The Agora Files – Part III – Online Edition – Chapter Forty

The rain’s coming down hard and it appears to be messing up my audio link with Billy.  At least I hope that’s what’s going on.  I haven’t heard a peep out of him for what feels like forever.  I’m all alone out here, stuck in the rain, with nowhere to hide, and completely useless legs.  Not having him to talk to just makes this all that much worse.

And I keep hearing things.  Loud things.  Things I’m not entirely sure are real.  In between the thunder and the lightning.  It’s almost like people.  Or tanks. Or, I don’t know…maybe it’s just me hallucinating from lack of water, sleep, and food.  Or maybe the world’s just falling apart.

The sobs come on full force now.  Full on heaving sobs, where I can’t even catch my breath.

I try to pretend it’s because I’m catching a cold out here in the rain, but even that doesn’t soothe me.

Nothing will soothe me.

Because Cyrus is dead.

And it’s all my fault.

If I hadn’t convinced the rebellion, convinced Alvin, to get Cyrus to—

Today’s his birthday.  The day he turned eighteen.  The day he would have finally reached the Age of Accountability.  The day he would have been forced to give up his shoes for a desk.

Absolutely nothing about any of this is okay, but that thought makes this all seem almost, I don’t know, poetic.  Cyrus would have hated any job the government could have given him.  They could have assigned him to doing literally the exact same thing he did for The Agora and he still would have hated it, simply because he didn’t have a choice.

But this way, he went out on his own terms, as his own man.  I’ll never be okay with this, but at least Cyrus went out doing what he loved: Running.

There’s that noise again.  It’s even louder this time.  Helicopters?  Tanks?  I’m not sure.  But I’m much more confident that it’s real.  And even more certain that it’s headed for me.

 

Alright, so maybe I was a little too excited a little too early.  Once the logon completes, the computer tells me repeatedly that it is unable to connect to network drives.  I’m guessing the authentication profiles didn’t get completely updated when the laptop froze.  Not all of the network drives are lost, but at least half of them are.  That’s not too bad.  Half of omnipotent power is still pretty darned omnipotent.

First things first, I need to locate Eve.

And, since she happens to be carrying Cyrus’ music player, I’ve got her location within a couple of minutes.

She’s traveling north and hanging out in an old abandoned airfield.  Either she’s ditched the music player, is dead, or is feeling comfortable enough to take a rest.

The next question is whether or not she’s even alive.  Or if that’s her.  Or if she’s been captured or if she’s still on the run.  Okay, so, there are quite a few questions.

The first answer comes fairly easily.  All of my answers do.  The feeds are full of traffic updating her location.  It looks like they have some way of tracking her.  I’m not sure if it’s the device she’s carrying, the tracker in her leg, or possibly that they were able to hack the tracker I’ve got in the music player.  Either way, they certainly know where she’s at and are in the midst of bringing down a whole lot of hurt in her direction.  By my calculations, she’s got thirty minutes at best before they reach her.  It’s great that she’s managed to somehow stay safe for this long, but it looks like her luck might be running out.

Crap.

So, I’ve got a ton of power at my fingertips right now.  Or at least half of a ton of power.  The question is, what to do to get everyone to, you know, just ignore that they know where she’s at?  Or, even better, to think she’s somewhere else.

I begin hunting through tons of lines of code to see if I can find any sort of process hidden in the system which might allow me to send out a false signal.

And I come across something called falseGpsSignal.  It couldn’t be this simple, could it?  Of course, anyone who codes things well should be kind enough to label their code as clearly as possible.  Couldn’t hurt, right?

I run the program and it immediately pops up a map of the country, with a whole bunch of blinking dots.  It doesn’t take a genius to understand how these dots are representations of all the different tracking mechanisms currently being tracked.  Using the graphical interface, I’m able to zoom into the area I found Eve to be at.  There are three separate dots at her precise location.  Three.

Either she’s there with someone else who is being tracked, or all three of her tracking devices are seen on here.

Which would include Cyrus’ music player.

Which would mean he’s been tracked this whole time.

No time to think about that now.  The real question is what can I do with this program now that I’ve found her?  I hold down the shift key and click on all three of the dots.  They all turn from yellow to blue and a text prompt pops up with the message, “Please draw path”.

It couldn’t be this easy, could it?

Crossing the fingers on my left hand that I’m right, I use the mouse with my right hand to draw a path from Eve’s current location headed east.  I figure that should buy her some time.  You know, if this works the way I hope it works.

After I release the mouse button, a new text prompt pops up.  “Please designate speed.”

Really?  Um, okay, well, I can’t have her going slower than whatever they’ve got headed in her direction.  I want them to keep thinking these trackers are her and to chase them for as long as they can.

Let’s say she found a car.  That way she’s not headed away too fast for them to try to find another method to capture her, but fast enough that they shouldn’t be able to see that they’re on a wild goose chase.  I input 65 into the prompt box and hit ENTER.

The box disappears and I’m left staring at the same screen as before.

Did I actually do anything?

I stare at the three little dots as hard as I can.  And then, they start moving.  Headed south.  Away from the giant collection of dots and, more importantly, away from Eve.

I pump my fist in excitement.

But I’m not done yet.

Go to Chapter Forty-One

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