Jim pulled out of the driveway and glanced at his house…he practically spend here half of his life…getting married, having Marie and then losing Sandra to cancer. He thought about selling this house, when Sandra passed away but the memories of their life together kept him from moving on. Also, that was the only home Marie knew, and grew up in… she was so sensitive and emotional...just like her mother. Marie looked a lot like Sandra with her light brown hair and green, dreamy eyes; always in her own world…She was a very talented painter, even in the high school winning couple of the art competitions. Jim felt very proud of her and at the same time, very protective. His wife’s illness drained family finances…they did everything to save her, even tried new, unapproved treatment…but they lost the battle. Jim had to take second loan on the house just to cover the expenses… He wanted to give this house to Marie… already paid for …so she can have a good start…
The job at Geotronics was paying fairly well, but he couldn’t save enough money to pay off the loans…so, when this proposition came…he knew, it was a chance to straighten his finances once and for all. All he had to do was to take his part of the work and give it to them…Sooner or later everyone will have this program…that’s how technology works…nothing is impenetrable …he will just deliver it sooner…. Jim was trying to justify his decision by thinking “If I am not going to do it …someone else will…” At the end he wasn’t hundred percent sure…but it was already too late …he made a promise and they were clear, they expect it to be delivered on time…or else…The same, sharp and emotionless voice, which asked for the information, asked about Marie…and her well being… Jim had no choice right now…
The morning was dark with a heavy clouds and air full of electricity. He was suppose to deliver the final product yesterday…but he told them it was not ready yet…he lied …Jim finished it, but he was procrastinating with the final delivery. He already had the program in his hands, outside of the building…the security wasn’t very strict and everybody trusted him… He had second thoughts…looking for another way to solve this problem...hoping for a miracle… The part of the program he was designing was not very long but crucial for the project. With this application you were able, not only to predict earthquake with high accuracy but well ahead of time. Jim felt, that this product should be available to everyone…not only one group of people or country…It could save lives…That’s why he agreed in the beginning…believing in the idea of peacefully shared technology in our world.
Jim was driving toward downtown; having a feeling someone was following him… He saw the black BMW entering the highway, right after him…driving in the back for some time and then exiting at the same time. He was looking nervously at the mirror, trying to see if they would follow him here…to his work. Jim parked in the usual spot and then turned around looking for the black car…it was nowhere in sight… “Maybe he imagined that” he thought to himself as he entered the building.
It looked, as if it was going to rain today. Jim closed the door to his office and decided to write an e-mail to his old friend. If anything will go wrong …he will protect Marie…he was sure of that. They went all the way back to college times…George was his roommate and the best men at the wedding…Jim can trust him. He attached all the information with the account number and a simple explanation…asking him not to open it…unless he is not going to hear from Jim in 48 hours… George was not only smart but very reliable friend. The lunch time arrived quickly but Jim decided to stay at the office.
The darkness on the outside was not promising a good weather. Jim cleaned out his desk and erased unneeded files on his computer… before he knew, it was almost five o’clock. He packed, took a long look at his office and put a picture of Marie into his briefcase. It started to rain a little …” It will take him longer to drive home…traffic will be terrible” he thought as he walked through the parking lot to his car. He started the engine, slowly driving off the parking lot into the street, turned left and was about to enter the main street leading to the highway, when he noticed his dashboard lighted with the signal of a low tire pressure. It was on the right side…There was a gas station nearby, he turned right, hoping they have an air and water ….available for customers.
Something caught his eye in the back mirror…it was the same car as this morning…black BMW with heavily tinted windows. He got nervous and instead of stopping at the gas station kept on driving …to the part of the city he was not very familiar with. He checked the back mirror again but this time couldn’t see any car….it was getting darker and darker…rain becoming much heavier… He stopped at the red light, looking around and trying to find the best way back to the highway.
On his right side the black car stopped and before he realized what was happening his side window was crushed and he had a passenger in the car, next to him…pointing a gun toward his direction…”Drive” the man directed. “Turn left at the next intersection “he addressed Jim with a calm voice… “Was it the same voice that he heard on the phone before” Jim was trying to analyze who he is dealing with….He was approaching the intersection…the gun poked his ribs in a sharp move…” Left...now” the man insisted.” Turn here…” man pointed to the right, toward covered parking space …. “Keep on driving ….and park next to this black car” he instructed him. It was BMW Jim saw before…someone was inside. He stopped his car and looked to the right… at the same time, feeling the sharp pain on the side of his head…everything turned dark….