And part two! Sorry for how long that took to get up. I had it finished a while ago, but I had no internet x.x! Ok, I did in a manner, but not really. So. Here it is for you in all it's 10 page in Word glory x.x. I think I split the chapters in half in a really bad spot now.
Anyway, same as before, disclaimer is in the prologue, please go back if you want to know it. This time, the Wolf Lady was not available to catch all my stupid and epic bad mistakes, but that's ok, just, pardon all of the mistakes if they do pop up o.o. And thank you for those few favourites and story watches. Must mean I'm doing something right ^^.
ExtremeRainbowRaiderPrincess: Can I call you ERRP [you be a noise I make XD]? O.o. That name took me forever to type before I remembered the good old copy paste! *facepalm*. Yeah, poor Zoë, but it must be done!!! And thank you ^^.
DREAMFALL: THE LONGEST JOURNEY
CHAPTER 1: ONE
Thursday, January 21, 2219 Casablanca, Stark
Zoë was shaking uncontrollably as she showered and made to leave the gym. Practically didn't hear the jaunty tune on her hip that was Liv's personal ring tone. She shakily picked up her phone as she slowly walked down the steep stairs to the taxi pick up, trying to make her voice sound normal to Liv. "Hey Liv." It wasn't the best answer, but at least she managed it without stuttering. "Hey, are you done?" Came Liv's enthusiastic voice over the phone, sounding a little less wary of the device than usual. Liv was slightly paranoid. She always thought she was under constant surveillance through her phone. Which everyone was in a manner, but she had always figured she was more heavily watched than everyone else was. That's paranoia for you. "I just got out. I'm on my way." Zoë said simply, her steps slowing as she talked. "Coolness." Liv cooed at her. "I have an appointment later this afternoon, so I just wanted to make sure you remembered." She would have forgotten. This is what friends are for. Zoë nodded, though Liv wasn't even looking at her. "I'll be there in a few minutes." Now Zoë started to run, probably because Liv's presence meant no weird screen static. "See ya!" Liv said and there was an audible click as both of them snapped their phones shut.
Liv's store, lovingly named Alien the Cat for no particular reason at all, was Liv's life. Little does she stray from it's beaded door way. She even lives right above it in a technologically advanced flat, which you reach via a tube elevator. Upon Zoë's arrival through her sixties themed door way, she was met with a collective "Hello Zoë!" from the many new Watilla's lining the walls. It sounded like a chorus, oddly enough, despite all their different voices. Zoë did a short wave at them as she walked down the small stairs into the little store, where half the things on the walls Zoë couldn't even identify. Just because she had a technology nut for a best friend didn't mean she knew what on earth she did. As mentioned before, Liv was paranoid, and Zoë sometimes was not exempt from that paranoia. Liv herself was playing wide eyed with her usually hated cell phone, apparently amazed at some new technology, which Zoë assumed was why she had been summoned here. As she set foot on the actual bottom floor, the screen above Liv's head flickered a bit and showed the noisy picture with the little girl again. She didn't say anything, but just stared wildly at Zoë, before blinking out.
Zoë shuddered and spoke up, forgetting the usual salutations. "Hey, did you see that?" Liv looked up from her phone and a hand moved to her hip as she took in Zoë's horrified face. "See what, sweetie?" Zoë walked towards her, thus taking the screen out of her direct view and pointed up at it. "On the screen. I saw the same thing earlier today. It was like... I don't quite know how to describe it. Like interference, but not just noise. It was clear, but...distorted. Like a bad dream." Liv blinked at her words and looked up at her blank screen, obviously not really making heads or tails out of it, and shrugged. "Mmm, no. Could've been the Static. It's been getting worse by the day. I even got disconnected from the Wire for a few moments this morning. Scariest moment of my life since the Collapse... not counting that time I rode the mechanical bull. Never again." Zoë giggled despite the moment, and her fear was passed. "So what did you see?" Liv smiled and poked her lightly. Zoë made a list of things she saw and counted them off her fingers. "There's this snowy landscape with a black house...and a little girl who looks like a ghost. And she speaks to me. 'Save her, find her'. Really, really freaky stuff." Zoë looked sheepish, her own words sounding stupid to her. "Wow. That is scary." Liv took it to be true with her quirky nature and trust of Zoë. "I haven't seen that, I definitely would've remembered. Are you sure you just haven't been watching too many horror movies lately? I mean, spend enough hours in front of the screen, and you're bound to start seeing stuff." Zoë shook her head angrily. "Don't you start with that, too, Liv. I'm already feeling guilty enough as it is." Liv put her hands up in mock defeat. "I'm sorry, sweetie. I didn't mean anything--"
"No, it's okay. It's me." Zoë cut her off with a sigh. "I don't know what's going on with me. I can barely get out of bed in the morning. Every day's exactly the same, and I'm not doing anything to change that. There's no school to go to, no job, and I barely spend time with my friends. What's left of them." Liv shook her head and flicked her hand in a 'pshaw' manner "I see you all the time, don't I? You haven't abandoned me." Zoë pointed out the door. "No, but that's because it's so easy to come here. If it requires any more effort on my part... And that goes for everything. I'm on autopilot." "It's probably exhaustion, sweetie." Liv put her hand that wasn't holding her suddenly loved cell phone on Zoë's arm, her being shorter than Zoë, and not really able to reach her shoulder with her clothing style. "You've had a tough year. You dropped out of school, broke up with Reza, moved back home. All of that's bound to take its toll, no?" Zoë sighed and nodded. "You're probably right. And I do complain way too much, don't I? I don't want to be the whiny, apathetic Zoë. I want to be me again. Anyway. Enough about me. You wanted to show me something?"
Liv looked confused for a moment, her eyes slitting to stare at Zoë. "What was that, sweetie?" Zoë raised her eyebrows, and Liv finally remembered the cellphone in her hand and her eyes widened in excitement. "Oh, yeah, that's right. It's something really cool!" For some odd reason, Liv's remembrance made Zoë remember some plans she was thinking of a little while back, for when her father was gone. She put a hand on Liv's lips quickly, and Liv took on a startled appearance. "Oh, sorry, before I forget... Dad's out of town, and I'm having some people over tonight. Would you like to come?" Liv's eyes narrowed as she thought again, "I was going to unpack a new delivery tonight but" her head bobbed from side to side as she switched about her schedule. "...sure! Work can always wait. Who's coming?" Zoë shrugged, "The usual suspects." Liv practically bounced. "Great. Sounds fun. How about Reza? I haven't seen him in ages. I really miss him. Any chance you guys are getting back together soon?" Her eyes were wide, hopeful. Liv had always loved Zoë and her ex, the named Reza, together. Zoë shook her head with a touch of sadness in her eyes. "He's not the right guy for me at this point. I mean, I love him to death. He's great. But... It was getting too serious. What I mean is, I was getting too serious. It was just way early for that. And that whole long distance thing was becoming a problem for us. It's pretty ironic that as soon as we're broken up, I move back here, five minutes away from his apartment. Not that it makes a difference. I'm just happy we're still friends, and that we're comfortable with each other. You and him are my two best friends. I don't ever want to lose that. But getting back together? Nope. Besides, I don't think he'll be coming to the party. He's been really busy. So...eightish?" She changed the subject quickly. Liv grinned. "I'll bring my charm and a bottle of tequila. Now! I have something to show you."
"What is it?" Zoë tilted her head, and Liv shoved her phone up in the air and said in a rather triumphant manner, "WSL suppresser software!" Zoë stared at her blankly. She had no idea what that was, but for some odd reason, felt as if she should. It sounded a bit familiar, but she just couldn't put her thumb on it. Not wanting to admit this, however, she gave Liv a whimsical look. "Okay. Let's pretend for a second that I haven't a clue what you're talking about." Liv chuckled. "Can do." She smiled and started to gesture at her cell phone. "It's like a...a cloak for your mobile. Want to be invisible? Just tap the screen!" Liv frowned a bit, and then started to tap her own screen. "Well, actually, you select 'menu' and 'applications', and then the icon that looks like a penguin, and then 'activate', but that's like…" she counted on her fingers "One...two...three... Okay, four taps. Small price to pay, seeing as you're now invisible, right?" Zoë was amused by Liv's explanation process, but still had to understand her friend better. "I don't get it. I'm invisible?" Liv shook her head, and flicked her hands at her. "No, you're not invisible. That's impossible, except with a very, very expensive combat suit, and those things don't hold up to a can of spray paint." She put up her index finger in a 'matter of fact' manner. "What this little hack does is make your mobile invisible to the Eye in the Sky. You're untraceable. The Syndicate can't track your mobile. Mondo cool, huh?" The Eye in the Sky was Liv's paranoid name for the Wire, and the Syndicate were the police force that enforces the law of the Wire. In other words, this hack was most likely illegal, and that's why it was a penguin icon.
Zoë nodded, impressed, if not overly amused by Liv's performance. "That is cool. How does it work? You just, what, wire it to my mobile?" Liv nodded happily, "Yup. Easy as strawberry pie. Gimme a second, and I'll--" Liv's mobile rings and both girl's heads snap at it in curiosity to hide their jump. Liv squints at it suspiciously, and then her eyes go wide "Oops. This is, like, important, sweetie. I'm buying a batch of exclusive Ethiopian mobiles directly from the factory, real cheap. So I gotta--" Zoë put her hands up and started to back up. "Take it! I'll see you later." Liv nodded and pressed a button on her mobile, pointing at her with her free hand. "I'll hook you up with the software when you come back, okay?" She then flicked her short hair importantly and put the phone to her ear, a strong, and unrecognizable language coming from her mouth "Tadiyass, Alem! Dehna neh?" Zoë shook her head and tiptoed her way out of the store, and upon her arrival outside the beaded doors, her own mobile rings, and Zoë sighed heavily at the ringtone.
She brought her phone up very slowly to her ear, hoping that the one on the other end would hang up thinking she wasn't there, but it was not to be, she could hear him breathing on the other end, and he could probably hear her. "Hi, Reza." "Hello." Came his calm voice over the phone, "Are you busy?" Zoë looked about for something to busy herself with. Somehow, cleaning the walls outside Alien the Cat's did not seem like a good enough excuse. "Mmm, not really. Why?" Zoë bit her lip and waited for some get back together answer that she really did not want to deal with currently. Reza suddenly sounded urgent. "I need to talk to you. Can you meet me at Moca Loco?" His words sounded like a please, but how he said it made it sound like an order, telling Zoë it was just really important to him. She nodded. "Sure. When?" "Now? I'm already on my way there." Zoë frowned a bit, as he started to sound hectic, and made a positive hum into the phone. "All right. I'll see you in a couple of minutes." "Great. See you there." Both of them snapped their phones shut, and Zoë made her way back to the market place, sure that Reza was probably actually already sitting there.
The Moca Loco was a small place, a place for people to sit and have a quick coffee while they shopped. Reza was sitting in a far corner, animatedly talking on a phone. He didn't have a drink at all, so he obviously wasn't there to actually sit down and chat for a long time over coffee. It was a landmark, nothing more. A place they both knew. Reza was an intensive journalist. He got right into people's business, nosed around, worked horrible secrets out of big time companies. He didn't look like a snoop really, actually, he was always put together, smart looking. He always dressed casually though, to be looked over when the Syndicate scanned the crowd for him. Currently he looked somewhat sick, like he hadn't really slept in a while. Which meant one of two things really, he either was seeing someone new, or he was working hard on something important. Zoë hoped for the latter, but promised herself she wouldn't be hurt if it were a new woman. She made her way over to him and sat beside him, waving at him and patiently waiting for him to get off the phone.
"Hey. One moment." He said, acknowledging her, the speaking into his phone. "Rio? Yeah, call me when you're all set up. I'm with a friend. Okay. Bye." He snapped his phone shut and put it in it's holster, and then smiled at her. "Who was that?" Zoë asked automatically, her curiosity always getting the better of her. Reza frowned playfully. "Well, hello to you too, Zoë." Zoë shrugged. "Hello. So who was that?" Reza laughed at her, "It's good to know that some things never change." He shook his head. "It was just business." Zoë shook her head. "I'm curious, that's all. I'm happy you're dating again." Oh that wasn't forward or anything. She jumped right into that one. She wondered if it showed on her face. He looked startled. "It's not a date, it's just--" Zoë brushed it away with a hand. "Business. I know. I just don't want you to feel awkward talking about that stuff with me. We're past that." Reza shook his head amusedly. "Noted. I'll make sure to tell you about all my romantic adventures...if they ever happen." He looked distant for a moment, and then put on a fake smile. "So how are you?" Zoë didn't press the look. "I'm good. Dad left for Bombay today, so I got the house to myself. I'm having a few people over tonight." Reza's smile moved to a more natural one. "Party?" Zoë shrugged. "Officially, it's a..." She put her fingers up to imitate quotations "'small get-together.'" She suddenly heard Liv's voice ringing in her head, and considered her request about Reza, and hesitantly asked him, for Liv's sake. "By the way, if you have time... I mean, you're welcome to... You can bring anyone you want. It's just a few people. Nothing big." He looked a bit grateful, but also hesitant. "I wish I could, but I have some...stuff to take care of. Work stuff. I'm really sorry, I wish--" Zoë broke him off quickly. "Don't worry about it. It's no big deal. Next time, okay?" Reza nodded, and there was an awkward silence for a moment.
Finally, Zoë spoke up, hating silences. "What's going on with you, Reza? You've been busy. Working on a story?" Reza nodded and wiped his eyes. "Neck deep...as usual. I've gotten about five hours worth of sleep in the last, what, seventy-two hours?" That would explain the black marks under his eyes. Deep into a story that he was interested in would keep him up that long, not a woman. Zoë should have known that. "Sounds like you're onto something big." Reza's eyes lit up a bit. "It could be. I haven't taken it to the Hand yet. I haven't even talked to Martin about it. I need more background, more research, but it's looking... It's looking pretty big." The Hand was the Magazine company that worked with great scandals, The Hand that Bites, they called themselves, to match the Eye in the Sky. "Can you tell me anything about it?" Zoë asked. Reza shook his head sadly. "I can't. I'm sorry." Zoë hung her head a bit, "No problem. I didn't mean to pry." He shrugged with a comforting smile. "I know you didn't. You're just being your inquisitive and curious self."
Zoë shook her head "I really don't feel like myself anymore." Reza put a hand on her shoulder tentatively. "Are you okay?" Zoë looked at his hand and then at him. "I am. I should be. I don't have any reason to complain. My Dad's been supportive, I have everything I could possibly need, enough money to go anywhere I want... The thing is, I don't really care about anything anymore. I don't have any goals or ambitions. And I hate feeling like this. It's not me." Her hands clenched into fists. "But you've felt like that for a while, though, haven't you? I mean, it's what you told me when you broke up with--" He drifted off for decency's sake. "I know, Reza. But I thought it was just a passing phase, and now... Now it's starting to worry me. Is this how I'm going to be feeling for the rest of my life? I feel like I'm letting everyone down. I can't even muster up the enthusiasm, or the courage, to go down to Cape Town to visit Katrina and David. What does that tell you?" She was ranting, Reza didn't even know her old friends Katrina and David, and she didn't know why she was even bothering in the first place. Reza, probably. He could get anything out of anyone if he really wished it. He probably had words of wisdom for her in a moment. "That you're just stuck in a rut. That's all. And it's only been a couple of months since you left Cape Town. You deserve a break." Zoë shook her head, and he patted her shoulder. "I know you're trying to make me feel better. And I appreciate that. But... I don't know. I need more than reassurances at this point. I need something to get me up in the mornings. A direction in life. A purpose. Something to--"
A sound broke her speech. Reza's phone, he looked at it quickly and his breath caught in his throat. "Shit. Sorry, I have to take this one." Zoë nodded silently as he flicked his phone up to his ear, also taking his hand off her shoulder. "Yeah?" He was silent for a moment as someone urgently talked to him through the phone. Zoë could hear their fast words through the head set. "Thanks. Okay, I'll be back soon. Just stay there." He closed his phone and turned to Zoë again. "Sorry about that, Zoë. I'm a bit stressed today. You were saying?" Zoë smiled and brushed it off. "Don't worry about it, I know you've got stuff to do. Speaking of that, you said on the phone you wanted to talk. What's up?" He bit his lip. "I need a favour."
Zoë didn't think twice about it, she'd complained to him, it was the least she could do. "Sure. I don't have any other plans this afternoon." Reza's face lit up. "Great. It's nothing big. I just need you to go downtown and pick something up for me." Zoë nodded. "What is it?" Reza turned to face her excitedly. "Do you know where the Seshadri Building is located?" Zoë thought for a second and shook her head "Mmm, nope." Reza's hands became animated as he showed her ghostlike with his hands generally where it was. "It's not far from the Hub. There's a company there called Jiva, a biotech lab run by a woman named Chang. Helena Chang. All I need you to do is pick up a package from her. She's expecting me, but I don't have time right now, and I need that package as soon as possible. I don't want to use a courier, simply because it's...sensitive material. Chang was quite insistent that I come pick it up in person. I'll send her a message and tell her you're picking it up instead. Is that all right? I mean, you don't mind, do you?" He looked desperate almost. "Not at all." Zoë said easily, and summarized what he had said.. "Seshadri Building, Jiva, Helena Chang, package. As soon as possible." His face turned stern. "And come to my apartment as soon as you have the package, okay? I'll get the Hand That Bites to pay you for a couple of hours work." Zoë waved that away. "Don't worry about it. I'm not doing this for the feed, Reza, I'm doing it for you." Reza looked relieved. "Thanks. I really appreciate it." Zoë got up, and Reza followed her after a second, fingering his phone. "I guess I should get going. And you need to go do...whatever it is you're doing. Business. Top secret stuff. I'll see you in a bit." Reza smiled and started to walk back towards his apartment. "Thanks again for helping me out, Zoë." Zoë waved and made for the taxi stop.
Taxi's were automatic in most cities around the world now. There was no driver, just an automated vehicle attached the Wire, which, being attached to all other vehicles, made them safer to be in, and never able to have an accident. It was a simple matter of telling the computer where you wanted to go, the Wire would pick that up, and send you on the quickest and safest route to your destination. Even had a little happy female voice that would tell you "hello" when you got in, and talk to you if you wished it. Just like a real taxi driver. Zoë didn't really like talking to them. Usually she just sat in what usually is the driver's seat, though it was only a passenger's seat in a taxi, and stared at the other people going by in their cars. There were no flying cars in this age either. There were balloons and the odd bus that did indeed fly around, but that was for the rich and famous, not for someone like Zoë.
The Taxi brought her into the city, and then made for a shoot like tunnel that went down into the underground. This was a network of underground streets that Taxi's used to let people out at their destination without them having to worry about being jostled by other vehicles. It was rare you saw anyone down here, as it was only the Wire that knew which tunnel belonged to which building, but sometimes you saw the odd bum or person using an elevator short cut. Finally, her taxi stopped at a particular glass tunnel that leads to a see-through elevator. Zoë hopped out and stretched, glad to walk after the constricting vehicle. It was a quick trip to the glass elevator, and a quick selection by voice of which company she wished to visit that day. After learning her request and sending it through to the Wire, she was shuttled straight up to the 167th floor, where the words "JIVA" was etched in huge letters along the specialized, air pocket doors. Zoë wondered what it stood for really, but decided not to pry.
She noticed that she was the only one in the waiting room, and made her way casually to the receptionist, who was definitely part of the new age crowd. Her hair had been removed and replaced with an implant, which made it easy to change one's hair color at will. Long shades covered her eyes, which meant she supposedly wore glasses, but preferred to look cool about it. They looked like sunglasses, though one must admit, wearing sunglasses inside was a bit pointless. Her lipstick matched her hair, purple, and had a little line going vertically down her chin, the newest fad these days, and Zoë found she automatically could not stand what she was wearing. A black leather cat suit, which was tight right until her legs, where they ballooned out as if they would on a pirate outfit, carefully accentuated her obviously fake bosom. The balloon pant legs were then tucked into black leather high-heeled boots that came up to her knees. Not someone Zoë would even consider becoming friendly with under any circumstance. She was a natural sort of person. She tried not to scowl when the receptionist's attention fell on her. She stood up straight and stared at her, hands on her hips, probably annoyed that Zoë had taken her attention from whatever was on her computer screen.
"Who are you?" The receptionist snapped at her rudely, her voice a girly sound and not at all intimidating like her style. Zoë pointed a stare at her right back, finding it rather unfortunate she actually couldn't see the girls eyes due to the glasses. "I'm here to pick up a package from Ms Chang. My name is Zoë Castillo." The receptionist hesitated for a moment, before finally choosing an answer in that implanted head of hers. "She's...not here right now. I don't know anything about a package. You'll have to come back tomorrow. We're closed." Zoë frowned at her a little, and then turned her head back to the door, where a happy little "open!" flashed under the JIVA sign. Zoë looked back at the girl and raised an eyebrow, not feeling at all comfortable with this, but knowing Reza had an appointment with her. "I have an appointment with her. Can I wait here?" "No!" the receptionist snapped. "I already told you, she's not here. We're closed, so I'd like you to leave. Now." She pointed out the window in a matter of fact sort of way. It was then that the fancy screen showing products behind the receptionist's head flickered on, and showed an Asian woman, probably in her early 50's, cradling an arm sitting in an awkward angle against her chest, probably broken, and slamming the screen of the camera.
It was then it became clear to Zoë what exactly she had walked into. This woman in front of her wasn't a receptionist. She was a con artist of sorts, which was why all the leather and easily changeable appearance. Zoë knew the only way she was going to get out of here with that package was to keep the stupid woman attention off that screen. She had thankfully not noticed it yet. Zoë faked a heavy sigh and then said in a forced voice. "Thanks for your help. I'll come back tomorrow." She made to turn around, and then looked interestingly at the girl's hair. "By the way, that's beautiful pigmentation." She stared at Zoë bewildered. "What?" "Your hair. Beautiful pigmentation. What colour is that?" Zoë pretended to be truly curious about it, even tilting her head to study the sides. The con artist had no idea what to do, as she obviously wanted her out. "Uh...I don't-- I don't know. Just a standard shade that came with the...the implant. Listen, I--" Zoë cut her off before she could talk anymore. "It's really nice. Looks very good on you. I've been thinking about going blonde. What do you think?" Zoë stole a look at the screen, not thinking of going blonde ever, and noticed a bit of blood had started to sink through the woman's white suit on her arm. The con artist fumbled for an excuse to get out of the conversation, to gain the upper had again. "Well, maybe... Listen, I don't have-- I really need to get this done before I'm, uh, before I'm done, so--" What a horrible excuse. Cleverness was obviously not one of the job recommendations. "And I'm very sorry to keep you, but I really do need that package." Zoë pressed annoyingly, knowing she would get a repeat of earlier. The screen flickered once and then shut off. "I already told you several times, you'll have to come back tomorrow." The woman before her finally got pissed enough to remember her original excuse. Zoë gave her a smart look. "I'd get out of your hair quicker if you could just give me two minutes of your time." She put up two fingers to emphasize her small amount that she needed. "Really?" She doubted Zoë, but seemed to buy it anyway. Zoë pointed to the storage room on the left. "Could you just check in that room? Maybe Ms Chang left it in there somewhere."
The girl sighed exasperatedly and shook her head. "Fine. I'll take a quick look. But if it's not in there, you will have to leave. We really are closed." Zoë smirked and nodded her thanks, watching the other girl's leather clad body march angrily to the one-way door, clicking a button to open it. As she searched for a box with Zoë's name on it, Zoë snuck over very carefully and clicked another button, shutting the door and locking the girl in. In a few seconds, the con-artist realized her problem. "Hey. Hey! What the hell are you doing? Help! Kano! Kano!" she yelled to someone that was obviously there with her and banged on the door with all her might, but the door itself muffled the sound rather conveniently. Zoë, with a satisfied smile on her face, quickly ran to the computer and opened the doors that should lead to Ms. Chang. As soon as the opened, Zoë realized one of the other reasons that girl had wanted her out so fast. An illusion dropped, and there were red lights flashing, and a great sound that everyone in that time recognized as a biohazard. It wasn't in the hall way itself, that would mean the doors wouldn't open, but if someone important like say, Ms. Chang were subjected to it, it would look like an accidental death. Zoë wasted no time after these quick deductions and ran through the doors and down the hall. She was met with a huge room on the other side of a glass wall filled with red hazard lights, with a special chamber door system that had Helena Chang locked inside it, glaring at a man playing with the entrance door.
The man, presumably Kano, was dressed in leather like his friend, and had black hair implants kept in the old ponytail hairstyle. He looked at her quickly, and she could see some Italian descent there. He sneered at her and then ran out, pushing past her to go see what happened to his co-worker. Upon his leaving so quickly, Zoë went to go look at Helena through the doors of her "prison," and tried to find a way to unlock the door. After finding it was no use, Helena slammed her unharmed fist on the door twice to catch Zoë's attention, and the pointed to a device on the ceiling of her glass room. It was the power to the electronic door. Zoë nodded and looked for a way up there. To her left was huge container, probably holding special suits. She quickly hopped onto that, and then pulled herself onto the top of the glass cage, slinking on her stomach to not hit her head on the ceiling, to the power box. She could see Helena below her, making a "pull down" movement with her uninjured hand. Zoë nodded to her again and pulled the device's door off. Inside was a lever. She did as Helena showed her and pulled hard down on the lever. It took a couple seconds, but finally gave, and power to the box switched off. Now she had to get the doors open. They weren't going to slide open by themselves. She slid back off the top of the box and hopped down to help Helena push the doors open. She used her own body as a prop to keep the doors open as Helena rushed out under one of her arms, and Zoë let the doors go back together with a slam. Both of them were breathing too heavily to talk for the moment, and instead stared at each other, until finally, Helena broke the silence with a thankful tone. "Thank God. The gas was starting to leak through. Another few minutes--"
It was about then that Zoë found her own voice. "What just happened? Who were those people?" Helena shook her head and held her hurt arm, that sleeve nearly completely red. "This is neither the place nor the time for explanations. We need to leave. Now." Zoë nodded slowly, shaking starting to make itself known in her legs, and she helped Helena out of the corridor, and back into the lobby, where Helena let go of her and rushed to the receptionist's desk, quickly opening one of the drawers and pulling out a MediPen. She looked at the computer as she closed the drawer with a slam. "Someone's tampered with the system and blocked all access to this floor. I'll need to find a workaround." Zoë just stared at her stupidly, not really having an answer for that problem. Helena threw the pen at her, which Zoë caught a bit fumblingly, and tapped a few places on the computer screen. She then pointed at the elevator pad. "I've reactivated the manual override. Try the call button for the elevator. It should work now." Zoë ran to the consol and hit the call button, and sure enough, an elevator came. Helena was already on her way over. "Quickly, get into the elevator. We can't stay here any longer." Zoë nodded and hopped in, Helena coming in after her and slamming the button to the bottom floor. She then held out her hand for the pen.
A MediPen was an interesting device. They were also on the black-market for being a way to get rid of hospitals, and named dangerous by most of the government, despite the fact that all tests show they are completely trust worthy. Helena seemed to trust them well enough, she pulled up her the sleeve her arm to show a grotesque cut in her arm. Not thinking even twice about it, Helena clicked the pen once, and slammed it into the center of the cut, practically falling backwards at the pain of it. Zoë grabbed her shoulder to steady her. Helena gave her a pained look. "I probably owe you my thanks for saving my life." Zoë shook her head a bit. "I wasn't really thinking. I-- Look at me, I'm shaking!" She showed Helena her hand, which indeed was shaking, and tried not to puke from the slowly healing cut on Helena's arm. "That's just the adrenaline. It's perfectly normal." Helena said with a shrug. "Not for me. It's not every day that someone tries to kill me." The elevator landed with a thud on the bottom floor, at the taxi stop again. They exited together quickly and Helena rested on the side of the dome, Zoë pressing the button to call a taxi.
Helena sighed heavily and gave her a level look, taking the pen out of her now closed and scabbed arm, and pocketed it. "They weren't trying to kill you. They were trying to kill me. Now, who are you, and what were you doing in my laboratory?" Zoë gulped. "I'm Zoë Castillo. Are you Helena Chang?" Helena frowned a bit. "That's not--" Her eyes then widened. "Castillo? I see. Yes. Yes, I'm Helena Chang. How do you know my name?" Zoë thought of her answer carefully. It was not likely Helena here would know who Reza is by his real name. He probably told her his code name, which he always used with people he was getting information from. "I came by to pick up a package for a friend of mine. Jericho." Helena's frown returned as she took off her jacket and threw it into the garbage. "Jericho? I told him I wouldn't give the package to anyone but him." Zoë shook her head. "He couldn't make it. Didn't he tell you?" Helena shook her head. "I never got that message. Maybe it was intercepted. That would explain a lot..." She fingered her lip thoughtfully, and Zoë started to shake a bit again. "Look, I don't like this. Those people who tried to...to kill you, are they looking for Rez-- for Jericho, too?" Right then, a taxi arrived, and Helena shrugged and looked a bit distant, probably planning where she wanted to go. "I wouldn't know. But I need to leave right now. Here, take this." She took a package out of her pocket, and thrust it into Zoë's shaking hands. "Please deliver it to Jericho as soon as possible." Zoë nodded and clutched the package, having nowhere to hide it on herself. "What is it?" She asked, her curiosity getting the better of her again. Helena frowned at her deeply. "Information. He'll know what to do with it."
Helena then made her way to the taxi door, and Zoë knew that was the end of that conversation. Then she remembered something at the beginning of their conversation, and she put a hand on Helena's shoulder to steady her for a second. "Why did you react to my name earlier? Do you know my father, Gabriel?" Helena's frown disappeared for a second and she stared distantly at Zoë's hand on her shoulder. "Your father? No. No, I...I knew a Castillo once. A long time ago." Her eyes went cold again, and she shook Zoë's hand off. "I'm sorry, but I don't have time for chit chat. I have to leave." She quickly got into the taxi. She was just shutting the door when Zoë shouted at her "Wait, I need to ask you--" The taxi window rolled down. "Please deliver the package to Jericho right away. And thanks again for your help. I shall not forget it, Zoë Castillo." The window started to scroll back up, and the taxi started to move. "Hey. Hey, wait!" Zoë stomped her foot in mild annoyance and slapped the "Call Taxi" button. "Dammit. Reza has some serious explaining to do."
When she finally returned to the familiarity of her neighbourhood, still fuming a bit, but the adrenaline worn off, she marched her way back to the marketplace, and down a side road that lead to Reza's house. She had a full speech in her head ready to yell at him when he opened the door to his apartment. Zoë could handle being a messenger, but saviour she was not, and that encounter was enough adventure for her for well over a week. Maybe even her lifetime. One things ex-boyfriends should certainly not do was send their ex's into a near death experience. It was not decent, and now, Zoë could have to trained, but overly stupid, hit men on her butt. When she finally came to his apartment building, which was a minor work of art in itself, more made of suites then apartments, she marched up the stairs to the second floor, nearly knocked over a plant by trying to miss an old lady, and stopped dead when she reached his apartment doors. They were sitting wide open, the apartment doors looking kind of like closet doors, and there was a cat hanging around in it. The cat gave her a blank stare before hopping through an open window across from the doors. Zoë frowned. Reza didn't have a cat.
She slowly inched towards the door and looked in. Nothing looked out of place. And she didn't hear the music that Reza usually had playing in the background when he was home. It kept him calm. "Reza? Reza!" She sighed to herself, the silence moving her to speak aloud to herself. "He never leaves the apartment unlocked. This is weird." She inched in and didn't see anyone in his perfect little apartment. It looked tidy and normal as ever. Her anger caught up with her as she marched further in to see if he was hiding in the corner, and her eyes fell on hair on the floor, behind the couch. She sneaked a bit forward and screamed in shock. "Oh...my God." There was a dead woman lying there. Pale, veins all blue and popping out, and there was an odd device on the floor next to her. It looked like a simple plate, but in the middle was a little hole, and out of that hole stretched something that looked similar to a plant. Zoë ignored it by pushing it away as she fell to her knees beside the brunette girl, testing her neck for a pulse in a slight panic. Nothing. Her eyes finally came to the thing on the floor next to the pretty and dead girl, and then Reza's TV flickered on. The little girl seemed to be touching the screen and staring at her in alarm, and Zoë backed away by scuffling along the floor. "Zoë... Find April. Save April." Zoë shook her head a bit and then the screen changed. It showed the bottom floor through a surveillance camera.
Three men burst through the door, and Zoë's breath caught. "Those are...those are EYE commandoes. Downstairs." They were in full body armour, and were armed with wicked looking guns. "Shit," Zoë scrambled to her feet and ran out the door, knowing there was no place to hide in Reza's apartment. She was going to run to the other corridor across the way and pretend she had no idea what was going on, but then all three of them turned the corner and pointed their guns at her. "Hands behind your head!" One of them, obviously the leader, screamed at her, his mask making him sound computerized. Zoë started to lift her hand's slowly. "Listen, I--" She was too slow about it. "I warned you!" He then shot her. Something blue was sticking out of her chest, and it started to blur and sparkle as Zoë stared confusedly at it before everything went black.