Ok, so.. I've not posted much recently, I don't know if any of you really mind, but I have ommited one thing that I promiced I would post no-matter what...
I didn't post 200 words last week from Twilight, I apologise to all invovled. I should have done, but I didn't.. mea culpa.
However... here's 1400, that makes up for it... right?
The motorbike rode through the streets, hugging the tarmac, a customised police issue. Skirting past a delivery truck Jack checked the time - he was running late, but only by a few minutes, not enough to put the wheels down anyway. Wheels were a restricted privilege. Wheels meant you didn’t need to use the MagNet that ran through the city. Wheels meant you could go off-road, you could escape. Wheels also meant you could go places others couldn’t, and get there faster, which was why Jack kept fingering the button to put them down. He didn’t like being late. He often was, but that didn’t mean that he liked it.
Besides, it wasn’t just that he’d get there faster, he preferred the feel of riding with his wheels down. It was rougher than the smooth magnetic glide of regular bikes – you had more contact, it was more visceral, more of a thrill. Either way however, he thought, it was better than riding in a car. Bikes at least had to have one wheel for steering, cars just varied their magnetic fields. You barely felt like you were moving.
Up ahead he could just see the outline of the British Museum peaking out to the side of another skyscraper. Nearly there, he thought to himself, checking his watch. Nearly there.
The British Museum wasn’t a very impressive building to look at from the outside. A squat, pillared, pseudo-gothic lump of a tower that sat over the site of the original building. Then again, you didn’t come to look at the outside - inside was where the real draw was; Displays of artefacts from forgotten eras, rows of stone heads with one thousand year stares, reminders of where the world had been. Its plaza was a world famous sight alone, with its natural light and incredible freestanding glass roof sitting in the middle of the structure. Every floor above looked down to it. Many came just to dine at the exclusive restaurant in the centre of the plaza.
Within these walls sits the treasure of millennia, and generally it is mostly ignored in favour of an overpriced celebrity restaurant. That says a lot about the world at large, Jack thought, as he drew up to the parking area in front of the building.
Currently the doors to these walls were flanked by four heavily armed troopers. At least they were from the same Corp as him, thought Jack bitterly. When some artefacts from different regions were lent out for display security jurisdictions could be a nightmare.
The guards tensed slightly when he approached, but relaxed when they saw the police insignia on his bike and jacket. Jack couldn’t blame them, even by his own – admittedly lax – standards Jack Garrett was looking a bit of a mess, and he cut a pretty imposing figure when he was smart, let alone looking like a reject from the local bar. His broad, square, shoulders and a matching six foot four frame deterred many suspects from resisting arrest, and Jack had made sure that he could back up his size with strength. He was no weight lifter, and didn’t intend to be, but he could handle himself better than most in his section, and that was an edge that could prove useful on the streets of London these days. Today however his large frame was covered by some ratty black denim jeans, a dark shirt he had found on the floor, and his large leather coat. Add to that that he hadn’t shaved in a few days, and even he would admit that he looked less than impressive tonight.
However he had a job to do, and do it he did, quite well by all accounts. Jack strolled up to the nearest guard and nodded at him.
“Alright lads?” Jack flashed his badge at one of the guards, who was leaning against the wall, the expression through his visor one of boredom. Jack mentally named him Dozy, “Jack Garrett, Section 9. Anything up down here?”
The guards immediately straightened up to attention, Section 9 were The Specials. They technically ranked as detectives, but effectively they outranked anyone but the captains of other sections. Their beat was the special cases - hence the nickname - serial killers, drug barons, corporate fraud, assassinations, if you saw it in headline news then they’d probably been involved somewhere. If you didn’t see it, well that was their job too. Section 9’s entry requirements were tough - and the job tougher - it attracted a certain kind of personality and, for some reason, they kind of scared the other sections. Dozy’s answer was short and to the point.
“No Sir! Nothing happening here sir. We’ve just relieved the previous shift.”
Jack nodded, he’d wanted to get here before shift change, but looked like he had just missed it, damn traffic.
“Where is your captain trooper? I need to speak with him urgently.” Jack laid on the formality, it seemed to keep Dozy alert, and he wasn’t in the mood for questions.
“He’s upstairs sir,” Dozy replied promptly, “floor three nineteen. He’s with The Rock sir.” He added.
Ah yes, Jack thought, The Rock. A blue diamond the size of a large child’s fist. It was a beautiful cut, and discovered quite by accident while exploring old ruins in EuroCorp holdings in the former BraMex Corporation’s collapsed territory. No-one was quite sure where it had come from originally, but what they were sure of was that it was quite, quite, priceless. The Rock they called it, and it was The Rock, not just a rock. It deserved the capital letters.
Jack looked up to the top of the museum. Floor 319, nineteen floors up from this street level. He was suddenly glad that he’d chosen to arrive at street level three, not a lower tier. Still, it would take time in the lift to get there anyhow. He nodded his thanks to the guard and was about to walk in when the other guard gently put his metal plated, combat gloved hand out to stop him.
“Sorry Sir, You’ll have to take the back lift sir, one of the doors is stuck open on three fifteen, so it’s not running.” The guard saw Jack’s expression, “Engineering will be here to fix it in the morning they say Sir.”
“Thank you. The back one right? Fine.” Jack sighed, engineering were like taxi’s, never around when you needed them. At least walking through the level 3 lobby to the lift gave him a chance to take in the surroundings. It was a much grander affair at this level than the lower ones, and of course it would be – the richer you were, the higher you lived. Its walls were a buttery white marble, while its floor was patterned with white and black granite. Glass and chrome were everywhere, the whole thing put jack in mind of some of the richer hotels he’d seen in the past. The reception desk was equally elegant, made as it was seemingly from a single piece of frosted glass and trimmed with that kind chrome edging that seemed to positively drip and run off it. It was a nice effect, and kind of ruined by the sour face of the woman behind it. He flashed her his badge at her and she gave a nod that bordered on rude, while motioning to the back lift. Obviously he wasn’t interesting enough to a woman that dealt with the entertainment whores that frequented the restaurant. Charming night shift they have here, thought Jack, just bloody endearing.
The lifts walls were covered in the frosted glass too, this time set apart with small vertical strips of mirrors, the designer was obviously a magpie with a thing for glass Jack thought. A pert little holographic face of a young, short haired, blonde girl a lot prettier than the woman at the desk popped up to the right of the door.
“Welcome to the British Museum, I’ll be your escort for this evening, what floor can I take you to?”
Jack smiled, however false and pre-programmed it was, he liked the AI’s endearing politeness.
“Floor three nineteen please.” He said, returning the politeness, still smiling. He didn’t know if this sort of AI even recognised it, but the smile the face flashed at him before disappearing made him like to think it did. He lent back and listened to the piped nature sounds with his eyes closed and waited for the lift to arrive.