ‘Guess I’m walking then’. He started off down the street. Grid walked with a slight hunch, and his half-shaved head revealed the bright blue wires from his echo. He suddenly became very conscious of himself. Were people staring at him? His heart began beating faster and faster, his eyes darting back and forth, wary of who was around him. Grid knew it was ridiculous – nobody in this urban sprawl ever noticed anyone but themselves. And yet, he found himself looking over his shoulder. He didn’t like what he saw.
Grid really didn’t need his echo to tell him who was following him. The scar gave it away. He was a contractor – a hired gun used frequently by the Coalescence Corporation. Only last week he had pulled off three separate hits on guys like Grid.
He really didn’t want to be the fourth.
Just to be sure he was being followed, Grid took four left turns. Yep, still there. Now he started to panic. He knew he couldn’t give up now – the Coalescence building was two blocks away. He was so close! Then Grid did something really stupid.
He turned into a dead end alley.
Grid turned to go back, but he wasn’t quick enough. The contractor was already there.
“Isaac Chase. You’ve caused Coalescence a lot of trouble, haven’t you?”
Grid hated his real name.
“You going to answer me, or just act dumb?”
Still Grid didn’t move.
“Hey come on kid, play nice and you won’t get hurt. Much.”
Grid’s echo began calculating his possible outcomes. Not great odds. He took a chance and pulled out his pistol. The bullet found its target; it always did. The contractor hunched over as Grid sprinted past him and towards his target. He was happy he had brought his gun now. It was only loaded with blanks, so the guy should be okay; winded maybe.
Grid stood at the door to the towering Coalescence headquarters. Front door was too obvious. He headed round the back and set up his laptop. The great thing about corporations using advanced technology is that everything is wireless, meaning Grid could pull all of the information to expose Coalescence from their own Cloud server.
He plugged in his flash drive and got to work.
For three hours he worked, firewall after firewall, until he eventually got the information he needed. Grid sent on the files he recovered to his friend at the local news company. At least now the corruption could be exposed.
Grid stood up and stretched, admiring his work. He turned around into the barrel of a gun.
“Shoulda played nice, kid.”
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