The First 3 Pages of The Bible Runner!

Posted: April 18, 2010 in Bible Runner, Writing

Well I’ve finally come to a point where I can share a small taste of The Bible Runner with you, and I’m quite happy with being able to share approximately the first 3 pages with you.

I’ll update this post tomorrow or so with a downloadable document of the 3 odd pages…but until then.

The Bible Runner

Prologue

Kill on sight.

The young man on the screen did not look remarkable but those words in glaring red under his name changed everything.

Seated in front of the large plasma screen were two gentlemen, one was older with grey hair turning to white, the other a protégée. He was used car salesman like, very slick, black hair glued to his head with styling product and it was he who spoke first.

“Don’t you think that’s a little dramatic?”

“No.”

With a touch on the screen the picture receded and a bio of sorts appeared in its place. McAnders was the target of opportunities name, and apart from that his information was hardly a blip, he was it seemed a law abiding citizen.

“Reynolds,” the older man said.

“Sir?”

“This young man is a person of great interest. Intel states that he runs a legitimate company to cover for Christian indiscretions.”

Reynolds looked over the information closer and without asking brought McAnders picture to the forefront. Glare from one of the overhead lights blemished the view so he shielded the corner of the screen with a cupped hand. In silence Reynolds studied the photograph, his intense gray eyes peeling it layer by layer.
The room they were in held many workstations but all of them were empty, since the large digital clock in the room showed 23:34 that wasn’t a surprise. There were a few lone desk lamps that cast out the cones of light like electrical Cyclops but it didn’t matter, the electric bill was paid out of government slush funds as it were.

“Someone from D.C. is trying to contact him through some unusual channels,” the old man spoke softly.

“So do you want him dead now or later?”

Looking up at Reynolds the old man shrugged.

“Whatever happens he can not be allowed to make contact with D.C. personally. I don’t care whether you bury him in the City of Angels or the City of Sin; you just make sure he doesn’t interfere with our best laid plans.”

“We’re still expected in Israel then, end of the year?”

The old man just nodded, then with great effort he stood and without looking back slowly walked to the nearest door and left the room.

Reynolds looked at the picture of his target one more time, and then he shut down the system.


Chapter One

The air level must have been verging towards unhealthy I surmised as I waited for the Global Protection Forces soldier to hand me back my identification card. He’d been holding onto it for yonks to long as far as I was concerned, how long would it take him to figure out I was whom the card proclaimed. Just a simple messenger taking information from here to there when most other modes of staying in contact were patchy at best. I felt a smile roll across my face as I recalled all those who shared their varyingly phrased opinions about how dumb it was to start my business those ten years ago now. Guess I read the forecast well. Cloudy with a chance of Rapture, come to think of it I’d only read that half right.

“You’re cleared to precede Mr. McAnders, and I’d hurry up if I were you curfew is coming up pretty fast.”

Taking the identification card I nodded.

“Just a few more blocks, besides I’m knackered and need to get some rusks in me.”

The gateway buzzed and clicked open; the GPF soldier was giving me a long look.

“As in food mate, I’m bloody tired and feel I could eat a horse.”

Nodding the soldier stepped to the side to give me access to the open gateway beyond and I entered into the long acclimation tunnel. In case you were wondering that’s just a different name for, we’re scanning you for any kind of illegal items and we hope you have them because we’re bored and haven’t beaten anyone to death today. Having seen the results of someone being stupid I’ve taken to stashing perfectly legal items from the do not carry list at hidden locations throughout the city. This acclimation tunnel was decorated with old movie posters, most of them were sequels, all of them made gobs of dosh though at least 80 percent of them made not a lick of sense. Kind of like whoever chose what to put in these acclimation tunnels, the only thing they acclimated us to was the fact that nothing was the same as it once was.
That’s not to say that there weren’t clubs, libraries and other such things. Just to say that such things were for the partiers, the elite, the ones who turned a blind eye to what was going on because they wanted their lives to be simple instead of complicated. Choosing to ignore the truths that the vocal minority is trying to share doesn’t mean that the truths flat out don’t exist.

Looking ahead I saw the exit to the acclimation tunnel slowly swing open, I didn’t hurry it was so late I didn’t need to. Also, one doesn’t want to attract attention to ones self at least not during this moment of a delivery.

My reflection nodded to me as I walked past the GPF soldier at the far end, though I couldn’t read his eyes through his reflective lenses I could feel them on me. At that moment I was quite certain that suspicion was wafting off me like some overpowering aftershave, in mere moments I was going to be tackled to the road screaming. Perhaps they would simply shoot me in the back, the rights situation was so heavily skewed to their side all I needed to do was flinch for probable cause. Nothing happened though and I made the next intersection and turned right, I would pass alongside the Capitol Records Memorial.

The building designed to represent a tall stack of records, had been a long standing icon of the entertainment industry. Even in the few years since the Rapture it stood proudly, a beacon of hope for the normal everyday things. Sure they’d been a nuclear war, terror acts and other things but until the previous year it had seemed an untouchable reminder, an anchor to what had come before. Last year however had not been kind, first there was a suspicious fire, followed closely by an irate worker coming in and shooting up the place. When the surprisingly violent “Big One” finally leveled it they searched the rubble for survivors and in the end decided to leave the whole thing right where it was.

Now it simply represented mans hubris.

Checking my watch I realized that I’d been walking too slowly, I would have to run to make the delivery time. Punctuality was something I practiced as often as possible; it was part of our Parchment of Promises. When you get the full service rundown being on time is paramount, it’s the second most important thing on the list. The most important thing on the list is Privacy.

Situating my kit I made sure it was all tight and ready for the run; I snugged on a pair of specialty gloves. Back before all the mayhem I, as a Traceur, wouldn’t even have considered them, but with all of the chances of skin breakage and infection wearing them was at the top of my personal list. Kneeling I redid my shoes left and then right, I did a couple of stretching exercises and then I was ready to go.

When you run, or to be more specific Trace, you see the world differently. The best way to explain it, or at least start explaining it is imagine you’re walking into your living room. You really don’t think too much or maybe even about anything at all unless something is out of place. It’s ordinary.

That light is the one I use to cast illumination on books when I curl up to read on the couch. The tall one that radiates light up to the ceiling is rarely used at all, and the coffee table books weigh a ton and are only out for guests to look at. Odds are in fact that you’d probably make your way right through to the Kitchen or bathroom and those would be equally ordinary to you.

Now imagine you’re Jackie Chan being chased by thugs and you break through a door into the same living room. The thugs are going to be on you in seconds, ah the lamp on the end table. You don’t even bother to unplug it you simply fling it back towards the door, and as it’s base shatters making the goons slow momentarily you grab the light in the corner. It has a long shaft in the middle and can be used as a fighting stick, you take out a few thugs with that until it breaks in the center and you make a funny face. More thugs stream in and you hurl heavy coffee table books at them, perhaps you throw over a book shelf as you back into the kitchen, where you spy a toaster.

Parkour is about free flow movement while getting from point a to point b while using your feet and hands to help you along the way. Where you see a walled dead end, I see a wall that I can mantle by grabbing the top with my fingertips and working my way to the top and over. You see a series of stairs; I see landings and railings I can use to avoid those stairs entirely. If a car were to pull up and block your way you’d probably come to a stumbling stop and start backpedaling, I’d run faster and vault over it. For every closed door there is an open window and for every dead end there is freedom.

My feet pounded across the uneven ground as I approached the stairwell from the west; going low I grabbed the railing with my hands and slid under. Dropping to the ground I rolled and got up in a full sprint launching off a middle stair right down to the bottom where I rolled again changing my direction slightly then I was back and running again. Ahead there was a clot of people moving up and down both sides of the pedestrian stairway to the surface, not slowing down I leapt into the air and landed with precision and perfect balance, enabling me to run directly up the railing. People called out in my wake but I was focused on getting up and out, I didn’t particularly like cutting things this close.

Not missing a beat as I emerged into the waning light I vaulted over the park bench and headed south through the small greened area. Ahead was the building at the end of my delivery run, judging my distance on the fly I leapt up onto a planter beside the building and planted my right foot on the buildings wall and kicking off landed in front of the metal gilded front doors. My pulse and breathing slowed as I pulled a cap out of my pack and pulled it down over my hair, it had our company name and logo on it. Artemis Messenger Service: Fleet of Foot. Punctual Privacy.

Entering the lobby I moved to the extremely expensive looking desk located against the back wall. Since there was no one there I took the liberty of tapping the top of the bell and it rang appreciatively. Within a few moments someone appeared from a side door and asked whom I was there to see.

“Donald Jacobus.”

“Fifth floor take any elevator and ask at the reception desk.”

“Ta a bunch.”

Smiling I made my way to the nearest elevator as the receptionist informed the other receptionist upstairs that I would be up their within minutes. The fact that there was a lobby receptionist was to be expected but was it possible that there was a receptionist for each floor? Money practically leaked out from the walls at the thought.

The elevator was carpeted and paneled with wood. You know until you go inside a building you just don’t know what its heart is like. Sometimes I don’t make it home for weeks at a time, I have to make do with abandoned buildings or the good graces of The Underground. Even in those empty cold buildings though I always felt safe, as if I was being watched over. Perhaps it was my wife and kid in Heaven checking up on me, maybe God still employed a Guardian Angel to keep watch When I was younger I used to see him, I called him Danathiel.

As the elevator rose I unzipped the pack again and carefully pulled out the storage device, it was rectangular and generally was used to hold toothbrushes on long trips. This one however held something for Mr. Jacobus; it of course was still sealed and had not been opened. Looking is the last thing you want to do, it can also create some massive problems, I’d heard of people from other delivery firms of our kind being taken out for sticking their noses where they didn’t belong. That’s why we have rules and regulations at AMS, that’s why I always enforce them.

“Fifth floor,” said the elevator in a cheery female voice.

The doors slid open smooth as can be and to the right I glanced the other receptionist behind her desk. Kaching, this place was undoubtedly oozing money. Watching her as I walked over she put a finger to her ear, and said a few words I couldn’t hear yet. Before I could come to a stop I heard a door buzz and a magnetic lock disengage.

“Through the door to your left thanks.”

Nodding I peeled to the left and mimed knocking on the door, she simply shook her head and I twisted the handle.

“Ahhh. Looks like your delivery just arrived,” said Donald in a rich voice that his business partner could probably have heard without the phone. “I’ll call you back.”

Stepping forward I handed the small container to the recipient and quickly enquired if he had anything outgoing, he shook his head while at the same time he offered me thanks. Returning his thanks with a nod and a cheers I turned around and headed out the door right smart, if I got moving I could actually spend the night at home. What I wouldn’t give to spend a night in my own place, on my twin-stacked mattresses, sleeping with a bit of security would be brill also.

Stepping through the door I closed it behind me and as it clicked closed I felt through my fingertips a short vibration. For a moment I was unsure if I was just feeling queasy or not, but when the aquarium against the wall started to try and fly off its tabletop perch I knew what was happening. Calling out I motioned for the secretary to get under the desk and hang on, the whole building seemed to jerk out from under me and shift to the side. Lowering quickly I got into a three-point stance and tried to ride out the tremor with the emotion of a Terminator arriving through time. The settee being pitched through the fifth story window put pay to that; shattered glass filled the air like lethal crystalline confetti. It was noisy, like a freight train was coming up the elevator shaft, and then it was strangely silent.

The building undulated to a stop, and I slowly got to my feet a Dramamine on ice would’ve gone down perfectly right then. With a click the door opened behind me and I turned as Donald stepped out dodging around me at the last moment.

“Everyone alright?” He asked calmly.

“Yeah. That one was a nice kick in the arse eh,” I responded with a smile.

“It was,” he responded as he walked to help the secretary up, “You alright Jen?”

She simply shook her head as Donald helped her back into the office chair. This bloke cared for his employees that much was clear, even more so as he opened a cupboard and pulled out three bottled waters. Handing one to Jen he walked over to me and pressed the spare into my gloved hand.

“I’d advise you to stay here tonight.”

“Cheers mate, but I wouldn’t want to be an imposition.”

“You wouldn’t be, in fact we’re all going to stay.”

Jen was swallowing some water, when she finished moments later she shared a question with her boss. Once he had replied she quickly got on the phone to fulfill his request.

“…your name.” Donald was looking at me quizzically.

“Oh…sorry you lost me.”

“I’m going to call in the situation to GPF Sector Security I’ll need to give them your name.”

“’course. McAnders, Damian McAnders.”

Nodding he took out his phone and had one of the shortest conversations I’ve witnessed to GPF Operatives, he probably paid their wages I mused. As he folded his phone he motioned for me to follow him and we walked down a number of halls, while we walked he pointed out the men’s room and the emergency exits and stairs. There were some cubicle partitions down, some lost panes of glass and fallen potted plants but all told the damage was minimal. Preliminary numbers on the quake would come within the hour; the USGS was quick as could be most of the time. While I chugged some of my own water he opened the door to a conference room, here he mentioned is where we would be staying the night.

More to Come…eventually.

In Christ,

Ross

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