There’s a good wind blowing up here tonight on top of The Company’s parking garage. I stand on the edge of the twelve story building, suited up, looking down a few hundred feet to the building’s loading bay. Beyond that, the rail yard where I fought the Insekt robot sprawls under bright fog lights, and beyond that, The Bay.
I take a deep breath, snap the glider wings on to the clips on my gauntlets, and step off the building.
The wind fills the nylon wings and I take flight. I soar out away from the parking garage, letting an updraft pull me higher, and then I arc back towards The Company’s building and zero in on my target: the Ninth Floor.
The black glass wall rushes towards me. I pull back, flaring the glider wings to slow my approach. I’m coming in fast –
I slap into the glass doing about twenty miles per hour. I make a horrible noise when I hit, like the world’s largest seagull meeting a glassy fate. Damn, it feels like I broke my nose…
Then I start to fall.
Panicking, I scramble against the glass, but there isn’t the tiniest crack or protrusion to grab on to. Then I remember my suction cups, and kick and swat the glass trying to make them stick.
I’m falling, kicking, swearing –
I jerk to a halt. One of the big cups on the palm of my hand sucks on to the glass, stopping my fall. I quickly slap the other palm cup on the glass, then kick until the two suction cups on the toes of my boots grab hold. Okay. Okay, I’m sticking to the building now.
I look around. I slid a couple of floors; I think I’m on six.
Slowly, carefully, I start climbing up the glass wall with the suction cups. It’s slow going at first, because you have to trigger a suction release button that un-sucks the cup, then move the cup, make sure it’s secure, then repeat the process with another cup. After a while I get in a rhythm and soon I’m clinging to the black glass outside the Ninth Floor, where the mysterious QuantumWorks project is being run.
I figure that this is the easiest, least-risky way of snooping around. Every other option I’ve come up with involves jeopardizing my secret identity, and even though I think that Ted Bradbury and those clowns already know my identity, I’d rather be discrete than not. If this doesn’t work I’ll move on to Plan B.
According to my calculations and the information Margo gave me, I should be right outside the ultra-restricted Nerd Zone inside the already restricted QuantumWorks wing where I work. I have reason to believe that the Nerd Zone is a tesseract chamber; it’s larger on the inside than it is on the outside. In other words, The Company is using dimensional technology to “fold” a huge lab into a small area. In realspace, I would be right inside the inner chamber of the Nerd Zone instead of hanging nine stories above the loading bay.
You’d think it would feel weird, being so close to a tesseract. I was expecting my fillings to ache or to be dizzy or smell bacon cooking or something, but I don’t feel a thing. Maybe I’m wrong about the whole thing.
I switch on my goggle’s optic systems and take a look through the tinted glass. Hunh. Nothing on infrared, nothing on ultraviolet, nothing on the passive EM setting… I can’t see through the glass at all.
“Weird,” I say to myself, then shimmy up to the tenth floor. I switch on the goggle’s optics –
-- and I can see just fine. I look through the tinted window in on a conference room: table, chairs, whiteboard, potted plants…
OK, obviously the Ninth Floor is shielded from conventional surveillance. I don’t know if this changes anything, it just confirms that I’m not high – there really is some serious shit going on here. Fine.
I release the suction cups and spring backwards off the glass and into the air.
Time for Plan B, which involves fucking shit up big time.