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Rated: 18+ · Fiction · Sci-fi · #2017439
A broker is sent to retrieve a world class hacker only to be hunted by other corporations.
It was New Year’s Eve. Walking down the streets of San Francisco always seemed weird to me this time of year. The people were jubilant, unlike the rest of the year when they hurried around the rat race for their little piece of cheese. This is the one time of year when the people had hope that the New Year would be better. In spite of that glimmer of hope, it never was.

I have had it a little better. I’m not like these worker bees. I’m a broker. Tonight I am going to see a couple of visiting dignitaries from Kabushiki Gaisha. They’re visiting former Northern California from what used to be Japan.

It’s really confusing trying to keep it all straight in my head. I don’t know why I do. Corporations took over the governments and rewrote the world map almost a hundred years ago. I’m a broker for AppleGates Union. It stretches from Northern California up to Edmonton in what was Canada and down through Wyoming and encompassing all points in between. I think we’ve got it pretty good here. Some of the best technology innovations are in the AGU and we have one of the cleanest environments. Not like The Ford Company, I hear it’s so hard to breathe there that their people have to wear oxygen masks.

These two visiting dignitaries were in town for the E3 Conference. I was supposed to make them an offer of defection. If they refused, I was to assassinate them. I wondered what made these two important enough to kill if they didn’t like our offer.

I looked up at the façade of the building in front of me. Across the top, in bright red neon it said, “The Fairmont.” The bell hop opened the front door for me as I approached. At the front desk, I said that I was checking in and the attendant scanned my hand chip.

“Mr. Carrio. Your room is ready,” she swiped my hand chip a second time. “Your room will now recognize your hand.”

“Thank you,” I said as I picked up my overnight bag.

“One more thing Mr. Carrio,” the attendant called after me. “A Masaru-san is expecting you for cocktails in his room when you have settled.”

“Thank you.” That’s a good sign. They are openly acknowledging me. Well, either way it’s time to earn my cheese.


In my room, I loosened my tie and wiped down my face with a cold wash cloth. Riding the train from Seattle was a nice quiet two hour ride, but it always made me feel like I haven’t showered for a couple of days.

I lounged in the soft arm chair by the window, while looking through my tablet files about Mr. Seiji Masaru. I reviewed the same information I had gone through a half dozen times already. It helped to know the client and be able to recall his information easily. He was almost twice my age at 65. The information says he’s been a program coder since grade school. Coming from Kabushiki Gaisha, I’m willing to bet he’s a hacker/attacker. Their company was notorious for cyber warfare. They’ve never been big enough to pull off physical hostile take overs, instead Kabushiki Gaisha would hack a competitor’s system for information or to destroy data.

Seiji came to us asking for the meeting and hinted at asylum. Something must’ve happened where his company couldn’t protect him if he was coming to us. This guy was taking a big risk. The AGU board wasn’t accepting of company deserters. They believe it shows a lack of loyalty and they doubt the defector will have any loyalty to our company if they don’t have any for the company they were born under.

So my directive has always been to get whatever information the defector has and kill them. Not this time though, for some reason the Board of Directors wants me to bring him in, provided he is willing to cooperate.

The thing I didn’t like was this assistant who tagged along. I had nothing on her except the name Seiji Masaru relayed to us. Her name was Kyoko Ochi. I should just kill her to be safe, but Masaru might react badly to that.

Manners dictate I should not keep Masaru waiting much longer. With a sigh, I pulled myself out of the inviting chair. I tightened my tie and put my suit coat back on. I felt around on my belt to make sure I had the equipment I may need for tonight’s transactions. The last thing I checked was my gun. I placed my finger on the trigger and it glowed green. Taking my finger off, the trigger returned it to its warm red color.


At Mr. Masaru’s door, I knocked. The door immediately opened to show the assistant Ms. Ochi. Standing in the middle of the room was Mr. Masaru. First bowing, I then entered the room and looked around. It was a very nice suite the AGU provided for him. Bedrooms on either side of the main room and plush couches. Baseball played on the window which over looked the Golden Gate Bridge.

Ms. Ochi crossed the room to the wet bar, “Warm sake, Mr. Carrio?”

“Ah. Arigatou Goizamasu,” I bowed my head.

Turning to Mr. Masaru, I noticed he was not a relaxed man. Sweat beaded on his forehead. The Japanese man still wore his slack pants and dress shirt, which was half unbuttoned. Seiji looked like he had been sleeping in these clothes. I guess I’d look like this as well if I tried to defect from my company.

Mr. Masaru offered me a seat. “Please relax, Carrio-san.”

“Arigatou Goizamasu,” once seated Ms. Ochi handed me a white shallow bowl. It was warm in my hands. I repeated my thanks to her and took a sip. I wondered if she would try to poison me, but I decided she had no reason to. If she didn’t want me meeting with Masaru, the two of them would never have made it here. “So, Masaru-san,” turning to the man. “Were there any problems with your travel to our company?”

“Not at all,” he replied. “My company sent me to the AppleGates Union for a global conference on cyber security. They’re unaware of my intentions.”

I leaned forward and set my sake cup on the knee high table in front of me. “That is the question, Masaru-san, what are your intentions?”

Seiji Masaru uttered something in Japanese to Kyoko Ochi, who in turn brought a tablet over to me. Taking the tablet I turned it on and scanned the files on the screen. They were encrypted. Mr. Masaru was probably the only one with the key.

“This is some of my finest work,” Seiji said with great disdain. “And it is my worst creation. Think of it as a cyber-nuclear bomb. Kabushiki Gaisha ordered its creation. Now that it is complete, I am supposed to deploy it here at the conference.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“I don’t want it used. I want it destroyed. I am the only one who knows the code. I request sanctuary from technology.”

Interesting request, I thought. He’s not just trying to get away from his company. He wants to escape from technology. I looked suspiciously over at Ms. Ochi. “And what is her role in all of this?”

“Kyoko-chan?” asked Mr. Masaru. “She has been my assistant for many years and my protector.”

There was a knock at the door. Mr. Masaru tapped a display on the coffee table and looked up at the windows. The Baseball game turned to a visual of the hallway outside the hotel room. There were three men in black suits carrying metallic briefcases. They were brokers.

Masaru looked at me with fear and confusion in his eyes.

“They aren’t with me,” I stated. I stood and drew my sidearm from under my suit jacket. “I guess I have some competition.”

“Look,” called Kyoko.

I turned to the windows. The three men formed a semi-circle around the door. Each broker pushed a button on the handle of their briefcase. The shells of the briefcases dropped to the floor. The men pulled up to waist height a short barreled, short stock assault rifle, taking aim at the door.

I quickly rushed up to the entrance and slid to the door on my knees. I had seconds. I took two small squares of explosive from the back of my belt and smacked them onto either side of the door frame. I tapped the button on each one and an invisible beam of light connected the two explosives. I dove away from the door as bullet holes ripped through it, spraying me with splinters. It was obvious they had no intention of taking Mr. Masaru alive.

I crawled over to the couch making my way behind it. I peered over the top of the cushions. A thud hit the door as it flew inward. The explosion disintegrated the door into little pieces of wood and widened the entrance to twice its size. The room was engulfed in dust and shavings. As expected, there was no fire. I had used concussive explosives, not incendiary. 

One of the brokers stumbled through the debris. Before I could take aim, Kyoko dropped the man with a thrown knife to the chest. I ran up to the fallen man with my gun trained on him. He was not moving. I slowly made my way out the hole that was the door. I bent down to check the second broker. His leg was missing, but he was still alive. Checking his jacket pocket I found his passport. He was from the Buffet Corporation back east.

The third broker was smashed into the wall and not moving. Looking down the hallway, I saw people hustling from their rooms in a panic. That’s when I realized alarms were blaring.

I grabbed up one of the suitcase assault rifles and turned to head back into the room, but Mr. Masaru and Ms. Ochi were making their way out through the debris. Kyoko had picked up the assault rifle of the man she had killed. I directed them to follow me.

We headed up the hallway, away from the other hotel guests. Blending in with the other guests would mean getting bogged down in the chaos trying to get out. The stairwell would be faster. There were other guests on the stairs, but not many. At the bottom of the stairs we entered the lobby. Security Officers and the Fire Department were trying to direct people out. Kyoko and I left the rifles on the stairs and made our way out the front doors.


I had to get somewhere safe for a few moments so I could call my supervisor. I was going to need assistance with getting Masaru back to Seattle. Across the street and a couple of blocks up the hill was a coffee internet house.

We found a table towards the back of the large room. I left most of my equipment in my hotel room, but it was too risky to go back for it. Luckily, I brought my VR glasses with me, allowing me some privacy during my call. I plugged into a port, at the table I rented from the shop. Almost immediately, my supervisor’s image popped into existence in front of my eyes.

“Broker Carrio. ID 3219. Unsecured Line.” I uttered quietly, trying not to be heard by the neighboring tables.

“Carrio, we just got word of an explosion at the Fairmont Hotel. Are you all right?”

“Yeah. Hostile negotiations were started by three brokers from Buffet Corporation. The explosion was my fault.”

“That’s all right. What’s the status of the acquisition?”

“In my possession and has agreed to terms.”

“Conditions have changed. You are to officially terminate acquisition.”

“Why?” I was surprised by the orders.

“The acquisition’s company has released information about him. He’s created what they’re calling a Cyber Nuke.”

“He told me about it.”

“Did he tell you what it does?”

“No. I didn’t have the time to go into details.”

“It flash wipes all memory and programming and then overclocks the hardware so it fries.”

It was then a message scrolled along the bottom of my supervisor’s image, “Unsanctioned mission. Return the acquisition to the main office.”

I grimaced at the message. Unsanctioned meant it was off the books and I was on my own. Fail or succeed this mission, the acquisition did not exist. This was good for the company, but bad for me. It also meant I didn’t exist. I had to stay off the grid as much as possible. “I understand my orders, but most of my equipment was lost.”

“Sorry,” my supervisor said. “There’s nothing we can do for you until you return to the main office.”

“I understand.” Taking off my glasses I sat back in my chair, folded my arms, and closed my eyes. The first thing that came to mind was how lucky I was to be within my own company’s borders. Getting passports to cross company lines, as ghosts, would be a nightmare. Won’t be able to use the railways…unless…


It was risky, but there were few other choices. Masaru, Ochi, and I walked into the conference center for the E3 Conference. Masaru and Ochi were already checked in, so it was a simple matter of swiping their hand chips to enter again. I unfortunately, would have to wait in the lobby hoping I could trust these two not to get us arrested. All they had to do was approach one of the representatives from Kabushiki Gaisha, who would actually be a broker charged with watching over his people. This broker would already have a report that Masaru was in trouble. The two of them would ask for help. They would then take him back to the Fairmont Hotel, to my room.

Luckily, the chaos settled down quickly and except for the floor that I damaged everyone was allowed to return to their rooms this morning. Another way we got lucky, was those Buffet brokers were sloppy and did not check for me. This meant my room was still intact.

I wandered around the lobby of the conference for what seemed like hours. I wish I could say I was enjoying the displays of future tech some of the companies were displaying, but the truth was I was scared. I’ve never been unsanctioned before. One of the few comforts I had in this job was the head office was there if I needed them. Not this time. And, what would happen when this was all over? I really didn’t know how things worked for a broker once they were unsanctioned.

There they were. Seiji Masaru and Kyoko Ochi had a little man in tow. The little man was stocky, but not fat. He reminded me of a tank. His suit jacket did not taper in at all. To the untrained eye, it looked like he was trying to hide his girth. What he was really hiding was at least one side arm, maybe two, and probably some hand to hand combat weapons like knives and shurikens. I would have to be careful in taking him down.

I followed the trio out of the conference and down the street to the Fairmont. It was a short walk, as they approached I could see the door man was not at his post. All the front doors had been propped open. Security and firemen were still milling about going in and out of the hotel.

I closed the gap between us, to where I was about a half dozen paces behind them in the lobby. Masaru and Ochi guided their broker to the elevator, while I hurried for the stairs. I’m in good shape, but I was glad my room was only on the third floor. I ran up the stairs taking them two at a time.

At the door to the third floor, I took a deep breath and walked through. Masaru was at my door trying to open it with his hand chip. Of course, it wasn’t going to let him in. It was just a stalling tactic.

As I walked past, I had my hand up to scratch the side of my head. Kyoko stepped aside to give me a straight line of attack at the Kabushiki Gaisha broker. I could see his hand reaching into his jacket. He’s onto us. Lunging forward, my raised arm slammed into the back of his neck. His face bashed into the door and his nose exploded. Dazed the man pushed back into me and threw an elbow over his shoulder, which connected with my left eye. I grabbed his hand that was reaching into his jacket for his side arm.

Kyoko saw an opening. She struck at the man’s throat with the side of her hand crushing the broker’s wind pipe. He slid to the floor unconscious. His body spasmed from the lack of oxygen.

I swiped my hand on the handle and threw the door open. I then picked up the twitching body, dragging it into my room, and then into the bathroom where I laid him in the tub. His body finally stopped twitching and laid motionless. Masaru and Ochi were crowded at the bathroom door watching me catch my breath as I sat on the toilet staring into the bathroom mirror at the large red mark on my left temple. That was going to be a headache, in a little while.

I have to admit, there have only been a few times that I have taken someone’s life. The rare time I assassinated a client or acquisition it was done from a distance, usually poison sometimes sniper bullet. It’s something I have never gotten used to. I’ve been in plenty of fight, I always went for a knockout. When shooting at someone that wasn’t an assassination target I aimed for an appendage. My supervisor always gave me grief that I was never ruthless enough. Ms. Ochi, on the other hand, looked unfazed. Apparently, this was not her first kill at close range.

I took another deep breath and let it out slowly, pushing past Mr. Masaru and Kyoko. I opened my overnight bag and pulled out a small first aid kit; it had some surgical tools. I typically used them for stitching myself up. Instead I was going to use it for another first.

Back in the bathroom, I removed a scalpel from my kit and felt around on the right hand palm of the Kabushiki Gaisha broker. The chip is about a half square centimeter. It holds your name and basic information that allows computer systems to access necessary data about you, such as bank accounts and passports.

I found the hard spot on the palm, which would feel like a tumor. I made a centimeter long incision to the side of the chip. I couldn’t push it out of the cut, so I had to fish it out with a pair of tweezers. Once out of the brokers palm, I discovered the chip was partially covered with scar tissue, I had heard this could happen.

Picking at the scar tissue I was able to clean most of the chip. I then cupped it in my left hand palm and covered it with a flesh colored bandage. I loved these bandages they came in handy to cover up cuts so I could still look professional.


At the train station I swiped my stolen hand chip in the automated teller, requesting three tickets in a private cabin. Looking around the station, it was fairly dead for midday on New Year’s Day. Most of the New Year’s partying must have died down. Tickets were in hand for a 2:00 departure to Seattle.

For the hour and half wait, the three of us sat in a snack bar sipping on coffee and picking at oversized muffins. Costs were getting out of hand now-a-days. It was over sixty credits for our coffee and muffins. A year ago it would have been less then forty credits. I’m glad I was using someone else’s hand chip.

I had Masaru and Ochi sit with their backs to the entrance, so passerbys couldn’t see them. I, on the other hand, wanted a clear view to see what could be coming. There were going to be a lot of brokers after these two. Buffet was just the beginning. Then there was the Kabushiki Gaisha broker. Once he was reported missing his hand chip would be tracked. I’d have to ditch it soon.

“So, what were your orders?” asked Mr. Masaru.

I adjusted in my seat and took another sip of my coffee. “To be honest, I have two sets of orders. My official orders were to kill you both,” I watched both become unsettled in their seats. “My unsanctioned orders are to return you to Seattle.”

“What do you mean ‘unsanctioned orders’?” asked Masaru.

Kyoko piped in. “It means we no longer exist. Once we get to Seattle we’ll become AppleGates’ personal property that’ll be locked away.”

“Pretty much.” I said.

Masaru slapped his hands on the table. “This is not what I asked for. I’m tired of being used like a tool. Your corporation is going to make me do the same things over again. They’ll make me use the Cyber Nuke.”

I just stared at the man. There was nothing I could say.

“This Cyber Nuke is dangerous,” Masaru stated. “It is capable of plunging an entire corporation into the dark ages. Tens of thousands of lives could be lost. Please, I’m begging you, make them reconsider my request. I want to be sequestered from technology.”

“I’m unsanctioned as well,” I said. “All of my contact with the corporation has been cut off. There’s nothing I can do.”

“Then kill me,” he begged. “I don’t want innocent blood on my hands.”

Masaru was sincere. I could simply say things got too hot with other brokers chasing us down and I didn’t want him falling into their hands.

A tool he said. He didn’t want to be used like a tool. Isn’t that what a citizen/employee of the corporation was, a tool? If you weren’t a useful tool you were discarded, you lost your citizenship. Yet, somehow not being a tool is what everyone wants. I guess it’s a kind of freedom. Freedom’s just a dream. You either work or you’re discarded.

It was almost time, I got up from my seat. “My orders were simple. I’m to deliver you to the main office, from there you can plead your case.” I grabbed Mr. Masaru under the arm, lifting him out of his chair, and walked him out of the snack bar. Ms. Ochi followed close behind.

We passed another automated teller and an idea hit me. Stopping at the teller, I swiped my stolen hand chip and purchased three more tickets, this time back east to New York and the Buffet Corporation. I figure with the Buffet brokers making an attempt it could make sense that we fled back east for protection.

Once the tickets were in hand I looked around, no one was paying attention. I quickly tore the tickets up and buried the pieces at the bottom of the trash can, spilling an old container of juice down my sleeve in the process. Kyoko handed me some napkins she had kept. I wiped at my sleeve the best I could. We then headed for our train to Seattle.


The private cabin was cozy. It was supposed to sit six people, but it was more like four. The shades were drawn on the door and we settled in for the two hour ride. All three of us had been up for over 24 hours. This was the first time any of us had had time to rest.

I stared out the window, watching the scenery quickly change from sprawling metropolitan to rolling mountains of pine trees. As we climbed into the Sierras, the snow became more predominant. It amazed me how pristine the mountains looked, especially after Haliburton set fire to all of it during their attempt to purge the northwest twenty years ago. That’s one of the things I always liked about the AGU. They really cared about the environment.

I don’t know why I kept watching the door to our cabin. We should have been safe all the way to Seattle. Maybe the paranoia was getting to me, but I couldn’t relax enough to sleep. I fell into a kind of trance, barely registering our first stop. That door was the only thing keeping the world from knowing we were here.

That’s when I saw the red glow. It was a pea size red spot on the bottom left corner of the opaque glass in the door. The glow disappeared and so did the pea size spot of glass. Stealthily, I jumped up and pressed against the door. Mr. Masaru and Ms. Ochi disconcertedly rustled in their seats as they watched me. A pin hole tube snaked its way through the hole in the glass and poked it’s tip up. The tip swiveled around peering at the seats.

I grabbed the door handle and flung the sliding door open. A man was on his knees in front of the door holding a tablet to control the spy cam.  He glanced up at me as I threw my knee into his face. He was flung back cracking his head on the train’s pressurized door to the outside.

I didn’t see the other man to the side of the door until his gun flashed in front of me. Reacting quickly I ducked, to the side, but it wasn’t fast enough. The muzzle of the gun flashed. The crook of my neck seared with pain. There was a crackling sound behind me.

Acting instinctively, I grabbed the gunman’s arm with both hands and slammed it into the frame of the door. Another shot rang out as his forearm snapped in two. I slammed my elbow into his nose and with my hand, I shoved his head into the door frame. The gunman slid to the floor.

I picked up the gunman and set him in one of the seats. I then dragged his friend into the cabin and set him in the seat next to his partner. It took a little effort to slide the cabin door closed because the surveillance camera was jammed in the tracks of it, but I finally got the door closed.

I had to act quickly before they woke up. I dragged my overnight bag down out of the overhead compartment. I pulled my spare suit, out along with a tie and dress shirt. I ripped off the bloody dress shirt and tie I was wearing, handing it to Kyoko. I directed her to start tying up the men. We used the rest of my spare suit and ties to bind the men’s hands and feet behind their backs.

Kyoko lifted me up and sat me down next to Masaru, who I gave my gun to. He trained it on the two men, nervously.

Kyoko inspected my shoulder and neck. “It looks like a deep scratch. Nicked some of the muscles in the shoulder, but you’ll be alright.” She used the first aid kit in my bag and bandaged the wound.

I pulled my tablet out of my bag and used it to scan one of the men’s hand chip. With a few taps of the screen, the AGU database reported back with the man’s face and personal information. His name was Wayne Harrington, he was a citizen of AppleGate Union, but was a known freelance agent. I hate freelance agents. Sometimes they were retired or fired brokers, but most of the time they were people who washed out of the broker program. This was one of the wannabe brokers who couldn’t hack it in training and got washed out.

Kyoko nudged me in my good shoulder and handed me Harrington’s tablet had been using to control the spy cam. This was one of the reasons he was washed out. Idiot had kept his orders and who had hired him on his tablet. A quick scroll through, showed all the jobs he had taken. It was like he kept them as trophies. Well, this was enough to convict him for treason. The orders Kyoko wanted me to see, showed he was hired by Kabushiki Gaisha. I was suspected of killing their broker at the conference, I was to be eliminated and then Masaru and Kyoko were to be returned to Kabushiki Gaisha, dead or alive.

Well, Kabushiki had it right as to what happened to their broker. That must have been how they tracked us. I pulled out the scalpel from the first aid kit, I suppose it was time to change hand chips again.


The three of us found a booth to occupy on the observation deck. Salem had just flown by. My neck ached turning my head to look out the windows. Masaru doggedly stared down at his feet. Kyoko was taking in the view, but I could see she was deep in thought.

Masaru finally mumbled just loud enough to be heard by Kyoko and myself. “This is never going to end.”

I tried to buoy him up. “Sure it will. You’ll be safe once we get to Seattle.”

“That’s the thing,” he said. “Your company wants the same thing as everyone else – me. The AGU will make me hack for them and they’ll make me use the Cyber Nuke.”

“What would be so bad about that?” I asked.

“You don’t get what the Cyber Nuke can do.”  He waited to see if I said anything. I had a basic idea of how the virus worked, but was clueless to the particulars. Yet, from the look on Masaru’s face, I was about to learn what the highly, sought after creation was capable of.

“98% of the world’s population uses hand chips for everything from unlocking a door, to bank accounts, to vital statistics,” Mr. Masaru explained. “That’s 98% of the world’s information wiped out – gone. It’s not just our personal information that will be lost. Trains, electrical grids, water systems, and communications all wiped out.

“The Cyber Nuke flash wipes any computer tied to the internet. Computer systems will then burn themselves out, it’s almost instantaneous. This virus doesn’t recognize borders. Once launched, it will spread across the world in a matter of hours throwing us back into the dark ages.”

I rubbed a finger across my own hand chip. The idea of losing everything that identified me and tied me to this world terrified me. Then thinking of not being able to tell who anyone else is, or being able to simply turn on a light, or order some food overwhelmed me. The only question I had was, “Why? Why would Kabushiki Gaisha want to do that?”

Kyoko spoke up. “Kabushiki is losing. They’ll not be able to hold out against anymore attempts at hostile takeover. They figure their corporation only has about six months of solvency left. This Cyber Nuke was supposed to level the playing field by destroying everything and starting over again.”

My supervisor was right, this guy was too hot. Any corporation that found out about the Cyber Nuke would hunt Masaru down. Either they would enslave him to use the Cyber Nuke, or they would kill him so the Cyber Nuke couldn’t be used. The logical thing to do was to take him off the playing field.


“So, you let them go?” asked my supervisor, as we watched security officers escort Wayne Harrington and his partner off the train.

I dropped two chips into his hand. “These were Seiji Masaru’s and Kyoko Ochi’s hand chips. They’re off the grid now.”

He turned the chips over in his hand. “Where are they? Without their hand chips there’s no way to track them.” My supervisor worked hard to keep a poker face, but I could see his anger was getting the best of him. After all, I just let a weapon of mass destruction loose in the middle of nowhere. “What deformed thought process is working its way through that damaged brain of yours?!” He demanded.

I stood tall against the controlled rage of my supervisor. Smiling defiantly, I assured him. “Of course we can track them. We have their bio-scans. I never meant for us to lose track of them. I simply wanted to isolate them.”

“Then where are they?” He demanded.

“I sent them to a farming town called American Falls. I have old friends there that will take them in and put them to work with the growing seasons. The town is strictly built on farming. There is not much there Mr. Masaru can do with computers.”

“I’m familiar with the area. It’s an old part of Idaho the AGU never developed so we can maintain an agricultural system for the company.”

“That’s right. With their hand chips removed it will be almost impossible for other corporations to find them and they won’t be able to access the net.”

“What about his Cyber Nuke creation?” He asked.

“I tossed the tablets with the copies of the virus out of the train. They smashed into the cliffs on the Oregon coast.”

My supervisor turned and walked off in the same direction as the security officers and the captured free agents. Waving at me over his back he said, “We’ll be in touch with your next assignment.”

Typical supervisor. He left me with no clue if he was happy with my work or if he was ticked off. Forget if I did a good job or not, I just want to know if I was in trouble.

I turned and looked in my overnight bag. Mr. Masaru’s tablets were still safe. I’m not really sure why I kept the Cyber Nuke program, but they were too dangerous to be in the hands of any corporation. I could’ve smashed them on the rocks like I said, but I figured they would be handy someday. Something will come along and I’ll be able to use them as a bartering tool.

Well, until then, I guess I’ll just keep earning my cheese.



Appox: 5700 words
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