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"See ya Jerry!". Jerry's the clerk at the liqor store at the corner of my street. It's really conveniently close, so Jerry knows what I get after work every few days. Gripping my bottle of Chardonnay and the stories I'm working on, I walk up to the front door of my building. Fiddling in my pockets looking for my keys, I can't seem to find them. I'm gonna have to call up, have Sara open the door for me. I seriously hope she's home... Pick up my phone and dial, it rings three... four times... Sara [[Picks up]]/[[Doesn't seem to be home]] ."Hey sweetie, can you come let me in? I left my keys in the bowl by the door again...". I can hear heavy breathing on the other end, as if she's just had a workout. "Mhhmm, yea, sure, I'll be down in a minute!". Something sounds off, but for now I think nothing of it. She was probably doing a workout of some sort. I waited about 5 minutes before I see her start down the steps of our beautiful broken down New York Apartment building. Her face is flushed and she looked somewhat dishevled. "Hey hun, you're home early" she said. Yep, something was definately up. She leans down to give me a kiss. I don't know what it is, but something feels wrong. We walk up the stairs, and she lets us in. The apartment looks normal, except the bedroom door is closed. The bedroom door is never closed. "Sara who was here?" I ask her. "Nobody, just me" she says trying to sound nonchalant. That's it, she's been hiding things from me, and sneaking around, I'm done, I[[Yell]] at her.It IS earlier than I usually come back from the paper, she might be out getting groceries, so I decide to go up the fire escape. Walking round back, I hear giggling from an apartment above me. As I'm going up the fire escape, the giggling turns into sounds which are usually associated when two adults get naked... Someone's getting lucky. As I come up on the window to our bedroom, what I see when I look inside explains the giggling. There is my girlfriend, with another woman, in our bed. I didn't move for about a minute, just taking in what I was seeing, absolutely horrified. I pop down under the window to get my bearings and decide to go inside. As I open the window, I hear a couple of screams and see my girlfriend jump away from her lover. "Hey Sara, I called" completely nonchalant. She looks scared. "Would you introduce us?" I say to her, looking at the ditsy looking women still lying naked on our bed. "Umm, Andrea, I didn't think you were going to be home for a while, I'm sorry. I can explain". I didn't care. "Get your shit and get out" I said to the two of them. They scramble and grab their things from the bedroom and I shut the door behind them. I hear the other woman go out the door, and Sara walks towards the bedroom. I [[Yell]].
"Get the hell out of my apartment you cheating whore". She just walks away "I'm gonna go get us some dinner so we can talk about this" she says. I don't intend to talk about anything. While she's away, I'm going to pack her things, put them in boxes, and leave them outside the door. Then I'm going to bolt the door, play my music as loud as it goes, and sit down with my work for the night. Amongst my files, there's a manilla envelops with nothing written on it, but there is a bulge at the bottom. It's probably one of our souces sending images of some sort of demonstration that they want me to write a story about. Unfortunately, they picked the wrong reporter. I'm just a low level editor, I have my own stuff I write about human rights violations around the city, but it gets shot down every time I take it my superiors. I [[open the package]]/[[throw the package to the side]].As I open the package, inside there's a letter, about five sentances long. I begin to read it, and with every word my eyes grow wider, and my jaw drops further to the floor. The information supposedly on the USB drive at the bottom of the envelope is very sentitive. I'm kind of worried to even open it. In the letter it says to use it to bring justice to the world. Whatever that means. I decide I should open it, have a look. As I scroll through the documents on my laptop, I'm realizing the gravity of the information contained, unencrypted, on this wallmart USB, and realize that it's been placed in my hands. I've got a horrible, sinking feeling about this. I can't let anyone see this until I know what to do with it. For now I'm going to [[chill out]]/[[get on a trian]].I have enough on my plate right now, I don't feel like dealing with another story right now. Leaving it on the side of the bed, I hear a knock at my door. That must be Sara. I turn my music up louder. I can still hear the knocking faintly through the music, so I go to the door, look through the peephole, and there's nobody there. Weird. I'm done with this, so I go back into the bedroom to change the sheets. No way am I going to keep these. I'd burn them but that might end with our whole building going up in flames, so maybe not. I wrap them up, and take them out to the garbage chute, pushing Sara's stuff to the side as I open the door. I've had enough with this week, I think I'll just sleep it off. Nestled into bed, I hear a knock at the door again. In mt half drowsy state I go to open the door, look through the peephole, and its black. Screw it, I'll [[Open the door]]/[[Go back to bed]].I've dealt with enough today, I don't want to have to worry about this too so I [[throw the package to the side]]. I know how sensitive the information must be, but nobody knows I have it except the person who sent the package, so I think I'm going to just hang out for a bit. I'll deal with it tomorrow. Suddenly, there's a knock at the door. I go to see who it is and [[Open the door]] [[yell fuck off]].I have to get out of here, this information is serious, they probably have government agents crawling all over this. I pack a quick bag with the essentials, my laptop, grab all of the cash I have on hand, lock the door, and jet out of my apartment. I walk down to the subway, get on the train with my headphones in but no music playing. I have to be aware. There's an older man staring at me. I can't tell is he's staring for the sake of staring, or if he knows what I have sitting in my pocket. I get off the train at grand central, and buy a ticket for the first train leaving. I don't even know where it's headed. I find my seat and [[pull out my laptop]]/[[look nervously around me]].Sara's there, so I slam it shut again. "Just get out of here already" I say in a broken voice. Only moments later she knocks again, this time more agressively. I open the door again, but this time it's not Sara... Before me stands a beautiful blonde woman. She's tall as a tree so she towers over me. She's wearing all black, making her platinum blonce hair really stand out. Severely confused I ask "Who are you?". She replies "My name is Jeremine, and I sent you that package earlier, I'd like my thumb drive back.". She says this quite agressively, and she's all muscle. I don't think the sender would want the package back. What is this? "Please leave" I tell her, but she hasn't budged a centimetre. So I slam the door again and she [[puts her foot in the door]]/[[deflects it and it hits me in the head]].
About a minute later, I hear my lock turn, and my door swing open. I could have sworn I took Sara's key. All of a sudden, a figure in all black bursts through my bedroom door, jumps on the bed, and tackles me. I'm screaming but it's muffled by the pillows. Squirming and fighting to get away, I'm starting to think this isn't Sara. They [[Punch me]]/[[Pull me out of bed]].Everything went black.
I wake up after what I can only assume is a long time. There's a tall woman standing over me. I [[scream]].She drags me over to my kitchen, and wrestles me into a chair. She's got my arms in a position which will dislocate my shoulder if I try and move... I kick behind me, and she yells. I grab a knife from the knife holder and swing. All of a sudden, she looks very scared. It isn't until a few seconds later that the blood starts to gush from her neck. She falls to her knees, and down to the ground.
Jesus. I just killed a person. I took another person's life. I've got to [[run]]/[[call the police]].I scream out at the top of my lungs, hoping someone, anyone will hear me. Maybe one of the neighbors is home, and hears me. I'm fighting off my attacker, throwing punches and kicking relentlessly, until she pulls out a knife. She puts it to my throat and tells me to shut up. "Where's the God damned package?". "What package?" I say, almost hopefully, but I kind of know she's not going to believe that. She keeps threatening me, even starts cutting my cheek, when all of a sudden I hear a thwack, and my attacker slumps over, and falls on me. What I see is Sara, standing over her with her favourite cast iron pan in her hand. She quickly leans over me and proceeds to coddle me, sking if I'm okay, what's going on, what happened. I [[start to speak]]/[[die trying to tell her]].With a fruit sticker over the camera on my laptop, I feel safe, so I hop on the train's wifi. Optimistic about getting out of the city, I start looking up info around the documents I'm now running from th city for. There's hundreds of posts about accusations against the government, the same subject matter that's proven on the USB. The whole issue is global, I'm surprised I haven't been nabbed yet.
A couple hours pass as I'm doing research on the documents. The doors of the train open, but only one person gets off, and one gets on. As if I had jinxed it when I first got on the train, all of a sudden [[my computer screen goes black]] [[I see a tall blonde woman]].There seems to be nobody of suspicion around me. Everyone on the train seems to be going to work, or travelling with their suitcases. There's even a lady with a baby carriage. I think I'm okay for now. I pull out my laptop, it doesn't seem like I'm going to have an issue here. I hop onto the wifi and look up some of the info on that USB drive. It's horrifying. I have to publish the documents, this is bigger than me. Thousands of people are being affected by this. It has to get out. So get on my Newspaper's website, log into my account, and start to publish a draft. I hit send.
All of a sudden, about ten minutes after I send the story, there's an explosion near the front of the train. It trails through all the cabins. I don't make it, but from heaven I can see that I'm a national hero. People know the story.
That's all I ever wanted.
ENDWhoever was on the other side of that door killed me. I remember having an out of body experience as the bullet came at my face and bured itself deep into my forehead. I stayed out of body for a while after that, I remember seeing whoever was on the other side of the door come in and look for the package. They found it in the bedroom, took it, and left, with the door open, and my body lying on the ground. A few months later, I saw from heaven that someone named Jeremine had leaked what was on that USB to the press. It was the woman who killed me.
EndThe screen of my laptop is completely dark. Something rumbles inside the machine, and my laptop blows up. Nothing huge, but the pop was loud enough that the whole car looked at me funny. Especially when it started to smoke. This has got to be the doing of the government behind the scandal. What should I do? I've got to retrieve the information, so I'm going to hop off the train at the next stop and get a ticket back home. I've got to take it to my paper's tech guys, they might be able to retieve whatever was on there. Until then I have to be extra vigilant.
I [[decide to stay and keep going]].She looks me dead in the eye, and at that moment I realize that I'm in trouble. Knowing what I know, the government would kill me without hesistation. I have to make a run for it, so I quickly throw my laptop in my bag and run for the back of the car with it still half open. I look behind me and she's still following me so I open the door that leads between trains. It was one of those older trains so the door was heavy. I slipped outside and slammed it behind me. I could see she was still following me, so I ran through the next cabin. And the next. And the next. And I was at the end of the train, with her at least a car or to behind me. I open the door to the back of last car, and walk out. I've got to lose her, my life might depend on it. And the loves of millions too... I'm not sure what might lose her easier. I guess I'll [[jump off the back]] or [[climb up to the roof]].The train is going relatively slow so I'm able to jump off the back and roll along the ground and quickly pick myself up, duck into the trees off the side of the tracks. I run and run, without looking back, for what seemed like an eternity, but could also have just been 10 minutes. I happen upon a road. I run along the road again for a while, this time looking over my shoulder, looking for somwehere to hide out. I see a diner in the distance, so I [[get closer]].But not before the woman could catch up to and grab my pack off my back. She pulls out a gun and points it at me. She now has the files, and a gun to my head. At this point, I don't know what I might be able to do. She backs off into the train, with her gun still pointed at me. Once she's out of sight, I finally catch my breath. You never realize you're not breathing, until you take that huge breath in. I go back through the train, all the while looking for any trace of the blonde woman, without any luck. So I decide to [[keep going, they will be looking for me]].She pushes her way in the door, but I'm ready for her. I've grabbed the bat I keep behind my door, and in one flush swing, it hits her right in the temple. Bet she wasn't expecting that. I lean over her to see if she's unconscious, and it seems she is. So I tie her to my bed. Each arm and leg to a bedpost. Funny way to put the handcuffs and rope I have to use. I smack her to wake her up, she doesn't wake up. I guess I'll just have to [[wait until she wakes up]] [[see what I could do about the USB]].
So I [[scream]].I pour cold water over her, and she wakes up with a start. "Who are you?" I say to her. She winces, visibly trying to get her bearings. "Hahaha" she just laughs. "You're not stupid, I'm government, you know that." She's right, I did already know that. That laugh is intoxicating. Looking at her, she really was beautiful. "Do you know what's on those documents?" I ask her. "No, and I don't really give a flying f-" "If you knew you wouldn't be here" I tell her. I'm going to show her what she's fighting for. I go into my bedroom, grab my laptop and bring up the files, I walk over to her, sit down and point the screen to her and scroll slowly. At the end, she looks defeated. I get real up close and personal, so close we're almost cheek to cheek. "Do you still want to help the government conceal this?" I whisper right in her ear. I can feel a shiver going through her body. [[She turns and looks at me]]/[[suddenly I black out]]As I'm writing a story about it, my screen goes black. All of my research deletes itself, and the files disappear. The USB seems to have distroyed itself.She's got this sorrow in her eyes. "You're not going to come out of this alive" she tells me, spitting on me. I look at her, and it seems she's missing something. Something fundamental in her life. As a government employee, maybe it's a sense of morality, but it might also just be someone to go home to. Maybe I could be that someone to go home to.
I run over and grab my computer and the files, and show them all to her, in chronological order. By the end of it, she seems stunned. I look at her and say "Do you believe me now?". She says "Yes. We must do something." So I ask her, "Do we go on thr run?". She tells me that's the only thing we can do, now that we both know. So we run outside and flag down a taxi. She stays, says she's going to go into hiding, and that she can't follow me, but not before giving me a kiss goodbye. It was probabnly one of the most sensual kisses I've ever recieved. She then starts to walk briskly away. I try and flag down a taxi.
[[run]] When I wake up, I've been handcuffed to a pipe in a stingy basement, smelling like mildew. The woman comes down the stairs, "Oh good you're awake". She was carrying a tray, and something smelled like pancakes. She sets it down beside me, and my sense of smell was confirmed. Big, fluffy pancakes with strawberries. She sits down, cuts a piece and holds it up to my nose. "Give me a reason not to kill you." she says. "I don't want to, and that information on the USB is proof of the biggest internal conspiracy I've ever heard of. And I've been doing the government's bidding since they recruited me out of Juvy when I was 13.". "Is that not enough?" I said. "No, because either I kill you and complete my mission, make that drive disappear, or they kill me, so, no. It's not enough". Wow, they really had an iron grip on her. "What's your name anyways?" I ask. "Jeremine" she says. She decides to [[Pull me out of bed]].When I get off, I walk along a road for a while, trying to figure out what to do. I walk until I see a small building in the distance. Almost like a house, but shorter. I [[get closer]] and see that it's a diner.I've got to figure out a way to get this to the public without getting caught. They'll be looking for me. I'll have to sit on it for a bit, until things die down. Get a life, have kids, disappear.
So that's exactly what I do.
Three years after I got the files, I'm living in a cabin in the woods with my husband and child. It's time. The newspapers have stopped reporting on the issue, and the government seemed to stop coming after me. I've been forgotten.
So I go to the city and publish a story.
The story of a lifetime.
But nobody believes it, so I just go back to my little family. There isn't much else I can do. I did what I could for my people. I'm going to live my life with my family now.
ENDI go inside and see that they have free wifi. It doesn't seem like I've been followed. I get myself a coffee, sit down and just take in everything that's happened in the past few hours. What an insane time. All of a sudden there's a tap on my shoulder, I scream. "Woah there little missy, didn't mean to startle you. May I sit?" She seems reasonably harmless, so I motion for her to sit. "You're not from around here are you?". "No", I say. "Well, why don't you come back to my cottage sweetheart, I'll show you around town" she tells me. I don't know if I should trust her, but I go with her anyways. We get in her car and speed up the road, and as we're going, she asks me what I was doing so far in the outskirts. I told her I'm running, and she had a very suspicious look in her eyes. We pull into a driveway, and its this beautiful, quaint little cottage. I say thank you to her, and we go inside. Over tea, she asks me about why I'm running, so I tell her I have a story to write and some people are very intent on keeping me from writing it. She says "Oh", and reaches down under her chair. She's pulling something out, it's a [[gun]]/[[box of cookies]].My voice is raspy, laboured. I can hardly breath. Sarah screames when she notices a pool of blood forming under my side. I try and breath, and I feel a very sharp pain in my side. My attacker must have forced it in my when she fell. I didn't even feel it going in. I look down to my side and see the pool of blood growing. I know I'm going to die. I've gotta tell Sara about the files. Someone has to know so the world knows what happened. They have to know. "The files" I say. "You have to publish the files". "I love you Andy, and I'm sorry I failed you. I love you." she tells me. That's the last thing I heard.
Looking down from heaven I see the papers. She did it, she published it! She even told my story. The world knows now, and we can feel a revolution
coming on earth from up here in heaven. Power to the people. My Dad used to say the same thing.
EndThe blade must have gone into my side as my attacker fell over me, because I felt a very sharp pain, and there was a pool of blood forming around me. I start trying to speak but I just spit up blood. I can't talk, I can't breath. I have to tell Sara about the USB, the world needs to know what's on those files. I start to point towards the envelope containing the USB but, Sara just shushes me, tell's me its going to be okay, and tries to make me feel comfortable. Damn it, look at where I'm pointing, woman! She doesn't look. Slowly, sounds and light fades, I'm getting very tired. Perhaps I'll just close my eyes for a little. Sara kisses my forhead and it's the last thing I see. I wanted to help the world, but I couldn't. Perhaps when the police come they'll find the USB with the files, and release it to the public. Finish what I couldn't even start. I just hope they don't get the same fate I did.
EndI've got to get out of here. They'll know who I am, know what I did, they can find me esily. I've got to go. Although, this information is important. The world must know. I could just [[stay here and publish it]] or I could [[get on a trian]].I call the police, and they arrive in record time. They instruct me to move away from away from the scene of the crime, so that they can get accurate crime scene photos. They take all the photos, and take me through all the appropriate procudure. I had to spend the night in jail, after being examined by a doctor, but that's not a huge issue in retrospect. I asked them if they found a USB with a bunch of files on it, and they said they couldn't tell me. I have a friend at the New York Police department though, and he said that they [[did]]/[[didn't]] find the USB, as a piece of evidence.I had to get out of there, so I got in a taxi with my backpack filled with essentials, and my most valuable possessions, and asked for the airport. The taxi stops there, and I ask for the first ticket out of there to Cuba, because I know it's a no-extradition country. Luckily, there's one leaving in two hours, so I get on that flight. On ariving in Cuba, the first thing I do is find a computer, and I publish those documents to a popular facebook page about human rights, and it immediately goes viral.
It's great that the world knows the American Government's secret now, however I have to live in hiding in Cuba for the rest of my life. If I try and leave, they'll find me.
I must say though, it was worth it. There's currently a revolution going on. One of the promises is that the rebels will allow me back into the country if they get power. They see me as a national hero. I can't believe it. I did it.
ENDShe shoots me in the leg. Who would have thought a sweet little granny could be so cruel. SHe points it at my head and tells me to hand it over, so I do. She then let's me out of her house, leaving me to find my way home. I walk out to the road and get a ride hitchiking back to the city. I see a doctor and that's the end of it. I try and write an article about my ordeal, but my editors won't publish it. They think I'm nuts. Sadly, that's the last I saw of that information. Shortly after, the government released proof that the information in the files I found were false.
Nothing left for me to do. How horrible. The world will forever go without knowing.
End"You seem troubled sweetie." said the old lady. "Here, have a cookie" she continued. I decided I didn't need to ruin my life over this information. I ask her if I could stay here with her, and she replies "of course", in her sweet, granny-ish voice. I told her it would only be for a couple days, until a figured out what I was going to do, and again she reassured me. I mailed the USB with all the files on it to the paper I worked for. It's not my problem any more. I want nothing to do with it, so I'm going to disappear.
I spend a few days with the granny from the diner, but after that I move on. Hitchhiking through the country, I always pick up a paper in each city, just to see what's going on with the scandal of the files.
The American people know now.
I've encountered a few people coming after me, but it's been no problem. I've learned to dodge them. This being public is worth it. I will forever live my life on the run. But at least this way I get to see the world. However lonely it might be. I wonder how Sara's doing?
ENDThe police has found the USB and all of the files it contains. There has been an extensive legal battle regarding the files on the USB, their admissibility, legitimacy, and general truthfulness. There's been attempt after attempt to put it out to the public and keep it away from them. I know it is a long struggle, but at least the information comes to the american people by the right means.
The trial finally ended today, and the files werereleased to the public. All of the media publicity I have faced to this day has made all of this worth it, because now everyone knows. Thank god. It's over.
ENDSeeing as they didn't find any of the evidence that I've been talking about the whole time they've had me in custody, they seem to think I'm crazy. They've called in two different mental illness professionals to assess my mental state, and because they are apparently planning to send in a third, it seems neither can come to a concrete conclusion.
I've been stuck in a psych ward as a result, with all the other conspiracy theory loonies. Nobody believes me here, so I'm going to spend eternity trying to prove myself, and the world outside isn't going to get any better.
I failed. There's nothing I can do to change it now. I just wish I hadn't done things the way I did. Maybe it might have gone better. Maybe the United States government wouldn't have been able to paint me as a lunatic, so the issue on those USB's might actually have been resolved.
Unfortunagely, there's nothing I can do now, but escape...