Copyright© 2010 by Michael Wolfam
"Gotcha, you motherfucking hacker." Max triumphantly typed another command on the keyboard. The laughing skull and crossbones disappeared from his screen and were replaced by views from the network of cameras that made up his elaborate surveillance system. The last several hours had been tortuous as Max battled an unknown intruder who had taken the security system hostage. The intrusion had occurred right around the same time that his phone warned him that a break-in was occurring at the Three Crosses Rehab Center. All attempts to reach David Chang at the center had failed miserably.
The hacker was good, and had matched Max turn for turn. It was nearly sunrise when Max finally found a backdoor into the network and was able to lock the intruder out of the system. Max quickly pulled up footage from earlier that night and started reviewing the different camera angles. The scene recorded by the camera hanging over the front desk at the rehab center made him scratch his head. Chang was dressed as an orderly, and everything was going to plan, until 3:03 AM. Then, abruptly, Chang jumped up and ran from sight.
Max was puzzled by Chang's action, until he reviewed the footage from Mitch's study. His jaw dropped when the strange looking, armored vehicle plowed through the wall, just to the right of the stone fireplace. Furniture and exercise equipment went flying, as the vehicle tore through the room. The two top mounted machine guns scanned the room. Then, two familiar figures emerged from their armored cocoon.
Max balled his fist and punched the metal table when he saw Liv jump out of the driver's seat. His rage reached a boiling point when he saw the hallway gun fight unfold. Max watched his well-trained men race from their ambush site at the front door to the hallway where Liv and Finn wiped them out, one by one. War never went as planned, and Max made a mental note to train the new batch of recruits to respond better to unexpected situations.
Finally, after interrogating another man and then killing him, the little bitch and her boy toy jumped back in the vehicle and raced out of the room.
"Did you finally get that hacker out of our system?" Mitch's question broke through the rage-filled haze that was clouding Max's thinking. They were in the command center of the Bathsheba Mine, a room carved in the granite heart of a high altitude mountain. It was the center of communication for Max's operation. Secure messages concerning upcoming drug and arms deals were broadcasted and received there.