Exploits of a Midnight Traveler (Part 26)

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I gathered my thoughts and exited with Julia, who communicated with me through her thoughts.  The bio-nanites are melting your synapses. You must not stay in this unnatural state too long. If you do, no scientist in the world can bring you back. The hatch protected the location of some secret place I couldn’t fathom. We journeyed down another corridor. We moved silently and swiftly to a new door with a triple set of bolts. We unlatched the lever, opened the door, and a man in a white coat with thick black glasses awaited us.

He held some piece of equipment with a nozzle pointed at us and a hose hooked up to a large machine bolted to the floor. A couple examination beds were behind him.

Before we could react, he blasted electricity at us. I did everything I could to protect her and with everything I had I cloaked her in a bio-nanite shield. I blacked out and didn’t know if I was dead or alive or in a form of bio-nanite hell.

I didn’t understand until I awoke.

The apartment was fortified for a reason. It protected a secret lab and we had walked into a trap.

When I awoke again I sat in a new facility dressed in a grey shirt and grey sweatpants. It could have been a basement or prison or torture room. The room was enclosed with wet and grungy concrete walls. Liquid pooled on the floor where water dripped from the ceiling It smelled like burned metal. There was a toilet in the corner with a ripped off seat. Not-Exactly-Lila aka Julie was nowhere to be seen.

It wasn’t until the scientist in the white coat entered the room that I understood.

“Caleb Gregory, very nice to meet you. I’m Sergei Valenkov. You’ve had a rough few days.” He had a thick Russian accent.

“Where am I?”

“In safe hands.”

“You shot me.”

“Oh no, I had to keep you alive,” said Sergei. “I saved you.”

“Where is she?”

“The girl? In a coma. She hasn’t woken in three days.”

I attempted to turn into my smoke form but couldn’t summon anything. Sergei turned his head and shot me a confusing look. I squinted and punched my arm in the air but it didn’t change shape and extend to grab his throat. “What did you do to me?”

“I corrected mistakes.”

“You stole it!”

“We are reacquiring it,” said Sergei. “Who do you think invented it? American ethics surely doesn’t allow for such experiments.”

“It’s a weapon.”

“It has the potential to be a lot of things to a lot of people. You understand this, no?”

“You don’t understand, I have cancer.”

“This isn’t our problem.”

“The Senator wants it.”

“Senator Porter Goldsmith,” said Sergei. “Yes. He has committed a considerable amount of influence and resources to get it. But believe me, the body count is much higher on his side.”

“I saw something … I saw space time ripping apart. I saw other beings from other dimensions.”

“You saw it? Or the bio-nanites had you see it? Did the bio-nanites transfer you the knowledge from their first host? It turned Kersei Palikoff’s mind into a vegetable state. She is in a mental hospital in Moscow. It was really sad to see such a brilliant mind evaporate as if she had a lobotomy. Her secret to inventing the bio-nanites rests inside her dilapidated mind.”

“When will you kill me?”

Sergei laughed. “My employers won’t let me kill you despite my advice. They will be using you as bait Mr.Gregory. While the nanotechnology is being shipped to an undisclosed location for transfer, we will use you as a beacon to draw our enemies off our scent. I hope you enjoy traveling.”

PART 27

Exploits of a Midnight Traveler (Part 9)

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Everything in me, wanted to jump over the barrier that separated the walkways from the water. If only to drown away the emotions from the day. I could still smell the acrid stench of smoke hanging on my clothes. I could still see Ms. Cold Smile’s grin taunting my subconscious, as she fell to her death.

Just what the hell had Lila been hiding? Peering down at the paper I noted the address, which may have been in a foreign language, for all my knowledge of the area. The bustling of people around me hadn’t slowed, though it was near nightfall. Perhaps, if I could manage to be brave enough, I could find someone willing to help me.

The faces around me all had the same thing in common. They were unfamiliar, and I knew one thing. I was low on money, and I had nothing to prove I was who I said I was. Damn. I turned to face the water, resting my elbows on the wall, and buried my face in my hands.

“What the Hell am I to do?” I said aloud. I felt something hard jab into my back, and Mr. Mercedes voice slithered like a snake to my ears.

“Well, you can start by coming with me, and not making a fuss… You see… Killing a man in broad daylight is minuscule compared to setting off a bomb in a building full of innocent people. Have I made my point?”

“Damn.” I muttered, and nodded my head up and down. “How the Hell did you find me anyway?”

“Wasn’t hard. You came running from that building like ants from an ant hill. Did you really think it would be that easy to be rid of me?” I shook my head ‘no.’ “Which leads me to ask…” He glared at me.

“What?” I responded indignantly.

“Was there a lady assassin in there with you? Sexy? Lethal?”

“Yeah.” I paused. “She didn’t last long.” The look on his face was one of total surprise.

“You mean, they got to her?”

“Actually, I would say ‘you‘ did. That nifty little bomb you planted sent her plummeting to her death.” I waited to see the look on his face. He stepped back from me at that moment and then, for no reason at all, started chuckling.

Mr. Mercedes laughed and laughed, tears coming out of his eyes. His cheeks reddened from the blood flow. Had he absolutely lost it?

“Oh, oh… I’m sorry. What a way to go…” He paused for a minute, regaining his composure. “Well, that takes care of that, I guess. One less person for me to deal with.” He was still chuckling, and without warning, yanked the paper with the address out of my hand. He quickly flashed the barrel of his gun at me. I nodded my understanding. “Well then, let’s go, shall we? Things to do and people to kill,” he said jovially.

Hot damn, what was about to go down? 

PART 10

Exploits of a Midnight Traveler (Part 5)

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“Walk faster and do not look back,” said a soft voice behind me.

I turned my head just a little only to see a woman walking just one step behind me. Had I been less confused, grieved or burdened by any other of the million feelings fighting inside me, I would have seen she was an elegant, good-looking woman. But all I could focus on was her smile. Yes, she had fine lips and pearl teeth and all that but it was the cold amusement in that smile that made me turn away.

“Clean-up crew wants to make a mess, huh? Grab your stuff, go around back, be where you need to be. Don’t look back.”

I pushed the elevator door button and then I heard the commotion behind me. There was grunting and panting and some swearing. Still all my focus was on the elevator door as if all the world around me was of no importance. All my life hanged by that door and paid no heed to all that was going behind my back, acting like a rather sweaty ostrich. Finally, it opened with a whoosh.

Then I saw them.

There were at least 10 men inside the elevator. The woman leaped into the elevator with flying punches and kicks. It was so fast and quick, I could have sworn it was all choreographed. In less than fifteen seconds, most of them were lying on the floor. The one particular individual stood in a fighting stance against the woman … Miss Cold-Smile, with the black, soft tights the loose grey blouse and leather ballerinas. She could have been the girl next door if she didn’t have a man’s neck under her armpit. A tall guy in a blue suit slapped her but she just pressed the neck in a weird angle before letting the body drop. That was when the man she slapped had her full attention. One swift blow to his throat was enough to incapacitate him, giving her the opportunity to push her fingers straight in his eyes. The man yelled and took one step back. She twisted her body and grabbed a man coming at her from behind. The man was twice her size but she used his momentum to throw him over her head and onto two of her attackers. Another man stepped over the bodies and came at her with all his bulk. Her hands flew and she hit the man straight in the nose, making it bleed instantly. She grabbed the man by the arm, twisted it till there was a cracking sound and pushed him away. The man landed on the floor and he slipped over the marble floor of the elevator, half in half out.

As if by reflex I pressed the button and the door began closing until it reached the man’s body. With a ding it opened all the way back. The elevator was filled with motionless bodies. Outside the elevator were the men she vanquished from behind my back. She pulled  the unconscious man back through the door of the elevator and planted herself in the corner. Her face was stained with the blood of her enemies. Miss Cold-Smile looked and me for two seconds, likely noticing my frozen posture.

“Fly, you fool!”

PART 6

Exploits of a Midnight Traveler (Part 1)

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ZURICH, Switzerland (JUNE 4)

We had the greatest week of our lives as we were free to do whatever we pleased after graduation. Lila always dreamed of going to Switzerland and I followed her because she was my closest friend in the world. She studied European history and imagined a past life there. We saw all the sights. Lake Zurich. The churches. The museums. We spent two days in Konstanz and had our first kiss. I was smooth and leaned in as we watched the sunset over the lake. Lila had long brunette hair and tan skin. The trip was everything I ever wanted and imagined.

Everything changed when Lila said she was going to the lobby to meet an old friend who had driven a long way to see her. Not wanting to seem jealous, I said it was cool, but waited six minutes before sneaking out the room to see what she was up to. I took the stairs just in case she forgot something. Along the edge of the main corridor I walked. Only an older man with an oversized grey mustache and old blue suit noticed my stealth mode. I peeked around the corner to find Lila chatting with a guy I thought I recognized, but didn’t. I snooped from a distance and waited.

And waited.

They talked for an hour. At the end of the chat, they exchange handshakes and she returned to the room. I followed the man out as far as I could and saw him leave in a black Mercedes. This seemed highly unusual; I needed to ask Lila what was going on. I took my time returning to the room as I needed to gather my thoughts. Lila wasn’t a girl who liked being confronted. I swiped my keycard to the room and entered.

Lila was on the floor. Blood soaked into the carpet by her head. I leaned in next to her with trembling hands. “Lila … lila …” I shook her arm and turned her over.

She was dead.

I cursed and looked around the room for clues.

Then there was a knock at the door.

PART 2