Friday 13 January 2012

The Dorothy Delusion - part 7

Previously on the Dorothy Delusion: .1. .2. .3. .4. .5. .6.

The year is 2032. This is the City, centre of world politics.

“Hello, Dorothy. So nice to see you again.” The Siberian’s smile was cold as the tundra.

Dorothy was strapped into a wheel chair but that didn’t stop her from twitching and bucking. The Siberian took hold of her chin and looked into her eyes. Something was happening in there, chaos, confusion and pain, a conflict the General himself would have been proud of. Would be proud of, when he was back.

“That was quite inconvenient of you to run away before you were delivered to your proper destination. But no matter, you’re here now.”

“Si-, Si-” Her voice was breathy, delirious.

“Siberian. Our money.”

He looked up at Munchkin and his neo-gangsters. They seemed very much at home in this shadowy, under-lit warehouse. The Siberian pulled one of his encrypted accounts into his vision, he made a few gestures and the balance blinked to nothing. With another gesture an automated program deleted the account.

“Thank you, Gentlemen, Munchkin. You have been exemplary, every bit the equal of your reputation.”

He waited patiently while the huge man gestured to himself, confirming the transfer.

As Munch was finishing, an urgent, red signal blinked across the Siberian’s display. He expanded it. He watched a tiny loop of video showing the back of a man in a black insertion suit vaulting a high fence. The intruder had almost avoided the camera, had definitely avoided several others and two alarm systems.

A pause and zoom showed tufts of blonde hair sprouting from the edge of the black headgear. Scarecrow.

“If you don’t mind, Gentlemen.”

They looked back at him.

“One last job, for a little spending money?”

The Tin Man’s office was on the thirty third floor of a non-descript tower block. The first ten floors were offices for hire; anyone could hire them, after a deep audit and assessment. Nothing above those floors was accessible from the lobby or stairwells of that building. To get any higher you had to enter through the considerably stronger security of the building across the street, use the heavily-guarded private subway and take the other lift.

His office could only be entered by way of a waiting room, replete with comfy wall seats, stylish tables, secretary and an exceptional, combat-experienced security team. There was a long corridor ending in a door with a keypad, full bio-scan and virtual handshake that would only admit the Tin Man. No one was ever allowed in the corridor with him. Guests had to be admitted by him, and only when he was already in the room.

The Tin Man entered. His suit was just the right shade of grey to compliment his silvering hair, it was subtly expensive: the material, the cut, the tailoring. He was, of course, perfectly turned out. He sat at his desk and, for the first time, he did not power up all the hardware; he did not call taskings and messages and operational summaries into his retinal displays.

Instead, he leant forward, his elbows on the desk, his chin resting on his interlaced fingers. The network of fine creases across his face deepened with intense thought. He did not shift for several minutes.

“You are getting rusty, Tin Man. Look at you, stuck there.”

The Tin Man did not startle easily. He barely moved. His thin lips stretched in a slow smile.

“And you have gotten bold, Lion.”

Leon stepped through the recessed doorway from the en suite bathroom. He walked slowly over to the chair on the other side of the desk and seated himself.

“You went to see the General.”

“Huh. I knew you would be thorough.” The Tin Man nodded, respectfully. “I had to see him for myself. I thought I might kill him.”

“I don’t know if I would have been so restrained. A man never forgives the murder of his son.”

“I know. But his chip is missing, it isn’t The General in that room.”

“That, I know.” Leon levelled his gaze at the Tin Man, “Dorothy has the chip.”

The Tin Man twitched, his eyes widened. “How...? And why go rogue? Why this game?”

“I believe someone has removed her chip. And replaced it with his.”

>goto 8


  1. Ah, now it's starting to come together — nicely done!

  2. I thought so! I really liked the pace in this one. There's a sense of building to the crescendo.

    Keep it up!

    1. I thought that might be what you'd guessed. Thanks, Pete. =)

  3. The world and you've created here is beautiful, I like the mix of post-cyberpunk with a large cast of characters.

    1. Thank you, Aidan, probably the biggest cast I've used. =)

  4. If the General's chip is now inside Dorothy, she will probably now be a danger to all, friend or foe.

    As in Wizard of Oz I keep thinking the scarecrow, the Tin Man and Leon will band together and rescue Dorothy, but I feel you may have something with more of a twist planned than that.

    Looking forward to the next episode, John.

    1. She's mostly running on instinct and confusion, not a great mix in someone trained to use lethal force...

      Glad I've got you thinking, Steve. =)

  5. Oh Dorothy is now the General I wonder what Lion has up his sleeve?

    Some smart writing here John!

    1. She's a bit of both right now. Thanks, Helen. =)