Superheroes (working title Raw Update)

Brian stole along the catwalk to the far room. While he moved, he constantly scanned for trip lasers, cameras and other security measures. Everything had a faint reddish ting due to his fifth generation thermal goggles. ‘Odd. Why isn’t this project protected better?’ He carefully scanned the door for extra security and booby traps. When he found none, he pulled an electronic pick from his belt and plugged it into the card reader. While it tried various means of breaking in, he contacted Daphne.
“Give me a sitrep, Daphne.”
“All’s quiet, Brian. There have been no deviations.”
He growled to himself. “Keep your eyes open. This has been entirely too easy for something like this prototype.”
“Maybe they don’t think anyone other than the R&D team knows about it?”
“Nevertheless, stay alert. Remember the motto.”
“‘There’s no such thing as too cautious.’”
“Glad you were paying attention that time.”
“I’m never going to live down Dubai, am I?”
“You did look good in that skimpy bedlah outfit with the sheer harem pants. I’m still trying to figure out where you hid the PF-9.” The pick chirped, indicating it had the password. “Remember-”
“I know: Keep my eyes peeled.”
“Good girl.”
He terminated the link in the middle of her growling at him. He disconnected the electronic lock pick and moved to the door. When it slid to the side, a blast of broiling air nearly knocked him to his knees. Brian backed away. The door slid shut, cutting off the wave of infernal heat. He reached up, and toggled his com again.
“Daphne, get on the line to Arachne. The path to the suit is filled with microwave emitters.”
“Now we know why there were no guards. Calling her now.” There was a click on the line.
“This had better be important,” a synthesized voice said.
“Arachne, it’s Daphne. I have a job for you.”
A sigh. “Make it quick.”
“Brian needs access to something.”
“Shit. Hold on.” Another click. Two minutes went by. Brian relocked the door, and slipped back into the ventilation shaft. Then, “Alright. What is it?”
“Arachne, this Brian. I’m at Ft Meade, in the R&D department. Section 23, sublevel 6, sector 12.”
“You’re going after the MX-3, aren’t you?”
“How the hell do you know about it?”
“Um, hello? It’s tech. I’m a hacker. Make the connection yet?”
“Got it. I need in. The path to it is-”
“Blocked by microwave emitters, and electrified floor, and thermal imager connected to automated Ma Deuce turrets. If you’re not authorized to be in there, you’re gonna die quick, fast, and in a hurry. Messily, too, I might add.”
“Fuck. I knew it was too easy.”
“Been listening to your own press too close, eh?”
“Bite me.”
“You might like it.”
“Mmm, yeah.”
“Why did you go in blind, Brian? It’s not like you. The real reason.”
“I got cocky. This was supposed to be a ree-cee, but when I got my feet on the ground, and saw how light security was-”
“You couldn’t resist.”
“Would you stop doing that, Arachne? It’s a little frustrating when you interrupt me like that.” He slid back down the shaft, reactivating the sensors as he safely passed them.
“Stop being so predictable, love.” She was getting annoyed. He could hear her Nishiharan accent coming out. “And if you comment about my accent, I’ll kick your ass.”
He slowly, quietly climbed back down the vent leading to the circulating fans. “I wouldn’t do that, Arachne. You know me better than that.”
“The sound of the fan’s blades made it so I didn’t catch all of your whisper, Bakana na.”
“You weren’t pay attention, then.”
“Omae aho ya de!”
Brian pulled the com out of his ear with a grimace. Her yell was piercing. He waited until the sound dropped before returning the communicator to its place in his ear. “You talk about me being predictable, yet your go to insult is, ‘You are an idiot.’ It’s almost your catchphrase.”
“It seems to be your life story, Ketsunoana.”
“Ah. An upgrade. Now I’m an asshole, Daphne. Can you believe that?” He looked through the grate and into an empty bathroom, then slid out, into a stall.
“Yes, I can.”
Arachne laughed. “Burn!”
He smiled helplessly and turned off the com again.

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