~ o ~
I suppose that on some level I should have felt bad about sneaking away from the minder Merceillious had assigned me. My brother was only worried about me being out in London alone. However, I was a little old for being treated me like I was an infant. He’s only older than me by two minutes! Mercy always said that two minutes could make or break a person’s future. I just claimed that he was a big birth canal hog. I had escaped Peter and retreated to my favorite coffee shop in Soho. My tablet read out loud the directions to my destination and I followed blissfully, imagining the hazelnut blend that would soon dance across my tongue. Ahh, the joys of technology. I had even set up my latest tech toys to synchronize with my mainframe at home, as well as installing it with a self destruct code should I ever lose it. If it ever was lost or stolen, I could input a command from home and it would scramble and fry the whole thing. My phone had more encryption on it than the locks on the British Museum. I didn’t know what I did before technology. Oh yeah, sat at home like an invalid. The store bell jingled merrily and I tossed a smile at the voice that greeted me.
“Well look who came out of his room at last! How are you doing, mate?” The warm voice of the shop’s owner, Laurence, announced.
I tossed him a cheerful wave, letting him come out from behind the counter and lead me to an empty table. I had been a regular at The Breakfast Club for a few years now. Laurence and the ladies who worked here were all so kind to me but allowed me to be independant. They gave me a place to collect my thoughts. That was why I’d stopped the shop being closed a year ago, when Laurence fell on hard times. It’s amazing what a substantial donation can do to a small business.
“I’m as well as can be expected. I’d like my usual, please.”
He made my order but the footsteps that brought it to me were timid and unfamiliar. I frowned.
“Is Corbin off today?” I asked Laurence concernedly.
Corbin had been the guy with the pleasant voice who would always sit down with me on his breaks and talk with me since I usually came in alone. I rarely brought anyone else here. This was my special place. I would sit in this place for hours and just think, or type or even bring my work here sometimes. I could be alone here if I chose with no overbearing brother hovering over me. Corbin had been fascinated by me and my computers. I was blind and yet more capable than most people when it came to technology and he loved it.
“Well, Corbin is in the States for the summer, so Talya here is taking over his position until he gets back and I can give him the manager’s job. Talya just started yesterday in fact. Ducky, meet my biggest and most favorite customer, Mercedes De Luca.”
I gave her a comforting smile to put her skittishness at ease. She set my coffee down gently.
“It’s nice to meet you and I hope I can do just as good a job as Corbin.” She said sincerely.
It was kind of…cute. I couldn’t help the smile that came out at her desire to be the best waitress she could be. The world needed more people like that. I hoped I wouldn’t ever have to envision her death.
“I have no doubts, Miss Talya. And please, there’s no need to be so nervous. You seem to be doing a wonderful job to me, after all, Laurence seems happy with you.”
Her fidgeting stopped immediately and I could hear relief and gratitude in her voice.
Talya got back to work and went to serve an elderly gentleman off to the left. My coffee smelled divine as usual and that first sip was sweet heaven in my mouth. Delicious! Who needed sight when you had all of this? I could feel the cool breeze on my face and the smell of approaching rain every time someone opened and closed the door, I could smell the fresh baked cinnamon rolls, the different types of coffees brewing, the sweetness of the cakes sitting in the window. I could hear the bustling of people outside, the clink of dishes from the kitchen and the soft murmurs of the shop patrons as they enjoyed their food and drink. The coffee was hot in my hand and the table was smooth and clean against my palm. Who needed sight with all of this? Most people didn’t know what was right in front of them most of the time anyways.
I was on my second cup and fondly listening to the rain pelt down outside when the bell over the door jingled once more. Talya gasped lightly from behind the counter. I could smell familiar expensive perfume and heard a small sigh.
“Can’t you stay in your proper place every so often, Mercedes? I assign you a guard for a reason.”
I scowled as my brother sat down across from me at the table.
“Every so often. And you ‘assign’ me babysitters. I don’t need them and their constant coddling is tiresome and unwelcome.”
Mercy huffed irritably, closing his soggy umbrella with a snap. I didn’t need a parent. I was twenty-four years old, even though I didn’t look it, and I could bloody well take care of myself without a nanny.
“You need them if I say you need them, so until you can magically see a lorry coming at you, then you will abide whatever I assign to you.” He hissed menacingly.
I gave him a glare but I didn’t want to cause trouble for Laurence so I didn’t pursue the argument further. There was no point in making things bad for him and poor, nervous Talya. I followed Mercy out the door when he stood up, giving the two watching a small wave goodbye before letting my twin slip a sleek black coat around me and put me into the back of his chauffeured Italian car. That’s okay. I had a few choice pranks saved for a rainy day that I owed him. And what do you know? It was a rainy day.
~ o ~
Mercedes sat in his room, his vision fresh in mind. He had his cell phone headset on and his computers humming like a dream in front of him. His hands were flying across the keyboards, each letter in Braille.
“It’s a go, Epiphany.” He said lightly, the screen beeping to signified the completion of the program.
He had successfully hacked into the city transportation network. It brought a certain rush to know that you held the lives of so many at your fingertips. Just a click of the mouse and it could bring the whole city to it’s knees. He snorted to himself. Sounded like something Mercy would do. With great power comes great jerks trying to take it for themselves.
“I have the clear, lovey.” Epiphany’s voice sounded lightly from the street corner where she stood in Waterloo, awaiting the death of their next target, “Target approaching. 5-4-3-”
His finger hovered over the enter key.
He could hear the confusion and screams on her end of the line as the power, including the street lights went out and their target’s car screeched and slammed into the inattentive semi truck trying to cross the intersection when the street lights failed. Epiphany was moving with the fray, making her way to her car while he busied himself with resetting the network codes.
“Successful. See you at dinner.” She said calmly before she hung up and the receiver clicked off.
Mercedes nodded to himself and his white kitten, Helix, hopped up into his lap. No doubt he would be getting a call from the police asking him to trace the incident. He would of course discover that the culprit covered their tracks too well to follow. He smirked and unfolded his cane, putting little Helix on his bed on his way downstairs. He could smell pot roast being set out for dinner.
All in a days work.