Meanwhile in Sympany, New York:
"I would like to file a missing persons report." Says a man, a very worried looking woman is standing beside him.
"Please!" She says frantically. "My daughter is missing!"
"Okay, calm down ma'am we will find your daughter." A man behind the counter said in a monotone voice. "I am going to need a description of the girl in question, or a recent photograph." Suddenly another pair of parents burst in.
"My son is missing!" The mother said. slamming down a photo she snapped at the man. "Find him."
"Calm down ma'am. I'll be with you in a moment." the officer said, still in monotone.
That was when the flood gate broke. Several couples poured in exclaiming about their missing children. The officer had known though, that they would arrive, and would do his best to keep them all busy. At least until the project was under way, then there would be nothing that could stop it.
Back on the chopper/rocket:
Dallas's hands flew over the keyboard and the clicking of keys seemed to just be a small buzz in the backround, like elevator music. That is, until a mischevious smile spread across his face. "Dallas..." Jack asked cautiously. "What are you doing?"
He chuckled. "I'm sending a small gift to the base in Florida. It's just a small code error that once sent will look like a really big problem."
"What kind of problem?" Allen asked, his hands on the steering yoke.
Dallas grinned. "To them, it's gonna make it look like they accidentally tripped the starter to a Global Thermo-nuclear war. It ought to panic them enough that we can slip in undetected."
"Man you're cruel," mumbled Josh.
"Yup, and proud of it." Dallas said, still grinning at the streaming lines of code on his laptop.
"Not that I don't approve of you sabotaging the uh, evil scientists," Mycayla came up next to Josh. "But isn't that a bit extreme?"
"Not at all," Dallas replied. "Because these people would kidnap kids, and experiment on them, I think that a problem like this will freak them out just enough, anything less might not bother them so much."
“But a nuclear war?” Mycayla pushed her argument. "That could disrupt the whole planet!"
"Mycayla," Dallas said reasonably. "I didn't start a nuclear war, I just sent a code to the facility's computers to make them think that they started one, there's no war, or at least there shouldn't be."
"I know that, but..."
"Mycayla, stop arguing, "Allen interrupted. "Dallas knows what he's doing, and frankly, I think it's as good idea as any to get there unnoticed."
"Just let the boys do as they please," mumbled Artemis, mostly to herself, although everyone in the hull heard her. "They've obviously got more experience than we have, and they've probably done this before."
Although Artemis had not moved her gaze from the window nor moved at all other than to talk, everyone stared at her and she knew it.
"Well, thank you, Artemis," said Allen, eventually, and then turned back to the controls.
Artemis nodded with a small smile and looked out the window. Dallas pulled out a the small communication device he had used back at the base to help Allen out. He slipped it into his ear and started typing again then spoke. "Testing connection." The bars on the screen leapt with his words. "Hey, guys? Could you keep it down for a minute? I kinda have to do this." The craft went silent and every one was watching him. Slightly self conscious he began.
He took a deep breath and started the fake launch sequence. "Activate ICBM silouh Alpha-Delta four Juliet." The screen flashed a green bar. "Launch code, Twenty-forty gamma-niner-omega twelve foxtrot romeo."
The screen flashed again, reading: Launch codes accepted. Input target.
He sighed. "That was the hard part." He smiled, "I wonder who to aim for...Ah! I got it! Input latitude: forty degrees North, Input longitude: One-hundred-sixteen degrees East." He grinned. "This ought to mess the base in Florida up for quite a while. And how about a personal gift from me? "Activate silouh, Alpha-through-Zulu. Correspond to target."
"Target correspondence accepted." The speakers said. Everyone looked at him. Even Alan had no idea of what he was saying.
"To them," he gestured out the wind screen. "ya know, in Florida? This is going to make it look like they launched the entire American nuclear arsenal at North Korea and Russia right about...now."
He pushed the enter key.
"Um, duck and cover!" Preston joked, crouching down with his hands on his head.
"Heh, yeah." Dallas said. "I really hope the President won't give me grief for this." He muttered
Allen snorted. "Yeah right. If he knew you were doing this he'd give you a lot more than just grief."
"Well, we're just going to have to make sure he doesn't find out then." Dallas said mischievously, and they bumped fists.
"You guys are so strange!" Mycayla said. "wait a sec, can he actually find out!" She started shaking. Artemis grabbed her sholder and led her to a seat.
"Calm down Cayla."
"Yeah, the President can." Dallas answered. "But he has more pressing things to attend to than just a couple of kids causing mischief." He chuckled. "Don't worry, just because he can doesn't mean he will."
"Oh, he will," muttered Artemis, standing up straight. "The president is aware of secret organizations and what they know. I mean, Lockheed Martin has a ton of projects and knowledge that won't be released to the public for another forty years or so- but the president knows it all the second he gets in office." She sat down slowly. "Oh, he'll find out for sure."
"Way to kill a mood, Art," mumbled Josh. "Are you like bipolar or something? Cuz you're all happy and joyful one second and then you go and do what you just did... all depressing. Wasn't all that depressing a topic either but you made it depressing."
"That's just how I am."
Most of the group glanced to her, then back to whatever they were doing before. Alex, however, still had his arms tied around her waist and wouldn't let go.
"She's got a valid point." Dallas said. "But this is something he'll have to actually dig for if he wants to find it, and I mean he'll have to dig. And even then, he'll have to crack my black box to find out what went down. No one can crack my black box. Not the most advanced supercomputers armed with brick breakers. No giga-computervirus. Nothing without the encryption key can remotely close to getting in. Then there is a retinal scan, vocal check, and D.N.A. key, and a whole bunch of other pretty shiny locks after that."
"Dude, what do you keep in your box?" Allen said dumbstruck.
Dallas shrugged. "There's a virus programmed to break down a firewall. A few programs that link to specialized computer terminals where I store other data. And a special little program called Skeith."
"Uh, whats 'Skeith'?" Jack asked.
Dallas gave a small laugh. "Skeith is the only real mistake I have made in all my experience as a programmer. Simply an accident. You see, the Secretary of Defense wanted me to make an anti-virus that worked like an anti-body. Something you could 'inject' into a computer network, and trust it to do it's job by killing the viruses while leaving the normal computer functioning unharmed." He scratched the back of his neck while everyone took this in. "Long story short, It didn't work. In fact, it did the opposite. It became a horrible virus that started to write it's own code. It did the same thing that a virus in one of us would do. It rapidly multiplied until it overloaded the computer network and crashed every computer in the lab."
"Heh. Ebola for computers," muttered Artemis.
"Oh. Thats bad." Jack muttered. "Wait a sec, the secretary of defense?" She looked around the cabin, mostly back and forth between Allen and Dallas, her eyes focused back on Dallas. "Who exactly are you?"
"I'm still me." He said grinning. "The computer freak, book nerd, know-it-all, and quiet man. I'm still who you know, just with a little more computer background knowledge than I led on." Jack's eyes narrowed, but she let the matter drop, looking out at the ground below the helicopter shooting past, it was tinged with gold from the setting sun.
"I'm getting kinda hungry." Alex said suddenly, breaking the silence.
"You're always hungry," muttered Jack to herself.
“Ok, we can crack into these,” Allen said, handing out packets of what looked like mush.
“Do you really expect us to eat these?” Mycayla said.
Everyone looked at Allen.
“Come on everyone, I survived for months on these when I stopped the Russian Mafia from detonating a nuclear weapon in the middle of D.C.” Allen replied.
Everyone continued to stare. Finally Dallas ripped his open and sampled the contents.
“It’s not that bad,” Dallas said with a disgusted look on his face.
Reluctantly, everyone opened their packets and started to eat.
Meanwhile in Sympany, New York: