Chapter 1: Birth

93 4 0
                                    

Tyler, a young, brown furred wolf, who wore a lab coat and a dark blue tie, was facing his scenic panic again, his hands trembled and his voice was broken. The intense white lights that illuminated the boardroom weren't of great help. "With all due respect..." He was standing before the long wooden desk where the shareholders of HexTech Incorporated were having their monthly meeting, sitting down with their attention on the numbers and the market studies they had over the desk instead of the words he was saying. "...Th...that's why I think this might not be a good idea, if you ask me." He looked at some members of the board of directors to see if anyone was listening, finding out only one was actually paying attention to him, the chief of the company, Hudson Brull, a black suited bear, same as his comrades at the desk, only that he was the only man in the room that was wearing a bow tie.

"You think you're smart, kid." Hudson took a sip of the drink he held with his left hand. "That only you and your brainy fellows know the consequences of this phase." The bear sighed and put his cup over the desk, getting his hands together and looking at him with a glare of disinterest. "Yes, uhm, Tommy, the b..."

"Tyler." The wolf had backed away a couple of steps, being unable to take more as his back was already against the wall. He lowered down his gaze. "S...sorry."

Hudson nodded. "Tyler, of course. As I was saying, the plan has already been approved by the majors, we have everything in rule."

Tyler had his next words ready, but he let them out with a hard hesitation. "That doesn't mean..." He gasped and suddenly stopped talking, fearing how Hudson or the other shareholders could react, as they had started to drive their complete attention to him. "I mean..." He pulled the neck of his lab coat slightly.

"Speak, youngling." Hudson said with a tone of simulated sympathy. "We are all ears."

Tyler gulped and took a deep breath, trying to reformulate what he was about to say. "Maybe they agreed, the majors, but...that changes nothing."

Hudson looked at him for a moment, then he stood up from his chair, standing on the same spot, with both hands over the table. "I know." His response made Tyler to raise his gaze and look at him. "The people of that area will have to move to our new colonies, as the services will no longer be supplied to theirs." Hudson raised an eyebrow. "Am I right? Or you have something more...technical?"

Tyler stood silent for a moment, with his eyes locked at the bear's. "No." He lowered his head once again. "That's...pretty much it."

Hudson smirked. "Good." He sat down and arranged some papers he had over his desk, reading their headings and checking some of their content. "Then I guess we're done here." He pointed at the documents that one of the other men had in front of him. "Hand me those..." He received them and compared them with the ones he was previously reviewing. "Thanks. Alright then, if we want to pay these contributions before the month ends, we sh..." He looked at Tyler again. "Anything else you want to say?"

Tyler turned towards the exit. "No, sir." He looked at the board for a last time. "I've finished."

Hudson nodded. "Fine, get back to work, then." He grabbed his cup again and took another sip. "Thanks for your...valuable opinion, Theodore."

Tyler resumed his way to the exit, the automatic doors opened and he got out of the meeting room, frowning when the doors closed behind him. He glanced at both sides of the dark hallway, which was dimly illuminated by white, spherical lights that were located on the sides of the ceiling, he had to turn right to return to the lab where he worked at in the company, but he decided to turn left and started to walk towards the exit at the end of the dark corridor, clenching his fists, looking at his own distorted reflection on the floor, which was made of black marble.

After exiting the building, he got inside his car, blue and with a modern yet old look for the city's standards, as almost ten years had passed since he bought it, but it still worked as new as he had always been very careful with his stuff. He pressed the car's start button and left the place.

He was focused on the street, the signals, the turns and the people, but he was also in his mind, dealing with his emotions, which were too present to let go. The way home felt particularly brief for Tyler, as in a blink he was already in the same scene he had been living for the last two weeks. A tired, anguished face in the mirror of his bathroom, his hands pressing the wood around the sink tightly, rubbing his teeth constantly and his breathing getting increasingly fast and irregular. With his trembling hand, he took off his glasses and put them next to the sink. He didn't get his sight off his own eyes, he remained that way for a long moment, then like a sudden lightning, he let out a scream of anger and desperation, at himself, at his boss, at the company, at the city and the people that accepted HexTech's abusive decisions, he punched the mirror and broke it in several pieces, some of them fell over the sink and others stood on the wall. He gasped while raising his hand, it was bleeding through many cuts, some deeper than the others, with pain and effort he closed his fist and with his good hand opened the faucet handle for cold water, he rapidly put his bruised hand against the water, the mix of red and white foam stopped forming after about a minute, but he didn't move his hand away from there, his gaze was lost on the water traveling over the fur of his hand. He took some toilet paper and wrapped it around his hand, leaving the water running, he sat down on the floor and rested his back on the wall, glancing at the drops of blood that had permanently stained his lab coat, not paying much attention to it. He then glared back at his hand, some blood still went through the paper's thin fibers, he squeezed it with his other hand and then lowered his head, closing his eyes while listening to the falling water.

Tyler started to cry, slowly and calmly at first, but then the sorrow and the guilt got deeper, the tears grew in number and his sobs sounded louder, the noise of his own lament invaded his ears, the bathroom's echo accentuated the sadness he was expressing, he felt the drips of blood going down his arm as his hand was facing the ceiling. That was the night when Tyler decided to do something, not just about HexTech, but about himself, as he thought he had to take actions. Radical actions.

Agent 23 [A Cyberspace Protection Force Spin-Off]Where stories live. Discover now