A Word of Caution

Welcome to the realm of the Unseelie Court. Feel free to wander and browse, but know that the content you will find here is not for the faint of heart. The visions portrayed are often darkly erotic, even disturbing, and should be traversed only by those with the appropriate character and mental age.

You have been warned.



Chapter 10 – Fail Safe

“So, your mom bought the whole ‘burglar’ thing?” Asked Shara as they snuggled together, sitting back on her bed. Ethan was admiring the leather steampunk corset that she was wearing, thinking it did devilish things to her breasts.

“Oh sure. It certainly helped when I told her that I wasn’t home because I was out on a ‘date’ with the cute girl next door. Don’t be surprised if she starts crying on your shoulder in happiness the next time she sees you. What about your mom and dad? They should be back any time now, right?”

“My pop left a message that they were delayed in Austin until  tomorrow earliest, so we have at least one more day to have unrestricted, unsupervised fun.”

“I’m sorry that our first date out together was locked in the back of a van, and almost got us both killed.”

She grinned. “Are you kidding? I haven’t had such a good time out in ages! How often do you get to save the world from an evil government plot, handle deadly firearms, and have more sex in a single day than you can literally handle?”

He took her hands, examining the wrists. There were some pretty nasty looking contusions where the handcuffs bit into her skin, but they were otherwise, okay.

“Relax.” She urged, placing a hand on his cheek. “I’m fine. Really.”

“And your computers?”

Kinter’s team had confiscated a lot of her hardware, and neither of them had any plans to go to the warehouse and ask for it back.

“Oh, that… well, as it turns out, replacements are already on their way.”

Ethan was stunned.

“Uh, not to be insensitive here… I knew you were pretty well off, but you had some really impressive stuff that must have cost a good chunk of change. Not to mention all the information you must have lost.”

“Nope. I actually didn’t lose a thing.”

He frowned in confusion. “Okay, I guess you’re going to have spell it out for the low-tech guy…”

She giggled and scooted off the bed, dragging him with her. “Over here, come see.”

She took him to the far corner of her room where there was a wooden panel with a little brass knob. She slid the panel upwards, revealing a square conduit extending down into the darkness.

“When the house was originally built, this was a dumb-waiter to the cellar. As a kid, I used it as a laundry chute to the basement, and when my folks added the laundry room to the first floor, they said I could have it for my own purposes. Do me a favor and turn on that wall lamp over there.” She pointed to a small victorian style lighting fixture that was affixed nearby. It had a little pull chain, which he grasped and gave a light tug. At first, nothing seemed to happen, but then he heard a quiet humming from the shaft. Stepping closer, he looked inside just in time to see a platform rising up on rails and cables mounted to either side of the shaft. When the platform was level with the panel opening, the motor stopped. Sitting just inside was her laptop and another square device.

“When it became obvious that we were in danger of being found out, I initiated a full wipe of all my gear save for this one drive and the laptop. Normally, this baby just sits in here and stores all my personal stuff that I can’t afford to lose. I have long term backups elsewhere for the rest – programs and whatnot. So on the way out I tossed the laptop in there and sent the whole thing down to a self locking hole in the basement floor. It’s not a vault or anything, but unless you knew how to get it out of there, it would take some serious physical effort and a whole lot of time to recover. Nifty, yes?”

“Freaking awesome! Er… that still doesn’t explain how you’re paying for new gear though.”

“Yeah, well that was courtesy of an uncle.”

“You have a rich uncle too?” He was thinking how he had gotten his own, now missing, laptop.

She bowed her head a little, holding his eyes. “Uncle Sam…”

It took him a moment, but when things finally clicked, his jaw dropped. “You didn’t just pay, Kinter, did you! Holy shit!”

“Hey, that money was already slated for black ops the government had no business getting involved in. The hell if I’m going to let them repurpose it and try again.”

He blinked. “It’s frustrating how often you’re right, and just a little scary. Uh, how much are we talking about?”

“Do you really want to know?”

“On second thought, maybe not…”

She led him back to the bed. “Well, let’s just say that the interest I generate this month will more than pay for my new tech toys.”


“Now, to more important things. I seem to recall a conversation about making sexy movies…”

His eyes got wide as she pulled on the strings of the corset, slowly loosening the garment.

“My laptop is right over there. Do you feel like recording something posterior?”

“Uh, don’t you mean ‘record something for posterity’?”

“I spoke most carefully…” She was setting the leather garment aside and working on the buttons of her shirt. Getting a clue, he started removing his own clothing, albeit a bit faster.

“Heh, too bad we don’t have that music file anymore. Could make for an interesting evening.”

She paused in mid-button. “About that…”

“Shara?” he prompted, tentatively. “Spill it.”

“Well, remember when I was setting up Grain’s computers to erase themselves?”


She was biting her lip. “I might have also been copying some of her project files over to the flash drive that was sitting there.”

“The flash… And just how many of her files do you think you  got?”

“Pertaining to the work of the late Dr. Mason?”

He nodded.

“Um… all of them?”

He boggled at her. “How?…”

“Hey, it’s a big drive! I’m not even sure it’s commercially available tech. Probably not, given the source.”


“I couldn’t resist, Ethan. That work was absolute genius. To simply throw it away would be unthinkable, and it’s not like I plan on assassinating anyone or something.”

“Shara…” He said, trying unsuccessfully to interrupt her.

“I mean, there are all sorts of completely benign uses for something like that. Once your mind is in sync, you could insert a track for anti-depression, or confidence, or maybe even just general calm, though the sexual uses certainly shouldn’t be overlooked.”

He sighed.

“Just think what you would do for male impotency!” She looked down. “Not that that’s a problem, apparently…”

“Alright, alright… You’ve convinced me. Now, do you want to get your laptop?” He asked, pealing her shirt over her shoulders as she slipped his jeans off.

“Maybe later. Right now, I want you all to myself.”

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