Alts last run (this is a fic)

Scarius 46

Alt finishes getting dressed, black slacks and a white business shirt, tattoos hidden and cyberware concealed, the tan messenger bag completes the perfect camouflage for blending in amongst the other “potential candidates”, grabbing their phone from next to the monitor they head out the door.

Emerging from the underground train station the sun is shining down like a beacon to Central Coffee which is always busy this time of morning, just enough time for the faceless corporate drones to still be able to get their caffeine fix and not be late. For a small coffee stall the amount of people waiting can only mean that the coffee is either good or fast, hopefully both.

“Can I get a large cappuccino with 2 please” Alt says as the man behind the counter looks both at and through them.

Alt slides into a recently vacated chair and pulls the messenger bag onto the table and begins to scrounge through it, reordering the items within to ensure that the right ones are near the top.. Their falsified credentials will only hold up to basic scrutiny, but that won't matter once they are within the inner sanctum, fast talking and confidence can get you anywhere. All that will matter is if the Memchip gets plugged in. The thumb drive is known within the hacker community as a Rubber Ducky, a regular drive that has been repurposed with a new hidden partition that holds some malicious code within it that will set up a remote connection back to Alts rig at home.

“Large cap for Adam” the bored man just going through the motions behind the counter calls out deadpan while looking at Alt “Yeah, thanks” Alt mumbles to nobody as they take their coffee, sipping from it tentatively as they head down the busy street full of corpo drones towards their target.

Stopping short of their destination, Alt ducks down an alleyway and beings to prepare their masquerade spilling just enough coffee on their shirt and rubbing it around with a copy of their fake resume. They do a couple of quick star jumps to raise their heart rate and to sweat a little, this isnt their first rodeo, the attack will be simple and they are a pro, they quickly job the last few hundred metres to the revolving door of the building.

The main entrance is all glass with a revolving door in the centre and faux marble panelling over the face of the building, a corporate security guard stands by the doors visually inspecting everyone as they move past or enter into the building, its weird that they are out here but Alt continues on through the doors huffing and puffing putting on a bit of a show.

“Hello… Um, I’m here for the interview” Alt says to the woman sitting behind the desk, she was dressed in corporate chic attire, a light grey pant suit with an open jacket over a dark blue shirt, titillating enough without being inappropriate or a HR problem.

“As you can see I’m running a little late” Alt gestures to the fresh coffee stain on their shirt.

“Oh dear, you really aren't are you” she replies before continuing. ”The bathroom is down the corridor and to the left, let me grab your name before you go and try and take care of that so I can get you checked in” “Uh, yeah good idea, actually could I ask a favour of you too?” Alt asks,still puffing a little, “my resume was inadvertently ruined when my coffee spilled on me, could you please print me one off? I have it here on my thumb drive”

“Um, I don-”

“Please, I really want to put my best foot forward for this job” Alt cuts her off “It’s just a couple of pieces of paper” Alt pleads, its a weird request and they both know it, Alt hiding their hand under the counter and in front of them moves it in a way to have the nano implant in their tear duct to activate, the crocodile tears begin to form.

“Uhhhh, yeah sure” the receptionist concedes to the crying person at the counter. “pass it here.” Alt slides it over “What’s your name again hun?” she asks softly.

“Sunny Lebeau” Alt says “it's the only file on there, I’ll be back in a sec once I’m done in the bathroom. Thank you so much for doing this”

Alt heads off to the bathroom, glancing back at the receptionist and smiling at them before heading in, she smiles back.

Bzzzzzzt, Alts phone vibrates in their pocket for two whole seconds as they are wetting the coffee stain, this is a signal that Alt had set up ahead of time to let them know that the trojan had been installed, the hidden script on the Rubber Ducky had done its job, now it was time for Alt to get out without raising too much suspicion.

“Here you go dear, please take a seat and I’ll let them know you’re ready.” the receptionist says handing the freshly printed resume and drive back to Alt.

“Thank you so much, I really appreciate this” Alt replies, taking everything and sitting down, making an effort to look relieved to finally have made it.

Walking back through the front door Alt begins to relax naturally as they head towards the elevator to go upstairs to their apartment, happy to be done with the facade. Audry, a nosey neighbour walks out of it and halts for a moment to chat as Alt walks in.

“How did the interview go?” Audry asks, holding her fashion accessory of a dog.

“I dont think I’m getting the job” Alt says as they cross paths.

“Oh well, better luck next time Sunny” Audry replies over her shoulder, turning just as the elevator doors close. Alt pauses in the elevator, they never used Sunny anywhere except for at the corp HQ. Something isn’t right, they replay the morning in their mind during the ride up to their room. Giving everything a quick once over in their apartment to make sure it’s all in the right place and locking the door- better safe than sorry- a quick shower later and they are back in black tracksuit pants and a Sea Shepherd singlet comfortable once again. A can of in hand, some Golden Features playing, and the c2 (command and control) web server open, Alt gets to work checking out what their remote access trojan has given them, a window with the security footage of the day playing out as they cruise through cyberspace trying to shake the interaction with Audry off.

“How did she know..”

Accessing the corporate headquarters was too easy after getting this tool into place, no ice blocked their path and this made the run very easy, their implant was filling up with scraped credentials and passwords that would be great for future runs against the corp, but these were bonus finds, Alt was after some pay data, something that would either embarrass the corp and stop them from doing something untoward or something that would expose them for the true villains that they are.

OPERATION GASLIGHT

  • Using targeted feed sculpting to begin a indoctrination process of “at risk” individuals for potential single use operations against known aggressors *

That’s it, Alt had found it, the pay data that will get them what they are after, downloading it to their secure cloud server they jack out.

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK

The banging on the door rouses Alt out of their focus.

“Just a sec” they yell out, looking over at a screen that has their cameras on it.

A pizza delivery man stands at the door, they are dressed exactly as you would expect them to be, black cargo pants, a corporate pizza shop branded polo shirt and the warm bag hanging from one hand, the polo shirt is tight around the pizza delivery man’s arms, they are well built and have muscly arms.

“Delivery for, uh, Sunny?” the pizza guy says, the upward inflection on the name and the fact that they are on the second floor concerns Alt.

“I don't remember ordering pizza” they call back as they begin going through their burn procedure, shutting their rig down,

“Don't know what to tell you mate, this is the address I was given” he says as he pulls the warm bag up and opens it by sliding a hand into it.

“Yeah ok, but I'm certain it's not for me” Alt replies, setting the timer on the thermite bags, The door rattles as the leaver is pushed on, Alt knows that they had made the right choice, a dull thud sounds through the apartment, its the sound of a tactical boot slamming into the door, Alt grabs their bug out bag and heads towards the back window. The jam splinters as the door crashes inwards, the blocky pistol in the fake delivery drivers hand leads the way and sweeps the room, the subsonic ammunition fired through the silencer is no louder than a clap of your hands together, the recently lubricated silencer smokes as the bullet explodes quietly out of it slamming into the plasterboard right where Alts head was a second ago as they go out the window.

At full arms extension hanging from the window of the second story of the apartment building its still a bit over one metre to the ground, it could hurt but getting shot is much worse, Alt knows this and as they drop they bend their knees and drop down onto their side rolling along their body to lessen the impact,

“Ooofff” they painfully gasp as they hit the ground, but there is no time to feel sorry for themself as the fake delivery driver begins to poke their head out the window.

The gun barks quietly again sending bullets into the soft ground near Alt as they scramble across the lawn towards the road, a flick of their hand brings an augmented reality list of their contacts up, Eddie's name catches Alts eye, they blink twice to dial… it doesnt connect… Alt sees now that they don’t have any reception, surely their phone isn't being actively blocked.

“Quick snatch her” a deep voice yells from the road “before she gets away” a car door opens and two people launch out of it towards Alt who turns quickly down a side street lined with cars. A dead end.

A chain link fence, two metres high, is at the end of the road cars and shipping containers can be seen through it, Alt quickly climbs over the fence, pausing for a second to get their bearings before the run towards the train tracks to their right through the cars and then shipping containers.

“Oi mate, you cant fuckin be ‘ere” a man in highvis yells at Alt as they run past them, the tracksuit pants and singlet making them stand out amongst the tradies. Mobile phones begin to ping loudly as Alt is running past the workers, noticeably there phone is still showing as not having any reception, a glance back reveals the two from the car aren't following them any more, but the tradesmen around them are all looking at their phones and then up at Alt and then back down at their phones, something bad was happening, Alt is in serious trouble.

“Hey is this you?” asks a heavy set man in a stained and faded high visibility shirt and pants, from the tone in his voice the question was rhetorical, Alt reaches into their bag and grasps a wad of money.

“Listen, these corpo dogs are after me, you can all share this” Alt brandishes the bundle of fifty dollar notes, “you just have to let me go on my way”

“Yeah nah, I don't think so hey” another says stepping towards Alt

“Yeah, I'd rather get paid” the heavy set man says.

“Ok, I get that” Alt puffs out, hands beginning to shake, adrenaline coursing through their veins “but how many of you can share that? I can give you this now” she flashes them a case of cred chips “you can have the cash too”.

“They’ve got a good point” a third tradesman agreeing with Alt calls out from amongst the now small mob forming “you really reckon NBN is going to give us all that cash? ” Alt tries to circle around the group to get closer to the fence that leads to the train line, just a little further and they could make a break for it.

“Ok, ok, yeah maybe they won’t pay us, but we could just take the cash off of them” the heavy set man says pointing at Alt, “then we have both her cash and NBNs cash too, I bet she has more money in her backpack too”

It was now or never, Alt quickly turns and runs towards the back fence line, another chain link fence, leaping up onto a sedan that is parked against it using it as a boost to get high enough to reach the top of the fence easily Alt scrambles over it. They throw the roll of money back over the fence, hoping that the money will slow down any of the more desperate or athletic tradies from following them.

Winding through the streets Alt comes out near a group of shops, a chance for them to change into some more suitable clothing to escape in and potentially some food too. A electronic billboard changes from its add to a new one saying “Adam, call me” with a phone number, Alt sees that they still have no reception on their phone and figures that it isn't for them. It's not the first time that these things have been hacked or used for personal reasons. They duck into a shop called Phoenix Vintage, a second hand clothing shop, perfect to get something new to get away in.

“Can I help you find anything?” an attentive worker asks as the phone on their counter rings “oh sorry, let me grab this and then I'll help you out”

Alt just waves and mouths “It's ok” as they begin to quick scour the racks, comfort and practicality being the only thing on their mind.

“Umm, sorry, but are you Adam?” the worker asks “because a man named Drago is on the phone and says that they would like a word” That name sends a chill straight down Alts spine as their heart skips a beat and they pause, “Uh yeah, thats me… thanks” Alt says reaching for the phone, they know that this phone call won't do well, but the name also confirms something, operation gaslight whatever it is is something that NBN doesn't want getting out into the world.

“Cheers” Alt says as they are handed the phone “Hello?”

“Hello… do you prefer Sunny, Adam, or something else? I wish to know what to call you so that when i do threaten you later it has the full weight of your name behind it” Drago menacingly speaks down the phone

“Alt is fine”

“Good, Alt it is then. So… Alt…” Drago emphasises each word “we know where you are, Phoenix Vintage obviously, we have tasked a satellite to keep an eye on you, we have a team of people around the corner from you, we have a forensics team going through your apartment. Nice trick with the thermite by the way.”

“Uhh… thanks?” Alt says the compliment confusing them.

“Anyway, what I'm saying is that we have you. If you give up now and hand yourself in we will be lenient upon you, if you continue to try and run we will find you and you will regret it” Dragos voice is filled with vitriol as he speaks this threat.

“I’ve managed to evade you for this long, I think ill be right” Alt says hanging the phone up, grabbing some clothes of a nearby rack and then running out the door.

Two blacked out sedans immediately pull up as Alt runs out the door, three people getting out and give chase to Alt while the drivers of the cars begin to turn them around to join in too, Alt sprints down the road and past a small little cafe down an area where the cars won't be able to follow, going down a small set of stairs and into the back streets, the three goons beginning to catch up to Alt start yelling out to them.

“Just stop!” the guards’ voices bark helplessly through the city streets.

“Give up, you can't get away”

They are gaining on Alt, one reaches out and grabs at the bag Alt is wearing pulling backwards and knocking Alt to the ground. One of the black clad men steps up towards Alt who lashes out with a awkward kick from the ground, the man grabs Alts leg and drops a knee into their inner thigh, corking it immediately, he then strikes Alt in the face hard, their head bounces off the concrete making it swim. The man who grabbed Alts bag pushes a button on their hip speaking out loud but not to anyone in the immediate vicinity.

“Ok, we got ‘em, go dark.”

“This could have been easy” the man kneeling on Alts thigh says, sucking in air and holding it to regulate their breathing and heart rate.

Sparks begin to shoot out of the street lamps and power poles in the area as they overload, a small fire is started upon one of them, the third man steps up to Alt at this point it is the same one who was the fake pizza delivery man from before, they are holding the same gun pointing it down at Alt

“Here’s your delivery cunt” he growls as he presses the trigger twice sending the shots into Alts chest.

Struggling to suck in air, Alt stares at the end of the gun as its moved and bursts into light once more, the third and final shot sent through their cerebral implant.

A blinking light on the computer screen wakes Moth up, it was dark out and they had fallen asleep at their console once again, adrenaline begins to shoot through their veins as they groggily realise what the flashing light is, someones dead man switch had fired.

Opening the message Moth sees that Alt, an old “mate”, as they would say, from Australia was the sender of this message. “Shit” they thought to themself, “I better find the right person at the funeral to figure this out.”

4 comments
20 May 2024 Scarius

@asphyxia helped with the deck list and some editing of my trash writing

20 May 2024 valerian32

I love fics in decks < 3

20 May 2024 HaverOfFun

Whooo it dropped!!! Wicked af story!

21 May 2024 goatstem

@ snow rider I enjoy fiction in decks.