In the bad part of town.
Optional Style: Shakespearean
Albert had heard a disturbing rumor and he was weighing his options. Two hours ago, he was hawking pre-war lithium batteries. He wasn’t getting any takers, at least none with money, but he got a text-message from one of his suppliers, something big came up. He caught an auto-taxi and after a few tries got the on board computer to understand his destination. He met his supplier, Dustin, at a tofu vendor that had setup a semi-permanent establishment in one of the vacant warehoused by the unused waterfront. It was a quiet part of town, nothing of any worth so the gangs didn’t bother with it.
Dustin was your run of the mill scavenger. He’d rummage through old dumps and other abandoned sites. The legality was questionable, but no one really bothered enforcing the trespassing laws. Dustin was working the corp trash when he overheard two suits talking about research experiment coming to an end. According to them, the experiment was a test to put biological matter in stasis, and then store is nearly indefinitely. Dustin said they lowered their voices, but he clearly heard them say the word “beef” while discussing the contents of the store.
“Beef? Really?” remarked Albert. “There hasn’t been a cow alive in 10 years.”
“Yeah, but I looked into that experiment in those old mil-spec records I found last year. It was called ‘Operation Long Now’. There wasn’t a manifest for the experiment, but the system was just like they said.”
“And if there was beef in there, we could sell it to those gene wizards and maybe grow the stuff. That would be worth a fortune.”
“Sorry, Al, there ain’t no ‘we’ in this. This is far as I go. Drag Co. has their goons all over this thing.”
“Are you sure, Dustin? We pull this off and we’d be set for life.”
Dustin stuffed the rest of his tofu-dog into his mouth and collected his gear, “Yeah, I’m sure. Just gimme the usual finder’s fee and don’t mention I had any part of this.”
And that’s where Albert was stuck, thinking about the riches he would have if he could pull this off. And of the horrors that would befall him if he got caught. After paying Dustin, he would have just enough to higher some specialty mercs, if he offered them a cut. It took him the rest of the night to decide.
Albert got in touch with a fixer first thing in the morning and by that night, he had a team. He unloaded the lithium batteries he had for a discount so he could purchase a portable quick-freeze unit. He called in every favor and and ended up owing a few favors to get the blueprint and security systems Drag Co. used to secure the pre-war site. He and his team spent two weeks learning the guard patrols and routines. Albert’s account was desperately in the red by the time they were ready to hit the old military base.
They moved in under the cover of a moonless night. The team’s hacker shut down the armed drones that watch the perimeter. This was a necessary distraction to allow the rest of the team onto the base. The main building was entered via a ventilation duct on the roof. They bypassed the sensor net with some cheap OK-relays and proceeded to the non-functioning industrial elevator and rappelled down.
It was at this point, where things were going to get hairy. There were ten armed guards beyond the elevator. The team would have to move fast, eliminating them quickly and quietly. Inevitably, an alarm would be tripped and after that point they would have fifteen minutes before reinforcements would arrive, which was certain death.
The big guy on the team easily breached the elevator doors, but it was noisy and the two guards outside turned. One guard went down instantly from a silenced pistol shot to his throat. The other guard however got off two loud rounds before he too was put down. Did the other guards hear that? It was unknown, but the team had to operate as if they were on the clock.
They moved swiftly, room to room. The base was certainly on alert. Time was short and they had to be aggressive. They easily dispatched most of the guards by there were two unaccounted for. They couldn’t search for them though and proceeded to the time capsule chamber.
The chamber, unlike the rest of the base, looked untouched by the ravages of time. A large metal door with a glowing console next too it was the only feature of the room, but it was exactly as the blueprints showed. They bypassed the locking console easily and fog rolled from around the door as they slowly swung it open.
It was then the remaining guards found them. One of the four team members took a bullet to the back of the head and collapsed. The big guy caught a bullet in the leg before spinning around and unleashing a spray of lead into the two guards. The guards and big guy fell at the same time, the guards dead and the large man merely wounded.
Albert let the other team member attend to the other’s leg. Inside the time-capsule there was a plethora of plants and viles filled with goo. But on the far end of the walk-in-freezer-sized room was metal box about the size music box with a label that simply said, “sample #15: beef”. Albert grinned, at least this wasn’t for nothing. The box just fit into the portable freezer he wore on his back.
With some effort, they got the big buy out of the building and off the base before an army of trucks and helicopters descended on the place. An hour later the team arrived at Albert’s small warehouse. They gathered around the table where Albert took out the box. They all could barely contain their excitement as he opened the box. The fog inside cleared and on the bottom of the container there was a yellow, wax paper wrapped lump. The wax paper had the logo “McGuffins!” plastered all over it. McGuffins was a popular pre-war fast food chain known for cheap burgers. And indeed inside the wrapping was one of their cheese burgers, pre-cooked and completely useless for extracting DNA from.
The team groaned and Albert, all but completely ruined simply ate the burger. It wasn’t too bad.