Shots flew past on his right as Jervis pulled into a hard turn. The white dots that were faraway stars blurred as his ship spun sharply, and his attacker came into view. He hit the rudder to line up his shot, as a missile warning beeped at him, becoming progressively louder and louder, faster and faster. He poured fire into the Hornet, but its shields were full, and it was shooting right back. A red flash illuminated his face as his shields failed, and a moment later the missile exploded as it impacted his ship.
Jervis swore as he got out of his simulator, his muscles ached and stomach growled. He couldn't remember his last meal. He stretched as he made his way to the kitchen, ignoring the security staff as they made their usual rounds about the house. His father, Spencer Clayton, was the Founder and CEO of 'CMIC', Clayton Mining and Insurance Corporation. Jervis already knew the corporate world wasn't the most upstanding place, and his father had been targeted several times by both corporate rivals and "rights activists".
Spencer always tried to push Jervis into the corporate scene, but he wasn't buying it. After years of trying, his father had given up on having him run the family business, and began training his younger son, Alec Clayton, who was a much more willing participant. Alec was barely 18, but already at the top of the ranks of the major mining corporation, and everyone expected him to step into his father's shoes when the time came.
After eating, and getting cleaned up, Jervis started to head out but as he passed his dad's study, a voice came through the open archway.
"Jervis, good to see you're out of your simulator for once. Come in here, I need to talk to you." Jervis stopped and slowly walked into the elegant room. His father was seated at his desk, and he could see his father looked worried about something.
"And it's good to see you're home and not in your sound-proof bedroom. What can I do for you today?" Jervis asked as he took a seat inside the study across from his father. His 'stepmother' was a year older than he was.
"I want to know what you're doing with your life. You're college-educated, nearly 23 years old, and you do nothing but spend your time in that simulator." His father leaned in to him, his aging eyes focused.
"You know I can't do this corporate crap." Jervis began, "You have Alec to run the-" His father snapped and cut him short.
"This isn't about Alec or the business. What are YOU doing with YOUR life?"
Jervis stood up, they had had this talk before too many times. "You KNOW what I want to do. If you let me get a ship I would be gone, instead you stifle anything that I want to do and you keep me here to do nothing."
His father sighed, exasperated, "I just want you to be safe son." It caught him off-guard, his father wasn't usually like this. He knew his father cared, but he wasn't one to express it.
"I can take care of myself." He said as he walked out of the room, toward the front door.
"Wait! I need to talk to you!" his father called after him.
"I have my own business to attend to."
The conversation continued to bother him as he headed to the commerce district. As he thought about it, he realized he hadn't seen his father look this worried in a long time. Something was obviously eating at him. He put the thought out of his mind as he approached a bank.
Jervis walked across the bank lobby with an air of confidence propped up by the expensive business suit he wore. As he approached the teller, she quickly glanced down at her computer, which had provided her with the identity of the approaching customer.
"Good afternoon Mr. Morris. How may I assist you today?" she politely chirped. Despite all these years, people still didn't understand simple security protocols. A simple search could produce a full biography on even the most insignificant people in society, and a few key pieces of information were all that was needed to steal an identity.
"Good afternoon Lacey, I'd like to make a withdrawal." He said as he made a visible attempt to read her digital name-tag. Luckily for him, the security tapes shared the same data system as the facial recognition database, which he had already breached. As soon as he was out of the bank, he would remotely wipe the tapes for the time he was there for. In addition to the small withdrawal, he set up several fund transfers that would empty Mr. Morris' accounts within the next three days without triggering any automatic detection mechanisms. These accounts would in turn launder the money through a variety of schemes, including one that used a video game where virtual goods could be bought and sold for real credits. He had done this a hundred times before. With the automatic transfers complete, he turned to walk out of the bank.
He saw them almost immediately as he turned around. Two uniformed Advocacy Agents were just inside the main doors scanning the lobby, obviously looking for someone. He nonchalantly turned back to the teller. "Ms. Lacey, where are your bathrooms?"
He didn't know if they were actually after him or not, but he couldn't take the risk. Once inside the bathroom, he turned on the 3D display of his pocket-computer. Connecting to his private server, he began scanning all of the public warrant databases, and even the database of the local police jurisdiction. The scan was quick, and found no warrants, case files, or alerts. He didn't have access to any Advocacy databases however.
He switched to a real-time feed of the bank's security footage. He found one agent still by the door, screening everyone who left. The other agent appeared to be showing a photograph to people in the bank. Jervis watched as the agent walked up to Lacey, the teller who had helped him. A few seconds later, she nodded and pointed toward the bathroom.
Jervis' mind raced. He had no weapons, the front door was blocked, and the bank would have any routes to a back door locked down much more. For a moment, he contemplated attacking the agent hand-to-hand as he entered the bathroom. He had never been in a fight before, and even with the element of surprise, he doubted he could take the agent. Out of ideas, he powered down his pocket computer as the agent opened the door.
"Jervis Clayton?" The agent asked. It was over, Jervis let his head hang low.
"Yeah, that's me."