Mars Olivier – Part Two – Motive to Mars

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For those who missed Part One, it can be found here:

Mars Olivier

Part Two:

Motive to Mars

Mars pulled his car up at the front of the ‘Virtual Environment Experience,’ building on the top floor. He was a few minutes early, and Vennah would still be inside enjoying her favorite nature park. He set the car down in the parking lot, regretting that he didn’t have enough battery to reliably wait in the middle of the highway and cause traffic problems up here. He loved doing that, especially so, on the top floor.

Most of the population of ‘The 50 Cities,’ were so used to conforming without realizing they were doing it, that it tended to cause a lot of chaos when someone did not conform. People didn’t know what to do, as they were so unused to seeing anybody act out of order. They were very much like ants sometimes. But, he supposed it wasn’t his luck for more amusements today, so instead he turned the volume of his music up all the way, opened the skylight to let the sun in, and then rested back in his seat with his hands clasped behind his head.

One of the few things Mars did love about having to come up to the top floor was the sunlight up here. It was all natural light, and not just a shard which only existed for 10 minutes of the day, but it was everywhere, all day. For him, the natural sunlight was a hundred times better than any fake park, or rainforest, which could be found inside the building he was parked in front of. That was an experience he could never enjoy, because it did the same things to his mind as the light and air did on the lower levels. Vennah couldn’t feel it, but Mars could. He had told her countless times that the Virtual Environments were messing with her mind, but she enjoyed the relaxation too much to listen to him. He supposed that for her, it was very much like the sunlight was for him.

As the sun poured down on his head, and the music blasted loudly, Mars gently let his eyes close and he drifted away in the midst of a happy mental ease which he rarely got to experience. He was asleep when the sound of knocking on the window broke through the music enough to wake him up. As he slowly opened his eyes the first thing he saw was Vennah’s happy face in the driver’s side window smiling at him with amusement. He had no idea how long it had taken her to wake him up, he suspected quite a long while and hurried to shut the music off, and wind the window down to apologize profusely.

Vennah spoke before he could say anything though, “I was starting to think you never did sleep, Mr. Perfect Assassin.”

“How long were you…?” Mars attempted to ask guiltily.

“Quite a while, but it was worth it, just to find out that you do actually sleep.” She replied still amused. “Are you going to let me inside the car?”

Mars swore as he hurriedly leaned over to unlock the other side. “I’m so sorry. I really am. It’s just so rare that I get to enjoy the sun like that.” He hoped he wasn’t blushing childishly, but strongly suspected that he was.

“You’re blushing, Mars. That’s so cute!” Vennah squealed as she sat in her seat and leaned towards him for a better look.

For his part, Mars attempted to make it stop, by imagining his own innards sprayed across his car windscreen. It didn’t really work, but Vennah was polite enough to quietly snicker at his pain without bringing it up again.

He looked over to where she sat beside him. She looked so beautiful there in his car. He had changed the colors of his seat covers a few days ago to something brighter, to suit Vennah’s skin tone better. She had looked washed out against the brown Synthetic Leather; it had been too close to her skin and hair colorings. These new seat covers were a much better choice, her beauty stood out so much better now. “So, where are we off to today?” Mars smiled slyly at her before adding, “For our business discussion, of course.”

“Mars.” She appeared to be nervous, as well as something else that he couldn’t quite place. “I really do have a job for you this time.”

Mars felt his heart grow a little cold. She was a shining light for him. But then, he did need to remember that she was also a member of ‘The Governmental Group.’ Their jobs had been bound to cross paths again eventually. He just wished she had said something different on the phone to let him know what to expect though.

Vennah must have known him well enough to sense what he was thinking. “I didn’t know what I could say to warn you, Mars.” She stared out of the window. “I always say that there’s a job. I…” She paused for a moment, seeming to try to think of the right way to explain it. “I – just didn’t know what I could say differently to warn you.”

Mars noted something different about her nervousness to the other times he had seen her nervous. As though he were not here with the Vennah he knew anymore, but with the politician instead. He told himself, it wasn’t fair on her for him to be thinking like that. It was an awkward situation and it was very likely just a form of self-protection. Ending a life is major thing for most people. Maybe she just found it easier to have the discussion this way, because she could tell herself that it wasn’t her choice, but a political necessity.

“GPS. Take a business drive.” Mars instructed the car, finding himself pulling on his own business persona as though it were a sweater. Mars waited until the car had eased its way into the flow of traffic before asking anything else. In ‘business drive,’ the car drove around randomly and abided by the road rules. It was the only time his car did use the road rules.  A good way to avoid unwanted attention, but it ruined the fun of driving for Mars.

As the car eased its way around the corner into another street, Mars turned to Vennah finally and asked. “What’s the job?”

“They wanted to give it to someone else, Mars.” She began her obviously prepared speech in a very professional way. “I thought you might like first takings at it though.”

Mars was curious who this target could be, that they thought he would care. There were very few people he did care about, and Vennah herself was the only one above the Third City Level. “Go on.” He prodded with peaked interest.

Vennah seemed to be steeling her reserve before continuing with what she had planned. Apparently, she had already decided that getting to the point was the best way to go, because she took a breath before bluntly saying; “A group of members of the Governmental Group are looking to hire an assassin for the job of removing Poaul Cesar Olivier from office.”

Mars felt the world around him seem to stop. He didn’t know how to consider this information. This was not just a job she was discussing here. This was the man who had purposely made him an outcast of society. The man who had sent him to be raised with no education, save for that which he taught himself, in a secret facility which had been designed for mutants. The man who had even gone so far as to make Mars look different from other people, as though to ensure this sub-life which Mars hated now. His Father. Vennah was asking him to kill his own father.

She waited only a little while before hurrying on with what she had to say. “I told them that you would have more reason than any of the others to wish the Councilor removed. You have after all, had to live the result of his experimentation. It seemed only fitting that you be given first opportunity for this job.”

Mars snorted. “There are no other assassins. Don’t play that with me, Ven. What has he done, that you would ask me to kill my own father?”

“You know how these things work, Mars. I’m giving you an opportunity here. It would be done anyway. You are an easier option for us, that’s all. It took me a great deal of effort to convince the others that you would be the best way to remove Councilor Olivier from office.” She seemed unsure of herself for a moment, as though a touch of the Vennah that Mars knew had filtered through. “I thought you would appreciate it, Mars. After everything that’s been done to you.”

Mars knew what she meant. They had discussed the pain of his past many times before, when lying in bed together on stolen afternoon’s like he had thought this one would be. He sighed. He had considered killing his father before, but it was a different thing killing a person when it was personal. It was very different to killing some human who complied with everything like a historical herd creature. ‘Sheep.” Mars remembered his father calling such creatures as he read Mars to sleep when he was a very young child with stories of strange cities of long ago.

This job would be different from that of James L’Shaw at SMP Laboratories. He usually thought of his jobs in the light that he was shooting down some creature which was no longer useful to the rest of the herd. Poaul Cesar Olivier was no such herd creature, he thought free from the herd. This would be shooting someone who was like himself. For all the cruel suffering his father had put him through, the man was definitely not a “sheep.” But, Vennah had told him that these people would do something, to remove him anyway. Mars knew he would regret not being the one to do it.

“Do you have the folder, Vennah?” He asked as coldly as he could manage.

She smiled and Mars watched her beautiful face somewhat more sadly than he normally would. “I do. We need confirmation within a week. I…” She softened. “I thought it would be best to give you time to think it over.”

“No need. I’ll do it.” She seemed happy with his reply. Until, he added a price. “For $400,000.”

“Mars! That price is insane. It’s more than twice your normal price.”

“This is not a normal job though, is it? My father will be a very difficult mark. The Governmental Group knows that, or they would not have braved asking his own son to do it.”

“I thought you would want the job, Mars. I expected you wouldn’t charge for this at all. It’s an opportunity I’m handing you here. We have other means of removing him.”

“So use one of those then, if the Group isn’t willing to pay.” He coldly said, as he threw the folder back in her direction.

She looked at it and sighed. “$300,000 then?”

“I told you my price. I’m not bargaining just because it’s you, Vennah.”

“They were prepared for up to $600,000 so I suppose you have a deal.” She smiled slyly as she passed him back the folder.

“You make sure the Governmental Group knows that if they had sent anyone but you here today, I would not have taken this job at all.”

“They already know.” She replied softly. “That’s why they sent me.”

“Don’t you mean, why you thought I’d like the opportunity?” Mars looked at her coldly. “Vennah, I’m sorry I’m not up for fun today now. I hope you understand. This is a big thing you’ve had me agree to here.” His face took on that look of people who are feeling older than their years. “Where do you want to be dropped off?”

“Back at the Virtual Environment would be best. I’ve left my car there.” She looked as though she were extremely happy with herself, and trying to hide it.

“GPS.” Mars told the car where they were going.

The Main Street and High Street intersection of the 23rd Floor of the 25th City was the closest location to the exact center of the Fifty Cities in all directions including height. (The exact center would have of course been at 22.5 Floors.) It was also the busiest intersection in all the Fifty Cities as well. It was here that Mars, and his car, stalled the traffic when he really needed to think. There was something which calmed him about watching the unhealthily compliant vehicles smash into each other around him in mid-air confusion.

It seemed to Mars, if there wasn’t a Governmental Group protocol for something, than these cars, and their drivers, had no idea at all of what to do. So, they all just did the closest thing they knew to do, which was to avoid the car which had stopped, by doing this they all just crashed into each other around him. It was very amusing; as the cars, in order to travel upwards, had circular rubber rotators surrounding the chassis. This meant that when they crashed they also spun around up and down causing more collisions both above and below. It was very like a dim-witted, multicolored show that had been spontaneously put on just for him; While Mars’s own dull black mini “Splank,” sat in the center like the Councilor character in a Midday Sunday GG Channel SolidVision Musical. Normally Mars found it very relaxing, and extremely cheering. But not so much today.

Today, he was considering the massive thing he had just agreed to do. He had no idea of how he was going to do this job. He had considered it in the past and found it impossible. His father was not compliant at all, and was acutely aware of plots to kill him. Mars considered the fact that normally he would never have agreed to take on this job, it simply was unattainable for him. He had wanted to impress Vennah, and help her along within The Group. That was the only reason he had agreed to attempt this insane feat.

Not only was his father entirely aware of the plots, and of his son’s occupation, he also brought about an emotional response in Mars which was not a good quality for a man who was being paid to kill someone. It was distracting; it altered your thoughts as well as your actions. Mars couldn’t begin to consider how to get around his father’s security systems. Every time he tried, all he saw were the dumb, drooling faces of “mutant” children whose brains were directly wired into the internet every hour in lieu of any beneficial education or exercise.

As an Orange ‘Catapo’ hit a bright blue ‘Zepor’ in front of his own car, Mars attempted to remember the details of his father’s house layout. But, it was useless. All he ever saw of it, was himself as a child being ripped away from it. He recalled vividly his attempts to keep physically fit afterwards by running up and down a barely lit grey corridor whenever the guards weren’t watching. He also recalled, just as vividly, being hauled away for “Strenuous Compliance Treatment” whenever he had been caught doing that. Not that it achieved very much, but having your brain poked around with, while you were awake, was not a pleasant experience.

Mars attempted to remember some location he could hide in, once he was inside his Father’s house. But all he could see were the many ancient paper books which lined an entire wall of his Father’s lounge room.  The image forced Mars to remember having to educate himself by hacking into Government and College intranet systems. It had taken him two years to get past the security to do so. He steamed with anger at the memories as he vaguely noted the Councilor for the 25th City in a car to the left of his own, careening into another car.

In a moment of extreme fury which was rare for Mars, he flicked up the passenger side seat, and put his favorite gun onto ‘Manual Target Select,’ with the option of ‘Blood Bath: Extreme.’ He then shot the Councilor for the 25th City and smiled cruelly as the man’s blood sprayed messily over the colored cars all around, and below them.

“GPS: Drive down. Quickly”

Mars pumped his music up as loud as it would go, as his car soared downwards through 1103 Floors of peak hour traffic causing the greatest traffic horror in the history of the Fifty Cities. He felt no sympathy for the man he had just killed. The Councilor for the 25th City had been the mastermind behind the “Strenuous Compliance Treatment,” as well as a number of the newer Brain Prostheses regulators that made all those around him so unable to commit to any action of their own design.

He had been an evil man, whose death could only be a good thing for the people, both “mutants,” and not. Even if none of them would ever know that it was a good thing.

*Continued in Part Three –

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