Hack the Future part 20 ( Steven Schaufler & J Dark )

She gazed at the tall, three story buildings. Crowded together at odd angles, the mingled architecture gave the feel of age and a mischievous sense of life. The various stores were as haphazard as the buildings. Electronic stores nestled against Coffee shops, which in turn abutted banks, which in their own turn, snuggled up to a laundromat. Small businesses abounded, with only a few buildings that were single tenant. Kruss Limited building was immediately recognizable. It’s Dark blue glass front was jarring compared to the red and yellow brick fronts on the neighboring stores. The light reflected onto the street in bright squares as each pane was slightly off in mounting to it’s neighbor, creating a spray of light across the street onto shops across the narrow two lane road.

The design was meant to be intimidating, and the turret overhanging the top floor like a cobra with its hood spread added to the oppressive nature that emanated from the building. Kruss was like an octopus, Blade recalled, having fingers in electronics, chemistry, biomechanics, security, psychometrics, and satellite design. She walked past the building, slowing to a stop in front of the blue mirror windows. Leaning to the window, and raising a hand to shade her eyes, she acted like a tourist trying to see inside. The guards on duty were quick. The door, which was only identifiable by the gold handle mounted on the glass, opened as two guards i dark brown shirts and black pants, stepped out. Each guard had a black tie on, and both were massive through the shoulders and waist. Both were bald and wore sunglasses. Blade was certain both were on some kind of steroid to build the extra muscle. Muscle grafts were more blocky than chemical enhancements.

Fraulein, please step back from the glass. It is pressure sensitive. Accidentally leaning on the glass can set the security alarms off. Alarms and the laser pod on the roof, she mused. I wonder how the government made pistols and rifles illegal, yet allows shotguns, compressed air arrow launchers, and things like lasers to be legal, when those are more lethal than most of the banned weapons. She shrugged her shoulders and gave the two men a timid smile as she aimed her glance down at their shoes. „I didn’t know. The glass is so distinctive that I thought it might be a boutique.“ She slowly raised her eyes to gaze between them, knowing each would think it was him she was looking at. She saw the one on the left shift slightly. He reacted to her coy actions. The other remained professional. She memorized the names in case she needed to approach ‘Dietrich’ later. She would avoid ‘Mueller’, he was too professional. Seduction had a place in her arsenal just as did her metal arm and pistol.

It’s all understandable, Fraulein, the building does stand out“, Mueller stated in a no-nonsense voice. She nodded, lowering her eyes again slowly. „Thank you. I would have been terribly embarrassed if I had caused a scene.“ The two men nodded, then Dietrich opened the door, and he and Mueller entered the building. Her hearing caught, „Put your tongue back Deitrich, she’s cybered. She’d gut you like a pig.“ She heard Dietrich’s surprise mumble, then the door closed on them, cutting the conversation like a guillotine.

I had better stay away from here. If Mueller is closer to the standard guard, then they’ll be very good. TJ will want to know this. She checked her pocket watch. It was an old mechanical antique, with no memory chips or GPS tracking to locate the user like a cellphone. It’s time to go look at the concert venue. Cannibal Lighthouse has three concerts over the next three nights. I need to check the stadthalle.

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