As promised, here’s the third chapter of Conquest: A LitRPG Story! The Pre-Order is available now on Amazon for only 99 cents. Pre-Order your copy today at myBook.to/Conquest-LitRPG
And God made the firmament. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the light from the darkness, that they might ward off the darkness of the Leviathan and give light unto the earth: and it was so…
– Methuselah 3:3 –
Lily Thatcher recognized the symbol for the National Security Agency (NSA) flashing in her augmented field of vision and quickly answered the call, “Hello?”
A live video feed connected her to her superior officer.
“Agent Wilson,” Commander Arlington addressed her using her real name and title, “I’m sorry to disturb you, but it’s an emergency.”
She quickly muted the call and turned back to Allan, “I’m so sorry Allan. Let’s have a serious conversation later.”
Lily turned and addressed the caller as she walked back to the lobby, “What’s the problem?”
“One of our agents was gathering intelligence without proper clearance when he accidentally triggered the security system. Now the whole building is on lockdown and he’s trapped inside.”
“What kind of intelligence?”
“It’s regarding the surveillance of CyberBolt Entertainment.”
“But that’s my assignment!” she interrupted, “He will blow my cover!”
“I know. I’m not happy about it.” he spoke with a hurried voice, “The police are on their way. You’re the only one familiar enough with the building to get him out of there before they arrive. I’ve got transportation zeroing in on your location right now.”
“I’m on it.” she recognized the unmarked van through the window of the lobby and waved to Agent Miller in the driver’s seat.
She rushed outside feeling relieved. Agent Miller smiled as he punched a button on the dashboard to automatically slide open the side door, “My, my! Don’t you look fancy tonight?”
“I had a date with one of my assignments.” she stumbled as she nearly tripped on the uneven pavement, “He proposed.”
“Oh boy, that’s awkward.” he leaned out the window, “Did you accept?”
“Of course not.”
She slid the door shut as they took off with a screech of the tires. The van swayed as Agent Miller dodged traffic. She placed her hand on a DNA scanner to connect to the NSA’s virtual network and pressed the side of her right temple to activate it. Her fingers began tapping away on a virtual keyboard that was invisible to the public eye, and her eyes dodged between six virtual computer monitors. To an outsider, it would probably look like she was having a seizure.
Despite the swaying of the vehicle, she worked at a rapid pace while several programs ran simultaneously. Streams of coding poured onto the virtual screens as she accessed the back door that she had long ago created to bypass the company’s security program. Most of the screens were still running live video feed from multiple cameras hidden throughout the headquarters of CyberBolt Entertainment. On each screen she could make out flashing red strobe lights going off in alarm.
“This doesn’t look good.” she murmured.
“Brandi?” a familiar voice called over the headset.
“It’s Lily now.” she corrected as her eyebrows furrowed, “Jason? Is that you?”
“Yes.” he muttered, “I’m sorry you got dragged into this.”
“Where are you?” she began flipping through the surveillance footage.
“I’m in Timur Demyan’s office.”
She located the live video feed, “What’s with the scraggly beard? You look terrible.”
He jerked his head around in surprise.
“I’ve got the whole building rigged with hidden cameras.” she explained.
“How soon can you get me out of here?”
“I’ve almost finished bypassing the security program. I’ll have you free in two minutes.” she paused, “Thanks for freeing me from my date.”
“A date, eh?” he interrogated her, “With who? Is it serious? Do I know him?”
“I told you, save your breath. We’ll catch up later.”
“Now you’re being evasive.”
“Now I’m saving your life.” she corrected.
“And also being evasive.”
“It’s nothing serious.” she rolled her eyes, “Details later. For now, just shut up.”
Lily continued to hammer away at the virtual keyboard as she felt the speeding van violently swaying through traffic. A few minutes passed before Jason finally broke the silence.
“So… since I’m in the area, I was hoping I could ask you out.” he suggested sheepishly, “Just like old times.”
“Well… umm…” she paused, “That’s going to be a bit difficult, seeing as how Allan just proposed tonight.”
“Wait… what?” he stammered, “You didn’t yes, did you?”
“Of course not.” she scoffed, “Accepting an arrangement like that would only be at my commander’s direction.”
“Then how about dinner tomorrow night? Just like old times.”
“I’m afraid I’ll have to pass.”
“I’m confused.” his eyebrows furrowed, “You told him no, correct?”
“I told him I’d have to think about it.”
“That’s ridiculous.” he scoffed, “You and I both know it won’t go anywhere.”
She had no words. She’d promised herself she wouldn’t get attached to Allan, but her heart had different plans.
“You don’t actually plan on accepting his proposal, do you?”
“Well, I… uhh…”
“You can’t be serious.” he stammered, “What about us?”
“That was a long time ago. I’ve moved on.”
A look of dismay crossed his face, “But you promised!”
“I know I did.” she sighed, “And I’m sorry.”
“What’s gonna happen if he finds out who you really are?” he seethed.
“Well I…” she stammered as she entered the final algorithm she needed, “I hadn’t really thought about that.”
“Let me tell you what will happen.” he spoke adamantly, “If he stumbles across even the tiniest piece of your true background, you will get reassigned and you will never see your boyfriend again.”
She let those words simmer in her mind as the van screeched to a halt. She slid the door open just a crack and recognized her surroundings. She could hear police sirens in the distance.
“Jason, let’s focus.” she changed the subject, “I need you to listen to me carefully. The police are almost here.”
“I’ve disabled the magnetic lock on the door to your right. Leave Timur’s office and go to the end of the hallway.” she instructed, “I have overridden the security protocols and have sent an elevator to meet you. Take this elevator to level C of the parking garage, and I will meet you there.”
“Roger that.” he saluted.
“And most importantly, don’t get caught.”
© Copyright 2016 Richard M. Mulder, All rights reserved. Registration # TX0008281211