Car radio: …the advancements in technology nowadays are far greater than what we had in just a few decades ago. While traveling around the world takes about an hour right now, doing it in a day was considered a dream 20 years ago. What’s fascinating the most is that we can easily keep food AND ourselves fresh; without using much energy or money…the only great thing remaining is teleportation I guess!…
Deputy: fresh food is good, fresh case not so much. Like we had any progress with the last couple ones.
Agent: it’s the nature of our investigations. Just relax and enjoy the day. The agency and the witnesses are so obsessed with keeping secrets that in the end we’re always left with no details or evidence.
Deputy: they want us to solve the problem but they give us nothing. Same goes for our thieves, except they DON’T want us to find anything.
Agent: a hospital this time then; “the legacy hospital”. Sounds more like a research center than an actual hospital.
D: it must be. A research center with limited patients. Look at all these empty parking spaces.
[at hospital entrance]
Hospital Chief: hello and welcome. You have good news I hope.
D: we’re sorry, we’ve just come for further investigations. Apparently the local police haven’t much success at finding the suspects.
A: sir, we would like to take a look at the crime scene again. Could you tell us about the research data you claim to be stolen?
HC: very important data, although since it’s a highly sensitive trade secret, I’m afraid I cannot help you on the contents.
D: now that it’s stolen, you shouldn’t consider it a secret anymore. Least not to the thieves. Say is that you in that picture?
HC: well that’s my grandfather. He established this hospital soon after the great war.
D: you gotta be specific. Every damn war is considered great for a reason these days.
A: now deputy, let’s not get excited. Apologies mister but this level of cooperation, I can’t guarantee any results. so…let’s investigate the crime scene…
[back in the car]
A: you really should go easier on them. By the way his grandfather was a war veteran alright. He stayed in the hospital after it was captured and since he was a combat medic, soon became the chief.
D: I know, but the resemblance was too much. You could say the apple fell too close to the tree in his case.
A: well that just adds up the weirdness of the whole series of cases. No camera footage, no hand or foot prints…, this is starting to get scary.
D: our next stop isn’t any less scary. One of the defense ministry’s top secret research centers.
A: you should promise to keep it together this time. No more overexcitements.
D: as long as they allow me to keep my handgun. How many times should we explain we’re allowed to bring it anywhere?!
A: we are allowed, but it isn’t like that we encounter that many threats. We follow cold cases and already gone criminals.
[at the defense research center, Agent and Deputy alone in a hallway, alarms are raising and the facility mechanisms are hostile.]
D: we’re locked inside. Who sounded the alarm anyway? I’m in no mood for jokes.
A: it must be our thieves doing…watch out for the robot in the next hallway.
[the robot detects them and starts firing]
A: come on… into the armory. Hurry!
D: phew! that was too close! it tore out the entire wall on the corner.
A: since we’re here and had clearance to the armory, I’d say we’re quite allowed to help ourselves to some weapons, find a way to the room with evidence.
D: they won’t be happy about us killing their robots, but we really don’t have any other choice, do we?
A: no, unless you want to wait here till hey figure something out. so let’s see, ah this gun is good. good penetration with little kick. an excellent battle rifle.
D: that one’s good and all; but I don’t think a “counter mass recoil damper” would impress that 2-meter-high armored robot.
A: at least it’s good for covering fire.
D: hold on, this big gun here might do it. yeah, “shoulder mounted anti-material rifle”, this’ll do. you ready?
A: let’s see… mag check, semi-auto… and ready.
D: you cover me ok? this gun is a bit hard to maneuver. I need more time to shoot.
A: sure. On my mark… let’s go!
[Agent hits the robot several times and gets its attention, while Deputy leans out of the broken corner and shoots one penetrating round at the robot’s chest; unfortunately, with no effect]
A: get back! Back in the armory!
D: dammit I thought I had it.
A: we just made it a bit angrier… so we have to wait here anyway.
D: what were they thinking when they made that monster? In any case no soldier of ours can scratch it.
[the next day]
D: no real evidence was at the defense research center either. This is hopeless.
A: well it looks like we’re in luck this time. A private museum got hit and it seems there’s good evidence this time.
D: a private museum? Who owns it?
A: one of our little hospital chief’s friends. From the initial report I can say he has to be more cooperative.
D: let’s hope so.
[at the private museum]
D: finally, some blood trails, auto-turret shooting trails and an empty place belonging to an antique jar or something.
A: our thieves had a hard time. It says here the jar contained a living brain.
D: no kidding! What kind of a museum is this anyway?
A: the thieves got away this time, but now we know what kind of things they’re after.
[in the space shuttle]
D: this is really getting out of control. A data theft at moon base 01. There’s no stopping them.
A: too bad they did it clean again. This could only mean these are inside jobs.
D: well I’m tired of work right now. Since we’re here, I want to put one of my theories to test.
A: power-space skating? They have space suits in maintenance but I’ve got to talk to the captain first.
D: come on. I accept all responsibility for it. He’ll allow us, I know it.
D: you know what it lacks? The sense of being pulled like in power-boat skating. Tell the captain to give the shuttle a little acceleration. I’m just floating here.
A: alright. But it’s all on you if anything happens.
D: this is more like it. I am now officially the world’s first power-space skater.
A: sorry to interrupt your space fun, but we have to get back to earth.
D: what happened?
A: it’s urgent. Tell you inside.
[A and D and a few political figures in an elevator going down several meters inside a secret underground base]
A: the president did our job. They’ve located the thieves base of operation and are ready to deal with them.
D: no further use for us then. I was already getting ready to resign from the case.
A: they still need our insight. That’s why we’re here.
President: welcome everyone. We have good news; the group that has sabotaged many of our facilities have been located. Today we deal with them once and for all.
This device that you see here is part of the newly made global satellite laser that is currently aiming at their base. With this system we can totally destroy everything within their hideout including the stolen secrets. There won’t be much collateral damage to the city around it or much attention from other parties.
D: we’re standing on a very big energy generator. Laser is made here then sent to the mirrors located on satellites. From there it can hit anywhere on the planet. The system can use the laser to defend itself at any level.
A: this is extreme. I’ve got to talk with the president.
A: excuse me dear president, this group of thieves have never been known to resort to violence. I suggest we negotiate with them first.
P: well dear agent, you may not know the details on the stolen secrets but I’m sure you understand that we can’t take any chance on this. This is the most secure way.
A: I’m fully aware of the crucial importance of his operation. Bu we might lose some information this way. I’m well acquainted with their methods; their probably scientists themselves. Dear president, just consider what new technologies they’ve created by studying what they’ve stolen. I can go there myself and see to a more peaceful solution. I can convince them to surrender and share all they know.
P: I’m afraid the risk is too high at this moment. They could be selling it to our enemies as we speak. But you made your point; you have 8 hours. After that we’re destroying them under any circumstances.
[4 hours later at the city where the thieves were reported to hide]
A (to self): Deputy thought this was a waste of time, hope I can prove them all wrong… who says there won’t be any collateral damage? And a city of our own. Gotta get there in time…
[Agent arrives at the abandoned warehouse that was showing on the map]
A (to self): no guards, nobody at all. Have to be careful.
[Agent descends to a basement with several dungeon-like doors]
A (to self): for your own sake, be reasonable, thieves.
[ Agent opens a big door and points the gun to the only person in the room wearing a lab coat]
A: you’re under arrest. Hands up! Now!
Scientist: ah it’s you. Calm down, I’m not a threat to you. I was hoping to see the ever persistent Agent up close.
A: surrender yourself and tell all your friends to do it too; this place is about to get vaporized.
S: yes, I know about the GSL system. I was part of the project for many years…
A: a defector then… well let’s go right now.
S: I can’t, dear Agent. I only wanted to talk to you. That’s why your dear president found us so quickly. I wanted you to be here.
A: don’t make me shoot you and carry you outside, come! now!
S: by your measure there’s some time left. 3 hours maybe? I guess you’re wrong. See, they decided it was better off getting rid of you as well. As you can see on the monitor, the GSL will hit here in 10 seconds. So follow me…
[Scientist goes into the experimental teleportation device behind him and vanishes.]
A: hey! Ah come on! ah!!
[Agent is forced to walk into the device as well]
S: you can put your gun down now. You’re safe and officially KIA.
A: damn you, you trapped me! Well you’re not getting me alive!
S: don’t you see what happened here? You’ve been betrayed by your own superiors, just like us. Have a sit, you’re one us now.
A: ah… alright! So what do you want?
S: what you were always after; uncovering secrets. Don’t you want to know what we have obtained so far? What we’re about to do with it?
A: I’ve dealt with enough criminals to know their only agenda is money and power.
S: that’s where you’re wrong. These technologies are far more advanced than what people use these days. It is based on the kind of the science you can’t learn in schools or universities. The companies and ministries kept it to themselves; like they had any right to make it exclusive to whom they saw fit.
A: they’ve built it; they have a right to keep it. Can I go now?
S: yes, you can. But you must understand you can’t go back to them. There’s a bounty on you too. You can see it here…
A: serves me right to be sympathetic to thieves.
S: you say they built it? With what money? Their daddy’s? it was made by the money of the people they ignore and They usually don’t use it to anyone’s benefit but their own.
A: so you want to open a technology charity? Giving it to everyone including our enemies?
S: our enemies are also doing the same thing to their people. Look around you; all this magnificent breakthroughs, and we still suffer from poverty, famine, wars all around the world. No, dear Agent, I’m not opening a technology charity. I just want to make sure we use the best of it for the best of mankind.
A: O.K. then what do you want with me? You seem to be very good at it.
S: I see your honesty and good will. You were out there to serve your country, your people. I want to do it for real this time.
[Agent finally agrees to go to one of the Scientist’s target locations. An ancient dig site abroad. One of the Scientist’s people was accompanying the Agent. While investigating the site, they came across a stone stand with an old book on top of it. Suddenly some shady people in suits started entering the site form front. One of them pulled out a gun and was going to attack.]
[Agent pulled out a handgun quickly and hit that goon first; then the ones around.]
A: they started it!
[when they opened the book, the Agent knew it was something important indeed.]
[later on, the Scientist showed the Agent all the stolen data.]
Fresh Future is a short science fiction novel. it tells the story of two agents who are after a group of technology thieves. world in near future is blooming with new advancements, but there's still something missing. as the investigations continue, our agents will find out what.