Plunging the depths of Heimdall

3 A.M. Again. At least this time she had no welding work in the morning. Sy paced her apartment, dressed in only a faded pair of panties again, restless and excited and melancholy and scared and angry. Most of all, she felt determined. She stopped, cocked her head, listened. A police siren. Could it be her next target, courtesy of Sirius? Perhaps so, but it was worth it.

She held up her hand, the biogel now gone. Tiny scars criss-crossed across her palm, her wrist, her fingers. Deep down, like a tattoo that had been poorly lasered, the network of thin wires and small, flat scanning components shone through the skin. She grabbed a strong torch from a drawer, clicked the button and held the bright light up to the back of her hand. As a child, her father had read her stories of mythology. She was fascinated by them, stories of the old Earth, of Egyptian gods and Norse gods and Greek gods. He had told her of Heimdall and his gaze that pierced everything on the nine worlds. She was pretty sure Mars hadn't been among those, but she loved the idea of being able to see through any surface. Her father had held a light against her hand and shown her the veins and ligaments running through her flesh. Now, she used the same trick to look at her creation, the silhouettes of steel wires, flat chips and discs contrasting harsh with the glowing red flesh around it.

"Heimdall," she said. "With you, I can see through anythin'."

She held her hand up to the wall and turned on Heimdall. Numerous lines glowed blue, mostly running vertically. The majority seemed to just be power lines. She scanned them, finding one that was transporting information. Extracting the stream, she found herself looking at the roof exit, in a window hovering in front of her eyes. "Roof camera," she muttered to herself. "Good ta know." She increased the depth and waved her hand around her apartment. The screens on standby, the old-fashioned fridge, numerous wires through the walls... It was all there for her to see, glowing in that eerie, cold blue, visualized through her AR. She pulled the code from the fridge and scrolled through the files, just to see them. But her mind wasn't focused on low stock warnings. Her mind was on the gleaming Sevo building downtown.

She turned off Heimdall and flicked on her computer module, grabbing her wristboard from the nightstand. She switched on Zen mode, the rest of her vision blacking out, the code and files directly transposed through her visual cortex connection. "Open project doomtower," she said, and the plans for the Sevo building unfolded. She reviewed her previous routes and the access point she had gotten stuck on the last two incursions. Her fingers moved deftly and without hesitation, scrolling across the 3D landscape, mapped with photos and extrapolation. She zoomed in on the maintenance panel along the wall. "X marks the spot..." she murmured. Behind that panel was a tangle of wires, components and more, but she knew she could not risk opening it without knowing its intricacies. Not again, anyway. She'd only barely escaped OSEC last time she had done that.

She reviewed the guards and their routines she had found through rigorous surveillance. If she could scan one of their modules and copy the credentials... An interesting idea, and definitely something she could consider depending on how the job for Sirius would go. It would certainly extend her access to the Sevo compound way further than she had managed the past 4 years.

She switched off the computer module. Nothing more to be gained from inspection of her plans; she knew most of them by heart anyway. The module and wristboard returned to the nightstand, she laid down on her bed. The feeling of melancholy was growing stronger by the minute. These lonely hours, they were worse than ever. The closer she got to her goal, the more her guts hurt with the loss of her old life. She tapped the side of her head, the tiny module where she kept some small, important files flickering on in her vision. "Open picture 'dad'," she said quietly, the last word catching in her throat. An old picture sprang up, a black man in his mid-forties, short curly hair patched with grey, a picture scrounged from an article released before her new life began, a picture from a life no longer hers.

She turned over, the picture moving smoothly along with her, staying still with every movement of her eyes. Closing them, the photo was all she could see, that gently smiling man with a crumpled checkered button-up shirt. Her stomach hurt, the loss and longing worming its way up through her throat. She felt the burning tears rolling across her face and into her pillow as the first sobs escaped her.

She was still crying when sleep took her an hour later.

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