Noblesse Oblige-The 12 Apples of Eden…
There are twelve of us in America. Twelve not-too-special people, but each with a more than special gift…or, I should say, a special acquirement..
We're called Selecao, and from what I understand, we're supposed to use these…cellphones…to try and 'change the nation'. Surprisingly, that's all I was told. Well, that and the fact that there are 12 of us altogether, and someone called the "Supporter", who's supposedly going to kill us if we don't use these phones to help and better America…
I don't really care who the Supporter is. I don't care too much about America and bettering it. But… what I do care about is this 10 million dollars this guy gave us to do what we want with. I know, I know; it's supposed to be used for unselfish things…but what's a few simple feats of leisure? Just to see if this thing actually works?
I'm Selecao No. 7. My name is Frank Holmes. I know, not the best name sure, but who's gonna care abut my name when this whole thing's over with anyway? I'm just more than likely gonna blow this money on booze or girls as it is… I've got so much money in my own bank I don't even have to spend this shit yet…
…Is that really how you see this game No. 7?
Huh? Well…yeah, I guess… S'not like there's anything better to do with this money right?
Mr. Outside chose twelve people from your country that he deemed capable of bettering the world for all of mankind to exist in. There are also twelve Selecao in Japan, Germany, China, and even the far reaches of Egypt and Australia…
Bah! Who cares? I've got just about as much say-so in this world as some of the more influential people do…The President himself even has trouble with this hellhole of a country.
…Like I said…this money's just gonna get blown on booze and women…whether you help me do it or not is just an "if" to me…
…I see… Well you are aware that your unable to access any funds beside the ten billion you've been entitled to right?
Bullshit! I've got at least 16 million lying around in the bank right now! I don't need this dirty money when I can just spend my own. And you can't convince me otherwise…You'd have a better chance causing a mass riot right here in front of me!
…Order Received! …Noblesse Oblige… I pray for your continued service as a savior…
In a matter of seconds, a huge explosion from behind quaked the ground and dropped Frank to his feet. His phone dropped down into the street and he scrambled to retrieve it before a passing car could crush it to pieces.
It made a small beeping sound, startling him as he slowly opened the screen.
Order Request 1:36 PM, Monday, May 23rd
Cause a riot to further the cause of the Selecao;
"No fuckin' way…" Frank whispered under the turmoil of the fiery blaze behind him. The loud crash of blazing wood falling from behind sparked him back into conscious thought. He ran over to the scene of the destruction, horrified at the sight.
From the sight of things, there where no bodies around the burning warehouse. Frank prayed that the same could be said for whatever was inside as well. People soon began to encircle behind him, as if Frank was automatically the sole cause of the damage.
He turned to face everyone. Their shushed whispers and their different expressions as they looked at him.
Without thinking, he sprinted to his left and started down the long sidewalk, attempting to avert their wary eyes off his back.
He turned the corner and ran out of breath soon after. He dropped to his small stubby knees for balance and his upper body was being forced up by the girth of his over produced belly. As he gasped and wheezed, another beep came from the phone, which he quickly opened to observe.
(2) New Messages
Frank quickly pressed "Open".
… … …
1:44 PM , Monday May 23rd
Pinpoint the location of Warehouse Burning
Nervous and hands trembling, Frank opened the second message.
1:47 PM , Monday May 23rd
Stop No. 7 from escaping the near-by premises
"What the hell…" he managed to whisper.
Suddenly, he heard multiple sirens coming from up the road behind him, and turned to look. About six or seven patrol units, accompanied by firetrucks and ambulance, swerved their way down the second street to face the blazing scene.
Frantically, Frank pulled out his phone once more and pressed the button on the front titled, "Juiz".
…This is Juiz.
"Juiz!" Frank yelled before actually letting her finish.
Why hello, No. 7. I'm sure your aware of your stunt back at the warehouse by now?
Frank's heart sank.
"No, no! I didn't mean blow up some random warehouse! People died because of you!"
Incorrect No. 7…
There were no casualties from the explosion.
Police are beginning to classify this as a simple gas leak…
It still didn't quell the feeling in his heart. But before he could speak again, a loud yell interrupted him.
"Hey, you!" they yelled.
Finally reaching his feet again, the short burly man turned to the voice in question. A very peeved police officer began to walk up to him from the end of the sidewalk, a pair of unopened handcuffs nonchalantly waving around.
"Shit…" Frank said from his point near the middle of the long walkway. "Juiz…I need a way out of this now!"
…Certainly, was there a certain method you wanted me to use?
Frank looked all around his surroundings trying to find the best means of an escape route. The officer still walked over to him, thinking that he'd stopped by his request. He didn't notice the fact that Frank was sweating wildly and he was on a cellphone because of how he was positioned.
Then, Frank noticed the crowd of onlookers and got an idea.
"…Is there any way you can direct the crowd to pass by me on this sidewalk?" he asked worriedly as the police officer drew ever closer.
…Order Received! Noblesse Oblige
…I pray for your continuing service as a savior…
Frank rolled his eyes. "Yeah, sure. We'll see…"
He hung the phone up and ducked into a fetal position as he awaited yet another on of Juiz's miraculous explosions. Strangely, he heard a muffled bang as he braced himself for the rumble, which he'd mistaken for the implosion. Yet and still, the crowd began to frantically run towards him, and he uncuffed his ears to hear what was going on.
The police officer was trampled aside by the dozens of pedestrians, and they all began to swarm around Frank, not a single one bumping into him.
"How did she manage to pull this off?" Frank thought.
Suddenly, the sound that was confused for the collision was actually a firearm discharging not too far back up the street. It came from the bank across the street from the abandoned warehouse, and when two masked men ran out of it with another bang of the gun, Frank realized what had happened.
Without another second of hesitation, Frank sprinted backwards to merge into the panicked crowd. His phone began to beep once more, but he ignored it; right then, Frank was only interested in escaping and heading back to his apartment.
The crowd lead him further down the street and began to disperse randomly as many of the bystanders ran down different alleyways and headed for different sidewalks. Frank knew this street well. It was the same street he'd headed down after working at the bank. He was about to pass his favorite coffee shoppe, Dunkin Donuts, and sprinted for the door. With the chime of a bell, he ran side and slammed the door behind him, slightly putting off the workers and several customers.
The large crowd ran past the shop next, screaming and arms flailing among them. The customers faces then grew worried as they observed the sweating and ragged man that'd just came in, seeing as he was a part of the facade.
"Mr…Mr. Holmes?" a scared voice called out from behind the serving area as she looked over at Frank.
With heavy breaths he responded. "H…Hey there, Lucy…" he said as he affixed his loose, shaken red tie. He caught his breath and cleared his throat before walking down the aisle to approach the counter.
He slid a twenty dollar bill up to the lady and fiddled around in the inside pocket of his suit. "Just gimme the usual…"
"Is…something wrong, Mr. Holmes?" We heard this loud crash, and then police sirens…and—"
Frank cut her off. "Don't you worry about all that now, Lucy. That…that was nothing. The police are handling that." He stopped messing around his body when he'd finally remembered he placed the phone in his back pants pocket.
He pulled it out and observed it carefully, noticing the blinking screen as it showed a small mini-version of the messages he'd see inside.
(3) New Messages
Selecao Activity Updates
"Uhm…Mr. Holmes?" Lucy said as she held up the paper bill in front of Frank.
"Yes?" he said, not too much focused on her.
She waved the paper in the air. "This isn't money sir…"
Frank looked up quickly in surprise as two other customers filled in behind him, disgruntled and tiresome looks perched on their faces.
The twenty Frank thought he'd given her was actually a slip of paper with an escutcheon drawn on its side.
"What the…" Frank whispered to himself as he looked back to the phone in wonder.
Slowly, Frank reached over and handed the phone to Lucy, who took it as if it were just a normal credit card. She held the circular button up to a scanner built into the cash register. Then, a small red line zipped past it, the phone chimed once more, and she handed it back to him nonchalantly.
"Lucy…" he said in wonder. "You know what this thing is?"
Lucy shrugged the question off as she turned to retrieve Frank's order from a chef in the back. Frank wasn't betting his life on the fact that she might actually know something of the mysterious device, so he took his order, grabbed his coffee and walked back outside.
Struggling to hold everything firmly in his hand, he pressed Juiz's button on the phone and leaned his neck on it to hold it on place.
…This is Juiz…
"Hey, Juiz…" Frank said as he stopped at the edge of the sidewalk in front of the shop.
…Glad to hear from you again, Selecao…
…I trust everything went okay in your exploits?…
"What 'exploits'?" Frank yelled. "I almost got arrested back there!"
But your quick thinking allowed
you to escape that demise effectively…
"Yeah, sure…" Frank rolled his eyes. "And what was that other guy doing trying to pull the cops over on me, huh?"
No. 3 instructed me to try apprehend you
for further questioning surrounding the explosion from earlier...
I was simply following orders…
"Even if it involves damn near killing me?" Frank said.
…Their instructions were to keep you alive at all costs No. 7…
Under no circumstances was I to harm you in any way…
Didn't you read the 'details' of the order?
"Details?…" Frank thought as he narrowed his eyes towards his shoulder.
…If a Selecao has specific instructions on how they want a task completed, then it will show up under the 'Details' tab of their request…
the task is carried out to the best of my ability…
Frank sighed heavily as he watched a cab slowly ride past. "Well, since you all took most of my money from my pockets, I'm stuck with asking you for favors, right?"
…I am at your full disposal, No. 7…
Please use me as you see fit;
as long as it corresponds to the rules of this game…
"Yeah…game…" Frank mocked after sipping a warm bit of raw coffee. "Ugh!" he spat. "I forgot to add all that crap to it…"
…Would you like me to make that an order, No. 7?…
"No, not at all!" Frank emphasized with a loud yell. "All I want you to do now is send me a cab so I can go home!"
Juiz paused for a few seconds.
…Order Received! Noblesse Oblige…
I pray for your continu—
Frank hung up angrily and stood at the edge of the sidewalk, awaiting his ride. About a minute passed, and still no ride. Frank was about to call Juiz back until, directly across from him, a cabby honked their horn and motioned Frank over.
Reluctantly, and with his eyebrows raised, Frank carefully crossed the street and placed his hand on the back door knob. The door was locked at first, and while he angrily waited for the cab driver to unlock it, he placed his bag of donuts and his coffee on top of the vehicle.
The cab driver embarrassingly waved back to him and pressed the button to unlock it from his side. After the click, Frank gritted his teeth and entered.
"Sorry about that." The nervous cab driver laughed as he pulled off.
"Yeah, don't worry about it…" Frank said as he reclined into his seat.
He heard a wet splash from behind and quickly turned to find the source. His mouth dropped in disbelief as he remembered the food he'd forgotten on top of the car.
The cab driver observed the mess from his rear view mirror and watched as Frank gave a loud groan in the back seat. "Not your day today, huh?" he asked.
Frank kept his eyes closed and breathed another long breath of disbelief. "You…you could say that…" he replied.
The cab driver narrowed his sharp eyes back to the road as he pulled up to the stoplight a few feet ahead.
"Just great…" Frank lamented as he pulled out the phone once more.
Once the light changed to green again, the cab driver began to start conversation.
"Nice phone you got there…" he complemented.
"Huh?…" Frank said, not paying attention. "…Oh, yeah. It's something alright…"
"…Must have costed a fortune, huh? I've never seen anything like it…"
Frank gave a dry laugh. "More like it's costing me a fortune…"
The cab driver watched Frank lie in the cab, his eyes closed as if deep in thought. The phone beeped one more time, Frank ignored it, then he spoke again.
"Phones like that, they get you to thinking…" the man said. "Like, if you had a lot of money, what would you do with it? How would you use it?"
Frank's eyes slowly opened as he watched the cab driver in the rear view mirror. However, he was simply averting his gaze between the road and whatever was to be seen out the window of the cab.
"…Me?" the driver continued. "I'd try to help this place…Get a job in politics or somethin'…You know? Really work for the money…instead of the other way around…"
Frank was surprised by the irony, but he didn't mind it seeing as it wasn't the weirdest thing that happened today.
"…I don't know yet…" Frank responded, mostly talking to himself. "I…so much has happened today already in such a short amount of time…Kinda feels like it's too much to handle…"
The cab driver nodded with an understanding moan.
"…Let's just say…IF I had the money…I'd probably try and use it on things more…worthwhile than coffee and donuts…Probably help further along a business or two…"
The passed by another underdog donut shop as he spoke.
"Having a lot of money…" Frank said as he looked at the light up message on the front panel of the phone.
(5) New Messages
Selecao Activity Updates
"…it probably won't get you too much of what you want…It may open a doorway or two…but…"
Frank's mind wrapped around all the money he'd wasted on gambling and the nightlife and couldn't find the words to describe anything.
"…I know what you mean…" The cab driver said with a happier nod. "You'd want to see the true leisure, of finding something worth spending it all on…"
Frank looked up in surprise. "Yeah, actually…" he said. "That's…that's exactly it…"
The cab driver silently turned a corner and began to slow down a little. "…That's not a bad way to go Mr. Holmes…"
The car pulled up to a towering and majestic looking apartment complex, it was called The American Dream.
"Nice place…" the driver said trying to look up at the stories of flights the building had.
"Thanks…" Frank said sluggishly reaching to get out of the right side. "How much do I owe you?"
The cab driver smiled as he watched Frank exit the vehicle. Frank flipped the sides of the phone around, trying to find a slot where the cab fare would come out or where the money spouted from.
Suddenly, the cab driver sped off in a cloud of black dust, startling and confusing Frank all at once.
"What the hell was that about?" he asked himself while scratching his head.
Without giving the free cab ride much thought, he walked inside the main lobby of the massive building and greeted the door man with a sly wave. The conisuier of the lobby approached him suddenly, which was fairly new to Frank.
"Ah, Mr. Holmes! A package arrived for you at the front desk a few short minutes ago." The skinny man said with his hands pressed professionally together.
"Hm? A package?" Frank said with an expectant stare at mostly nothing. "Why didn't you just put it with my other mail?"
The tailored man stopped suddenly. "Well, you see sir,…" he scrambled for words. "We were instructed by the sender to give it to you as soon as you arrived at 2:25 exactly.
"What?" Frank said with a shocked face. He snatched the man by the collar and shook him vigorously. "Who sent it! Who was it? Tell me!" he demanded.
The relatively smaller man shook with fright as he spoke. "W-we…We were were instructed not to disclose their identity to you, sir. Plus, they were completely covered in a tall over coat when they'd arrived with the delivery." He held his hands to his face when Frank shook him again.
"Please, sir." He begged. "We're terribly sorry!"
Onlookers in the lobby shyly looked at the scene unfold in front of them. Frank noticed this and snatched the package and his mail off the front desk. He stomped off towards the elevators and quickly stepped inside when they opened.
He slid against the wall of the elevator and fell to the floor. Face buried in his hands, he removed the sweat from his forehead and quickly unraveled the warm and mushy package from the soft twine it was wrapped over. The temperature of the paper made him cautious when he'd opened it, but once the paper was off, his nerves calmed.
Inside the package, next to a pre-heated mug of what smelled like finely brewed coffee, was an unopened dozen full box of donuts…
When he'd finally reached the Thirteenth floor of the building, he lazily trotted out and headed to the left of the hallway. He reached the end and made another left, slightly walking to the right of the hall so that he could stand in front of his doorway.
He slid the lock key through the card slot and the light flashed from red to green, allowing him inside. He discarded the mail to the table immediately on his left once he walked in, opening up the box of donuts to nibble on it contents.
Once he'd exited the narrow hallway, he walked past the kitchen and immediately relaxed on the throw pillows of the long sofa. Frank scrambled around for the remote, placing the box and coffee on the coffee table in front of him.
With a click he turned the television on, expecting some random sports channel to have been on from when he previously left home for work. However, when he observed what was playing, Frank froze.
… And already in development:
The old abandoned warehouse on the end of 4th and 6th street exploded today in what police have declared to have been a systematic ploy used by two bank robbers who robbed members of the bank at gunpoint, and demanded thousands of dollars in currency. When one of the workers denied them their expenses, one of the robbers fired multiple shots towards the worker.
"Unbelievable…" Frank thought as he dropped the remote to his lap.
However, the glass frame blocked most of the shots, and she came out of the ordeal unscathed. Police quickly arrived at the scene moments after the explosion, with dozens of emergency personnel and fire crew in tow. It was quickly found out that the explosion was caused by an open gas tank, rigged to explode by a series of triggers and TNT.
The robbers who started the events have both been apprehended, and have both been taken in for questioning. There were no casualties.
Frank turned off the T.V. soon after, feeling around for his phone to see the front panel again.
(15) New Messages
Selecao Activity Updates
"Why so many?" he thought as he flipped up the screen.
He went to the app that displays the other Selecao's activity and quickly skimmed over them for something of interest. Selecao No. 8 and Selecao No. 3 used there phones a few times on clothes and pet supplies respectively, and Selecao No. 5 just asked Juiz to send them a deck of cards to see if the whole thing worked for real- at least that's what the details said.
It was Number 3 Frank was mostly interested in though. Right after the ordeal at the warehouse, No. 3 asked Juiz to pinpoint any locations that Frank might have ran off to in order to escape and Juiz pointed him to the Dunkin Donuts he was at about a hour ago. After that, they had some bystanders clean up the mess that Frank had left in the street.
"Real humanitarian…" he said as he flipped through No. 3's next few orders.
The last new message from them was No. 3 asking Juiz to send a package of coffee and donuts to his residence. The details said nothing about poisoning or tampering with them in any way, so the starving Frank decided against spitting them out.
It was the last two messages from another Selecao that struck Frank as odd.
2: 16 PM , Monday , May 23rd
*Post no purchases of cab rides or withdrawals to cab fares *
Make it so that No. 7's cab ride was already payed for
*Deposit 14.50 into Selecao No. 7's ten billion dollar account*
Remove the purchase of coffee and donuts from records and return the money to the Selecao
"Why would they do that?" Frank questioned to himself. He looked at the top of his screen to observe how much money was spent.
Date/Time 2:34PM Mon. May23 Funds: $ 10, 000, 000, 000 -Battery[OOOO]
"It says I…didn't spend anything yet…" Frank said dumbfounded.
He closed his phone just as a throbbing headache set in. He massaged it with his hands as he stared numbly at the Selecao cellphone in his lap.
Frank contemplated what his true first purchase should be with the , before that, he opened the phone one more time and went to his Settings.
It had many options, but the only thing Frank was concerned with was finding a way to turn off his current location; which happened to be the option right under [PREFERENCES].
He switched to off and completely leaned back to relax.
"Better they don't know where I am for now…" he said with a sigh… "That'll save me anymore headaches…."
`End of Prologue'