Winter Outcast - Chapter Four
They opened the door and sprinted as quickly as they could to the room that they thought would have the information they needed. Their footsteps were muted on the gray, carpeted floor. They came across the door to where they needed to go and silently entered. The room was large and full of computers for storing information and screens of all the cameras in the building. Most of the people who would work there had gone for lunch break, which was why Lot and Catherine decided to go at that time. There were three people, staring at the screens. Lot and Catherine hid behind some of the computers.
The three men were looking at one screen and talking to each other. While they were busy, Catherine noticed a data processor on top of one of the computers and grabbed it. Now she could plug it up to the computer and access the information.
Lot poked her arm and pointed at the screen the men were staring at. Catherine looked and her face went pale. They were watching a video of Catherine and Lot running down a corridor.
"Is that Catherine Forticep?" one of them said.
"I think she is," another agreed.
Lot looked around, he noticed a tool box by the door. He snatched it up and pulled out a large monkey wrench. He lifted it up and let it fall into his hand and repeated this as if it was a baseball bat. He smiled at Catherine and nodded his head towards the men who were distracted. Catherine realized what he wanted to do. She shook her head knowing that they'd be in worse trouble if they were caught after he did that. He nodded and his eyes seemed to say "it's the only way."
Catherine closed her eyes and waited for it to be over. She heard Lot's quiet footsteps hurry over, three clanks, and three thumps. When she opened her eyes, she saw they were on the floor.
"What are we going to do when the others come back and see them knocked out?" Catherine asked while she walked over.
"We can put them in the closet," Lot answered.
"You're going to be doing that. I'm not strong enough, plus, I need to look at those files." She looked back down at them. "I can't believe you hit them." Catherine looked at the bodies on the floor.
"Don't worry, they're just unconscious. I'm lucky there wasn't a lady here, I don't know what I would have done."
"Can't hit a lady, huh?"
Catherine walked back to where she was before, scooped up the data processor, and hooked it up to the computer. She started looking through profiles and searching for people in charge with videos and tech skills. She did her best to ignore the sound of Lot dragging and shoving people into the closet.
"What do we do about the videos and the people who will see us on the cameras after break lunch is over?" Lot wondered.
Catherine set down the data processor and tread on the carpet to the controls for the screens. "We could make it repeat a video with no people, but only do that to the screens that show where we'll be going. And we need to delete the video that they already got. Do you know how to do that?"
"I don't have enough training to edit a video, but I do have enough to put a video on repeat and delete one. You keep looking through the files," she said as she started to change the settings.
Catherine suddenly remembered that she didn't completely trust Lot and made sure she kept an eye on him while she worked. Soon Lot noticed that she kept looking at him.
"What? Why do you keep looking at me?" he questioned.
"Just making sure you're doing it right," she made up as she turned her head away.
She switched through cameras and one screen showed a dark room with nothing but a floating blue ball on a pedestal. The ball glowed and it seemed that the inside of the ball was a smaller orb with a brighter glow that had rings spinning around it.
"That's the Code. All of that important information is in that ball. The ball can also become similar to a touch screen when someone wants to look at what's on it. To think, Sein Darnell was there forty years ago," Catherine whispered to herself as she remembered what she learned about it. "Lot, on the fake video, did it show me use the Code and saw pictures appear on it when I looked at what was in it?"
"No, you just plugged your data collector to the port on the pedestal to download the information."
"Why do they have a port anyway, wouldn't that make it easier for thieves?"
"I think it's there so the Grand Officials can easily install new information," Lot answered.
"How do you know that?"
"I went to school at one time in my life, you know." Before Catherine could say anything, he said, "I think I found our suspects."
By then Catherine was done setting up the cameras how she wanted and she walked to Lot and the data processor to see. She scrolled through the list of people who had the skills and worked with the videos. She took a few pictures of it with the pen and put it back in her pocket.
"Tucker, Wily, Snow? There's tons of names, how are we going to know who did it?"
"We could try find more about them and their past," Lot offered.
"And knowing who was around here at the time they claim that I went into the Code's room, but that kind of information to know about their past and when they work isn't here."
"Maybe it would be in the database of their boss."
"Good idea!" Catherine tapped on it and found who was in charge of the video department. "I found him, he also works in some other departments too." Catherine practically started bouncing up and down when she realized that was the one who caught Sein Darnell in his act. Before she could say it, she stopped when she thought of something, "Oh, and I'm going to have to break into his computer. I'm getting in a lot of trouble to get me out of trouble."
"Then let's go," Lot got up. "Oh, do you know how to get there? And have you changed the cameras that we would pass on our way there?"
"There's a map on here," she pointed to the data processor. "Is there a note taker thing that I can use to write it down, the second I unplug this, it's not going to remember the map at all." She looked around. There wasn't anything she could use.
"Not even a piece of paper," Lot shook his head. "This is what happens when you stop using paper."
"Paper? Oh right. It's also what happens when your country runs out of resources to make paper."
Lot gave a small nod. "I think there's a marker in my pocket, but I don't know what use that will be without paper." He pulled out a black marker.
Catherine grabbed it and drew the map onto the palm of her left hand. When she was done, she handed the marker back, unplugged the data processor, and set the correct screens on repeat.
"We need to hurry, I don't want to risk getting caught," Catherine commented as she rushed out.
"You and me both, as long as we don't hurry too much, haste makes waste." Lot followed behind her.
I drew the cover for this story.
Stories written by me:
A Buck's Life part 1
A Buck's Life part 2
The Largest Toll in the Heaviest Battle