Chapter 2: Tower Three

Magus dialed down the idle on his chopper as he approached the warning signs that lined the outskirts of transmission tower three. A low cloud cover had drifted in from the ocean and leaned heavily against the Sierra Madres that surrounded him. The conditions were perfect, but focus was always an important aspect of any mission. One misstep, and the sentries would detect him. The company that created those machines did not pride themselves on non-violence and each sentry carried with it lethal force.

Fortunately for Magus, the scribes in his sect had acquired the blueprints for all sentries patrolling the antennas. The plans revealed the particulars of their guile, the sensors that located intruders via heat and infrared signatures, as well as the ability to detect the high levels of iron and nickel that were present in human blood, especially those of Flatland dwellers. The pollution and carcinogens that had become a way of life down there made this an unavoidable reality, and a significant detection parameter.

Magus did not take any of this for granted, nor did he have any reason to fear detection. Every system had its weakness no matter how sophisticated, and with a vast network of scribes that had come together for a common purpose, these weaknesses were often routed out and exposed. These details were fresh in his mind as he stowed his chopper into the chaparral that edged the electrified fence. He looked up at the dormant antennae and could see the clouds above it begin to darken and swell with precipitation. Acid rain in the summertime, he thought. Taking a moment to survey the dark horizon and the glimmering network of saucers that held zenith afloat, he whispered softly to himself,

“Showtime.”

Magus cut a medium-sized hole through the electrified fence with his laser cutter, his suit insulating him from the deadly charge. He found some cover at the base of the antenna and surveyed the climb. About five to six sentries buzzed around the antenna at various altitudes, all whirring with activity, scanning for prey. He deftly hit a set of buttons on the forearm of his suit and a tingling sensation overcame him. The flak suit was designed to produce a subsonic electromagnetic forcefield that effectively scrambled his energy signature. When sentries would scan the area that he occupied the energy would bend around the forcefield and essentially detect what was behind him, which was usually nothing. Along with this helpful bit of technology, Magus was also devoted to the study of the ancient Japanese art of Ninjitsu which schooled its students in the ways of deception and covert movement. It was especially useful in situations where every step he made was magnified. As good as the suit was, he was still there, and for his mission to succeed he had to disappear.

The towers were usually well lit, but since it was offline, power was redirected primarily to the top of the tower which housed the main computer panel. This allowed for faster uplink to the technicians, and also served to give Magus a good barrell of juice to piggy back his rogue feed onto the mainline and send it shooting into Zenith.

Magus reached behind him to check that the payload was secure. The imagery he had gathered to spray upon Zenith was nice, and he couldn’t wait to upload. It was one thing to just send an image that defied the censors, it was clearly another matter to send something that had the power to snowball into something more.

Clearly not all of Zenith was responsible for what had happened to the old city, but that was not his concern. He looked up at the antenna rising above him, the precipice shining in the distance. Fuck it, he thought, and with that began his ascent.

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~ by artofpeace on July 2, 2008.

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