I had just hacked the Pentagon mainframe for the third time when I heard the sirens. Maybe they weren’t for me, but Jeanette Leroq, teen-uberhackeress-at-large, hadn’t stayed at large by being careless. I could always come back later if it was a false alarm. A moment later, my laptop and I were under a loose sewer grating in the basement.
“Open up, police!”
I triggered the thermite that would fuse the sewer grating in place permanently, and ran. It wasn’t fair—I thought I’d been so careful!
Out the other end of the sewer pipe, half a mile away. I’d called a cab en route from my cell implant, and there it was now. I climbed in. “Airport, please.”
The cab started moving—and suddenly I realized it didn’t have a driver. “The hell?” I pulled at the door handle. It didn’t budge.
The voice came from all around me. “We need to know what’s on your mind. The Pentagon access codes, in particular.” The upholstery turned fluid beneath me, and pulled me into the seat.
That was the last thing I remembered, until—