He sits at his desk and flexes his fingers before pulling the keyboard toward him. Today is going to be the day. The solution to the problem is fixed in his mind. He’s been working on it all night, turning ideas over as he lay awake, testing his plans and looking for flaws. And now he is ready.

He begins to type, the code flowing easily from his fingertips: side quests, levels, characters, points. It’s all there, fully formed. It’ll work this time for sure, he tells himself. He’s finally figured out how to smuggle his modifications into the system, piece by piece, without alerting the system monitors.

But there’s only so much he can do. He can’t make it too obvious or the company will have his balls for breakfast.

He hits the return key and stares at the screen, taking in the beauty of his handiwork. “That’s one hell of a thing,” he tells the empty room. “Cleanest code I ever wrote.”

His fingers hover over the keyboard, then he types the final command:


The screen goes blank, the system icon whirls for a second, then the blinking cursor returns.

He allows himself a grin. Not a single error report. That has to be a record. He stands and pats the top of his monitor. Nothing to do now but wait. He’s done his best. The pieces are all in place. Now all he needs is someone brave enough to make the first move. Brave enough, smart enough, and tough enough. This isn’t going be easy, and it’ll take a special person to get through to the end. A very special person indeed.

Chapter 1

Cody ran down the deserted corridor, her heavy boots slamming hard against the steel floor, the sound bouncing from the metal walls and echoing all around her. Trickles of sweat streaked down her cheeks, and in seconds the over-zealous air-conditioning turned her perspiration to chilled lines. But Cody hardly noticed. It was always cold in the headquarters of the Vortax Corporation. Cold and soulless. Every surface was clad in spotless stainless steel, and every breath she took was filtered, chilled, and dehumidified: the servers needed it that way. And like every other employee, Cody had been given a simple message on her first day: What’s good for the servers, is good for Vortax.

That’s why this is dynamite, she told herself. This is it. This is the break I’ve been waiting for. Her heart fluttered against her ribs. Her boss had to pay attention this time. He had to listen. And then maybe, if she played her cards right, he’d reconsider her application and let her try out for V Division. Cody pictured herself in the V Div black body armor and the rugged helmet over the distinctive dark goggles. She could almost feel the reassuring weight of an assault rifle in her hands. A shiver ran through her, and this time it wasn’t the air-con.

She jogged to a halt outside her supervisor’s office and snatched her ID card from her pocket. The smooth plastic card almost slipped from her fingers, but she held it tight and smacked it against a black panel set into the wall. The panel flashed green, and with a faint hum, the door slid sideways.

Cody squeezed in through the gap before the door was fully open. “Sir! I think—”

But her supervisor did not even look up from his desk. He simply held up a hand to cut her off and went on with his business, reading something on the huge monitor that stood on his desk.

Cody stopped short and held her tongue. But not for long. “Mr. Chalmers, sir. I really think you should listen. It’s important.”

I hope you enjoyed that snippet.

Prison Quest is available on all Amazon Stores and can be read for free by members of Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime. To learn more visit: Find Prison Quest Online

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Or you can go ahead and read snippet #2

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