Triple Helix: Part Thirteen

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
Exertion

He stares straight up at the triangular lights, unable to blink. He can feel—the hard back of the gurney, the sting of the leather straps as they cut into his flesh—but he can’t move. He’s not sure the straps are necessary: whatever they gave him has paralyzed him completely. He can’t even move his head.

“Jack.” His voice is hoarse. He barely recognizes it as his own.

“Save your strength, Thomas.” Jack sounds tired. Defeated.

“What the hell is your problem?” He tries to get his voice to sound more like his own—the way he remembers it—but he can’t clear his throat. “They’re not cutting you.”

Jack doesn’t answer.

“Jack, so help me, if you don’t say something I’ll—”

“You’re a good guy, Thomas. I never thought I’d say that to a cop, but you are. And you’re tough. Honestly, I thought you’d be dead a week ago… and so did they. That’s the problem. They’re not interested in whatever their original experiment was. Now they’re just trying to see how far they can push you before you die.”

Triple Helix: Part Twelve

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
Circumspection

“Good news and bad news,” Street Ronin says.

“Yeah?” Jenny peers over his shoulder, staring down at the screen on his ruggedized laptop. She’s a little relieved he decided to do the work himself, because she finds using it frustrating. It doesn’t come close to the power of her own rig.

On the other hand, my rig won’t resist energy weapon fire…

“Well it looks like their delete protocol started with the most important files first, so that’s bad. But something interrupted the process, so I’m going through copying all the half-empty and corrupted directories first.”

“So at least we know where to look,” Jenny says.

Street Ronin nods. “That’s the good news. The bad news is, we’re copying half-empty directories and corrupted files.”

Triple Helix: Part Eleven

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
Going The Distance

Whatever the thing is, it isn’t obviously mechanical. While it appears to be made of metal, it has no seams anywhere—no joints to allow the arms and legs to move. But it does move, and it moves with unexpected fluidity and speed: it leaps away from the group, landing in front of the ruins of Warehouse Six, and sinking low into a battle-ready crouch.

It moves like a living thing, CB thinks. The arms and legs don’t just move back and forth, they rotate like actual limbs, and even the torso bends and sways and twists for extra balance.

“I thought you said you blocked their teleporter,” Jack says.

“I did,” Street Ronin says. “It is. I don’t understand what’s going on.”

“It’s not teleportation,” Jenny says. CB wonders how she got that bruise. “At least not exactly. The sound and color were different. This is magic, isn’t it? CB?”

CB stares at the big purple rune on the thing’s chest.

Fuck.

“Yeah… it’s magic.”

Triple Helix: Part Ten

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
Riding the Waves

Jack Barrow and Vigilante stand in front of Warehouse Two’s heavy outer door, arms crossed, wearing almost exactly the same frown.

They completely ignore the sound of Red Shift destroying Warehouse Six. They react only when it finally goes down and dirt, stone and dust roll over them in an immense cloud—even then, all Vigilante does is wipe a layer of grime off his visor, while Jack shakes some of the dirt out of his hair.

They ignore CB’s warning of the soldiers on the roof, listening to the sound of energy weapons discharging, as they continue staring at that door.

“It’s not a regular door,” Vigilante finally says.

“Really isn’t,” Jack agrees.

Triple Helix: Part Nine

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
Escalation Games

Phase One.

There are eleven buildings in the warehouse complex—four to the south, four to the north, one east, one west, and one much larger building at the center. To simplify communication, they refer to the buildings by number. The southeast warehouse is one, and moving west is two, three, and four. Four is the first building they came to when they emerged from the storm—the one CB is standing on. The next row, east to west, is five, six, and seven. Six is the large building in the center of the complex, and that’s the building all the trucks had stopped in front of the day before. Finally the north side, from east to west: eight, nine, ten, eleven.

Street Ronin and Zero crouch against the west wall of Eleven. Zero is typing furiously on a small, ruggedized laptop connected to a thin cable that travels down the length of the warehouse wall and into the ground.

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