Lockdown, Part 2

“How can I help you, gentlemen?” I said. I swung my chair around with my hands steepled. It had precisely zero impact on them, but it made me feel better. Besides, I’ve always wanted to do that. Unfortunately, my architect had talked me out of putting a trap door in the floor.

As Jet had said, there were three gentlemen, very serious-looking. Virtually indistinguishable. I swear they even matched them up by height. Black suits. Black ties. Sunglasses inside. I’m sure they were meant to be intimidating. Maybe to convince the less well-educated that the CSO had any sort of authority in sovereign corporate territory.

“There’s been a traceback to this location,” the one on the left said. “Raid was run from a terminal in the building.”

The one on the right added, “We’d appreciate your cooperation on an in-building trace.”

The middle one just nodded.

I strained my eyes refraining from rolling them. “I’m sure you would. However, I fail to see the benefit for me. I have no reason to think any of my employees is a Raider, legal or otherwise.”

Lefty scowled. “You would earn good will with Central Server Operations,” he said. He spoke as if this was some great, self-evident truth that I was too naive to understand.

“Good will and ten million bucks will foot the repair bill on my server farm,” I said. “Your offer is lacking the latter.”

“We are not authorized to negotiate cash agreements,” Righty said.

I threw up my hands dramatically. “Well then why are you here? Send someone who can actually talk business or leave your suspicions at my door where they belong.”

Middle guy scowled deeply. I was beginning to think he was mute.

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