Friday, August 29, 2014

The Reluctant Doomsayer-09

The game changed for the worse when I turned on the evening news to find that my lawyer had been gunned down in his office. There was nothing at all plausible about the scenario; his private security cameras captured the sudden assault on his office building by masked hitmen wielding fully-automatic rifles, killing the security detail on the way and then himself as they burst into his office. Only his secretary, who wasn't there at the time, remained; she found them upon returning with dinner. The office had been ransacked, and the hard drives taken from his computers, so they had a secondary objective of data retrieval.

In the days to follow, I confirmed that the targeted data involved all of my holdings kept in his care. That meant that I had to bug out; I would clearly be hit again. I let the word out to my audience across all of my platforms, and updated copies of my archives flooded the Internet as well as a few dead drops I'd cultivated. Expendables got moved into their bugout positions, and transferables got moved into position. My preparations in this event worked more or less as expected; the evening after everything was in place, I saw them coming.

This time it was a series of vans, in total disgorging 40 men. This was no team, or even a squad, but a full platoon of hired professional killers and I was still no match for such a threat. Fortunately, the building I inhabited I now had kitted out to defend in place. I cut all direct ties to the ground, and sent out a call for aid, with a single push of a pre-programmed panic button application. It would slow them down long enough to let me escape.

The false silhouettes in the lower floors drew out their sharpshooters, cut elevators and stairways forced them to hustle the hard way to get to the top floor, and the right kind of 911 robocall got the police to send out the SWAT team to an Active Shooter conducting a Home Invasion as fast as they could manage. As they began hitting my tripwires, slowing them further, the police arrived and the expected firefight broke out between the assassins and the police.

I got to the top floor, got my chute on, and made the jump as I previously planned. One of them spotted me and fired, and I got hit; I took a shot that--fortunately--went through and through. It entered from behind, passed just under my lungs, and out the side without damaging anything vital. It still hurt and it burned, but I'd be okay. I got to the stashed car, used the trauma kit in the car to stabilize myself, and slipped away in the chaos. I took none of the routes that I wrote down or otherwise mentioned to anyone; I used one I kept entirely in my head. If I was to be followed I would know right away; similarly, I lied about the bugout place's actual location, so I would know if somehow I'd been mind-fucked.

I switched cars thrice on the way. I left in a used runabout city car, swapped to a minivan to do most of the travelling, and then swapped to a pickup with four-wheel drive and no connectivity for the last leg. I drove into a camoflaged garage, closed up, and unloaded there before I went into my bugout chamber, cleared it, and secured it. I expected only one visitor, and he hadn't appeared yet.

Now locked down and secured in my holdout location, I checked on the world outside. The assassins lost men fighting the police, leading to them being tied to an unbelievable consortium of known fringe groups: white supremacists, Christian terrorists, outlaw bikers, Muslim terrorists, anti-government terrorists, drug cartel hitmen, and former Mobsters. Oh, and the government covert agents amongst them. The media flipped their collective and proverbial tables over this, when they weren't wondering how a blogger managed to set up such a defensive situation. As for those following my media presence, as soon as I put forth proof that I was indeed safe and secure in an undisclosed location, I then put forth a full and detailed accounting for my end of things; this got picked up by the media, which--mercifully--gave them the excuse needed to stop giving any attention to me and focus instead on the killers.

My wound began healing, but self-treatment remained slow, and it was during one of these management moments that my expected visitor showed up.

"Holed up, literally, aren't we?"

"Took you long enough, Mike." I said as I changed bandages.

"You didn't make it easy."

"The current term is 'operational security', and you didn't need to know. He did explain that concept to you, right?"

Michael snickered. "Clever, monkey."

I finished cleaning the wound. "You weren't around to play superhero. I figured I had to see to myself."

"So, you're far from cities and other people now. What's the plan?"

"Exclusively online for the rest of the mission." I said, "I can't explain how or why, but I've got the feeling that what's coming is going to hit really soon, so it's time to shift the focus from getting the word out to getting the audience to follow my example. As for what's after that, I'm operating on the assumption that I will be part of the remnant working to rebuild anew from the ashes of the scourged world before."

"Assuming that you don't die." Michael said.

"I won't know the day or the hour." I said, putting on a clean shirt, "I can't go on worrying about what's outside of my control. All I can do, barring external intervention, is go about my life pursing my goals as best I can."

"Well, I have a meeting with Him shortly. I'll see what I can do. You're a funny monkey. I'd like to keep you around a while longer."

"Gee, thanks, I guess." I said, and he was gone.

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