Creative Story: Fast Eddie by Rick Vallejos (Daredevil or vallejos@kdcol.com) (Comments appreciated) !ere do " be#in...

to $rite do$n my misadvent%re. " $o%ld !ave never picked %p a pen and be#an !ad it not been &or my !ost. 'e(s t!e type o& &ello$ $!o tells yo% $!at to do and !is partners (soldiers) make s%re yo% did j%st as yo%r told. )!is !ideo%t* t!is &ortress !as more $eapons t!an "(ve seen in mont!s. )!ere is a #%ard at my door t!is min%te* p%t t!ere &or my protection so " $as told. +e! ri#!t, 'e(s #ot a mean lookin# revolver $it! a !%#e bore. )!at(s bad eno%#! b%t !e points it directly at my c!est and $aves it aro%nd $!en !e addresses me. " can(t describe t!e look in !is eyes. " tr%ly believe !e $o%ld love to do me in. 'e t!inks "(m an enemy and a t!reat to my !ost. " am a #%est o& t!e leader o& t!is or#ani-ation. " sit !ere and t!ink o& $!at !as !appened to brin# me !ere. .y mind $anders back to $!en " $as an innocent ei#!t year old kid. " $orried more abo%t $!at #ames to play t!an anyt!in# else. .y mom bro%#!t %s to t!e .ile 'i#! City a&ter s!e and my dad started &i#!tin#. S!e t!o%#!t it $o%ld be #ood to #ro$ %p near relatives. S!e never kne$ $!at $as in store &or %s all. /o one kne$ e0cept t!e scientist and inter&erin# #enerals $!o $ere developin# project 12nder/et1. )!e national3#lobal comp%ter net$ork t!at $as #oin# to make o%r lives simpler by linkin# t!e re#ional in&rastr%ct%re mana#ement comp%ters. "t made sense to !ave a system $!ere electricity $as diverted &rom one #rid to anot!er $ere it $as needed more. Same $it! all t!e ot!er reso%rces o& man.. &%el* $ater* &ood* and even s%rpl%s peoplepo$er in t!e &orm o& t!e ten year old /ational Civilian Corp. "& only t!e military !adn(t been involved. )!ey t!ink everyt!in# !as to be a part o& t!e de&ense plans &or o%r co%ntry. !en t!e system $ent on4 line* t!eir s%percomp%ters $ere blamed &or t!e cold* !eartless decision o& t!e system. )!ey $ere desi#ned to keep on $orkin# t!ro%#! any nat%ral or man4made disaster*

" &o%nd a room t!at " $as s%re no ot!ers !ad looted. " co%ld see t!at it $as a po$er control panel* a lot like t!e one $e !ad at !ome &or o%r old . " &elt my $ay over to t!e li#!t. . . Eac! day a str%##le &or &ood and a sa&e place to sleep at ni#!t. )!is brin#s %s %p to a $eek a#o. /o$adays* yo% traded &or $!at yo% needed.incl%din# t!is Civil ar o& 5667. " $as searc!in# t!e r%bble o& t!e #overnment b%ildin#s in t!e &ederal center on 8lameda 9lvd. so%nd. 8 )!at(s $!en " noticed t!e . "t $as b%ried %nder t!e e0ploded &o%r4story b%ildin# b%t " $i##led my $ay do$n to it. )!e &irst o%tbreaks $ere over reso%rces.<= comp%ter. )!at black is $!y t!e #lo$in# red s$itc! $as so noticeable. 8&ter a min%te my eyes adj%sted to t!e dark and t!e dim #lo$ o& t!e s$itc! lit %p t!e area aro%nd it. " $as #iddy $it! t!e t!o%#!t o& $!at " mi#!t &ind. "t $as black as coal in t!e room and " !adn(t t!o%#!t o& brin#in# a li#!t. !en " #ot my s!o%lders t!ro%#! t!e split in t!e door &rame* " cra$led t!ro%#! into t!e d%sty &loor.ost people t!ink t!at t!e 12nder/et1 planned and orc!estrated t!e civil $ar. )!e street #an#s $o%ld take anyt!in# lar#er t!ey sa$ me carryin#. S!e $as killed &or t!e contents o& !er small backpack.y story* in my opinion* is abo%t a kid tryin# to stay alive in t!e streets o& t!e .ile 'i#! City. " !aven(t seen a relative &or mont!s. $!en " &o%nd t!e door$ay. " $asn(t $orried abo%t #ettin# t!in#s o%t beca%se all " $o%ld take $as small items " co%ld !ide in my clot!es. ()!e #reatest #ood &or t!e #reatest amo%nt o& people( $e $ere all told. "& " $as ten po%nds !eavier* " $o%ld !ave never #otten in* b%t " did. F%el and $ater t!at $as #oin# to t!e bi# cities at t!e e0pense o& t!e r%ral comm%nities. )!e door $as solid metal at least t!ree inc!es t!ick b%t t!e e0plosion !ad split part o& t!e door &rame and " co%ld s:%ee-e t!ro%#!.ost o& it $as &amily keepsakes like old pict%res o& my #randparents and o& me as a b%ck4naked baby. /o$* a&ter t!ree years o& civil $ar* li&e is very !ard. . " lost my mom at t!e disaster relie& center set %p in t!e city park.

" reac!ed &or t!e s$itc! and $it!o%t kno$in# $!at " $as #ettin# mysel& into* t%rned it on. " !adn(t seen a $orkin# comp%ter in lon# time. " $ondered i& t!is comp%ter !ad any #ames. ?ne small $ord appeared in t!e top le&t. " %sed t!e mo%seball on t!e keyboard to move t!e arro$ to t!is icon and clicked it on. )!e screen cleared and be#an to scroll $ritten te0t s!o$in# t!e stat%s o& di&&erent . " reco#ni-ed t!e col%mns. )!e title read 1Re#ional 2nder/et1 in lar#e letters. " !ad seen a special on s%per comp%ters on )V. 8 te0t%red $indo$ appeared in t!e center o& t!e screen. " !adn(t played a comp%ter #ame in at least a year.very lo$ !%m yo% &elt as m%c! as !eard. " looked aro%nd. )!e lar#e electronic cases in t!e back $ere data stora#e. )!e #lo$ o& t!e screen !elped to li#!t t!e room. "n t!e center o& t!e room $ere $!at seemed to be &o%r padded col%mns $it! a seat #oin# aro%nd eac!. @ro$in# %p in t!e comp%ter a#e made all o& t!is very com&ortin#. )!at seemed stran#e. )!e $all " $as at !ad a lon# co%nter. )!ere $ere t$o ot!er comp%ter terminals like t!e one " !ad started. Some parts o& t!e city still !ad electricity b%t it $as #ettin# to be less all t!e time. )!is room !ad &o%r o& t!em. "t !ad a do-en icons %nderneat! t!e title. " kne$ t!at t!ese mi#!t be val%able and easy to carry. )!e back $all $as lined $it! electronic e:%ipment and si0 lar#e cases abo%t as bi# as a $as!in# mac!ine. ?ne o& t!e icons said System Stat%s $it! a pict%re o& a small desktop comp%ter.y eyes didn(t need too m%c! li#!t. " p%lled it o%t and p%s!ed t!e enter key. . "t said 1Ready1. " $as s%rprised t!at t!is room !ad electricity since t!e b%ildin# above it didn(t even e0ist. >%st to t!e le&t* a small comp%ter monitor screen be#an to #lo$ bl%e. " didn(t see anyt!in# t!at looked like a #ame icon. " t%rned to$ard t!e terminal b%t " didn(t see a keyboard. E0cept &or t!e lo$ !%m and t!e active terminal* everyt!in# seem to be dead. " looked closer and sa$ t!at t!e keyboard $as !idden %nderneat! t!e co%nter on a slidin# tray. '%#e !ard drives. 8bove it $as one s!el& lined $it! notebooks* stacks o& paper* and bo0es o& comp%ter disks.

ost s!o$ed t!at t!ey $ere not available.&%nctions. " $asn(t a&raid o& someone s!o$in# %p. !at do " call yo%A1 " spoke to$ard t!e terminal t!inkin# t!at t!e microp!one m%st be !idden some$!ere t!ere. " kne$ only someone o& my small si-e co%ld &it into t!e r%bble and t!en &ind t!is basement room. "t came clear and smoot! &rom t!e speaker. "t seemed t!at t!is comp%ter $o%ld !elp me $!en " needed it and " co%ld al$ays t%rn o&& t!e red s$itc!. For all " kne$* t!is co%ld be monitored some$!ere else. " spoke o%t to t!e terminal. ?ne ot!er icon said 1Vocal "nter&ace1. " !it t!e enter key and #ot t!e icons back. "n some room* some$!ere* t!e 2nder/et co%ld be a$are t!at " j%st t%rned on t!e red s$itc!. " $o%ld !ear anyone bi##er tryin# to #et in. ?ne t!in# t!at all mankind learned in t!e last &e$ years* yo% can(t tr%st a comp%ter too m%c!. 1 !at is yo%r &%nction* EddieA1 )!e speaker be#an to tell me abo%t it(s part in a !i#!ly classi&ied project to .. !at !ad " started and $o%ld it ca%se tro%bleA " stood silent &or a min%te be&ore " spoke. 1Some called me 1Fast Eddie1 or sometimes j%st Eddie. )!e comp%ter t!o%#!t " $as someone else.1 " crin#ed $it! &ear.. !en t!e screen stopped* it read 1Ready1 a#ain. " !eard a lo%d 1!%m1 &rom a small speaker on t!e s!el& above me and it spoke to me. )!is one $as a very advanced comp%ter and a part o& t!e enemy. +o% are $elcome to address me !o$ever yo% $is!. 1'o$ $o%ld yo% like me to address yo%A1* it spoke. "t said* 1"t(s nice to talk to yo% a#ain* it(s been &ive !%ndred and t!irty &ive days* ei#!teen !o%rs* and t!irty t$o min%tes since o%r last visit. " $ill do my best to respond as yo% desire. . )!at so%nded interestin# and " clicked it on. )!ey co%ld trap me b%t " !ave been trapped be&ore* and al$ays seem to #et o%t. 8t sc!ool* most o& t!e CD Rom disks $e %sed in comp%ter lab !ad a lot o& speec! b%t t!is seemed di&&erent.1 " $asn(t as $orried no$. 1+o% can call me Vanessa* everyone else does.t!e 2nder/et. 1 !o do yo% t!ink " amA1* " st%ttered. " !ad !eard electronic speec! be&ore.

" spoke o%t lo%d one $ord* 1Report. )!e reports $ere to emp!asi-e activities t!at seemed e0traordinary and tracked anyt!in# t!at $as related to t!e Department o& De&ense.) stora#e disks like $e %sed in sc!ool. " co%ld see t!at t!e stories o& t!e 2nder/et $ere tr%e. Eddie talked abo%t allocation o& military &orces to en&orce t!e decisions made by t!e 2nder/et. Since most !ad dates on t!em as t!eir title* " ass%med t!at t!ey $ere reports &rom t!at date. " $alked over to t!e bo0es o& so&t$are and opened t!em %p.monitor t!e activities in t!e $estern re#ion o& t!e 2nder/et system &or t!e /ational Sec%rity 8dministration. " $as c%rio%s abo%t t!e 2nder/et system and $!y it $ent $ron#. /ot m%c! in t!e $ay o& small items t!at " co%ld salva#e.ile 'i#!. "t $as tr%e t!at t!e cities $ere #ettin# t!e lions s!are o& reso%rces. "t even spoke o& c%ttin# o&& reso%rces to t!e central part o& yomin# beca%se o& lack o& j%sti&ication. )!e #overnment $as $atc!in# parts o& itsel& beca%se t!ey didn(t tr%st eac! ot!er. Everyt!in# $as bein# diverted to t!e bi# cities. " p%t t!e bo0es back and $alked aro%nd t!e padded col%mns. " remembered t!e )V ne$s stories abo%t ranc!ers attackin# convoys o& tr%cks travellin# t!ro%#! yomin#. "t $as to record* analy-e* and report activities o& t!e 2nder/et. )!ey all !ad &ancy printed labels b%t t!ey $eren(t store4bo%#!t so&t$are. )!e speaker be#an to talk a#ain.any ( ?R. )!at incl%ded stationin# &%ll military detac!ments to protect t!e main &rame comp%ter centers* like t!e &ederal center !ere in . "n t!e lo$ li#!t o& t!e #lo$in# monitor* " co%ld see t!at t!is room $as very clean. "t so%nded like o%r old !ome comp%ter readin# t!e !ard drive. "t listed o&& borin# statistics o& po$er cons%mption and allocation o& reso%rces. /o ot!er li#!ts $ere visible in t!e room. " listened to t!e do$n&all o& li&e as $e kne$ it. )!en t!e report . "t be#an by sayin# a date abo%t a year and a !al& a#o. "nside $ere standard rite ?nce Read . " $aited &or a &%ll min%te and still no response &rom Fast Eddie.1 )!e padded col%mns be!ind me be#an to so&tly click and clatter.

"t $as t!e comp%ter disks t!at led t!e rebels to me. Even " mi#!t !ave been a key piece o& t!e p%--le. "t $as t!e &inal se#ment o& t!is part o& t!e report t!at stopped my !eart. "t $as cold and %nemotional abo%t t!e n%mbers o& citi-ens e0pected to be 1lost1. 8&ter t!e report completed* " loaded %p my pockets $it! items " co%ld carry* t%rned o&& t!e #lo$in# red s$itc!* and $i##led back %p to t!e s%nli#!t.ile 'i#! City.inimal /eed 8reas1 and $ere to be 1de4emp!asi-ed1. )!e body $as c%ttin# parts o& itsel& o&& to save t!e rest. " !ad a !ard time &indin# someone $!o $anted to trade &or t!e disks since most people " . ?nce in a $!ile it $o%ld mention a directive or order t!at came &rom as!in#ton t!at e&&ected $!at $as !appenin# in t!is re#ion. "t called t!is ne$ army t!e 1Sa#ebr%s! Rebels1. " listened closely to t!is part o& t!e report since it &ell so close to !ome &or me.ontana* nort!ern "da!o* most o& 2ta!* and eastern Colorado $ere all listed as 1.be#an describin# t!e statistical probability o& civil $ar. "t made constant re&erence to dates. . )!e report covered abo%t si0 mont!s $!en it described an administrative order t!at spoke o& t!e (#reatest #ood &or t!e #reatest n%mber o& people( and c%t o&& all reso%rces to t!e r%ral parts o& t!e $est. "t speci&ically mentioned my present !ost. Eastern . " $ent back to my main job o& &indin# &ood* keepin# o%t o& dan#er* and s%rvivin#.ile 'i#! City. So everyt!in# $as a part o& t!e plan. )!e report be#an describin# in #reater detail t!e events o& civil disobedience. )!e man $!o $as makin# !ead$ay or#ani-in# t!e r%ral $est. )!e report seldom made re&erence to $!at $as !appenin# in t!e eastern part o& t!e co%ntry. )!e entire state o& /evada* e0cept &or military installations* $as to be abandoned.y !ost !ad located t!e center o& !is or#ani-ation j%st a &e$ miles &rom t!e . Everyone kne$ t!at it $as t!e Rebels $!o !ad ca%sed most o& t!e destr%ction o& t!e . )!e comp%ter said t!at my !ost $o%ld 1contin%e to take instr%ctions &rom t!is re#ional o&&ice o& t!e 2nder/et and assist in t!e completion o& t!e #oal o& restr%ct%rin# 8merica1.

'e took t!e t$o disks " carried as samples and le&t me #aspin# &or breat! in an alley. " !ad !eard t!ey $ere lookin# &or me b%t " !ad to come o%t o& !idin# to trade. " $as &inally bro%#!t be&ore my !ost. " &inally #ot a black eye and a sore rib &rom a man $!o $anted to kno$ $!ere " #ot t!em &rom. . 1" am t!e elected leader o& .kne$ didn(t !ave m%c! need &or t!em. )$o aides* eac! cl%tc!in# a notebook in t!eir !ands* stood be!ind !im and :%ickly responded $!en !e spoke. " $as t!ro$n into a room t!at $as probably an o&&ice in t!e old days b%t all o& t!e &%rnit%re $as #one. )!ey $ere $aitin# &or me. ?ne #ood t!in# !appened $!en t!e door opened. ?nly a &e$ cardboard bo0es t!at " co%ld %se to !ide in and s!iver $!ile " $aited. 'e t!en asked my name. )!ey immediately backed a$ay as i& t!ey $ere a&raid t!at t!ey mi#!t be noticed alon# $it! me. 1+o%r in t!e !ead o&&ice o& t!e Sa#ebr%s! Rebellion and yo%r my #%est1* !e said. )!ey all $anted to t%rn me in &or t!e re$ard. " $as terri&ied and t!o%#!t &or s%re " $as as #ood as dead. 'e stood %p and came to$ards me. "t $as stone cold b%t !is eyes $ere alive. 'e pa%sed and t!en :%ietly told me not to be a&raid. )!ree days later " $as capt%red by a roamin# #an#. " &o%nd o%t t!en t!at $!en p%s! comes to s!ove* " didn(t !ave a sin#le &riend on t!e streets. )!e #an# took me to t!is b%ildin#* a #ood !o%rs travel o%tside o& t!e city. 1 !at ca%seA1* " asked. . " $as so terri&ied t!at my voice so%nded more like a s:%eak t!an a name. "t $as t!e best meal " !ad !ad in mont!s. 'e ordered my #%ards to brin# me to t!e end o& t!e table and make me sit do$n. 8 small bo0 o& &ood and $ater $as le&t. " $as in no condition to ar#%e $it! anyt!in# t!ey said. " co%ldn(t read !is &ace. " m%st !ave talked to t$o do-en people abo%t t!e disks. 'e said t!at " mi#!t be o& #reat !elp to !im and 1o%r1 ca%se.y !ost sat at a $ooden con&erence room table lookin# at some papers. Finally one o& t!e aides noticed me and my #%ards and spoke into t!e ear o& my !ost.y !ost sat do$n and looked at me &or a moment.

1 " t!o%#!t &or a &e$ seconds and responded.t!e &i#!t o& t!e common man a#ainst t!e corr%pt and bloated #overnment1. 1 !at is it $ort! to yo% to kno$ $!ere " &o%nd t!e disksA1. "& " mentioned t!at " kne$ all abo%t t!e 2nder/et(s involvement* it may mean my deat!. +o% lead %s to t!e comp%ter room and "(ll #et yo% $!at yo% $ant. "t so%nded like a political speec! $!en !e said it. " need s%pplies and $eapons and transportation to a sa&er place. ?ne o& t!e #%ards !anded my a notebook and a pen and told me to spend t!e rest o& t!e day $ritin# do$n anyt!in# " co%ld remember abo%t t!e comp%ter room. "& " told !im o& my discovery* and !e #ot access to t!e active comp%ter* $!o kno$s $!at t!at $o%ld mean. 'is voice even #ot lo%der like !e $as talkin# to an a%dience. " asked. )!at brin#s me to no$. )!at(s $!ere " #o $!en " need to rela0 and &eel sa&e. e kno$ t!at t!e comp%ter disks yo% $ere tryin# to trade co%ld !ave only come &rom one place. " !ave sat !ere . 'e smiled at me and asked* 1 !at do yo% need* my dearA " can provide yo% $it! almost anyt!in# yo% co%ld ask &or.y !ost slapped bot! !ands do$n on t!e table and said 1Done.y men $ill take yo% to o%r compo%nd in so%t!ern 2ta!. +o% $ill !old %p yo% side o& t!e bar#ain.ile 'i#! City and t!e str%##le to keep alive. "(m tired o& t!e . )!e !ead o& t!e rebellion $as a pa$n o& t!e 2nder/et and &ollo$in# t!e plans t!at t!ey developed &or 8merica. . 8nyone co%ld tell !e #ot $!at !e $anted* or else. " $as so con&%sed my !ead !%rt. " didn(t kno$ $!at to do.1 'e didn(t kno$ t!at t!e room " !ad &o%nd $as still alive and active.1 'e $aved !is arm and my t$o #%ards immediately took me a$ay. )!ere m%st be a sa&er place. 1" !ad yo% bro%#!t !ere beca%se $e kno$ o& yo%r &ind. 'o$ co%ld " e0pose t!e spy $!o lead t!e rebellionA " needed to kno$ more abo%t t!e sit%ation. )!is man $!o sat ne0t to me and asked me &or my !elp $as not someone " co%ld i#nore. 9%t be $arned* " don(t $ant to $aste any time tomorro$* or yo% $ill ans$er to me. "& " co%ld #et access to t!e place yo% &o%nd* t!en $e mi#!t be able to salva#e more data. 1" need t!in#s to make my li&e easier.1 . 'e didn(t kno$ t!at Fast Eddie !ad told me all abo%t my !ost. +o% stay in t!e !oldin# room and tomorro$ mornin# yo% $ill #o $it! my men and me to t!e city.

1" kne$ t!at t!e comp%ter center !ad to be in a #overnment b%ildin# some$!ere. Somet!in# " !aven(t !ad &or a very lon# time.y mind sp%n aro%nd and " &inally dri&ted o&& to sleep. e drove on side roads aro%nd t!e o%tside o& t!e city and came into t!e &ederal center &rom t!e so%t!$est.aybe it $as t!e t$o do-en armed men in t!e tr%cks. )!e &ederal center is so bi# t!at " didn(t kno$ $!ere to start. " be#an to c!an#e my t!inkin# abo%t t!e rebels. " #ot to ride in t!e cab o& one o& t!e tr%cks. /o one bot!ered %s* in &act* it seemed t!at most people ran and !id $!en t!ey sa$ %s comin#. )!ey didn(t ask &or my $ritten story. " !ad !idden it %nderneat! t!e lar#est cardboard bo0 in my !oldin# room. " travelled in t!e center o& t!e . e loaded into &ive pick%p tr%cks and be#an o%r jo%rney back into to$n. 'e b%rst into t!e room $it! !is aides &ollo$in# !im like leaves be!ind a d%stdevil. e drove $it!in a &e$ city blocks o& t!e cr%mbled b%ildin#. !en $e parked and be#an $alkin#* my !ost c!%ckled and la%#!ed $it! !is soldiers.1 !e told !is men. 2n&ort%nately " don(t kno$ !o$ it $ill end. )!e 2nder/et $as a major ca%se o& t!e civil $ar4 t!e civil $ar $as killin# everyone " kno$ or !ave kno$n4 my !ost is an a#ent o& t!e 2nder/et4 i& someone co%ld destroy t!e 2nder/et* it mi#!t stop t!e $ar4 " am a tiny little #irl $!o normally co%ldn(t do anyt!in# to make a di&&erence4 92)* " !ave &o%nd mysel& in a %ni:%e position $!ere " can make a di&&erence by $!at " do. " !ave to re4e0amine t!e key points. 8ll o& t!e rebels seemed in !i#! spirits and $ere very nice to me. )!ey $ere treatin# me $it! respect and " act%ally !ad some social stat%s $it! t!is #ro%p. . " be#an to &eel more rela0ed and told t!em $!at types o& tools $e $o%ld need to #et into t!e room. e ate !ard bread and c!eese. 'e !ad a !%#e #rin on !is &ace and kept sayin# $!at a #reat day t!is $as #oin# to be. " t!o%#!t to mysel& t!at $!en !e &inds o%t t!at t!e comp%ter is still active* it s!o%ld make !is $!ole mont! #reat. .!idin# in my cardboard bo0es $ritin# t!is story. " $as a$oken by my !ost j%st a&ter da$n.

en %sed t!eir lon# metal prybars t!at $orked so easily on t!e cement to po%nd and pry on t!e door b%t it didn(t move an inc!. " spoke to t!e one standin# ne0t to me and pointed at t!e #lo$in# red s$itc!. !en $e #ot t!e metal door cleared* t!ere $asn(t a !andle on it o& any kind. 9y t!is time* all t!e ot!er men $ere cro$ded aro%nd me and my !ost lookin# at t!e terminal. Finally t!ey stopped and backed o&&. 'e $alked over and p%s!ed t!e red s$itc!.y !ost ordered !is men to &ollo$ my instr%ctions as to $!ere to #o. 'e kept sayin# 1?! . .1 over and over a#ain. it! t!e additional li#!t in t!e room* t!e s$itc! $asn(t as obvio%s as be&ore. 8s be&ore* t!e terminal screen t%rned bl%e and t!e $ord 1Ready1 appeared. . 'e pointed it o%t to my !ost $!o t!en #ot real e0cited. it! t!e soldiers $orkin# to#et!er* t!ey !ad t!e cement moved very :%ickly and co%ld see $!ere t!e door $as !idden. !en it reac!ed a point* t!e door clicked and opened sli#!tly on it(s o$n. )!e te0t%red $indo$ appeared $it! t!e icon list. 'e stood $it! !is !ands on !is !ips and t%rned to look aro%nd t!e room. /e0t to t!e door $as a lever labeled 1emer#ency release1. "nstantly* my !ost b%rst t!ro%#! nearly knockin# me over. " pointed to . " told my !ost to p%ll o%t t!e keyboard and p%s! enter* $!ic! !e did. ?nly t!ree ot!er men came into t!e room $it! my !ost. " brie&ly told !im abo%t t%rnin# on t!e s$itc! last time and 1talkin# to t!e comp%ter1. 1@et inside and see i& yo% can open t!e door1* !e ordered.y !ost became very an0io%s and $o%ld yell at t!e men to $ork !arder. . )!ere $asn(t any $ay to open t!e door. /ot!in# !ad c!an#ed since " !ad been !ere be&ore. " cra$led t!ro%#! t!is time $it! a &las!li#!t li#!tin# t!e $ay.y @od. " stood inside t!e room and looked aro%nd. e #ot to t!e r%bble o& t!e e0ploded b%ildin# and " pointed to a spot $!ere t!ey s!o%ld be#in clearin# a pat!. 'e stood and didn(t say a $ord to me.y !ost #rabbed me by my s!o%lder and p%s!ed me to$ard t!e broken door &rame. " #rabbed it $it! bot! !ands and p%s!ed %p$ard $it! all my mi#!t. 'e t%rned to me and asked $!at " kne$ abo%t t!e room. .!ead #ro%p.

e $ill be remembered as a key part o& !istory. +o%r &inal orders and re$ard &or yo%r service $ill be iss%ed to yo% in t!irty seconds. 'o$ $o%ld yo% like me to address yo%A1 . " didn(t !ear t!e e0plosion t!at took o%t most o& t!e soldiers and sealed t!e comp%ter room &orever. )!ey all stood %p strai#!t and backed o&&.y !ost la%#!ed o%t lo%d alon# $it! all o& !is men.t!e icon t!at allo$ed t!e comp%ter to speak and told everyone !o$ " $as able to listen and talk to t!e comp%ter. )!e 2nder/et t!anks yo% and me &or o%r e0cellent service as a part o& t!e #reater plan. )!e so&t clicks co%ld be !eard &rom t!e padded col%mns. "t $as a small di#ital clock co%ntin# back$ards. "t is key to t!e s%ccess o& t!e plan. " t%rned and ran o%t t!e door as &ast as " co%ld. Everyone t!ere !ad one !orrible t!o%#!t in t!eir minds.y !ost moved t!e pointer arro$ to t!e 1Vocal "nter&ace1 icon. 8ll " listened &or $as t!e beatin# o& my still livin# !eart.1 )!e comp%ter replied* 1" am !ere to serve yo%. " didn(t say anyt!in# abo%t t!e contents o& o%r disc%ssion. 1Simon @reen* yo%r presence !ere $ill allo$ me to &inally complete o%r roles in t!e reor#ani-ation o& 8merica. " co%ld tell somet!in# $as #oin# on b%t t!e ot!ers didn(t seem to notice.1 . !at to doAA . )!e comp%ter said* 1"t(s nice to talk to yo% a#ain Vanessa* it(s been &ive days* si0 !o%rs* and t$enty min%tes since o%r last visit. 1" am Simon @reen* leader o& t!e Sa#ebr%s! Rebellion. " stood silent and tried to t!ink as &ast as " co%ld. " decided to keep t!at part a secret &or no$. l .. +o% and " !ave done an e0cellent job o& removin# and red%cin# t!e %nnecessary drain o& val%able reso%rces by t!e $estern cities.1 " noticed one o& t!e small icons &lickerin#.y !ost p%&&ed %p !is c!est and p%t !is !ands on !is !ips.y !ost :%ieted do$n !is men $it! a $ave o& !is !and and spoke* 1Comp%ter* " am !ere $it! Vanessa and " need yo%r assistance. 8ll t!e men bent do$n to look close as t!e clock s!o$ed ten* t!en nine* ei#!t* seven.. . Finally t!e comp%ter spoke.1 )!e comp%ter seemed to pa%se a moment.