This is a story of friendship, commitment, love and trust. It is not a sex story. However, this story deals with love between male teenagers. If you are offended by stories involving love between two teenage boys, please do not read this story. There may be some sex scenes in this story; however, sex is not the main theme. If you are under age 18 or 21 or it is illegal to read this story where you live, don't read it. Reproducing this story for distribution without the owner's permission is a violation of that copyright.


Sam Lakes

samlakes86 at yahoo

M.a.i.n.e. Frame PC



by Sam Lakes

Copyright © 2006 All Rights Reserved

Chapter Twenty-Seven

"Do you like your work?" questioned Colt.

"Yes" replied Paul. "Oh." Colt said sounding slightly disappointed.


"No reason" he said.

"Are you sure?"

"It doesn't matter."

Ruth who was sitting opposite Colt, knew that it did matter. She had spent years with him, and could always tell when he was bothered by something.

He glanced at her for a split second and he knew she knew, he was saddened somehow by his dad's response. Paul didn't even pursue the question, so he knew Paul really didn't know how he felt, or in his opinion, even care. Colt thought to himself, "Well, right now your my dad, and I'm going to do whatever I have to, to make you like me." But at the same time he felt sad. He felt the worst was yet to come. He hated the feelings, but they had just saved Arbor and his Dad.

Colt picked up his dad's arm and draped it over his shoulder and laid his head on his father's chest. Paul gave him a little hug, and he cuddled in closer, and within minutes was fast asleep.

They arrived at the Willard around 5 am and checked in. Their meeting had been postponed till the next day, and as they were all pretty tired, they slept most of the morning.

Colt woke up around 2pm and took a shower. He hated his longish hair with a big patch cut off. He decided it wasn't the long hair it was having both long and none. After he got dressed he heard the others watching TV and decided to sneak out to handle his hair.

He walked out of the hotel, and down the street, and finally found a hair salon. He walked in. "Do you take walk-ins?" he asked.

"Sure" said the receptionist, and seated him at one of the stations. "Your stylist will be Peggy."

"Hello, what would you like?" asked Peggy.

Colt removed his cap and said "I would like a buzz cut or something so I don't have two different lengths of hair and be careful of the stitches and I have a knot on the back of my head which still hurts a bit."

"I hate to cut this beautiful long hair off, but I'm afraid it's the only solution if you want it all the same length, however, I refuse to shave your whole head. I'll make it short so it doesn't look too different."

"Thanks." Twenty minutes later he left. He thought she had done a good job, and that he looked different, but not ugly.

On the way back he stopped to window shop at a Radio Shack when he became aware of a man's reflection standing behind him. He looked like the man Arbor had described to him in Alan's apartment, the one who had shot Alan. He moved slowly and stopped at the third store window. The man was definitely stalking him, he thought. He hurried back to Radio Shack, and went in and walked to the back of the store where he puttered around for five minutes, looking at radio controlled cars. The feelings returned, but now they were even stronger than when he was in the lab. He looked out and the man was sitting on a bench occasionally glancing at Radio Shack. He left the store, after buying some parts, and the man got up. Colt walked faster and the man kept up. Colt saw a security guard, and ran over to him.

"That man! That man…" he said turning to point out the man to the guard, but he was gone.

"What man?"

"Nothing I thought I saw someone following me. Sorry."

"That's okay young man. Better safe than sorry."

Colt hurried back to the Willard constantly checking, but the man did not follow.

He watched the lobby for fifteen minutes and still no one. Finally, he returned to his room. The feeling of fear was intense.

The others were still watching TV. He walked in and took off his cap. "Well, what do you think?" asked Colt.

"Goddamn! You're ugly!" said Arbor jokingly.

"It's different…" said Ruth sort of shocked he had never had short hair.

"You're so ugly we'll have to tie a bone around your neck so the dog will play with you" said Arb.

"Shut up, Bitch Fucker!"

"Oh, sorry ugly, we don't have a dog. Well, you'll just have to play with yourself!"

"Hey, Bitch fucker! When I want your opinion I'll take out my dick and…"

"Fuck you!" said Arb angrily.

"You'd like that, but sorry, I'm not into incest. Bitch fucker!"

Arb flew across the room and was about to pound in, Colt's face when Paul grabbed his arm. "That's it you two, knock it off!"

"Colt what's wrong with you?" asked Ruth.

"I'm not ugly! I'm not! How come you always think there's something wrong with me. There's nothing wrong with me! Just leave me alone!" Colt yelled then ran out of the room to his room.

"Arbor Maine! How could you! How could you be so mean? You cried the other night because you knew he'd be upset about his hair! He's a genius, but has always looked up to you. He damn well saved your life at the risk of his own and he nearly got killed." Ruth said angrily.

"I don't know, Mom. Sometimes I just like to push Colt's button on his looks. Almost always he'd ignore me or joke around, but not this time. It just got out of hand. I'm sorry…I didn't mean for him to take it so seriously. I guess I'd better go make things right."

"Well, I agree. You should do that, but, I think there's something else bothering him. I saw the first hint of it last night. You know how he is, he pretends something doesn't bother him and holds it all in, until he goes off like this."

Arb went to see Colt.

"What happened last night?" asked Paul.

"He asked you if you liked your work. You said yes and he went quiet and slightly sad. You asked why and he said nothing, and you left it."

"Ruth what am I supposed to do change professions. God, I'd love to, except to what and at this age?"

"Paul! It's not the fact that you have your job, or like the work. You don't get it do you. He wants a Dad. He wants someone who cares about him, and shows it. He doesn't want a part time, sometime dad. He needs predictability in his life. All kids do. When Arb disappeared, he cried himself to sleep every night, because to him he had lost everything, a surrogate father, Keith, and a surrogate brother, Arb. I love Colt as much as I love Arb, and I will never put him through that again. I'm going to my room right now, because I am so angry with you ,that any second I'm going to say something I don't mean to say." Ruth walked out leaving Paul to sort himself out.

"Colt, I'm sorry. I really am, buddy, honest." Arb said quietly.

Colt stared at the ceiling silently crying, as the tears trickled down the sides of his face.

"Colt, please don't cry. You're not ugly. You could never be ugly." Arb said sitting down on the bed next to Colt.

"I miss Keith so much…" he sobbed "I want him back…It's all my fault he died…It's my fault Alan died, and you nearly died…It's my fault!" he cried.

"Colt, it's not your fault, Dad or Alan died."

"It is. They died because of Mother Fucking PC! And I created her. If I'd just been normal like everybody else, Keith would still be here."

"Oh, right! Colt, for someone so smart as you, you sometimes come out with the most illogical logic! And I suppose that Henry Ford is responsible for all the car accidents! And Mr. Colt is responsible for all the people shot and Albert Einstein is responsible for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Oh, let's not forget Mr. Louis Pasteur he's responsible for all the people who get diseases."

Colt said nothing.

"This is not the problem is it. What's really bothering you?"

Colt shivered. "I'm scared. I'm so scared. The other day, before we got on the plane, I had this feeling, something bad was going to happen to you and Dad and Kev. I tried to ignore it, but it wouldn't go away. It was like…like with Keith. And when I saw Kev go down and then Dad, and when the Iron Maiden was going to take you, I freaked! I had already removed the transmitter from Mother, and drawn the arrow. I knew if I didn't go, instead of you, they would kill you!"

"Then today when I woke up, I had a bad feeling about the meeting tomorrow. It feels like someone is going to die…and I don't know if it's dad or you or…me. I'm so scared, Arbor…And when I went to get my hair cut, I thought I saw the man who killed Alan. I'm not sure, but it looked like him, and he was following me! Then, I went to a security guard and went to point the man out, and he wasn't there. Maybe it was my imagination. I don't know. What do I do Arb? I'm so scared! The feeling was back just like…just like when Keith died." Colt turned over with his face in the pillow and sobbed.

"Colt, I know you're scared. We've got to talk to Mom and Paul."

Colt got his crying under control and looked up at Arbor "But what if it's just my imagination, like when I thought I saw a Martian in the bathroom."

"Yeah and the time I thought there was a vicious dog under the house, that was about to kill us."

Colt calmed down a bit and smiled. "Yeah, it turned out to be a kitten. Keith nearly pissed himself laughing at us."

"Yeah. And Colt what if it wasn't your imagination and you didn't tell them? And I know Paul will listen to you, he listened to what you told Ruth, about Dad's death, - the dream."

"Arb, do you think we've known each other before - in another lifetime?" Colt asked.

"You mean like Dad and Paul?"

"You know about them?"

"Yeah. Dad told me about it a long time ago. The time when you got sick and were taken to the hospital. I was so scared and worried that you would die. I was sort of hysterical, and Dad told me about him and Paul. I know what he said was true. I've thought about it a lot since then, and I wanted to talk to you about it, but Dad said to wait until someday when you asked me. I mentioned it to Alan the day I helped him move in, and he said there was no doubt in his mind, as to the truth in what Dad said, and that you and I have probably been buddies, for hundreds of thousands of lifetimes."

Colt smiled "I'm sure he's right. I just wish I could remember."

"Me too. But, right now you need to tell Mom and Paul about what happened today. Mom! Paul! Come here!" Arb yelled.

Paul and Ruth came rushing in. "What? What's the matter?" said Paul.

"Colt, tell them."

Colt told Paul and Ruth what he'd told Arb, about the plane, and about the man in the mall, and the feelings, and how they were just like the feelings he had when Keith died.

"Dad, I'm scared. Something very evil is about to happen."

"Colt it's okay to be scared. I'm terrified, something will happen to you, or Arb, or Ruth, but I have to push this through, to the end. to get the person or persons doing this. Keith was my best friend, and Alan was a friend and a brilliant mind. It's not going to go away. So, I have to put a stop to them, and I will, and I have the same feelings you do, and I'm scared too, because I've come to realize the only really important thing in my life is you, and I don't want to loose you. And I think it's good that we feel this way, because then we can do something about it, and prevent the worst from happening. Right?" As Paul was talking the feelings Colt was experiencing waned.

Colt looked into his Dad's eyes and knew that he was right, and although it maybe difficult, he had to confront the fear he had, to be at ease. He smiled and said,

"Right." then laughed.


"I've got your cute butt and your feelings" he said laughing.

"And your Mom's sense of humor." Paul hugged his son. "Now, how about we watch a movie and then later I'll take us out to a Chinese dinner, I know a great place a few blocks away."

"Yes" the boys responded and they ran off to the TV room.

"I'll be there in a few minutes. I've got to make a call" Paul said to Ruth.

"Okay, but don't be too long. I need someone to cuddle up to" and she gave him a kiss on the cheek.

Paul dialed a number.

"Kev, I need you to double up surveillance especially on Colt. I'm really nervous about this."

"Okay, you got it. And Paul you be careful too, I've got the feeling we've stumbled onto a major situation." They hung up.


"Mallory, I need the interceptor program removed by tomorrow." said the caller.

"No can do. It took months to get it in there and it will take months to get it out unless of course you want me to just yank it out and then everybody will know, sweetie" Eric Mallory said snidely.

"What if they accidentally find it?"

"Cool it! I had a security consultant - the guy's a real hacker, check out the system and he didn't see a thing. He's got a Ph.D. if that makes any diff."

"You're sure?"

"Positive. No loose ends. Any way they are only a couple of kids who happen to have the Dad's laptop."

"I suppose you're right, otherwise you might become a loose end…" the caller hung up.

Eric Mallory returned to downloading porno from the net looking at the picture of the young male teenager saying "I hope the young boys are as good looking as you. And so well equipped!"


"Horace, you're guys on the plane messed up and Smith still has the PC."

"They were good operatives, especially Charnel. Not sure what happened other than Smith somehow knew where they were and they got toasted. I managed to get to the cabin before anyone else and cleaned up. There are no loose ends."

"What about the surveillance?"

"I spotted the Smith kid and followed him to the mall he got a hair cut. That's all." Horace omitted to say that Colt had spotted him.

"We have one more chance to get that PC. Don't mess up or it will be the last time you do anything. Understand?"

"Yes. I become a loose end."

"That's right. I want that PC and I want it tomorrow and I don't care what or who have to be eliminated to get it. Just keep it clean and leave no loose ends. I want a helicopter standing by in case things get real hot."

"All right. If this PC is worth billions how come a couple of kids have it?"

"Because Maine didn't tell anyone, but me about it and what it could do. The kids just use it to play games. And ‘Surf the Net, Dude!'. Mallory said a couple of weeks ago they were challenging people all over the net to a game of chess."

"Why don't I just go rip it off from them?"

"As I've told you before they know the password and you enter the wrong password and it self-destructs."

"Oh yeah."

"What about Mitchell?"

"Get one of your guys to eliminate him?" the caller said and hung up.


Chapter Twenty-Eigth

The movie finished and Paul said "Okay, you guys time to get ready. It's not a fancy place, but blue jeans with holes won't go."

"You're awfully quiet" Ruth said as she and Arbor entered their suite.

"Just thinking. I don't think I seen Colt so talkative in a long time. He kept talking through the whole movie. I bet if you asked him what the movie was about he couldn't tell you."

"I think he's taking advantage of a captive audience. He goes along pretending that something doesn't bother him, and then all of a sudden, it becomes too much for him. Paul hasn't been much of a father, since Sarah died. Maybe all this will sink in and make Paul realize what he's missed, all these years. Your Dad and he we best friends, and I think he sort of depended on your Dad, to take his places when it came to Colt, plus he's a lot like Colt, or should I say, Colt's a lot like Paul, in that when they get involved with something, nothing else exists."

"Do you like Paul. I mean really like him?"

"Do you mean like friends or more than friends?"

"More than friends and be honest." He smiled at her.

"In ways, more, and in ways less" she said, smiling, "I think if he would be more of a family man, and not so totally involved with his work, I would definitely consider marriage. But, I don't want a part time husband! How do you feel about him?"

"I like him, I guess, but I don't really know him. I sort of wish I was in on their discussion, then maybe I could tell you," Arbor said, in a melancholy tone, "But I don't want to ask because, it's really Colt's time and maybe he doesn't want to share it."

"Maybe you should talk with Colt about it?"

"No, because then he might feel obligated to ask me to join in. It's really up to him to ask me."

"I see your point."

After dinner, the two boys walked ahead of Paul and Ruth by about 10 feet or so.

"What's wrong, Arbor?"

"What do you mean? Nothing's wrong."

"Yeah, right! Arb, I've known you all my life, and when something bothers you, you're different. No matter how much you try to cover it up. For example, you start biting you lower lip" Colt said, intensely watching his friend.

Arb smiled faintly.

Colt thought for a moment then squinted his eyes and smiled. He knew what it was.

"My Dad is really interesting. I'm going to talk to him some more tonight. I'd like you to be there, in case I can't think of what to ask him"

"Colt, the day you can't think of what to ask, is the day hell freezes over!"

Colt smiled, "Look, I know you want to be there. So be there!"

"Yeah, but it's your time, and you're making up for lost time."

"Hey! You can never make up for lost time. It's gone, it's past. You and Keith always included me in, like I was part of your family, and I was. And when Keith paid more attention to me than you, you never got upset, or jealous. And besides what if…what if things changed, and what if Ruth and Paul do get married, you might not like him. You need to get to know him, just as much as I do."

"Okay. Do you remember when we asked Dad about sex?" asked Arb.

"Yeah, we really put him through it. I never knew your Dad could blush so much."

"Boy was he pissed when he found out we were deliberately trying to embarrass him." They both laughed.

"Yeah, well we really got it back when Mom discovered we were down loading porno jpegs from the Internet."

"God that was embarrassing and then she said if she ever caught us doing it again cutting off our Internet access wouldn't be the only thing she cut off!" Colt laughed.

"Yeah our balls!" They both made a painful face then started laughing.


"He's an amazing kid, Ruth. He's so smart, and quick, and he reminds me so much of Sarah. I can't really put my finger on it…it's his spirit… it's just him. It's a creativeness about him. He sort of brings things to life for me, the way Sarah did. I feel regretful that I've ignored him so much, and never saw this before. All the time I've wasted! I just get so involved in work…well you know that…It seems like the flood gate is open, and he's making up for lost time. I know we'll end up talking all night, and I really want to too."

"He's not making up for lost time, Paul."

"What do you mean?"

"He's trying to get to know you. Not because he wants to make up for lost time, but because he's afraid he'll never have this time again. He's afraid, I mean really afraid, tomorrow or the next day, you'll be gone again. Do you know what he's doing right now?"

"No what?"

"He's asking Arbor to be a part of getting to know you. Just in case."

"Just in case?"

"Just in case you don't leave."


They walked on to the hotel, saying very little else.

Colt and Arbor kept Paul up until midnight. Colt was still wide awake, but Arb had fallen asleep, around 11:30.

"Hey, if you want to get access to our system, you'd better get some sleep. We have to leave about 9:00," said Paul, as he walked over to Arbor and gave him a gentle shake "Arb, go to bed."

Arbor got up and staggered through the connecting doors, and fell down on a couch in his suite.

"Thanks, Dad" Colt said, as he hugged his father. Paul returned the hug and then said "Okay, off to bed now, we'll talk more tomorrow." Then he gave Colt a kiss goodnight.

"Goodnight, Dad" Colt said and went off to his room.

Colt started thinking about the visit to the computer center and complex. It made him nervous, because the feelings were getting stronger. He thought of a modification, he had to make and so he got out the computers, and started working. By seven a.m. he finished and walked into Arb's and Ruth's suite, to return the clone. It was a good thing that their backpacks were identical he thought.

When he got back to his room he took a shower and got ready to go. They arrived at the complex at 9:45.


Chapter Twenty-Nine


"How are you doing this morning?" Paul asked, as they walked to the entrance of a building.

"Bit edgy. Did you get a vest?" asked Colt quietly.

"Not yet, but I will."


"When I get the chance. Don't worry, they call me ‘Lucky Smith' ‘cause I have a way of dodging bullets" he smiled.

Paul signed the two boys in through security, and they were given Visitor Badges which were fluorescent pink and had the word VISITOR printed on them.

"Here's your property pass, for your Power Book PC, and one for the MaineFrame PC," the guard said, giving the Power Book pass to Colt, and the MaineFrame PC pass to Arbor.

"Except for this main corridor, you must be accompanied by someone with a permanent security badge. There are some areas you are not allowed in either way. Want to see my office?" asked Paul.

"You have your own office?" asked Arb "Cool!"

Colt spent the walk memorizing the things he saw, and learning the general layout.

"Where's the computer room?" asked Colt.

"Which one?"

The main one where Ops should be" replied Colt.

"It's in G-4" said Paul.

"Where's that?"

"That's one of the areas you can't get into. Very High Security. I can't even get in there."

"So where is it?"

"Well, I'll show you the first door you enter to get there. There are four or five gateways after the first door which you must have a PIN and badge for. The next is retinal scan and hand print plus badge. The third access is a man trap You walk in speak the password and your name and it checks your weight. If you don't pass the alarm goes off and you wait for security to free you. Next to last is another man trap, but it does a retinal scan, finger print and voice print and if your hearth rate is up or you fail any of the other tests it will set off an alarm and again you wait for security Finally the last door you sign your name, thumb print and voice print when you speak the password and the door to the computer room opens automatically."

"What do we have to do to get access?" asked Colt.

"They'd never give it to you."


"One, you're not a government employee, two you're only fourteen years old, you don't have the security clearance to get in there."

Colt wanted to say ‘I bet I could get in there', however, it would have ruined his plan so he didn't.

Paul opened the door to his office. It wasn't huge, but then it wasn't small and had a relatively nice view of the parking lot, and surrounding woods. There were pictures of Colt, on Paul's desk and a couple on the walls. There was only one picture of Sarah, but it was the best. Colt picked it up "I love this picture of Mom. She is so beautiful" Colt said.

Paul tried calling Kevin, but there was no answer.

"We'd better get to the meeting."

"Can I leave the PC here?" asked Colt "We really don't need it. Can I plug it in it needs a recharge?"

"Sure" said Paul.

"Let me check out Mother before we go. It will only take a second."

Colt opened up the PC with the label ‘MaineFrame PC' and started it up. Rapidly entered a succession of commands, which flew by the screen so fast that nobody could read them. A message appeared briefly which said ‘momconnect' then ‘accessing' and then changed to ‘I'm in'. If you haven't been expecting them like Colt was you would have missed them. A sequence of numbers flashed by and finally the word ‘nctrl' flashed and ‘comm linked pt - comm linked clone' flashed on the screen.

"Okay everything seems A-Okay" pronounced Colt, as he put the unit into sleep mode and handed it to Arb "All yours professor."

Colt noticed they passed a door with the label G-4.

They had ten minutes before the meeting and Colt drank three glasses of orange juice and three glasses of water. Paul stepped out in to the corridor for a few moments, long enough for Colt to say to Arbor "Arb, when I go to the rest room, you keep them occupied for thirty minutes."

"Doing what?"

"Anything, surf the net at various speeds? Don't do heavy proximity, only light. I've changed mother, and if you do anything over one T1, it will overload her. Play a chess game or Counter-Strike. You've got to keep them busy for thirty minutes, or until I return. Then, we will blow their socks off!"

"Okay. Where you going?"

"The main computer room." Colt smiled.

Paul came back in the room as Colt was having yet another glass of water.

"Christine Eilson This is my son, Colt." said Paul.

"Pleased to meet you." responded Colt, as he directly confronted her.

"And this is Arbor Maine."


"What's your job?" asked Colt.

"I'm the Senior Operations Manager" she said.

"Wow! You're sure better looking than Fatman Spiney at the university's Op Center."

She wasn't impressed.

"Of course, you're a lot more intelligent. Fatman Spiney just sits around, half the day downloading porno from the Internet and eating twinkies."

She tried to smile politely.

"Poor, Spiney, he pretends to be knowledgeable, but …Hey, Arb, we ought to video tape Spiney someday, when we grab all the T1's and 3's. See the U has about 4 T3's and 10 T1's and when we surf we grab the full bandwidth for about thirty seconds which is long enough for all sorts of alarms to go off."

"You surf the net for thirty seconds?"

"Yeah, but we download about 10 gigs of data."

"What do you surf for?" she asked.

"Various stuff mainly research from other U's and research consortiums"

"What about news groups?" asked Eric Mallory, who had just entered the room, and the conversation.

"Rarely, I'm not into explaining to people the physics of computers or how to install software. Newsgorups are mainly for the ignorant, and perverts. Of course that's just my opinion."

"But didn't you send out a challenge a few weeks ago for chess"

"Yes. But we decided to drop the project, because by our calculations, it would have taken five minutes to beat every challenger, and Fatman Spiney would have gotten on to our game, and I'd get suspended from the U."

"So which one are you…Colt or Arbor?"

"I'm Colt, and you are?"

"Eric Mallory" he responded, as his eyes darted about occasional attempting to grab a look at the boy's crouch. "How old are you guys anyway?"

"I'm fourteen, and Arb is sixteen." Colt decided he didn't like this guy.

Colt went and sat down next to Christine Eilson, and whispered "I don't like him he's creepy."

She smiled slightly, as she didn't like him at all, and had kicked him out of Ops a year ago.

Colt continued, in a low voice ,"I think you have some dishonest people working here. You see with Mother - nickname for MaineFrame PC - we can do a lot more than most computers, and I wrote a super trace route routine, and the indications are very positive, that you have an interceptor program, buried in your system."

"What's an interceptor program?" she asked quietly.

"It sits around and intercepts messages, e-mail, documents, whatever, if they contain keywords, most pass through. A number get diverted, and further checked and then, either routed on, or re-routed to whoever installed the program, or had it installed, or just bit-bucketed. See, in order for my program to do a full trace route, Mother has to take control of the system for about a minute maybe two. To do that, I have to link her into your main mainframe."

"But we run virus checks all the time. So…"

Colt interrupted her "I know and you could use up 90% of your CPU time running virus programs, and still never find them, because - it's not a virus…it's a spy! And my bet is whoever planted it, planted it over a long period of time, probably several months, to avoid detection. I could explain the procedure to you, but suffice to say that, that's why I can grab the T1's and 3's at the U. I worked in Ops at the U for three months."

"I don't know, Colt. Sounds pretty far fetched."

"I know, let's say I can get to the main computer room, would you believe me?"

"I guess, if you could do that I'd have to believe you, but then I think you'd also be able to walk on water. There's no way possible, without proper authorization, anyone, even someone as smart as you could do it," she said.

"Would you do me a favor?"

"What? let you in?" she laughed.

"No, just help keep Arbor going, until I get back?"

"Okay. But where are you going?"

"Don't tell anybody, I'm going to yout main computer room."

She smiled. Knowing that he'd never get past the first door.

"Five security checks after the first door. Right?" he asked.

"No. Four" she replied.

Colt smiled and shrugged his shoulder's saying "Well, it really doesn't matter."

All the attendants finally arrived and Al Nichols, "Okay we've got two guests here, Colt Smith, son of Paul and his friend Arbor Maine. These two have a demonstration to show us of Arbor's Dad, Keith Maine's PC called MaineFrame PC. I'm told it's very unique and is one of a kind. Supposedly ahead of our times. Mr. Maine died of a heart attack, a little over a year ago. They have also requested access to our main frame, as they suspect some ill goings on."

"Like what?" asked Belkirk snidely.

"Well, like, there's a program sitting on the lines, that intercepts messages, and documents and re-routes them to someone, who decides what to keep, route on or bit bucket. It's not a virus so it won't be detected by virus programs. It's basically a spy" said Arbor.

Eric Mallory suddenly felt uneasy.

"This is completely absurd, Al. To let a couple of children have access to our system!"

"Well, I feel we need to hear them out, and discuss the matter, and then I'll adjudicate. Yes, Colt"

"Excuse me, Mr. Nichols, hum, I…uh…" Colt appeared embarrassed, "I drank to much water and wondered if you could excuse me for a moment so I can go to the rest room? The PC was named after him - Maine Frame. He can start the demo and answer most of your questions. I'm really sort of excess baggage."

"Sure, just ask the security guard where to go" replied Al.

Colt ran out of the room, and down to the restroom without asking the guard, as he had already spotted them.

On the way back to the conference room he stopped at the door, G-4. He took a PDA and keyed in G-4 and pressed the enter key. The door unlocked, and he looked both ways then entered. He took off his visitor badge, and put it in his pocket.

He walked down the corridor and came to two doors. "Shit!" Then he entered a message "MAP G-4 to MAIN COMPUTER ROOM ACCESS NUMBERS"

The message back was "INVALID COMMAND"


The answer was






Colt keyed in ACCESS C-44. The door opened. He found D-98 and walked into the man trap and out the other side. Where he met a guy going the other way.

"Come on, hurry up."

"Sorry." Colt said and moved out of the way while he guy entered the mantrap going out.

Colt looked at his watch he'd been gone eight minutes and sixteen seconds. He ran down the corridor and came to A-02, the second man trap press A-02 and walked in. The door closed behind him. Nothing else happened. Nothing happened despite what Colt did he kicked the door, screamed Mother several times, and still nothing. But there were no alarms unless they were silent, but then nobody came. Sweat was pouring off him. Finally after eight-minutes and 20 seconds, the door on which he was leaning, opened, and he fell out. He ran as fast as he could to MC1, keyed in MC1 and the door automatically opened.

The shift operator looked up and saw Colt.

"Hi, Colt Smith."

"No, Garret Bennings" he said.

"Hi, Garret. I'm Colt Smith. Please before you ask, I am older than thirteen! My Dad who is 48 is still getting carded! Genetics!" Colt laughed "Listen, Christine sent me here to help you. It seems some politician has got some bug up his ass and so now she's under the gun to get the last two years system backups so they can be scanned by some program to do something. Anyway she sent me to give a hand loading them into the hopper. So, I'm at your service!"

"She should have called me."

"Well, I guess she figured I'd tell you. She's having some meeting with Belkirk, Nichols and Mallory! Belkirk is being a real jerk! Maybe there's an e-mail"

"Typical, of Belkirk and his minion Mallory!"

"Yeah, he's a real pervert!"

"You got that right. Maureen kicked him out of here about a year ago."

"Well, let me check my e-mail" said Garrett.

Colt waited until he turned away then he sent an e-mail to Garrett using the PDA.

"Oh, here it is! Just arrived. ‘Help, Colt - Christine' She must have been in a hurry there's no signature."

Colt ignored his comment.

"Well, show me where the tapes are so we can plezzze the senator or whoever!"

"Follow me."

In sixteen minutes they had all the tapes ready to be picked up by the robot loaders and scanned. Colt worked furiously and did three quarters of the work.

"So, how do you feel about fielding some heat" said Colt as he typed away at the PDA.

"What do you mean?"

"Well the program that we have to run is going to occupy about 100% of the system resources for about five minutes - I mean you can probably get away with saying it was some sort of program loop."

"As long as I don't get fired. What's that?"

"Latest hi tech gadget. Don't worry if anybody gets fired it'll be me. I'll take the rap."

Colt hit the enter key. Mother had estimated three minutes and twenty-five seconds. After two minutes the phone started ringing and Garrett just hung up on the first caller and then took the phone off the hook.

He smiled a Colt and said "Hey! I'm working on it!"

Colt opened Garrett's book covertly and slipped his Visitor Badge in between the pages noting the page number.

"Wow look at that robot rip! I've never seen it go this fast ever!" exclaimed Garrett.

Colt's attention was on the PDA.

Mother reported "Scan completed successfully. Analysis beginning" .

"Well, it's done! So, I'm out of here."

"Hey nice meeting you Colt."

"Nice meeting you too."

"By-the-way, where's your badge?"

"Uh…right here, latest tech!" he replied holding up the PDA "Watch." Colt entered

‘ACCESS MC1' and the door opened.

"Wow" said Garrett.

Colt left and ran down the corridor to the mantrap and entered A-02 the door opened and he walked in and the door closed behind him. The door in front didn't open. Colt typed on the PDA ‘ETA release A-02' the reply was ‘7min24secs' "Damn I must have hit an extra zero"

"Mother Connect Arb PC live Colt" Colt entered.

"Hi Colt where are you I'm running out of things to say and Belkirk is getting pissed so is Mallory. Eilson is helping, but she's running out of things to ask"

"I'm stuck here in a mantrap for the next 7 minutes"

"Tell them the truth about who created Mother and that Keith was trying to protect the creator of Mother and in the process he and Alan where murdered by persons we will name shortly. Tell them there is an interceptor program in their system and it's the same as having a spy amongst them and we will reveal the author and who is behind it."

"I'm sorry. I have a confession to make my father Keith Maine didn't invent the MaineFrame PC. It was created by Colt Smith. Colt's IQ is off the charts he's been programming since he was five by the age of eight he rewrote my mother's doctorate thesis quote because there where a couple of things wrong unquote. Two years ago he persuaded my father and I to help him build a new computer. The result is a laptop computer that out performs any super-computer in the world by a factor of 15 to 1 at that time since then Colt and I have ten times that! In the effort to protect Colt my father was murdered and then my friend Alan. I was nearly killed, basically left for dead. Paul Smith can confirm this. Only two people can use this PC." Arbor paused.

"Password protected?"

"Yes. Sort of"

"You expect me to stay around and listen to some sixteen year old pass off this BS. Sorry Nichols, I've got better things to do with my time." Belkirk said as he stood up to leave "I wouldn't give these kids access to the cafeteria much less our system and I will fight that all the way up the line!" Then he rushed out of the room.

Arbor typed "Belkirk left in a rush"

"OK" typed Colt "Tell Christine to call Garrett and ask him to tell you what's at page 304 in the book he was reading."

Christine saw the message from Colt and smiled. She dialed the Ops Room.

"Garrett, Christine Eilson, here."

"Hi. Ms Eilson. Is there something else I can do for you?"

"Tell me what is at page 304 of the book you are reading?"

"Oh, it's a Visitor Badge with Colt Smith's name on it. He just left. You did send him here. Didn't you? I'm not in trouble am I?"

"No. Thanks for your help"

"Tell Christine, sorry I still don't walk on water, but I can go through doors. Ha-ha" typed Colt.

"Can I?" she asked Arbor.

"Hi Colt, Christine here, Well in my books if you can go through doors it's the same as walking on water! By-the-way, where are you?"

"I'm using a PDA to comm with Mother. I'm stuck in A-02. Nope, the door opened. Oh, he's a nasty boy - Eric Mallory has been downloading for thirty 32 hours jpeg files from male erotica!!!! Keeps them in a directory called ‘proj3831' hmmmm 31+38 = 69!"

Eric who had not seen the message said "I agree with Belkirk. My answer is No. I'm not going to let our systems into the hands of some teenage gamers!"

"Well, I'll admit Colt and I play computer games, but we do it in our own time and personally I think it's better than to spend 32 hours of your working week downloading porno from male erotica news groups!"

Mallory became flustered "I…I…I won't stand here and let you accuse me of that!"

"Well, I guess we can dump the directory proj3138! Which you set up!"

"Ask him to confess…just got analysis interceptor program installed by E. Mallory" typed Colt.

"Care to confess, Mallory. I've got proof and I also have proof of some programs you installed on the system."

Mallory sank in his chair and broke into tears "All right I did it! I installed the interceptor."

Colt exited G-4 when then the message on the PDA gave the name "Belkirk" as the receiver of ricocheted messages.

"Shit!" Colt thought.

"Colt, I wondered where you were." It was Belkirk.

"You fucking murderer!" Colt said as his arm went back to take a swing. Unexpectedly, someone with a vice-like grip grabbed his arm and then covered his mouth in a split second.

Belkirk sneered. "Colt meet Horace. Horace meet Colt. You had a mutual friend what was his name…Oh, yes, Alan Benison."

Colt's eyes express total horror as the man holding him turned him around. Colt's foot swung back and he kicked as hard as he could for his 115lbs size hitting Horace directly in the shin. Horace just smiled as he spun the boy around covered his mouth again and applied pressure to a pressure point on Colt's body. All that could be heard was a muffled scream of pain.

"Take him to the heliport on the roof" ordered Belkirk as he went towards the conference room.

"Now you can walk peaceably or I can apply pressure to another part of your body. Peaceably?" asked Horace.

Colt nodded and glanced around.

"Oh and if you think Mitchell will come to your aid, well we've already eliminated him."

"You're gonna die for that and for Alan!"

"Oh, I don't think so" Horace responded, "Now move it!"

Colt reached in his pocket and typed something on the PDA and pressed enter.

"What have you got in your pocket? Come on take it out!" said Horace as they walked along.

Colt took out the PDA and Horace grabbed it.

"What is this?"

"It's a calculator and I was just calculating the seconds ‘til you die."

He dropped the PDA on the floor and stomped on it then picked it up and shoved it into Colt's hands saying "You're calculating days are over. I think I'm going to enjoy killing you. Move!"

Colt slid the PDA into his back pocket.

Everyone's attention was on Mallory. Mother powered off and the screen went blank.

"Something's wrong" said Arbor. He started to power the PC back on, but was interrupted when Belkirk and another man came into the room weapons drawn. "Mallory get the PC. The rest of you into that closet and if you don't fit well…" He waved the gun.

"Belkirk, we need the kid. They're the only ones who know the password!"

"Oh, yes…" Belkirk "Well, Arbor Maine today's your lucky day. You live. I've got your little friend, Colt. I think Horace can extract the password out of him. He had practice on Benison!"

Paul's heart felt like it stopped and he was about to attack Belkirk in an insane rage.

"Smith you even flinch an inch and the boy dies right after you!" Paul froze.

"Belkirk, you a dead man!" said Nichols.

"No. I'm a rich man. Not only do I have the PC but I have a list of every operative and codes which if made general knowledge would end the Agency. It's sort of my insurance policy. I'll only use it if the Agency doesn't cooperate. Now get in the closet."

Belkirk took out a two-way radio and called Horace. "Horace where are you?"

"Almost to the roof"

"Good, we need the password for the PC out of the kid. You know how to get it. Out"

The small group crowded into the closet and the door was closed.

"Now let's move that conference table in front of the door."

They shoved the table in front of the door.

"In case you think of shoving the door open before I'm clear, realize that Burt is staying right here until I give him the word. So relax you've got at least an hour. And if you try to open the door Burt will start firing his silenced weapon into the door! Come on Mallory!" and the two left.

"All right punk, what's the password?" asked Horace as the reached the roof.

Colt said nothing and then next thing he knew a big fist hit him in the gut and then several times in the face sending him across the roof.

"Now I'll ask again, nicely. What's the password?"

Colt looked at him his face now covered in blood and closed his eyes. The big guy reached down grabbed him by the shirt and lifted him up. Then he applied pressure to a pressure point and Colt let out a scream which was drowned out by the helicopter's engine noise.

Belkirk and Mallory came out on to the roof "What's the password?" he asked.

"I'm working on it!" said Horace with an evil smile, then he applied pressure to Colt's left arm and there was a snap and Colt screamed in pain.

"FU!" screamed Colt.

Kevin carefully to aim and fired.

Burt's body collapsed.

"Paul!" he called.

"Kev get us out of here! They've got Colt!"

Five Security Guards rushed weapons drawn.

"Move that table" ordered Kevin before he collapsed.

Paul got out and saw Kevin lying on the floor bleeding. "Get the medics! NOW! You come with me" he ordered and he ran off to the roof.

Horace's foot crashed into Colt's rib cage and he screamed again in pain, as three ribs cracked.

"Now what's the password?"

"The password is letter f, then the letter u. Both in lower case."

Mallory opened the PC and powered it on.

A message on the screen appeared ‘Enter Password'

Mallory typed the password. The screen cleared and then ‘Welcome to MaineFrame PC - WARNING POWER OFF WITHIN FIVE MINUTES WILL ACTIVATE IRREVOCABLE SELF DESTRUCT SEQUENCE'.

The three ran off to the helicopter as Colt managed to stand up. The door burst open and Paul came out shooting at the helicopter. He saw Horace take out his gun and fire back hitting Paul in the shoulder. Colt realized his dad never got a vest and he ran towards him trying to shield his father screaming "No! Dad get down!"

Three shots hit Colt in the back flinging his body forward and landing in his Dad's arms. The copter took off.

"You're hit!" said Colt.

"I'll be okay."

"They're going to crash any second…my last instruction to Mother was to shutdown their systems."

Paul looked at the helicopter and saw it going out of control then it crashed and burned.

"Keith said this would happen. I guess I should have listened." Colt smiled slightly. His body felt numb.

Paul looked down at his son and saw a blossom of red seeping through the back of his shirt. Colt's body went limp in his arms.

"Get the medics up here and I want a medical helicopter here NOW!" he ordered the guard.