The hack job (fast fiction) ~title by tta182~
She stood looking up at the huge building before her. It seemed like such a daunting task awaiting her and her alone. She looked to the people she brought with her, but they were just the support.
“Are you ready for this,” Micah asked hesitantly.
“Yeah… Yeah I am,” Tania answered with a long sigh. Behind her she listened to Sev adjust the things she was carrying. Tania turned around and looked up at the tall and severe woman.
“You ok Sev?”
“Mmmm,” grunted Sev while lithely shrugging her shoulders.
“Well then, if you’re ready Micah, and Sev seems almost impatient about getting this done, let’s go.”
Tania strode off with a purpose, Micah and Sev in tow behind her. She stopped at the door and adjusted her sunglasses in the reflection before pressing the intercom button. There was a crackling hissing sound, then the speaker beeped a few times and the pneumatic locks hissed as the bolt on the door was lifted. Sev walked in first, her arms loaded down with packages, cases, and boxes. As Tania followed, she worried about the load being placed on Sev to be too heavy, but the woman adjusted all the cases and boxes to one arm, and scratched her nose, holding the items as if they weighed nothing. Micah scoffed behind her and she noticed he was struggling with the two cases he was carrying. Smiling, Tania reached for one of them but Micah pulled away and scowled at her.
“Fine then,” mumbled Tania.
“We’re here to do a job Tee, mind on the business at hand,” Micah scolded.
“Elevator’s here,” added Sev, all of her burdens placed at her feet in the small elevator, and her hand stretched out to hold the door open.
The ride was slow, as if the elevator felt the butterflies in her stomach and decided to take its time reaching their destination so high up in the tower. Each floor passing with a quiet beep, Tania counted them in her head 34, 35, 36, 37…. Only 5 more floors… She looked at her compatriots in the shiny reflection of the door and smiled at them again. Sev stared at her for a moment then shifted her face into something that could be considered a smile and Micah scowled back at her.
The doors opened, and now Sev was carrying all the packages, but she didn’t seem to mind. Micah had gotten a small pad from one of the cases and plugged it in just behind his ear. The cord was long, letting him move the pad as far as his arm could, maybe even farther, but she’d never seen him set the pad down while it was still plugged in. They walked down the long and dim hallway, looking at the closed and empty seeming doors on both sides. Near the end of the hallway, near a huge window was their target. Sev walked with a purpose, Micah skulked behind her, and brining up the rear was Tania, hands clutching her own small pad that didn’t have a connection port. A door opened behind her and a man leaned out.
“Hey, are you the exterminators,” he called after them. Tania froze, put on her smiling face and turned around.
“Yes we are sir, however we don’t have your office on our schedule. Do you need to make an appointment?”
“Well, I guess I can make an appointment, but I was hoping that if you had the extra items. Well… Maybe you could fit me in right now,” he smiled hopefully.
“Sev, do you mind coming down here to help this guy out while we’re working in the other office,” Tania called. Sev stopped, turned around and looked a the man. She nodded once and then turned back to her destination that was less than 10 feet away.
“Listen, I can just tell the bosses that the office down there took a little more juice than normal, and we can do this TOTALLY under the table. That way, you’re not waiting on an appointment, nor paying full cost. How’s that sound to you? Like a bonus for both of us.” The smile on Tania’s face and the way she leaned in to speak had the man grinning broadly as well.
“Sure sure, and I’ll be sure to tip you well,” he smiled. “I’ll leave the money on my desk and take my secretary out for a long lunch. Just close the door tight when you leave, and no one will know!”
“You got it, I’ll make sure Sev is really careful in there. Just make sure to turn your vent back on when you get back in. That’ll help ease some of the smell from the chemicals, ok?”
The man nodded and smiled an oily smile as he ducked back into his office, talking loudly to his secretary. Tania laughed and turned back to the group who were hacking into the lock of their intended target. Just as she neared them, the door popped open and Micah smiled triumphantly. Sev carried in the supplies, and then took half of the extermination equipment into the hallway.
“I’ll be back when I’m done,” Sev said. The look on her face was the one she always wore, of distracted boredom. “Other than spraying and getting the cash, need me to do anything else?”
Tania winced. She felt bad for Sev, the hired muscle and lookout. Tania looked up at the thin and towering woman and shook her head no, but before she could say anything, Sev was out the door and halfway down the hall.
“Ugh, glad she’s gone. She makes me so nervous,” grumbled Micah.
“Be nice to her Mie. Besides, she’s the best in the area at what she does. We’re just lucky she agreed to come with us!”
“Yeah, whatever. Leave me alone so I can open this spike up. Watch the door since your hired hound is off doing some legitimate work.”
Tania scoffed and moved to the door. Her pad pinged from an incoming message. It was from Sev and it read “Finished the job, he left us a good bit. Returning slowly, keeping an eye out.” Tania opened the door a crack to peek at Sev. She was standing outside the other man’s door, adjusting something in her coveralls and looking down the hallway. The elevator doors dinged open and a man dressed in fancy white clothes and solid white long hair walked toward her. She stepped into his way and they locked gazes, his hand came up and hers stopped it almost before Tania could tell what was happening. They were speaking in a different language, throwing blows and parrying back and forth. At the end, the man smiled at her and held her hand tight for a last few words. Then as abruptly as he showed up, he walked to the stairway door, and left. Sev stood there, watching where he had come from, her body language almost spoke of longing. Tania’s heart ached when she saw how slowly Sev moved to pick up the now empty cases. From behind her, she heard a small gasp, and Micah fell to the floor.
“Damn… Fuck! Tee, help me,” he cried.
Tania spun around to see Micah trying to crawl away from his pad, but since it was still plugged in, he was unable to get away from it. She ran over and grabbed it and looked at the screen. On it was blossoming a large black monolith. It seemed to be eating the network that they hacked into.
“Pull the plug… please Tee, pull it from the jack in my head… I can’t take this pain,” gasped Micah. His eyes were glossy and his skin cold and clammy when she got to him. The jack behind his ear proved to be a tight fit, and it took Tania a moment to get it out, but when she did Micah smiled. The door behind them opened, and Tania tensed, expecting the worst. But instead of the office owner, it was Sev’s voice that rang out.
“Time to go kids… They figured out something is wrong and they’re mobilizing.” With that, Sev emptied a case of bug bombs, and pushed the others out the door with the cases. Tania heard a pop and hissing, and Sev exited the room while chemical smoke tried to pour out the door. She compacted as many of the cases in the hallway and threw Micah’s deck into one of them. The picking up all the goods she walked to down a few doors and knocked. When there was no answer, she smashed the door open. Using a knife, she carved up the door and it’s frame, as well as damaging some of the furniture inside the office. Before Tania could see where the knife came from it was gone and Sev was back holding the cases.
“Call security on your deck Tania, tell them there’s been a break in. Do it… Now,” Sev barked.
The deck chirruped and beeped and a face appeared on it. The connection was garbled so instead of talking Tania just typed in the now destroyed office number and waited. From below they all heard thundering steps of what sounded like a thousand armed soldiers on the stairwell. The sight that greeted them when the door burst open was much different. Four men stepped out, one was in heavy armor, and two others were heavily armed. The last however seemed kitted like Tania herself was.
“Did you folks see what happened,” the officer questioned.
“Nope. We heard a noise but didn’t think much of it ’till we were on our way back out,” replied Tania, a worried smile on her face. “When we saw that, I figured we needed to call and let you know something happened.”
“Good of you Ma’am.” The officer smiled back, and scanned the group of people before him. His eyes lingered on Micah and he looked back to Tania. “What’s wrong with him?”
“First day on the job, not accustomed to the chemicals… Nor how to use them. He ended up opening a can of fog right onto himself and her.” She motioned to Sev who towered over them all with a look of indifference. However, since she had been inside when some of the bombs went off, she reeked of insecticide and it helped the story. The officer looked at them a bit longer, and then waved them on. Sev picked up the cases and Tania slid her shoulder under Micah’s and they moved to the elevator. As it was dinging opened, she saw a small group of people with surprised looks on their faces. They filed out and one rushed to where the officers stood. Sev put the cases down and helped Micah sit on one as the doors closed on the rising ruckus in the hall.
“Nice thinking,” said Sev, a small smile on her lips.
“Not bad yourself,” replied Tania, grinning widely.
“Shut the fuck up,” snarled Micah.