In the darkened office, Davis Kenny hunched over the laptop, scrolling through google results. He felt like a hacker. All the pieces were there, for anyone intelligent enough to assemble the puzzle. The trail of dollars, the hidden secrets, the lines to the top. It was all connected, and it was smart. He felt rocked, but had not been saluted first, so it wasn’t it a good way.
He continued to hack furiously when the door opened. He alt+tabbed away from the current screen, which was displaying information which could stun the political world. It flipped to a browser window displaying pornography.
He threw his jacket over the laptop and turned to newcomer. It was Monica Peterson, a molecular biologist-physicist-philosopher he had seen around the office from time to time. She was as smart as she was sexy and she had a man’s confidence with woman’s hands. She didn’t need anyone, although he suspected she harbored a deep secret (a smart one?) that made her put up walls around herself. And she was a total smoke show. All this flashed through his mind in seconds, while underneath his jacket he could hear the groans of porn. The whole thing was alarming.
“Kennedy?” she said, walking into the office. “What are you doing here?”
“I should ask you the same question.”
“Yes.” he moved his rook into checkmate position.
“Why? This is my office.”
Swing and a miss.
It was true. He didn’t own a laptop. He usually left the hacking to the nerds. But he didn’t get nominated for “Spy of the year” by CIA Weekly because he was stupid. In fairness, he didn’t get nominated for “Spy of the year” at all. It didn’t exist. Nor did a magazine called “CIA weekly.” Points he had raised multiple times with his superiors, only to be told to get back to work. What’s even the point of having an office suggestion box then? If you don’t want your face rocked with kick-ass suggestions, then take down the box. That was his motto.
He grabbed the first item on the desk – a stapler – and showed it to her. “Just needed to borrow this bad boy” he said. “Don’t even remember I was here. I’ll be on my way”.
“Why were you on my laptop?” she pulled his jacket off and threw it on the floor. “And why were you looking at… shit, is that porno-”
He cut her off. “Look Monica, there’s no time. Do you trust me?”
She looked perplexed. “I barely know you. And you’re in my office. On my computer. So no, I don’t trust you at all.”
“Listen. I’ve stumbled on to something. Something big. It’s big and it’s connected and it’s smart. It goes all the way to the top.”
“I’m calling security” she said, pulling out her phone.
“Wait. Just listen. I’ve been doing some research. Have you heard of corporations?”
“Yes.” She paused in mid-dial.
He felt bad bringing her into this conspiracy. This would change her life forever, there was no un-hearing what he was about to tell her. But it was too late to turn away. She already knew too much, what with coming into her own office and such.
“What if I told you that corporations don’t always act in the best interests of the consumer?”
Her eyebrows competed to fly off her forehead. “What are you saying?”
He dropped his bombshell. “I have information here that shows corporations really just want money. And the government is involved somehow.”
The phone dropped out of her numb, lifeless fingers. “That can’t be possible.” she whispered. “That would mean that sometimes corporate advertising isn’t always honest. That’s horrible.”
“And smart” he reminded her. “It’s a smart, sexy puzzle.”
She was drawn into his web. But would there be enough time?