L&A: The Mountain

Another Lezvie and Angela story. ^_^

Angela woke Lezvie just as the sun began peeking over the horizon.  They struck camp and moved on, heading towards the mountain.  Nothing happened to disrupt their trek, and they reached the foothills by late afternoon.  The hills were slightly less barren than the desert; less population meant that the aliens hadn’t wasted as much energy to Glass them.
“So, how far up the mountain is he?”
“In the peak.  But he should be coming into contact range before too long.”  Lezvie pulled out a small communicator, checking the digital display.  “I’m picking up his network, but it’s too weak for me to connect just yet.  Let’s give it another few hundred yards.”
They trudged further up, the air slowly getting colder.  When they saw the first evergreen tree, Lezvie pulled out his communicator again.  “There we go.”  His device beeped as it requested the password for the secure network.  A string of mild Japanese curses made Angela blush.  “Why would he change his passwords when it’s not like there’s anyone around to hack it?”
“Because he’s paranoid?  Didn’t you say that already?”
“I didn’t realize it was this severe.”  He tapped command after command into his communicator, only to receive flashing red reject screens.  “All right, that’s it.  I hate to do this, since he hates having it done to him, but he doesn’t leave me much choice.”
He tapped a string of commands into the device, bringing up a wall of numbers and characters that Angela didn’t understand any of.  The device finally displayed an empty window with a chat box.  His fingers flew over the keyboard.  Master, it’s Lezvie.  Let me into the network, I need to talk to you.
Lezvie???  Lord. I haven’t heard from you since before the Glassing.  Three seconds.
Three seconds later, a confirmation screen popped up, giving Lezvie the codes to log into the network.  He used them, and a minimalist home page came up.  The Master called him almost immediately, his voice crackling over the speaker.
“Lezvie, you purebred mutt, how on earth did you breach my safeguards?”
“Just a trick I learned from you, Master.  But never mind that, I need your help.”
“Of course you do.  Alien invasion can’t change the fact that I’m the only guaranteed source of information on the planet.  What do you need?”
“Ever hear of an organization named Crimson Dragon?”
The Master’s casual tone become suddenly more cautious.  “Crimson Dragon?  Why do you ask?
“I think they’re behind the seemingly disorganized slave raiders.  I’m trying to stop them.”
“I see.  Well, this isn’t something I think I can discuss on a channel like this, so why don’t you come up.  When you get to the door, you’ll see the password.”
“All right.  Should be about… half an hour?”
“Right.  See you then.”
The channel went dead.  Lezvie frowned as he started walking again.  “He’s usually not quite that abrupt.”
“Well, it’s been a long time.”  Angela followed him.  “People change.”
“I suppose.”  He still looked uncertain.
“So why did he call you a purebred mutt?”
He chuckled.  “Because my heritage is purebred Swiss, but my character traits and mannerisms are a unique blend of nearly every culture.  The ones that deserved emulating, at least.”
“Ah, I see.”  They kept trudging up the mountain, the air growing colder as they climbed.
Lezvie stopped her suddenly, dropping into a crouch.  “Hear that?”
Angela could hear nothing.  “What?”
“Rotors.  Two of them, on the same vehicle.  No one I know uses that.”  He pulled her into a small gully sheltered by a cluster of trees.
Nearly a minute went by before Angela heard the rotors.  It was another minute before it flew over their heads.  The red circle and markings on the wings identified it as part of the Crimson family, but it wasn’t one they had seen before.
“Crimson Wing, I’m guessing.  Air force.  But if they’re coming from the peak, then…  Master’s in danger.”  He sprinted up the mountain, Angela keeping up as best she could.
Five minutes brought Lezvie to the large steel door that separated the Master’s bunker from the rest of the world.  He reached up and tapped a pattern on the metal plate over the door, and a compartment popped open.  The datachip inside fell into Lezvie’s hand, and he plugged it into his handheld computer.  “Reliable as ever, Master.”
Angela watched as Lezvie ran a wire from his computer to the door.  A few beeps later, the door slid open and Lezvie retrieved his wire and dashed inside.
The place was a wreck.  Smashed computers and electronics littered the floors and walls.  Lezvie froze in the middle of the room and slowly drew two of his knives.  “Angela…”
“Yes…?”
“Duck.”
She hit the floor as a spray of bullets erupted from the two other doorways leading into the room.  Lezvie seemed to have vanished.
Soldiers in the attire of one of the Crimson branches poured into the room, eight at least.  Lezvie dropped from the ceiling and slit two of their throats before any of them could react.  He leapt back up to the ceiling as the soldiers opened fire, hitting only each other, causing four more of them to fall.  The last two stared around in shock until Lezvie’s knives put an end to their existences.
“Master, you damn fool…”  Lezvie cleaned his knives and moved deeper into the bunker, Angela following hesitantly.
Deeper in, the devastation was worse.  Scorch marks, wires ripped out of walls, consoles smashed…  And the Master, sitting in his chair, a single bullet hole between his eyes.
Lezvie stepped over the broken glass and plastic to his old friend’s chair, then closed the dead man’s eyes.  He slid the chair out of the way, plugging his personal computer into the central console.  A chuckle rose to his lips.  “Typical grunts.  They smash the place up, but they miss the one piece that actually matters.”  His smirk faded as he scanned his computer’s screen.  “Come on, Master…” he murmured, “what did you leave for me?”
Angela stepped up behind him.  “Anything?”
“Yes!”  Lezvie laughed.  “The Master not only left me the codes to get in, but also the codes to the hidden files he’d collected on the Crimson Dragon.  This is exactly what I needed.”  He downloaded the information and disconnected.  “Come on.  Let’s get out of here.”
They left the bunker, which Lezvie sealed behind them, then destroyed the door controls.
“So what do we do now?”
“I need a bigger computer to analyze this information, so we’ll have to go to my safe house.”
Your safe house?”  Angela raised an eyebrow.  “You mean, aside from the Remnant’s bunker?”
“Yes.  My personal safe house.”  He grinned.  “Come on, Angela.  With this data, we can save the world.  What’s left of it, at least.”

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Filed under Characters, My Stories, Short Stories, Writing

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