They began driving into the city, slowly the noise grown greater as they went deeper.
The cars on the road and the planes in the skies, the masses of people walking by, talking in thaier phones and to other people in the way.
It ached in Claude's ears, it was torture to him after the quiet under the bridge.
Soon after the sounds left, Claude found himself driving inside the Uppercut HQ compound in Michael's car, it was only then that the windows were sliding down to block the sound in and out.
Michael looked at Claude and reached inside his jacket's inner pocket, he took an envelope from inside and handed it to him.
"This is your first assignment, call it a Trial of Passage, if you may." Michael said Jokingly, "We were having problems with our staff's requirements. You see we had an arrangement with an important benefactor and the man in charge of closing the arrangement was kind enough not to report back after heading out, I believe he might be hiding something from me."
Claude started to open the envelope as he listened carefully.
"The letter in the envelope will describe his assignment discreetly, he is the organization Representative named Thomas, I believe you'll find him in his office by now, forgive me but I cannot address the issue myself, I can't compromise my position."
Claude nodded as he took the letter out and began reading it to himself,
Our reports claim that our request has yet to be filled in and we are reaching our deadline.
Of course we believe that you are taking care of it and that you know what you are doing,
but we still believe that you need a helping hand in the closure of the request.
As said, five boxes of important materials for our products are to be shipped at Tuesday and
are to be sent to us before the end of the week, it is vital to keep the contract with the men
who provide us with said materials.
It is also informed to us that it was not you who dealt with the issue as we requested, but a
person who was contracted to your business, which will talked about in the next meeting as we
are your bosses and higher ranked.
We must insist you fix this problem before we arrive, for once we do you will be faced with the
Thank you in advance,
~The Bearfang Corporation.
After reading intensively, he folded the letter into his pocket, returning to listening to Michael.
"So, to sum up what we need you to do, Find Thomas, discover the location of the boxes, bring Thomas to me with the locations, then you will be payed and considered for hire." Michael finished as the car stopped in front of one of the many buildings in the compound.
Claude opened the door and took a step out, before closing the door however, Michael stopped him and said "Be warned, though, you aren't the first or the only person who is, or will, be hired for this mission, its a race, and any means are permitted, just don't go crazy, its a business we are running here."
Michael then closed the door from the inside as he drove off, and Claude entered the building.
The building turned out to be filled with many offices reaching far and wide into the extremely large building, with many corridors and hallways, elevators and stairs.
Phones rang and people talked, machines copied papers and computer keyboards were pressed a plenty.
workers passed by from place to place often, suited men and women, some even followed others as they talked about different subjects, mostly regarding others in thaier work.
Claude seemed out of place in the crowd, and felt quite lonely as he walked slowly to the reception desk nearby to the entrance.
The receptionist had brown long hair and wore glasses, she answered and redirected phone calls as well as took many messages on a Rolodex.
Claude knocked gently on the desk to draw her attention, but she held him in place as he answered a phone call quickly and returned to him.
"Yes, how can I help you?" She said politely, "I'm looking for Thomas, Michael sent me." Claude responded.
"Well, he is currently away on a break, but If Michael sent you then I believe he can be found at the cafe at the third floor, other people asked for him as well, quite a busy man I see, cant arrange a decent time." the receptionist answered, "Thank you." Claude said politely with a smile and went up to the elevator.
Two suited men stood next to him waiting as well, brief looks at each other as the elevator door opened and Claude pressed '3', going up.
Tiime to swiitch.. he heard a voice as his ear ranged and his head ached greatly, he closed his eyes strongly and pressed his teeth against each other.
Claude, Hex's turn now... he heard the voice again and with a quick second the elevator beeped as they reached the third floor, Hex took over, and walked out with a devilish smile, heading to the cafeteria.
He looked about to try and find Thomas without success, he went up to the man behind the counter and asked, "Where is Thomas? the representative of this place?".
"Sorry man, someone just took him few minutes ago, he left." the man behind the counter replied and Claude started thinking where he might be.
"How did that man look?" Hex asked him, "Well he was a bit bulky and serious, he seemed to be ready for a fight with some punks, really." the man replied as Hex went away afterward.
The receptionist didn't tell me someone took him, so they dident leave officially, and if he was up for a fight he was going after Thomas, he probably left from the back entrance, I should find it.
Hex thought and went about the building, quickly discovering a route to the exit behind the building that leads to the parking lot.
He saw a small bloodstain in the floor, little drops leading deeper into the echoing parking lot.
after a minute he found it leading into a door, as he opened it the body fell down on him.
Claude quickly shoved it away from surprise, after several breaths he looked at it, it was Thomas!
The man killed him! his skull was shattered in and he had bruises all around him, but he had something in his hand.
Claude took it out of his hand and examined it, it was an handwritten blackmail letter, saying 'have the money in three days and meet us at the parking lot', maybe someone recognizes the handwriting, it was worth asking around.
Claude stored it in his pocket and walked back into the main building, heading to the receptionist at the front entrance after few minutes of walking.
"Say, do you know this handwriting?" he asked her, "Of course." she replied, "It's Michael's.".
- END OF EPISODE 5 -