Perfect Peg Zero
By Andrew Alcott
A sleek, black hover limo glided around the business district in Aurora, Illinois, near the largest city in the world, Chicago, Illinois. There was a man inside and he was not just any man, he was one of the most wealthy, respected men in the world. His name was Victor Carpenter.
Victor Carpenter was nominally an honest man and with his company, diaperDyne, which was plagued with corruption by everyone except the CEO, the former CEO put him in charge knowing he was a noble, right-thinking man that wouldn't let the underlings push him around and destroy the good name of diaperDyne.
However, this has been a difficult task. His "second-in-command", CFO, Monika de Breize, has been causing nothing but trouble ever since he started the job and make his experience as miserable as she can. With multiple attempts to replace her, her connections within the vast corporation make that very difficult and he knows of how she deigns for his position but he finds her too unstable to handle the job and would no doubt ruin diaperDyne.
Carpenter would not let that happen at any cost. The limo was driving from his home in Kenilworth with a driver that he had never met before, this driver claimed that the regular had been taken by the flu and wouldn't be returning for a few weeks. It was an inhumanly tall person, standing 7'7 with heels six inches high, jet black hair, clad in a suit and sunglasses making the person unable to be recognized easily.
Carpenter's laptop lay on the desk in the hover limo and he was staring at the screen. On it was a tele-link to the Kalamos Institute, an organization dedicated to the growth of humanity and preserving right, trying to topple diaperDyne's inner workings constantly, those "inner workings" usually attributed to Monika de Breize. Recently, Carpenter had sent in a team of hackers to de Breize's office to find out about her latest plot. He was horrified at what she was attempting to do, he had to call the Kalamos Institute immediately but he couldn't do it with this driver in here, whom he didn't know and could be one of de Breize's thugs.
The interminable limo ride was coming to a close and for an odd reason, landed atop the helipad.
"Driver, why have we landed on the helipad?" Carpenter asked.
"Security reasons, I must check in with the head security officer." This was an odd thing to say, since the head security officer, another honest man, had just been killed recently. He supposed the precaution was necessary since the security officer was new and the driver unfamiliar.
"The limo will be driven automatically down to the reception desk on the bottom floor so you can go through all the necessary security checks. You know, no taps, wires, bugs, bombs, you name it, Mr. Carpenter", the driver said.
"Er… thank you." The limo then proceeded to glide like a swan down to the bottom floor of the building, the largest building in the world, Cambridge Tower. It was nicknamed the "mile-high building" as diaperDyne's technology allowed it to be built that high up in the air. It took 10 minutes to get down there with his car, passing through the checkpoints to check the car for bugs which there were none and landed on the ground. The gull wing door opened and Carpenter exited and approached the sliding glass doors. He entered the grand lobby of the building and saw the receptionist there. She looked all too familiar.
"Hello Mr. Carpenter."
"Kelly has transferred to work as Monika de Breize's secretary. I have taken over as the lobby receptionist. Are you looking for anyone?"
"Um… no. I'm just heading up to my office."
"Thank you Mr. Carpenter, have a nice night." With that, he walked toward the elevator and thought he heard footsteps approaching quickly but it was just the receptionist taking the papers somewhere, strangely though, she was heading toward the direction of his client elevator, an elevator only used by people with permission to see Carpenter, plus, you needed the password. She probably wasn't though and Carpenter shrugged it off.
The elevator ride seemed almost interminable though it only takes a minute and he came to a horrible realization. The driver and the receptionist were one in the same! And he knew who it was. Miranda Oppenheimer, the gargantuan, vicious assassin who worked with the Chinese triads, the Russian mafia, gangs of America, syndicates in Italy, a master of martial arts and pretty much anything physical, he was right to be afraid.
The elevator stopped at the top floor, he quickly exited the elevator, ran inside his office and opened up his laptop, quickly dialing into Kalamos Institute.
"Hello Kalamos Institute. This is Victor Carpenter, diaperDyne CEO and I must tell you about my subordinate, Monika de Breize's plan, something I believe is a threat to the safety of the world. She has to be stopped, first of all, she's recruited Miranda Oppenheimer to work for her, I believe. Secondly, in a week, Ms. Oppenheimer is going to rendezvous with Jorge Rios, a crime lord in the Aurora underworld, she's trying to incite a gang war to cover up for her plot, the biggest thing of all! The…" and he stopped. Someone had shot his laptop. He turned to face Miranda Oppenheimer, now clad in a black snakeskin jacket with the diaperDyne logo in the center, a white shirt, white pants, and black snakeskin boots making her six inches taller than her normally gargantuan 7'1.
"It seems Mr. Carpenter that you have found out more than you should really know about Ms. de Breize's plans. These plans are confidential and are not to be viewed by people from the likes of the Kalamos Institute. In a few hours, you will be involved in a hover limo accident and Monika de Breize will become the new CEO of diaperDyne."
Carpenter reached for the alarmed button and pressed it firmly but it did nothing to alert security to the intrusion. Instead, his hover limo floated up next to his office window in which Oppenheimer lifted her hand to reveal a laser strapped to her arm and cut through the glass cleanly and kicked it away. She nudged Carpenter with her SuperCobra into his limo, shut the gull wing door and typed some keys on a laptop she was carrying in the other hand and the car flew away from the building.
A television rescinded from the ceiling of the car and it flickered to life, revealing Monika de Breize in his office, which was being refurbished to her needs.
"Hello Victor, I've wired recreDyne's latest video game system into your car and now I have the controller. I'm going to have a blast!" With that being said she moved the control stick in all different directions.
"Aaaaaaaaaaaaagh!" he screamed but the vehicle was ground to a halt.
"Let's try something a little more… risky." The car flew so quickly it was insane, toward Cambridge Tower, threatening to hit it at a very key structural point but it abruptly stopped. Carpenter was now hyperventilating.
"It's time to say goodbye Victor." The limo then went up as high as Cambridge Tower, took a diagonal slant and drove directly at the building below until it impacted against it surface and the limousine exploded, killing the CEO.
Back at Cambridge Tower, de Breize turned to Oppenheimer.
"Miranda, please inform our public relations agent that Mr. Victor Carpenter, diaperDyne CEO was killed on the way from his home in Kenilworth, Illinois, police found that he was driving drunk and that he crashed into the Danaher Industries building below. He had recently before his death appointed Monika de Breize as his successor."
"Will do, Ms. De Breize," Oppenheimer said and exited the office.
On a Greek island…
The Mediterranean Sea was angry tonight, it was storming around the Kalamos Institute, headquartered on one of the uninhabited Greek islands that reigned from on top of a mountain. In the situation room, there was also a storm occurring, a storm of worry.
"Just hours ago, we received an alert from Victor Carpenter about an evil plan created by Monika de Breize. Carpenter is, for the most part, an honest man and none of diaperDyne's scandals have been related to me. Intelligence also shows that he was killed directly after his phone conversation and that Miranda Oppenheimer was following him. I've known de Breize personally, she bought all of my fronts for this institute after my husband, Leman Sleiss and I worked for her. Before she killed him, I didn't like her that much but now I despise her."
ORange Peal was the director of intelligence, transportation, and many other departments at Kalamos Institute and was a crucial element in keeping the Institute's location secret, constantly setting up fronts.
"ORange, what is this evil plan you speak of?" Gary Burgell, one of the field agents inquired.
"In his tele-link to the Institute, Carpenter mentioned the drug lord in the Aurora Underworld, Jorge Rios. We have one known location for Mr. Rios and that is his club, Jerarquía de Víboras. Yes Ms. Timpson?"
"What are our assignments for this mission?" Tanner Whitmore, another of the field agents asked.
"Since, as you all know, KI Operative is one of the most difficult and prestigious positions in the institute, there are only 9 of you and one is out on assignment, I'll explain that each one of you is going to be attending this mission. It should be fairly simple. Infiltrate Rios's club, get to the back office and tape his conversation with Ms. Oppenheimer. The FBI is willing to put one of their moles on the line for this operation to be a success, they've been tracking Rios long enough and have been trying to crumble his small empire he's made for himself, if you have time, the drugs he ships are kept in the basement of the club and go through a sort of "underground railroad" so to speak for transfer. So infiltrate the club, find his office, and tape the conversation. Miss Jameson, you and Peg will be the ones infiltrating the club, Elena, you will be the surveillance person, Pericles, of course, handle any technical problems from the safe house with Elena, Marina, jumpship pilot, Burgell, be ready with Tanner in case there's trouble and Jameson or Peg give the signal and Timpson will be the getaway driver," ORange dictated. "Any questions?"
Everyone remained silent and departed to the equipment room for their trip to the suburbs of Illinois.
Cassandra Jameson was a precise woman. Standing 6'4" with deep brunette hair, dark brown eyes, very pronounced features and with naturally gifted muscles that were trained and developed instead of ones that were naturally gifted and left to gloat at and turn to flab. She started out in the Naval Academy and worked all the way up to Lieutenant until she got assigned a backwater job on the Estonian coast due to a squabble with one of her superiors over a command decision. Fed up with the bureaucratic nature of government and military in general, she sought out a life as a bounty hunter and a good one to boot. She did so well that she wound up on the Kalamos Institute's doorstep after giving back a card of information stolen from them by a diaperDyne assailant. She was with them ever since that day when fate knocked on KI's door.
"Ready?" she asked Peg. The startled 3-year-old turned at the abrupt noise. Cassandra was generally a quiet woman, only concentrating on her muscles, fitness and whatnot; she really didn't make the effort to know Peg very well.
"I suppose…" Peg said. "It's my first mission. I wish ORange didn't stick me with such a heavy burden."
"ORange is doing what's best for the Institute. She must've picked you for a reason, otherwise, you'd be the one doing Timpson's job as the "getaway driver" which is ORange's secret code for "worst agent"."
"I guess you're right Cassie."
"Cassie? Wow, Peg… thank you! No one ever has personalized my name before like that. You're a marvelous little girl, you know that?"
Another thing about Cassandra was she got very emotional when a person did any sort of kindness toward her. Growing up in a military family, she was constantly scooted all around the world and never had time to make a close friend. Ever since she joined up with the Kalamos Institute, she was all over anyone who complimented her on a mission she did well or even if her hair looked nice.
"All field agents report to the hangar! Boarding in half and hour!" Mark Alexandros, the man who was in charge of the hangar's voice said, booming all around the institute on the intercom.
"Better head out!"
On the jumpship…
"The safe house is in Stonebridge." Pericles said.
"Definitely safe… unless you got into a fight about whose pool is more decorated with floating candles!" Elena scoffed and everyone had a good laugh.
"Shh! I need to concentrate for landing at our extraction point!" Marina said and landed as gently as a dove on the ground near Marmion University. Walking down the street, they stopped at a rundown Irish Petroleum gasoline filling station and an African-American man, clad in old raggedy clothes, a white shirt, clean shoes and a winter hat took a gun out from under his jacket.
"Hold up, where do you think you all goin' at this time a' night. Don't think any of ya is gonna be alive tomorrow when Rios's guys take you down like a poster!"
"You really had to work hard on that gangsta talk of yours didn't you?" Cassandra commented.
"Hah… Adam Terrell, FBI, pleased to meet you Ms. Jameson!"
"Likewise, so show me the blueprints of this place!" Jameson ordered. Adam pulled out a PDA like device and opened up the blueprints. Guiding Jameson through them as she slipped into something a little more archetypal to this setting, she slipped out of the car with page in tow and the bouncer stopped her, seeing the Condor 3 in her holster.
"That's a really nice gun lady," he said in a seedy, grimy voice.
"Thank you, I work out!" Jameson said and punched his lights out.
"Niiiiiiiiiice…" Adam said from the car and drove away with the rest of the crew. Jameson and Peg walked into the club, the air thick with smoke, bursting with people and loudspeakers playing Latino music with immoral undertones to match the partygoers.
Jameson made her way through the crowd ignoring many of the horrible things said to her by the men dancing in the crowd with Peg just barely managing to survive all the shuffling occurring.
Shifting to Elena's post at the house in Stonebridge, she was directing them on where the office of Rios was and it was proving most difficult.
"You know, diaperDyne gave him all this really new security equipment, it's going to take a while to hack all of them so be very careful and walk really slowly."
Jameson and Peg slowed their pace and waited for Elena to finish up with hacking all of the security cameras before making a move. Before they could really stop and smell the roses, they saw a figure really standing out from the crowd, standing so high she could've hit the hanging lights.
Thankfully they both went unnoticed, Miranda Oppenheimer did not notice or recognize either of them as she quickly looked around and disappeared behind a door on the "dancing" stage. They approached this door but saw flashing lights all around it. Elena's voice crackled into their ears.
"The door is encrypted with cueing up the light pattern in a certain way to make the door open… I don't know of anything that could help you here. So many lights!"
"I can help, I think." Pericles said. "There really aren't that many lights. There are only five and they are red, green, blue, yellow, and purple. They are constantly overlapping each other so you are tricked into thinking that there is an astronomical number of lights when the quantity is rather quite small. The light board is near, isn't it?"
"Yes… it's right over here."
"You must find some way to connect to the PDA and let me hack the codes!" Pericles said, impatiently.
Peg went under the light board and connected a wire that was intertwined with many others that gave him complete control over it.
"Ms. Oppenheimer!" Jorge Rios squeaked out from behind his desk. His leather ensemble squeaked as he made his way to kiss her hand repeatedly.
"Please, enough with the pleasantries!" Oppenheimer shrieked and she made the spikes retract from her gloves. Rios got the hint and went back to his seat.
Rios was a seedy man growing up in a family of illegal Mexican immigrants famous for drug trafficking all over the state of Illinois, his hair was slicked back in a pony tail and had a greased mustache and goatee.
"As you know, diaperDyne is planning for a gang war to mask our true plans and create a distraction. Do you know of a way to incite one?"
"Well, death of any of the rival gang leaders would create an immediate distrust and spark the war."
"Got it!" Pericles screamed over the headset and Jameson and Peg ran inside the door, closing it behind them. Jameson stealthily made her way around the corner and listened to the conversation and turned on the AudioScope.
"I refuse!" Rios exclaimed. "I can't just give you all the money I've gotten from drug trafficking over the years! I'll go broke, lose my associates!"
"It's that, death, or diaperDyne turning you over to the authorities!"
"Making a gang war is one thing but stealing from me as compensation? It's lunacy!"
"Did I mention that when you die, you'll be hidden away? You couldn't come to harm!"
"Well, when you put it that way… not all of my drug money. It's kept downstairs. Tap under the rug four times and the door will open. I'll allocate the funds you may take."
"Sounds good to me!" Oppenheimer said, taking out her TriShotgun and loading a few cartridges into it. Rios turned around after knocking four times on the panel beneath the rug.
"I thought you were going to fake my death!"
"I never said anything about faking it." Oppenheimer said and let 3 shotgun pellets fly into his body.
"Auuuuuuuuuuugh", Rios yelped as his body was flung to the other side of the room, mangled with shotgun pellets and blood, his face lifeless. She took the shotgun and waved a device over it and left it on the ground. Oppenheimer then removed the Cobra from her back and climbed down the ladder.
"Hey, what do you think you're doing?" one of the guards asked and Oppenheimer blasted them all away with the Cobra. She pushed a button on her earring and an audio link opened up.
"diaperDyne team, this is Miranda Oppenheimer, I've found his depository, sending you the coordinates." A diaperDyne Hovercopter landed behind the club and stormed the office, while Jameson and Peg tried the best not to make themselves seen.
"You hit the jackpot, Oppenheimer!" Monika de Breize's voice said. They turned around to see Miranda Oppenheimer clad in a headset and holding two TRY357 Magnum's at both of their heads.
"It would be wise to comply with everything I say. These magnums don't just smart when you get hit with them."
At the safe house…
"Elena! Quick!" Pericles screamed. Elena ran to the surveillance post with the cup of coffee she was getting from the kitchen.
"They're in trouble! I have to distract Oppenheimer somehow!" Elena said. She frantically tapped on the keys, looking for something that would catch Oppenheimer off guard.
"That'll work… just turn up the frequency and she'll be down!" Pericles said.
Back at the club…
The sprinkler system came to life and water violently cascaded from them.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!" Oppenheimer shrieked as she collapsed to the floor, magnums flying out of her hands.
"I'll take that!" Jameson said, scooping one of the guns off the ground and arming it. Peg's suit activated a floatation device so she was able to swim through the tumultuous stream quickly rising.
"Cass! We have to get out of here!"
"I can't reach the windows! We'll have to go out through the club!"
"And I'm sure
they'll be happy to see us." Exiting through the door they came
in, they found the partygoers enraged at their
"¡Conseguirlos!" One of the men yelled and the club members stormed the stage.
"PEG! PAAAAAIGE!" Jameson shrieked as she whipped out her Condor 3 and opened fire on the mob.
"Get out of here!"
"No, I can't leave you here to die Cass!" Peg said defiantly as the water level escalated. A man rushed up to Peg, knife in hand but with size on her side for once in her life, Peg grabbed his legs causing him to collapse into the water. Fighting his way out of the aquatic prison, Peg took a fallen piece of debris and knocked him over the head with it and swam toward the exit. Then she got a crazy idea.
"Mom! MOM! Come in!" Peg yelled.
"Peg? What is it?"
"Turn up the water velocity as far as you can!"
"Peg, this is already a dangerous amount of water as it is!"
"Trust me I know what I'm doing!"
Elena reluctantly turned up the power until the pipes burst and the whole club was flooded in water. Since Rios was a criminal, he had to rely on the cheapest builders in the state of Illinois.
"PEG!" Jameson said, garbled by the water. The club then burst open, water and people flying everywhere to the unwelcome sight of multiple gangs fighting outside of the now ruined club.
"We have to get out of here!" Jameson screeched, grabbed Peg up and ran. The earpiece retracted at her command and she called out for the jumpship pilot.
"MARINA! Get us out of this horrible place!"
"I'm a bit tied up myself for the moment. If possible, get somewhere safe, I'll get you then!"
In the Jumpship…
"I think we're having a problem!" Burgell said. Looking out the window, he saw the extreme gunfire being directed at the ship and the other objects being hurled at it.
"Ugh… this is just terrific!" Marina said. "They've knocked out the regulators! Now we can't fly fast at all!"
"Are you telling me we're stuck hovering over this mess?" Tanner asked exasperatedly.
"Unless you're gonna go out and fix the engine, yes."
"Are there any MB-D220's in here?" Tanner asked.
"Only two!" Marina yelped.
"I have a plan, Marina, open up the jumpship doors!"
"ARE YOU CRAZY? You could get us all killed!"
"Get your gun ready Marina. Burgell, arm your weapon. NOW!" Marina opened the doors and they all started firing upon the mob of people, Tanner and Burgell with their unstoppable MB-D220's and Marina with her BT-36 Assault Rifle.
"EAT THIS SCUMBAGS!" they chorused as the bullets shredded the crowd.
Meanwhile at ABC studios…
"…and that's who really killed Jimmy Hoffa. A stirring new development in the area, a gang war has started in your backyards everyone, from Chicago to Aurora to Naperville and that area, a whole war has started. People suspect the National Guard to step in and keep the peace but I'm sure that's almost out of the question. This war was started because of the murder of the Víboras gang, Jorge Raymondo Rios, a notorious crime lord in the Aurora underworld, from drug trafficking to mass murder, that gang covered the bases and made other gangs their enemy. With the death of Rios, a revolution is being sparked in our area but this could be an opportunity for us to get rid of these gangs. It might not be as hard as we think. I'm Michelle Yu, thank you for watching. And now here's Jim with sports!"
"Thank you Michelle, I'm standing here at Vaughn Field where… AAAAGH!" Jim from sports shrieked as he was run over by mobs.
"Thanks… in other news; a fat lady gets mad that her students make fun of her weight. Well the truth hurts and…"
The gas station…
Amy Timpson and Adam Terrell were cornered in the gas station. They had nothing but a diaperDyne Cobra sub-machine gun to protect themselves with and the mobs were wreaking havoc to a large degree.
"Amy, it's a stupid idea. We'll all get killed!"
"Better us than the state of Illinois. Plus, we cannot let diaperDyne win!" Timpson protested.
"It's our lives on the line right now, honey!" Defiantly, Timpson took the rifle and ran toward the automatic doors which opened with a ding, changed it to flamethrower function and pulled the trigger.
The second the flames hit the gas pumps, a mini-Armageddon occurred with a gigantic mushroom cloud soaring into the sky, cutting through the darkness. The mini-mart was demolished, along with its occupants.
In the jumpship…
Luckily for Marina and crew, the explosion caused enough of a distraction for them to pilot their way down the deserted Mitchell Road.
"¡Rápidamente! ¡Rápidamente! ¡Después de ellos!" she heard a man shout and the mob was soon after them, bullets careening with the armor plating. This knocked out the stabilizers which sent the ship plowing into the ground.
Marina and Tanner got up, figuring the jumpship couldn't be operational after the mighty crash. They surveyed their surroundings and found their charred comrade on the ground, little life left in him.
"Gary…" Marina cried out at him.
"It's too late, there's nothing you can do for him now!" Tanner said and rushed her away from the scene.
Somewhere in Aurora…
"I think we've lost them!" Peg said.
"Great, I'll radio Marina", Jameson said and her HUD came to life. "Marina, where's the jumpship?"
"We're in a little bit of a fix at the moment. It was downed by a mob, Gary's dead and we don't know where we are!"
"Ugh… just stay out of sight! We'll try to rendezvous somewhere else. Try and get to the safe house if possible, if it's safe any longer." Jameson sputtered, heaved Peg up and kept running.
"Where's Marina?" Peg asked.
"She can't find out, her GPS is out of whack and the jumpship crashed."
"Oh my, is she okay? Is she hurt?"
"Gary Burgell was killed in the crash but she and Tanner made it out unscathed. If I'm not mistaken, the armory in that jumpship contained a BT-36 Assault Rifle and two MB-D220's with plenty of ammo so there's nothing to fear about their well-being!"
Though Marina and Tanner could have fooled them as yet another mob was advancing on them as they lay by the strewn wreckage.
"Tanner, there's too many of them!" Marina said, worriedly shooting the BT-36 Assault Rifle into the crowd. Tanner, frantic about what to do saw an ouzo bottle in the jumpship, always a celebratory custom for the adults after a very successful mission and a crazy idea raced through his mind. He took off running toward the jumpship and grabbed the two bottles in the now defunct refrigeration unit.
"TANNER, what are you doing? This is no time to be drinking!" Marina protested as she shot at the crowd. Tanner then ripped off a portion of his sleeves, thrust them into the bottles and lit them on the fire from the wreckage.
"TANNER!" Marina yelped. With that shriek, Tanner threw the drinks into the crowd creating a fire of hellish proportions. The crowd was stunned and some were even burning.
"Marina, this is our chance! Grab that MB-D220 and let her RIP!" Tanner ordered and they both shot at the disillusioned crowd, whittling them down to a miniscule number and some deserters turned and fled. The area was now desolate.
"Good work Marina, thanks for covering me."
"Very good with thinking on your feet Tanner, I owe you one."
"Let's call it even and find Jameson and your sister!"
Stonebridge, Aurora, Illinois
Elena and Pericles were in their fortress but wouldn't be safe for long as the mob was at their doorstep and raiding all the houses in the area.
"There has to be a way out of here." Elena said. Pericles heaved a sigh.
"I have an experimental technology that could get us out of here but I just hope it won't blow up in our faces!" Pericles said, reaching for what looked like a Plexiglas box with some odd sci-fi appendages attached.
"Come on Pericles, is this the TARDIS or something?" Elena said mockingly.
"Get in the box! It's that or get run down by an angry mob!" he yelled and she obliged. Pericles flipped a few switches and the box smashed through the wall and surprisingly came out undamaged.
"What does this do?" Elena asked, astonished. "How come you never told me about this?"
"This project was especially top secret; its main function is not actually transport but the location of agents. With every KI worker's DNA strand programmed into it, I can pinpoint their exact location just by saying their name. Timpson, Amy!" Pericles said.
"Timpson, Amy, no life sign found in the area."
"No…", they both said, airily. "Burgell, Gary."
"No life sign found in the area."
"Life sign found, at coordinates 41o 48'04.62' N and 88o 18'23.31' W."
"Well, it looks like we have some searching to do then."
"Take us to the previously mentioned coordinates please!"