Friday, 22 August 2014

Another Day on the Block: A First Law: Override Short Story - Part 2

Brooks lay sprawled on Tannus' couch, his tattered jeans and battered shoes left a smattering of dust and dirt on the upholstery but Tannus didn't care, the couch was only a couple of months away from being thrown away.

"It's on dude!" Smiled Brooks at Tannus. It was a sly smile suggesting that the man knew more than he was ready to let on at that exact moment. Tannus replied by querying just what 'it' was and what did Brooks mean by implying it was 'on'. Brooks laughed at Tannus and continued to explain about the smuggling deal they had been waiting on.

"Midnight on the dot!" Brooks carried on "UST of course".

Tannus shook his head in disapproval again. UST stood for Universal Standard Time, something the Humans had instilled when they reached the Fringe, before then the Hydan had been happy going by Nexus time, and he assumed the Kratel had their own times as well, but here came the Humans with their inelegant ships and muscle bound all-encompassing time zones. If it wasn't considered of the utmost rudeness Tannus would have spa at at the thought.

Brooks looked at the wall mounted clock on Tannus' wall and checked his watch before sighing to himself. He spread his lips into a smile and continued his one way conversation.

"So you got five hours, yeah?" Brooks questioned rhetorically "We're talkin' what? Seven, Bone Time?"

Tannus wanted to argue, to state that he should stop referring to him and his people as Bones and Bone Heads but he thought better of it. Despite his flaws, Brooks was a great Wraith and an excellent partner to have in the field, raising his voice over something as trivial as a racial slur might disrupt their relationship, and he had seen far too many Operatives die over less.

Tannus nodded and replied "See you on site?" Brooks shook his head.

"No good bro!" Replied Brooks "the site will be crawling with Clickers"

Brooks held out a digi-pad and pressed the activate button at the bottom. The pad was only a bit bigger than Brooks' hand, only a few centimetres thick with a screen that took up most of the device. As the button was pressed the screen activated creating a small holographic image that floated above the screen showing a series of maps. Brooks held out a finger at one of the buildings on the map.

"There" Brooks continued "HQ has that place in lockdown, we'll meet on the roof, it'll give us a clear view all the way to the exchange".

Tannus nodded and silently gestured to his door. Brooks picked up his digi-pad and left with no further exchange of words between them. Both Operatives were now in full work mode.


The time passed as it always did as Tannus prepared for an operation to go live. He knew that together they had been tracking a series of data packets for the past month, they both knew that an exchange was due to happen. Illegal Phase Loop Drives, or Shockers as they were more commonly known due to the initial physical response they give anyone onboard the ship when activated, a single shipment had been intercepted by another Wraith about two months prior to his posting to The Block but Tannus' intel told him that another exchange was due to happen soon and the Wraiths did not want illegal Shockers being used, especially if it involved the Kratel.

As the hours passed Tannus exercised, meditated and showered. He hated his shower as the same filthy water came out of it and more often than not he felt dirtier after washing than he did before, but it was all part of his pre-op routine and no matter how much he despised The Block, he was not about to allow some dump of a complex disrupt his routine.

Shower complete Tannus dried himself and got dressed. His Operative clothing was a skin tight black body suit that covered every inch of his body up to his neck. The body suit was thematically controlled, keeping Tannus' body temperature a constant temperature, it was also covered in all the usual places with pouches and compartments that made holding onto equipment and tools all the easier. Tannus never understood why it always made Brooks laugh as the human referred to the body suit as a 'onesie', whatever that meant. On top of the body suit Tannus wore a long coat, it was a tattered dark green and made of a synthetic cotton-like material complete with a hood allowing him to half blend in with the destitutes who lined the streets of The Block. Tannus looked at his face reflected in the mirror, he considered himself the epitome of professionalism and he was silently pleased to see that once again his appearance projected the same.

Sliding a heavy set of goggles onto his head, Tannus flipped up his coat's hood and walked to his front door collecting his sidearm as he did. It was a weighty pistol that he had modified to fire the explosive ammunition used by the UEF rifles. It was noisy and messy but it did the job when he was cornered on an operation.

Set above his doorway was a black metal briefcase, it looked heavy complete and came with a voice reader and fingerprint scanner lock and Tannus pulled it down with both hands, strapped it to his wrist, opened his front door and stepped out into the filthy corridor that connected his apartment to the rest of The Block.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

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