Auburn Part 5 – The Dark Universe
Blink…Blink..Blink, the cursor was waiting for me to type. Waiting for me to enter the password. I sat there, no answer for it. Blink…blink…blink. I took a sip of the water and placed the cup down. Blink…blink…blink. I know! I reach to the keyboard and type “Password01”. It’s got to be it, it’s so commonly used! I press enter. Two words appear in red “Incorrect Password”. Blink…blink..blink. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW!!! I grab the glass off the table and hurl it with all my might towards the wall on the opposite side of the room. It meets the wall *smash* it breaks into pieces water wetting the floor while the pieces of glass *clink* onto the floor. My mind filled with rage. WHY IS THIS ALL SO HARD?! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW THIS STUPID PASSWORD!! WHO GIVES SOMEONE A LAPTOP WITH A PASSWORD ON IT!! I DIDN’T ASK FOR ALL THIS DRAMA!! HERE I AM, MOST LIKELY DYING AND I MUST WASTE TIME WITH PASSWORDS?! AARRRGG!! I breathe out deeply. Trying to calm down. I breathe in deeply and the smell that accompanies this action is not pleasant. I smell awful. I need a shower that’s the best thing for me right now. I need to freshen up and clear my head. Well I am in this fancy hotel after all; I might as well use it.
What would be great is a change of clothes as well. If only I had grabbed some. I don’t want someone coming in here while I am in the shower though. So I move towards the door looking for the “Do not disturb” sign. I see it hanging on the door handle. It was in the theme of the lobby, dark brown card with the golden words Do not disturb printed on it Simple but elegant. As I pick it up to put it on the outside I heard hushed voices through the door.
“I can’t knock can’t you see the sign.”
“So what are we going to do with this laundry, we can’t leave it here can we?”
“You asking me? I am new here, this is my first job. I don’t know.”
By the sounds of these two voices these two ladies are young, barely out of school young. There was a pause as they thought.
“Yeah, well I would rather leave it here than knock.”
“Ok, then let’s do it, let’s leave it here we can ask someone later what they would normally do.”
I hear them set something on the floor. Must be the laundry. I hear foot steeps walking away. Should I? There are clothes right outside this room. These clothes I am in are dirty. Maybe having a look could help. It might help me not be recognized by those I am trying to avoid. I hear the elevator doors close. That’s it; I open the door and glance around. No one in sight. I pick up a bunch of the laundry from the floor and I step back in to the room. I put the do not disturb on my door. I lock the door. Just in case. I toss the clothes on the bed. First thing I see is a pair of torn pantyhose. Did I just steal some lady’s clothes? Well that’s awkward. I keep looking. A black hoodie, well that I can ‘borrow’ it’s a little large but it will do. Great there are a few things here I can wear, I gather them up and put them aside. Maybe I should put some of it back, just in case. I pick up the torn pantyhose and all the clothes I wont wear, unlock the door, and place them with the rest. Almost like nothing is missing. I lock the door again. Pick up the clothes. Head to the shower.
I step out of the shower. Refreshed. No longer smelling like I have been running around this town like a crazy person. My mind somewhat clearer. As I dry myself off I rub my ankle and am reminded again by a sharp pain of the horror story that is my life. Looking at my ankle closely… I can see where the bracket had taken a bite into me. It looks like bit marks almost. But the worst of what I saw was my veins around that area I very distinct color. Purple. Just like the red headed women. I got to find answers. There is no way I am going out like she did, dead in some building. This guy may have an upper hand on me but I am gonna stand up and fight. I wont die on my knees. I put on my ‘borrowed’ clothes and move back into the main room. I return to the laptop expecting to see the blinking cursor waiting for an answer but instead I see a black screen. Maybe it is in power saving mode, I push the power button and the battery icon at the bottom flashes at me. Great, low battery. I begin to dig in the pouches of the laptop bag for a charger. I feel it and pull it out. As I do so a small torn piece of paper comes out to and flutters in the air briefly and lands on the floor, I pick it up and place it on the table…
Could this be it? Could this be the answer? I fumble as I rush to plug the charger in with the excitement. The password, it must be! She would have put with the laptop somehow if she was going to give it to someone of course! I type it in. Hoping. Praying. r3d-f (Is that a number or a letter? That line in it makes it look like a number) 0x32. I breathe in deeply and hit enter. Yes! The screen fades into black as it logs me in and loads the desktop. I am in. Finally, progress.
I am greeted with a background picture of a person looking up a beautiful green hill. But behind the hill I see a war zone filled with carnage, the words “Nothing is ever what it seems” captioned on the image. Ironic, this image being a representation of life, we all try to present our best but deep within there is brokenness, there is decay. Just how I feel, I might look OK on the outside but inside there is death brewing. The next thing I notice is the sheer clutter of folders and documents that litter the desktop. I look at few names. “Stories of fiction”, “Camera manual”, “Newstories”, “Funny Video’s”, “Music” and “Work documents”, that could be helpful. I double click to open her work documents. But the error I see is one I am used to from work when the network is down. It is clear that this is a shortcut to something only available when she is plugged in at work. I then notice two folders, on the right of the screen separated from the rest of the clutter. The names of these folders are “Feature-Sinister Suitcase” and the other is “JournalEntry”. Why would these two be separate from the rest? There must be something important here. I hovered my mouse over the JournalEntry folder, should I look? This is most likely her diary or something like that.
It may be helpful…At the very least it would be interesting…I click and open it up. Within the folder I see many documents all saved with a date, obviously her entries into her diary. I click on one at random date. I begin to read; “Dear diary. I have realized how unfit I am. My legs are stiff from all the running yesterday which I spoke about”. What happened yesterday? I thought. Closing that entry and opening the previous one. “Dear diary. I began to run today. It has been a long time since I was in the gym…” This isn’t the type of stuff I hoped it would be. I close the document and look for something more recent. But it is all missing. A gap of days is just missing. Why? Did she not write for those days? But there is one that was written a few days ago. “Dairy, I am such a idiot! I have accidentally been saving my dairy in the wrong place! I have been saving it to my work documents. Which means it is only available when I am online through the secure portal thing with the OTP login. I must pull it across as soon as possible. Then again maybe having it there is good, should something happen to me with the story I am writing on. If someone is reading this don’t let him get away with it. Let the newspapers know!”
What is she on about? Is she talking about the bracket? I close the document and decide to look at the “Feature-Sinister Suitcase” folder for answers. The name sounds like its some sort of newspaper article. When the folder opened, I see various types of files and large picture thumbnails that begin to fill the screen, one of the pictures in particular catches my eye. It was a simple picture of a hand holding a medium sized black briefcase next to grey chino-pants. There were other pictures but they seemed blurry, out of focus, taken at odd angels and some too far away, like she was trying to hide the camera, the quality of the other pictures unfortunately means it was too hard to make out the person’s features but it was clearly a man “Mr Sinister” she had chosen to call him. Interesting choice of name kinda suits what I know about him so far. I click on a document “what we can assume so far” hoping it would tell me more about Mr Sinister and his ankle bracket of death. The first thing that I see, in a bold red font are the words “There is no cure”. What?! No cure? Anger begins to well up inside me, this man has sentenced me to death, a cruel drawn out death for no reason and there is no cure for me to prevent it. Why? Why didn’t he kill me when he had the chance and be done with it? He must a have a reason or he is just sick! I read on further according to her research it seems she believed that Mr Sinister intended to sell devices similar to the ankle-bracket to hold people hostage and use them from anywhere, to get people to do what he wanted…or face a slow painful death.
I realized now that this is why the auburn lady had given me the laptop, she was a journalist he had caught following him and she hoped by randomly giving out the laptop that his secret would still be exposed to the world. The story would get out even if she died.
I now at last had a reason, a mission, get this information out. Expose him. I was also filled with a desire to exact some kind of revenge for what Mr Sinister had done to me…to us…and who knows how many others. Exposing him was a start but I was still going to find him and then… I don’t know, force him to make cure? Make him pay. First step, get these documents and pictures out to the world. My stomach grumbles from emptiness. I am hungry, I need food. Funny, in the movies the hero never gets hungry or tired or even need a shower…guess that’s the difference between reality and make believe. I know of a place close by where I can get food on my tab and I can get free WIFI. Hmm food and revenge that sounds like a plan.
I pack up the laptop, and get ready to move out. I put the baton back in my hoodie pocket, just in case. Laptop on my back and the key card in my hands. I slip out of the room and head towards the elevator. As I wait for the elevator I hear a sound on the stairway. Screaming? Instinct kicks in and I go to help.
I open the door to the stairs and I see him below, arm in a sling, his black hair with streaks of grey, the security guard.
“Come on, get off of me!” He is tugging at his leg. “Owwww, stop biting me, stop it! I didn’t deserve to have this thing put on me! Get off!!” He lays on the floor breathing deeply. Unaware that I am there.
I see it; Mr Sinister has given him the same present he gave me. An ankle bracket. In some way we are in the same boat now I guess. “Hey, I can help you get that thing off.”
He jumps at the sound of my voice and looks at me. We lock eyes, staring at each other. We don’t like each other that’s for sure but here we are staring at each other. Unlikely allies.
[Confused? Read this post to see what is going on. Complete with links to the first two parts]
The alternative universe can be found here enjoy! Let us know what you think.