You can read part one here.
“Good, because we need to get down to work.” Jackson went to a small dresser on one of the walls and pulled open the top drawer. It, like everything else in this forgotten corner of civilization, was covered in dust. I sneezed.
Jackson crossed back over to me and held out a small round thing, roughly the same color as my skin. I took it and turned it over in my palm, examining it.
“It’s an earpiece. Put it in and get going. You’re going to be late for work.”
I shot him a look that said I definitely was not okay with this, but did it anyway. He checked to make sure it was in correctly, then spoke into a little microphone on his wrist.
I jumped when it came through loud and clear on my earpiece.
Jackson grinned. “I guess it works. You won’t be able to contact us, but Kat will be outside if anything goes wrong. Now go.”
“You still haven’t told me what you want me to do yet.”
He pushed me gently toward the staircase. “I’ll talk you through it. Just go.”
I was only a few minutes late, but Mr. Helsing’s secretary shot me a concerned look anyway.
“Morning, Natalie. Have they already started?”
“Yes. Here, bring in the coffee order and maybe you won’t get as many glares.” She handed me a styrofoam tray of coffees which I balanced with one hand while edging my way into the meeting.
Everyone turned to look at me and Mr. Helsing stopped midsentence. “Ah, Megan. So nice of you to join us.”
“Sorry I’m late.” I set the coffee in the middle of the conference table and six people turned to grab their drinks. The attention was no longer on me and I slid into a chair at the end of the table.
“As I was saying,” Mr. Helsing continued, “profit has spiked this past year due, I believe, to our marketing efforts.”
“Megan.” Jackson’s voice in my ear made me jump and everyone turned to look again.
“Sorry. Just remembered I forgot to feed my cat. Please, don’t mind me.”
Mr. Helsing gave me a very disapproving look before continuing once again.
“Megan, the virus is on a flashdrive in Mr. Helsing’s office. I’m told it’s in the top drawer of his desk. You’ll need to find a way to get in there, take it, and get out. You have two hours.”
In his office? And how did Jackson know where it was?
I pretended to listen to the meeting as my mind scrambled for an excuse to leave.
“One hour, Megan.”
I had to get out before Mr. Helsing went back into his office.
Time for action.
I stood, once again attracting the attention of everyone in the room.
“Megan, is there a problem?” Mr. Helsing crossed his arms and glared at me.
“No sir. Sorry. I’m just not feeling well today. I think I need some water. I’ll be right back. Please, go on without me.”
“Be quick about it. We’ve got a lot to go over and I don’t want you missing it.”
“Yes sir.” I left in a hurry and went back out to the lobby. “Natalie, Mr. Helsing wanted me to grab something from his office for him. Could I have the key please?”
“Sure. What is it?” She handed me the key.
“Just a flashdrive. Thanks.”
I unlocked the door to Mr. Helsing’s office and stepped in, holding my breath.
I opened it carefully and stared down at five flashdrives, all the same color.
“Can I help you find it?” I startled at Natalie’s sudden appearance in the doorway.
“Um, no thanks. Got it right here!” I held up one of the flashdrives and smiled, using my other hand to slip the other four into my pocket. I shut the drawer and slipped out past Natalie. She closed the door and locked it.
I headed toward the front door.
“Don’t you need to be getting back to the meeting?”
I stopped. “Oh, um…some of the drinks were missing. I’m just going to go around the corner and grab them real quick. It’ll only take a minute.” I offered her a reassuring smile and walked out the door, breathing a sigh of relief.
Kat caught up to me as I walked toward the base. “Do you have it?”
“I’ve got five. They’re all identical.”
“Well we’ve got to hurry. Time’s running out.”
Back at the base, Jackson had pulled up a computer and snatched the flashdrives from my hand as soon as I held them out. He began plugging them in and searching.
“Three minutes, Three minutes…” he muttered.
At number four, his eyes lit up. He began typing furiously.
Kat checked her watch. “Jackson…”
“I know, I know.” His fingers flew across the keyboard. I looked at my own watch, watching the seconds tick down.
Five. Four. Three. Two.
Jackson heaved a huge sigh of relief and sank back into his folding chair with a grin. “We did it.”
“And all thanks to you, Megan.” Kat smiled at me.
I smiled back. Just like in an adventure novel.