CHAPTER 1: BREAKOUT
The thief didn’t try to be stealthy, it was in his blood. In the fine art of purloining, Jack was the best in his business, so good he didn’t steal for himself anymore, industrial espionage paid him well enough as a larcenist for hire.
He had started old school, mentored in the crafts of lock picking, safe cracking and agile roof jumping by Jim Sliphands himself. Now, in the digital age Jack had adapted and surpassed his master, dextrous in the methods of fingerprint manipulation, retina falsification and passcode hijacking necessary to crack millennial security systems.
When he heard the target of his latest commission Jack had laughed, but kept his smile on the inside, such billionaire clients were eccentric in their desires, but their money was not to be scoffed at. The customer was always right, even when they were wrong.
The Arcane Developments building was a nondescript concrete, steel and glass block in a woodland estate. It was easy for Jack to gain admission via the bored security guard’s sleepy entry code, and likewise a straightforward affair, using fake prints and false contacts to navigate the various corridors, doors and underground lift to where the prize was located.
As the final door hushed open, Jack entered the darkened room, and gasped as the automatic lights flickered on to reveal the object of desire he was so well paid to attain. In a glass box, in the middle of a hangar sized room, stood a unicorn. A proudly muscled white horse, with a sharpened horn protruding from its forehead. He had expected a crystal replica, not a living, breathing, snorting animal. It was real. It was beautiful.
Ah well. Jack exhaled. He would have to walk it out, then make a break for the woods with the creature. Not what he expected, but he was, if nothing, adaptable. That was why he was the best. He waved a hand over the keypad, the room’s retina analysis registered his false ID, and the glass door of the cage slid smoothly open.
“Well, do you want a carrot?” Jack said to the mythical equine. The horse stared down at him, and a ball of rage stirred within its hypnotic orb.
Within seconds, Jack realised his mistake, he turned to run, but was too slow. Head lowered, it charged, skewering the thief with deadly accuracy through his rectum with the pointed horn. Jack screamed in white hot agony, before that noise was stifled as the horse’s mind coursed through his system, shutting down his vocal chords, controlling his bodily functions as a puppeteer.
Calmly, the unicorn trotted forward, raising Jack’s hand to open the hangar door and exiting the prison for the sleek corridor. It knew where it was going. Jack bobbed up and down on the spike, unable to yell, paralysed save for the animal’s occasional nod as it manoeuvred the marionette man through the various hi-tech doors necessary for freedom.
Impaled in equine torture as the lift glided softly to the surface, the thrum of calypso Mozart piped through the speakers, Jack could hear the beast’s thoughts. It knew everything, it understood, it was stronger, wiser than he, but most of all, it was angry. A rising inferno of hatred ran through it’s veins and spunked out through Jack as life ebbed from him. It wanted revenge, it would paint the world red, Jack would be but the first.
The lift rose to the ground, the doors opened, and the unicorn broke into a gallop. Charging past the shocked guard, it leapt at speed through the glass entrance, Jack a boggle eyed battering ram at it’s head. A thousand crystal splinters erupted around them as the animal broke out the building, running for the trees. With a casual neigh and flick of it’s head Jack was tossed free of the horn, flung into the air and landed in a splatter of crunching bones on the concrete.
Within seconds the animal was into the darkness of the woods, leaving a broken facade, a screaming thief and a stunned guard in its wake. However, as Jack drowned in the pool of guts that vomited out his rectum, he realised the mission was still accomplished. He was dying, but not a failure.
The beast was free.