The Information Brokers (IC)
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Crudelis spun the cross that always hung around his neck as he dialed the number. His face was as emotionless as a statue as it always was when he was preparing for work. He held the phone next to his ear: "Ash. Is Julius inside already? I'm about to make my way to our... Business partner. I want everything when I arrive. The layout, the dirty secrets of the company, every single thing, as unimportant as it may seem." Without waiting for a reply, he snapped the phone shut, ending the call. He looked at the computerscreen over the girl's shoulder: "Alright Crash. Keep a watch on the cameras, alright?" He pointed at the laptop she had lying ready: "Grab it and let's go. I'm sure Jun is growing impatient waiting for us." He waited for her to grab the laptop then started walking, opening the door for her. They reached the elevator that was made completely of glass and got in, waiting for Crash to step in before pressing the button for the "ground" floor, which was still a few kilometres into the air. He could see Jun below, impatiently pacing about. He laughed, his mask of emotionlessness cracking: "Perhaps we should hurry up next time."
"I would like everyone to relax. I have entered the room. Try your utmost not to bow down and avert your eyes if I pass you," whispered Julius Clarke into an earpiece. His voice was transmitting on an encrypted channel, virtually undetectable, directly to one of Crash's computers. Of course, the way Julius was dressed, as a maintenance officer, complete with the suit, name tag and air of contempt for all the workers around, there wasn't very much bow-worthy about him, but he knew that confidence is what won over most missions, so he tried his best to remain the most confident. Oftentimes this would make him look cocky, but in the long run, his attitude paid off.
His trained eyes surveyed the scene. Blessed as he was with a photographic memory, Julius had memorized the stolen floor plans with a glance. But a floor plan could always be altered, so he was using his time now to check for flaws, as well as making sure every camera was were it should be. He did this in a subtle manor. Looking about impatiently as through searching for a particular work cubicle, his eyes flitted around the room, and occasionally down to his watch, which doubled as a mirror, letting him observe while pretending to check the time. "Scratch that. Everything is how it should be. Feel free to worship me now."
Alex sighed as she followed behind Crudelis, he had called her by her alias, "Just call me Alexandra or even Alex if you want but please don't call me by that name again especially in public." Alex hadn't took her eyes off the screen once since they started walking so she hadn't even noticed Jun or really even cared, everyone was busy on their own assignments so her waiting for them was the least of Alex's worries. The hacker spoke into the radio, "Your the one thats not relaxed buddy, don't worry about anyone coming your way for a while just get to your objective." Alex had the cameras on looped recordings and had full access to them so she was watching everyones moves. "Ash were you able to find anything?" she asked trying not to think of Ash as her big brother but as a team member.
Ash felt his phone vibrate in his pocket and knew who it was before even looking at it, he slid his phone open and listened to Crudelis asked a question but before he could answer the man hung up. "I really dislike that man," Ash said to himself reevaluating his life. The man wore a black suit with a black tie and white dress suit, his suit had silver buttons and he wore a silver chained watch. Ash was putting back files he had been going through when he heard Julius come over the radio then his sister. "You guys seem talkative today, should I change channels to give you two some privacy?" he said with tons of sarcasm. "Shut up and get your ass back here with whatever you found," Alex replied frustrated, even on missions Ash still treated her like his baby sister. "I found some pictures and files that might be of interest, I've taken pictures of them and are now sending them to you," he sounded cool and assured even though Ash was standing in the middle of the business mans room at his home.
Alex received the pictures that Ash took, she looked them over quickly they were photos of the man and some woman that were not his wife that were doing things. Alex looked away and quickly and transfered the pictures on to a hand held device then gave it to Crudelis, "Man that was disgusting but not really anything to put his business in terrible so it's all up to you Julius."
"Odd." Julius murmured, hiding his mouth by pretending the scratch his nose. "I was banking on the more sensitive stuff being at home. This guy is infamous for his privacy." He crossed to the nearest empty cubicle, and set up something like police tape around the opening. The tape read - MAINTENANCE. He knelt down, as though examining the computer's hardware. What he was really doing was sketching lines on the floor plans he had on his phone. He then saved the image and sent it directly to Crash. "Floor plans updated. Hope you like the new 'escape routes' edition."
In addition, Julius pulled from his phone a hard drive the rough size and shape of a matchstick, and slotted it into the work terminal. This was a password cracker that Crash had given him. Hopefully, it would give him administrator level access without any fuss. It did. Knowing he didn't have much time until the owner of this terminal came back, Julius sat down and began searching immediately for anything, absolutely anything, that would ruin this business if it were revealed. The problem was, just about everything was encrypted. "It seems your little cracker doesn't work on encrypted files," Julius calmly informed Crash. "Hate to put you on the spot, but... "
"Yeah? I'm on it," Alex said tapping quickly at the keys of the laptop, she had gain access to the terminal thanks to Julius locating it, she found the encrypted files, copied them onto her laptop then began to run a program to decode the files. "This could take some time crack these so just leave these to me and..." Alex stopped talking when she noticed a worker was on her way towards the spy. "Julius, incoming."
"Mm, what's taking them so long.." Impatient, as always. Jun walks around in a pacing motion, awaiting for her comrades to exit. As she waited she held a device in her hands, seeming to flick with her thumb a switch. When she did so, nothing happened. It was not armed. Yet. Jun had an explosive desire to create loud destructive waves and send buildings crashing down around her. Though at times she may seem to look calm, she is like her profession.
As Jun waited, she wondered about contacting Crudelis or Alex and inquiring them about what is taking them so long. However, last time that this happened, Crash had blocked her. This made their objectives much more difficult to accomplish.
"All that for a little silence.." Jun sighs and turns, leaning back a bit as she waits, pulling out her cell phone and checking the calender. She had all of her "Friends" birthdays marked inside of it. Until they arrived, she had nothing better to do.
"Mmm?" Julius looked around. "So there is... Sit tight." Julius stood up just as the man reached the cubicle.
"Hey! What's going on?"
"Sorry sir, just maintenance. Is this your work station?"
The big man with glasses nodded his head. "Is there a problem?"
"Who knows?" Julius replied smoothly, sounding just like a techie. "The man upstairs wanted me to check this exact cubicle. You can go up and ask him why if you want."
"And lose my job?" the man snorted. "No thanks. I think I'll grab a coffee. Don't take to long, if you know what I mean." The man winked and shuffled off.
Julius watched the man go. "That was too easy. Keep an eye on him for me, can you?" he whispered, before turning back to the screen.
Crudelis didn't react as Alex helped out Julius. That work was none of his business. All that concerned him was that the information reached him and that it did so in time. He looked down at the business case in his right hand. It contained a contract that he had prepared for this occasion. If he could press the old man hard enough he wouldn't bother reading it. The Messenger smiled to himself, he loved his job too much. Nothing was more fun to him than manipulating people who were supposedly above him. It was one of the reasons why he was team leader most of the time. Prolocutor had figured that young man would work his way to the top somehow anyway. Sadly it was also that built a wall between Crudelis and his superior who was probably the only one he truly respected as a figure of authority. He was a bit too paranoid to let a manipulator such as Crudelis near him. It wasn't that he wanted control, it was simply the proving his superiority that enthralled him.
The Messenger stepped out of the elevator as soon as the doors opened a few inches. He casually hooked his arm into Jun's guiding her to the hover car before she could say anything, Crudelis had learned that it was best to take the initiative with this girl. If she got it then she was alot harder to handle and Crudelis hated unneeded complications. He held the door open for his two female companions then slipped into the car after them and adressed the driver: "Playing chauffeur today Ross? Well get us to our future business partner's residence as fast as you can please." He then turned back to Jun and Alex, who sitting opposite him. He sighed and waited for Jun to say something about their late-coming or his attitude.
Jun was agitated. That alone was easy enough to understand. She sat in the hover car and she crossed her arms in disapproval but she said nothing. This was not natural for her to remain so silent at a time like this. Everyone knew from Jun's past that on occasions such as this where Crudelis was late, her anger would get the best of her and he would receive the scolding of a life time.. But no. Jun thought to herself and instead of giving him the satisfaction of knowing what she would do, she simply sat quietly in the seat and glared at him. Instead of scolding, she would let him say something. But she did not worry... she would scold him twice as hard later.
Alex barely realized she was in the car when she looked up from her screen when she felt the tense vibes coming from the two. The hacker looked from Crudelis to Jun then back to Crudelis then back to her screen, "Awkward..." Alex didn't have time to play with tthe two children she had files to crack. "We might have to reschedule the meeting, these files are going to take some time to get into even with my program," she said over the walky so the others could hear her.
Ash was going through a vault that he found under the bed, he had made short work of it end found some more interesting things including a list of passwords, "hmm, I found something that may help speed things up a bit," Ash began to list of the passwords.
Alex typed as quickly as Ash was speaking and finally the one of the passwords worked and she had full access to the files, she looked through them and what she found made her smirk, "Think we found our dirt. Seems our friend is running a program to siphon a small percent of money from all his business' transactions and putting them into a private account. I think we have enough to ruin Mr. Business Man." Alex brought up the buildings blue prints that Julius had gave her then mapped an escape route for him, "You guys did excellent now time to get out."
"There's no reason to reschedule anything my dear Alex. I'm quite adept at keeping people talking." Crudelis looked out of the window and at the skyscrapers drifting past. How unappropriate the name now seemed for the buildings back in the 21st century. They had been nowhere close to the sky. Then again the sky was much higher now. Crudelis had stopped trying to find out about the original state of the world a long time ago. All he knew was that the first raising of the ceiling as one might call it, had happened around the 23rd century. Scientists pioneered what was natural nowadays. Using what would now be called primitive technology, they expanded earth's atmosphere by a few kilometres. Crudelis didn't know the details of such complicated procedures and had often talked to Prolocutor about increasing the number of technicians able to understand the machines. Just being able to use them wasn't enough. What if they were broken one day and there was no-one left who understood how to fix the damage done.
Crudelis was snapped out of his train of thought by Alex giving orders to Ash. He smiled, it looked like they were going to make quicker progress than he had though but what Alex said next drove the smile off his lips: "WHAT?" He looked at her disapprovingly. He linked his own earpiece into the conversation for a few seconds: "You're staying inside the complex! You'll be stuck until you find something else! And don't forget about that machine! Remember, we need something that'll blow up with the least risk for anyone, yet big enough to catch the businessman's attention." He looked over to Jun briefly to see if she had anything to add but she seemed to be keeping her own counsel. Crudelis turned to Alex again and spoke with a voice filled with disappointment: "Listen. Maybe you didn't know yet but since it's his business, he can do with the money whatever he wants to. If he wanted to, he could simply shut the firm down and live a nice and peaceful life without any money worries." Crudelis turned away abruptly, his eyes searching for anything but a human face. he had been wrong about the two. He had filed Jun under emotional but now she seemed to be brooding and inverted. Alex he had seen as someone that knew her way around the world but now she displayed such naivity.
"Calm down, Crudelis, I wasn't going anywhere." Julius breathed calmly into his earpiece. "I'm working on the bomb solution now." The spy looked over what he knew in his head. There was in fact a specific area of the complex that would most likely house the machine they needed. Problem was, it was also highly likely to be guarded by several different camera's, possibly even security personnel. "The machine is most likely the most heavily guarded item in this building. I know were it is, and I can clear a path for Jun no trouble, but first we need a distraction," he told the others. "Something that wont cause alarm, but will still call security away, if only briefly."
Jun smirks a moment. An idea came into her head and the thought of Crudelis' disappointment only made her happy with herself. She turned her body forward once more and sat up in a forward position. Her left arm was lifted and her right hand touched the device on her wrist. She seemed to drag her fingers past it as a holo-screen appeared in front of her, she dragged from it and created a multi-visual representation as she began to make some changes to the over-all blue prints of her target.
"I've got it" Jun speaks firmly. She wears a mic over her head so-- she prefers the wireless and more adaptable means of communication. As she speaks over it, her hands work fast. While she was tempted to be a hacker because of her skills, she enjoyed too much the sound of a fresh explosion when it levels a building. So Jun instead used her skills with technology to make herself that much more efficient under the wire. "There are multiple levels of security in the building, most of them allow for no access to anyone not with staff. Perhaps we could get someone in to pester them, it will call for security to get rid of them. The higher it is classified, the more security will be called." Jun smirks once and her eyes land on Crudelis. "OR~ I can always set off an explosion that would get EVERYONE's attention."
Though Jun's plan was mentioned, she still already prepares for both. Two sets of holo-data float before her, one of explosive composite which is pulled together. She strikes the side of it with her finger and it spins around through the air as she examines it. The other measure of data represents a distraction. A detonation that would be purely for show and not at all damaging.
"The beauty of technology.."
Alex was not steaming mad, first that jerked had the nerve to yell at her and acting all high and mighty just cause he was the bosses play thing then Jun had the nerve to mock her by bringing out her machine. There was a reason why she was using this laptop only and not the latest and greatest thing out on the market. Alex began to type away at on her relic suddenly the hover limo stopped, thankfully no one was behind them, then Jun's holo screen began to fizzle out. Alex put her laptop back into the case and crossed her arms and begun to pout, the girl was a great hacker but she was still a teen and didn't react well to yelling.
Crudelis looked at the two girls as the screen in front of Jun fizzed out. There wasn't any need to think twice to figure out whose fault that was, he looked over to Alex who seemed quite happy with herself. Raising an eyebrow he spoke softly, still audible above the grav engine now running passive: "Was I really assigned to two children?" Then his face cracked into a whole hearted smile and he shook his head: "We're probably the most immature team that ever operated. prolocutor should award us a medal for completing our missions despite that circumstance." He laughed and turned back to the window. Alex' little demosntration of her hacker skills had managed to lighten his mood. He breathed out to calm himself and get back his businesslike face. It wasn't exactly easy to take someone seriously who was grinning like a simpleton. When he turned back to the other two passengers he had regained his composure: "Alright. Let's get everything planned out while the two ladies have their eyes off their screens okay?" He looked at both of them, his gaze level, without any emotion behind it this time.
"When we get in you'll switch to the holoscreen of your earpiece alright Alex? Keeping your eyes on the laptop would appear rude. You, Jun, you'll split off from us and get into the machinery ASAP. Alex, please make sure one of our spies keeps the workers away from the machine and another keeps people away from Jun once they're done with their research. Once talks have commenced I'm going to come to the point slowly, to give you some time to take care of the bomb and anyone too close to it. Should our businessman prove unwilling to help, which I presume he will, Alex'll blow the machine up with a voice command. That voice command will be disguised as an interruption to his lousy counteroffers. Under the cover of the following panic, the boys and Jun'll escape. Me and Alex will wrap the whole thing up." Crudelis looked at the two girls as the car got moving again: "Questions?"
Jun didn't have much to say. She reacted with no emotion to Alex's crude display, as she then brought her screen up again. Jun gave off a vibe. She was angry because she was composing the explosive that would be used for the machine. Alex could have just 'crashed' their entire operation with that move, as it would have activated the tech she was working on. Though Jun did say one thing...
"After my part of the job is over, you can't expect it to stay silent" Jun mentions to Crudelis with a cocky tone. She was proud of her work. "It might not do much damage... but everyone is gonna know. Security will be ALL over us in no time. What happens then, when we don't have the time to evac..?"
Alex sighed then nodded at the self appointed team leader in submission. The hacker did what she was told and readied to switched to the holo-screen, she didn't like working with this piece of tech, it was way easier to trace then her laptop and also easier to hack as she demonstrated. Luck for Jun...and the whole operation did didn't really crash her systems but the look on explosion expert was priceless. Alex suppressed a smug laugh and put on some special glasses that would allow her and only her see the holo-screen in front of her. "nope I have no questions," she said to Crudelis, she was going to stop trying to do everything and work as a team.
Crudelis leaned back and thought about what Jun had said: "Of course that's the alternate way for people to react. Instead of panic we could be faced with an organized effort to minimize damage and catching the ones responsible..." He nodded at Jun and sat there, silent for a while before coming up with a solution: "Then make them concentrate efforts on minimizing damage. I don't know how you want to do it, but you'll have to make anything that can be used to restrict the spreading of flames so that the workers have to go further away from the incident to even get something to fight the aftermath of the explosion. Put leaks into extinguishers or something." Crudelis turned to Alex and gave her a warm smile that he meant with his whole heart. For the first time since they had been put together in a team, someone had decided to simply follow without any resistance. Maybe sometime everyone would focus on work like they should.
Not that Crudelis was under the illusion that he wasn't hard to work with. He knew that the others often had problems not hating him for his... Well for himself actually. Ugh, why hadn't he taken something else to perform instead of this whole messaging thing? The way of words was his way but it was killing him off. With every time he had to change his personality to fit the person he was speaking to he felt like someone had taken a dagger and rammed it into his chest afterwards. He was starting to lose himself, his personality was in freefall as it adopted any form it saw fitting but never fully taking the winged form of Crudelis himself as his sanity was slowly plunged into darkness with every role he took.
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