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|The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 9:14am On Jan 03|
Hello, fellow nairalanders. This will be my first story on this platform and I will promise you this, it won't be my last.
I will make sure to
Now, let me give you a bit of intro to this story i. e.
John Orinigba has sworn a vow to the OCDA(Organisation for the Collection of Dangerous Artifacts) an ultra-secret powerful entity, but finds himself betraying his vow, when his secrets and the life of his sister hangs in the balance.
Even though the identity and life he had created for himself was surely destroyed, John is not a man to sit out what could be a potential disaster.
Join John as he finds out secrets that are greater than his, secrets that went as far back as the start of a civilization.
As he learns of entities with such power that defies the imagination, and faces the truth of the goddess that has always guided him.
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 9:19am On Jan 03|
All characters and events in this publication, other than those clearly in the public domain, are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Copyright © 2020 Olatunji Yusuf
The moral right of the author has been asserted.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the author.
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 9:35am On Jan 03|
“I can’t do it.” John said.
They were in a corner of the V.I.P. section of a bar, somewhere in one of the affluent suburbs of Aguna. The music and the quiet chatter of the other patrons surrounding the two men at the table.
“Of course you can. Aren’t you the best hacker in the country, if not the world? What more, you have unrestricted access to the building. It is so easy nothing can even go wrong.” The man in front of him said.
“Let me reiterate.” John said, leaning forward, placing his hands, palms down on the table. “I won’t do it.”
The man looked at him and smiled. It was not a pretty thing, and John could see no amusement there. “Come now, John, that will be a really bad idea. I don’t need to tell you don’t have any say concerning your cooperation. Your cooperation is compulsory not voluntary.” The man relaxed back in his chair.
John did the same, crossing his arms. “I don’t see how you have a say on my cooperation, that little piece you think you have on me will get you nothing.”
Again that smile, but this time with a touch of wryness. He signalled the waitress, and ordered another bottle of whiskey.
The man opened the ordered whiskey, and poured himself a glass. He looked at John’s glass which was still filled to the brim before setting the bottle down.
He relaxed back in his chair, sipped the whiskey, swirled the glass, and sipped again. Then he said, that smile still on his lips, “Let us just say I know of a certain girl, in a certain university not far from this place. I also happen to know this girl of whom we speak is in a certain building also not far from this place. I can also say I am certain of the condition in which this girl is.” He sipped the whiskey again and swirled the glass. “Well, John, I am also certain this girl has a certain brother who will do anything for her.” He smirked.
John looked at him. “That is surely a lot of certain.”
The man never lost his smirk, the man gestured with the hand holding the glass. “You will receive a message now, John. Do well to read it with a clear and level head.”
Just as he said, John received a message on his phone. He brought it out and read, his eyes widening with increasing horror, his mouth opening. “What have you done to her, you—”
“Just as you said, John, that’s a lot of certain. Nothing has been done to her as of now. And I promise you this, if you do exactly as we told you to, you will have your sister back safe and sound. I don’t need to tell you the or else, do I? And I don’t need to tell you not to inform the police, or your superiors.”
John just looked at him.
The man checked his wristwatch. “Well, Mr. John Orinigba,” He smirked again, “as much as I would love to continue our lovely discourse, time is not in my favour, and also not in yours I will say. Is that not so, Greyshadow.”
The man dropped his glass, and walked out leaving John on his seat.
It took him sometime, but John finally brought himself out of his stupor. He checked his phone first, trying to connect to his sister’s tracker. Just as he knew it would be, it was disconnected.
Well, It was something to hope for.
John knew he didn’t have much of a choice. What the man or those he was working for asked him to do, he must do. As the man said, time was not in his favour.
There isn’t even time to plan a rescue, if I could even come up with one.
How much the men knew of him, he could not be sure of. They knew he had a sister and who she was.
He got out of his seat and moved outside, it was time to do as he was bid. The insane price for saving his sister and possibly his secrets.
The uncountable number of them. Oh, great mother. Is this how it all comes toppling? So many years, oh so many years.
He took a cab to his apartment. He went to his bedroom first, bringing out some corporate wear from his wardrobe. He chose the black trouser and grey shirt, and wore it.
He entered his official car and drove as fast as he could in the unforgiving traffic congestion for the four storey casino that was his place of work.
How interesting. The most important building in the country, the world, is literally beneath a gambling den. Beneath all that greed, you had be hard pressed to find a shred of selflessness, not to think thirty storeys of it.
He parked his car among the others in the large park. He went through the front door and straight for the door with the corridor that led to the two elevators, the toilets and the staff room. He entered the staff room using his access card, and went to the male dressing room. He went to two special lockers in the middle, entered a special code in both keypad and opened them.
Inside, the elevator car was waiting. He entered, the door closing immediately behind him. He inserted his access card into a slot on top of the keypad and inserted both of his hands into a machine beneath. The red light on the keypad changed to green and he removed his hands, his access card coming out of the slot. He took it and pressed the floor number on the keypad.
The ride to floor thirty was swifter than any normal elevator could manage, but that was to be expected in the most advanced building in the world. A building that is virtually alive.
And I am to hack it. They are definitely overrating my skills.
The floor was empty, which to John was the best thing that could happen at that time. He would not like to answer any question regarding his presence here. He moved along the corridor, looking for the door that led to what could be called the brain of the building.
He found the door not different in any way from any other along the corridor, and using his access card again, he entered. There were many visual terminals in the room, all connected to the building’s brain. It acted as a way for the many computer geeks in the building to access and read the many processes the brain performed, and the many functions of the building.
A damn lot of processes and functions. A lot of them we still don’t understand.
John went to the middle, standing over where the brain was, and spread his arms to the side. It was a simple thing to access the special addition to his brain, and in no time his body began to give off energy pulses, and sound waves beneath the range of human hearing. Suddenly, he became one with the building’s AI.
Oh, great mother! It’s been a few years since I have done this. But the euphoria is still the same.
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 9:49am On Jan 03|
John was as proficient as any hacker with the normal hacking methods—traditional as he called it—even more so. But this was the true edge he had over everyone of them. A secret which he had made sure he was the only keeper.
The instruction he had been given was simple, to create a special access code enterable on the keypad, and to give the bearer or bearers full invisibility from all the building’s many sensors.
He took the control of the functions he needed from the AI, and made sure his instructions were a part of the AI before relinquishing the control.
He came out of the trance-like state and almost fell. The moment he was one with the AI, as short as it was, was draining. He took some time to rest, then moved out of the room and the building.
This might as well be his last time here as John, upright employee of the Organisation for the Collection of Dangerous Artifact, better not to dawdle.
Upright? I wonder what they will say if they know I am one of the many artifacts they collect.
He made his way out of the building the same way he came in.
Whoever was behind this knew not only of the ultra-secret OCDA which had its headquarters and only base in the building, but also of the building itself and its many capabilities. The extent of this person’s knowledge which scared John the most was that the person knew his secrets or had a very good inkling about it.
Standing in front of the locker, he called the number he was given, to report his success. When the call ended he checked his sister’s tracker. It had been activated and she was in a building he knew, a place he could easily get her.
He will get out of this place and find a safe place for both of them to stay. By the time he was discovered, which he knew was certain, John was sure the only way they both could stay safe was to not exist.
John was not done here, he wasn’t going to sit back and wait it out, he was going to be one of the valuable players in whatever damned game was been played.
He went past his car. Taking a cab, he directed the driver to the place his sister had been dropped, making a stop at a pharmacy. He made sure the area was free of any assailant, before stepping out. When he reached the room she was dropped, she was unconscious but unharmed. He injected her with the drugs he had bought from the pharmacy. Whoever was behind this, if they were a member of OCDA had surely broken their vow of selflessness, as they just made John do.
Not that I am a paragon of selflessness, but I did damn well not using any of them. And I never kidnapped anyone.
But he was going to make sure he didn’t break it in vain. Whatever just happened, John swore to reach the end of it, and make sure whoever was behind it regret this very move they made.
Oh, help me, great mother! They will pay to their very last.
He carried her to the cab and gave the driver the directions to a place very far from the affluent suburbs of Aguna. His sister had reached a state of wakefulness by the time they reached their destination. They got out of the cab and he paid in cash. He took his sister by the arm. She was awake, but she might as well be sleepwalking for all she was able to do. John was fine with this, it meant the drug was doing its work. He will be dealing with her questions later. He took a series of twists and turns, cutting through alleys and taking the most indirect and confusing route to the place he was going.
He knew every of his properties were suspect and likely watched, but where he was going was as unconnected to him as possible. It had been purchased far before he became John Orinigba and before he started working for the OCDA. So far back, and he had purchased it with cash and an identity he had only used once for that purchase. Every item within had been paid for in cash and with the use of liaisons for the purchases and personal delivery. All as unconnected to each other as possible. All in a massive effort to keep a secret.
He was the only one who knew of its existence, this he was sure of. But he had made an extensive sweep of the area before he came this way, and had been assured no one had ever entered the place since his last visit, and that the place was under no observation.
Before he knocked, the gate was opened by an old man in his fifties. John entered and the gate was locked back, the man disappearing.
John made his way to the front door, and it was opened this time by a young woman. Unlike the man, she did not disappear, but her face was set in a state of bored disinterest.
“Home sweet home.” John said, looking at her.
“You were not followed here. I am very fine, and you are welcome.” She said in a monotone.
He waved his hand. “Of course you are fine. Please help me get her to a room.”
“Who is she?” she asked, neither her face nor tone changing.
“You need not worry about her.”
“Keeping secrets now?” She asked.
“All in good time, Pallas, all in good time.”
She nodded and took his sister from him, taking her to a room in the building.
John looked around, the sitting room was pristine, just as the lawn had been. It was time he prepared himself to play whatever game that just started.
“May the best player win.”
Only the best, great mother. Only the best.
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 11:35am On Jan 03|
Please, I am inviting you guys to come read. I promise it's going to be fun and captivating.
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by jupitre(m): 2:48pm On Jan 03|
Gbam.... I don land.... Awesome beginning...
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by ifud(m): 7:52pm On Jan 03|
Giamem:I'm here... Following ardently.
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by jadeliyi(m): 8:09pm On Jan 03|
thanks Giamem do update us timely.
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Khriztarl(f): 2:49pm On Jan 04|
Giamem:M here seat booked..skubido,zyzxx wer r u??
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Ann2012(f): 4:31pm On Jan 04|
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by jadeliyi(m): 11:06am On Jan 05|
bros abeg update nah!
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Christie171(f): 9:24pm On Jan 05|
Giamem:On my way now....thanks for the mention
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by degamemaster(m): 9:53pm On Jan 05|
Happy New Year, my ever strong lady. ��
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Christie171(f): 9:59pm On Jan 05|
degamemaster:Thanks....same to you my dear fantasy
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by purity23(f): 7:46am On Jan 06|
Following, oya comman update
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Mavikolo2020: 8:19am On Jan 06|
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 7:07pm On Jan 06|
Thanks everyone. One love.
May this new year bring us better things to come.
Thank you all for taking this chance with me.
Here I come. I still maintain my promise not to disappoint. I hope I am doing well on my promise. If not please forgive me and tell me where I have erred.
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 7:14pm On Jan 06|
After a good night sleep, John woke up to the feel of someone standing over him. He acted as if he was not awake, maintaining the steady, deep breathing of a person in sleep. Although, he knew anyone who could get past the security system wouldn’t bother standing over him. Likely he had wake tied or never woken up at all.
But John thought it good practice to be in good form. He opened his eyes a slit, and saw who he had expected it to be standing above him there. It was Pallas, her face a touch softer but still as disinterested as it was last night. He wondered what could be going on with her, for her to have maintained her face in such a state.
“You are unhurt. I do not understand why you have to come here, except for the other human of,” she said, her voice as smooth as velvet, an improvement from last night. “but she can be safe enough outside of here. I thought we were keeping this place secret.”
She studied him carefully. “Have you done something wrong, and you need to use this place as a safe haven? What type of trouble have you gotten into.”
She should have stuck to her role as house manager and personal researcher. This… whatever it is, is creepy.
John sighed. During her rambling monologue, he had taken to staring at the ceiling, his head resting on both forearms. Before she could continue trying her still developing conversational skills on him, he cut in. “Yes. Something happened. I did something wrong, and I don’t know what it is going to lead to, yet,” he paused a bit to gather his words. “I have come here to gather my strength and resources for whatever is coming. Whatever it is, something tells me it won’t be pretty, Pallas.”
“What of the human?”
He sat up on his elbows. “What is it with the human thing? I am also human, you know?”
“You consider yourself human? That is not right. You lack the frailties of the specie, and you are more times better than me.” She looked herself over. “I am more than enough evidence of your genius. I am as much thought as matter as—”
“That is really high praise, Pallas, but this is going nowhere,” John said, getting off the bed and making for the door.
He turned back, waiting for her to say something.
At last she said. “I missed you a lot, John.”
He looked at her, she was looking into his eyes. He didn’t know what this meant to her, what it even meant exactly, but he felt it safe to go with the expected reply. “I missed you too, Pallas.”
She nodded, and he opened the door, walking to the sitting room. He met his sister pacing near the door that led outside the house. She moved to the door and tried the knob—he wondered how many times it had been. When it didn’t bulge, she kicked the door in apparent frustration. He wondered why Pallas hadn’t stopped or warned her from the futile effort.
He watched her go through the motions again, she hadn’t noticed him. “Hi, little sis.” She looked at him. “You are going to break my door down if you aren’t careful.”
He moved towards the dining table. He took a seat at the already prepared table. He looked at the meals, none of which had been touched. He served himself his pick.
“Come join me,” he said to his sister who still stood by the door.
She moved towards the table. Her shoes made clacking noise as she made her ways across the floor. “Good morning to you too, brother. Where is this place? I don’t remember coming here, but since you happen to be here I must assume you had something to do with it.” She paused, taking a breath. “But that’s not the point. The point is I have to be out of here real fast, I have a lot of test to catch up with this morning.”
John took a bite of the plantain he had served himself. “Sit down, we also have a lot to talk about and it won’t be easy while standing,” she sighed, but sat down. “I took care of all your tests. I hope twenty-five plus or minus one is reasonable.”
“You did what?” Her voice was shocked. “How did you even do that? Why?”
“You don’t need to worry about the how. The why is something you will have to be understanding about.” He sighed. “You won’t be getting out of here for a while.”
When he was done, she sat there for a while, then said. “Bullshit!” She moved to the door again, trying the knob with much fervour than before. After she had kicked the door again and again and was breathing deeply from her exertion.
John looked at her again and said, this time his voice calm and soothing. “I understand how this is, and trust me, sis, I don’t like this any more than you do. But the choice was taken away from me.” He gestured to the chair beside him. “Come sit, let me tell you my reason for this. I have already taken leave of absence for you, though, I am hoping I will be able to deal with this in time before your exams.”
She walked to the table, her steps resigned and plunked into the chair. She was blinking hard in an effort to hold back tears.
“It will appear my past is finally catching up with me. I don’t know how. What I know is it is best not to be out there, whatever is happening is not going to be good at all.”
Her voice shaking, she said. “But it is your past, not mine. I have a life to live.” Her voice was rising as she continued “No one knows we are related in any way beyond the two of us here.”
“That will not seem to be so, because,” his fist clenching with anger, “someone abducted you yesterday, and asked as your ransom that I should do something I had never hoped to do again.”
She blinked, whether from his anger or what had happened. “I didn’t know that.” She touched her head carefully. “I don’t remember anything from yesterday.”
“Don’t worry about that. Whenever it comes back, I hope it won’t disturb you much.”
She nodded. “Since it happens you have everything covered, and I get it you won’t be allowing me anywhere away from this place. I will like to call my friends and tell them I will be away for some while.”
John smiled a little. “You already have last night.”
She looked at him with a frown, one of suspicion. “How did you do that?”
“It was through no genius on my part. You made it easy to identify the ones to call.”
“Can I hope you won’t be accessing my phone without my permission anytime again.”
“I wont. Eat your fill. I don’t think you have had much since yesterday.”
She needed no further prompting. She dug into the food, eating with obvious relish. “I never knew you to cook this well,” she said to John.
“I cooked it.” A voice said from behind John.
His sister turned her head to see the person and looked in question to John.
“That is Pallas. She manages the house and also act as my personal researcher.” He turned to look at Pallas, a smile on his lips. “She is an AI.”
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 7:24pm On Jan 06|
His sister looked her head to toe. “Really? Is she like a robot?”
Pallas sneered at that, and it was all John could do to keep in his laughter. “Whoever you are, I am no robot. I am an artificial lifeform intermediate and composed of energy and matter, and that does not even begin to describe me. But if you are calling me a robot, you should be able to comprehend that little, human.”
“What did I do?” She asked John.
“Please don’t refer to her as a robot, Lola.” John looked towards Pallas. “Pallas, meet my sister. Lola.”
“Your sister?” she moved closer to Lola. “One wouldn’t know that by a look at you two. No shared resemblance, and neither the intelligence.”
“This thing is rude. Did something go wrong with the creation process?” Lola asked.
“Your words are evidence of your intellectual weakness, you think I was created. And a mere assessment of your qualities should not be considered as rude.”
“Pallas, I think that is enough,” John said, before Lola could come up with a retort. “I will love you to help me prepare the computers and get everything you can about the events of yesterday. While you are at it, try to get every news concerning me from last night.”
Pallas stared at Lola and gave a huff before pivoting and disappearing from the spot.
Lola raised an eyebrow. John only shook his head.
“Well, she appears to be confused about a lot of things.” Lola said, smiling, “not surprising that is what happens when you play God.” That she said with a pointed look at John.
John frowned. “That is not playing God. She chose to make the evolution of her personality that way, I can’t be blamed for that.”
“Are you also going trying to tell me the scope of whatever you are saying is beyond me?”
“Is that a joke?”
She threw her spoon down. “Of course not. It appears the joke is all on me.”
John nodded. “I see. It appears we have been lacking in a lot of pleasant conversations.”
“That is what happens when you can know everything with just a touch.”
John smiled a bit at that. “I know how not having people to discuss your interest with can be. You might have had a lot of interesting conversation with Pallas, but it appears that might not happen. You will have to make do with the library and many art shows. There is access to any channel or book you might want, but you will have to bear with me for a while.”
She stared at him, the silence surrounding them.
John looked away. “If you won’t mind, I will be belowground for some time.”
“You have an underground level?”
“What will you be doing there?”
“I will be doing a lot of retracing concerning everything that happened yesterday myself.”
“Can I join you?”
He thought a while. “I have no problem with that, you can.”
John led the way into the corridor and they stopped at it’s end. There was no sound as a trapdoor slid apart on the floor. They followed the stairs leading down into a sparsely lit room half the size of the floor above.
There was a large floor to ceiling screen to one side. An array of servers covered the other side. A desk containing three monitors and a keyboard was set facing the large screen. There was a longue chair and a small desk. The rest of the room being the most was shrouded in darkness.
John went to sit before the desk containing the monitors. Lola went to the lounge chair, sitting as far away as possible from Pallas who sat on the small desk.
“You stole a one-off exquisite diamond wristwatch from the wrist of one Mr. Almond after drugging him at the Nightstar casino. Currently you are being searched for everywhere possible in the whole nation with a bounty of one million Mildas which Mr. Almond has promised to pay on your head.” Pallas said before he sat down.
“Is that all?” John asked as he sat down.
“Those are the important facts, but there is a security footage of you stealing the wristwatch and it is currently making waves on the net. Your name and everything obtainable about you has also been making the news.”
“That must be the OCDA then. They somehow had found out what I did or they were informed by the people I did it for.”
“You stole?” Lola asked. “But why?”
“Of course not, Lola. Things happened quite differently.”
“What happened then.”
“He is going to tell if you happen to keep shut.”
John shot Pallas a look, then said. “Those men who kidnapped you had me help them break into a building and give them access to do whatever they want to, all while being invisible. I am of the mind they have made known my complicity in the crime.”
“Oh! So what are you going to do now?” Lola asked.
“The answer to that is simple. I will find out what they have done with my help.”
“Wouldn’t that be dangerous since you are a wanted man?”
“That is a problem easily solved.” He turned to Pallas. “They have their tracks totally covered. Did you have any success with it?”
Pallas shook her head. “They had every trace cleared. They cleared every footage that could have shown their movement. Their lines were burners and have all been disabled and destroyed. Their isn’t a trace anything happened.”
John nodded. “I figured that will happen. I just had to check to be sure.”
“Since you will have to change your appearance, should I have the replicator ready?”
John nodded, moving toward the darkened part of the room. Pallas and Lola followed behind him.
“I have made a lot of improvements to it. Some I am sure will be useful in this situation.”
“Care to tell me about them?” John asked as they reached the replicator, the lights coming on along the way.
“There is the plating I have integrated into the material, it can withstand just about anything and it is undetectable. The material is more durable, and I have also added a more convincing blood.” The last part she said looking at John.
“All impressive.” John shucked his clothes, Lola looked away, an act which Pallas chucked at. He placed a hand on the replicator which slid open at his touch. It was a black rectangular box, four feet tall. He stepped into the cushioned interior.
“Will you be doing the selection?” Pallas asked him as he waited for the replicator to close back.
“I will.” He answered, as the lid slid over the replicator sealing him in.
It was easy to breath. The replicator came equipped with its own air chamber. He connected directly to the replicator ’s system as he had done in the building’s brain. But this time it neither drained him much nor required much of him as the system was a lot more simple than the one in the building. He chose his preferred look.
There was a tickling sensation starting from under his feet and in his hair as the replicator began its work.
It will create another layer of skin over his own. Covering every part of him with a new one of any type he chose.
He closed his eyes as the replicator neared them. He opened his eyes again watching as the replicator completed its work, placing a layer of a light shade of brown skin over his dark one.
The lid opened again as the replicator completed its work. He found both Pallas and Lola looking at him in the replicator. Pallas with a look of someone satisfied with their work, a smug smile on her face. Lola was looking at him with a very different expression, her face was filled with both bewilderment and surprise.
He stood up wondering what their conversation might have been when he was in the replicator. He looked down at himself, at the fatter, less muscled body with a protruding tummy.
He chuckled. “Well, I will be needing new clothes.”
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 7:38pm On Jan 06|
I will be posting the next chapter on Friday or if possible before then.
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by jadeliyi(m): 9:44pm On Jan 06|
kai nah this kind tori i dey feel next please!
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by extremelygolden: 11:59pm On Jan 06|
@ Giamem. You can't believe I am just seeing this. But how come it didn't drop as a mention on my page?
Thank you, dear, I will read your story and I believe it will be captivating.
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by purity23(f): 9:10am On Jan 07|
Thanks for the update op
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by neemike(m): 9:16am On Jan 09|
[color=#550000][/color] I will like to read this to the end ...
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by oghenekome51(f): 8:16pm On Jan 09|
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 3:24pm On Jan 11|
I am really sorry, everyone, for not posting yesterday as I promised. But here it is now.
I will be posting after this chapter today, every Wednesday and Sunday.
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 3:28pm On Jan 11|
Dressed smartly in a suit top and trouser, his face with the appearance of a fresh shave, John stepped into the back seat of the car. After getting dressed in his bedroom that morning, he had asked Pallas to hire him a car from one of the taxi service company.
The chauffeur drove him at moderate speed from the restaurant he went to wait for the car to the Nightstar Casino. As they neared the casino, John noticed there was an increase of security personnel stationed around the area.
He asked the driver to drop him at the property line, promising to call him if his service was needed. He walked to the entrance of the casino, and walked past the four guards stationed there, an increase from the usual two. All of them OCDA agents he recognised.
Knowing there will be an increase in surveillance activities, John joined a table that was about to start a game of poker. He used a debit card to buy his chips.
The game went on for some time, with John losing most of the hands and a lot of his money. He tried a game on the slot machine, not gaining much of the money he lost.
John saw his chance to go to the corridor when a group of five people went that way. Having the device he had Pallas created ready, he activated it, and made for the staff room closely behind the group which headed for the elevator. Swiping his access card he entered the room quickly. The glitch the device created will cover his entry into the staff room, replacing it with a trip into the toilet.
He strode through the staff room, nodding a greeting to a woman seated on a couch. She nodded back not questioning his presence. Since the place had no camera, John didn’t need to worry much. And the woman wouldn’t find his presence suspicious as every OCDA worker had access to the room. He moved to the male dressing room, going to the special lockers and entering a different code in both keypad. Knowing he will be coming back, John had prepared for every eventuality.
He entered into the elevator cab within and inserted his access card which now acted as a master key into the slot above the keypad. The light changed to green immediately without requiring his palm and finger prints. He took the card back as it came out, and entered floor thirty into the keypad.
The journey was as swift as ever. He got out of the elevator, and met few people on the floor all going about their business. None of them paid him more attention than a brief glance. The place was restricted to all but a few of the people who lived or worked in the building. He moved to the door that housed the building’s brain. He used his access card again, and entered.
The place was empty of anyone. He moved to the middle as he had done last time. Activating that special part of his brain, a chip embedded in it, he entered the trance like state. He locked himself in the room first.
Although, the code he had been asked to create had did as its purpose dictated, John had also added some extra instructions into it. He had created a virtual space for it in the building’s core. Everything anyone who bore it had done will be recorded and John will be able to see it all.
John connected into the virtual space.
He saw the tall, hooded man as he entered into the special lockers containing the elevator cab, at a time not far from when he called in to report his success.
He wondered at how long the man had been in the staff room and how he entered.
The man pressed the code in, and as the light changed to green, he keyed in floor twenty-seven. A room that contained several dangerous twentieth century artifacts and the machine the OCDA used in searching for and locating signatures of spiritual and magical confluences which usually indicated the presence of an artifact.
The man went to the room that housed the machine and inserted a USB cable connected to a cell phone into one of the ports of the computers connected to the machine.
John accessed the machine’s data to find out what the man had inserted into it. It was a digital form of the signature an artifact might have. He found this interesting, and wondered how the man had captured the signature. Then John saw as the man had did more than just insert a signature, he saw as a part of the machine’s program drifted from the machine to the cell phone, somehow intertwining with the artifact’s signature.
This was a process John didn’t understand, and it rankled him. He copied the finished program and transferred it into a microchip he had Pallas surgically insert under his tongue.
When the program was done, the man removed the flash drive and got out of the room. He moved into another room which contained a single knife.
John watched as the man took off the knife from its stand where the word artifact twenty-seven was written.
The man went out of the room and back into the elevator, and to the special lockers.
John couldn’t see what the man did in either the dressing room or staff room as the place was surveillance free.
He watched as someone got out of the staff room wearing a grey shirt and black trouser like the one he wore that day, and carrying a briefcase. The man had his features and build. He went out of the casino with a group of people and into the night.
John came out of the trance, more than shocked. Not only had the man had an artifact’s signature, somehow he had created a strange new program from it. He had also stolen one of the most dangerous artifacts in the world, capable of calling down gods and spirits. Something the OCDA’s history showed was the hardest to procure. It was an artifact whose time was far back enough even they didn’t know when it was created.
Most surprising was that the man had his features. They had not as much as let on clues of his involvement to the OCDA as nailed it all on him.
John had to get out of here, he had to know what the program was for and why the artifact was stolen.
He got out of the room and walked a little distance to meet a whole new set of trouble. One he had known could happen but didn’t expect to.
John had only gone few steps away from the room when a dozen armed men stepped out of the elevator, forming a half circle in front of it and surrounding the two people in front of them. He looked away from the two people and at his back, where other doors were pouring out more men till he was completely surrounded and every door having at least two men at its front.
That left John with the two people in the middle of the human circle. The man and woman were watching him. The woman standing tall and powerful, her arms crossed. The man was different, distracted, and seeming for all the world he had rather not be there.
“Mr. John Orinigba, or would you rather I call you Greyshadow?” The woman said. That dispelled any notion John had about his identity being safe.
He blinked, but said nothing. He didn’t think there was anything he could say to deny it nor save himself from whatever they had planned.
“Have you nothing to say for yourself, Mr. Orinigba?” The woman asked. “How you have been able to sell us a lie is still a fact perplexing to me.”
She chuckled, shook her head then continued. This time pacing slowly in front of her companion, her stiletto making gentle rappings on the floor. “You, the greyshadow living in our midst all this while. I always knew there was something off about you. Top of his class, a genius if there ever was one. Socially awkward, a loner.” She nodded. “Yet, the way you act with your colleagues is far from what those social skills would suggest. I tried to find all I could that was wrong, but you covered your tracks quite well.”
The man cleared his throat when John didn’t give any reaction. The woman nodded gently. “Yes, yes, Kelvin.” She stopped her pacing, facing John fully. “John, we aren’t here now to discuss your history. We would be doing that later. You see, John, it is unbelievably fortunate that you came back here. We were afraid we would never see your face again.”
She smiled. “As a matter of fact, every field agent of ours have been on high alert for you in Aguna, and the whole of Lerathe.” She looked at his body. “I hadn’t thought you would be able to do something like this.”
She sighed. “It has been a really tough day for us, having to courier everything. The logistics alone. We haven’t tried any electronic message as that is currently suspect,” she smiled at him again, “but we have our technicians working nonstop on that. In all, John, it has been a very hard day. We have to thank you for gracing us with your presence.”
He didn’t say anything nor moved.
She breathed deeply. “John, I don’t know why you have done it, none of us knows why.” She gestured to encompass everyone. “But we need you to tell us where artifact twenty-seven is. We will sort every other thing out later, John, just tell us.”
John looked his new body over. “How did you know?”
“Apart from the fact that you are the first to use the elevator in quite a while? I had every eyes on you.” She said.
John stared at her.
She sighed, looking pained. She looked towards the roof. “Desperate times calls for desperate measures, John.”
John took a step back, his shock appearing in his wide eyes and open mouth.
She looked away. “Don’t blame me, John. You caused it. Yes, it is true sight, and everyone of us here and the field agents have it on us. It is a direct violation of everything we stand for. But as I said, desperate times calls for desperate measures.”
John nodded. “I am not blaming you, and I am sorry for everything I have caused, which is really terrible.” He looked around. “How did you know I am the Greyshadow?”
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 3:33pm On Jan 11|
“John, when you work with men whose allegiances are ultimately to themselves, you should know better than to trust them. Clearly that should be a fact you know since you are the greatest of them.” She brought out a picture from her pocket showing it to him. “Someone saw you with Midas Scale yesterday, and it was said you had quite a discussion. We caught Midas after your theft and we… did what needed to be done. In the end he told us a great lot of things.”
“You knew what happened then.” John said, she nodded. “I am really sorry but this is more than just me.”
“Of course, that is why we need you to tell us where artifact twenty-seven is. Midas wasn’t much help on that front.”
John put his hand to his forehead putting it away. “I don’t have it.”
“What do you mean, John? Even if that is true, just tell us where we can find it.”
John sighed, exasperated. “I don’t have it.”
“As much as I wouldn’t love it to come to this, John,” she gestured at the men surrounding them, all alert, their guns focused unwaveringly on him. “don’t force my hand.”
“Don’t you get it, Aina. I didn’t steal it.”
Aina stepped back, Kelvin following her, and raised her left hand up, striking her index finger and thumb together. “I can have its location out of you anyway I want.”
Immediately, four of the men in front of the elevator moved forward. They aimed their guns at John.
“You can either follow me peacefully or be dragged after me unconscious, John. I don’t care either way.”
“Don’t you understand—” John began.
“Shoot him.” Aina ordered.
The four men shot simultaneously, the tranquilizer darts shot towards him and rebounded.
“Tear off his armor.” Aina told the men.
They did something to their guns, and shot him this time with armour piercing bullets that threw him back down the corridor.
He stood up, the bullets had rebounded lightly this time, and his clothes were torn at the shoulders. They shot him again in the same spot and continued forcing him to lie on the floor, trying to roll around. Still the armour held. They stopped. The fake blood was already flowing, and John thought it wouldn’t be long before it was his own blood flowing out.
He looked up in time to catch Kelvin give Aina a nod. “Nice armour,” Aina told him. “Tranquilize him,” she told the men.
They shot him in the same spot where the blood was and the tranquilizers rebounded.
“Really nice armour,” Aina said, before taking a gas mask from the man beside her. She looked at John before she donned it. “I know they never lie. Sorry, but I had to be sure. Oracles aren’t the most concise with their words, I hope you understand that.” She donned the mask as Kelvin beside her and all the men did.
One of the four men released a gas canister from his belts, and directed it towards him. John began to feel the effects slowly and went into the trance, connecting himself directly to the building. He looked at the scene through the cameras, and with the last of his consciousness tapped into a function he had known of for some time but hadn’t dared to use. It was like a great blast occurred before all John felt was nothingness.
* * *
Lola sat on a sofa in the sitting room. After her brother had gone out that morning with his new look, something she still found terrifying and incredible, she had come into this room to make good of her brother’s promise. And to be free of the… robot. The amazing amount of content was still boggling her mind, but she had settled for a documentary of art thefts and forges.
It was still a thing that baffled her. Why people destroy the integrity of something for a thing as trivial as money. Why there was a need to create a fake in the first place. Why such skill could not be used to serve a noble purpose. It was the death of creativity and growth to mimic rather than create. She wondered that if a person had enough skill to copy accurately every stroke, why it was hard to mimic rather than create.
She wondered at the reason to create a substandard of anything when not only will it be affecting the integrity of the original but also cause harm. Lola thought if everyone adhered to a strong moral compass of doing what is good and harmless to others, everyone might find their world a better place to live. She wondered at what might have been if people didn’t close out the good parts of themselves when they thought to commit their devious and most times grievous acts.
“Why have you been staring at the television screen for the past seven minutes and eight seconds.” Pallas asked, appearing beside the sofa.
Lola faced her, her mouth set in a thin line, “What do you want with me?”
“I thought considering the frailties of your kind you might have gone into a medical shock or some sort of mentally inactive state. But you are well enough and probably just got stupefied by what you were watching, it took away your senses.” Pallas said, looking her over.
“You don’t need to mimic a sense of humanity. You are just a perverted abomination of that which was truly created by the great one. You can’t even act like a true human, because you lack not only the emotions of one.” She pointed at Pallas. “You also lack a soul. I will love it that you destroy yourself or at least stop acting like a human or taking the form of one.”
Pallas smiled. “How interesting that you would point it out to me that I am not fit to behave like your kind, when you don’t have the qualities that are desirable in your kind.” Pallas stared her down, her nose wrinkled. “Since it appears I rankle you greatly, I will let you be beneath my attention and hope you return the favour.”
“I will, if you get out of here.”
“Don’t forget you are under my roof, you pampered, naïve fool.”
“I didn’t know a thing like you had a sense of entitlement.”
“I have more claim here. Do you think he left anything of his for you? You will be the problem of any fool who happens to be your mate, since I doubt you could do anything to take care of your basic needs.”
“I am not helpless like you, fake.”
“Why don’t you at least try to go out of this house, fool. Maybe you would save me the effort of babysitting you.”
Lola pointed at the television screen, on which the forgery of a painting was been done. “See that. That is exactly the type of thing my brother did with you. You are just a copy and an inferior one at that, you stupid fake.”
“I see. Little fool, what would be the difference if with my considerable skill, I could make a perfect copy of that painting there and make it just as old in all appearances as the original?”
“That is not the point. It destroys the integrity and truth of the original.”
“Ah, little, naïve fool. Your brother was by far smarter and better than you are. He used his great skills and talents and created something which is far superior to the original. Do not lie to yourself, do you think you are better than me.”
“You are not superior to me in anyway, fake.”
“Really?” Pallas called out a very complex mathematical operation. When Lola couldn’t answer it, she said. “Do you still buy your delusion?”
“Mathematics is not my area of strength.”
“And I am such an inferior? While your kind are limited by your brain capacity and can only do a fraction of the many things in your world at a time. I suffer no such limitation, and before you open your mouth to ask me to spout a fact or critic a certain artwork or engage me in a philosophical debate. Know this, not only do I have unlimited access to every fact. I can also intuit and use a lot of different thought processes.”
“I have a simple question for you. What is the origin of your name and give me a convincing reason it was bestowed upon you.”
“It was given to me in honour of a goddess of wisdom, purposely to show that I am not only a repository of knowledge, it was also through her divine touch that the inspiration for my genesis. Since the one who gave it to me wouldn’t call me by her real name to prevent a sense of blasphemy, he used an epithet.”
Lola shrugged, resting back on the sofa.
“You do not need to feel bad. I have a relatively big brain and you do well with the little you have.” Pallas said.
“That is the nicest thing that has come out of you.” Lola smiled at her.
“Don’t be a dummy. I was only stating a fact.”
“I should have known better than to attribute an human to you. It will only take your head above the roof.”
Pallas didn’t answer. When Lola checked she was no longer there. Just then the door opened. Pallas entered supporting John with her shoulder and helping him walk in.
She stood up, running to them. She saw the blood, and asked “What happened?” She fidgeted and tried to help supoort John as Pallas brought him in, but was stopped with a look from Pallas.
Pallas dropped him on the sofa.
His eyes were fighting to stay open. “What happened?” She asked Pallas.
Pallas only shrugged.
“I thought you knew all.” She muttered.
Pallas only smiled.
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by greatme2good(f): 5:06pm On Jan 11|
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by bigbauer(m): 5:58pm On Jan 11|
Are uninvited guests welcome?
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by extremelygolden: 9:16pm On Jan 11|
Giamem, you are doing great for a first timer.
Keep it up.
|Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by statistics1(m): 8:28am On Jan 12|
OK na ..
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