The Vandals

July 13, 2013 in Leviathan Universe, Nelly by nelly

The Leviathan collection is going to centre in a particular universe. I’m going to begin at various different places, perhaps in different times (perhaps not), and with different characters. And as we go along, maybe they’ll meet up and this will go from a bunch of unrelated stories (in the same world) into a single story stream. Or perhaps not. I want to grow this story as we go along, so make sure you always let me know what you think!

I couldn’t think of any clever historical/philosophical references for this next round of POVs. So I’m just titling them with their characterizations. In case you were wondering. 😛

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Yuri climbed the fence at the end of the alley and jumped down to the other side before turning left and heading down the street. Her friend took a right. That way they’d be harder to catch if any cops or Stations had spotted them and decided to pursue. Yuri kept up a sprint until the distant sound of sirens had become inaudible, slowing to a jog as she hopped another fence and cut across another back alley. She continued looping around town, crisscrossing through alleyways and backtracking through empty streets, making sure that if there were any Stations watching her they’d have a hard time tracking her. She kept the game up until the morning rush began, the streets filling up with workers making their way to their daily shifts. Yuri melded into the crowd, letting the bustling crowd hide her from the cameras. A couple blocks down, she turned and cut through an alley, crossing the street to a garage with a hand painted sign hung over the door reading ‘Kwon Custom Autobody and Repair”.

She unlocked the overhead garage door and pushed it up so she could duck inside. Went to the side door and flipped the sign from Closed to Open and started her day like she hadn’t just vandalized a major government building. She’d just started working on a car that had been brought in the previous day for leaking booster engines when she heard the door open and close, followed by skipping footsteps as someone approached. She slid out from under the car and pulled off her goggles so she could see her friend leaning against the red tool cabinet.

Wordlessly, the girl threw Yuri the rag that was hanging off the handle of the cabinet. She crossed to the far end of the garage as Yuri wiped the engine grease off her face. Once she was done she tossed the rag back onto the cabinet and joined her friend at the back. They were standing beside a rusty shelf filled with old spare parts. In front of them was a steel panel box anchored on an otherwise blank patch of inconspicuous wall. But instead of unlocking it, Yuri pushed the entire box down the wall on an invisible track. Behind it was a thumbprint scanner. They both pressed their thumbs down onto the pad. A small beep sounded. Then suddenly the shelf beside them, and the section of floor it was leaning against, rolled forward to reveal a ladder leading down into darkness. Yuri followed her friend down. Once they were securely at the bottom the shelf slid back to its original position and a dim light flickered on above them.

“Did you have any trouble getting back?” The girl asked as they made their way down the low ceilinged hallway. “This is the biggest stunt we’ve pulled off yet.”

Yuri grinned. “Ah you know me, Yoona. Ditching a Station’s trail is like a walk in the park.” They’d known each other since they were toddlers, had grown up together playing in the streets and telling stories to each other under the covers at night. They’d always been like sisters, and when Yuri’s father had left her the garage and the rooms built over it, Yuri had invited Yoona to come live with her and work at the garage. That was decades ago. By now Yoona was even closer than family to her.

There was another scanner at the end of the hallway, and another hidden door that slid open after they’d pressed their thumbs to the panel. Behind it was the real inheritance that Yuri’s father had left. A room walled with solid concrete and heat cloaking devices so that it was invisible to infrared sweepers. The wall facing the door was covered from floor to ceiling with sketches and schematics. The wall to the left of them had two stations, each with its own bank of monitors. The wall facing the stations had steel shelves, tables, and cabinets lined up against it.

It was sort of like their private clubhouse.

If other clubhouses had detailed plans on vandalizing government buildings and illegal access to state controlled street cameras.

As an isolated incident, their stunt that morning was probably a Tier 2 offence: jail time or maybe a facial brand. It was mostly up to the judge’s mood. If he liked you, he’d give you jail time. A facial brand was essentially a death sentence. No law abiding citizen wanted to associate with someone branded by the state as an offender. If you’d been marked, you had two options: leave the city and try to make it on your own, or kill yourself. Because inevitably once branded, the state would end up killing you anyways. It was just a matter of when. And how.

So if their act that morning was Tier 2 on its own, the evidence in the room they were in was easily a Tier 1 offence. The entire place was covered in detailed plans and sketches of each and every one of their past, present, and future plans. They had been behind every major, and most minor, vandalism crimes in the city for the past three years. Every couple of times they would change their tags, switch up the districts they hit, or change the style of the art. Sometimes they made it seem as if they were copycats, mimicking a previous stunt they’d pulled, to confuse the authorities. But regardless of the method or style, each time the underlying message was the same: you are always watching us, but we are always watching you too.

Their pieces had already garnered a lot of interest, though most of it couldn’t be broadcasted on the public networks or even spoken about in public where the cameras could hear and watch. But it was passed around in whispers in run down bars and hushed voices in private between friends. And that was almost more powerful than if it had been on the prime time news.

Yuri and Yoona switched on the stations and flipped the monitors to all the cameras within the three block radius of the building they’d just tagged. There were cops and ground units combing the scene and scouring the streets for clues. It was clear they had no idea who the vandals were and where they had gone. Yuri leaned back in her chair, allowing herself to relax. She flicked to some live feeds of anonymous chat forums that she and Yoona were silently following, watching as picture after picture and comment after comment of their stunt was posted and discussed. She wondered how long the whispers would stay whispers. And what she’d do if they grew into shouts. When they grew into shouts.

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What’d you think? Would love to know! 😀