Why exactly, I had no idea, but when I unlocked my front door I had a feeling something was out of place. I had only been away for a quick walk to the local supermarket. Looking around at the building across the parkinglot and the cars on the ground gave no hint of anything that would make me suspicious so I shrugged it off as my mind playing tricks on me and went inside.
I took off my sneakers and felt better blaming it on getting stuck on the mystery story I was writing. As I put away the cans of soup and meatballs in the kitchen I tried to go over possible plot directions in my head. Music would usually help so I went into the livingroom and started the metal playlist on the media client.
‘Good choice.’ said a voice giving me a heart attack.
‘JEZUSFUCKINGCHRIST!’ I shouted as I turned around fast to back away against the wall.
‘Not quite.’ the man sitting on the floor in the corner said. ‘At least, not as far as I know.’ He held up a memory stick. ‘But you might call him more often when you get a look at this.’
He didn’t seem dangerous to me as I took a better look at him. His face, although unshaven for some days, seemed honest. I think he had some Spanish in his blood. His clothing was as casual as it could be for this city.
‘I’ll stay in this corner while I talk you through getting to the data. Only, use the couch and keep the laptop sideways at the window.’
‘Who are you and what the hell are you doing here?’
‘A friend of mine works for a company specialised in biochemistry. Not a big company, but large enough to have the right equipment to create some very interesting experiments. Experiments involving stereotypical secret government projects.’
‘And you came to me because?’
‘I’ve read your work, science fiction with subjects as gene manipulation, bio-engineered lifeforms and plants. Interesting ideas, but not quite as futuristic as you thought. I thought it would be cool to get the word out through your writing.’
‘Won’t that make unbelievable things even more unbelievable?’
‘So much so that enough people will take notice and recognise true bits in real life. As long as you don’t change too much from this data.’
he said and tossed me the stick.
‘Is this safe?’
‘I don’t know for sure. But since you know your way around cybersecurity I figured you’d know what to do.’
I nodded and sat down on the couch, grabbing my laptop from the seat.
‘You’ll need a connection to the grid so you can’t disconnect.’
‘I know, but the data is scattered at different locations.’
‘I see.’ I said and connected my laptop through a cable and shut off wireless.
I logged in and created a new virtual machine from a clean template.
‘Almost forgot.’ I said, stood up, went into the kitchen and came back with a sheet of tin foil. I took the stick and wrapped it up in it.’
With the virtual machine started I isolated the port for the stick from the host and redirected it to the virtual machine, then inserted the stick.
‘Okay, it’s as good as it gets here. Now what?’
‘Open a tunnel to the following addresses with these accounts.’ he said and gave me access to three servers spread across the grid. ‘Now connect from eaach of those to the next set of servers.’ Again I accessed those servers with his information. ‘Now run the binary on the stick.’
I entered the command and got a list of files in my terminal window.
‘You should be able to get an idea of what’s going on from the index file.’
I opened it and it contained short summaries with the file names. I quickly scanned through them feeling more and more like one of my own science fiction characters.
‘Are you kidding me!?’
He shook his head. ‘Nope. It’s all happening now, there in those labs.’
‘They really transformed humans with gene therapy!? Created sentient plants!? Intelligent insects!?’
‘Would you believe it when you saw it on the news?’
‘This is just too fantastic! I can imagine some things being real many years from now, but not at present.’
‘Which is why it would be better to get it out through your writing. When people start to see things for real after thinking it was just a story it should get their attention. Hopefully we can slowly get these secrets out in the open before disasters happen. Imagine a force of elite superhumans or hybrids getting sent out to kill anyone opposing the government’s agenda. Swarms of specially bred insects to destroy foreign crops.’
‘Too much power.’
I pondered about the possible outcomes.
‘I could get killed for this.’
‘I’d have to set up insurances for my own safety before I even start writing down a single word.’
‘That would be better.’
‘It will take some time.’
‘Not a big problem.’
‘And I would have to finish my current novel first, otherwise it might raise suspicion.’
‘As long as you can get it out in the open.’
‘What if I fail or die before I’m done?’
‘There are a couple more candidates. You were our first choice.’
‘Do you remember the connections to make?’
He stood up and walked to the front door keeping to the walls. ‘Good luck then. I’m looking forward to your future novels.’ he said and left my apartment.