Black Out

5:30 - Barrett: Who turned out the lights

by McD

Northeast Tacoma

“Come ON, frag it all!”

Barrett was not having an enjoyable afternoon. His muscles still ached from where those muscle-bound corporate stooges had shot him, he had an ungodly hangover, and his power had gone out just when he was starting to enjoy flipping through Ares Arms’ latest online catalogue. Suffice it to say, he was one pissy guy. Maybe somebody hit a power line, he thought. If that was the case, the power should be coming back on any time now. Leaning back in his chair, he watched his retinal clock tick off the seconds. Ten minutes later, nothing. The furry assassin decided to see if his place was the only one affected, and walked to his windows, tripping over chairs, footrests, and the box he kept his gun-cleaning tools in along the way. Finally, he reached the blinds and took a peek outside. What he saw nearly made his jaw hit the floor.

No way, he thought. Forgetting about his state of dress (or un-dress), Barrett fumbled around for a flashlight and ran out the door and up to the roof of his apartment building. Looking around with the vision magnification in his cybereyes, he confirmed what he’d seen out the window. The whole sprawl was plunged into darkness.

“No way,” he exclaimed, “no fraggin’ WAY!”

Back in his apartment, Barrett considered what to do next. With power out all over the sprawl, there was bound to be trouble. People he considered friends could be in trouble, and he would have no way of knowing it, without Matrix access. In all, things did not look good. Barrett took all of two seconds to make up his mind on a course of action. Opening his closet, the furry elf crouched down and move some clothes at the bottom away. With that done, he pressed each of his thumbs into a high-level fingerprint reader, and was rewarded with a satisfying “click” as the locks disengaged themselves. Opening the hidden case, Barrett calmly began drawing out an assortment of gear: one form-fitting full bodysuit, an urban camo suit, a grapple gun, and a taser. Barrett calmly stripped off his tee-shirt and shorts, and slipped into the always-comfortable bodysuit, following that with the camo suit and a pair of light combat boots. He secured the taser and grapple gun to a belt at his waist.

Closing the hidden locker and his closet, Barrett (still brandishing his flashlight) retrieved his trusty Savalette Guardian from under his pillow, along with a pair of extra clips of EX ammo. He grabbed the gun’s shoulder holster off of the bed and shrugged into it. He placed the clips in their pockets, checked the gun’s ammo, and holstered it as well. Barrett liked to keep his equipment in different places around his home; in the unlikely event of a raid, he would be the only one who knew where everything was, and so would never be completely defenseless. Reaching under a drawer in his kitchen counter, he drew a Ceska Black Scorpion, which he placed into a holster at the small of his back, and grabbed his Cougar Fineblade out of the overhead cabinet.

Last but not least came his pride and joy. Carefully, as though handling a precious child, the assassin removed his most prized possession from the maglocked gun safe next to the head of his bed; the Barret 121 Paulie Special. Looking the gun over in the flash’s small beam of light, he was satisfied that it was in proper shape. He grabbed his Armant¾ Professional long coat, pulled it on, and, in seconds, disassembled the rifle. After securing his rifle and any extra clips in his coat, Barrett went out to his garage, where he took a moment to gaze upon his other pride and joy; the Harley-Davidson Electroglide motorcycle. Barrett straddled the machine and pulled his helmet on, connecting to the built-in datajack link. As he opened the garage, the “Dark Elf” (as so many are fond of calling Night Ones) called up the HUD and thermographic display on the helmet’s visor.

Suddenly, Barrett’s ears were attracted to the sound of gunfire. Well, hear we go, the assassin thought as he roared off into the night, hoping he was prepared for whatever he was to face.

Copyright 2002 - M. Dutelle

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