The Warning

I open an Interweb personal locator directory and look for a way to contact Tess. She’s never given me any personal information beyond that name, so this isn’t going to be easy. I’m lost in a sea of meaningless names, so I decide to give up on that tactic, instead opening the CyberCorp page and searching for their employee directory. She’s never told me she worked there, but how else would she know the things she does? She has to have access to some inside information somehow, maybe this will – beep beep beep. That’s odd. Someone is trying to contact me.

I step out of the CyberCorp site and open the voice uplink that controls incoming calls. “Jack Fenix Investigations,” I say.

“You’re in danger, Jack,” says the voice on the line. It’s female, subdued. Almost hushed, but it sounds familiar.

“Tess?” I reply. “What’s going on?”

“There are dangerous people looking for you tonight Jack, you need to lie low until tomorrow at the very least.”

It’s almost too much of a coincidence, her calling right now, right when I was about to call her. But what other choice do I have at this point? “Tess, I needed to contact you anyway, I’ve recently come into some information that could blow the lid off of this whole cybercorp scheme. I’ve unlocked a series of perfectly rendered Metascape maps detailing the paths and , locations of everything in the city. They’ll take me straight to CyberCorp, to the answers I need. But I can’t do it alone. I’m going to need your help.”

There’s a silence. Then she says, “Jack, that’s quite impressive. I’ll come meet you, where is your exact location right now?”

I look around. “Well, I’m in an alley, right off of . . . Falcon Ave, looks like. If I’m in danger, you better get here fast. I don’t like being a goddamn sitting duck.”

“Done.” The line goes dead. This whole thing isn’t sitting well with me at all. Something smells here, and it sure as hell isn’t me. I lean back against the alley wall and find myself longing for a cigarette. Been a while since I had a smoke. One of my few positive personal accomplishments, quitting smoking. Too bad it’s been downhill ever since that.

I feel something shift in the Metascape. This implant is odd like that, sometimes little things will seep through into my mind without even being jacked in. Wonder what happened this time. I jack in to the Metascape, and the first thing I notice is that I can’t access the maps anymore. What the hell just happened? Did they shut down the map capability? Did my implant malfunction? Something’s really goddamn suspicious around here, and I’m not liking it one bit. I may have just set myself up for a trap. Shit.

      Get out of this location, fast

      Take my chances and wait for Tess to arrive.

I couldn't take it anymore. I called it off.