A thick haze, accompanied by a high humidity, made for a miserable summer day. This July 4th was not unlike any other. The aroma of freshly grilled hamburgers tickled the senses of pedestrians. Childish laughter rang out as the rascals sped through the sprinklers eagerly. Shayne glimpsed at the scene through the lens of his highly advanced pupils and couldn't help but smile as he was returned to his own childhood. He could taste the tangy barbecue sauce of the pulled pork sandwiches his father made around this time of year. He vividly recalled the day he'd scraped his knee on the ground in this same park and his mother wrapped her tightly in his arms as he cried from the minor pain. These days his mother could barely stand being in the same building as him for more than a moment and his father had little contact with him since college. He sighed, realizing for once how much he truly missed his life before the drugs.
After taking the last few puffs off of a well rolled joint Shayne tossed it into the gutter. A woman walked by and sneered at Shayne before letting an overly exaggerated cough escape her lungs. Shayne glared at her for a long moment before placing his helmet over his head. "I hate people like that. I mean, if I had walked up to her and let a cloud of smoke waft across her face that's one thing. But the damn thing was in the sewers! I swear if I see her again I'm shoving motor oil down her throat. Then she'll have something to cough up." Shayne shook his head and took a seat on the bench in front of the bus stop. Today was the day that Ronald Waring, Chief of Operations in the Trenton, New Jersey branch of Starks Enterprises would present the Mjolnir variant of the Carrondium Armor to the other Chief's. Shayne was asked to accompany Ronald to and from the meeting to ensure his safety as well as that of the suit. Since it was the only prototype created, losing it would set them back about a year in progression. Shayne refused to be an escort at first until an offer for compensation was brought about. Another seventy-five thousand dollars would be transferred to him upon completion of the transport. He was scheduled to meet Ronald at the bust stop by Chambersburg Park at 1:00. It was now 1:15 and Shayne began to grumble, his patience waning rapidly.
"Well where is he AVA?" AVA, the Artificial Intelligence created by Ethan Starks, began dialing the number to the Ronald's Limo phone. The loud rings echoed through the helmet as Shayne paced back and forth. Children stared in awe as Shayne stood in his navy blue suit of armor. Small surges of power coursed about the suit, giving it a subtle glow that was only intensified by the sun's reflective rays. The black visor was the darkest part of the suit, its edges sunk behind the carrondium plates on the helmet giving the visor a V-cut in shape. Small blue tubes lie where the Shayne's ribs were and they expanded like lungs with each breath he took. "Hello?" Ronald chimed in. Shayne groaned before speaking. "Where are you? We have to be there in fifteen and I still want my pay whether or not you make it to the conference." Shayne spoke with a calm demeanor, though aggravated, he could not bring himself to scold the man who had given him everything and pulled him out of the deep hole he'd dug himself into. "Not to worry, I'm pulling up as we speak." Before the Chief finished his sentence a white and black stretch limo pulled up on the scene. Its engine roared awkwardly, alluding to a more powerful engine than what was standard with such a vehicle. Twin mufflers sat on each side of the vehicle and the back of ride sat very low to the ground. The sun roof peeled back and Ronald Waring's head popped out like a mole.
"How long were you here?" Shayne asked nonchalantly. "Oh about twenty minutes. You know, weed is illegal. You can't just smoke it out in the open like that." Shayne stepped inside the vehicle and took a seat across from Ronald, who was no longer positioned in the sun roof but in a seat of his own. two bottles of champagne sat in a bucket full of ice. Beside the bucket a tray with exquisite chalices stood untouched. "People like you can't smoke it out in the open. I on the other hand represent no one." Ronald grinned, pouring a glass for himself. "Starks Enterprises is emblazoned on your chest." Ronald offered Shayne a chalice but he shook his head quickly. "A minor stipulation. Still I don't represent you guys, you guys represent me." The car pulled to a stop. Shayne exited the vehicle on alert. Just by his stance you could tell that his entire demeanor had changed. "AVA I want you running constant scans for any biological or technological signatures approaching this area. Keep me up to date on the amount of bodies within a five foot radius of this building. I want heart rates, bioelectricity readings, the whole nine yards." Shayne HUD was altered, a multitude of information scrolled down the side as he and Ronald entered the building. "Detecting fifty five humans in the building. Thirty five female, twenty male, no younger than 35." The moment they entered the small one room building they were greeted by a man dressed in a police uniform. "Mr. Waring your seat is the 35th chair. The meeting will commence in one moment." Ronald sat down at the large round table, shaking hands with a fair skinned, blonde who sat beside him. The two exchanged a few hushed words, a giggle, then quieted down promptly. As Shayne's HUD passed over the individuals information about them began to pop up in front of him. "Damn AVA, how the hell do you know that girl is a D cup?"
One man stood up first, his seat was at the helm of the table. Shayne focused on him, gathering his information and storing it for later use. This guy was Chief of Operation in California. Albert Brennerman, was honored last week constructing a defense system strong enough to withstand an atom bomb from a 20 meter distance. Though most of the research was done by the Texas Branch, he was credited for its development. Obvious resentment for the man was ever present as Shayne's eyes shifted to the buxom blonde, Penelope Russell, who was the Chief of the Texas Branch. "Today, we have gathered to discuss the latest armor variant Mr. Waring has been constructing..."