Soar (3)

We went up to Floor 24. He had to key in his access. Even the higher floors, The Land Of Always C-Suite, didn’t need that. This was Security Country.

It looked like the rest of the building. Potted plants near plate-glass windows, pictures of soaring fighter-jets and other soaring things. It smelled like the IT bullpen, except a little less like spare ribs and a little more like fleeting job security. A security guy, looking almost homicidally pissed, came in carrying a single tray of Starbucks. I just reached over and grabbed one off the tray. He stared at me. I got out of there before I could learn what level of pissed came after ‘almost homicidal.’

My escort introduced himself as Chuck. He introduced me to a guy whose name I promptly forgot. I gathered that the other guy was the final boss of this particular department. This from the fact that he was wearing an Hermes necktie but looked like he was wearing a noose.

“Tell him what you told me,” said Chuck.

I did.

Big Boss stared at me. He then turned around and walked over to a corner and stared at it for a while. He then swore. Several times. I just stood there, and sipped my mocha latte.

He turned around. He called over a man and a woman who both looked like they hadn’t slept in half a century. “Have we exhausted this line of attack?” he asked.

The guy opened his mouth to say something. “Yes,” the woman said, forcefully as a trebuchet.

“We can-” the guy started, but without much heart.

“No,” she said. “Done. Absolutely fucking finished. There is nothing to find. We can sit here all fucking-”

“Credible scenario,” said the boss, not so much over as through them. “Data was not stolen. Data was erased as act of corporate sabotage. Not theft.”

They stared at him.

Then: “Plausible,” said the woman. “One hundred percent.”

“Bullshit,” said the guy.

“Totally brilliant,” she said. “The program was self-contained, no backup as a matter of policy, it would have been entirely trivial for-”

“No,” said the guy, “it’s entirely-”

“Not to mention the chaos it caused us trying to find the leak.”

“Fringe benefit,” said Chuck, to no one in particular.

“Different strategy,” she said. “Isolate access logs. Not outgoing. Incoming. Look for even small pings. Anything anywhere near the storage. Look at fucking security videos for the physical input nodes. Find anything-”

“NO,” said the guy.

We all turned to look at him full-on. He looked like he was about to go Vesuvius.

“Bob,” said the woman, “it’s a plausible scenario.”

He was shaking.

“Then they can go FUCK themselves,” said the guy. “Just… deleting… we built that fucking thing for /three years/, Alice… he was the most promising… the most… the most…”

“Program,” said the boss.

“Just to hold us back? Just to fuck with us, they, they’s come here and kill, KILL, KILL a fucking-”

“PROGRAM,” said the boss.

The man, Bob, looked like he’d been slapped. He stopped shaking. Guess a slap was what he needed.

“Pursue new credible scenario,” he said. “I need to go lie down for a while.”

“I’ll take point,” said the woman, “I’m good, I’ve been dymaxion polyphasic since this-”

“Go,” said the boss. “Find me something before I get fired.”

With that they left. The boss went over to a window and proceeded to stare out it, or at it, entirely gone.

“I’m sure I don’t have to tell you not to repeat anything you’ve heard here today,” said Chuck.

Exhaustion is the suave-maker.

“Didn’t hear shit,” I said.

“Especially the part about-”

“Didn’t. Hear. Shit.”

“Enjoy the coffee,” he said, and then I was on the elevator heading down.

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~ by davekov on 12 June 2014.

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