Riftline 1.4

//Maas//

There was no such thing as an alternative identity and a fake background, it was easier to use a person’s real name and set up what all undercovers called the plunge. Anyone from any tier could do as Maas did, yet no one since the department started gave as much as he had to. The plunge itself was a crime publically committed with mass media coverage, an act that would have people talking for years. The end result was exactly what the department wanted, a legitimized cover for the agent to fold themselves in deep.

Within the Lux Districts there was a complex walled off from the rest of the suburbs, though it didn’t look any different from the others. It wasn’t unusual for the wealthy families to have an estate although city based ones were referred to as villas which housed several generations. The villa for the department for undercovers to vacation in was locked down tight, no one but the staff was allowed to come and go. The agents themselves were confined inside the walls, it was dangerous to be recognized thus they weren’t allowed out in public.

Since it had been so long the current crew didn’t realize Maas arrived, the scars and cybernetic arm were new to them, except to one. There was also a distinct feature he was missing according to their records but none of them dared to ask what happened. Maas was met in the central garden by a green Orc woman who was dressed in sharp black suit, busily working away on a tablet as icons were stabbed on the screen by her nails.

“They still haven’t reassigned you, Morgan?” he asked, walking straight past her to the main kitchen, the pocket door thrown aside.

“They still haven’t killed you, Maas?” she retorted, turning quickly on her heel to follow him.

The villa had four separate buildings, each one occupying a separate corner with a small garden between each that fed into the central garden. The outward facing walls were solid concrete while the ones looking into the complex were one way glass, line lights sunk behind the crown molding giving each room an ambient glow. The furniture was modern, steel rod framing softened by oversized cushions with a plethora of pillows and blankets strewn about, all of the tables made of glass with little contemporary decorations. It definitely didn’t feel like a home but they couldn’t allow an agent to get too comfortable.

Morgan slid the door closed behind her as Maas took up a spot at the counter, flopping onto a stool as the Human chef faced him. Even the kitchen was cutting edge, stocked with nearly anything a person could crave.

“Grilled cheese,” Maas ordered, rifling through his go bag in search of something, “Feta cheese with garlic butter.”

The chef didn’t even respond, getting to work as Morgan took a seat next to him, “We need to talk about what happened, this is a serious issue.”

“It’ll be cleared in a week, you know as well as I do most murders in the Slums get blown off, no matter how gruesome they are,” Maas finally pulled out a journal and pen, preferring the feel of paper rather than the glass of a tablet, “I’m only here until it all blows over.”

“That’s the thing, Maas,” Morgan tapped the screen a few more times before she turned it to him, a picture of a smiling university student staring at him, “She’s the daughter of the CEO of Evrika, she’s the one you’re being accused of killing.”

“First of all, you know I didn’t do it,” the man took one look at the picture before he started to write his own notes, finding a new page to do so, “Second of all, who did her father piss off?”

“Mother actually, there’s no father. Internal Affairs is looking into it themselves before it’s handed off to homicide. This is rather big and the ball can’t be dropped on this, not with the media coverage it has,” the Orc did her best to answer, “From what we already know you were not at your job when she was killed and the street cameras haven’t been functioning for over five months so there’s no feed to pull. From what witnesses say you spoke to her briefly before you disappeared. She wasn’t killed at the scene and the wound was cauterized enough to not spread any remaining blood she had. And, your DNA was found on her.”

“What?” Maas was so taken aback that the pen slipped from his fingers, the chef giving him a brief glance as if he couldn’t believe it himself, “I’ve never met her before in my life.”

“I know you didn’t do it,” she assured him, “I know for a fact you’re being framed but I can’t figure out why. You’ve been in this long, this is like a second plunge.”

“And the Captain doesn’t have anything about this?”

“Nothing at all.”

The chef set the set the grilled cheese in front of Maas, disappearing from the kitchen to wash dishes to give the two privacy. It didn’t really matter though because all of the staff was under oath like any other officer of the law. Maas had half of the sandwich devoured in the blink of an eye, scribbling down every thought he had from the night before, trying to remember what happened before it all went black.

“So what do we do?” he asked through a mouthful of bread and cheese.

“We don’t do anything, there is no ‘we’ anymore,” Morgan answer, moving from her seat to the pantry to grab boxes of protein bars and a few bottles of water, “You leave tonight and you don’t come back.”

“What are you not telling me?” Maas was already making room in his backpack for what she was grabbing.

“Trust me when I say this,” she opened up a safe in the pantry, pulling out boxes of ammunition and a handgun, “Internal Affairs will black bag you tonight. They’ll take you in for questioning and with the evidence they have they can convict you. They’ll claim you went in too deep and turned, all of the awards and medals you have don’t matter. They need to pin this on someone and right now you’re the best candidate.”

“Helping me can throw you into prison too.”

“They can try,” Morgan laughed, setting the weapon and ammo next to the protein bars, “I’ve been at this job for nearly two decades, they’ll believe me when I tell them you escaped.”

“Doesn’t that make me look even more guilty?”

“You can’t clear your name behind bars.”

A shot rang out, the shriek of gunfire filling the room and deafening the three. The target was hit, a body crumbling to the floor as their head exploded to send chunks of brain matter over half the kitchen. The chef had eavesdropped on the entire conversation, relaying what was being said back to Internal Affairs who gave orders to end it all there and now.

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