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Old 11-19-2007, 12:39 AM
ZoneGhost ZoneGhost is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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Default [AH] Week 4 - An evening in the life

Closing shop

The wonder of the modern age is, without a doubt, the existence of the internet. It allows for almost instantaneous transactions that cross continents, it allows for a single human being to spread his message across the globe; whatever that message might be. Today the message was a video, uploaded onto that most popular of sites: YouTube, from a man in a strange parka, the hood down low covering his face. He claimed that he could see spirits and that he could talk to ghosts. To most people this would be dismissed as meaningless drivel, the ramblings of a man who was clearly deranged. Perhaps it was.

The video had clearly been filmed using a portable digital handheld camera, the jerky movements and poor sound quality were the evidence for this. In it the man, who called himself ‘Mister Ex’ spoke at length about a war, or so he claimed, in the world of spirits. He claimed that demons had come from nowhere, that they roamed the streets with the general populace unaware of their very existence; he also claimed that he had special powers, spiritual ones, that he was not alone, that there were others like him that were fighting a secret war against these demons. The video had several hundred thousand hits, no doubt mostly from bored teenagers trying to find a way not to do any real work. The most recent hit, however, was not from a teenager, but from a man in a crisp suit, his shiny laptop open on a clean desk before him. No academic texts were in evidence, there was no guilty expression upon his fair face and there was no aura of shame about his demeanour. He was working and he loved his job.

The video came to a conclusion, the little ball indicating the place the viewer was in the recording was about to hit the end and cause the recording to be replaced by myriad inane videos that claimed to be on a related subject. There was silence in the brightly lit room, an aura of anger seemed to pervade the office. Upon the face of the far from generic office worker several frowns could be seen along with the accompanying darkness of bearing. His jaw was set, his eyes were like two small gems gleaming in the light and his posture was rigid. Upon the table, on a small stand, there rested his blade, the black sheath glinting in the light. It was a very special blade, it could cut through spirits where other, normal, blades could not. This property was quite useful because it would kill humans without a mark, or indeed any evidence of foul play. It seemed he had need of it today.

They say that the internet allows for a certain degree of anonymity. They tend to spew total bollocks. He knew, better than most, how to find something from seemingly nothing. It was a matter of finding who had uploaded the video and then working from there, nothing too difficult. Of course the matter was rendered much easier because he knew just who to look for. He had looked under that hood, ignoring the pixilation, and had realised just who he was facing. There was always one, always someone who thought they could defect and protect themselves with their powers, the question then was how long they could last before the initiative caught up with them. If anything by defecting, by thinking they could leave their responsibilities behind, they were helping the Initiative. It was always a good training exercise for some new recruit in his department.

With a smile on his face he allocated the mission away to one of his subordinates, the order was simple: kill the leak. It wasn’t that someone might believe the man, there were so many lunatics out there this one was nothing new, but nevertheless the Initiative had to maintain a certain degree of discipline. It would just be embarrassing if people started up and leaving every now and then, the more people left the more people died, the less people left. It was a vicious cycle, but thankfully one with an exceptionally long rotation period. With a sigh the man concluded the day’s business and prepared to leave. It would be lonely around without Emily, who had just gone home to Britain.

Flicking the button that would shut down his computer the agent sighed and considered his options for the evening. He was pondering whether he should join a local chess club, he certainly enjoyed playing the game, but it had been a while since he’d played. There was always the possibility of purchasing one of the many machines that would play the game with you, but that wasn’t as exciting as playing another person face to face. There was no rush as you placed a risky move, no reading of your opponent. They say that in poker you don’t play your cards, you play those of the person opposite you; in chess you don’t just play your game, you have to play theirs. The winner is simply the game that ended up dominant. Alternatively there was always the possibility of staying in a watching a film, maybe one of the old Ealing comedies which he so loved. Kind hearts and coronets in particular was an outstanding film that never ceased to make him marvel, the sheer joy it produced in him whenever he put it one invariably lifted his spirits.

Shutting the study door behind him and turning the key he realised that he hadn’t worked out what was for dinner yet. Most likely he would, as ever, just go to the noodle bar near where he lived and spend his money there. Chatting to the regulars was always informative, if a bit slow, Japanese was an alien language to him, even after all these years.

Striding down the hallway, stopping only to make sure that people were working, the agent was happy to be alive. After all, if he wasn’t around, who would deal with the large demons that seemed to continually crop up. Wistfully he wondered when he would get a chance to do some more real fieldwork. His mind was everywhere and anywhere.
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