The PrototypeMature

The meeting with Mylad went well. Better than he expected, taking into account the grief he had given the man on so many ocassions. Every time Mylad or his agents would sniff their way close to something important, Garith had been the counter agent sent to prevent his success. Then there was the thing with Mylad's son.

Garith stood outside the hotel for a moment, studying its exterior.  There was two ways to get out from each suite via the windows, and at least one more way to exit the building from the inside. Probably more than that. He walked into the lobby, showed the lonely man there the card given to him by Mylad, then was shown to his room.  The man was friendly, offering several services to him and then upon Garith's decline, asking him if there was anything he wanted done. There was nothing he could think of that this man would be able to help him with.

He stepped into the suite, locked the door, then sat on a small metal-spring cot centered on the wall opposite the windows. He was again thinking of Mylad's son and his part in the boy's death. He couldn't figure how Mylad would pin it on him directly, but Garith had prevented any possible rescue. It was a choice that bothered him ever since.

To have allowed Fillmer entry into the building would have been putting incredibly valuable information at risk, but to stop him meant the inevitable death of the only person left inside. The boy had planted the same bomb that killed him, but he was only a boy. Ten years old. Probably he had been brainwashed by Mylad himself, or maybe convinced that it was only a small scale job that was really no big deal. Just something to be done after his homework but before his pizza pop and video games.

Mylad had sent a plethora of agents with orders to kill. The way it looked to Garith, Mylad blamed him entirely.  But Fillmer had been there, simply for transportation. Not to do any of the work. For that Mylad had sent his own son, and must have known the risks. Besides, even if Garith had let Fillmer inside there was little chance Fillmer could have made it back out again with the boy in tow before the detonation. He used a trauma-shock to paralyze a desperate Fillmer, who had been furiously trying to prevent the death of his son's boss or, as far as Garith knew, to copy some files, leave the boy, and bolt. In any case, Mylad's initial rage-induced order to kill had passed and things continued as normal about two weeks after the explosion.

It had been a long day for Garith, but there was more to be done. He stood up and walked casually to the window, then opened it. Simply checking out the view from his suite to anyone watching, he spotted the two men that had followed him here from Mylad's building. He noted their location across the street, separated from each other by a block. One on each corner of this side of the building, probably more on the other side. Mylad may have forgiven him for what happened with the boy, but that man never placed an ounce of trust in anyone until it had been thoroughly earned.

Garith yawned exaggeratedly, closed the window and then the drapes, then began disassembling the metal-spring cot.

Ten minutes later he recorded the message and put the voice recorder in place. He slipped sideways out of his suite, careful not to open the door too far, and walked the hallway silently trying each door.  Most were locked, but in a place this drab there was bound to be some unlocked, and fifteen or so doors later he found one. He peeked inside, saw no one, and then went to the window inside it. The window was at the back of the building with a view of a filthy alley and the brick wall of another building. Two more sentinels, one on each end, were back here.

He left the suite and located the private stairs used by the nonexistent maintenance and cleaning staff. There was access to the roof from here, as he expected. He ascended the stairs, looked discreetly over the edge at the two men guarding the alley again, then tossed a small explosive across the street from each of them. It worked, as he expected--these were not Mylad's agents but simple henchmen--and the men turned around.  He took a running jump onto the next building, then climbed down the fire escape on the other side.

He hailed a cab, found one surprisingly quickly, got in, and said, "Chelsea, please."

"More specific?"

"I'll tell you when we get closer."


"Explosions?" Mylad asked.

"Yes, sir. Two of them at the same time. You think it might--"

"Of course it was Garith, you useless donkey. Check his room," he interupted.

"Yes, sir. I believe he's sleeping, though."

"Go!" Mylad hollared, loud enough to distort the phone on this end, before closing the line.

Jack flipped his phone shut, motioned for the others to hold position, and went inside.

He knocked on Garith's suite door, not expecting an answer and not getting one. He turned the knob; it was unlocked. Opening the door slowly, just a crack, he squinted at the darkness inside. There was no sound or movement. He pushed the door further and felt a bit of resistance even as some blurred shape swung out from behind the door and struck him on his nose. The door slammed shut, and a voice from inside said, "My agreement is with Mylad, not you. Leave me be, or next time it will mean your life."

Wiping the blood from his nose, he called Mylad.

"Garith hasn't gone anywhere," he said plainly after being patched through.

"He's still there?" Mylad asked, sounding surprised.

"Yes, sir." Jack said, reaching the bottom of the stairs and making his way back outside through the lobby.

"Are you certain?"

"He nearly caved in my face, sir." He heard a small chuckle on the other end.

"Very well, go back to your position."


The cab stopped and let Garith out on Dovehouse Street.  It was mid-day now, but the dull gray of an overcast sky would be all the cover he needed. He slipped on some dark sunglasses--enough that Sandra and Malpus wouldn't be able to see anything in detail, but he could still see well enough--and then approached the rear of the building.

It looked at home here, fitting in nicely with the large homes to the South and other buildings to the West and North. Garith wondered how many people drove by this building every day, how many children played in the field behind it, none of them knowing the kinds of things that went on inside. The location was fastidiously chosen by Errand as a research and intelligence post, but had since been demoted to a glorified filing station with a torture chamber hidden in the back. Most likely no one was inside right now.

He should be able to find something to earn Mylad's trust in here, some physical evidence to prove his honesty, but that was secondary. With any luck, he might also find the location of the prototype, or at least the location of where the location of the prototype is kept. Without the blueprint it had become useless, and he had taken the blueprint a long time ago. Hopefully that meant that the prototype would be easy to find, and no longer under heavy guard.

The End

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