Jin spread his small, long-nailed hands. – I need a trustworthy man to guard my back against any snooping board members, security guards or employees that might approach. Moreover, a certain amount of calculating assistance will be required. A gentleman like me lacks the mathematical insight you investors are capable of. And besides, being our Company’s supreme fund generating expert you do not share the common employees’ superstitious terror of The Board. Am I correct in my assumption?
Jin’s seductive, purring whisper awoke the lust for profit in the Investor’s greedy heart, but a residue of caution restrained him from immediate assent.
Dresden looked down upon the Chinese’s manners with a hard-bitten investor’s cynical contempt. The Business Strategist’s slanting black eyes and purring voice reminded him of a cat, and he often told himself to watch this slick oriental envoy for treachery. On the other hand, he secretly envied the Mandarin his exquisitely cultivated manners and easy charm. This fact led Dresden to resent the strategist ever more; for, although his year in the Investment Company had given Dresden some slight polish, he was still at heart a blunt, bullish, young redneck out of Texas. He would have to be careful.
The night outside the company building grew darker, and he could hear the wind increase as he walked the now desolate corridors which led to the Main-Frame. At the titanium vault-door he entered the sequence-key the diminutive Chinese had given him. As the titanium opened on silent hydraulics the half-moon rose over the skyscrapers outside the panorama windows behind him. The illusive light of this moon embraced the synthetic light emanating from the vault as Dresden walked silently into the great hall casting wary glances into the semi-darkness.
Dresden was key strokes from finishing inputting the complicated code when his subconscious suddenly flashed a combination of well-known numbers. His index finger hit the Enter key. Numbers he had not seen since he was a reckless hacker in Huston flashed on the screen. He had been hacking corporate, military and government sites for the glory of just being able to get past the computer defense-walls well-dressed Suits claimed were impregnable. He had been the best of his country’s data-thieves and been known in the deep web as the Codebreaker. He had never been exposed, but dropped out of the hacker trade when one lonely night he realized he could make prison free money through legal, but merciless investment companies. These numbers were parts of his old code. Mutating like a real life virus and capable of penetrating server-citadels, no matter how well protected. Jin’s code was not an encryption key! It was a modified stealth-virus. How had Jin gotten hold of it? No matter … He had never designed a virus without an antidote. Realizing that he had been led by the nose like a newbie investor to junk bonds he started to erect a defensive structure to hold the virus the moments he needed to inject his antidote.
Jin must have felt the change and seen the realization in Dresden’s eyes. Luckily, Jin enjoyed his predicaments so much that he would not attempt to physically attack him. And even better… the Business Strategist had no inkling that it was Dresden that a few years ago had hacked a bank in China and was the mastermind behind the stealth-virus he was now going to terminate.
The Golden Pheasant
Dresden’s eyes blazed with volcanic fury as he hurled the might of his powerful knowledge to keep his temporary wall from crumbling. He had the means to counter the spread of the virus in his pocket. After all … Could not a creator kill his own creations? Sweat tickled down his brow and soaked the cotton shirt under his jacket. But he needed the smirking Chinese out of the way.
-You arrogant, yellow devil …This will also be China’s downfall. You… are a part of… the economic globalization. You need… the global market!
After a mocking bow of farewell, the Chinese turned to go. The Business Strategist’s plan was to leave him trapped to the keyboard until the nation-crushing virus broke free into the financial markets of the World.
Dresden exploded off the chair and saw Jin walking leisurely towards the massive vault door. The arrogant Chinese would close the door in his face and leave him locked in the server hall for security to find in the morning. He pounced like a striking ox and a mighty blow to the side of his head subdued Jin’s struggles. Dresden groped into the Chinese wide sleeves and tore out the Kingston Predator containing the virus. Then Dresden lurched back to the Main-Frame, dragging the Mandarin after him. As he reached the level section around the base of the monolith, he heaved The Business Strategist into the air over his head. Seeing what was happening to him Jin uttered one high, thin scream as Dresden hurtled him at the shaft. The Chinese struck the column headfirst with a thud and slid unconscious to the ground at its base.
The price of gold had started a slow fall on the Shanghai stock exchange and kept on creeping downwards as he stared at the screens. 1216 dollars an ounce! Dresden smiled ghoulishly. Something told him that the price of gold would hit rock bottom when Wall Street did not collapse as foreseen by the Chinese. The Golden Pheasant industrialists had been buying tons upon tons of precious metals the last five years. Getting rid of what they thought would be a dollar without value in the weeks to come.
- The End