Chapter Six: A Trap Is Set

"It's eight twenty five."
Stefana paced up and down the big empty room of the warehouse, a petulant frown on her face. "What if she's so arrogant she doesn't show up? What then?"
"I thought you had it in hand, this is your brilliant plan we're following." The rasping voice of Techrat spat back at her from the shadows and she stopped in her pacing, glaring at him.
"Quit it. It'll work, so long as she shows up and so long as you're as much a genius as you claim to be." She snapped.
"Oh, please. The pair of you." Rory rolled his eyes, placing the video tape on the table. "There are still five minutes, and if she doesn't show the next thing is to duplicate and market the tape. I don't think that, if you're correct, Stefana, that's a risk the girl will want to take."
Stefana opened her mouth to retort, then froze.
"I hear something!" she hissed. "Hide!"

Outside the door, Cynthia hesitated, composing herself. She did not know what would greet her on the other side, all she knew was that recovery of the tape was essential. She had received a second note that evening instructing her to bring $5000 with her in clean hundred dollar bills, and she had thanked her lucky stars that such a thing would take little of her energy to project. With Aaron's help, she had taken part of her secondary projector, converting it into a tiny battery run microprojector whose energy would last long enough for her to get well clear of the building, the tape safely in her hands.
"Aaron did so much to help me be free, I will not throw it away." She muttered, pushing the door open carefully and peering into the room. Much to her surprise and suspicion it appeared empty, and she entered with an amount of caution, glancing around her as she did so.
"Hello?" She called.
There was no answer, and, concealed in the crevices and shadows of the dilapidated room, Rory and his companions were fully concealed from view.
Cynthia frowned, crossing the room to the table and hesitating, as if expecting a trick.
Nothing happened.
"Is anyone here?" She called again.
"Leave the money on the table." The voice boomed out of nowhere, and startled, Cynthia took a step back. Her computer brain quickly ascertained that it was a recorded message, and that she was likely being watched from somewhere, and she frowned.
"So a coward calls me here?" She exclaimed. "One who cannot even face me eye to eye and explain themselves!"
There was a fidget from the shadows as her words cut through Stefana's pride, but Rory held his protegee still and when Cynthia scanned the room she saw nothing.
Slowly she picked up the tape.
"Leave the money on the table." Came the same message again, and Cynthia recognised that she had tripped some kind of sensor by moving so close to the table and by touching the video itself. She frowned.
"If that's what you want." She murmured. She reached in her pocket, pulling out a holographic envelope of notes and setting it down on the table, carefully concealing the projector between the slats of wood. It had been makeshift and hurried, and she hoped it would hold out.
"Now, Techrat!" Rory hissed. Techrat nodded grimly. His sharp mind had already picked up on the unusual style of the girl's watch and he had quickly decided that this was likely to be the source of the projection. He raised his laser, silently pressing the 'fire' button. At first it seemed like nothing had happened, but then, as Rory and Stefana watched, they saw the air distort slightly as a thin beam of translucent light shot out across the room, making contact with the watch projector.
The hologram seemed to start, turning as if bitten by an insect, but she could see nothing that could have caused the momentary discomfort, and putting it down to her electronic nerves being on override, she clasped the tape firmly in her hand. With one final glance around the room, she fled, hurrying out of the building and out to the safety of Copper's car. She had borrowed the vehicle for the purpose, having no car of her own, and she jumped into the driver's seat, engaging her knowledge of driving skill as she put the car into gear, screeching back towards the safety of Starlight Mansion.
Undetected, Stefana watched her leave from the window of the building.
"Well, did it work?" She demanded.
"If your theory is correct, Stefana, the machine is infected with the virus." Techrat nodded his head.
"How long will it take to kill her?"
"That is entirely dependant on the complexity of the circuitry involved. From the detail of the projection, I should say we are dealing with quite a machine." Techrat spoke thoughtfully. "Perhaps a week?"
"A whole week?" Stefana exclaimed. "I thought this knocked out a PC in minutes!"
"This is not a PC." Techrat told her cuttingly. "This is a machine capable of projecting a being who exhibits human thought and behaviour, a being able to slip easily into the community without being discovered. That suggests a powerful and complex mainframe. Yes, I believe it will take at least a week to destroy the machine's memory completely." He smiled, a queer, cold smile. "But don't worry. It will kill her. The only antidote is in your possession, and noone will be able to generate any kind of facsimile in the time frame we are talking about, without my brilliant genius. Have some patience. The computer is as good as dead."


"So you got it?"
Sylva was waiting on the doorstep as Cynthia returned, parking the car carefully on the driveway and getting out. The hologram nodded, scooping up the coveted tape and holding it up.
"I have it." She agreed. "There did not appear to be anyone there...just a recorded message, though I had the feeling of being watched. Perhaps there was a camera, I do not know. I left the projector there and it's battery should last at least twenty minutes before it burns I could take the tape and just leave. It seems they did want money. Perhaps Stefana is not involved." She shrugged. "I cannot see her relinquishing the tape for mere cash."
"Perhaps it was a random attack." Sylva suggested, pushing open the door and allowing her friend inside. "But at least you got it back, that's what matters, right?"
"Right." Cynthia nodded her head. "I will return it to Ben. He said he should have destroyed it already, but that other things got in his way at work and he forgot. He will be glad to have it back safely, he was quite upset at the risk he had put me under."
"It wasn't his fault." Sylva pointed out. Cynthia smiled.
"I know, but he felt it was." She responded. "Ah well, it is over now. I have the tape safe here."
"Perhaps you should run a magnet along it, wipe it for good yourself?" Sylva suggested. Cynthia nodded.
"Ben told me to do the same." She agreed. "I thought that if you were to place it on my main processor, the magnetism there would quickly warp and destroy the film beyond retrieval."
"Then what are we waiting for? Let's go." Sylva dimpled. "Then we can put the whole thing behind us, right?"
"Right." Cynthia nodded. "And look forward instead to the broadcasting of the Public Eye."

Chapter One: Machinations
Chapter Two: Minx's Contact
Chapter Three: A Spy At Work
Chapter Four: A Bizarre Alliance
Chapter Five: Threat For Cynthia
Chapter Six: A Trap Is Set
Chapter Seven: An Unusual Morning
Chapter Eight: Investigation
Chapter Nine: Cynthia Breaks Down
Chapter Ten: Topaz's Plan
 Chapter Eleven: Crisis Point
Chapter Twelve: Nancy Remembers
Chapter Thirteen: The End

Copper, Nancy, Sylva, Anna, Blade, Raesha, Sirena, Topaz, Aaron, Sophie, Justin, Elliot, Rosita, Luis and any other characters in this fiction which do not appear in the animated Jem series are copyrighted to me (E.A Woolley) as of January 2002 <unless otherwise specified> and are not to be reproduced without permission ANYWHERE. Jetta, Pizzazz, Stormer, Roxy, Raya and all other original Jem characters are the copyright of Hasbro Inc, Sunbow, Christy Marx and the other writers of the Jem series. The future world of Pizzazz, Raya, Jetta, Roxy, Stormer, Clash, Synergy, the fate of Jem and her memorial are all copyrighted to me. The future world of Kimber and Shana is copyrighted jointly to myself and Gemma Dawn.
The concept of 'Jewel' is entirely my own, and any apparent link with any fictional or actual person or persons of this name is entirely coincidental. Equally the characters in this fiction are not based on any real life individual.
The concept behind the future world of Danse, Aja and Craig, the idea behind Jerrica's futureworld and the split of the Holograms is copyrighted to Gemma Dawn, whose Teenangel Outsiders fiction is directly twinned with Just a Dream. The character Sammi and any of the other Teenangel Outsider characters mentioned in this fiction are entirely copyright to Gemma Dawn and appear here only with her permission.
Pay her page a visit!
The concept of RayzaBlade is copyrighted to my sister Elena...^_^ (Yeah, blame her!)