by David Martin
Part two of the Inception story, which depicts the genesis of the hero, the Grey Squirrel.
On a cold and windy December night, with clouds dispersed lightly around a large, silvery moon, the soft moon rays slightly touch the top of Lexicon Enterprises. The front entrance main dome lights of this massive building shine an azure light, as if frowning against the incessant battery of the wind. Somewhere within the dark complex, a solitary desk light plays upon an office window, as a subtle reminder of someone’s presence and simultaneously warning for this person to be left alone. Within this office, Scott Wilson sits in a pensive pose, his mind preoccupied with the current state of affairs. He reaches under his desk to his favorite hiding spot, and pulls out a bottle of whiskey, which previously sported a label and was torn off by this consumer. He pours himself a drink into an empty glass, half full, and sets the bottle down on the desk in front of him, on top of a piece of paper that is the manifest for this shipment. With his left hand, he picks up the glass and proceeds to swish the drink as if it were wine, since his thoughts are brooding around the arrival of the strange shipment. He glances over at a picture of his family, and instantly chugs the entirety of his drink. He sets the glass down, pours himself another drink, and places the bottle back on top of the piece of paper. With his right hand, he pulls out his cell phone from his pocket and makes an important phone call.
While the airwaves connect Scott and Martin with the “suit mystery”, at 11:00 p.m. of the same night, on the rooftop of a ten-story building, which is slightly encrusted with snow, the scuttling of a rodent is seen when suddenly, the rodent flees and the steel beneath the snow feels the snap of sharp wind as the Neurotic Bunny lands feet flat in the exact spot where the rodent occupied. The Neurotic Bunny sprints into motion and leaps from the roof altogether, suspended for a moment between the force of his jump and the pull of gravity, and with a serious and concentrated expression on his face, lands on the roof of a smaller building and rolls to absorb the shock. He stands immediately and continues sprinting across the roof to the opposing edge, and with his quadriceps taut to the point of straining the fibers of his pants, springs into a mighty leap that lands him on the strongest point of a light pole, to which he reverberates his body using his legs off of the pole to land with a striking thud onto pavement. At this point, the Neurotic Bunny has landed in the parking lot of Terra Firma. He gives himself a moment to look upon the bar’s entrance, swells his chest to intake as much air as he can and rushes forward to enter the bar.
To his surprise, he exhales when he takes a look around, since the bar is filled with patrons, especially soon after a murder took place. He walks up to a newly hired bartender who asks him nervously if he would like a drink. The Neurotic Bunny asks where Tera is, and the response is sullen and strangely vague, and the room suddenly turns quiet. The bartender begins to perspire, to which the Neurotic Bunny’s heightened sense of smell registers, informing him that the bartender is lying about Tera’s whereabouts. He ignores the awkwardness, pays for a drink and follows his sense of smell to a door around the left side of the counter. He continues to smell a faint yet recognizable carbon and aluminum alloy mixed with oil. He slowly paces himself up a flight of stairs, with the lingering smell becoming more pungent as he ascends to the second floor, which houses the living quarters of Tera. He overhears shuffling and small thud noises as he approaches a nondescript wooden door.
He turns the handle slowly and pushes against the door, opening it as quietly as possible. When the door reaches halfway, it produces a creaking noise and the shuffling stops. The Neurotic Bunny enters the room and positions himself into a fighting stance. He notices that the room is in shambles; the bed is overturned, a night-lamp is turned on and laying on its side, which illuminates a cluttered floor of papers, books and debris. Suddenly, a high intensity discharge of light blue light flashes on the Neurotic Bunny’s face, illuminating a surprised visage that turns back into one of serious concentration. The flashlight wielder walks forward and the lights of the room turn on, revealing the Neurotic Bunny in a fighting stance and three mobsters. The flashlight wielder tries to hide his surprise with a smile, and devises a plan to set up a meeting with Marino and the Neurotic Bunny by explaining that the mafia holds Tera hostage, with further threats that his identity will be disclosed. Marc grits his teeth and accepts, sideswiping with a singular term that allows him to make his way to the Marino mansion of his own accord. The mobsters laugh and accept, to which the Neurotic Bunny smiles, then crouches and springs toward them as if to attack, jumping forward to a window behind the gangsters. The crash through the window knocks the mobsters backward, and the Neurotic Bunny glides on the momentum of his jump to land on pavement once more, engaging in successive hops to the street and beyond.
Approximately thirty minutes later, Martin parks his SUV behind Lexicon Enterprises near a small employee access door, as per Scott’s instructions. A camera swivels to focus on Martin as he exits his vehicle and walks towards the door. An electronic security lock opens almost immediately as Martin’s hand touches the doorknob, allowing Martin access to the building. He steps inside, and as the door closes dome lights flicker to life on opposite sides of the roof, lining the hallway which is furnished with modern office decor. The lighting stays dim however, as Martin walks down the hallway to another door with a keypad. As Martin’s hand reaches out to touch the keypad, a hand reaches out from the darkness and Scott’s face appears, almost disembodied with an index finger pressed against his lips. While holding Martin’s hand with his right, his left hand punches in the key code “7 7 7 7” and the door unlocks with a slight swishing sound.
The both of them step into this next room, which happens to be the receiving-dock portion of Lexicon enterprises. Scott locks the door and releases Martin’s hand free from his grasp. He offers Martin an apology, and explains that his quirky behavior is due to the seriousness of the matter at hand, which involves a level of secrecy as well. Martin is perplexed, and follows Scott down a flight of stairs to the ground level of the receiving dock. The two of them walk up to the container, and Scott presses the button to reveal the suit inside. Both Martin and Scott observe the suit, which is well lit with background lights of a bluish-purplish tinge, and Scott accounts his story of the encounter with this shipment. Martin fails to offer anything substantial to the dialogue while his thoughts center on the impending mafia turf war, the possibility of military intervention and potential corruption, tuning out Scott while he is speaking about the banalities of his story. Martin shakes Scott’s hand, and explains that he will bring the suit to the appropriate authorities. Scott and Martin haul the container to Martin’s SUV, which is seen from the point of view of a camera within the receiving area. Martin drives away from the building, and on the road he thinks about his anxiety with his career due to his exploits in aiding Marc. He continuously glances at the suit in his rear-view mirror while driving on a busy street.
As Martin is preoccupied with his thoughts, he notices an amber flashing orb of light from the cabin window of a truck on the opposite side of the road. All of a sudden, the truck and trailer jackknife into his lane, knocking vehicles off to the side of the road and steadily approaching Martin’s SUV. He responds by swerving to the left, then to the right, to slow down his momentum and manages to skid to a stop with the front of his vehicle touching the trailer. He shakes off his fear of brushing close with death, and shakily steps out of his vehicle. He looks at the truck and notices an older gentleman stepping down from the door, with an eerie pulsating light behind him from within the cabin. Martin notices the man’s garb is a white top and black pants, and suddenly he smiles and extends his hand to Martin, who refuses by simply not acknowledging it. Martin begins to ask questions about the man’s current state of being, to which the gentleman responds that he is well and that it is impossible for him to be physically hurt. The gentleman explains that his name is Andy, and his mannerisms are quirky, eccentric and exaggerated, and leave traces of light that mirror retina burn in his movements. Martin looks around the vicinity and notices that movement or people are non-existent. As this puzzles him, he begins to ask further questions, with a consistent perplexed look, to which he expresses his surprise to the answers given to him. The man explains that the suit was delivered by him, necessarily so, even though it belongs to the military. He mentions that he is chosen to don the suit, for the protection of his identity and for a greater purpose. Martin responds with an angry expression and refuses to believe in “magic”, and turns around to go back to his vehicle. As he steps in and reaches for his CB radio, there is a strong white light that blinds him from his surroundings, and it disappears as suddenly as its onset. When his vision clears, he finds himself back on the street at a dead stop, with traffic compiling behind his SUV accompanied by car horns and angry shouting. Martin believes that he is hallucinating and decides to drive home as quickly as he can.
Several hours later, Martin plops down into a gray beanbag chair to relax and reaches with his right hand to a small table where a glass cup waits for him. This is a drink he fashions to help him relax with his chemical engineering background, and he listens to the CB radio for a short while every night before he sleeps. The lighting is low and a soft white glow emanates from three lamps in his ultramodern condominium. He looks over at the cylinder that houses the suit, which is resting against the corner of the room. He closes his eyes after sipping his drink and allows the radio broadcast into his mind as the singular focus to his surroundings. Meanwhile, outside of his department, a similar glowing orb zips through the air and stops near the balcony of Martin’s place. Martin hears a distortion from the radio and opens his eyes, perplexed at this occurrence and attempts to remedy the situation by playing with the dial. Through the distortion he hears Mafioso speech and diction, and while listening intently he learns that the Neurotic Bunny’s life is in jeopardy since there is a plan to kill the vigilante, to which he expresses surprise. Outside on the balcony, the orb begins to implode, and with a sharp burst disappears, temporarily disabling all light sources around the condominium complex and surrounding neighborhoods.
Back at the condominium apartment, Martin sits in a pose that mirrors Rodin’s thinking man, which Martin looks at briefly on the kitchen counter, and decides in his head to downplay the distortion as a mere coincidence. Martin thinks about how he lacks a family structure, and how Marc resembles the closest to family that he understands as such. He stands up and picks up his police badge, and changes his thoughts to his career and how he has helped Marc in the not to distant past; while thinking about this, he looks at himself in the mirror and wonders about what he experienced and questions it in terms of making a life change. He walks over to a small aquarium container filled with sand, placing his face close to the glass, with both palms supporting his head. He asks aloud: “Hey Peter, I was wondering. What would you do in this scenario: my best friend who is also my family is in danger. I have no one else that I can turn to, and Marc has always been there for me. By this logic, I should return the favor, no? I can’t think of anyone who wants bad karma, and like I said, he’s family.” The spider slowly moves forward and pounces its prey, which was hidden behind a rock. Martin’s eyes pop open in surprise, and he says, “Thanks Pete!” and he turns around, drops the badge on the floor, and walks over to the container with the suit, and presses the button to open up the content. When the container reveals the suit, Martin stands and stares for a while, not thinking or saying a word. Suspended in this moment, he breaks the silence by claiming out loud: “The military can’t help him. The police can’t help him. No one can see it the vigilante way. Blood runs thicker than water.” Slowly he reaches towards the suit.
Piece by piece, he fashions himself into the suit, and he slides the mask on over his face and head, until the magnet at the back snaps into place. He feels a surge of energy and hears a slight humming noise as the suit connects to his body via nodes, and a display shows up within the eyepieces of the mask. The readout depicts his vitals and bodily characteristics numerically, and notices that his vision is adjusted in the mask to the dimly lit room. He feels lighter, as if the weight of the world lifts itself off of him and his breathing relaxes. After a quick flurry of movements with his arms, he looks down at the suit, then at himself in the mirror. The suit is grey in color, with black and azure nodes at major muscle points on his body. The mask is skin tight with teardrop eyepieces that slightly resemble an acorn shape, are black in color and have a dark grey border around each eye. The mask also has two 'ears', which are small and pointed at the tip and sit on the upper-back area of the skull; also, a small 'nose' sits around the nose and upper-lip area of Martin's face, and both the nose and ears act as auditory instruments for environment readouts and martial capability, and both possess a dark grey color. On both of his forearms, two small vents are noticeable and have a connection to a respective node.
After a moment, he glances away and begins to test the functionality of his suit. He raises his right hand points with a fist to a dresser, to which two small vents open up and with a “thwoomp” sound the furniture bursts apart into small pieces, as if ripped to shreds by a whiff of grapeshot, which shoot out like tiny light blue pellets made up completely of condensed light particles. He looks down at his hand in disbelief, and walks up to the dresser to inspect it. The sight pleases him, and he drops into a crouch and springs back the way he walks, exploding into a flurry of 'muay thai' knees and elbows, moving at an alarming rate that he knocks himself to the ground. He stands up while laughing at himself, and walks up to a barren wall within his apartment. He looks down on his suit again, and the electronic readout in his eyepiece depicts retractable claws. Martin activates this function, and the claws spring out of the front of the boots, eight on each foot, with a sharp and distinct ‘cling’ noise. Slowly, he begins to scale the wall, foot by foot, until his body lacks the room to continue up. He somersaults backwards, removing the claws from the wall by detracting them back into his boots, and lands on his feet.
Martin feels satisfaction with the functions of his suit, and he realizes that it will present an edge in helping to rescue his dear friend. Standing in the middle of his condominium apartment again, he looks over at the entrance door and shakes his head, changing his mind for his exit point, and looks to the balcony. As he heads over, he looks down and to his right and notices the police badge on the floor; slowly, he crouches down and picks up the police badge, cradling it with both of his hands, and thinks to himself that he is stupid for what he chooses to do. With his left hand, he throws the badge into the suit’s container, and runs out onto the balcony. He looks to his left, retracts the boot claws once more, and hops up onto the ledge, which overlooks the city from eleven stories high. He swings his right leg and foot around, and digs the claws into the stucco wall of the condominium building. He repeats this with this left leg and foot, and scales the wall down, similar to a mountain climber coming back down with a rope, except for the use of jumping for momentum. When he reaches the second floor, he turns his body around, detracts the claws and jumps away from the building into a somersault, lands on the ground and tucks in his legs to perform a roll, and stands up vertically and stops. The thrill he experiences overwhelms him, since he never felt this sort of freedom before. To finish his joy ride, he jumps up and backwards into a somersault, to land back on the ground in a crouch, with his right leg extended out and to the side, with both hands and palms touching the ground.
He looks to his surroundings and notices that the neighborhood lacks power, since all lighting sources are off. The next block over however is well lit, and Martin realizes that his search for the Neurotic Bunny begins there, since the locale boasts an infamous Mafioso restaurant. Using the darkness and twilight of the night, Martin blends with his surroundings while swiftly moving on foot down the street. He climbs up the side of a suburban dwelling, deftly lifting his body onto the roof, and rewards himself with a full view of the restaurant. He jumps off of the roof, somersaults, and lands on the roof of another house, and repeats this movement onto one other house until he jumps off the roof and lands on the ground. He runs up to a twelve-foot high fence that demarcates the residential and commercial use of land, and uses his claws to climb the fence to the top. He jumps from the height, lands on the ground into another roll and runs up behind the establishment. A door swings open, nearly four feet away from Martin, and an obese cook lights up a cigarette for his break. Martin sneaks up behind him, and elbows him at the back of the head, temporarily knocking out the chef. He swiftly runs inside, drops into a crouch and moves forward slowly down the galley-like hallway. He takes a right turn, and a Mafioso almost walks into Martin as he crouch-walks stealthily in the corridor. Martin immediately jumps up and knees him in the throat, dispatching the burly gangster, however it causes a commotion and voices of surprise cry out from behind a door.
Martin realizes that his martial encounter diminishes his cover, so he quickly runs up to the door, which opens immediately as he approaches. The surprised gangster receives a strong straight ‘teeping’ kick to the chest that sends him flying backwards, to crash into a table where several gangsters place bets during a poker game. Martin enters the room slowly to allow for the novelty of the suit and the action it produced to intimidate the gangsters. They all wear expressions of surprise, and one of them asks whom Martin is ‘supposed to be’. Martin points to the gangster with his index finger and asks about the location of the Marino headquarters. One of the gangsters laughs and remarks that it must be the ‘squirrel-man’ from the TV, to which Martin responds by grabbing the pudgy man with both of his hands near his collar, turning around 360 degrees and throwing the man into a wall. Martin reiterates the question to the mobsters, whom cower in terror at Martin…. – meanwhile --, at the Marino mansion the Neurotic Bunny’s face features cuts, blood and bruising while he sits tied in a chair in the middle of the room, recently beaten by mobsters. The barren room he sits in is dimly lit, with orange wall paint and an opaque floor that contains pools of the Neurotic Bunny’s blood. Marc’s head tilts forward, oozing some more of his blood out of his nose, when a door opens and the silhouette of an extremely large figure remarks on the gruesome sight of the Neurotic Bunny. From behind the figure, a nightstick appears in his right hand, and he ominously approaches the Neurotic Bunny, whom wears a worried expression on his face.
To be continued…