Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta promise. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta promise. Mostrar todas las entradas

jueves, 28 de abril de 2016

The cube

   Jessica walked carefully over the edge, barely having enough room for her feet to move around. The mountain that she was in dominated the jungle below and, in any other context, she would have been able to appreciate. But being just millimeters away from death, the least of her interests were the magnificent views. She grabbed herself to the dirt and the rock of the mountain and could finally pass the tricky section in a matter of minutes. She decided to rest a bit after that, and she only had a small space to do so as the mountain was not kind to any visitors.

 As she rested, she noticed a big bird-like creature raising from the jungle. It appeared to be fighting something off but the other creature, or whatever it was fighting, could not be seen. After a couple of minutes, the bird appeared to be toppled from the ground and disappeared from sight. Jessica knew right then that this planet was definitely not a good one for life in general but she had no choice in the matter of visiting it. After all, her mission was there.

 A couple of days earlier, a skinny man going by the name of Renzo Uto, contacted with her team in order to ask for an extraction. Normally, that meant rescuing someone from some horrible place, most often jails or some kind of internment camps. There were lots of both of those in the galaxy and they had a vast experience getting people out of both. But instead, Uto wanted them to rescue an object.

 They almost had to torture him in order to get a basic drawing of the object he wanted to retrieve. Well, torture is a bit extreme. But Jessica’s companion Jimmy, a very big and tall Glafarian (species with the appearance of a dog) was asked to make the client talk fast or to expel him immediately from the ship, by any means.

 Of course, Uto was so scared he did a drawing in less than thirty seconds but he clarified that the object could change form whenever someone attempted to grab it by force. The drawing he had made showed a very simple cube but he said it only looked like that when at rest. If someone when near it, the object would change into any type of thing that would lure the person into a false sense of security and then it would kill them.

 They really wanted to ask Uto why someone would want that type of object. But their motto was “We don’t ask questions” and they couldn’t just violate that. Bounty hunters had to keep a little bit of their dignity and, if that meant seeking for an object hey didn’t really know existed, they had to do it. But Yera, the ship’s pilot, reminded Uto that the team only worked for days. So depending on his pay, they would determine the number of days they would look for his weird cube.

 Uto, of course, had no tons of money. So he was able to pay them for only three days worth of work. The team then agreed on setting course for the jungle planet, which didn’t really have a name and now Jessica was on her second day looking for the damn object. According to Uto, she wasn’t that far away now. After the dangerous mountain pass, she had to go through a razor sharp field of rocks between that mountain and the next one and then descend a bit to find a cave. The cube was supposed to be there.

 The razor sharp field of rocks, a straight line that united two summits well above the jungle level, was easier than the pass but still a horrible experience, mainly because some sorts of animals paraded around the site and launched themselves at Jessica. She had to use her ray gun several times but the little creatures were very fast and attacked with some sort of liquid that smelled really bad. It didn’t hurt or anything, just smell really awful. She crossed the field just before nightfall.

 At the other end, she found a suitable place to sleep and decided to pull out her sleeping bad and protective shield from her special belt. The belt had been an old gift from her mother, a former bounty hunter herself. Now she lived at peace in a farming colony where she could just relax and not worry about someone blowing her head off. Her mom was a legend among the people Jessica knew and she was proud of her.

 The belt had been created by the most advanced civilization in the galaxy. They were able to construct things like that, were size and space and even time did not matter. She could fit an endless amount of things in there and only had to press a button and think really hard about whatever she wanted from her belt. So that night she was protected from the creatures by the shield and slept warmly in her sleeping bag.

 The next day she woke up screaming. Her face hurt, as well as her arms and some of her chest. The stinky liquid had transformed, somehow, into something that had apparently burned her skin and was now penetrating more and more into it. She felt a horrible burning sensation and tried to pour water over herself to feel better or look for something else in her belt, but it was useless. It hurt and she could barely move.

 It was the last day for Uto and could have been the last day for her if she hadn’t decided that the liquid might actually be the best weapon she could ever have. To put it simple, the cube supposedly transformed into something false, in order to kill the person that wanted it. So it would transform into a cure for the liquid if Jessica showed up. But then, it would be obvious to her that the cube was there and she would just fire away.

 Thinking the plan was far simpler than doing it. Her body really hurt, as if she had been very badly burnt by the sun. Her legs though, had been left untouched by the creatures, so they still had their agility intact. She started trembling halfway down the mountain but she focused on the prize, which was something she could have never imagined. Although Uto had almost no money to pay them for their days of work, he did offer something else if they actually gave him the cube he wanted.

 There was an information network called the Omen. It was a very big and important piece of information as it had records on every single living creature in the galaxy intelligent enough to do stupid things. It was like a criminal record center for the entire galaxy and, of course, Jessica and her group were in there. What Uto had told them was that he could be able to remove every single one of their names from he list permanently. Not even erase the crimes but their names altogether.

 At first, they didn’t believe what he was saying. Jimmy threatened to eat his hand and Yera told him it was impossible. But then he simply asked of them to look for his name in the Omen. Everybody could access the network so it was easy for them to see that Renzo Uto did not appear in any part of the Omen. They even scanned his head to look for him, but it just wouldn’t work. He wasn’t there and that was more than enough proof that what he said was real.

 The cave was only a few meters away when Jessica collapsed. She was trembling too much in her upper body and felt really sick. Not even her healthy legs could get her away from danger or from the pain. She stayed down for a good while and, once again, she gazed at the jungle and saw the trees moving and what looked like tentacles rising above the treetops. She only thought about how insane that planet was before she fainted.

 She woke up hours later in a nice room. A beautiful nurse came to her bed and asked her if she was ok. Her face and body didn’t hurt anymore. She touched her skin and every single centimeter was normal. Then, the nurse smiled and told her she was going to be all right. Se turned around but Jessica had recognized her. And the only thing she could do was pull out her gun and shoot right in the center of her body.

 The illusion fell to the ground like a house of cards and so did the cube, a rather normal transparent cube that fell to the ground and Jessica put inside her belt. Her face still hurt horribly and she was sure she was in a worse state than before. She turned to the jungle one last time, watching the tentacles and the moving trees, as she pressed another button for her ride to come pick her up.

sábado, 27 de diciembre de 2014

Over the lights

The young guy was there, just looking through the window, sitting on the edge of the frame. He was looking somewhere beyond the buildings, the streets, the people and their noise. It seemed he was looking at something that wasn't there or he maybe even not really looking, just wondering.

 - Sorry. - I said.

I put the papers I had been asked to look for on the desk. The boy immediately turned around and looked directly into my eyes. For lack of a better word, they were mesmerizing: not blue or green or honey colored. They were brown but somehow they were so much more special than any other brown eyes I had ever seen.

He smiled at me and turned his head again, returning to his wondering beyond this place, in which he obviously had no intention to stay. For me, it wasn't clear why he was there but my boss was handling his affairs. He was his attorney and I was the attorney's assistant. Not having come out of law school yet, I was trying to learn what made a lawyer a very good one but as of yet, i had only learned how to make a decent cup of coffee and how to juggle two boxes of donuts and three large lattes.

Then, my boss entered. Ms. Hoffman was a tall, intimidating woman. And to be honest, I was surprised to see her advising such a young guy. He had to be younger than me, I thought. But there he was, all worried. And her, she was in one weird mood. Normally, Ms. Hoffman would be yelling at everyone, asking for things, denying others and then asking for notes and data and so on. But today, she had been in her office all day until he came. And here she was.

 - How have you been, Tony?

So, he's name was Tony. He sat down next to year with me on the other side. They chatted amicably for a while, asking the same superficial things one asks a friend or a close acquaintance. This was extremely strange, as Ms. Hoffman had never really shown interest in any person, not employee or client. But there she was, asking him about his health and work.

For what I could take from the conversation, she had helped him emancipate himself from his family. The guy owned a billion dollar company. You know, one of those young brains of the new generation: they make an app and the next day they are giving money to Bill Gates or something.

He was not a friend of words, speaking only if he had to and not bothering to fake a smile, a thing that Ms. Hoffman was doing. It seemed so odd and unnatural. And, when the meeting passed its first thirty minutes, I started wondering what I was doing there. Besides handling papers from time to time, I was not doing much. She hadn't asked for coffee or some difficult number from ten years ago. She had just demanded me to be there.

Then the meeting was over. They were bidding farewell to each other when Ms Hoffman said:

 - Oh, I almost forgot. This is the guy I told you about. He's perfect for you.

At first, I was not sure I had heard it correctly. I tried to say something but then he looked at me again and all the words melted quickly. He just nodded and said "He'll do fine". Was I been pimped or something similar? Why hadn't she told me anything?

He came out first and she started walking after him but then I recovered my words and asked her what was going on. She only said that now I worked for him and that I should go after him and ask all the details about the new job. She said I could clear my post on the weekend.

So I stood there, for what it felt like ages. I had been laid off but at the same time I had a new job already. Confusing? Of course, but mysterious even more. I rushed after the guy and realized he had taken the elevator already so I had to go into a crowded one. When I finally arrived to the ground floor, I rushed out only to see the young man smirking, waiting leaning on a black car.

 - Get in, guy.

He got in and then I followed. It wasn't a limousine or anything but the car was beautiful inside and out and the chauffeur didn't spoke a word. Apparently, he knew the schedule by heart. He started to drive and then I noticed the young guy was looking at me.

 - Name?

For a second I doubted but then I finally spoke.

 - Ellar Ramsay.
 - Good. Call me Tony.

I nodded. Then shut up again. I had no idea what to ask or say. As a matter of fact, I didn't even know why I had entered a car without saying something before or asking the destination. I just sat there, looking through the window. If he really was my new boss, he would ask something at some time. Maybe lattes were also his thing.

The car stopped in front of a beautiful building. He asked the chauffeur to park it properly and come back the following day. The man only nodded in response.

When we got, Tony walked in front of me at all times. I just smiled or nodded to people in the building until we were alone in the elevator, taking us up to the thirtieth floor.

 - Did Ellen tell you anything about your job with me?

I nodded negatively.

 - Are you afraid of me?

That was one tough question. Although short and seeming fairly simple, Tony did have something very intimidating about him. His body language, his expressions, that way of looking at nothing, his eyes, ... He was really strange, even more than Ms. Hoffman. At least she was predicable. From this young fellow, no one knew what had to be expected and I suspected he was aware of this feeling he imprinted in people's mind.

 - I see you are. Good but not in your post.

The elevator opened and he stepped out. I followed, but stopped almost immediately: we were obviously at his apartment and it was really nice. It didn't look like one of those rich people's flats; all done by some crazy designer that thinks black is the only color in the world. No, this was a home, full of color and, obviously, feelings.

There were pictures, a lot of them. I saw Tony in some of them. And a man and a woman, probably his parents. I followed him through the living room and then to a corridor. I was sure he was leading me to an office where we would discuss the details of my new post but, once again, I was mistaken. We were in the bedroom.

It was lit by the pale light of sundown and when he switched the lights on, it felt as if the afternoon sun had entered the room. It looked beautiful. So beautiful it was, I had not realized he was taking his clothes off. Again, my words were lost. I saw his shoes, pants, t-shirt and jacket fall to the floor.

 - Pick that up for me, please.

He entered another room, probably the closet, and started singing. I couldn't decipher, or care about, which song it was. I took the clothes and folded them and then put them on his bed. What was I doing? Why was I just doing what he wanted instead of demanding answers or simply leaving?

I then realized I was breathing heavily so I decided to get closer to the window and try to slow myself down, to relax, to get my words back from him. As I calmed down, I saw the city unfold before my eyes, all the car lights and building lit up, all ready for the night. I remembered it was Friday night and I was being expected in a bar.

 - How do I look?

I turned to him and saw he had put on a tuxedo. He looked very sharp, except for the light blue socks he was wearing and his unshaved appearance. I felt him taking over me again but this time, I closed my eyes and spoke.

 - What am I doing in here?

He smiled and got close. For some reason, I shivered. I was scared.

 - Don't be scared. I'm not a maniac or anything. I get a bit crazy often but not really mental.
 - Do I really work for you?
 - Yes, you do.
 - As.... what? A prostitute? I don't...

Again, he smiled but this time I didn't felt threatened but relieved.

 - I do, actually. But that has nothing to do with it. I asked Ellen for a sharp, intelligent guy to be my       assistant. That's you.

What? Assistant? Again?!

 - I know you are her assistant. Or used to be, at least. Now, you are mine anyway. And I need you.

And then he did something I didn't saw coming. He took my hands and squeezed them gently.

 - I need someone I can trust. Someone that knows all of me and me of him. And no, not a                      relationship based on love or sex but on partnership. I own a small empire and I need a guy like you    to help me make it bigger and better.

So many thoughts were rushing into my head. I could even feel the blood going all over my body. I had to speak now but, again, all inside of me was blocked. My head lay low, at the floor. This time, I wasn't blocked because of him but because of the chance given by him to me. I had always wanted to be a lawyer, a great hero defending people from titans trying to steal their lives from them. But this man was asking me to be his shadow, forever probably. And just like that, without any explanation or details.

I raised my head again and looked at him, straight in the eye. When I saw him, I felt a connection. And I was sure I saw him feeling it too.

 - What do you need me for? - I said.
 - Grab me some dark socks and help me shave. I swear it gets better down the road.

Again, he smiled at me with that craftiness, that subtle way he had to get what he wanted by just using his eyes.

The only difference this time was that, without hesitation, I smiled back.