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TIKCards

I have just arrived in England. Ares, Red Lady and Masha Ivanov (sister to Ivana) were waiting for me. I was a little fearful to see a member of the Ivanov family, and rightly so. Masha does not look like her sister. She is a brunette with a nasty character. As Ivana is gentle, open and non-confrontational, Masha is hard, closed and aggressive. I get a ‘So asshole, do you enjoy playing with my sister’s feelings’ by way of a greeting, followed by a ‘I advise you never to approach her again, if not, I will turn your brain into compote’. She is also a psychic, but her methods are a little more fourth right.

Masha’s wrath and insults lead to an unexpected side effect. Red Lady, who I didn’t know well, stood immediately by my side, taking up my defense. What I saw as a bout of goodness from the woman soon became a pretext. The 2 girls clearly hated each other. I soon discovered the reason for the conflict between the women. Ares was always looking at his shoes, leaving the harpies to kill each other verbally. I met his gaze briefly. A boyish grin followed by a shrug of helplessness made me understand that he was somewhat responsibile for the matter. Rumors were rife about ‘awesome’ Ares and Red Lady. I heard they were a couple. Now I knew it wasn’t a rumour. Ares was also interested in Masha and she was ‘very’ interested in Ares. In fact, I was in the middle of a women’s war for the conquest of a man deemed immortal, perhaps his nickname should have been Eros.

Red Lady, as a group leader finally gave in and cut short the hostile game. ‘Do not lose sight of why we are here! TIK is circulating London. We must confirm the dealer’s identity, find his source of supply and eliminate it’.

As we have 2 possible addresses where to find him, she decided to separate us into 2 groups. Ares and her on one side and Masha and I on the other. That put an end to the dispute, but threw me into the clutches of the furious woman. Survival instincts kicked in, I put my hand in my pocket to make sure I already had an anti-influence TIK. Despite my fear of reliving an event similar to the ‘Virgo’ episode, the idea of finding myself lobotomized by this telepath was even stronger in my mind.

Our investigation led us close to the business district of London. According to our information, our dealer supplied TIK ‘language’ to some English traders here. Our taxi driver asked if we ‘really’ wanted to go there, as an anti G20 riot was currently in progress. I jumped at the opportunity to divert Masha’s attention from myself and replied in a determined tone that in our case, we should go there anyway. I added that it was almost a matter of ‘life or death’. While casting a glance at my partner, I avoided making it clear that the survival in question, was mine.

Terrible news suddenly came on the radio, it cut me like a guillotine. After years of hope for males world over, the youngest sister of the Coors family would no longer be a part of male fantasy. Andrea Corr was going to marry soon. The announcement was quickly followed by one of their songs. As I looked at Masha, I noticed she bared a little resembalance to Andrea. An air in her face, perhaps its size or just her hair, I still don’t know. However, even if physically Masha had some common traits with the pretty Irish singer, I could not find anything, no sweetness in her voice that made her anything like her sister Ivana. After letting my mind wander, a final thought crossed it. I believe that the real reason for the riots in London, was announcement of the pop stars marriage.

Our taxi stopped a few times before reaching the destination. Traffic was blocked and no one could move. We were close to the address of the dealer. Only a few minutes walk through the pedestrians and demonstrators under the guidance of the taxi driver. The crowd was heavy, but we were moving quickly. I heard people shouting up ahead, but could see nothing. Some people turned back running and encouraged us to do the same. We decided to continue, to see what was going on. Soon, we saw the front line of demonstrators, with a group of armed police who were using batons to push them back. Some bank windows were broken, and the event took on the look of a bloody riot.

Suddenly, a crazy idea came to me. I imagined myself taking Masha on my shoulder, like a sack full of potatoes, walking quickly to the middle of the front line. After that, I would put her down in the middle of the urban battle and… run away in the opposite direction. Imagining the scene, I chuckled to myself. It was a mistake, because a brief glance in Masha’s direction was enough to reveal my thoughts. ‘Do not even think about it!’ She seemed to say, ‘And remove any other thoughts like this from your warped mind!’. Fortunately, my phone vibrated, its was red Lady. She told me that had reached our target and asked us to join them immediately. Again, saved by the bell… Someone was watching over me.

The final trip took us to the eastern part of London. Ares and Red Lady were waiting for us in the apartment of a certain Andy Brown. The twenty year old guy looked like a student, fresh out of school. A small flat containing some books and a computer indicated that he lived modestly. Like most English, his kitchen was desperately empty (certainly for a French person like me) and contained only enough food to survive. Red Lady asked about the precise nature of the products he was trying to sell. He decided quickly that it was in his interest to tell the truth to the pretty girl in red, and promptly told us everything.

‘Someone came to see me here, saying he had a miracle pill with which we could make tons of money.’ He said quickly. ‘Why did he contact you?’ Red Lady replied. ‘I do not know.’ came his prompt response, ‘I already had contact with him on a science forum about the existence of a substance containing information that can be transmitted by simply ingesting it. I wanted to know more and this guy agreed to meet me. He showed up with a sample of a purple pill and offered to me. Within minutes, I spoke perfect Chinese. I quickly realized that this product could have tons of buyers in the City’. Red Lady paused a moment to consider what he had said, then aksed. ‘What is the name of your supplier?’ ‘He just told me to call him Hermes. But I have no way to contact him other than the forum where we first met. He gave me everything I needed to remain in contact. A Login and password to the forum, what his pattern of connections would be and the purchase price of his merchandise.’

The boy seemed a little afraid of revealing the location of his stock, but Ares found it with great efficiency. Hidden under the bed, a box containing hundreds of individual tablets. In each of them a pill and information on its use. There was something for all tastes. TIKs for language, used to master various spoken words, TIKs for computer coding. This guy even had a TIK for ‘bare hand’ combat training.

Someone was relying on us. The Organization could not take the risk of letting this guy onto the street with this kind of information. For him, he had little choice, collaborate with us or find himself six feet under. Our scientists seized his computer and his stock of TIK. Sufficient analysis to help identify the source was already underway. I think the person who decided to make money from the Organization’s technology will suffer unpleasant repercussions. Others have died for less.

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