Gwyn, The Story Teller, Presents . . .
*This story content is her
sole property and is not for distribution*
*Some of the character names
are the property of J. Michael Straczynski, Warner Brothers and TNT and
we are using them only for entertainment purposes.*
Garibaldi swore again and strained against the silk
ties which bound his hands and feet. He couldn't believe he had been
caught. It had been a dirty, filthy, Suits trap, and he had walked
right into it. So here he was, tied to his own explosive device while
six Suits looked on maliciously. The suits were arguing among themselves
as to whether they should kill Garibaldi before they detonated the bomb,
or let him be blown up alive, when a secretary entered the room with a
"Coffee, gentlemen?" she asked brightly. A
few moments later the Suits lay scattered about the room. The secretary
retracted her fighting pike and untied Garibaldi.
"Who the hell are you?" Garibaldi asked, caught
between admiration for her skill and irritation at the interference.
After all, he would have freed himself eventually.
"Talia Malloy, Sterminex International, Inc., Tracking
Division. And you," she said, eyeing the explosive device, "must
be Mr. Garibaldi. I came to find you."
"I appreciate your help back there," Garibaldi grudgingly
acknowledged later, as they sat over coffee in a small cafe.
"It was nothing. Besides, you do impressive
work. 34 suits a day is quite a record - a little high on the number
of innocent bystanders for my taste, but still . . . we can't afford to
"Sterminex. We're an international organization
that works to control Suit activity and eliminate those Suits which don't
do what we want. I'm from the Tracking Division, and for the past
three years, there's been a substantial increase in the number of Suits
coming and going from the TNT headquarters. Suits from companies
such as Daewoo, McDonald's, AT&T, Nabisco, even Microsoft, and they
don't consort with just anybody. My point is this - the Suits we've
been tracking don't have any ties to TNT or television, so what are they
up to? We know its some thing big, but we don't know how big.
And we need to find out."
"And you are asking me to help?"
"Yes. I've been sent to find out what is up,
but I never worked this area before. I don't know the territory.
But you do. You can get me where I need to be, and more importantly,
you can get me back out. You'll be compensated for your help, any
weapons or components you need while working with me are provided by Sterminex,
and if we don't like what we discover, you get to blow up a whole airplane
of Suits. Is it a deal?"
Garibaldi thought it over, did the calculations
in his head, and then nodded.
"Ms. Malloy, I think we have a deal. One question,
though. How did you know I was in trouble?"
"I was in the lobby of the building when some British
guy with a bucket on his head came running up and told me that the Suits
were getting ready to kill someone. He must have been a custodian
or some thing, but I didn't stay to find out. I didn't know who I
was rescuing until I saw the bomb, and recognized it from some photos I'd
scene in the Sterminex archives. As I said before, you do nice work."
"Ow! Geeze! Careful!" Talia hissed as Garibaldi
boosted her up too quickly and rammed her stomach against the edge of the
ventilation duct. Garibaldi rolled his eyes and shoved harder.
She was going to owe him big time for this. Talia's feet disappeared
inside the duct and her face appeared over the edge.
"I'm in. Hand up the equipment, will you?"
"I still don't see why we don't just kidnap a couple
of the Suits and interrogate them. Same information, less trouble!"
"We can't take the risk! It might alert the
others. Besides, you're getting paid to work my way, so stop fussing."
What exactly is in those air ducts, anyway?"
"The access wires to the TNT's central computer
system. They figured if they put them up here, people would be less
likely to hack directly into the system."
"Why don't you just get in through an office terminal?
It's a lot easier than directly linking into the system."
"Because if we do it this way, we can rig it up
so that the computer thinks it's dealing with an internal systems component.
We get free access to everything, and don't have to deal with passwords.
That the last of the equipment? Good."
Garibaldi kept watch in the hall as Talia worked
inside the duct.
"Garibaldi? Do you know anything about computers?"
"Some. Why?" Garibaldi replied, just
as the sprinkler system inside the building whirred to life.
"Talia, my fee is going up by the hour! What
have you done to this?" The two of them were wedged in the air duct
with an array of computer equipment. Garibaldi looked in despair
at the tangle of wires.
"Garibaldi, I'm a tracker! I hack airlines,
travel agencies, cab companies. Multi-systems like this are a little
out of my league!"
"Next time, tell me that before you set off the
"Look, I've already apologized! Just tell
me if you can fix it."
"Yeah, probably, but it's going to take some time.
Hand me those pliers," he said.
Several hours later the two were sitting in
Garibaldi's living room surrounded by Talia's computer equipment.
"Now you're sure you can handle this?" Garibaldi
asked dryly. Talia ignored the comment, and dropped the hard drive
into place. She flipped the power switch, and the computer began
"We have contact! Hand me that disk.
This is a Sterminex file list for TNT. We simply ask the computer
to search for any files in the downloaded hard drive that are not on the
disk." Talia typed in a few commands, and the computer began searching.
"How long is this going to take?" Garibaldi
"Can't say exactly, but at least an hour.
It's a big list. In the mean time, I intend to take a nap."
Garibaldi shook his head after he watched her go.
She was irritating in the extreme. He now remembered why he didn't
work with partners. Well, she could sleep all she wanted. He
was going to get some breakfast.
"Talia! Wake up!" he cried a few hours later.
Talia simultaneously jumped out bed and extended her pike.
"Talia, put that thing away!"
"Sorry! Just instinct. What time is
it?" she yawned.
"Just past noon. Come here, you've got to
Talia followed Garibaldi out to the living room,
where print-outs were scattered about underneath doughnut crumbs.
"I found out what the Suits are up to. They're
planning a global corporate take-over, and TNT is at the top of it.
They're planning to control every thing! Food, currency, television,
Internet! Governments will remain, but only for show."
"My God," Talia breathed as she examined the
print-outs. "They must have been planning this for years!"
"At least eight, and the final take-over isn't going
to happen for another five. They've drawn up a five year plan of
action, which they plan to implement this January."
"Garibaldi, we have to stop them!"
"Yes, we do."
"Are you sure you're okay with this, Talia?" Garibaldi
asked the next morning as he carefully constructed the detonation mechanism.
They had come up with a plan the night before, and were setting it in motion.
"Yes. I've just never killed this many Suits
before. It's a bit unnerving."
"First time always is."
"You're sure the bomb won't explode until the plane
is in the air?" she asked.
"I'm sure! Don't worry, I'm not going to blow
up the airport! The only damage will be from falling debris, and
most of that should be small enough not to cause too much damage.
Trust me on this! Now you're sure that we've got the right plane?"
"Yes. All the international Suits are taking
this plane to New York. They were going to catch connector flights
"Well, they don't have to worry about that now,
do they? You leave the plane to me. I'm counting on you to
take down the building."
"I know. As soon as you detonate the plane,
I go into the main conference room and take out the TNT execs. The
rest of the Suits are to be detained for Sterminex."
"I still think we should kill them all!"
Talia began to protest, and Garibaldi halted her.
"I know! I know! I agreed to the deal!
And I'll keep my word, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I
can handle things from here. You'd better get going. It's a
long trip across town."
"Good luck, Garibaldi."
"Don't need it, Talia. Luck is chancy, and
I don't like taking chances."
Garibaldi was worried, and he didn't like being
worried. His half of the plan had been executed flawlessly, but he
hadn't heard from Talia yet. And that worried him. So he slipped
carefully through the hallways of TNT's headquarters, which seemed strangely
quiet. In fact, the building seemed deserted. This worried
him even more.
He found the conference room, and there he found
Talia, tied and gagged and trying desperately to escape. She wasn't
succeeding, and blood stained her right sleeve.
"Talia! What happened?" he asked, hurrying
"They shot me right as I came in! They knew
who I was, and they knew I was coming! They're planning to blow the
building, Garibaldi! We have to get out of here!"
"Do you know where the bomb is?"
"No! And I don't know how much time is left
"Then lets not waste any more! Tell me what
happened on the way out!" he said as the two began running through
"They shot me down in the lobby, carried me up to
the conference room, then escaped onto the roof. They must have had
helicopters waiting. I can't believe I was such an idiot!"
"Don't worry. Happens to the best of us!"
They were out on the street by this time. "Helicopters, huh?
Like those?" he asked, pointing up. Three commercial helicopters
hovered above the building. "I guess they wanted to watch the show.
Listen, Talia, evacuate the surrounding buildings. I'll take care
of the Suits. Okay? Go!"
Garibaldi went to the trunk of his car and pulled
out a very large shot gun. An old fashioned, rather inelegant weapon,
but a clear shot into the fuel tanks and those helicopters would be toast.
He raced up to the stairs of the building next to the TNT headquarters,
trying to get to the roof. Damn skyscrapers! he thought as
he ran. He hoped Talia was able to get the other buildings clear.
Once on the roof, he took careful aim, and fired.
One helicopter went up in flames, and the other began pulling away.
He fired a second time, and the force of the blast knocked him over as
both the helicopter and the TNT building exploded in a shower of debris.
The third helicopter was too far away to get a clear shot. He let
loose a string of angry curses.
Back on the street, he met up with Talia.
"Did you get them?" she asked.
"All but one."
"Well that's something at least. I can't believe
this has happened. What went wrong?" she asked.
"There must be a leak somewhere. That's the
only way they could have known you were coming. But it doesn't matter.
We'll get them next time."
"No. There can't be a 'we'. If there
is a leak in Sterminex, we're going to need as many independents like yourself
as we can get. People outside the loop, whose plans Sterminex doesn't
know. You don't belong with Sterminex - I do. But I appreciate
the offer. I was beginning to think I annoyed you."
"Well, you do, but hey? What can I say?
You definitely make life interesting."
"Thanks, Garibaldi. And thanks for saving
"I owed you one. After all, you did save mine."
"So we're even then?"
"Not quite. You still owe me a hefty fee,
plus a replacement charge for the clothes you ruined by setting off the
"Are you ever going to let me forget that?"
"No." Garibaldi laughed as Talia pulled a
face. "Come on, let's get your arm looked at. I'll take you
Will the surviving suits
take revenge on Garibaldi? Is there a leak in Sterminex? All
remains to be seen . . . on
to the next part of the Booji Followers' story