"I tell you, I can't remember it," Gregory Hopteck wailed as he looked around the gray cement bunker. He was sitting at a steel, cold war table, his laptop open in front of him. A single, dim bulb dangled overhead, casting just enough light to generate forbidding shadows around the edge of the room.
"Don't lie. Type," the man in the black ski mask growled, the barrel of his pistol pointed at Gregory's sweat soaked forehead.
Gregory stared at computer screen. A single field on a page of blue demanding "Enter Password."
Below the field was a message. 3 of 5 tries attempted.
Gregory licked his lips. He had been on many international business trips. He had plenty of coworkers travel on international business trips. No one had ever been kidnapped. And certainly not in Ottowa.
"I don't understand. There's nothing on this computer other than a sales pitch for our latest chip. I don't have technical specifications or anything. I'm a salesman," Gregory pleaded.
The kidnapper's cold blue eyes glared at him.
Taking a deep breath, Gregory cautiously tapped on the keyboard.
Ding! The computer politely informed him he had failed again, though to Gregory it sounded more like the big red X they use on Family Feud.
4 of 5 tries attempted
Gregory licked his lips. "I just had to change it last Friday. Then there was the long weekend and the flight, and then you hit me with that pipe. I can't remember..."
"Stop whining or it'll be the pipe again."
Beads of sweat dripped from Gregory's forehead and splashed on the keyboard. He had tried his wife's name, his dog's name, his mother's maiden name, his favorite sports team. What could it be? What had he been thinking?
Suddenly, like a sunbeam breaking through an cloudy winter sky, the answer came to him. His favorite band from junior high.
He carefully typed M-e-t-a-l-l-i-c-a.
"But, that was it! I know that was it!" cried Gregory. That was when he spotted the incriminating light. "What the, caplocks was on! Oh no!"
5 of 5 tries attempted. Per corporate policy, your drive will be disabled.
He heard a high pitched whine as the hard drive began to spin faster and faster. In seconds it was screaming. Smoke billowed out of the ports and then there was a terrible crunch.
The masked man placed the barrel of his gun against Gregory's forehead.
"But it's not my fault. Caplocks..." Gregory whispered.
The last thing he saw was that damning light winking out.
THE END copyright 2015 John Lance