A different sort of life, p.1
A Different Sort of Life, p.1Finnian Valko
A Different Sort of Life
By: Finnian Valko
Copyright 2011 Finnian Valko
Caroline tapped her foot in impatience. She hated waiting, especially for something this important. It was also a chilly night which was not helping her situation. She hugged her arms around her waist being careful to not drop the messenger bag strung over her shoulder. She was trying to ignore the wind beating against her and stay out of site of the imposing building several hundred yards away from her. She stood behind the rather crude shelter of an oak tree planted on the side of the street. She brushed her brown hair out of her eyes as she heard the sound of approaching footsteps.
Caroline turned quickly and watched the approaching figure with caution. “Who goes there?” she said.
“It’s me, Carol. It’s Lana.” replied the figure.
Caroline breathed a sigh of relief and slouched out of her aggressive stance. “Lana, it is good to see you. What took you so long?”
Lana gasped in exhaustion. Caroline and she were best friends. She had been moving quickly for quite a distance. She brushed her dirty blonde hair behind her ears before she spoke. “I’m sorry. I was afraid of drawing any attention to myself …”
Caroline gave Lana a supportive smile. “It’s fine, you’re just in time. Did you get the codes?”
Lana reached into the left-hand pocket of her black jacket and pulled out a slip of paper. “Yea, but it wasn’t easy…” She handed the paper to Caroline.
Caroline looked at the two codes on the paper and nodded. “Good, now we just have to get in. The security guards switch shifts at midnight. That should give us a brief window to get inside and back out again without drawing much attention.”
Lana was uneasy. “What time is it now?”
Caroline looked at her watch. “It’s 11:45. Not long now.”
Lana felt like her stomach was turning inside out. “Carol, are you sure we should be doing this? Is it really right?”
Caroline looked over at the imposing corporate office building. M.E.E.R. stood for Marketed Evolution of Electronic Revitalization. They were a successful electronics company supplying millions of people with high-speed wireless internet access as well as the newest examples of electronic hardware in the form of next generation desktops, laptops and tablet computers. They were also a charitable corporation with their CEO personally donating millions of dollars to organizations looking into cancer research and helping needy families. Still though, Caroline despised them.
Caroline looked back at Lana. “M.E.E.R. supplies millions of people with electronics technology. They’re partially responsible for what we’re dedicated to stopping. If we destroy their corporate mainframe it will cripple their company, leading to millions being without access to their technology. That will force them to stop relying on electronics and live the way humans are supposed to live.”
Lana still had doubts. “’The way humans are supposed to live…’ You sound like your fiancé…”
Caroline scowled. “We’re not engaged. Who told you that?”
Lana raised an eyebrow. “He did…”
Caroline blinked. She had repeatedly told him that she was not ready for that kind of commitment, and now he was telling the other members of the organization that they were engaged? She shook her head. “Well, he’s lying. Now come on, we have no time to waste. “
Lana followed reluctantly, still feeling uneasy about what they were about to do.
Caroline glanced at her watch as the two carefully moved towards the back door of the building. “11:55… Not much longer.”
Caroline and Lana pressed themselves up against the wall to avoid the watchful eye of a security camera. Caroline carefully stared at the watch as its needle slowly moved its way closer and closer to the twelve. After five minutes that felt like hours, the needle finally reached its mark and Caroline quickly punched in the first code to unlock the backdoor.
Caroline entered the building while Lana followed close behind. The two ignorantly ran past several security cameras and up a flight of stairs. Caroline had memorized the path to the central mainframe room from a map she looked at prior to arriving, and soon enough they reached a room filled end to end with computers taller than a man.
Fearing she may be running short on time, Caroline dug into her messenger bag and pulled out several bricks of C4.
Lana was in shock. “We’re going to blow them up!?”
Caroline glanced back angrily. “Keep your voice down.” she whispered. “Of course we’re going to. Relax, there’s only a little bit here. Not enough to really hurt someone, just the computers.” But the truth was she had no idea how much damage the C4 would do. It had been her boyfriend’s idea and she had no experience with explosives.
Lana shook her head. “You’ll get someone killed!”
Caroline grew irritated at Lana for raising her voice. She was going to ruin the whole plan. “Be quiet, Lana!”
“Hey, who’s in there!?” came a voice from the doorway.
A security guard slowly started moving through the walkways in between the computers, shining his flashlight down each adjacent walkway as he passed. “I heard someone in here! Come out!”
Caroline grabbed Lana and ducked behind one of the computers. She knew it was only as matter of time before her and Lana were found and thrown in jail. She started panicking inside. She had been trying to do things right. She had thought she had considered every factor, and here she was about to watch her entire plan go wrong. She couldn’t handle that.
The guard’s flashlight moved slowly down the walkway where Caroline and Lana had been and rested on where the C4 bricks were still laying. The guard rushed over and Caroline felt that it was over, but just as the guard was examining the C4 and about to look around the corner, one of the computer screens made a small ‘beep’ sound and a menu popped up. The guard turned and examined the screen. Caroline peeked around the corner and could just barely make out the words on the screen. “File deletion in progress.”
The guard had a grim look on his face. “Pete!” he shouted towards the door. “Get a tech down here and call the cops! We’ve got a serious problem!”
Caroline watched as the other computers lit up with the same message one by one. More guards poured into the room followed by a handful of techs who tried in desperation to get the computers to stop their purge, but to no avail.
Caroline knew she had to move now. Grabbing Lana and dragging her along, the two dodged between the computers trying to stay out of sight. There were over a dozen guards in the room now, all looking around for the intruder and it was physically impossible to get to the door without moving through a flashlight beam belonging to one of them. Eventually the inevitable happened and the glare of a flashlight blinded Caroline’s eyes.
“Hey! Stop!” shouted a guard.
Caroline and Lana bolted for the door, security guards in pursuit. Just as the two exited the room, a steel security gate slammed down behind them, sealing their pursuers inside.
As Caroline and Lana made their way back downstairs Caroline could hear the guards arguing over who had activated the security gate. Still running, the two made it out the backdoor and headed towards their waiting getaway car. Caroline grabbed the driver’s seat with Lana taking the passenger’s and the two sped away before the police could show up on the scene.
Lana was still in panic mode, taking very quick breathes putting herself at risk of hyperventilation. “We’re going to go to jail, Carol!”
Caroline was a bit calmer, but her heart was pounding in her chest. “Just relax, Lana. We got out. Let’s just lay low and see what happens before we start panicking, okay?”
Caroline had no answer for her. She had been wondering that same thing. She knew nothing about purging entire computer systems, which was why the plan had involved the C4. The security gate slamming down when it did was also a mystery. Everything seemed far too convenient. There was getting lucky, but she felt in her gut that luck had nothing to do with what had happened in there.
In silence, the two drove away from the city, heading for home.
A Different Sort of Life by Finnian Valko / Fantasy have rating 3.5 out of 5 / Based on38 votes