NOTE: During NaNoWriMo, you are not allowed to edit. So I apologize for any typos, inconsistency errors, etc. ahead of time 🙂
Gabe looked up as the large glass door to his office slid open and his manager Luther stepped in, a shiny black briefcase tucked under his arm.
“Gabriel,” he said, not unkindly. “How’s it coming?”
Gabe rubbed his eyes and looked at the computer in front of him. It was of his own design; sleek and black. The screen was less than half an inch thick, able to fold out into three different sides of the screen. It was one of his favorite inventions – not necessarily stunning technology-wise, but it made things very convenient. “It’s coming. That’s about all I can say.”
“The deadline is next week, Gabriel.”
“I know! It’s just…” Gabe leaned back in his chair and stretched his back. He had designed his chair to be both aesthetically pleasing and ergonomically practical, but after nine hours of sitting, he felt it for what it truly was.
“Where did I put those bloody diagrams?” He rifled through the papers scattered across the reflective surface of the desk.
Luther raised an eyebrow. “Bloody?” he asked.
“Ahh…” Gabe waved a hand. “Simon rubs off on me. I don’t like regular swear words. They sound too callous.”
“I see. So you use British-isms instead.”
“That’s what I get for having a Brit as a best friend,” Gabe agreed. “Oh, here they are.” He pulled the folded piece of paper from the top of the pile and rubbed his eyes again. “I think I’m getting Alzheimer’s.”
Luther’s face twitched. “Maybe you should see a doctor,” he suggested.
“I called him last night. He says it’s impossible, with my diet and exercise habits. He thinks it’s work-related stress.”
“Well, then maybe you should see a therapist,” was the next idea.
“You need a vacation.”
“See previous statement.”
Luther pinched the bridge of his nose and took a deep breath. “We can’t have the boy-wonder CEO of SingTech, Incorporated getting bedridden, you know that. We supply fifty-six percent of the world’s technology. You passed up Microsoft, Gabriel. You’re valuable. You need to relax, get away for a while. I can handle the company while you’re gone. Everyone would understand.”
Gabriel sat and listened, his hands folded. He stared at his computer screens in deep thought. “I don’t know… I’ll think about it.”
“Take my advice,” said Luther as he placed the briefcase on the desk and walked back to the door. “If you don’t trust me, ask your police friend. He just walked out of the elevator.”
Luther met Simon halfway through the tenth-floor lobby. “Do me a favor,” he said, “and get that friend of yours in there to take a vacation. He needs to recharge his batteries before his charger short-circuits.”
“Sure,” said Simon, “I’ll talk to him.”
“I’m sure we’d all appreciate it.” Luther stepped into the elevator, and Simon knocked on the glass door.
Gabe looked up and pushed the button on the underside of the desk to let his friend in. Since he was not a SingTech employee, Simon did not have the access codes. Still, Gabriel was considering handing them over anyway. It might come in useful, and anyway, Simon deserved them.
“Luther thinks you need a furlough,” said Simon, sitting on the edge of the large desk.
“I should probably tell him I already have a mother.”
“Don’t think that would do much good,” Simon answered. “He’d say managers one-upped mothers and you’d be back to square one. What did you call me down here for?”
“Oh! Right.” Gabe pushed the chair back and walked over to a large, black safe situated behind an original Vermeer on the wall behind him. Simon watched as he turned the dial and opened the door, muttering. “Here it is.” He turned, and Simon saw something small nestled in his palm.
“It looks like an old-fashioned iPod with a screen,” said Simon.
Gabe grinned. “It’s supposed to. But look”- he pressed the ‘play’ button –“and do you have your cell phone on you?”
“Yeah, of course.”
“Perfect. What’s your number?”
Simon recited the digits and watched as Gabe tapped them in, using the number pad that had materialized on the screen. An image of the globe appeared and began zooming in; NorthAmerica, theUnited States,New York. It paused there, and Simon glanced at Gabe.
“Keep watching,” said Gabe, without looking up, “it still has glitches. Just give it a minute.”
As if on cue, the satellite image zoomed in on the SingTech building. Then the tenth floor. It paused once more, and then they were in the conference room. The tiny screen showed Gabe and Simon standing at the other end of the conference room –
“How – satellites don’t enter buildings,” said Simon, staring at the piece of technology in his friend’s palm.
“Cameras, my friend.” Gabe pointed toward the security camera at the end of the room. “This thing is smart. If it can’t find you through satellite, it hijacks any and all video-camera feeds, right down to the webcam on your computer. As long as you’ve got a cell phone and I know your number, this thing can find you.” He looked up. “Well? What do you think?”
Simon was still staring in amazement. “I’m gobsmacked, honestly!” He picked up the gadget and looked closely at it. “What do you call it?”
“I don’t know. Right now it’s really just an advanced GPS, but you know marketing. They’ll come up with some fancy name full of ‘X’s and zeroes. Right now I just call it the Global Eye.”
“Global eye?” Simon raised an eyebrow. “Sounds like something out of a horror movie.”
“Yeah, I’m working on it.” Gabe smiled. “So? What do you think?”
Simon watched the screen and pushed the ‘stop’ button. It faded to black. “I think it’s dangerous,” he said, handing it back. “There’s smart technology, and there’s too smart. The government is going to get their hands on this. Spying through your mobile’s bad enough.”
“Right. Sorry. Sometimes I forget you’re British. Or I would, if it weren’t for the rather noticeable accent.”
Simon smiled and tapped the top of the desk with two fingers. “You want me to be honest, I’m being honest. It’s brilliant. You could make a lot of money off of that thing; tons of it. Keep it to yourself. Don’t let it get mass-produced.”
Gabe looked at the small ‘Global Eye’ in his hand and sighed. “Yeah. It’s just… I’ve put so much work into it, you know – I hate to see it not get recognized.”
Simon shrugged. “Nobody says you have to listen to me,” he pointed out.
“Yeah, I wouldn’t, except you usually know what you’re talking about.”
Simon laughed. “Thanks.” He picked up Gabe’s phone and began to run through it.
“What are you doing?” Gabe asked.
“Checking your calendar.”
“My calendar? Why?”
“To make sure you haven’t forgotten anything important. Oh, look, you have a dental appointment at four thirty.”
“I do?” Gabriel looked at his watch. “Great. Twelve minutes. I could take the Cycle, but it attracts attention.”
“Yeah, most vehicles like that would. Don’t worry.” Simon handed the other young man his phone and picked up a pen and a piece of paper. “I’m writing down back-road directions. They should get you there without too much traffic congestion.”
“Any time. Just don’t forget them.” He tucked them into the front pocket of Gabe’s sport coat and patted it.
“Please don’t mention the word ‘forget.’” Gabe picked up the suitcase Luther had left on the desk. “I get memory loss just hearing it.”
“Maybe you should take a vacation. Luther sees you more often than I do. I’d think about it, anyway.”
“Okay,” said Gabriel after a brief moment. He punched the code in and the door came open. “I’ll think about it.”
“I’ve got him.” Luther spoke into his phone with a low voice.
“Good. I’ll activate him tomorrow night. That should give us enough time.” Seth sounded pleased, but he never stayed that way for long. Too high-maintenance. “I need more Dementazine. When can you deliver?”
Dementazine. The name of the drug just proved that Nicholson was insane. “Tonight. Pickup at the usual place. Singer’s starting to fade, I think we’ll have to pull him after this next job.”
“I’ve anticipated this. Several more Angels have been activated and are awaiting my orders. Lucifer is waiting to de-activate the Arch Angel.”
“Good.” As he always did when speaking to Seth about the Angels, he inexplicably felt the urge to clear his throat and tug his collar. The man was demented. Just like the name he gave his drug.
“You’re not getting cold feet, are you?”
The voice was so cold that it sent a chill up Luther’s spine. Calculating and exacting. He knew.
“No.” Luther gave in to the urge and cleared his throat.
“Really? Every time we speak I get the distinct impression that you have inhibitions about our little game. Don’t you like playing?”
Not anymore. “Seth, I”-
“-don’t forget about the money. Collapsed countries are a goldmine.”
“You know I’m in.”
“Just keep me assured. Gabriel goes tomorrow.”
The phone went dead.