Continuing with the Cast of Shadows series, the next character I wrote a short back story for was a character named Delta. The character was developed by a brand new gamer, who wanted a character strongly derived from the Jason Bourne books. The character was a half Maori natural athlete and competent soldier, who grew up within the walls of Aztechnology. When his father was murdered and his mother accused of being the prime suspect, he sought out his own answers, only to find the company who shielded him his entire life was now obstructing him at every turn. Trusting his fate to his father’s Maori tribesman, they separated him from Aztech, trained him and offered him a new future in Seattle under the guidance of a Maori mentor named Aberdeen. He uses the shadows as a means to dig up the information Aztech seemed content to bury.
The streets of Seattle were bustling with a never ending flow of people as everyone single-mindedly milled about to reach their destination. In a form of social camouflage, Delta kept his head down, ballcap obscuring his eyes and head down. He clutched a parcel under his arm and wore a courier’s uniform, fading into the noise of the street.
He turned into a building off of the crowded sidewalk, where Horizon had an advertising company set up for their specific brand of consumer brainwashing. Tipping back his hat and donning his belt smile, he strode up to the receptionist desk.
“G’day miss,” he said. People always mistook his New Zealander accent as Australian, so might as well play up the role. “I have a package for a Mr. Fenten. Do I need his signature for this, or is it something you can help me with?”
The woman looked up in the direct of the accent and saw an attractive Elven man smiling back. “Oh! I-I’m sure I can help you, sir. Just sign here?”
“If you’d be so kind,” Delta said. He smiled broadly and made eye contact with the receptionist, but the moment her eyes shifted to the data pad, he scanned the area. His image link highlighted notable security features in the area, showing him panic buttons and cameras. The receptionist handed him back the pad and smiled. “There you go.”
“Great! Here’s the package…” Delta said, setting a box on the counter, a warm delicious smell wafting from the box.
“What is it? It smells fantastic!”
“Picked it up from the bakery on 5th… thinking it’s a pie. It sure was a hard delivery to make when the truck smelled so good,” Delta said with a smirk. “Hope you don’t mind me asking, but is there a restroom here? Been a busy morning.”
“Oh! Sure, just down the hall on the left.”
“Perfect, thanks!” Delta headed down the mentioned hallway. He had studied the floorplan of this place before coming and his true destination was directly across the hall from the washroom. As he saw the restrooms on the left, the maintenance room was on the right. Scanning for cameras, he confirmed he was in a blind spot. Pulling his autopicker from his uniform, he jammed it into the lock of the maintenance room and cranked the door open, slipping inside.
Looking around the closet, he found several cleaning compounds all marked as flammable. He smirked as he rearranged the bottles to improve coverage and placed several small explosive charges near the flammable bottles. The damage wouldn’t push beyond the closet, but it would certainly get people’s attention.
With his distraction detonation rigged up, he slipped back out of the closet and walked back to the reception desk. “Thanks, miss. I’ll see you later.”
“Sure… oh and , uh… here,” she said, handing a slip of paper.
“My number. In case you might like to grab a coffee sometime?”
Delta smiled again. “Sounds great. Call you later.”
Slipping the commcode into his pocket (hey, she was cute and if things went according to plan she would never know what he was about to do), he left the Horizon building and walked up the road a couple blocks to a local mall.
Wading his way through the crowd, he made his way toward one of the restrooms. Removing the ball cap from his head, he balled it up and deposited it in a garbage can before slipping into a men’s room. He stepped into a stall and began stripping out of his courier’s uniform, turning it inside out so that the logos were on the inside and the outside was a plain navy blue. Stepping out of the stall, he slouched slightly, letting his eyes droop, portraying a more fatigued persona. Making his way to the local DIY shop, he bought himself a small toolkit and an assortment of cheap tools.
He checked himself out in the mirror and felt his makeshift disguise would hold for as long as was needed. Navigating the horde in the mall once more, he stepped back out onto the busy street and walked back the way he came. He neared the Horizon building he had been in not long ago and turned into the housing complex across the street from it.
The man watching over the security counter looked up from his paper to see who had entered. “Can I help you?”
“Yeah, the management asked me to do some maintenance on the air conditioning unit before the weather gets too warm. Tune it up before it cuts out…”
The guard gave him an appraising look. “The management, huh?”
“You know? The Trinity Group? The guys who own the building?”
When the technician dropped the name of the company, the guard seemed to relax. “All right. The roof access is between 803 and 804.”
“Thanks,” Delta said in a bored monotone as the guard opened the door from a button under the desk. Once he was through the security door, Delta brought up his commlink, found Aberdeen’s contact information and clicked the connect icon.
“Tena koe, Delta,” Aberdeen said in the traditional Maori greeting. “What can I help you with?”
“Everything’s set. My gear in place?” he asked, stepping into an elevator, heading for the 8th floor.
“Of course it is, my friend. Wouldn’t leave you high and dry.”
“Excellent. Tell Mr. Johnson that I will be in contact this evening and he’ll need to uphold his end of the bargain.”
“I will pass it on. Good hunting, Delta.”
“Hei kona, Aberdeen.”
The door chimed and opened on the eighth floor and Delta made his way to the door between apartments 803 and 804. He looked up at the camera above the door and nodded. The door clicked as the security guard opened the door to the roof and the elf climbed the ladder to the roof slowly while carrying his tool kit.
Throwing back the hatch, he stepped out in to the sun and strode over to a ventilation duct. Opening his toolkit, Delta pulled out a screwdriver and began prying off the grate, while dialing a number on his commlink, disabling video on the call.
“Horizon Advertising, how may I direct your call?” the receptionist that had given him her number cheerfully chimed.
Applying a voice filter, Delta didn’t look away from his task at hand. “The Megacorporate influence on society is a cancer. It must be purged from our city.”
The receptionist sighed. “Sir, I don’t know what…”
“There are bombs in your building and if you don’t listen to our demands, everyone in that building will die.”
The vent popped away from its housing, revealing a burlap bag inside. Pulling the bag out, Delta opened it up to find his grapple gun with rope tightly secured and his Cavalier Arms Crockett, prepped and ready. Hoisting his sniper rifle, he couldn’t stifle the smile that crossed his lips as he felt its familiar weight.
“Sir, we receive bomb threats all the time. Yours are just as hollow as all the rest.”
“Is that so?” he said. Delta reached over to his commlink, pressed the disconnect button. Pushing the icons for the phone aside, he brought up his personal network, where a flashing icon reading “Detonate” was glowing. He sent the mental command to extend the bipod on his rifle as his finger pressed the detonate button.
A blast of stone and smoke erupted from the side of the Horizon building as he lay down prone at the building’s edge and took up position over the exit. Might have been a bigger explosion than was required, but he had to ensure people left the building.
As the Horizon building began to exit at a trickle, the corporate security team appeared, escorting people from the building and getting their people out. Finally, the mark appeared.
Morgan Forrester: advertising mogul on the rise and part time sleazeball. Slept with Mr. Johnson’s under age daughter. Mr. Johnson couldn’t afford to take on Horizon’s lawyers, but he could certainly afford making sure than would never touch an innocent girl again.
Turning on his smartlink, the targeting computer calculated the ballistic arc, accounting for the increased windspeeds between the buildings and the fluid nature of the milling crowd, Delta centered the crosshairs on the man’s forehead. He waited patiently and as the security team entered the building to search for the potential other threats or employees still inside, Delta squeezed the trigger.
He pulled back quickly, retracting the bipod. The screams from street level told him that the shot had been successful. Wrapping up the rifle, he grabbed his equipment, tossing the toolkit into the ductwork and pressing the grate back over the hole. Hefting his grapple gun, he fired it against the HVAC system and began scaling down the side of the building.
He lowered himself quickly, knowing that Horizon wouldn’t take long to establish where the shot came from. As soon as his feet touched down on the pavement, he tapped his catalyst stick to the rope, causing the rope to disappear to dust in seconds.
Walking down the alley, away from the chaos he created, Delta sent a message to Aberdeen.
“Task complete. Will require security footage to disappear. Tell Mr. Johnson to watch the news and contact me with payment.”