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Interim 3

2061FEB24 - Conference room

"Well?" Came the question from the slim woman at the head of the table as she straightened the jacket of her suit. She had a no nonsense voice that spoke in a tense monotone of impatience and fatigue "Did we get it?"

"Yes we did, ma'am." Answered the slim man at the door.

"Excellent, it wouldn't do to be blowing up our new friends now would it Steve?"

"No ma'am, it wouldn't."

"Steve remind me again how this happened?" The woman asked as the hum of a static white noise system filled the room. Steve stepped closer to be heard.

"Well ma'am, our new friends were not our friends when the plan was put in place. As such, we had an operative on site to acquire data. Security division rigged said operative's computer as requested with, and I quote..." the man looks at his report, "enough explosives to take out the whole damned floor. I am sure you recall the source of that instruction."

"Yes, Steve, I know what I said."

"As of noon yesterday, the device was activated and set to detonate at 6:00 AM today, about ten minutes ago. The timing was chosen to coincide with the schedule of their upper management personnel while minimizing the chance of casualties among skilled resources.

"One of the thrills of being upper management, isn't it Steve?"

"Yes ma'am. Then the operative left. In a surprise development, a merger was agreed upon and the facility owners suddenly became our friends as of about 1:00 PM yesterday. Our operative immediately tried to shutdown the device via a back door in the matrix, but as luck would have it a surprise upgrade to the computers had been planned as a reward for a quota the operative's team had recently met. This left a device belonging to us in a friendly facility that would be decimated by it.

"We solicited our Security division to solve the problem. I believe they used outside resources. This created a pleasant win-win scenario for us. If they failed or were caught, they would lead suspicion to one of our competitors and the chaos would allow us to introduce some Security division personnel that could slip away and disarm the device. If they succeed, then we win as well.

"Well hurray for us Steve. Now get me a cup of coffee. Our new friends are coming to request some security assistance from me. It seems someone disabled some of their cameras early this morning. Imagine that Steve."

"Yes, ma'am, most shocking."