Inconvenient TimingMature

Personna began the walk back to the warehouse. It wouldn’t take too long and it was always a welcome relief to get away from the computer. Dark clouds had begun forming in the sky. Good, he thought to himself. Rain always cleans the city of the grime that perpetually coats everything.

                Suddenly a tingle on his cheek signaled the arrival of the cleansing storm. Within seconds visibility had been cut to almost nil. The rain began to soak through the thin white linens that Personna had on. Rain was a luxury that rarely visited Egypt. It reminded him of home, it tingled in his nostril as it cleansed the air around. Something he had never been able to appreciate before he had come to Egypt.

                Just as suddenly as the rain had started it was gone. The sun, that perpetual constant in the universe broke through the clouds and began to reclaim the damp ground.

                Personna ran his hand through the jet black hair that poked through his scalp. His hand returned to his side damp. He was closing in on the location that the small group he worked with called HQ. It was a large hanger that had been abandoned years ago after a chemical spill had claimed the lives of the workers inside. Oddly enough it was a few blocks down from the local UN office. Which, after a very careful hack and some engineering expertise was providing all of the power and internet.

                The front door still had the biological warnings up and all of the seals were intact. The way in was through the back alley where a small shanty like house had been constructed. An underground tunnel connected to the instillation through four layers of security. (Couldn’t be too careful) Once inside Personna began to check all of the data collected in the last hour and a half. Another rebellion had spiked in the Middle East (or New India based on your political outlook) they had been fighting since time began and it didn’t look they would stop anytime soon.

                “Interesting” Personna muttered. The rebels had been able to take a whole UN complex and were currently holding the members inside hostage. “How do they think they can get out of that pickle?” he murmured to himself. Scanning all of the other monitors and finding nothing of note he got up and walked towards the ‘kitchen’.  It looked odd to have a refrigerator, pantry, sink, and convection oven/stove/microwave in the middle of a hanger. From afar it was an island of common in a world of grey ferrocrete.

                He reached into one of the cabinets then brought out a little red kettle. Poured some bottled water into it and began to heat it up on the stove.

                Back where he had just previously left, an alert began to clang. “What now?” he muttered. Approaching quickly he did a scan on all of the security cameras (a habit that bordered dangerously on paranoia). The screen that had a message alert originated from the compromised UN building.

                The message was an encrypted audio file. Personna had not seen this type of encryption for years. It was very rarely used because of how easy it had been to hack back in its heyday. However few people bothered to learn about old encryptions anymore (newer is always better) so they were the safest for small money dry organizations to use.

                He began to write some code that would crack the encryption. His hands moved like lightning, characters were appearing on screen faster than most could follow. The pot he had put on the stove began to whistle harshly. He ignored it, this was more interesting. After thirteen minutes he was done with the program. Hitting the compile button he relaxed back into the chair cracking his hands.

                The program executed and the file began to play.

                A clearly Middle Eastern accent sounded “We know about your organization. We are trying to deliver you some crucial information that needs to get out. The next packet will contain this information. There is something seriously wrong with one of the medical research firms here. They are doing things tha---“Static pervaded the rest of the message. The promised second package of information never reached made it to Personna. He quickly scrubbed the message path from the system and finished making the tea. 

The End

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