This was the day of industrial espionage. Any corporation needing information¸ but not on the slip shield edge of technology had to have a way to stay afloat in such turbulent times. That is how Ryder made his living. He was the high wire man in Tamara City. His clients were wealthy and wanted to remain that way. The night was dauntingly black. The radiant gasses of the Satin Pass that typically gave the night sky a lavender sheen were gone for the season. Only the cold darkness of black space was above his head on this wintry night. It was especially cold at fifteen thousand feet. Perched on a ledge directly across from the Terra-Corp starscraper on the upper north side of Tamara City he went to work. From a waist pouch he extracted a small stasis device. A favorite of his¸ the matter stasis beam sent out a beam of microparticles that were bound by a stasis field that created a solid ledge the width of his preference. Along with traction boots and his keen sense of balance the three-hundred foot span was easily traversed to the other side of the avenue that separated the two buildings. He only paused briefly as a strong wind gust threatened to dislodge him from the stasis ledge. At this height the anti-gravity belt he wore would be useless if he should fall¸ and the sheer momentum that he would fall at would prevent the device from stopping his plummet in time before he hit the Tamaran streets below.
At the slick face of the Terra-Corp building he activated a vacuum orb that enveloped him and a portion of the window in front of him. He placed two handle-like devices far enough apart to cut a man size opening where he held them to the glass. He powered the devices and extended two very short slip shielded blades into the glass and then turned them in a clockwise rotation. The glass was cut cleanly and held in place by the handles while he negated the window alarm. He pulled the glass circle and activated the magnetics on the handles and sat them beside the new hole in the window. The vacuum orb kept the air pressure to the correct volume. Next he circumvented the optical and motion alarms by activating his scanner shroud. The only other alarm he couldn't fool would be the pressure sensitive floor. His antigravity belt kept him afloat as he pulled himself through the opening in the window. He then gave himself a push and floated silently to the desk that faced the office door across the room.
From the file box next to the computer terminal on the desk he removed two data placards. The clear crystal placards were placed into a pouch inside his jacket. Halfway home he thought.
Back to the window and out of it again. He returned the glass to its proper place and reversed the energy flow on the slip shields. The heat resealed the glass. He deactivated the grav-belt and the vacuum orb. Now he had a quick walk back across the stasis beam and he was home free. The beautiful little data placards in his pocket would fetch a terrific bounty. He was twenty feet from the opposite ledge when he saw the cloaked figure step out in front of him. The figure could only be Mitan¸ the warmage security man employed by Terra-Corp. Ryder had faced him before and barely lived. Through the howling winds he could barely hear the man's voice.
'Close Ryder. Very Close¸ but you are too dependant on all that technology. Let's see it save you this time.'
Ryder was paralyzed with fear. He looked down into the darkness below him and then back to the warlock. The cloaked man waved his hand over the small matter stasis device attached to the ledge. His matter stasis beam had been power dampened. The power level indicator went from green to red and Ryder watched as the beam disappeared from under his feet. He fell silently and helplessly.
Mitan simply opened up his com-link and said¸ 'Retrieve the placards. Don't worry about the mess.'