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The Fall of the S.R.T.C.A.
Casey Wiltson was really good at making really bad decisions. Because of this, she got in trouble with the government. Again. While sitting in a coffee shop she made her decision, to abandon her current laptop. The government could track the location of a laptop that has hacked their files, so she needed to get rid of it. Casey thought planting the computer on someone else would get the task force off her trail, so she spent the morning hacking on to the save files of an ordinary computer which wasn’t much of a challenge. By looking at the accounts of the people around her, she chose, what seemed like at the time, an ordinary person. While said person, ‘Lola Alberstein’ went to the bathroom she quickly snatched her computer replacing it with her own. After placing the computer down on the table she erased the memory and left, leaving her worries in the hands of a stranger. Casey didn’t have any morals so while walking down the street she felt no remorse.
When she was back sitting in her apartment, the new computer chirped. After all this nonsense, she forgot to get rid of this new laptop. Casey didn’t like the idea that Lola would be missing her computer, but after opening the lid and logging in, it seemed blank, nothing but an email and a saved video. Nothing worth her time. Until it chirped again, Casey was paranoid that this was a sign and almost threw the computer out of her window. In the future she greatly regretted not doing this.
After four more chirps, and twenty minutes, Casey’s patience ran out. She quickly opened the lid and clicked the email button, yet it really wasn’t an email button. Messages of document downloads, contracts, and pictures flooded the screen. At this point she probably should have done the deed and dropped it down to the alleyway, yet she didn’t. As she was getting ready for hours of digging through these documents a message appeared ‘ Digital tracking complete please stay in the area’. Casey never saw this message.
Pictures of a strange scientific prototype were the main documents on this device. She sat thinking of how this person’s life was interrupted by her. Just as she was getting past the photos, a knocking sound came from the door. A moment where she froze, yet wasn’t scared. The minute the shock faded she opened the door. A tall, brown-haired, young man stood behind it staring at a scrap of paper with coordinates on it.
“Hello Miss Alberstein” he said with complete certainty “I’m here on behalf of the S.R.T.C.A.”
“Well I’m not sure what that stands….” she was going to finish her statement yet Teddy felt the need to talk first.
“The S.R.T.C.A. is a non-government authorized facility, yet it’s been around so long that the original acronym, well technically it’s an initialism anyway that doesn’t matter but it’s ummm ” he stopped for a bit yet continued “it’s the division of Scientific Research Through Criminal Action”
Casey decided her input wouldn’t be necessary and let him continue talking, although she was very confused.
He rambled a bit more before saying, “Lola we greatly thank you for joining us from so far, and we must leave soon.” he said this looking at his watch. Casey’s mind wandered thinking of different answers that seemed useless, but she did finally blurt something out.
“What if you’ve got the wrong person?” she said regretting it the minute the phrase left her mouth.
“Well you see we run a strict operation here and that person would most likely be arrested” he stopped briefly but continued “A person in that nature would have stolen and hacked into a stranger’s computer and would not be ideal since they could see our case files and the S.R.T.C.A. is very specific about it’s operations”. His eyes flickered over the laptop sitting on her couch.
“I understand...” she replied trying to pull a convincing face.
“Why do you ask?” he said. Casey made a mental note this guy wasn’t the brightest.
“Well it’s just that-” she was trying to stay calm and come up with an excuse but, he cut her off again.
“No worries madam Alberstein, but we should get going”
He squinted at her, eyeing her head to toe, yet made up his mind and opened the door to walk out. “Call me Teddy. We have to go…...now” he said in a nice yet strict tone while leaving the apartment. Casey hoped he would walk out the door forgetting about her, yet he stood outside the door waiting for her to move.
Eventually she left her apartment and followed Teddy to a Chinese restaurant that’s look as if it hadn’t been open for years. He walked in holding the door out for her as, and she noticed that even with the old rusted exterior it was quite busy. An old man was sitting behind the counter nodded towards Teddy. After this Teddy briskly walked toward the counter. The man said something about the special delivery in the back. This apparently made perfect sense to Teddy as he walked in the back room. Inside there were shelves and a strange tall shiny black cabinet. Teddy went up to the cabinet and pushed it aside showing a rusty door that squeaked when it opened and lead to a down stairs area.
Once down stairs it no longer looked like a cheap, broken, old Chinese food place but a rushed office of operations. Oddly enough to Casey it looked a fair bit like a scene from a movie. The room was filled with tables that for the most part had papers, books and old desktop computers. From the looks of this room they didn’t have much technology at all. Casey stood confused but then walked around to find a room towards the back.
As the door Casey stood next to swung out a seemingly important, crisp looking middle aged woman, came into the room.
“Did Teddy bring the recruit?” she said pausing to look around “ Well where is she then?” she continued.
Teddy looked nervous yet squeaked out a short “behind you”.
She whipped around to face Casey.
“Katherine Spivenn and you need to get prepared for action tonight” she said very sure of every word coming out of her mouth like she had said it to herself before walking in. “The money should be placed in an offshore account afterwards if you’re concerned about that.”
Casey had looked through the pictures earlier and wasn’t really sure of anything, other than the fact that something was going to be stolen later that night and she would get a payment for that. She didn’t know what she was going to do, and didn’t think Katherine would say much more. After a few seconds of pondering options, she sat down and logged in to the 20 year old computer sitting on the desk nearest to her.
She had been trying to get it to download a file when she glanced over at Teddy. He was leaning over someone else’s computer while standing, his glasses almost falling off his nose. Next to where he had his hand placed on the desk was the laptop where all the information was downloaded. She carefully walked up to the desk trying not to knock into any other desks, when at the desk she snatched the laptop, which she still wished had been thrown out of the window instead of logged in to.
After a few minutes of looking through files and documents she reviewed her day, this sparked a plan.
Closing the tab for ERCM labs, she opened one for an email to herself. After typing up a long story of the senario she sent it in hopes of Lola opening it.
Although Casey wasn’t smart enough to stop herself from hacking government save files, she was smart enough to make a plan for everything going wrong. She remembered wiping the memory on the computer but leaving her email logged in. She emailed her own email address hoping Lola could help her. Her email included her current location so Lola could come to the location and steal the prototype for her.
The response Casey received five minutes later was not what she expected, yet she trusted Lola. Her response was quick and made Casey quite hopeful, yet it seemed too good of a solution and she still had a slight problem. For Lola’s plan to work she had to leave, and she had to leave soon.
“Teddy where is the bathroom?” she said trying very hard to sound convincing.
“Upstairs and to the left” Teddy said casually, yet sitting to his left Katherine looked suspicious raising her eyebrow and puffing out her bottom lip, yet she didn’t say anything.
Casey walked up the stairs, through the restaurant, people eating barley noticing her, and out the door leaving the laptop sitting on the desk downstairs.
After a short walk she ended up back at the coffee shop where it started. As she walked in the scent of sweet coffee filled her nose; She went in ordered a cup of coffee and waited for Lola’s return.
Fifteen minutes later she heard the police sirens and after a minute Lola walked in. Casey looked up from her coffee and smiled at her.
Lola didn’t even bother introducing herself and instead said, “We need to talk somewhere more private”.
Casey understood her concern and got up from the couch she was sitting on and walked out with Lola. She continued her walk towards her apartment and didn’t stop until she was inside.
“I’m kind of confused Detective Alberstein” Casey said sitting down still holding the coffee. While saying this she thought of the message, the words running through her mind Thank you for your concern but you see I am not a spy for this agency. She had been thinking of the words since they appeared on the screen her explanation was clear in the email but she wanted her to explain again.
“ Well you see it’s quite simple,” she said sitting on a nearby chair, “I work undercover jobs and my current one was to bust this operation”.
“So that’s it? I ruined it for you,” Casey said very concerned.
“Nope not at all the case got solved quickly and easily.” she said smiling.
“Good to know” she said almost laughing.
“You know I have a question for you” Lola looking around the room
“I was wondering why was your laptop being tracked by our government”
“Well you see I'm bad at making decisions but my friend that is a long story...” she said with a goofy grin.