*Note- A short prologue is in chapter one. Each chapter has a link to the next to make reading it easier.
This is chapter thirty of Liberty, A Daughter Universe Novel.
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Dilapidated Brick Structure
11001 Industry Road
Former Army Pfc. Garrick Morrison returned to the command center in the basement feeling good; General Roberts had praised him. Even a good word from the General was rarely heard by the crew he employed, but Morrison’s work had been praised by the man himself!
Everyone looked up from their desks when Morrison entered the room. “The General said to make it happen, so get on it, ASAP people!” Morrison stood erect and caught the eye of every soldier, uh, civilian, until they looked unnerved then he gazed around the room. He had to remember he was overseeing civilians, not one of his of the squads. “He wants a progress report as soon as the code is released, and more to follow up. And I don’t think we want to keep him waiting. Understood?”
Virtual monitors popped up over every holo-keyboard in the room. The “Crew” consisted of hired hackers, game theorists and top-level vid-game players. The game theorist, Max, had noticed and captured a code disturbance, a virus, in ‘net traffic and showed it to Morrison. But it was Morrison who recognized that it might be what General Roberts had hired them to find.
Of course, Morrison was no longer active-duty military. Morrison had served two tours of duty before being dishonorably discharged for running an extortion racket in a town near the base where he was stationed on the border of the PMA (Pacific/Mountain Alliance) and PCA. He knew he had been lucky he had not been court martialed and imprisoned, but the Military did not want that kind of publicity to tarnish its image among the other Alliances more than it already was, so he was quietly discharged without benefits and told to get out of the PCA. He was returned ‘home’ to Capitol City. With no family to go back to, he accepted a government ‘apartment’; a single room with the government’s idea a bathroom and a kitchenette and was given thirty days to find a job. After that, he would be assigned whatever low paying, ‘make-work’ government position that was open. And he knew a job, no matter how meaningless it was, would be given him. Everyone in the ECA was employed and expected to be a good citizen, which meant being a good consumer.
Garrick Morrison was determined to not end up in that cycle of low pay with no chance for advancement job but after twenty-five days he was getting disparate. And worried. Then, out of the blue, a retired General, Roberts, ECA, contacted him about a job on a private project of his own. The General told Morrison that the project was “Top Secret”, and he would have to sign a strict NDA, but the pay offered shocked Morrison and he was in no position to ask questions. For him, it felt like a last-minute miracle. General Roberts then told Morrison that he knew why he had been discharged but he promised to keep it to himself if Morrison did his job and kept his mouth shut outside of work. Morrison wondered if the General had waited until he knew Morrison would be getting desperate before approaching him.
The job was in the basement of an older, four-story building in the city’s third ring. Not the good part of town but with the General paying the rent and a retired Marine, whom Morrison suspected might have left the military under similar circumstances as himself, guarding the single entrance, the location was not a concern. After he had signed the NDA and been shown General Roberts’ plan, he wondered if he had been wise to sign on with the General, but he needed, had to have a job and pay was good, so he had rationalized it; what the General wanted to do was no worse than some of what he had been prepared to do if ever sent into the PCA. His assignment was simple enough; monitor a small group of hired hackers, game theorists and top-level vid-game players and watch for anything that could help progress the General’s plan.
A bunch of geeks, as far as Morrison was concerned, but he had been the one to recognize that what one of game theorists had found might be what the General had been looking for.
Max, a game theorist, had noticed an information burst from a office building in the Industrial zone to a remote location in the mountains. He had decrypted it and told Morrison it contained a virus looked like it was written to seize control of control of an early version of Shivas, the big construction machines used all over the city. Everything that went on was recorded and viewed by the General.
Morrison quickly asked Max if the virus could be modified to work on the newer models. One of the hackers assured Morrison he could recode it. And that was when the General had called him to his office, upstairs.
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This was originally posted on Simily.co
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About the Creator
I enjoy a quiet retirement with my life partner and our three dogs.
It is the little joys in life that matter.
I write fiction and some nonfiction.
A student of life, the flow of the Tao leads me on this plane of existence.
Spirit is Life.