Affirmative Action

As I sit on the precipice at the top of the world I feel a clear mindedness. Disconnected from society everything washes away in a breath of fresh air. The details of my next hit could be waiting in my dropbox but I won’t know until I’m ready to return to the world. Until then I can forget about the mess I made in Budapest.

I was given forty eight hours to stage an accident in a city on lockdown. Protesters marched on the streets forcing the public into hiding so there was no way to succeed without infiltrating the most secure facility in the world. Even the most well hidden military facilities in the world have an exploitable vulnerability. Not the Archimedes Institute.

Only two people ever enter, Miles Atherton – the target – and Felipe Junger – his manservant. The only way in or out is via a series of airlocks which each get flooded with a different chemical compound. Only Miles knows the compositions of the chemicals and only he and Felipe are immune to the side effects. There is no way around the tunnel and no way in without a blood transfusion. Not even a Level A HAZMAT suit is enough to protect you from three of the sixteen compounds.

So I had a choice, get through sixteen consecutive biometric scans and prove to the system that I was Miles Atherton while he was already inside, or stop a protest and get him to walk out on his own. Even with my limited timeframe it was easier to try and stop the protest. However the only way to stop one affirmative action is with another. Or with violence.

Obviously violence wasn’t an option because I needed to quell the public’s fears, not increase them. Which left me with trying to dismantle a protest about wages by splitting its numbers to a cause equally as worthy. I wrongly assumed that immigration would be that cause. Even after the influx of illegal immigrants from Syria into Hungary and all of the surrounding countries it wasn’t an issue anybody was going to protest. Unlike Americans the Europeans willingly brought the refugees into their homes and provided assistance. Which meant that the small number of people I managed to gather together were turned on as soon as their cause was discovered. Within the first two hours of the forty eight I had to complete the job I had started a war on three fronts. The police and army being the third against the battling protesters.

You would think that a battle of the magnitude I ignited would die down within two days, but it didn’t.

At the twenty four hour mark I had to reconsider waiting for peace and throw myself at finding a way into the Archimedes Institute even though I knew it was impossible. When twenty fours hours became twelve, then six and suddenly one I still had no better plan than the first one I came up with. Which was to have a truck somehow cross five hundred yards of grass and cobblestones in order to put a dent in an impenetrable door. Which would allow the tainted air from the first airlock to escape. Of course the truck would explode like in any good Hollywood movie and the entire Institute would go up in a giant ball of fire.

Like any good plan, or in this case just any plan, it never works out the way it should on paper. The truck didn’t even manage to jump the curb without blowing a tyre and slewing off into the pond faster than I could correct it with the remote controls. The truck still exploded on impact and left a rather nasty mess that was obviously no accident.

I got the hell out of Budapest faster than I’ve ever left town after a job. Which brings me up here, as far off of the grid as one can possibly get. I know that I won’t have to pay for the mistakes I made but the amateurishness of them will haunt me.

I stare off into the distance and admire the view as I take another deep breath. I’ve done worse things in my life and actually paid for it. At least this time the conflict will only ever be internal. If only that made me feel better about it.


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