Scenes from a Changing World 2

Pierce Honnete scanned through the newspost, eyes flashing across the screen of his tablet. Already his imagination was running wild with the implications. The nullifier had been cracked, and more importantly, leaked to the public. with the right parts and equipment, and some electrical engineering knowledge, anyone could make one.

“This changes everything,” he said, tapping the screen with his index finger. “Has this been published yet?”

“Thankfully, no. They sent me an advance copy for,” he paused, “-personal reasons. We’re already looking for ways to install them in public buildings and equip our police force. Given the events of the last month or so I don’t expect much public resistance.”

“I’ll be willing to help in any way I can. With your son leading the local branch. I’m sure we’ll be working together closely over the next few years.”

“About that,” the mayor said, shifting to break eye contact. “Robert won’t be able to accept the position.”

Pierce furrowed his brows. “He already took the job. He can’t back out at the last moment- it would jeopardize the trust I’ve been rebuilding here after the Lim fiasco.”

“I’m sorry,” the mayor said. “Gentlemen,”

On cue, the doors burst open and a trio of armed men burst into the room. Pierce jumped back, startled. “Adrian, what is this?” He said, backing away as the men advanced.”

“I’ll explain soon, I just need to know.”

Two of the men seized Pierce by the arms. He tried to tear himself away while the third jabbed him in the neck with a cylindrical jet injector, and then they let him go. He stumbled back against a bookcase, one arm up to ward them off. They backed off, but didn’t leave the room.

“What was that?” he cursed, a hand clapped to the sore spot on his neck.

“Neuraplast,” said the mayor.

“What?” Pierce said, stunned. “Why?”

“What do you know about Temple Sun?”

“Your son hired them. Security for the event. Glad he did.”

Adrian nodded. “The assassination attempt. I suspect it was staged.”

“What?”

“Have you ever seen a bright light and been unable to move?” asked Adrian, voice intense. “Like a deer in the headlights?”

Honnete narrowed his eyes.

“One of their members has the ability to… influence people,” the Mayor said.

Pierce went quiet. “After the fundraiser they insisted on sending guards with me to the hotel.” He said. “One of your local vigilantes showed up, and that was how they chased him off. I don’t,” he paused. “No, I remember.” His eyes went wide. “Oh god.”

“He’s the one behind the Nullifier schematics.”

Honnete looked up sharply.

“He had you, my son, Brandon Lim, and God knows who else, and that’s what he decided to do with it. He stole the Nullifier, but then released it to the public. He’s shot himself in the foot.”

“Unless this was his goal,” Honnete said.

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