Just a very detailed dream I had this morning. I don't know what a lot of it means, but it makes me ask questions. I want to know more.
It was just beginning to cool down. The sun was setting behind me and its receding light made the brown bricks glow red. I could feel the promise of winter in the air as the temperature dropped with the sun, but when I started climbing the wall I found the brick was still warm under my palms. The inside of my knees scraped against the jagged parts until I learned to climb with my toes facing away from my body, which also made gripping the spaces between bricks easier. My arms were burning by the time I pulled myself up onto the window sill. I tried opening it, but saw it was locked. The little metal latch hooked into the bottom of the sill, and I realized I should have brought a ruler, or some other flat, long stick to open it. Thankfully I could see Michael behind a desk, his computer screen reflecting light onto his face.
I rapped my knuckles against the glass and received intense pleasure when he jumped in his seat. The wheels of his chair skittered backwards from his reaction, and I stifled a laugh as he struggled to regain his composure. He came to the window and unlocked it. I let him yank it open, and with his help I wriggled into his room.
"What are you doing here?!" Was his substitution for a greeting. All I could do was grin.
"I missed you," I teased, and he rolled his eyes. But I surprised him again by wrapping my arms around him. He was still for a second, but the moment his arms encircled my waist I realized I really did miss him. With everything having happened so quickly, my poor brain didn't have time to think of all the things I couldn't have anymore. I was constantly plagued with the knowledge of what I had to do, that not for one second was I given the chance to grieve the loss of my past.
And now I had that second. All I could think about was Michael and how much he meant to me. How could I forget him? It was only until I realized his skills would be needed in my mission that I thought of him. Was I really turning into a heartless soldier?
Our hug was over too soon when he stepped back, and reluctantly I let go. With the loss of contact came the clarity of why I was here, and I knew the expectant look on his face required a response. I took in a deep breath, preparing myself to ask him to do the impossible.
"I need you to hack into the Olympus mainframe."
The silence that stretched between us felt like years. I braced myself for the 'No' or the 'I can't', but instead it was Michael's turn to surprise me.
I thought about it for a moment. Not about why, because I knew full well why I had to get into the mainframe. But about how much I should tell Michael. If he was compromised, they'd be able to extract information from him. Delicate information regarding me. Not only would he know why I was breaking into their databases, but they could also ask him intimate details of my past. So far, they didn't know who I was. They didn't know anything about me. If I involved Michael, I was giving them the key to discover where I came from, which in turn would endanger all my family and friends. What was I doing here? Surely I could find someone else with his unique computer skills!
"I can see the wheels turning in your head, Skye," He said, a slightly crooked smile stretched his lips wide, "I always know when you're thinking about leaving. But I also know you wouldn't have come if there was any other way. So again I ask; Why do you need me?"
Was it my imagination, or was this question much different than his first? Regardless, he'd just proved how dangerous it was for me to be here. Michael knew me too well - if the authorities discovered him, they'd know me just as intimately. He was a huge risk that I couldn't possibly take.
"Nevermind, Michael," I made up my mind. Coming here was a mistake. I'd have to find some other way to access their personnel database. I turned my back on him and returned to the window, hooking one leg out. I stared down below - was I really that high off the ground? I had a bad feeling that descending wouldn't be the same as climbing up. But as I contemplated how the heck I was going to get back down to that stupid carrot garden, I felt his hand on my arm.
I looked over. but his face was much closer than I anticipated. He caught me off-guard with a soft kiss on the mouth. Aside from grade three when I kissed him on a dare, we'd never shared anything romantic. Sure, there was always a bit of attraction between us - he was gorgeous with his ear-length black curls and square chin, and I wasn't so bad with my long brown hair and high cheekbones - but we'd come to the conclusion that we'd be better friends than lovers. So what if neither of us dated anyone else? We just couldn't find anyone that was right for us. And that didn't mean we were perfect for each other, just because we could stand to hang out together.
But I found my mouth gently working against his, and although it was our first real kiss, it felt like we'd done it a thousand times. It was so natural, it seemed practiced, even though the butterflies dancing in my chest told me it was brand new. I felt the corner of his window-frame against my back when he leaned in, and my foot slipped under the weight-shift. I gasped as I nearly tumbled from the window, but he still had a grip on my arm. He hoisted me back into his room and before I had time to adjust, his mouth crashed against mine again. This time there was more urgency, and with my heart beating a mile a minute from almost falling to my death, I felt a surge of adrenaline that matched his excitement.
We somehow crossed the expanse of his room and my knees hit the bed-frame. All he had to do was lean forward just a bit, and I fell back onto the green covers. His kisses left my mouth to travel down my neck, and it was only when I felt his fingers tug my shirt free of my pants that I realized what we were doing.
"No!" I yelped, jumping out of the bed faster than we'd jumped into it. Michael stared up at me, dazed. His hair was even messier than before, and I tried to remember if I ran my fingers through it. Unfortunately, thinking about running my hands through his hair was not helping with my resolve, so instead I thought about how wrong it was to get involved with him.
"No," I repeated, this time sounding more human than shocked animal, "we can't do this. It was a mistake coming here. I have to go." I wasn't sure who I was trying to convince, Michael or me. Perhaps both. Because I moved back to the window.
"Wait," Michael insisted, and even though I knew I shouldn't, I did. I couldn't bring myself to look back at him as I heard his footsteps when he approached, but I didn't feel his hand on my arm again. When he spoke again, his voice was further away than I expected. I turned in confusion. "I've already accessed the mainframe," He said casually, as though it hadn't been difficult, "If you tell me what you're looking for, I can find it."
He was standing in front of his computer, moving the mouse around the screen. There he clicked on an icon I didn't recognize; one with an electric blue eye peering through a keyhole. I found myself at his side, waiting for the program to load. I tried not to concentrate on his breaths, which grew shallower as I drew closer. I could still feel his lips against mine, burning a path down my neck…
Just then, the screen sprang to life, bathing us in the same eerie blue as the eye icon. He typed in a username (sgtAdion) and password, and despite how rude it was I couldn't help but watch his fingers fly across the keyboard. I thought I saw him hit the Y and E keys a couple times, but he was too fast for me to catch the whole password. Then the entire system opened up for us, and I found myself staring at him in amazement.
"How did you…?" He just shook his head, and I understood. I understood that no matter how he explained it to me, I would never understand. Michael pulled his chair back to the desk and gestured for me to sit in it. I did, and he left me to do what I needed to do. I saw him return to his bed out of the corner of my eye, and simply lie back against the white pillow.
Trying to ignore the strange feeling in my stomach when I thought about Michael on his bed, I retrieved the list of personnel names I needed files on. I stole another paper from Michael's printer and wrote down the information I needed as it appeared on the screen. If I weren't so paranoid, I might have just printed the files, but I didn't want anyone going into his printer and accessing its last print job. A half hour later, I had everything I needed, but instead of signing off like I knew I should, I stared at the computer screen for a long moment. Then, hesitantly, I typed in PROJECT DAEDALUS.
Results started showing up by the hundreds. I had to sit back because the constantly changing lines started giving me a headache. I watched the number indicating the results skyrocket at the bottom of the screen into the thousands. It would take forever to go through all these files, and I certainly didn't have forever. So I clicked the top result; a synopsis and an outline.
The page loaded slowly, so I let my gaze slide from the screen to Michael's bed. I'd been so caught up in my work that I hadn't even noticed him. Again I felt like an inconsiderate bitch when I saw his eyes on me. He was lying on his side now, quietly watching. I felt my cheeks get hot and my eyes darted back to the monitor to escape his piercing stare. But what I saw on the screen drained my face of all colour.
Project Daedalus was me.