Dear Readers: A reminder. This chapter is longer than usual so as to complete Sing's mission without making you wait for another part.
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"Stina is helpless and passed out," Larry said. "Grant, you and Kristi need to hurry. Go to the room, finish uploading the software, and rescue Stina.
"We're on it," Grant said. "On our way."
Panicking, I asked, "What if the room door is locked. How will they get in."
"Centralized door locks," Larry said. "I can open them from here since we hacked into their security system." He tapped some keys on the keyboard and managed to program the locking mechanism to match the one on Grant's room card key.
"We're in the room," Grant said a couple minutes later. "Gustafsson is unconscious. Stina is out and on the bed beside him."
We heard Kristi say, "I'll see to Stina. You take care of the laptop."
"You're not going to have much time," Larry said. "That drug will keep him under for only a few more minutes."
"Understood," Grant said. "USB is in the drive, and it appears that the malware payload is being delivered. Scale on the screen indicates 75% and climbing."
"Wake up," Kristi said. "Come on, Stina."
"80%," Grant said.
"Pulse and respiration are normal. She's in no distress but remains unresponsive," Kristi said.
"Roll her on her side in case she vomits," Larry said.
"One hundred percent," Grant said. I'm removing the USB and returning the laptop. Did Stina say it was in the closet?"
"Affirmative," Larry said.
"I hope I get it back in the exact right spot," Grant said. "Laptop back in closet. We're done here."
"What about Stina?" Larry asked.
"Still unconscious. If it's a roofy, it'll keep her down for maybe an hour."
Larry sighed. "Okay. Carry her out of there."
"Ten four," Grant said.
"Wait," Kristi's voice came over the speaker. "That's a no go. Stina has to stay. If Gustafsson comes to and Stina is gone, he'll know that he's been compromised. He drugged her, and he'll be expecting her to still be here."
"Kristi has a point," Grant said. "It's your call, Larry."
Larry cursed and ran a hand through his hair.
"We're out of time," Grant said. "Do we go on, or do we abort?"
Larry hung his head and mumbled. "Leave her."
"Leave her, damn it, leave her and get the hell out of there."
"Ten four. Exiting the room."
I jumped to Larry's side. Got in his face and shouted, "What are you doing?"
"Sit down, Sing, and shut up."
"This is Stina we're talking about. She's our friend. She's your friend."
"She's also a professional. Stina knows and understands the risks. She is our front person in this operation, the most important player."
"Player? Let me give you a wake-up call, Larry. That Gustafsson guy is going to wake up, and then he's going to rape Stina while she is helpless. I can't believe that you're going to let her just take one for the team. It's not right, and you know it."
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The Story of SingTeen Fiction
[2018 Wattys Short List] - Sixteen-year-old Sing strives to do well in school so that he can find a decent job and provide a better life for his crippled mother and younger brother, Jacko. That goal becomes derailed when Sing is falsely accused of a...