One Night To Kill: An Atlantica Universe Adventure (Valentina Winters Book 2) by Michael Anderle

One Night To Kill: An Atlantica Universe Adventure (Valentina Winters Book 2) by Michael Anderle

Author:Michael Anderle [Anderle, Michael]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: LMBPN Publishing
Published: 2021-05-21T16:00:00+00:00

Chapter Fifteen

The box sat silently in the center of the room.

The stripe around the center had been mostly black for some time. It hadn’t watched Archie examine its contents and try to discover its mechanisms inside. It hadn’t felt Archie pick up the container and throw it on the floor in an attempt to shatter its components and leak its secrets. It hadn’t listened as he’d covered the box with a cloth and ran his nightly meetings, working until the early hours of the morning to keep his company running.

The box simply sat there, quiet and respectful. It might have been on Archie’s mind, but Archie wasn’t on its mind. Covered by a cloth, even if the box powered up and tried to see Archie, it wouldn’t achieve this. Its operator would be blind to all in the office, as long as the cloth covered its eyes.

Or so Archie thought.

The black stripe blinked into life in a dazzling array of green stars. The entire perimeter of the box winked and glowed into life, lighting up the space beneath the cloth. No sound emerged as the box whirred into life and the internal cameras started their search.

The green lights ran a lap around the stripe, settling at last on a tiny fragment where the cloth didn’t entirely cover the table. The opening couldn’t have been more than a couple of millimeters wide, but it was enough to start its functions.

Rays emitted from the box, driven like sonar echoing around the room and back toward the box’s receiver. It listened for Archie, spending a good ten minutes on active digestion of auditory information until it moved into action.

The bottom of the box shook as the metal surface twisted and revealed several motorized wheels. It moved forward, only an inch to begin with. The cloth tugged with it, resistance causing the progress to slow. The person controlling the cameras shifted to look behind, but it was impossible. The covering was too thick.

Another inch forward before the box edged over the table’s lip. It could see the carpet now, dark maroon and stained with dark droplets that could have been wine or blood. Another inch and something in the room grunted.

The box stopped and retracted its wheels. With more room to operate its sonar, it sent out its signal and gained a clearer image. A light was on nearby, and now that it had broken more of its cover, it could make out the gentle snoring of the man in the room with it.

Archie was asleep. He was resting on the corner of the cloth.

The box juddered as it prepared its next sequence. It bided its time, ensuring that the man was fast asleep before taking the final leap.

It neared the edge. It was almost halfway over the lip. Its weight began to bear down. It tumbled through the air and flipped upside down. Hundreds of nanoscopic pockets filled with air, exploding from the box's lid like tiny bubbles of gum. The container hit the floor, its impact cushioned by the bubbles and the carpet.


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