Innocent Whistling

I pushed the terminal closed just in time as the outer door to my “sanctuary” slammed open. I’d had just enough time after the alarms started to initiate a local lockdown. I sprawled onto my bed and tried to look bored as Slaiton barged in.

“You had damn well better explain what’s going on, Hellard!” Slaiton shouted.

I saw up, smiled lazily, and stretched. “It sounds like you folks triggered something you shouldn’t have,” I replied. “That is what you get for barging into a server unannounced.”

“This is not an internal security alert, you smug bastard,” Slaiton said. “The system’s being breached externally with all the hallmarks of a Raid.” He swung his thick hand toward his unassuming companion. Looked liked a typical term-jockey. Probably the CSO sec expert. “And there is no way in hell I believe you aren’t involved somehow.”

“I don’t know what to tell you, Commissioner,” I replied. “I don’t know much about the Raids. I had thought they only ever targeted Central. Are you sure you didn’t bring some sort of backdoor with you when you hooked up all your equipment.”

Slaiton snarled but his friend looked like he was seriously considering the possibility. “The timing does seem pretty coincidental,” the geek said. “It’s just as likely that we caused this as your theory.”

The commissioner literally growled. “I don’t give a damn about likelihood and coincidence, Whent. I am damn sure that this man is involved in this somehow.” He turned back to me. “So are you going to tell us how to stop this or are we going to solve this sledgehammer and a cable cutter?”

I winced internally at the implication there. I didn’t think they’d actually physically damage anything – it would remove any evidence they had, after all – but the threat felt very sincere. “I don’t know what to tell you, Commissioner,” I said. “It’s out of my hands.”

That much, at least, was true.