She stood in the doorway of an empty building, a homeless woman in oversized dirty clothes. The shadows covered her and kept her just out of the reach of the cameras. She watched as the people passed. Some nodded to her while others just rushed passed and a few ignored her completely. They were the cogs that ran the wheel, the mindless drones plugged into a system overrun with corruption.
She was off the grid. There was no name, fingerprints, or any match for facial recog on any file in the world. She was a ghost in their system, and although she maintained a close watch on the Watcher, Ice wasn’t a fool. She knew if they could they would use her against the underground. She will never let that happen.
They had trapped Fire. She wasn’t sure if Fire was a male or female, but she knew they had him. The last telecom she received got hijacked by the governing system, which caused one of her computers to crash. After she repaired the damage, Ice realized that Fire had left a message inside the transmission. It was severely corrupted but she managed to get the last bits of the message. “Run ICE!”
So she ran. She didn’t know where to go, or who she could trust. Fire had been her only contact to the underworld. It had never been necessary to know the others. They were all smoke and mirrors, shadows fighting a cause, but now she needed their help. Fire once told her how to find a safe zone. “Look for places of scarcity, that’s where you’ll find us there.” So she took a chance and disguised herself to blend. “Psst.” She turned to see a well-dressed woman standing just outside the camera view. She looked like a clog, the trophy wife who didn’t like getting dirt under her nails. “Water.” She turned and walked to an expensive car.
Was this a trap, she had looped the cameras signals but had they overwritten her command? The government had gotten clever with their deceptions, having caught a hacker like Fire. Ice had heard about the infamous Water, who took down the whole Eastern network.
She turned back to look at the waiting car with its break-lights bright. Ice knew she had only a short time to decide before the woman pulled away. She had never trusted the Underground, preferring to work alone, but Fire had told she would have to trust or be left in the cold.
Ice pushed a few buttons on her comp and ran. Suddenly the street lights flickered drawing everyone’s attention toward the loud sounds of car tires halting to abrupt stops. She saw the door to the car open and hopped inside as the woman speeded away.
“Welcome to the underground Ice,” said the woman. She smelled of lilacs and her voice chimed like a Southern belle. She smiled as she extended a hand. “Fire told me a lot about you, I’m Water.”
Glynis Rankin is a Freelance writer and author of two contemporary novels and one Speculative fiction novel. Her latest is a YA novel called “Believe” is due next month. She is the administrator of Speculative Authors for a leading international book writing site.
Find more of Glynis at http://glynisrankin.wordpress.com/.