A Business Trip This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

January 31, 2013
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The airport was more crowded than normally. It was New Year’s Eve and everyone was going home from visiting relatives. I was not going home; instead I was going to Las Vegas for a business trip. I did my regular routine of checking in, going through security, and then going to Starbucks. I boarded my plane and flew five hours to Las Vegas. When I arrived, I got a ride to my hotel. All I wanted to do was sleep. I went to the front desk for the key to my room.

“Hi, may I help you?” the receptionist asked.

“Yes, I have a reservation under Mike Almstead,” I said.
“Room 349 on the third floor. Have a wonderful stay!” She handed me the room card and directed me to the elevator. The whole time I was completely oblivious to the fact that five men, scattered across the room, were staring at me. I pressed the button to my floor and made room for the other people entering. The hotel was one of the upper end hotels in Vegas and the decor was spectacular. I got to my room, collapsed on the bed, and took out my computer. It hadn’t even been 10 minutes when the door to my room burst open.
“FBI,” someone yelled. I thought I was in a movie. I got up only to be punched in the face. I stepped back, astounded, and tripped on the bed and fell. I didn’t even have time to get up before five men were surrounding me. The tall man motioned at me and suddenly two other men roughly grabbed both my arms and shoved me, into the seat across the room. They then proceeded to take out some coiled rope and tie me to the chair. When they were satisfied with their job, they stepped aside and the tall man stood in front of me. He seemed to be the leader.
“We know who you really are and what you have been up to,” said the man.
“Sorry, I don’t know what you are talking about,” I said trying to remain calm, which was hard given the circumstances.
“You hacked the FBI database.”
“What? There must be a mistake! I wouldn’t even know how to hack your database,” I said desperately trying to persuade him.
“Sure that’s what they all say. Now let’s get down to business. Tell us exactly what you found out,” the tall man said.
“Honestly, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” I stuttered.
The bald man next to the leader yanked my collar and pulled me to his face. “Enough with the lies,” he said through clenched teeth. The leader placed his hand on the bald man’s shoulder and gave him a stern look. The bald man stepped aside and the leader started me again.
“Alright, let’s try something else, why did you hack into the FBI database.” How did these guys not understand? What was I supposed to say to change their mind?
“I’m serious, I didn’t do anything” Just then the leader’s phone rang.
“What Katy.....okay.....yup......and didn’t you figure this out earlier?.....okay....bye.” He turned to us and said angrily “We’ve got the wrong person.” Then he focused on me and said
“We apologize for the inconvenience that it might have caused you.” He motioned for the men to take off my ropes. Before I could ask any questions they were gone. I sat there with my mouth wide open. I had to hurry and meet my contact to hand over the files.

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