Soul-Dancer (Page 43)

and then a high-pitched beeping sound from the computer.  A complicated code appeared on the screen, followed by a series of others, and Zak’s brow creased in determination.




The man at the computer groaned in imminent annoyance.  “I will not be beaten by a fifteen-year-old!”  he growled.  His workspace was silent.  He had started typing in another code, to finish the kid off, when a complicated code appeared on his screen.  He shook his head, in amazement.  He was ready to give up; it was an impossible mission.  He had to give it to him–the kid was good.  “That’s it.  I’m done for.”  he moaned.  Weakly, he tried one more code.  The last trick up his sleeve.  It was answered with yet another impossible code.  He hadn’t even seen it before and he was supposed to be the master.  His mouth contorted into a silent cry, and he fell forward.  A small, slender woman climbed out from under the desk and brandished a gun.  “Naughty, naughty.  You didn’t finish your job.  It would have been so much easier if you weren’t defeated by a fifteen-year-old.”  She stepped forward, and with hazy eyes, the coder glimpsed the writing on her gun.  Agency N…




Zak leaned back in his chair, exasperated.  “I won.”  he whispered disbelievingly, “I won the battle of wits!”  Wordless, he received four high-fives.  He laughed, despite himself.  Pudding, who had fallen asleep during the awkward silence, suddenly woke and looked up in confusion.  Myra laughed, and the high-pitched noise rang throughout the apartment.  The suspense-filled moment had passed at last.  Then, they grew sullen as they remembered the thing that they all wanted to forget most.  The deadline.  Myra cleared her throat.  “Lets not think about that.”  The night passed quickly as they celebrated their victory.  When they finally fell asleep, it was nearly midnight.  

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