World Servers - Dawn



Chapter 8 - Once more into the breach dear friends


The laboratory was unlike traditional research spaces.  The room was brightly lit by a bank of incandescent lights.  Instead of beakers and microscopes, covering one wall there was a bookshelf filled with hardbound books.  On a raised platform on the left side of the room was a large pentagram within which had been placed a desk and computer.  By the door was a bank of hard drives, a desk and a second computer.  Books lay strewn across the desk, several of them open to pages midway through them.  

One of the researchers who used this lab must have had a serious caffeine addiction.  In the a garbage can were empty cups of coffee and cans of red bull.  On the desk was a bottle of caffeine pills.  

Unlike the rest of the building, this room was a high mana zone.  Necro looked down and saw that around the edges of the wall were runes that had been carved into the floor.  Definitely LeeroyJenkin's work, his handwriting all but obvious, Necro could take advantage of that.

Shrike ran over to the wall of books.

"They've got the Journal of Applied Thaumaturgy here.  And these are Exor Corp's monthly publications on runic research.  Here is the monthly journal of pure mathematics.  There are tens of thousands of dollars worth of proprietary information here.  Necro, what do you say to a little bit of looting?"

"Shrike, we've been paid to completely destroy all of the contents of this room."

Mike-Mike spoke up.  "Necro, while the stuff Shrike's found is interesting, it is hardly unique.  Anybody who pay's enough money can buy it.  The contents of this hard drive however has to be unique research.  Do you mind if I see what it is."

Necro shook his head, "Like I said to Shrike, we've been paid to destroy this room.  We can't just go and indulge our curiosities."

Choirboy spoke up.  "What about the message from the Gods.  The divine Quest and his holiness Storyline did not elect to visit us simply so that we should complete our mission.  They desire us to take a critical look at something here."

Lauren said "Incoming .  Security forces are on their way.  ETA until the next wave of hostiles is about 4 minutes."

Necro thought about it for a second.  "Shrike, Mike-Mike is right.  Grab as many of those journals as you can for the Guild headquarters library.  You have 1 minute.   Mike-Mike, I'm afraid that the mission comes first, we are going to have to destroy that drive."

"But..." Mike-Mike and Choirboy said simultaneously.

"No.  Gods or no Gods, I'm going to have to be firm on this one."  Necro said.  "Everyone else, take the gasoline you put in your inventories and begin splashing it around.  Shrike, do you need any prep for your fire spell.  There is plenty of mana in this room, so feel free to go crazy."

Then quietly trying to draw no attention to himself or his actions, he opened up a private communication channel to Mike-Mike and mentally sent him a text.  "Mike-Mike, can you gather the data from the Hard Drive without anybody in our team noticing?"

"Of course." he texted back.

"Then do it.  Encrypt it.  Don't look at the files, just send the package to me.  Can you then erase your memory of gathering the data from your brain and erase this communication from your log?  There is something going on here, but I don't want the team, including you exposed."

"I can erase my memory, but..."

"Then do it Mike-Mike.  I don't have time to explain.  My paranoia has kicked itself up to 11 and ... just get me the data, encrypt it using my Terabit public key and send it to me, then do your absolute best to erase every trace of this conversation and the file from your main log, short term, and long term memory files."

About a minute later Necro received a file from Mike-Mike.  It was fairly small, only a few Exabytes of data.  

"Shrike, that's enough looting."

"But Necro-poop.  Books!"

"No Shrike, focus on the job."

Lauren Spoke again, "They'll be here in 1 minute."

"Dwight.  Is the path and ceiling mined and is the floor trapped?  Are you in position?"  Necro said in party chat.

"Yes to all of that." Said Dwight.

"Shrike, we've got incoming.  How do you want to handle this?"

Shrike began taking off her top.  "Savanah, why don't you stick around. Everyone else leave the room."

Necrobump said, "you heard the lady, fall back to the hallway.  Shrike how much time do you need."

"Just go Necro, I've got this under control."

The group moved into the room in front of the Lab.  Through the graphene windows into the lab room, they could see Shrike quickly removing her clothing.  She gestured and a hole appeared in the roof of the room.  

"Holy Cow, Boobies." Said Jesus Wept.

"Focus, Jesus." said Necro.  "We have incoming."

They formed a cordon around the hallway.  Jesus crouched low.  His minigun on its tripod and he lay, aiming down the hall.  This time Necrobump squatted beside him with a belt of ammo ready to reload.  Mike-Mike had his handgun out.  Lauren had a P90 she'd picked up somewhere at the ready.

Savanah came running out of the room carrying all of Shrike's clothes and gear.  In a rush of mana behind them wall of stone formed in the door way, behind them blocking the entrance into and out of the Lab.  Necro glanced back through the windows and saw the very naked Shrike, who started to glow and then caught fire. Fire spread across her body, and then in a wave of burning the room became a raging inferno.

"They are here in Ten," yelled Lauren in party chat, as she dove for cover.  

Necrobump focused ahead, scanning the hallway up ahead, ready.




The heat at their backs grew more and more intense.  Necro risked a quick look backwards and saw that the flame inside the room was a white almost bordering on plasma.  The wall that Shrike had built at the door, the almost indestructible walls, and the fact that the area out here had almost no mana kept the hyper heated magical fire at bay.  But was hot even out here.  Almost unbearably so.  And the temperature was rising.

"Three" yelled Lauren, in party chat, "they are almost on top of us."


A group of five security guards wearing full body armor, helmets, assault weapons, and swords ran into the room.  At least one of them was equipped with a medium powered PVP amulet.  At least one other one had some sort of a mana amulet.  

A ball of flames blossomed behind the security team, a fireball and not a weak one either, formed and flew at Necrobump and the rest of the team.  Necrobump couldn't let that spell get near them, so he used a bit of his stored mana and mentally drained the power from enemy mage’s work.  The fireball fizzed out into nothing.  

By now, Jesus Wept was firing down the hallway.  But this team had taken shelter inside two rooms down at the end of the hallway.  They also had some sort of a plate metal and ceramic shield that even Jesus Wept's depleted uranium shells minigun rounds couldn't penetrate.  Bullets flew back and forward down the hallway.  

The plastic explosives Dwight had hidden in one of the room that the guards were using for cover exploded, and the team's digital kill counter went up two more.  The flames pushed some of the guards out into the hall.  One of them, seemingly with hit points to burn, stayed crouching in the room despite the wreckage from the blast.

Then as quickly as the fires and heat behind them had come, they died.  Shrike came running out of the room.  "Savanah, where's my..." a round of bullets and machine gun fire from the security team cut her voice off.  

Jesus Wept stopped firing, turned, and stared.  "Eyes up ahead Jesus."

"But Necro.  Shrike's naked.  She's naked."

Necro took the opportunity to reload Jesus' gun.  

Then Necro slapped Jesus Wept in the back of his tiny head.  "I don't care if she's got her legs spread wide, with a little flashing sign above her vagina saying 'Jesus Welcome.'  Eyes up ahead and keep shooting."

But Shrike was pissed off.  "Are you pricks objectifying me.  What, are you like five."  

Shrike grabbed her AK-47 from Savanah in one hand, and a belt of grenades in the other.  Completely naked, she stepped forward.  "I mean really.  Jesus, you must have seen a naked..."  Shrike threw a grenade down the hallway, and following the blast she stepped over the meager barrier that they'd erected.

"woman before sometime in your life."  Shrike's Kalashnikov rang out.  She walked forward taking precision shots from her Russian assault rifle at a security person who peaked out.  Dwight also joined the fight shooting the security team from behind.

"Choirboy, use some of my mana and put a shield ward around Shrike."  Necro called out to Choirboy.

"Have any of you pricks ever heard of Objectification."  Shrike said, blasting one particularly unlucky security guard in the eye, sending him to respawn instantly.   "I do, my job.  I do it well.  I think I deserve respect." A translucent blue glow from Choirboy's shield ward formed around Shrike, who barely noticed it.  She peeled another grenade off her belt, and tossed it into the room with the lone high level security guard left.  "Is it too much to ask that I don't..."  The grenade exploded.  "...get treated like an object or a bimbo when I'm working."

The last security guard, their captain by the look of it, lay on the ground.  Somehow even after all of that he was still alive, weakly he put his hands on top of his head and said, "I surrender."  Then he blinked and said, "Is this some kind of a joke? You’re naked?"

"Fuck you," said Shrike as she stepped over the guard's prone body, shoved the barrel of her AK-47 up the guard's rectum and pulled the trigger on fully automatic, using up the rest of her bullets and sending the guard off to respawn.

"Does anybody else want to make a comment." she said.

A chorus of 'No's rang out except from Jesus' who silently muttered 'Is it wrong that all that gave me a boner?' achieving nothing except a bruised mouth from Necro's fist.

"Shrike, put your gear back on.  Jesus shut the hell up, Lauren, are there any more incoming?"

"Unless they aren't in the computer system, I think that is everyone." Lauren said.

"Keep an eye out.  Dwight, take point.  Jesus, shut up."

"But Necro, boobies..." Jesus said.

"Jesus, please.  Team unity.  If you are horny think of all the hookers and blow you can buy with your cut from this mission.  So stop staring at Shriek."

They made their way quickly through the hallway.  The second target wasn't that far away, just around the corner in a direction they hadn't come.  Nobody was in the hallways, but the doors were mostly opened and it looked like people had left in a rush.  Probably headed towards the Intra Server Gate.

Dwight got the door for the secondary target first.  The door, was the typical cheap veneer wood used for office doors all around the server.  There was a small window and an "L" shaped door knob which turned easily in Dwight's hand.

Lauren, said "According to the building sensors and staff timesheet tracking software, nobody is in that room."

"Dwight, go in and secure the room just in case.  Lauren, when Dwight motions to you that its safe, get in there do whatever you have to do, and then let's get out of this place."

It too Lauren only about 2 minutes to upload the entire yottabyte file from her the flash drive the client had given them onto the hard drive on the computer in the room.  Dwight was tapping his foot impatiently, and Jesus was trying (and failing) to covertly check out Shrike's ass.  

"Ready." Said Lauren in Party Chat.

"Okay, back to the Pedovan."

About the author


  • Iowa City, Iowa
  • The enima of my enemy is my friend


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