The man was silent as a ghost as he drifted along the rooftop, crouching down amid the sensors and antennae.
Actually, Shard reflected, that wasn’t a great turn of phrase. Most ghosts tended to be somewhat loud, rattling their chains and moaning. If anything, they were quite obnoxious with all their noise.
He, on the other hand, was most decidedly not loud. His boots were outfitted with chameleon soles, shifting and flexing with each step to adjust to the terrain beneath. Each step was sure-footed, the shifting soles making sure that not a single pebble was disturbed or moved out of place…
The rest of Shard’s outfit was similarly well-chosen. He wore a tight black jacket, one sleeve cut at the elbow to reveal the flexible computer screen strapped onto his forearm. The jacket was covered in pockets, most of them bulging with several other little high-tech gadgets that could come in handy. Shard had a pair of skin-tight black gloves pulled on over his fingers, concealing his prints while still giving him full range of movement and the ability to activate his touch-screens.
Shard’s head was bare, but he preferred his night pursuits that way. As he picked his way among the weather vanes and satellite dishes, monuments to technology, he moved with purpose, carefully placing each foot. Even though it was nearly pitch-black, the man seemed to have no trouble seeing where he was going.
That was no illusion. Shard’s eyes had their own augments, helping him make his way without a single step out of place. Of course, those augmentations weren’t cheap, even with his own considerable modding skill.
That, he thought to himself, was one of the reasons he was up on top of this roof.
His destination lay just ahead. The door was recessed back into the shadows, but Shard’s eyes could see the glowing yellow halo surrounding the frame. That put the man on edge. He hesitated, slowing down and carefully checking each footstep before shifting his weight over.
Finally, Shard was standing in front of the doorway, gazing up at the yellow halo around it, visible to his eyes only. The handle was right in front of him, beckoning for him to try it, to see whether it was open.
Shard didn’t touch it.
Instead, he lifted up his left wrist, running his fingers over the flexible display attached to his arm. A few touches, and it sprang to muted life, displaying readouts and outputs in night-friendly green. Shard scrolled through a few menus, tapping on different buttons, until he found the options he wanted.
With the program set, Shard dipped his other hand into a pocket, pulling out a handful of what looked like small marbles. He held them in the hand attached to the screen, waited for the portable computer to recognize and connect with the objects, and then activated his program. After a beep, he closed his hand around the small spheres – and then tossed them forward.
The spheres flew to their points on the door, sticking to the metal frame. Shard couldn’t keep his grin off his face as the glowing yellow pattern in his eyes shifted, now bounded by his new additions.
He reached out and grabbed the handle, gave it a twist, and waited, feeling his heart leap up into his throat.
The glowing yellow field of electricity around the door didn’t change. Shard’s grin widened, and, more silent than the average ghost, he slipped inside.