Jordan is looking at me through the glass, smiling. The meeting, everything that happened today is suddenly far away. I start to raise my feet from the table but I miscalculate and I collapse noisily to the floor. Jordan walks into the room and helps me up, laughing.

Hey, she says.


I don't know what to say. What is she doing here? When? How? Which? Pronouns and question marks fly through my mind in no particular order.

Come with me, she says, her hand pulling me away. I follow her.

When we reach the elevator doors, I say, Wait a minute, what's going on?

You'll see, she says.

I don't like surprises.

Yes you do! she says, laughing, Look at you! You can barely stand the suspense! She points at my right hand, its fingers are playing some kind of hectic dance or fighting each other.

This is the problem of arguing with your girlfriend. She knows too much.

Okay, I say, Let's go.

The stairs, Jordan says, and I say, Wait, the elevator...

It's not working, she says.

She's right. I forgot.

So we go down the stairs. After a few floors Jordan is still jumping over ten steps in one movement, and I'm behind, panting. Every once in a while I call out for her. She stops, waits for me to catch up, then starts leaving me behind again.

Well, at least she's back.

While we run, I try to think about what's happening, but there's barely enough blood flowing through my lungs to breathe comfortably, much less enough to allow my brain follow a line of thought.

We go down, past the ground floor, past the first basement, past the second basement.

We get to the third basement.

We enter and walk down a long hallway. Memories appear. I can almost feel them bumping against my forehead. I push them back.

We stop in front of a white door, with a single word painted in blue. SECURITY, the letters say.

What are we doing here? I say, gasping for air.

We need your help, Jordan says.


Nevermind, she says.

My... help? For what?

One second, she says, and puts her index finger to her mouth. In the silence, the only thing I can hear is my own breathing, slowing down.

Jordan looks at her watch. Now, she says.

Click, the door says. Jordan grabs the handle and pulls out. The door opens.

We walk in.

There's nobody inside. The floors and ceilings are white, but it's impossible to know the color of the walls. They are covered with monitors, or boxes with lights that blink in red and blue and green and yellow. The desk in the center arcs against the wall. It has four chairs looking out into the camera monitors in front of them. The monitor in front of each chair is a computer monitor, with a keyboard.

Control stations.

Nothing new, really. I've been here. But she can't know that.

What is this place? I say.

Jordan makes a face at me. Come on, she says.

She knows? I think.

Come on what?

I know it was you, she says.


Please! Almost three years ago. The stunt with the security system? The sprinklers? The voice, the story? The Plan?

She knows.

The voice was distorted, I say, Unrecognizable.

Yep, she says. But I know it was you.

How? I say.

I imagine she will have some strange explanation, hours of research, police files...

She says, You talk in your sleep.

Damn. I knew that would be a problem some day.

She smiles. I smile.

Okay, I say, Okay. What?

Well, we have something going here... but now we need you to hack into the security system. Pete got in through the first layer, but we need more access. Once you're in, I'll tell you what we need.

Pete, eh? Is this why you left?

We need to get in now! She says.

Good luck, I say, They replaced it right after my little... er... intervention.

Yeah, but the backup procedure..., she says.

What about it?

We've been cycling the power randomly. The system thinks something's wrong.

Then I remember. The third floor, almost empty, was where the security development team was. If they were not here, the system automatically rolls back to the previous version, in case there are any problems.

But the backup...

We replaced the backup, she says, With the old system.

I smile.

She doesn't have to say anything else. You switch the backups. You force the system to rollback. The result is, everything's exactly what it was when I hacked into it three years ago.

I can do it again.

I say, Okay, but first...

What? she says. I can see in her eyes that she doesn't need to ask the question.

I walk up to her, and I kiss her.