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Stories From The 6 Train 2

By:Alexis Angel


"Brittney, can you hear me?"

I hear Walter's voice coming in through my tiny earpiece, which is hidden underneath my long hair. The sound is low, but the quality is good.

"Loud and clear," I say.

"Are you at Ethan’s computer?"

"Yes, but now what? I don't have the password for this machine, you know. It's locked."

"Okay, I'm going to walk you through this," Walter says. "Are you ready?"

"As ready as I'll ever be, I guess. I don't hear anyone coming, so it's now or never," I say, looking tensely over my shoulder.

"The first thing you need to do is shut the computer down."

"What? Why? Doesn't that seem counterproductive to be turning this thing off?"

"Just trust me, okay?" Walter says. "I know what I'm talking about."

"Okay, it's off."

"Good, now reboot it in Safe Mode," Walter instructs. "You need to do this so that you can effectively login as an administrator to the machine."

"You're speaking another language … but sure," I say. "Okay, done. Now what?"

"Now, you'll need to reset the password."

"The password for which account?"

"For the account that's locked," Walter says. "If we're going to gain access to the Illicit Escape software and plans, we'll need to change the administrator password so that we can unlock it all."

"Since when did you get so high-tech on me Walter?" I joke.

"Just here to help, darling. We've got to move quickly."

"Okay, that's done; now what?" I ask. I'm acutely aware of noise now coming from down the hall and I wait a few extra seconds before making any noise in case anyone walks in. After those moments are up, it seems like the coast is clear, so we resume.

"And for the record," I say, "I've given this account a password that no one is ever going to fucking crack. I think there's enough letters, numbers, and symbols for it to be its own equation."

"Nice work," Walter laughs. "Okay, now we'll need to shut this machine off."

"Again?" I ask.

"Yes, shut it off and reboot," Walter says. "When you're turning it back on, you need to immediately hold the F8 key."

"Why is that?" I ask. "Is something about to melt down on me? You'd at least warn me if that was the case, right?"

"Very funny," Walter says. "No, you need to do this so that you can be taken to an advanced menu."

"And what exactly am I looking for on that menu?" I ask.

"You're looking for the advanced boot options."

"Got it!" I say. Adrenaline is coursing through my veins. It already feels like an eternity to just get to this point, and all I want to do is get the hell out of here.

"Okay, now insert the USB stick and start downloading all of the data from the I.E. folders."

"It's downloading," I say, clicking them all and pressing the download option. "But it's taking forever Walter! You'd think the connection speeds would be faster in a high-tech company like this. You even said this was one of the most high-tech buildings you'd ever been in." I'm tapping my feet against the floor with nervous energy. I can practically feel the minutes going by, and with every passing minute, the likelihood of someone finding me increases.

My thoughts go back to what Walter and Simon have both told me separately.

There’s no stealing bits of data. It’s either steal the physical prototype or steal all the files.

Because overtime they upgrade the software to fix bugs or whatever, all of the old data becomes useless. They rewrite a whole new operating system. It’s a failsafe to make sure that old data doesn’t get lost or misplaced and a new product reverse engineered.

It also means I have at most 24 hours to get this to Simon once it finishes downloading.

If it finishes downloading that is.

50 percent—75 percent—92 percent—shit, it's stalled on 92 percent.

"Walter, it's frozen on 92 percent!"

"Calm down. Give it a minute."

"We don't have any extra fucking minutes!" Now I'm really stressed. If this data doesn't load—and soon—I'm fucked. I check back at the status bar.

"Oh good—Walter it's done; it's at 100 percent! I'm ejecting the USB stick; we did it."

I pop out the USB drive, and it slips out of my fingers and onto the floor. Shit. I look around, trying to find it. Just great. Where the hell is it? I get down on my knees and search for it, and I finally find it, nestled behind the leg of a chair. As soon as I have it in my hands, I hear the sound of footsteps approaching.

"What are you doing in here?"