Being able to turn yourself invisible is not as convenient as you may think. Even when you're trying to get away from people who want to kill you or worse, it's just not what it's cracked up to be. Olivia Peterson thought about this as she ran through the glass revolving door of the Comico building in down town San Francisco. As far as her extra ordinary ability went, the rules definitely applied, and that meant just going, poof, and disappearing was out of the question. And just what were these rules of going transparent? As the Kidd had told her, they went like this...
One. Being invisible doesn't make you invincible. Since people can't see you -- like people driving big SUVs while talking on their cell phones -- you're extra-vulnerable to getting turned into a blood stain by someone who doesn't even know you're there.
Two. Just because someone can't see you, doesn't mean they don't know where you are. It’s like this; think about when someone is in the same room as you. Even if you're not looking at them, you still have this vague idea of where they are. Plus there are things like displaced smoke or dust that can give you away.
Three. It's true! You can go invisible, but that's one trick your clothes just don't know. So vanish all you want, but if you don't strip down to your birthday suit, you're just gonna look like a walking wardrobe -- which makes you an easy target.
This last one of the Kidd's rules of invisibility was foremost on Olivia’s mind as she ran through the stairwell of the building to the roof. By now, she was sure that the agency had followed the police who had been chasing her through downtown, so there must be at least two knights who were just steps behind her. Hell, there might even be a bishop. That meant trouble, and trouble meant getting out of sight now. And for that, she needed to lose the clothes.
Olivia had kicked off her shoes while still in the street, but there were too many people around to do more and not bring unwanted attention. But the stairwell inside the building was empty, and by the time she reached floor number nine, Olivia had ditched her shirt and bra. By floor twelve, her pants were on the floor as she ran on.
"Thank God I didn't wear the skinny jeans," she thought.
On the twentieth floor she pulled off her socks, hopping her way to the final floor of the building. The last flight of stairs was shorter and steeper. At the top of them was a large metal hatch covered with all types of signs that warned her to go no further. Olivia pushed on the heavy metal latch until the door opened enough for the wind catch it and throw it wide. Before walking through, she bent over and pulled down her last article of clothing, a pair of skimpy Fredrick's of Hollywood panties. Looking over her shoulder, she noticed the red glow of a security camera light staring at her naked bottom.
She blew it a kiss, walked out, and slammed the door shut.
Outside under the moonlight, Olivia's skin began to pop all over with goosebumps from the cold air. It was windy and she was completely naked, but anyone watching would have seen only an empty roof. That was because, between the time she was still in the stairwell and the moment she stepped out onto the pebble covered roof, Olivia had willed herself completely invisible. In her current state, there wasn't a pair of eyes in the world -- that she knew of -- that could see her as she walked toes to heel towards the edge of the building and found a corner where she might go unnoticed.
She had barely reached that quiet corner when her first pursuers kicked the door open and with guns drawn walked out onto the roof. They were two police officers, obviously partners. Grabbing his walkie-talkie from his batman-like utility belt, the male cop pressed down the talk button.
"Atkinson here," he said. "We're on the roof. I’m not seein' noth'n up here. Over." He glanced at the other officer. "McCullough, you got anything?"
The female cop was circling behind the hatch. She came around in front again and shook her head at her partner, who nodded back. The girl they had been chasing, Olivia Peterson, a person of interest in the murder of a US Senator, had completely disappeared.
"Dispatch, come in" said Atkinson into his walkie. "We were in pursuit of a suspect inside the Comico building on 21st and Polk and we completely lost her. Our current position is on the roof of the building, and we're requesting immediate assistance. Over."
When he un-clicked the talk button the only sound that came from the walkie was garbled static.
"You know, McCullough," he said, glancing down at the handset, "I don’t think this piece of shit -- "
The roof top hatch burst open for a third time. And instead of a girl no one could see or two San Francisco police officers, two men in dark coats and sunglasses stepped out from the hatchway. The one on the right held Olivia's panties in his hand. Seeing them, Olivia, who had started to shiver in the cold, put her small hands over her lips to keep from gasping. The agency had been following the chase alright, but they hadn't sent knights or even a bishop. They had sent a couple of rooks.
"Jesus! You boys scared the living shit out of us," said Atkinson. "I hope you're detectives, 'cause I think we got a fucking jumper on our hands."
The two rooks looked at each other. The one with Olivia's panties in his hand shoved them into his pocket. Behind dark glasses, they examined the rooftop looking for some sign of the girl. They looked at the pebbles, the shadows along the walls, the unusually low ledge of the building, but never directly at the two cops.
“Hey... guys?” McCullough was looking at them oddly. "I know you're not secret service, so what's the deal? Are you building security or something, because you can't be up here right now. We're in the middle of a police investigation and -- "
The rooks silently reached into their coats and pulled out automatic pistols. The cops, whose pistols were already in hand, both raised their guns to defend themselves. They raised them too late. The first shot came from the rook on the right hitting McCullough through the chest and bringing her down hard and fast. A splatter of blood flew from her exit wound and stained the ground inches from Olivia's bare toes. The second shot, this time from the rook on the left, hit Atkinson in the cheek and pushed him down onto his back, his own shot going wild out into the city skyline. And while the rooks' shots had been whisper quiet, the report of his gun echoed against the walls of the surrounding buildings.
Olivia was biting her tongue to keep from making a sound.
"That's two more people who are dead because of me," she thought. "Two more innocent people."
The rooks moved quickly to get the guns away from the cops. Atkinson, still struggling to breathe life into his body resisted slightly and for his trouble took another bullet through the eye.
Olivia wanted to do something. She wanted to run over and kick one of the rooks in the face as they bent over. She wanted to punch them as hard as she could. But she knew that wouldn't help. Rule number one. Being invisible doesn't make you invincible. She wasn't a superhero. She was a 23-year-old woman. Invisible or not, she probably couldn't do a damn thing to these men, and trying would just give away the one thing that was keeping her safe, her exact position.
"I’ve got to get out of here," she thought and her eyes focused on the unprotected doorway.
Quietly and slowly, she began walking towards the hatch. She only took her eyes away from the exit once to see if she was leaving footprints. And when she looked back she saw her. Blocking the only way onto or off the roof was someone who up until then, she had only seen in pictures. Someone she kind of hoped didn't even exist. But here she was, in the flesh, at exactly the wrong moment, and Olivia knew her only by the Kidd's codename.
“Where are you going, Olivia?” asked the queen. Her voice was way too friendly for a scene filled with live guns and dead, bleeding cops.
Unlike the rooks, the queen had no difficulty looking anyone in the eyes. Even someone who was supposed to be invisible. Unsure of what was happening, Olivia looked at her own hands. Just like everybody else, Olivia saw no hands at all.
"It’s alright," said the queen. "I’m not here to hurt you. You're very pretty, by the way. Did you know that? It's a shame you have to hide yourself like this."
Quick as a cat, the queen reached into the pocket of her duster coat and pulled out a small laser pointer. Clicking it on, she pointed it at Olivia and a small red dot hovered in the air just above her left breast. Olivia didn't understand. Lasers had never worked on her before. It wasn't one of the Kidd's rules, but light just wasn't suppose to work like that. It should pass right through her.
The rooks, homing in on the ball of light resting on Olivia's body aimed their weapons. Before she had a chance to find out if they planned to use them, Olivia ran for the edge of the building.
"There’s nowhere to go, Olivia," the queen called after her.
But she was wrong. And before Olivia even had a chance to think about what she was doing, she jumped up onto the ledge, took a quick breath and swanned off the building. Her body fell gracefully away from the building and Olivia closed her eyes and willed her form back into reality. It was February the 14th, 2012.. Valentines day.
This is the work of the highly talented writer Joseph Gats, who was kind enough to allow me to share this chapter with you, if you enjoyed this story then please read the rest on his website at the following link.
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