The Water Fight
<<<Hoi chummers and chummerettes. CC here. Wanted to pass along an interesting story some anonymous individual tossed into my dropbox. I got a good chuckle from it myself. Reminds me of how stupid life can get on occasion with certain individuals. Runners may want to take note themselves when they threaten certain individuals with violence. Between the lines lies a interesting lesson. Well enough soapboxin .on with the show>>>
Captain Chaos 12/31/13:53:03
Felton Brisco was a spy. At least what he liked to think of as a spy. But of course, thinking that you are a spy and becoming one is a hair above lying to yourself, especially with all the trid shows and countless chips on the subject. Not that those were exactly layered in truth. Felton did get paid to tail people and to name names once in a blue moon from the runners or fixers who needed it. Still Felton liked to think of himself as a secret eye for that full time, rather than a guy who could not maintain a job to save his life. In the sixth world a man still had to eat and so Felton today was a waiter covering for another at the Metsunos, a new hip eatery up in the North Hill area. Luckily, Felton still kept his SIN and had a steady relationship with the headwaiter. He served the mucky umps their butters, filled the water glasses, and kept his ears open. If he caught something ripe, a lil nuyen on the side. If not, a steady paystub and maybe a tip here and there from the flash guys trying to impress their biz partners by stuffing nuyen in every pocket. And then there was Judy.
He pulled at the tight collar that was the noose on his neck as he caught sight of her. Tall, brunette haircut cut short to show an oval face, she was a looker and Felton lusted as she glided between the tables offering roses. She smiled her knowing smile at him and Felton started to shake as he positioned the water pitcher over a growing male spot. He coughed as stepped back near the palm fronds and counted to ten, thinking of dead fish. Sigh. That woman can play me like a harp and she knows it. Life is cruel.
Clive Mernial the Third adjusted his 6 thousand nuyen Talbo jacket and flicked a scrub of lint from his shoulder. The limo glided to the curb and the doorman rushed to the side, standing impeccably straight as he pulled the door open.
"Good evening sir."
Clive nodded as he slid across the leather cushions and stood tall. He was old but regal, his mind was clear and it needed to be. Tonight could be the most important and prosperous business dinner of his career. He smoothed a hand through his salt and pepper hair over pointed ears as he walked inside. The air conditioning enveloped his body as Metsunos beckoned him entrance.
"Ahh Mr Mernial. Welcome again."
"Good evening Nick. Has my guests arrived?"
"No sir but your table is ready. Your favorite waiter is standing by."
"Excellent Nick. Excellent."
"A bottle of Chateau Lafitte I presume?"
"Have it chilled and awaiting my order."
Nick bobbed and clicked his heels together as he kissed Clives ass with abandon. Clive never liked it himself and tried more than once to separate his nuyen from himself, trying to establish a personal repartee. But with these types, nuyen talked and they thought of themselves as lower. Clive followed Nick as they strode through the main eating area. He could feel some eyes turn on him. Some in deference of his status. Some in awe. A few even in tiger stalking the prey. Clive sat down at the window seat and relaxed. Even though this was a light meeting, the implications could be far reaching. Clive drank the water thirstily almost out of habit.
Felton spotted Clive as he walked through the restaurant. He knew of the elvish billionaire and knew that industrialists paid big nuyen for anything on him, even to the point of finding out what he liked to eat in hoping to mimic him or impress him with a pre ordered meal of his favorites when he entered discussions. As he walked, Felton could smell the nuyen breezing off him, like the hint of lemon or spice. Felton decided to stick very close to Clive.
Clives guests, the Kamu brothers of Japan, arrived soon after and Clive rose with a formal bow. The brothers, owners of some great new cybertech, returned it with grace of practice. They were twins, both dressed identically in the typical superior sariman look loved by Japanese. Well almost twins. Cho wore tiny granny glasses while his brother, Botan, wore none. They sat across from Clive and smiled.
"Good evening Clive-san. I trust you are well."
"I am Cho-san and Botan-san. And you?"
Botan voiced. "Very well Clive-san. Very well. I look forward to this dinner tonight. I hear this is a exquisite restaurant."
Clive nodded and sipped from his water glass. I hope tonights prepared feast is up to standard. Nick guaranteed me Rochelle would be chef tonight. The pleasantries were good enough to forward the small talk to associative relations of Clives holdings to the Kamus new tech. That was of course why Clive was here.
Felton was in heaven! Not only did he find himself being able to go to Clives table, he found that Clive drank water like a horse and he came back again and again to fill his glass, all the while absorbing in what Clive and the Kamu brothers talked about. This is platinum! Platinum!! I can sell any of this to the highest bidder. He dreamed of taking Judy out on a night on the town, impressing her as those impressed others here, flashing a wad of nuyen like a fan.
Dinner was served and Felton followed along, storing all he could hear for use later. ISP refresh rate a 32 terobytes on the new tests on the prototype. With Clives nuyen, the stock could go hundred fold in mere nanoseconds. The punch in the power is a secret still being kept. Felton could barely keep up. But he did. He loved how the words transferred in K after K of nuyen. If anything could stop this perfect marriage of moneymaking opportunities, it had to be a dame.
Judy glided along, pushing the dessert tray loaded with succulent pastries. She stopped in front of Clives table as Clive finished off his water, yet again. She smiled and began her spiel on their desserts, motioning to each of them like she was one of the "You Bet Yer Ass" gameshow models. She wiggled her hips, wriggled her nose, and wriggled just about everything in the perfect subtle yet sexual matter. Clive smiled a million nuyen smile and waited as the Kamu brothers decided in their choices, admiring Judy as she stood waiting. However, Felton was having nothing near relaxation. In fact, as far as it was going, Judy was strumming the wrong part of his body and unfortunately, he was thinking with a lower head than the one he should have been using. Something broke through the drool and he remembered vaguely about filling water glasses. The hands of fate prepared to start dealing.
Fate dealt the first ten to Clive who picked the dessert that was on the very bottom within the serving cart.
Fate then threw down a jack as Felton began to fill the water glass.
The Queen was appropriate as Judy bent to reach the dessert, her short skirt rising higher and higher, exposing more and more flesh. Much too much flesh for poor Felton.
Fate was having a blast and crowned a king as Felton followed a generous the show of Judy with his whole body tipping slowly to the right, the water pouring out of the glass, across the table and directly into the lap of Clive went a huge gush over the crotch area.
Of course, the Ace was a the topper as Clive rose up as the ice cold water hit him with a shout, knocking the pitcher up into Feltons crotch himself, showering a rather uncomfortable woody with the same ice cold water. Feltons screech was high on the girlish.
There stood two men who looked to have simultaneous accidents at the expense of a girl wearing a short skirt. The Kamu brothers broke up, laughing like they were being tickled to death. The effect unfortunately was addictive as the entire restaurant broke out into hysterical fits of laughter.
Now this could be the end of the story or maybe a little tag of Clive punching out Felton, or Felton getting fired by order of Clive and life would have gone on in the sprawl of Seattle but like all great tales, Fate started it and decided to ride the shockwaves out. For Fate had made this embarrassing situation happen to two people that in brief tomes were a bit heavy in the revenge department. Now sure, plenty of people are this way in todays blood and guts and glory world. Many would have drawn the heavy ordinance and began to dance but these two were special. They had a mutual appreciation for irony. It was built into them. And Felton had thrown the proverbial gauntlet.
Two hours later, Felton finished his shift (after a stint with a hair dryer in his privates). He thanked God that Clive had made a hasty departing as well as the Kamu boys without oaths of retribution for the embarrassing situation. Unfortunately, Judy who could not help it had laughed at Felton and he proclaimed to invite her out with him to make her forget of the downpour. He met her out on the curb and gave his best cool look.
"Hey Felton. You are looking refreshed." Judy giggled.
He ignored the jibe. "Baby you were looking taste in there. How could I not notice?"
She bumped her hip and gazed at him. "So what are you gonna do about it eh? Hit me with water?"
"Well I thought we might go out and " He paused at the sound of screeching tires and turned as a limo flew up next to him and slowed. The window rolled down and both Judy and Felton bent down to look inside. A thick stream of seltzer shot out from within the depths, arcing into the faces of both with a huge splash. Judy snorted and gagged as seltzer shot up her nose, an unpleasant experience altogether. The limo roared off with the dry sound of a slightly older man laughing with glee. Judy sputtered and sneezed. Felton blew out seltzer with his mouth and pushed his soaked hair out of his face. Judy turned and smacked him.
"If you think that this is some sort of joke you can forget it FRAGGER!" she turned and stomped off in a huff, oblivious to Feltons stammering. A flame began in Felton that night, as much for missed opportunity as for more humiliation. He said one word.
The next week was a great celebration for Clive Mernial. His holdings were through the roof, his purchase of a countryside house was in the final stages, and everything was going his way. He paused at the podium overlooking his company members at their semi annual meeting. He felt powerful, regal, and just wanted the world to know. He stepped to the podium and smiled.
"Friends, associates, all those great within my eyeview I " Clive paused as his gaze rose slightly to the opposite wall as a sheet unfurled. It read:
"SELTZER THIS MEATBALL"
Clive registered recognition a second before a score of water balloons filled the sky from over the wall and rained down on him. The sound registered like some sort of wet machine gun.
Worse yet, the water was not only water, it contained some sort of blue liquid that dyed him as they struck. Soaked to the bone and blue to the eye, Clive stammered at the mini mike, forgetting all that he had memorized. He squinted and caught a shadow running along the far wall and dropping on the other side. Amid people trying not to laugh and failing miserably, Clive smiled without too much mirth.
"The game is afoot."
And so it continued. It was light most of the time and often done at the most inopportune times to put weight behind the soaking. Often they never saw each other when the return douse occurred but they secretly knew. Felton felt wrath 3 days later as the plumbing from his upstairs neighbor mysteriously ruptured, causing an interesting waterfall of brackish water to appear over him as he slept. This was further interesting since the plumbing in question seem to magically detour from the usual route down the wall and take a u-turn directly over Feltons bed. The neighbor proclaimed innocence but there was a time he was not there that something could have occurred.
Clive stepped from his office and into the sunlight, sighing as the hot sun beat down upon him. He had put in a long night and was thankful to be going home. His bodyguards rotated around him as they entered into his limo under specific orders to take any sort of water filled object that was coming within his vicinity. The bodyguards nodded and shrugged to each other after he left. Bullets were their norm but "water filled objects?"
He leaned back as the limo glided toward his home. The tiredness overcame him and he lay upon the seat and closed his eyes.
He heard the sound and opened one eye. It was a silent hum unlike anything he had normally heard before. He sat up and looked around but nothing seemed out of the ordinary. He then glanced down and saw a spot slightly off color on the carpet. He stroked it with the toe of his shoe and the carpet came up in a neat circle. Underneath was another circle but of a stainless steel metal rather than the hard black steel of the floors bottom. It suddenly popped straight up in the air, telescoping to eye level. Clive saw a little nozzle appear on the side of it as it began to spin clockwise.
As Snapper cruised along on a Rapier and passed by the Westwind Limo in the left hand lane, he paused and swore to himself that he saw a heavy line of black ink being squirted across the non-polarized back window. Cueing it up to a trick of the light, he merged into the exit and was gone.
Clive sat there being splattered with dyed water that was turning everything black as night within the confines of the limo, including himself. As the last of the ink ran out, the little sprinkler stopped and slowly retracted. Clive, now 6 shades darker, crossed his arms and nodded talking to no one in particular.
"Ingenious kid but now its hardball."
Felton was on his toes and he really believed that he had stopped Clive this time when he caught the guy working outside his apartment. He punted him out of the complex and only then began to relax a bit, proud of himself for catching Clive this time. It had cost him a arm and leg to get Parkinson to risk life and limb to attach that custom drone he had got at Grodens Drones and Hardware. The drone, which was actually a assassination tool (it was supposed to spray the gas or acid of your choice) had worked wonders, even masking its signature to the sensors of the limo. Still, after the nuyen was spent he still had enough from the info he sold about Clive to make a special night for Judy and him. He had proceeded to beg, plead and state his case to a slightly still miffed Judy about what had happened and promised her a night like she would not believe. He had it mapped out perfectly, even finding himself having the opportunity to rent the Executive Suite of the Hotel Dalmark overlooking Seattle for the night. As he explained what they were going to do, she softened and was even amazed at what he was spending to win her back. Felton grinned as she winked at him and nodded.
"Tonight shall be special Felton. I can feel it."
Promising words indeed.
The dinner was perfect with men and women gawking at Judy as she came to Felton in a cocktail dress slit up to here. They laughed, the talked, they gazed at each other. The sexual tension was building and both could feel it. As Felton led her to the Hotel Dalmarks wondrous lobby, he paused to try to get a hold of his heart. The check in was expedient and the porter, a smiling Troll named Smedley, took Judys overnight bag and led them to the executive suite on the top floor.
"This is the bedroom with all amenities sir, please do not feel uncomfortable to request anything at any hour during your stay. We live to serve you here." Smedley paused and opened a curtain, heralding a wondrous view overlooking the pyramid shaped Renraku archeology in the distance and the skyline of Seattle. All three stepped out to the balcony and took in the view.
"Beautiful. For all Seattle is bad, there are a few gems."
Smedley nodded. "Indeed sir. Indeed."
They walked back into the room as Judy excused herself. Smedley gave him a knowing smile and Felton felt like he was on top of the world. He slapped some nuyen into Smedleys hand and the porter excused himself, wishing him a good night. Felton practically floated out onto the balcony and dreamily watched the skyline. The lights dimmed behind him and he reveled in the moment. He felt her hands wrap around his waist.
"I have a surprise for you Felton. Turn around and see."
Felton turned and lost all of his coolness to sexual hunger. Judy stood before him clad in a sheer white teddy, her curves molded within the see through material. She looked at him lustfully and Felton could feel his slacks becoming increasingly tight. She twirled slowly, letting Felton drink her in.
Felton held out his hand and she came to him. The lips locked and bodies clinched. He ran his fingers over her back and caressed her. She pulled away and looked up at him through half drawn lids. She reached down and ran her hand over him, causing him to groan.
"Ooo. You do like." She stopped and Felton looked down at her only to find her looking over his shoulder.
"Hey look at that. There is something you do not see everyday."
Felton turned and immediately saw what she was looking at. The lights in the Renraku Archeology were winking off and on. Almost like Christmas tree lights. Suddenly, they began to form one big word.
A Yellowjacket helicopter dropped down from nowhere and a huge lance of light turned on them. Temporarily flash dazzled; Felton was able to see that instead of the usual rotary guns on the side, there seemed to be mounted
The twin pumps burst forth and struck them both square in the chest. The pressure carried them both back into the room, skidding across the tile. Felton could not hear anything, what from the roaring water and Judy screaming bloody murder. They were pinned against the far wall as the deadeye kept the streams of water bolted to their fronts. Mercifully, they were cut short and the helicopter rotated and began to fly back into the city. Even over the whirling blades, Felton could swear he heard laughter. He got up and stumbling and slipping made it back to the balcony and shook his fist.
"YER DEAD CLIVE. DEAD!! DO YA HEAR ME?!?!"
He rubbed the front of chest, battered and bruised from the force of the water. Jeez my chest is hurting, I cannot imagine what Judy JUDY! Felton turned and caught the fist right in the kisser. He slumped down on the balcony, rubbing his jaw as Judy stomped back inside, grabbed her overnight bag, and without a word, walked out practically naked. So ends Feltons Magical Night (aside from him getting charge mucho nuyen for water damage he caused)
6 months later
Felton paced back and forth as the runners considered his proposition. Granted this was an unusual task, but Felton believed they would go for it simply because it was a easy task and because he was offering nuyen up front. He needed this. Badly. Judy never gave him the time of day now and all because of Clive. The only thing now was revenge for ruining his chances. In a flash it came to him, now was the structuring.
The brother and sister came back and sat down as Felton slumped back into his chair. They both looked at each other then Felton.
"Got to say Mr. Johnson, this one is a true original run. We did a few here where we were pulling people out of private homes but putting them in for 48 hours? This one is new to us."
"Look its simple. The targets house will be deserted for a good 3-day weekend while the target is overseas. I know this since I have been following his biz. I want you to A) put me in with my tools and B) Keep the security blind. Think you could do that?"
"We think so but we need to check out the house itself. If its some high level security, maybe not. Can you give us a few days to check around?"
Felton nodded. After all, it depended that he was not disturbed.
Two days later, Felton received the call he was waiting for. The sister (who was the decker of the duo) assured him that he could be there for 48 hours as long as he did not try to open the safes located in the house. Those were live connections to Knight Errant Panic Buttons and she could not circumvent those. Also, she was unsure about doing most of the bottom floor since they were an independent system of motion detectors. Felton assured her he just needed one room.
"Oh well then no problem. I can loop said room for a good 48 without them catching on I believe. I mean it is my specialty."
"Excellent. Half now when you drop me, and half when you pick me up correct?"
"Yes sir. Now when you get in you must be pretty quiet. The guards will not be patrolling the corridors since the target is the only one allowed there, but if you make noise they will have authority to open any room including your own."
"Understood. My work is long but very silent."
"Ok mind if I ask what you are going to do?"
"Yes I do."
The runner shrugged. "You are the boss."
A week later the plan was set into motion. The runners were still flummoxed as to what was going on even when they got a look see into a large vinyl bag Felton was carrying with him. The brother could have sworn there was a bunch of plumbing tools in them. Felton did not give them a chance to ask as he carried that and another bag with him as they piled into a van and took to the streets.
It was easy in. The decker gave him a clear path on the motion sensors for a good seven minutes, making it look like there was a power outage down the street. Knight Errant would blame the outage for the resetting motion grid on the grounds and the windows of the Clive house, a modest 12 bedroom near the Hillborn area. They even struck a lucky break as the guards, knowing that the owner was not going to be home anytime soon, decided to take a lunch at a café down the street, leaving their posts unguarded. I mean heck, the motion sensors were on full active and the house was sealed drum tight, why worry?
The three hustled across the grounds, Felton bringing up the rear as he huffed and puffed under the strain of the heavy bags. The brother was the key now and he performed remarkably, skimming the security on the rear window near the stair with ease. He cautiously lifted the window and Felton clambered in. Handing the two large bags to him, they both synchronized the watches and he saluted him as he closed the window back down and ran back off across the green lawn. Felton would have stopped to watch him but he had only a minute or two to get into the room he needed.
He lugged the bags up the winding stair and turned left. His nuyen paid for a good blueprint and it turned out to be just as he spied the double doors. He had just set the two bags down and opened the door when his chrono beeped a warning. Ah drek 10 seconds till it reactivates! He heaved the bags within the room and followed quickly, slamming the door behind him. He took one step within and heard the door autolock reactivate and could hear a high pitch ping of a motion sensor go on out in the hall. Like it or not, he was stuck here for a while. Not that he was not going to enjoy this. He reveled in his master plan and began to work silently.
Every two or three hours, Felton heard a voice of reason asking him what he was doing in a elfs house in the wee hours of the morning. But each time it asked, he saw Judy standing there looking sopping wet and mad and he continued on. By 4 he was pretty sure he had set it up correctly and he had a good hour to double and triple check his work. It was not very hard working in the dark since he had the infra goggles but he wanted to make sure nothing would seem out of the ordinary. He ran his hand over the plumbing, making sure the seals were tight. He then sat back in the elfs high backed chair and pondered. This one could be the topper. He gathered his things as his chrono beeped ten minutes. The click of the locking mechanism let him know he could leave. Doing one more once over with his eyes, he walked out with his goods and push the door close with all his weight, hearing it seal. He hit the remote and listened for 2 minutes. Satisfied at his work, he pounded down the stairs.
The brother appeared like clockwork and popped the window again. He grabbed one of the bags and whispered.
"Hurry up Johnson. The guys are patrolling."
They both booked it across the grounds. It was close and they had to freeze behind topiary when they saw the middle-aged guard walking along the path but he never even looked in the general direction. Still, it made Felton break into cold sweats. As he followed the brother over the fence, he realized that he has made it and he smiled maniacally. In 24 hours, Clive. 24 hours. The van waited patiently and they drove down the street at a leisurely pace, even slowing to watch the utility company doing a full scan on the power box to figure out why it was acting up again over this weekend.
Clive returned from the airport to his estate, greatly happy to be home again. Though he had succeeded in securing the right to the Kamu tech, he had been the butt of many a joke over the course of the long weekend in Australia. It was all in good fun he guessed but it was becoming a bit tiresome to him. Besides, a weekend away from worrying about Felton was a weekend almost attuned to being a vacation. Like him or not, Clive had to respect the guy for his tenacity. He had returned each volley with his own, some being quite clever. Clive had especially enjoyed the little drone in his limo and it held a place of honor on a pedestal in his living room. But since his little lightshow and helicopter surprise, he heard not a peep from him. Perhaps he has given up. Out of nowhere a voice inside his head spoke up. So why not drop it?
Clive stopped. Because I am a 58-year-old man who has accepted every challenge laid out before me. Why would I let some punk kid get the better of me? Besides. I am enjoying this. It heralds back to my own youth filled with impetuousness and I never ever back down. The voice that asked the question seemed satisfied with the answer for it did not speak again. Clive smiled and walked into his house.
Clive had a light supper and decided to retire to his study to relax for a bit. As he climbed the stair, he noticed a slight damp tinge to the air but shrugged it off to living near the waterway. The marine layer often mired this neighborhood in the lonely Seattle mist that it was famous for in the late evening. His bodyguard paused at the landing as he always did in accordance to Clives wishes. He believed the top level of his house to be of private use only.
He paused before the study, unaware that a stranger had intruded within its confines only a day ago and left him a present. Had he noticed the slight quiver from the door seconds before he may have avoided the inevitable but a hangnail momentarily distracted him. He gripped the doorknob and turned it.
Water in upwards of about 48,000 gallons just found a large drain.
The pressure expended from the rush of water slammed into Clive like a speeding express truck. It tore the second door from its hinges as it smashed Clive hard into the hallway wall then dragged him down the hallway. The bodyguard registered a wall of water with a large door, several paintings, some waterlogged furniture and the body of his boss a split second before they thundered into him, cascading them both down the stairs in a sodden heap. The bodyguard suffered a broken leg and multiple contusions. Clive, on the other hand, died instantly from a broken neck when he hit the opposite wall. The only thing the investigative committee could come up on the suspect was a message written in black marker on the door Clive had opened.
They never found him though. Most people chalked it up to a bizarre accident, though the police kept it an open case since no main pipes route themselves into a room, turn themselves on, and proceed to quick seal every nook and cranny. However, there was no trace as to the culprit so it sat dormant.
Felton at first felt bad, he did not mean for it to kill Clive but he chalked it up to fate as people often did in this world. Still at first he believed the old man would show up at his door one day and squirt him or that a water balloon would strike him from somewhere above. He avoided most places like these for a while and even moved away from his old apartment into a new one as insurance. His paranoia was calmed though as he came to the funeral and viewed the body. Clive lay there, peaceful and serene and Felton smiled as placed a squirtgun in Clives coat.
"Good fight Clive. See you sometime."
And with that, Felton left and began anew.
One year later
Felton was exhausted. He put in a long shift at the restaurant (not the one he used to work for. Some things never changed as Felton got fired there too) and kept his ears open for anything but to no avail. Nothing worth selling. He trudged up the stairs and nearly ran into the little man standing outside his apartment.
"Sir, are you Felton Brisco?"
"Who wants to know?"
The man produced a card.
Mikael Sonali, FindRight Tracking Services
"I was hired to find you after you never showed up for the reading. You were quite hard to find because I never considered you having a SIN in such uh surroundings."
"It seems that you, or rather Mr. Brisco, inherited some property."
Felton snorted. "You must be mistaken. I aint got any relatives."
"Oh it was not a relative. I believe a man by the name of Clive Mernial left it to you."
He produced a letter addressed to Felton and after verifying Feltons SIN and getting him to sign for the letter, left without a word.
Felton opened the letter inside. It was handwritten on old parchment like paper, elegantly stamped with an old seal. It was addressed a week before his death.
"Dear Felton or my adversary, whichever you prefer,
In the course of our events, I have grown to like our little fight. It has renewed my youth and made me a whole man again. I am surprised to find that I actually missed something within my day-to-day toil and that was fun. I feel that I have you to thank for this. Therefore that is probably why you are reading this today. In the event of my death, I felt that I owe you my thanks so as a gift from me, I leave you Mernial Ranch, a nice spread out in a canyon to the north of Seattle. Enjoy it or sell it as you see fit. May your luck in inheriting this, carry over into life.
C. Mernial III"
The chip within showed Felton as owner of the Mernial Ranch in upstate Washington. For the first time in a long time, Felton was speechless.
Felton drove the Americar over the hill and spied the house in the middle of the lush meadow. He turned up the dirt road and admired the country landscape as he made his way to the house, a charming little ranch nestled in a canyon. The directions were right on as he spied the name Mernial Ranch emblazoned over the barn in back. He got out of the car and walked around, awed by the beautiful surrounding him. Felton had never owned anything this big in his life and now he was standing on his land! He slid the cardkey in the door and walked into the ranch house.
The living room was bigger than his entire apartment. Felton giggled greedily and started to explore the house. Clive had left it fully furnished for him.
"I am home!" Felton exclaimed to no one in particular.
Feltons nearest neighbor, a crusty old cowboy who went by the name Hoss, rode near the fenceline of his and the Clive property. They were the only two in the entire canyon and he was checking his fenceline for any holes. In two weeks, Hosss cattle would be wagon trained into his ranch to fatten up on the good land. His horse whinnied underneath him and he let her trot along. Just then, a high-pitched keening came from his front porch. More importantly, the keening came from the speaker directed toward his pasture. Hosss eyes grew wide.
"GO TORNADO! GO!" He put the spurs to her and they broke into a dead run, heading north as fast as the mare could gallop.
Felton heard the keening too and looked around, thinking it was in his house. There was no sign of anything making it, so he followed it outside. On down the canyon, he could hear it from another farmhouse far down into the canyon. He stood there for a minute and scratched his head. The ground trembled slightly underneath him.
As Felton was trying to figure out what was going on, Hoss pushed Tornado for she was worth, charging up the side of the canyon on the path made for just this time. Tornado could sense something was up and pushed herself too. Behind Hoss, a sound began to grow.
Felton heard it too and looked around. A low rumble. He looked up in the sky but there was no sign of thunder. The rumble built. Now Felton was scared, he kept looking around for what it was but the canyon walls would not let him pinpoint it. A breeze kicked up around Felton. It felt moist.
Hoss made it to the lip of the canyon and stopped. The earth below him shook violently and he thanked the good lord for the speed that he gave to Tornado. Tornado shied away from the canyon and Felton suddenly caught a glimmer of movement far away. The old cowboy pulled some binoculars out of his saddlebag and scanned down to the other farm. A lone form whirled about, obviously looking for the sound.
"Oh drek. Poor fragger."
Hoss had a better vantage point so he saw it first, but Felton saw it soon enough.
The canyon, which the two farms resided in, was built into the valley below the Muskogee Dam and Power supply with approximately 26 million gallons from the Muskogee Lakebed behind it. For some strange reason, the dams central computer believed that it had just received a downpour of something like 15 million more gallons and took emergency steps to relieve the pressure. What that translated to be all locks opening and dumping the excess stress of 6 million gallons into the valley below. A sheer wall of rushing water 40 feet high came flying down the canyon at 150+ miles an hour. Guess who was standing in the middle of it?
Hoss caught one more look at the figure down in the valley below before he saw him and the entire valley disappear under the wall of water. He seemed to be shouting at the sky and jumping up and down in anger. Fragger must be cursing the heavens and Gods. He was part right; he was cursing the heavens but just one certain individual.
<<I suppose the first question is..Whats the point?>>
<<Watch who ya cross. The Captain made it clear above>>
<<Yuk Yuk. Sounds like an afterschool special. What a bunch of drek. Good story though.>>
<<Not a story. Check out the Node 7 at Persall 1621 who lives up North. Its talking about a dam malfunction a few months back. Want to guess who that one individual missing is?>>
<<Wow. And here I thought I was a practical joker. These two take the proverbial cake>>
Han Buzzard 13:2345:20
<<I guess it needs to be said. Decipher the story how you like. A good joke? Yes maybe. Somewhat sad? Sure. But try not to forget how we live day by day. It can relate to those two. Vengeance, Reputation, even Greed played a part in the ending of those two guys. Makes you think what you may run for. The bit of nuyen in your coat pocket? The revenge on the evil ol corp? The status of being frosty? Valid reasons but as you can see, they may wind up biting you in the bum in the end.>>
Captain Chaos 42:3324:2
©1999, Tat - used with permission