Desirae stayed in her room the entirety of that night. She only left to grab a drink, to splash some water on her face, and to peer down the banister to see if her father had left for the day. It was silent.
Hits. Desirae could do one of two things. She could choose the first option and play the naive card, pretend that what she saw was just a hoax. A bad trip from being drugged by that stupid freak. Or, the more logical option, freak out, steal all the info of that flash drive, and run out of town.
Clearly, my priorities are straight.
Sighing, she paced around in her room. It was Friday, the day of all days. She could make her name in the streets, and live a life as a criminal, or she could make her name in the textbooks as a politician's daughter who was murdered by a gangbanger. She wasn’t sure which outcome she preferred, but she didn’t like the idea of being textbook famous.
Sighing shakily, she looked down the stairwell as her father slid his coat over his shoulders. He hollered a goodbye, a weak and effortless attempt at getting her attention, before making his way out of the house. Jumping down every other step, she slid into the office and opened each drawer in hopes to find that thumb drive. To the right side of the desk, his drawers were unlocked and full of folders and pens. Nothing useful.
To the left, the top drawer was locked and sealed with a keypad lock. She cursed under her breath and kneeled onto the ground, smashing random codes into the pad to see if she estimated her father's intelligence adequately. Unfortunately, he was less of a dumbass than she would have hoped.
Unless… She pulled out her phone to look up when her father's first term in congress was. He was a professional politician, and he would mention it every chance he would get.
With shaking fingers, she entered in a six-digit code: 11/04/42. She was eight when he boasted about finally being able to cleanse Chicago of its beasts.
Pressing the final number, the drawer clicked and pushed open just enough so she could slip her fingers underneath the lip. She puckered as she pulled it out, eyes widening at the stack of papers and thumb drives scattered about. She took the stack out first, eyes scanning over the titles and names. They were all nobodies, a stark contrast to the people hidden beyond the encryptions on his computer. She shook her head, setting the papers down as she flipped through, eventually tossing them as a whole stack once realizing the entire packet would be useless. Coming to DeVile with a practically handwritten list would get her killed--he would never take it seriously.
As Desirae looked through the drawer, she realized all of the documents in there were like that. None of them mattered, they were doctors, teachers, counselors. Each normal, each irrelevant, and each sharing the fact that they had no reason to be locked away in her father’s office. Reorganizing them back into the order she found them in, she tried to replace the paperclip in the exact location it was before. Her father might have been otherwise dull when it came to wits, she did not doubt his paranoia. He could have any number of boobytraps in this drawer to help him identify spies and snooping daughters.
Just as she was about to place the papers back into the drawer she noticed a separation lining the corners, part of the edges pulled up and torn. She trailed her finger along it, pushing in on the corner slightly, and gaped as it clicked. She pushed once more, just to make sure her mind wasn’t deceiving her. Fortunately, her intuition was right.
The wooden plate peeled back, cracking from the released tension and revealed a second layer. In this layer were three things: a pile of flash drives, a gun, and a pair of glasses. She took one of the drives out and the pair of glasses. She didn’t dare touch the gun, she didn’t know how to use it or make sure it had its safety on.
She furrowed her brow at the glasses, unfolding and putting them on. Blinking, they looked dull--the room around her appeared dull and dark. Standing, she walked over to a small decorative mirror hung in the middle of the wall. While making faces at herself, she couldn’t help but compare herself to a retro cop from the films she’d find at the second-hand stores. Dated all the way back to the early 2000s, she had a growing collection in her room of thrillers and cop movies.
They always wore such ridiculous sunglasses, ones that looked like these. One of the comedic movies even sent the stupid cops to a high school in hopes to solve a crime. It had been ages since she saw a movie because she didn’t have the equipment to watch such outdated equipment, but she recalled the cop being named Jeff. She had never really met a Jeff before, but she thought it was a boring and age-old name. Frowning, she reached up to remove them from her face and heard another mechanical noise. Looking at the arms of the glasses, she spotted a tiny LED light flickering at the top right corner of the glasses. Reluctantly putting them back on, she looked around and wondered what the LED signified. Did it enhance her vision? No. Did it light up the path to get away from DeVile and anybody she had been involved with in the past few years? No. Did it do much of anything? Seemingly not.
She walked over to the stack of flash drives and papers, lifting it up into the air. She studied the plastic and frowned, nothing special coming from these glasses. It didn’t make sense why her father had it hidden beneath a secret compartment, though.
She grabbed the plywood that had covered the hidden layer and was about to place it atop the gun snugly but paused, her eyes catching sight of a glowing spot at the tip of the gun. It looked like splatter, traveling from the tip to the handle.
Leaning closer, she picked the gun up by the handle hesitantly and observed each side of it. She moved the glasses up towards her forehead, watching the splatter as it vanished before returning the lenses to her eye level.
These glasses were marking things that were naked to the human eye.
Not wanting to question what the liquid was further, she set the gun down in the exact same way it was before and took a seat, flipping through the stacks of papers she had shrugged off earlier. Suddenly, these teachers, doctors, and counselors weren’t so normal.
Next to the names, where empty blank space once resided, were letters written in invisible ink. There, it listed a date followed by a string of words. Some were utter nonsense:
Susan Alchrettes......................Counselor 05.03.2150, Grab a Bottle & call it AP!
Jonatan Alvarez......................Teacher 06.02.2150, Shoot a pin, call it Jezebel!
Ethan McNoquel......................Doctor 07.01. 2150, HS on the Riverwalk
Sighing uneasily, she grabbed her phone out of her back pocket. The translucent screen illuminated and she took the glasses off, positioning it over the camera and took a photo as soon as it was anything but blurry. After placing the glasses back into its original spot, she started to sort through the flash drives. They were dusty, old, and some even broken. The USBs were bent, the papers that labeled them were almost illegible, and they were seemingly useless.
Finally, her fingers grazed over the newest looking one. The paper was curled at the ends, and the dark blue ink read clearly: Tags. Just like she had envisioned--or, whatever had happened the night prior. She still wasn’t one-hundred-percent sure what that chick did to her. She removed the tape from one of the older flashdrives in the best condition and swapped the labels, just in case her father came to check the status of this drawer.
Dumping the rest back into the drawer, she decided that was for another day. Specifically, a day where she wasn’t running late for school before running off to meet with a gangster that could easily murder her and her family. Just a normal Friday.
Stacking the papers on top of the seal, she closed the drawer and locked it tight before slipping the drive into her pocket. Instead of throwing together another list of celebrities and influential people who expressed their desire to augment themselves whether it was public or private, she decided this mysterious, assassin-esque list would serve justice.
Desirae wasn’t sure why she trusted DeVile to use his influence in the Black Market for good, but if she was going to be thrown into a world like this, she ought to do it with the best of intentions. Right?