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Breed: Fifty


  06:35:00 pm, by Nic Wilson   , 860 words  
Categories: Breed

Breed: Fifty

?I can't believe we made it this far without any trouble?
?He said, oblivious of the concept of a jinx,? Ben said to Mahmoud.
?We've got ourselves the best damn anti-jinx,? Sonya said.
?Yeah. He could probably have sex with a black cat under a ladder on the shards of a broken mirror, and it wouldn't matter,? Rui said.
?But why would I have sex with a cat??
?Because guys your age are obsessed with pussy?? Mira asked.
?Or maybe,? Rox began, ?we've gotten this far because we weren't talking so much or so loudly.?
?Nah,? Ben said. ?That's too convoluted to be true.?
?How are things coming with the server?? she asked, ignoring him.
?The networked drive is purged, formatted, and for good measure it's overheating as we speak; it'll be completely unusable in another thirty seconds.?
?Why do I get the impression there's a big but headed my way.?
?Because you can hear Ben's big-ass footsteps,? Mira said.
?Is it really that big? Like proportionally?? Ben asked, sticking out his posterior. ?Or is it just these jeans??
?I sometimes forget you're children,? Rox said. ?Not age-wise, but in maturity. I feel like I'm babysitting.?
?I thought babysitters were supposed to keep kids from breaking into government facilities.? Mira said. Rox turned to her with a wry smile. ?What? I was a precocious child.?
?Mahmoud, they'll just keep going like this until we're taken to Guantanamo Bay, or one of us pushes the conversation forward.?
?The but you sensed was that there's a back-up. It's not accessible from the outside, not on the network, it has a single connection to the server, accessible on a timed circuit- like a timed lock for a bank, designed to specifically function on an old analog clock, so even if we had tried a remote hack, we wouldn't have gotten this information, let alone been able to access it. Thankfully,? he pulled a metal panel off the wall. ?The back-up isn't far away.? Condensation rolled out of the panel, as it was essentially a server built into a refrigerator.
?How long will it take?? Rox asked.
?Registration data's already formatted; that's just a few 1s and 0s. The surveillance is terrabytes. It takes a while to format terrabytes, even spread across a bunch of different drives. We're being watched, incidentally.?
?I should have specified. Not by the government. This is coming from the school- from our classmates. And as far as I can tell they're trying to shield us. Hold on. I've got a message to them. And they're game. They're going to look for another back-up, surveillance data or registration info. There's definitely some of that with the DoJ. But I wouldn't be surprised if the NSA had a back-up site, where this information was stored. It's just good data-management. I mean, a lazy admin will just set up a RAID environment, which spreads copies of files over a server farm, because the odds of multiple servers crashing at the same time are very small. But if you're worried about fire, flood, act of God or a break-in...
?And I hate to get all Star Wars on you, but there is another.?
?And for those of us who don't speak 'Yoda.'?
?Someone else has been here tonight- someone who I think knew we would be here, and that we'd make enough noise no one would notice. And they copied the database.?
?Our eye in the sky??
?I'm passing that to them. Maybe they can get something.? They heard the sound of a gunshot, distant, but not distant enough, and everyone stopped moving.
?What was that?? Mira asked, disbelieving her own ears.
?The sound of our luck running out,? Mahmoud said.
?Seriously,? Ben said, ?do they not have jinxes where you come from??
?Seattle?? Mahmoud said.
?I'm not even superstitious, but you do seem like you're daring fate to prove me wrong.?
?Seattle does kind of feel like a cursed place; I think it's all the rain. Gets to a lot of people.?
?How long?? Rox asked.
?Too long,? Mahmoud said.
?Sonya, Rui??
?Mira, can I borrow you?? Sonya asked.
?Pick up that panel.? She lifted it off the ground. ?I'm going to put some bombs inside, and I want you to hold the panel in place. You can absorb anything that gets out.?
Sonya started creating her distortion fields inside the computer, sticking them to components, especially the drives. ?Go,? she said, then ran behind a server rack. ?Everybody, down.?
Mira shoved the panel in place, and put her back against it, then closed her eyes. The explosion was little more than a fizzle, almost like popcorn in a microwave. But when Mira removed the panel, the computer was riddled with holes and flecks of plastic shrapnel.
?And I'm on clean-up,? Rui said. His hand changed to a gas, then to plasma, and heat poured off him. The plastic pieces melted, and the metal components glowed red. ?That should do it,? he said. Mira replaced the panel in front of it.
Mahmoud opened his eyes. ?We need to leave, now,? he said. ?They know we're here. And they're coming.?

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