Chapter 25: The Plan
Colin opened his eyes as Tarra pulled the connector from his neck, and sat up.
"Someone tell me what the hell just happened back there man, why did we see that coming how did they know we were after her?" he said in an angry panic. Brandan and Parker were looking at the code screen to follow the SUV.
"I think they tapped our phone lines once you were inside, they are taking her back to one of the Merovingians clubs. Club Transient, its in the club district of the main city," said Parker.
"So what do we do now Brandan?" asked Colin.
"We plan our attack. Parker and I will devise something just go rest for now," answered Brandan.
"That's it, that's all you can tell me." Colin was angry at the fact that they hadn't devised a back up plan if such a scenario should arise. "I'm gonna have to train I can't just sit around and wait. Tarra send me back into the training program. Isaiah stood up out his chair and started to walk over to Colin.
"I'll monitor him on the secondary system, just in case you guys need the main computer to run simulations." Isaiah sat down at the small terminal behind the main view screen and turned on the system.
"Alright then," The Captain agreed with him.
Tarra walked back over to Colin and jacked him back into the system.
"Whenever you're ready Isaiah, send me into the fighting program, put the fighters up to hardest difficulty and we will go from there." Isaiah nodded and sent Colin into the training program.
Colin opened his eyes, he was in the construct program in his residual self image. As the program started to load the white surroundings of the construct started to change to that of a open road in the middle of the city. Colin looked around him and there was three strange looking men walking toward him. Colin took up a pose and got ready to attack. Suddenly the three men jumped into the air and landed on three sides of him grabbing him by the arms. Colin immediately took to action and started by jumping into the air kicking the three of them away from him. Colin ran at the first one and attacked dead on swinging and ducking as he needed to. The other two quickly rushed up behind him and started to grabbed onto him by the shoulders holding on to him. They pulled him back and held onto him while the other one started to try to attack him. Using the two men as balancers Colin pushed himself into the air and wrapped his legs around the man's neck and twisted himself to break it. Colin swiftly elbowed one of the guys that was holding onto him as he hit the ground and then through the other over his shoulders into a wall. As the guy he elbowed stumbled back he attacked him with a swift punch combo hitting him with one last blow breaking his neck.
"Ok Isaiah high difficulty plus one now make it harder, keep'em coming." Three more men ran into sight and jumped into the air flying at Colin in a kick. Colin ducked and grabbed the guys foot and slammed him into the ground instantly killing him. The other landed right in front of him and took a swing. Colin ducked and tripped him then punched him before he even hit the ground. The next one hit Colin in the side with a quick jab, he responded with a roundhouse kick combo sending the man hurling through the air away from him. "More, harder!" Colin yelled as he started to release his rage. Isaiah sent more in and upped the difficulty level again to plus two. Three more men came running in, faster this time. As the first of the three got into reach Colin jumped into the air and time seemed to slow down as he kicked the man in the face hitting him into the wall. As he fought and the men got stronger Colin began to focus his hardest on them delivering some of the most devastating attacks he had used since he had been free. The next man Colin grabbed and attacked with the tsurikomigoshi throw stepped on the man's chest and broke his arm. The third man jumped into the air and hit Colin in the chest with a power kick forcing him to stumble back a bit. The man came at him again, barely giving him time to recover and attacked with a full fisted combo. Colin got his focus back just as the man took his last swing and countered it, grabbing his fist and twirling around. The man was flipped in mid air and hit the ground, as he did Colin jabbed his throat killing him instantly.
"Is that the best they can do come on now. MORE!" Colin became more and more infuriated at the thought of Saba being captured by the Merovingian. Isaiah again upped the difficulty level and then sent in three more men. Colin seen the men running at him but instead of waiting he ran at them himself. Colin jumped into the air and did a hand stand on the closest ones head. He twisted himself with his legs and easily broke his neck. He landed on the ground and the man fell dead behind him. Colin grabbed the next closest one before it had a chance to react and squeezed its face letting out a call of anger and the mans face shattered in his hand. He then quickly turned and hit the other in the face dead on forcing his neck back all the way and killed it. Colin was fighting with the one thing he didn't use vary often . . . rage. "Alright!" yelled Colin breathing heavily. "Where's the next one?" Isaiah upped the difficulty level and sent in an agent.
Colin seen the agent walk into sight and straighten up his tie. "Only human," it said as it started into action. The agent was quickly in front of Colin and attacked him swifter than Colin could of imagined. The agent was almost on the same level as the ones inside the matrix but it could not kill him. It hit him several times in the torso then finished with an uppercut that sent him flying toward the wall. Colin regained himself mid-air and grounded his feet against the wall propelling himself toward the agent. He landed and pulled out his dagger and started to swipe as fast as he could. Swinging left, right and left again, only hitting the air. The agent kicked him and knocked him down again Colin quickly got to his feet and took to the air. Once above the agent who watched him in mid air in the middle of his moonsault Colin took the knife and slashed at the agents head almost cutting his skull in two. As he landed the agent fell to the ground in a bloody mess and Colin stood with his dagger in hand, dripping blood.
"Do you wanna keep goin, or do you think you've had enough for now?" Colin heard Isaiah all around him. Colin put his knife away.
"Move in to difficulty four. . ."
Colin continued his training while Brandan, Parker and Tarra worked on a plan to free Saba.
"We've got to look at the outline of the club first, I think before we do anything," said Tarra.
"She's right bring it up," agreed Brandan. Parker brought up a schematic of the actual bar and also a projection of what the bar looked like. "Send Tarra and I into the construct program and make an exact replica of the bar as it would be when its empty." Brandan walked over to a chair, Tarra followed and Dan jacked the both of them in.
"Alright now lets work something out," said Parker as he sent them in. Brandan opened his eyes and he and Tarra we're standing inside the Construct program.
"Alright load us up," he called out. As he stopped talking the bar began to load all around them.
They looked around they could see a huge dance floor of which they were standing in the middle of, a vast bar that spanned about fifty feet there was a stairwell that led up to the VIP area most likely where the Merovingian would be sitting. The bathrooms were off to the left of the dance floor and the entrance elevator was only a few feet away.
"Wow doesn't look like we really have much to work with in the lines of terrain I don't think this will be much of a planned mission really. We more or less bust in and get out. . ." said Tarra.
"That's the way it's starting to look, Parker project the people that might be here on a busy night." Parker project the crowd that the club would usually turn out, the place was packed wall to wall, it was tighter than a can of sardines. "Should we just go in and mingle and try to get close to the Merovingian. . ." said Brandan thinking aloud.
"I can make you fit in guys," said Parker, "If that's what you need." The captain was silent for a few seconds looking at the crowd, they were mostly dressed in leather fetish clothing, slightly S&M.
"Hmm what's your input Parker, what would you advise?"
"Well I can think of one situation before where I had to deal with the Merovingian, we lost one of our crew. It was on a ship that's long out of commission by now. We had to go in and try to retrieve a broadcast drop from him at one of his other clubs and he is by no means reasonable," Parker explained.
"And how did you guys go about it, how many members of the crew did you send in?"
"Well Captain Branaugh went in himself along with his first officer and one of his regular crew. They pretty much had to do the same thing that you guys are thinking of the club wasn't much different. All of them have the same layout."
"Parker I've got an idea, we're goin to run a simulation to see how this goes. Load up an exact replica of Colin and Isaiah and put us in appropriate clothing outside the bar." The replica of Colin and Isaiah loaded and they were suddenly standing outside the bar. Tarra and Brandan's clothing changed to fit in with the crowd and they walked up to the front entrance in the outside parking garage. Brandan looked at Tarra and put his hand on the door. "Let's go." They opened the door and walked in, as they entered they were confronted by a bouncer.
"Can I see some I.D please?" The bouncer was a large bald man in a long leather trench coat. They each took out the altered I.D's they had been given along with the clothing and the bouncer checked it over. "Clear, go on in." They walked passed the bouncer and went into the entrance elevator.
"Alright so far so good guys," Brandan nodded at the others as the elevator began to descend. They could hear the music below them as the elevator got closer.
The elevator stopped shortly, the doors opened and they walked into the already packed dance floor. There was strobe lights flashing and green laser lamps flashing from the ceiling the bass was blasting from the speaker system and the music was so loud you could hardly hear yourself think.
"Blend in," said Brandan walking into the crowd and starting to dance. The others followed his example and walked into the crowd. The people on the dance floor were dancing and grinding with one another making it hard to get to the other side. The whole place was like one big bisexual love fest. One of the muscle men grabbed Isaiah and started to kiss him, Isaiah pulled away and smiled shaking his head. The guy shrugged his shoulders and moved on to the next person and kept dancing. Isaiah slowly made his way to the stairwell that led up to where the Merovingian was sitting. Brandan followed close behind the replica and went up the steps with him. At the top two large men stepped in front of them to stop them.
"What business do you have with HIM?" asked the one on the left.
"I am here to speak with him about something he has that we need," said Brandan. The man nodded to the other and he went to speak with the Merovingian. He spoke to the Merovingian and shortly returned.
"He will speak with you now," he said upon return. Both of the men pulled out guns and trained it on them. They slowly walked up to the Merovingian and he tilted his head and smirked.
"Speak now and speak quick, for I do not usually allow this," said Merovingian in a strong French accent.
"We want to know why you have taken Saba the girl from the Motel captive?"
"Ah yes the girl," The Merovingian looked into his whine glass, "You see the girl, she has been set with a special encoding. She has the ability to heal and I have harnessed this ability."
"We have come to retrieve her from you, would it be possible to make a trade?" The Merovingian smirked and sipped his wine.
"What could you possibly have that I might want?"
"Good question, Parker pause it," Brandan smiled and kinda laughed, "He's right what do we have that we could trade?"
"You could offer him fake access codes to the Zion mainframe computer. But you better make sure you get out before he notices that they are fake," suggested Parker.
"And how long do you think that will take?" There was a short silence.
"A few minutes is probably a good estimate." Tarra waved at Brandan from down in the crowd.
"Captain if you want I could create a distraction just as soon as you hand him the fake codes," she yelled.
"That's a good idea lets give it a try. Un-pause on my mark." Brandan got back into the position he was as Parker paused the simulation. "Mark." The simulation resumed with the Merovingian looking at Brandan in wait of an answer. "I have something that will give you great power over the machines," said Brandan.
"Oh and what is that?" he asked intrigued.
"Zion's access codes. . ." The Merovingian sat back in his seat with one eye brow perked.
"Hmm how am I to know that this is not some trick. You humans value your city and freedom over anything at all, foolishly." Brandan stood up and reached in his pocket, suddenly everyone standing around them pulled a gun and he froze.
"Geez guys relax he asked for proof let me give it to him. . . pause it." Everything froze again.
"Tarra if this happens, and I suspect it will I want you to project a dummy of your code screen in front of me, I will then enter a code making it look like I know what I am doing. As I hit the last button on the panel I need you to project a fake image of Zion's main frame. Alright?" instructed Brandan.
"Ok," said Tarra.
"Good." Brandan nodded, "Resume." The program took back to motion and Brandan pulled out his phone and pushed a button. The code screen popped up in front of him and he made it look like he was typing in the code. As he finished the code changed to that of Zion's mainframe image. "Is this the proof you needed?" The Merovingian looked the image over.
"Bring me ze girl!" The code screen went away as several men brought out a teary eyed Saba.
"Give them to me," he demanded. Brandan took out the envelope and started to pass it to him just as they were in the Merovingian's hand there was several bright flashes of light as fireworks were apparently set off in the club. Isaiah bounded off the balcony and Brandan grabbed Saba and jumped into the air and into the stunned crowd. Colin cleared the way as Brandan ran for the elevator where Tarra was standing in wait, the door already open. Brandan and Colin ran in but Isaiah had been held up. As the elevator doors began to close Isaiah ran toward them but was shot by one of the snipers before he could make it.
"Oh my god," said Tarra. The elevator doors closed and it began to ascend, Brandan and Tarra just looked at each other.
"It's only a simulation," said Brandan. Tarra nodded. The simulation stopped.
"From that point on it should be pretty clear sailing those big guys at the front shouldn't provide much resistance just be quick. And keep in mind that simulation is only one of the many possible outcomes, we may loose someone we may not but that is the risk you take every time you enter the matrix," explained Parker. "I'm going to pull you out now guys hang on." Tarra vanished and Brandan closed his eyes to get back to reality.
Brandan sat up in his chair as Parker took the jack from his neck.
"Isaiah is Colin still inside the training simulator?" he asked.
"Yeah, you should see him he's really kicking ass, he's all the way up to difficulty seven. He's channeling his rage into his attacks. It's really working for him," explained Isaiah.
"Alright well shut him off we're going to get ready to go now." Isaiah nodded.
Isaiah put on the headset and began to speak to Colin.
"Colin I am taking you out of there now, the captain says we're almost ready to go," he said.
"Alright when ever you're ready." Colin's voice could be heard from the earpiece. Isaiah hit the button and Colin opened his eyes in the chair, Isaiah walked over and pulled out the jack from his neck.
"Good job Colin. I've never seen anybody fight so hard." Colin looked at Isaiah with one eyebrow perked.
"Have you ever seen anyone that was fighting for there love before?" asked Colin not expecting a reply.
"Actually . . ." Colin jumped up out of the seat and walked over to the main broadcast seating then sat down.
"Ready when you are Cap." Parker walked over and jacked him in while Dan got Tarra jacked in. Brandan lay down in the seat and waited for Parker to jack him in. Isaiah sat down in one of the seats next to Brandan.
"Isaiah no, you're not coming with us this time," said Brandan.
"What why not?"
"The less of us that go this time the less chance there is that we will loose someone. Trust me I know what's best we went through the simulation."
"Alright," said Isaiah walking over to Brandan to jack him in,
"Good luck." Isaiah forced the jack into Brandan's neck. Parker hit the commands and loaded them into the construct program.
Brandan opened his eyes and they were inside the construct.
"Alright, guys Parker download Colin's instructions to him upon entry to the matrix place us within walking distance of the club and load us with appropriate clothing and I.D. so that we can get into the bar," said Brandan. Colin's eyes fluttered slightly as the information was downloaded to his mind. The environment began to piece together around them they were in a warehouse in the bar district of the main city. Brandan's phone rang and he picked up. "We're in."
"Good now just to let you know Captain there is a lot of gang activity in the area so try not to piss anyone off," said Parker.
"Noted." The captain put his phone back in his leather vest. "Alright let's go." They took to walking and went into the underground parking garage that would lead to the entrance elevator. They came to the lowest level in the parking garage and could see the entrance that was being guarded by two large bouncers. They walked up to the bouncers.
"Can we see some I.D please?" asked The Bouncer. Brandan nodded and they each pulled out an I.D and passed it to him. He looked each of them over and passed them back. "Alright go on in." The elevator door opened and the three of them stepped inside.
"Alright people get ready to blend," said Tarra adjusting her outfit. They could hear the music playing just like in the simulation the bass shaking the elevator.
"Alright I will talk to the Merovingian you two have your orders," said Brandan. The elevator came to a halt and the doors opened, they stepped into the crowd each heading in a different direction.
Tarra slowly danced her way toward the bathrooms the music was so loud that she could feel the vibrations from the bass hitting her body. One of the men grabbed her arm and pulled her into him, they began dancing along with the music. It had been a long time since Tarra had actually been to a bar even longer since she had danced. Colin had gone more toward the bar area of the bar, he kept an eye on Brandan who had already made it to the stairs to the Merovingian's private area. Brandan looked back into the crowd as he walked up the stairs to see where he and Tarra had positioned themselves and went on to talk to the guards.
"What business do you have with him?" asked the bouncer with a rifle.
"I need to speak with him about a trade, I have something he would be very interested in," said Brandan. The other bouncer went to speak with him while Brandan waited, he shortly returned and stepped aside.
"He will see you now," said the one that had returned. Brandan nodded and walked over to where the Merovingian was sitting.
"Make zis' quick human, consider your self lucky, I do not do zis' often," said The Merovingian in a strong French accent.
"I would like to know what you want with the girl you took from the motel," said Brandan.
"Ah yes ze' girl. You see she has a special encoded ability inside her to heal. I have harnessed zis' power for my own . . . personal use."
"I have come to retrieve her from you, would it be possible to make a trade?" The Merovingian smirked at him.
"What could you possibly offer me that I would want?"
"I have something let me show you." Brandan stood up and reached into his outfit pocket and pulled out a disc. The fake code screen appeared in front of him and he began pushing buttons, then the map appeared.
"Do you know what this is?"
"The Zion main-frame." The Merovingian's eyes widened at the site of the mainframe. "Bring ze girl!" he called out. Two large men brought Saba out and the code screen disappeared.
"So is it a deal?" Brandan asked.
"Yes now give me the codes."
"They are all on this disc." Brandan passed him the disc and as the disc hit the Merovingian's hand, Brandan jumped into action and grabbed the teary eyed Saba off her feet. Brandan quickly jumped the ledge and landed into the crowd close to Colin, several gunshots whisked by them and into the bodies of the dancers.
"GO GO GO!" Colin pushed there way through the crowd to get to the door to the elevator, where Tarra was already standing with the door open. They jumped into the elevator. Brandan got to his feet as the door closed and took out his phone.
"Parker have them meet us in the old motel, room 8 they need to set the freedom equipment.
"Alright, they will be there." Saba wrapped her arms around Colin.
"Oh my god Colin, it was so awful," she cried into his chest. Colin put his arms around Saba and rested his lips on her slightly frizzed hair and closed his eyes.
"You're ok now, don't worry we are gonna get you out of this." Just then the elevator stopped and the door opened three men were standing in the way, two were dressed in white and looked exactly alike, the other was Caleb standing at the point.
"You're not leaving," said one of the twins.
"Without his permission," the other finished the sentence. Colin thrust Saba into Tarra and jumped out of the elevator at Caleb.
"Take Saba and get her out of here! I'll hold them." Brandan looked at Tarra and nodded.
"Go get her to the spot we'll join you shortly."
"Come on Saba!" Tarra and Saba took off running to get to the motel while Colin and Brandan distracted the enemy.
"Let's get'em," yelled Brandan. Colin jumped into Caleb and began an onslaught of attacks. He gave him everything he had throwing landing several combos, Caleb almost seeming un-phased by much of it.
"IS that the best you can do old friend." Caleb attacked Colin with three hit combo ending in an uppercut flipping Colin in the air. Colin focused and landed on his feet.
"No this is!" Colin began to focus his hardest and started attacking at such a speed Caleb couldn't prepare for it. Hitting him from the left then the right and attacking him from above with a mid air round house. Colin jumped into the air and kicked Caleb in the chest three times doing a back flip off him with the last kick. Caleb fell to the ground and quickly jumped back to his feet.
"Still not good enough buddy."
Meanwhile Brandan had engaged the twins jumping into action and hitting the first with a scorpion kick.
"We won't let you stop us!" he yelled. Brandan jumped into the air with his arms spread he kicked the other in the chest. He struck as quick as he could at both of them. As he took one more swing at them both directly in front of him they faded away to what appeared to be smoke and re-formed in front of him. Stunned Brandan stopped for a second. "What the hell are you!" As he stopped one of them hit him with a roundhouse in the face knocking him to the ground. The other pulled out a small knife and attempted to bring it down on him. Brandan quickly refocused and moved out of the way drawing his gun and getting to his feet. "Let's see how you like this!" Brandan opened fire on the twins and they began to fade in and out as the smoke images. Brandan watched as the bullets made entry holes in the smoke and they both reformed. "Shit," he whispered.
Colin ran up the wall and did a flip off it flipping right over Caleb's head, Caleb watched as he drew his gun. Colin opened fire in mid-air hitting Caleb in the shoulder several times. Colin hit the ground and put his gun away.
"This is almost over!" he yelled. Colin began to focus his hardest and channel his rage into his attacks. Colin threw a punch and time slowed to almost a halt as it collided with Caleb's face he cocked his head to the side. Colin took his chance again and swung again with his other fist having the same effect. Colin bounded into the air in a twirling motion, extended his leg and dropped it down on Caleb's shoulder knocking him down and jumping back into his fighting stance. "I'm sorry it had to end this way." Colin took out his gun and shot Caleb as he laid on the ground looking up at him. Colin shook his head.
"Captain let's go!" Brandan jumped out of the range of the twins and started to run.
Brandan and Colin both took off running but meanwhile Tarra and Saba were on their way to the motel so far un-bothered. They were walking through the slums of the third district of the city.
"We're lucky so far, Brandan and Colin must have distracted them well enough," said Tarra. Tarra reached into her coat and pulled out the pill, "you need to take this before we get to our destination." Saba took the pill in hand and looked at it. "Trust me Saba, its for the better." Saba nodded and quickly downed the pill.
"Are we almost to the spot?" Saba asked.
"I think so." Tarra took out her phone and called Parker.
"Operator," said Parker.
"Yeah, how are they doing back there?" she asked. "They are on their way, should be there soon they're really moving."
"Alright." Tarra placed her phone back in her pocket and they kept moving toward the motel. "Colin and Brandan are on their way they should be here shortly." Saba and Tarra walked on through the slums, keeping sharp.
Meanwhile Isaiah had just finished setting up the equipment in the motel.
"There that should do it, is she almost here?" said Isaiah into his phone.
"They are about five minutes away now. So turn everything on and be ready to start the process. Have you got the pill on hand?" Isaiah pulled the pill out of his pocket.
"Good to go." Isaiah sat down at the computer that they would use to trace Saba once she was freed and hit the power button. "All systems are go." Isaiah sat in wait and looked over the computer. Just then Tarra and Saba walked in. Isaiah jumped. "Holy shit, you guys were closer than we thought, you trying to give me a heart attack." Tarra smiled and walked over to the machine.
"Have you got the pill. Let's get this show on the road," she said.
"Should we wait for Colin and the captain?" asked Isaiah.
"No just get it started," said Parker.
"Alright." Isaiah hung up the phone and walked over to Saba and held out the pill.
"Take this pill your freedom awaits you." Saba took the pill in her hand.
"How do I know that this is all not just some dream?" she asked.
"That's just it, it is a dream and we are here to wake you up. Please just trust us Saba it's all you can do really?" Saba took the pill and Isaiah guided her over to the chair.
"Tarra get the computer ready to trace her." Tarra sat at the computer and typed in a few commands.
"Everything is ready." Saba sat in the chair.
"See you on the other side," said Isaiah. Saba nodded and Tarra hit the trace button just as Colin and Brandan walked in.
"Parker get the others out of here I will finish the trace myself," said Brandan.
"Alright." The landline that sat in the corner began to ring and each of them took turns getting out.
"Have you found her yet?"
"We've almost got her," there was a short pause as the computer completed the trace, "Got her." Brandan hit the commands on the computer to separate her signal from the matrix. "Alright get me outta here and make sure Dan has the ship ready to fly she is quite a distance from our position. The landline began to ring and Brandan put the phone to his ear, vanishing.