Blitt’s Journey, Part 12

A long steel-gray sled was parked in front of the dress shop, Blitt noted as he approached it. “She’s here,” he whispered to himself as Dan’s sled auto-parked itself in the next space. He got out and caught his reflection in the window, startled by not immediately recognizing the new face that the mask was imposing over his real one. It made him feel strange. Almost as strange as his meeting with Priscilla.

Once inside the store Stacy immediately greeted him as if she had been waiting for him the entire morning. “She just went into the dressing room. You’re just in time,” she said smiling back at Blitt.

Blitt briefly returned her smile and remained silent while he waited for Priscilla to emerge from the dressing room. He was worried about what her reaction to his strange face would be, so he tuned out Stacy’s voice droning away right beside him.

“I hope it fits her. I took some liberty and had it sized to a similar dress she purchased not too long ago.”

The bubbly sales clerk hopped out into Blitt’s field of view, forcing his attention back onto her, crossed her fingers with hope and playfully smiled at him. Behind her, the dressing room door opened and Priscilla began to emerge from it, pieces at a time. She was looking down as she walked out, examining the fit of the dress on her slim body. Stacy turned to face her, and Priscilla lifted up her face. She was about to to speak, but her eyes immediately fixed onto Blitt’s. Her confusion quickly dissolved into a skeptical realization of who he was, and then she opened her mouth to speak.

“It looks good on you,” Blitt said quickly before she could start talking.

He let the electromodulation of his synthesized voice drop for a single syllable, so that Priscilla would know that it was indeed him. He froze for a moment, realizing that what happened next could very well define the outcome of his entire mission. She would have to leave the shop with him regardless of whether or not she wanted to come. Blitt couldn’t help feeling the pressure of uncertainty as to what her decision would be.

He kept his eyes locked back onto her cold and discerning stare while he struggled to remove all the emotion from his own face. It was a new face to Priscilla, but behind it was still Blitt’s very own bone and muscle that were capable of betraying each uneasy feeling that swirled about in his head if he were weak enough to gave in to them. Also his eyes, which he knew were like wide-opened portals to his every determination, were the same eyes that had been locked onto hers for countless moments, countless times in the past. He tried his hardest to still them, aiming them at Priscilla’s blue eyes like a pair of sharpened blades.

Stacy turned back and forth between them both, grinning with satisfaction before moving out from between them, doting over the dress in orbits around Priscilla, checking it’s fit all over.

“I hardly recognized you,” said Priscilla. A chill was present in her voice, but as Blitt was relieved to realize, she had been somewhat warmed over by the gift.

“I haven’t been myself today,” he replied with a smile. “But you look every bit of yourself.” He dared a step in her direction, maintaining his contact with her cold eyes. Another step, and before he even realized it he had closed the short distance between them and embraced her, planted a kiss on her painted lips and drew her in closely.

“I’ve missed you,” Priscilla said as she evaporated into his caress.

Stacy chimed in, “Well, this scene just got a bit intimate. I’ll leave you two here. Let me know if you need anything else.”

They didn’t.

* * *

When they left the dress shop, the evening sun had slid noticeably further West, illuminating the ocean with fiery watercolor light. Priscilla had changed back into a skirt and blouse, and held the dress, packaged neatly in a box with a silver bow, tucked underneath her arm. Blitt opened the door of his sled and she gently placed it inside. She stood at the opened passenger door, momentarily making nervous glances back at her gray sled parked beside them.

“Is there something you need in there?” Blitt asked.

“Let me get my things.” She was crying.

The tears hadn’t come yet, but she spoke thinly through them with a swollen throat. From the storage compartment of her sled, she removed a suitcase, and as her crying intensified, she put it into Blitt’s sled beside the dress box. He watched her while she sobbingly sank into the passenger seat, and began to realize that immensity of what she was undergoing. The suitcase meant she had arrived at the dress shop fully aware that she would be leaving with him that very day, never to return. It was, in a way, almost like a kidnapping. The thought of that hit Blitt almost physically when it came to him.

Blitt looked past Priscilla and on off down the length of Bridge street, lined with shop windows and shiny sleek sleds parked alongside them; their bright and reflective surfaces were shimmering in hazy waves of heat splayed out across the horizon. He could not deny having an attraction to this place as he imagined the sort of life she might have had here. His gaze shifted away from the brightness of Bridge Street and resolved once more upon her. Crying much less now, she turned to face him and somehow managed to smile before settling calmly back into the seat.

My return!

It has been far too long since I’ve practically abandoned this blog. Blitt’s Journey, however, I haven’t exactly abandoned. I’ve continued work on it, an am pleased to release the latest in the story.

I won’t get into the reasons behind my absence, but I will say that I am making every effort to never stay way for so long again. And that I hope to have the next update to Blitt’s Journey up soon after this one.

Thank you, readers, for your patience and understanding.

Blitt’s Journey, Part 11

Blitt made it out of the dress shop in under an hour, more time than he intended to spend pseudo shopping. He had to make a convincing show, however, so that Stacy wouldn’t kick him out of her shop and tip-off Priscilla that she had a creepy stalker asking about her.

Blitt thought about how much of a shame it was that Priscilla would never get to wear the dress he bought for her on some fancy night out around Melbrook. She would be leaving the town that night, with either him or Briggan, possibly never to return. Something told him that the relatively easy life she had been living for the past two years was about to change drastically. And, of course, his also. He thought of the recent past in which they had both enjoying periods of relative peace, sandwiched between bitter-sweet slices of life in a chaotic world. Blitt, running himself ragged on missions for Danathan, and she committing crimes beneath the watchful eye of Dade Briggan.

The ocean wind stirred against him gently as he walked towards the mag-sled. He became aware of something, cold and weighty, separate and distant from the warm ocean breeze, washing over him. It seemed to be focused almost squarely at the center of his forehead, an intangible thought nagging him, pestering to get at the inside his head instead of coming out of it.

Despite its persistence, the experience was not unpleasant. It was momentary, lasting less than a second, just enough time for Blitt to notice it. But for something so brief and barely noticeable, it carried an immensely powerful feeling which Blitt realized, as the thought penetrated his skull and transmuted its way through fibrous brain material and into his consciousness, was a confirmation being sent to him by Priscilla.

His mind relaxed, and immediately referenced the shoot-out at the chop shop and how Priscilla had stood completely still, eyes glazed over and palms outstretched, as she broke his nanotech with an arcane rupture of sonic waves by merely thinking about it.

The wondered if the strange thought he was ‘feeling’ was a result of something similar that Priscilla had done? He knew little about the ways of The Keepers, other than that you never wanted to encounter one in combat unprepared. Priscilla’s use of the power had taken Blitt by surprise, while he was unprepared both for reuniting with her and for scrapping with a mind-bending witch dead set on killing him. There were methods to defend against the Keeper’s art, but most of them were as arcane and unpredictable as the powers themselves. Also, most were rather devious in nature, not anything that he could bring himself to employ upon someone that he cared for.

Blitt didn’t feel malice in what he had just experienced, though. Much like how he had noted a glimmer of regret shining back at him through her vengeful eyes while she fired slugger rounds at him, he felt as though there was still hope that perhaps Priscilla didn’t hate him as thoroughly as he originally imagined.

Now he had to put that theory to a dangerous test.

First though, was Blitt’s primary crisis, the candy shipment. Unfortunately, it was incapable of telepathically informing him of how his attempt to acquire it might turn out. So Blitt planned on utilizing the sort of powers that were familiar to him – quick thinking, quick hands and feet, and the clever use of some really fun weapons.

* * *

It was nearing mid-day, and Blitt couldn’t just make a cold approach through the warehouse’s front entrance and have a look around. From a distance, the building seemed little different than the online layouts suggested. Beyond a chicken wire gate there was a large parking lot and the humongous rectangular building, looming in the distance like a giant beast tauntingly hoarding treasure.

The meager security was a warning to Blitt. By itself, it was the sign of an amateur design, but taken in contexts that Blitt knew to be true, namely that the place was owned by one of the most rich and dangerous men in the world and happened to have something of value hidden within, lax security was a glaring red “no trespassing” sign.

Blitt wondered what hidden security measures were present as he guided the mag-lev sled around the corner once more, onto the street facing the building’s main entrance. He did not want to risk another loop around the facility, for fear of triggering some sort of behavioral algorithm lurking within the programming of whatever hidden security systems might have been in place there. Twice around was risky enough, but three times was sure to seem suspicious to any monitoring systems scanning the area for out of the ordinary activity. He was sure that Briggan had put the entire place on high alert, so this was his final chance to put things into place for his attempt at taking the shipment later that night.

Part of that plan was to cover his approach by utilizing holographic decoys that would draw attention away from himself as he infiltrated the facility. Already Blitt had deployed a half-dozen tiny devices about the location, surreptitiously dropped from a compartment on the bottom of the mag-sled as he circled the area. Low-power using projectors, they would likely go unnoticed by any possible scanner sweeps throughout the day, and they were almost imperceptible to the human eye. Together they would work in tandem with other devices that Blitt planned on bringing along with him to create confusion and mayhem while he slipped inside unnoticed.

He hoped that his preparations were enough. Blitt would have liked time to prepare more thoroughly, to wear down Brigan’s patience but he figures that by now the old man had to be aware that Blitt was able to track the package. Blitt needed to act fast. Briggan wouldn’t let it stay around if he was capable of moving it. Tonight was his only chance, possibly even sooner if Priscilla decided to resist him.

Shit, he realized, she’s a liability no matter how things turn out. the words became pictures in Blitt’s mind as he pondered the dangers posed by his emotional connections to her. There were things, though, that Blitt always considered essential, and Priscilla, his past with her, and her well-being was one of those things. That thought immediately connected him to Danathan. While not essential in the same sense that Priscilla was, Blitt would be a fool not to consider his employer’s motivations and intentions. And in this case, absolutely nothing that Danathan Dowells was doing made sense. Yet, trust was a factor almost as compelling as love, and Blitt was not yet ready to try to make any sense of the strangeness that he had encountered during the past two days.

He checked status of the tiny modules that he had just deployed about the warehouse, and seeing they were ‘OKAY,’ uploaded his custom script to their memories as he drove off to meet with Priscilla at the dress shop on Bridge Street.

Blitt’s Journey, part 10

The entirety of Bridge Street was devoted to fancy clothing shops and cafes. Blitt wore a randomized face on the mask Danathan had given him, chose one of the countless shops and entered. A sales clerk turned, looking surprised to see him.

“Hello, how can I help you,” she asked with a smile.

“My wife shops here, I think.” The softness in his new digitized voice startled him as he spoke.

“You think?”

“I mean that it’s one of these places. There are so many along this street I can’t remember. And your shop has the sort of look she wears. Here, let me show you.” Blitt pressed a series of buttons on his watch and a holographic representation of Priscilla sprang to life in front of them.

“That holopic must be pretty old. The Anton Carmical ensemble she’s wearing is 3 summers ago. But, she’s got good taste, and I should know because I sold it to her. Nice to meet you, Mr. Reid. I’m Stacy.” She extended her hand and a warm smile.

“It’s Littman,” explained Blitt as he shook her slender hand. “She kept her maiden name.”

“I never knew she was married,” she replied, beckoning him to a dress display.

“We’re separated. Things are just starting back up again and I want to get her something nice for this weekend.” He smiled back at the woman.

“Congratulations. Rekindled romance can be just as hot as finding new love, and I’m going to make sure I find the perfect gift for her to remember this special time.”

“Thank you,” Blitt said as he begin perusing dress styles. Might as well make something out of this and get her something nice, he thought.

Danathan’s paying for it.

* * *

At noon, Priscilla received a card informing her that a gift was waiting for her at Carriage. “please make an appointment for fitting,” it read, signed ‘B. Littman.’

She sighed, wanting to crumple up the neat, gold-trimmed card, but finding it too elegant to do so. She set it down next to the dinner plates she had been stacking and tried to get back to work, to forget about the note and forget about Blitt and to let things stay the way the were for a just a bit longer. She wanted Blitt to remain a warm memory,for Danathan Dowells and her father to disappear, and for her odd relationship with Briggan to continue and remain as it had been. But she knew that she couldn’t do that. Her father wasn’t going away, and Blitt wouldn’t wait. Given the circumstances, she knew that he couldn’t wait. And Briggan had been too good to be true from the start.

She couldn’t drop everything and go see Blitt, because that meant literally dropping everything; the cafe, her life with Briggan, Melbrook. Everything. And in return, she thought, she’d have to go on the run, probably protected by Blitt, and most definitely still subject to her father’s abusive scheming.

But she could be with Blitt.

She weighed the decision. Thinking about Blitt brought up memories of her time with him before her kidnapping. They had been with each other during the eight months following the Garden Wars. Priscilla was a dancer at Starluft’s Academy of Performing Arts and Blitt was a soldier come back from war front, missing his family and still shaken from the horrors of combat.

When they met, both of them had apprehensions about becoming too involved in a relationship with each other, but the attraction was obvious. Blitt, with his good looks and war-forged persona, and her with graceful poise and a delicate upbringing that hungered for the thrill of a hardened edge like his.

Blitt provided that hard-edged thrill and more. She had also discovered within him a softness that, coupled with the ice-cold steel that had been forged within him, made him an exciting presence to be immersed in. So she did. She wrapped herself up in Blitt’s hard exterior and used him as her shell. She fancied herself protected from all sorts of threats, physical and otherwise. No one could harm her. Not even her father.

Blitt’s protection and love had come into her life, sweeping away her pains and insecurities and then was swept way itself by her father, Danathan Dowells and Blitt’s dangerous excursions for them both. From the time he started up with them, she feared that he might not return from one of them. Tragically, that time came when she needed him most. She hated him for that, but she hated herself even more for still loving him.

She sat at the cafe table, stacked high with clean dishes of fine porcelain, thinking solemnly about the events currently at hand, intermixed with those of the past. They were confused thoughts. Some of them were horrible ordeals when she went through them, yet she found herself harboring a strange sort of fondness for them in hindsight. Others that felt wonderful at the time hurt immensely while she reflected upon them. Dating Blitt. Getting on with Briggan and his gang. Actually belonging, even though she knew that she was still being controlled, but in a different way.

She was going to betray one of them. And they both knew that it had to happen, only they didn’t have a clue about how she would decide, or any way to aid her in the decision. That, most of all, weighed upon her. The future. Immediate and terrible, she saw it right in front of her like an unavoidable storm raging against the horizon.

She decided that she wasn’t going to make up her mind just yet. At least not without first seeing what sort of gift Blitt had gotten for her. As she settled upon that choice, an unconscious wave of emotion stirred within her, only noticeable for the briefest of moments. She thought it odd, reminiscent of the mind techniques that Briggan’s Keeper had taught her, but quickly dismissed it as she returned to polishing the gleaming surfaces of dinner ware.

Unnannounced two-week hiatus

The story took a pause for a bit while I gathered my thoughts and did some life stuff. Blit’s Journey is now back, however! Enjoy Part 10. During the hiatus I did some restructuring of the story’s direction, as well as think up some ideas for new stories that I may post in the near future. So stay tuned and feel free to follow!

Blitt’s Journey, part 9

Blitt rolled himself out of the hotel unit and slid his DynaCred card through the payment slot. The sun was a rapidly unrolling place mat on fire, spilling out over Starloft’s skyline and illuminating it against the Eastern horizon. Another benefit of small towns, thought Blitt, you can see the sky. He looked at his watch, yet another reminder that he didn’t have time to waste sky gazing. He had less than two days now to get every task that had weighed upon his mind last night completed.

Briggan was smart enough to know that Blitt wanted to come after both the candy shipment as well as Priscilla, so he definitely wouldn’t let them both be in the same location at the same time. Blitt needed to verify the candy shipment’s location first. He didn’t need to take it just yet, but having the details about its location firmly in mind was crucial to being able to execute both plans.

The first part of Blitt’s plan was to scout the location and determine how safe it would be to infiltrate. Knowing Briggan, it was bound to be as secure as possible, perhaps even impenetrable. As he headed in the direction of the tracking signal, Blitt called up the coordinates onto his contact lenses. A holographic representation of the location floated in front of him, almost lifelike. Hovering just inside the upper right corner of his vision however, were words, written in red:

“ERROR: Representation Data out of date. Most recent imaging data is from June 17th, 2035. Details may not accurately represent location’s current state.”

“Not surprising,” Blitt said to himself.

There was no doubt that Briggan had requested a holographic imaging data stop on the warehouse’s location. The image on file was nearly three years out of date. The warehouse was listed as Melbrook Importers. Fitting, Blitt reasoned, for an organized crime operation. “Importers” could mean just about anything, and probably did, so Blitt had to be very careful as he approached the location in a government-sanctioned sled.

He wondered if Dan had put any government-sanction toys on his sled. He pulled up the computer console again and requested a full system feature scan. There was a pause, three dots blinking on the screen as the scan completed, and then a full read-out of the vehicle’s internal systems.

“Power-train, No,” Blitt read aloud. “Stability and Suspension systems, no.” He kept going, reading line after line out loud and finding nothing of any offensive relevance.

“Dan’s got to have some firepower packed away somewhere on-board.” It wasn’t like the spy-master to go anywhere unprepared. Also, Blitt wanted to believe that there was a reason Dan had loaned him the vehicle.

He checked the glove compartment. It was refrigerated, he noted, and besides the government-issued documentation and licensing papers stacked neatly on the warm side, two cigars in humidity-controlled slots and a bottle of champagne chilling on the cold side, there was a military issue plasma pistol snugly holstered in the compartment door.

Blitt didn’t need it, though. He had his own pistol. He placed the heavy weapon back into the holster slot and noticed something that had been previously hidden underneath the weapon: the hair thin outline of a button, almost imperceptible to anyone less cautions than a highly trained field agent like Blitt.

Blitt pressed it with his thumb, immediately feeling stupid for activating what could easily have been a trap, panic button or any other such danger. But he was quickly relieved to hear some sort of mechanical activation occur within the glove box. The compartment door detached from its hinges, rose slightly and flipped over to reveal a terminal panel, its L.E.D. screen scrolling “- – WELCOME!! – -” across it as the sled’s computer began to speak.

“Defense mode activation request acknowledged. Please place your right thumb on the scanner and state your activation code.”

Blitt touched the scanner pad with the same thumb he used to activate the “Defense Mode,” but he didn’t have an activation code. He didn’t want to trigger a fail-safe shut-down procedure, so he remained silent, expecting the computer to just cancel Defense Mode and go back to normal after he removed his thumb from the scanner, but it began to speak again.

“Facial recognition, retinal, and thumb print patterns match one authorized field agent, Alpha-IP zero nine three, codename ‘Blitt.’ Please state activation code in order to continue in Defense Mode.

“Of course,” Blitt said.

“Code not reconi…” the computer responded. Blitt ignored it, continuing to think in his head this time. Of course Dan would make sure that I had everything I needed.

Should have seen it earlier, he realized.

Blitt activated Defense Mode with his standard passcode and was given a brief rundown of all the defense features of Danathan’s mag-sled as he approached his destination.

They were all completely adequate to infiltrating the warehouse of Melbrook Importers.

Blitt automatically figured that finding Priscilla Reid was going to be a much more eventful task than scouting Briggan’s fake warehouse. It was a much more dangerous task, both for the reasons that it was obviously a trap that Briggan had set for him, and that Priscilla still wanted to kill him regardless.

Still, he needed to get to Priscilla before he made an attempt to get the candy shipment. If he managed to get it before talking to Priscilla he’d lose her for good, possibly even putting her life in danger. Regardless of how Priscilla might feel about him, letting her be killed wasn’t an option for Blitt.

He had to figure out a way to find her within 24 hours and somehow convince her to come with him. He needed to speak with her, but he was certain that she was under constant surveillance by Briggan, which meant that trying to do so could jeopardize his efforts to steal back the shipment. Both tasks conflicted with each other, so his only hope of doing them both was to get a message to her that only she would understand and then hope that he could act quicker than Priscilla could ruin his plans, or in the best case, actually side with him and help to execute them.

Blitt had to think of ways to get through to her. He knew Priscilla well, perhaps better than anyone else, but nothing he thought of out of all his memories of her of resulted in giving him an idea that could currently be useful to him. So he put the past aside and thought about her as she currently was. Or at least how she seemed when he saw her at the sled-shop. She was the same old Priscilla, dressed sharply, made up, and stunning. She was the type that never left home for any reason without looking her best. Blitt figured she probably didn’t even get kidnapped without first checking herself out in a mirror.

And she was still a horrible shot, Blitt reflected.

She was just a woman caught up in things that she shouldn’t have to deal with, he reasoned. Her father’s world of crazy had finally blurred into her own and put her in danger’s way, so she learned to adapt in order to survive. In a way, she was very much like Blitt.

Adapting, apparently, hadn’t meant giving up the finer things in life, which meant that Priscilla was still being taken care of in the way she preferred, probably pampered and spoiled by most measures and most definitely by kidnapping standards, which made sense to Blitt, given the circumstances regarding that kidnapping. Briggan would want to one-up her father, make himself seem better than him in every way possible. It only made sense that he would give her a good measure of freedom in order to keep her strong-willed spirit in check, all the while actually holding it captive. That, coupled with Briggan’s own vanity and constant need to always appear in charge, gave Blitt the beginnings of a plan.

He needed to check all the fashionable places in town in order to find Priscilla, so he began searching The Holonet on the sleds computer, looking for exclusive upscale pampering locations that would appeal to a woman like her.

Blitt’s Journey, Part 5

Blitt’s apartment was only minutes away via sled, but it took him over an hour to arrive due to the traffic. Apparently, the police were second to arrive onto the scene after Danathan’s squad of thugs appeared at the garage to ensure Blitt’s safety. They always took a heavy-handed, knee jerk approach to the slightest little disturbance, as if the fate of the world were in peril. In this case, however, they were possibly right. After all, a top-secret intelligence organization had quite nearly apprehended an internationally wanted criminal. A little road block was to be expected.

I shouldn’t have come back, he thought. Blitt needed to lie low in case Briggan’s thugs came for him, or even worse, Priscilla’s dad. But he needed to get something from his apartment before he went into hiding. Mercaster would have to wait. His Hideout there would be the second place any of them would start to look for him.

The first place would be the exact place he was headed to. Blitt needed to be quick and cautious. Priscilla was the only person who knew the apartment’s location, but since she was busy being kidnapped and brainwashed, he didn’t believe she posed an immediate threat. Anyone besides her would have to do a bit of searching in order to find out the location, so he figured the trip back was worth the risk, especially considering the item he was going back to retrieve.

Even still, he checked thoroughly for signs of intrusion before stopping his sled on the street outside the building. There was no one present aside from himself. The suburban city scape was almost conspicuously devoid of activity, which was why Blitt liked the location. It was a shame he would now have to abandon it. He carefully made his way inside the building, double checking behind himself just to be certain he was alone.

Just one thing, Blitt promised himself as he drew his pistol and made his way to his bedroom closet. He ignored the urge to pick up clothing and other objects that he should have wanted to bring with him. He was too disciplined though, to just start grabbing up things and packing them. He just wanted one thing and he shouldn’t even have come back for it.

His carelessness didn’t even occur him until he had gotten his hand on what he had come for and was making his way back outside. So this is what it feels like, Blitt thought as he opened the door to his apartment for the last time. You just can’t help to leave it. The ultimate trap.

Just as he realized how easily he actually could have been trapped into coming back to his home, someone behind him began speaking.

“You came back here for a shoe?”

It was Danathan. Blitt turned around and lowered his weapon.”You were just at your office. How the hell did you get here so fast?”

“Everyone’s got tricks.” Danathan smiled. “Priscilla?” He said, pointing towards the satin ballet shoe that Blitt was holding in his off-hand.

Blitt relaxed his body a bit and nodded in reply to Danathan’s inquiry. “She was a dancer back before the war. She gave me this to always remember her by, said that even if she couldn’t be with me, she could always dance for me, as long as I kept this.”

He bent over and gently placed the shoe onto the ground, where the glowing holographic representation of a ballerina projected out of it and began to spin in hypnotic circles.

“How sweet. And now she wants to kill you.”

Blitt raised an eyebrow back at Danathan. “I don’t know, Dan. Something about the way she fired those shots at me. Shit, to be honest I kept the thing packed away on my closet shelf. Totally forgot about it, just like I did her.”

“So you risked your life coming back for it?”

“Because I thought it might be useful for getting her to come back,” Blitt said forcefully.

Danathan kept his cold eyes fixed on Blitt, trying his best to ignore the spinning hologram in his peripheral vision.

Blitt knew by his look that he was waiting for a better reply. “You know I’ve got to get her back, Dan.”

“And you’re going to do it tonight?” Danathan asked.

“Why wait?”

“Oh, because of Briggan’s guys being on full alert, and her dad looking for the smallest slip-up he can use to make us look like the bad guys.”

“What else is new? Reid’s the one who had his own daughter kidnapped. If anything he should be hiding from me.”

Danathan’s face showed that he wasn’t fully committed to Blitt’s line of reasoning on the matter, but that he somehow still empathized with it. He maintained his stern form and kept eye contact with Blitt as he pulled a dark piece of cloth from his inner jacket pocket.

“Here’s a neat toy,” he said. “It’s just like your body suit, only you wear it on your head, like a ski mask. You know those things secret operatives used to wear to disguise their faces? I was going to use it in case I got caught sneaking in here until I realized that the place is completely unsecured. Nice of you, by the way.”

Blitt interrupted, “I’ve never trusted outside equipment, Dan. Not even when it comes from you. No, especially when it comes from you. Hell, we’re not even at your office right now. For all I know this could be some little off-the-books scheme of yours.”

But Danathan, looking back at him with the same set of cold and uncaring eyes, was for the moment not his employer. He was not even his friend, but rather some relation that sits squarely between duty and bond, the only points of compassion possible for dangerous men like them.

“I had the highways blocked for you, Blitt. Just so you could make it outside of the city before things got too hot.” He tossed a ring of keys onto the nearby coffee table. They briefly interrupted the spinning hologram as they traveled through the air. “Take my sled. I’ve got clearance to use exclusive highways, so you should be able to make it to your hideout before anyone else can get a tail on you. Not even Reid’s got that kind of clout.”

Blitt grabbed the ballerina slipper off the ground, scooped up the keys and mask from the coffee table and left the apartment without a word, realizing that Danathan had just unofficially given him permission to do something completely idiotic and dangerous.

Blitt’s Journey, Part 4

“You should have told me,” Blitt shouted. “I even called in just to see if you would say something.”

“I had no clue, Blitt.” Danathan’s sincerity was evident, even through the blue tinting of the mag-sled’s holo-screen.

“She never showed any signs of Keeping while we were together,” Blitt revealed.

Danathan sighed. “I can’t hardly blame ya, kid, having your mind on other matters,” he said with a smile. He was joking, something he only did when he was embarrassed, caught out on something. He got serious again very quickly: “the girl is a looker. A deadly one, though, and we need to find her. You need to find her.”

“I need to find her, “Blitt repeated, almost simultaneously. “Look, Dan, I need to know what I’m dealing with here. It’s one thing to go on a simple mission, but now I’m tracking down ex-girlfriends with the newly revealed ability to use mind-tek. I think I deserve an explanation.”

“And I promised you one, so here it is.” Danathan sat up erect, like he had something important to say. “It’s not just candy we have you looking for.”

“Big surprise there,” Blitt mused.

“It’s something inside the candy, Blit. That’s what we’re after,” Danathan spoke seriously. “What do you know about the Ancient Tahn people?”

“Jeez, Dan. I got it. My old girlfriend is a magician. Ha ha.”

“No really, this is relevant. In fact, Pricilla may actually be helpful to us.”

“After what I did, I don’t think that’s the case anymore,” groaned Blitt.

“You’re not listening. Shut it, and pay attention. Damn it, I swear if your mouth shot bullets you’d be a one man infantry.”

Blitt sank back into his seat and listened to the rest of Danathan’s confessional.

“Priscilla’s presence here is not coincidental, as I’m sure you’ve already ascertained.“

Blitt interrupted, “What did you do?”

Danathan looked up at him, looking almost satisfied. “Not us, her father. But it’s good to know that you’ve still got feelings for her.” Blitt sat back in his seat again, dismayed with revealing feelings that he wasn’t even certain of yet. “I’m not sure if he actually arranged the kidnapping, or if he merely capitalized on the opportunity to get close to Briggan for some reason. You’re going to find out that reason if there is one, and more importantly why he acted as he did.”

“And get back the stuff that’s in the candy, “Blitt interjected.

“And the candy. But I’m rather sure it’s all related anyway.”

“If you want it, I’m sure it’s valuable. And if it’s valuable, then I’m god damned certain that Amsteel Reid wants it too.”

“I’m not going to get into details. You know all you need to know now, so go complete your mission.“ Danathan visibly relaxed within the rectangular frame of the holo-screen, but quckly perked up once more to attention and asked, “where are you to headed now, anyway?”

“Mercaster,” replied Blitt dryly, as he terminated the connection and set the mag-sled’s auto-pilot.

I’m late.

Which is why this Wednesday’s post will be a double one. I didn’t want quality to suffer in sake of meeting the deadline, so I decided to simply wait and release two posts at once. So expect parts 4 and 5 of Blitt’s Journey on Wednesday, June 17th.

In the mean time, here’s a bit of information about the setting. Blitt’s Journey so far has been based in the city of Starloft, a mega-city that was formed when The World went to shit on account of a large-scale ecological disaster. That part is ancient history to the people of the world. They don’t even think about it anymore; they just try their best to make sure that it never happens again.

Meanwhile, strange things have been occurring all over the planet. Magic, it seems, is an arcane force closely guarded by the planet. Given its deplorable state, the planet has ceased production of the resource necessary for controlling magic, terracite. When things got really bad, the planet finally decided that enough was enough, and gave its inhabitants an ultimatum: either sequester themselves to a few choice locations on the planet, or die in the ecological hibernation state that it was about to put itself in for a few hundred years or so.

It eventually awakened, and the few Humans who finally got the message survived. Not to mention, the Tahn, an ancient race of first inhabitants who were among the most outspoken opponents against ecological genocide. Their civilization flourished, despite the odds, and brought about the restoration of magic to the world, something that Blitt is about to experience firsthand.

Starloft emerged, on the other hand, as a technological wonder, haven for those few who held onto the old ways. Those like Blitt and his employer Danathan Dowells, or rather their ancestors, who settled there ages ago without a choice, making the best with what they had.

It is there that the story begins. By my next posting, however, Blitt will have traveled to the far reaches of another safe-settlement, the region of Mercaster.