There was a serious of beeps and blips as his laptop began to connected to an encrypted server and access his inbox. He waited in anticipation, but to no avail. No new messages waited to greet him, the inbox as empty as a church on game night. No replies from Darkliquid or any of the other Protagonists he had tried to contact. The good Lady Noble had stopped responding several days back and now, Eloosive was living up to his name. There was not much he could do but wait, and hope that someone would receive his messages and contact him.
He re-read his own email that he had sent Dark. The line in the email remained as inane as ever.
‘Creators retreated after zealots in America nearly turned into xenophobes’
Of course, he couldn’t have identified himself directly, that would have connected the email to him immediately. Antagonist Zero knew his other name, so he had to make sure only Dark or any other Protagonist could read it. Invisible to any other casual reader. It was a simple code really. He tested it again to check if he had made a mistake; he had already checked it several times, not too sure if he had made an error, hoping each time that maybe that was why no one had responded. “Not because they were all dead.” As he kept telling himself.
But he couldn’t stop himself from doing it again He took the first letter of each word in the sentence and joined them all together. Sure enough, it still spelt his name right.
There was always a chance that no one would remember him. He had been pretty low-profile even on the site. And after he knew what was going to happen, he had disappeared altogether, leaving just a little warning line on his profile. Antagonist Zero had found him, offered him a job he didn’t want to take. But the Antagonists had other means of coercion. They told him he’d be rewarded justly. Indeed, the survival of your family is quite a reward in itself, they told him.
For many years, he rationalized his actions for the Obliterators, believing that he would work to topple the Antagonists from the inside. He didn’t realize how hard that would be.The Antagonist movement gained power, and they squelched their opponents mercilessly. He was ashamed of it, but his fear had got the best of him. He had become an Obliterator.
That was why he had made up a file name that was an anagram for protagonize.com, nomoregoact.zip, containing the source codes for the Antagonist databases, hoping that someone who made the connection would know that he was on their side. But it looked like all he was going to do was wait. And time was running out, for him and for the Protagonists.
He knew he shouldn’t have tried to stop the bombing of the Louvre, but he couldn’t just stand by and watch it happen either. But that had been one wrong move. Antagonist Zero now suspected traitors in Section 3. It was only a matter of time before he was caught. And then, he couldn’t help anyone even if he wanted to.
He felt his fists curl up into tight balls, as a horrible feeling of impotency overcame him, a feeling that now when he was able to do something, he couldn’t. His breathing started to speed up, and he made a conscious effort to calm himself, trying to think of what to do next.
As things stood, he knew one thing. Antagonist Zero would have the plan moved forward after that little stunt at the Protagonists’ Safe. The Tower had been attacked. The ragtag American Protagonists had wreaked havoc everywhere in their path. Some anti-government group called the Anarchists had just blown up half of Ottawa airport. Clearly, the Antagonists were losing face left, right and centre, something Antagonist Zero couldn’t afford at this point. So he would do the only thing he knew how to. Try to defeat the Protagonists with everything at his disposal. Play his trump card, his ace in the hole.
And Craziantix was one of the people who knew how to stop it. But he couldn’t do much, not unless, he made contact. So he waited.
All of a sudden, killing time didn’t seem like a suitable expression to him.