3 months ago

TIME-CHASE by Bobby Asghar : Chapter 1

Click cover to read the first chapter of TIME-CHASE - - -


BOBBY ASGHAR scars he’d suffered in gaining them. Face pale and stretched with the absolute certainty of it, he pictured his wife and son before crashing back against the console, riddled by the heat-seeker’s muted discharge. He was dead before his scorched and bloodied face slapped against the white tiled floor. A hooded figure pulled in through the open doorway, her gun raised at the fallen enforcer. Clad in white from head to toe, a grilled mask over her mouth and nose, she scanned the room through the smoky haze. Her eyes—her only visible feature—were piecing sapphires set in snow on a misty morning. They were frosty with it, and insensate to the sight of the still smoking corpse. The enforcer neutralised, she slapped her gun to her thigh grip and marched towards the console, retrieving the heat-seeker on the way. She slipped it into the pouch strapped to her chest as the door slid shut behind her. Nonchalantly kicking the dead enforcer’s legs aside, she pulled up over the console. She set the chameleon she’d used to loop the visual feeds down on top of it, and the surveillance disrupter transmuted from the white of her glove to the slate grey of the workstation. She tapped at the console screen. “Blue, status,” a man said through the plug at her ear, his designation the brown of his own eyes. “In position,” she said, her voice distorting to a mono tone rumble as it morphed through her mask. She accessed the local surveillance network, pressed a data card onto the input scanner and said, “Uploading now.” She shook the stiffness from her legs while she waited. The Fuern complex was a multi-story tower both above and below the ground, and the climb down 2

TIME-CHASE the ventilation shaft to the ninth underground level was a cakewalk compared to the cramped eight hours she’d spent holed up inside it with her two companions. Policed by thermal sensors—which were easily duped—the shaft was their only way in, bringing them to within a stone’s throw of the SCR. Then they’d waited for the active personnel count to drop to a skeleton crew before activating the chameleon and dropping into the hall. The chameleon’s range was short and indiscriminate, but good enough to loop the feeds in and outside the surveillance control room, as was its purpose: once inside the SCR she could manipulate the surveillance network with the finesse of a surgeon She pulled up the complex’s security schematics. Spreading her fingers at the screen, she zoomed in on her location. Then she tapped for the vis-scan feed of the next passage along. “On line,” she said. “Check,” brown eyes said, beads of sweat dripping down past tense eyes the colour of teak, speckled and rimmed in black. His white tactical attire matched the woman’s own, down to the grilled mask over his mouth and nose. Gun in one gloved hand and a black ball in the other, he crouched down to squat by the base of the wall at the end of the passageway. He pressed the button on the side of the ball and it washed from black to white. “On your mark,” brown eyes said. “Go,” the woman said. Brown eyes rolled the ball slowly around the corner into the next passageway. Small and cloaked by colour, the ball was barely visible on the surveillance screen, and the woman 3

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