Oh god, where to begin. I'm sure you've heard all about it by now. Maybe some of you readers are looking for me. Well, good luck. I've got to leave the country, that's how bad things have gotten. Don't bother looking for me at airports or piers. I'm going to disappear and there's nothing you can do to find me.
Well like most things in this blog, it starts with a phone call. From Carrie. I don't know why I answer it. I want to change numbers, change locks, whatever it takes to get away from her. I listen to my cell phone chiming and look at her image on the screen. I want to beat on it. Every contact I have with her turns to shit. I pick it up, thinking that I'm finally going to tell her off.
"What," I say brusquely.
"It's on, Alex, the machine, it's on. They're beginning to test it out. Tomorrow it goes live. I, I, I'm going to stop it. I just thought someone should know. I know things have been a little strange between us, but I want you to know what I'm doing."
I so want to hang up right now. I should have. I could have salvaged my pathetic life if I had just thrown away the phone right at that moment. I dangle my thumb over the disconnect button. But once again, I put the phone back to my ear.
"What the hell are you talking about, Carrie? You're going to stop it?"
"Yeah, it's all set. I can't talk on the phone right now. Meet me at the corner of Balboa and La Playa, and I'll tell you everything. Hurry, we don't have much time." I hear the phone disconnect.
I slam my fist on my thigh. Dammit. What the hell is Carrie up to? She's really unstable. Then I remember something she said. She wants to blow up Building Four. I didn't take her seriously. Could she be capable of something like that? God I hope not.
I reluctantly get in my car and drive the couple miles over to Infinitae, and park near where Carrie mentioned. I consider calling Ellie and letting her know that something's up, but I can't bring myself to do that. I just need to deal with Carrie once and for all. If I can't do it on the phone, then I'll do it in person.
I spot her standing on the corner with her laptop backpack and a single crutch. It looks like her cast has been replaced with a boot. She somehow looks better than I've seen her in a while, cleaned up, and a bit of a glow about her. She smiles at me when I approach. I'm not quite buying it, but she looks a little saner right now.
"Hey, Alex," she greets me almost jovially. A couple blocks behind her looms Building Four. She reaches out and takes my hand. I try to pull it back but she's insistent. She leads me into a nearby apartment building and into a vacant room, save for a chair and a desk. The window looks out on B4. She unpacks her laptop and plugs it into a large monitor sitting on the desk.
"I'm glad you're here, Alex. I wouldn't want you to miss the festivities." She smirks at me. I get a chill down my spine.
"Carrie, what's going on? I want to know what the hell you're doing."
"Tsk. Geez Alex, you'll spoil the surprise."
I watch as she brings up some screens on the monitor.
"Here we go," she says. "All I have to do is press this key and it's done."
"Carrie, what the fuck are you doing?"
"Say goodbye to Building Four." She presses the button.
I look outside but the building is still standing. Carrie laughs deliriously. "Oh my god. You really thought I was blowing up the building! What do you think I am?"
"Then what was that?"
Carrie grins at me triumphantly. "It's a timer, silly. Building Four goes down in...14 minutes 48 seconds. Don't even think about messing with this laptop, the timer can only be stopped from inside the building."
She shows me a live image of the timer, ticking away somewhere under the building.
"Carrie! What the hell have you done! You fucking crazy idiot!"
"Hey, fuck you, Ross! You didn't the fucking balls to do shit about this, did you? You could even get your Chinese whore to investigate. Your such a fucking loser, and you're gonna finally get what's coming to you."
I try to leave but she blocks the door. "Get out of my way."
"Or what? Pussy! What the fuck are you going to do?"
I pick her up and throw her into the desk, sending the computer equipment flying and crashing on the floor. Does she even know the hell I've been through lately? She lands heavily and screams. Not in pain, but in anger. It looks like she's going to rush me, but then she begins laughing.
"Oh Alex, you poor little piece of shit. Now you want to go save the world? Go on, run over there. You'll never disarm it. You don't have the fucking brainpower. Asshole."
I run out the door, grabbing my phone. Thank God I have Ellie's new number on me. I dial it as I run towards Building Four. I have no idea what I'm going to do. It rings and rings, not even going to voice mail. I'm already halfway to the building when she picks up.
"Ellie! Carrie's gone nuts! She wired Building Four with explosives, and it's going to blow in about 13 minutes. We've got to stop it. I'm heading there now."
"Alex! Don't! I'll be there in a minute! I have something to tell you about Carrie, something I just discovered. She's not who--"
I trip on a curb, and my phone goes flying right out into the street where a semi crushes it, all 18 wheels it seems. "Shiiit!!!" I scream. It's now in tiny little pieces, way beyond repair.
I race down the street oblivious to the pain in my skinned knee and elbows. As usual, Building Four is locked up as tight as a drum. I jump over to Building Three next door where there's a reception area. I run up to her.
"There's a bomb in Building Four. You need to evacuate immediately."
I must be a great sight, panting and sweating, blood dripping from my torn shirt and pants. She sort of just stares at me blankly.
I start screaming. "There's a fucking bombing about to go off! Now!" I spot a fire alarm on the wall and I go and pull it. She jumps on the phone and calls someone. I run back outside. In a few moments, I see some red lights start flashing on Building Four, and a siren begins to wail. In moments, I spot a door opening. I sprint over to it and push my way past people emerging from the building. God, why didn't I think of this before?
I'm finally in Building Four. I know I have only ten minutes or so, but I have to see it. I have to see the machine behind all this drama. I run up the stairs to the fourth floor and get in when someone opens the door to evacuate. I see plenty of servers humming away. I walk all around, up and down halls, ignoring the calls to evacuate. There's nothing but servers. I try the third floor. Exactly the same. There's nothing in Building Four. All this time, and it's exactly what everyone says it was. No secret labs, no secret projects, no secret teams of developers. No fingerprinting machine. Just regular servers, providing people with useful online communities. Nothing more.
I remember the bomb. I think it's in the garage. This place is about to blow. I've got to get out of here. Shit shit shit shit shit