Nadia — Chapter IV



Published01 October 2020at12:29, updated on31 August 2021at10:29

Nadia — Chapter IV cover

Follow the story of Nadia, a quantum security expert in 2050 London

Nadia, a story by Miquel Morales.

Jumping in now? Catch up with previous chapters.

Chapter IV

“You know, it’s not the first time I deal with the likes of you. Nor it will be the last, for that matter.”

The woman had a distinctive voice. Coarse, yet sharp as a whistle. A slight lisp and the way she pronounced the ‘r’ betrayed her as a non-native English speaker. Eastern Europe, maybe? Hard to tell.   

“Scoundrels. Corporate leeches who would rather put their energy to nefarious use than do their actual job. Tell me: what was it, how did they get to you? Money? It’s usually money. Perhaps the promise of a shiny new job?”

Nadia tried to keep a steady face despite the woman’s determined scrutiny. A plain metallic table separated the two of them in the middle of an otherwise empty room. Exactly how one would imagine an interrogation room to look like.

“Excuse me, where exactly are we?” It had been a relatively short ride to whatever that place was, but the back of the van they had put her in had no windows. In any case, they couldn’t have gotten further than a few blocks. Somehow, the secrecy of it all made Nadia think it had less to do with the actual police and more with someone else’s particular idea of justice. Ugh, so stupid. If only she had made it for the elevator a couple of seconds earlier, the policeman’s hand wouldn’t have been able to stop the doors from closing. Guess no one is naturally prepared to run from the police at a moment’s notice.  

“Ah, she speaks!”

“I do!” said Nadia with a mocking smile. “And I can tell you right away that I don’t have the foggiest idea of what you are talking about.”

“Funny, because your friend said quite the opposite.”

“My friend?”

The woman pulled up some information on her bracelet’s screen.

“Mr… Tom Schultz. Ah, chatty fella.” Wait, how was Tom involved in any of this? “We know you stole the RayStar duplos, so let’s go straight to the point, please.”

“What?” It was impossible to hide her surprise this time around. “I did not do such… Wait. Are you even police?” Definitely not. This has RayStar written all over it.

“Who is paying you?” The woman was clearly starting to lose her temper.

The door opened and a man in a suit walked in. He leaned on to whisper something in the interrogator’s ear.

“We’re not done here,” said the woman as she reluctantly stood up and followed the man out of the room. The door locked with a beep.

Nadia finally let her guard down and allowed her body to show how nervous she really was, her right foot going up and down in an endless loop. She wished they hadn’t taken her earpiece. She could’ve used Ziza’s help with going through the events of these recent days. The duplos. But EVE had not gotten even remotely close to that data. She couldn’t have the way the system was designed. Especially not with that useless hidden attachment strategy. Plus, EVE’s target had always been the proprietary security algorithms of Nadia’s company. Or at least Nadia had assumed so, given her interest in getting close to the quantum encryption core systems. No, they must have made a mistake. Nadia hadn’t messed around with the duplo dataflows at all. Someone else had to be behind all this. Or had she missed something? She would just tell them about EVE, the attachments, the kidnapping of her sister… The door opened again. It was…

“Tom?! What on Earth…”

“Nadia, listen. There is no time.” He was all sweaty and dishevelled, his eyes full of fear behind the colourful glasses. “They know everything, they figured it all out. I’m so sorry. They had Hao’s file, and they said they would…”

“Tom!” Nadia grabbed him by the shirt and tried to shake him into making some sense. “What is going on? What are you doing here, and what did you do?”    

 “I… There is no time! They will be back any second.” He took her by the arm and the two ushered into a dimly lit hallway with concrete walls. “You need to get out of the city. Didn’t you have a friend up in Coventry? “

“I do. But my sister…” They were now running through a maze of corridors across what seemed like the basement of a large building.

“Your sister is fine, don’t worry.”

“Wait, how do you…”

“She’s fine Nadia! You need to worry about yourself right now.” Voices and steps could be heard some distance behind them. The guards were in pursuit. And getting close.

“Where is my sister?” They reached a fire escape door and Tom cracked it open, prompting the alarm to go off. The light of day filtered in, momentarily blinding Nadia.

“Remember the party the other day? Wait until nightfall and head there. You will understand everything once I’ve also left you an untraceable paycard. You shouldn’t use any of your accounts until I contact you. Not until we clear our name.”

“Tom – where is my sister!”

“Where she has been all this time. At her place.”


“Trust me Nadia, I’ve got a plan.” He reached inside his shirt’s chest pocket and took out Nadia’s earpiece. He handed it to her and pushed her towards the door. “Now go! I’ll keep them for as long as I can.”

Flooded with questions, Nadia rushed out into a quiet back alley and started running without looking back. A shot could be heard in the distance.

To be continued…

Read the next chapter: Nadia — Chapter V

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