Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson
Nick and Tyler burst into the MadWorld lab, making a beeline for Nick's laptop, which sits on a conference table at the far side of the room.
TYLER: I'm telling you, this better be the real deal or I'll have your head on the chopping block so fast, Mr. Fallon--
NICK: Don't worry. Once I show you what's going down...you'll be thanking me.
Nick leans over the table where his laptop sits, and opens it. Pressing the "on" button, the computer boots up quickly.
NICK: I don't make a habit of wasting anyone's time. Particularly my own.
TYLER: You better hope not, or I'll get security to hightail you out of this company so fast your head will spin.
NICK: That won't be neccessary. Just wait. I promise this'll be worth it.
Nick pulls up a chair and sits down in front of his computer. Opening up his surveillance program, he logs into Titan's security camera system. Tyler looks on, stunned.
TYLER: Wait, how did you get access to this? And who authorized it?
NICK: There's no time to explain that. I started checking things out when I became suspcious something was rotten with our suspect here, and this helps me keep tabs on them.
Nick turns to face Tyler, a blank, matter-of-fact look on his face.
NICK: You know, you really need to work on your firewalls. For a multinational, your digital security is incredibly vulnerable.
Tyler looks back at Nick with concern and surprise. Nick turns back toward the screen as he zeroes in on Sheryl's office.
NICK: Quite frankly, a security breach would be not only embarrassing...but could be really catastrophic.
Tyler and Nick focus in on Sheryl's office, where they spy her working away furiously at her workstation.
Sheryl sits at her desk, Bluetoon in ear, as she stares intensely at her screen. She speaks to Jerome through the Bluetooth, careful never to utter his name as she types and clicks her mouse through the various screens, preparing to load the virus that would destroy Titan's servers into her work computer.
SHERYL (into phone): I'm through the EnerNext partition.
Through her bluetooth, Sheryl hears Jerome's voices come through into her ear with his next instruction.
JEROME (via phone): Alright. Two minutes to launch. Make sure you start in the backup hard disk. The backup isn't typically in use, therefore will be harder to detect we're in there before it gone.
Sheryl stares dead ahead at her screen. A smug smirk appears on her face as she answers Jerome.
SHERYL: (into phone) Roger that.
Billie sits in her office, Lucas by her side, as she focuses on her computer screen as well. Hoping to catch some activity from the marketing wing where Sheryl works, she and Lucas listen in on her conversation, unsure who she's speaking with, as they only hear her side.
BILLIE: Come on, Sheryl. Slip up. Say this guy's name.
LUCAS: You know, I think I know exactly who it is.
LUCAS: I'm pretty sure it's this guy...Jerry? Or Jerome? He came into her office last week when I was there. I hadn't seen him before, and I just...I get a feeling about him.
BILLIE: Well...we're not gonna be able to use a feeling as evidence, unfortunately. We gotta have her say his name and make it clear he's connected to what she's up to or else it doesn't exist.
As Billie finishes her sentence, Kate comes into the office. Billie and Lucas turn to face her.
KATE: It's just me. What did I miss?
Billie guffaws as she turns back toward her computer screen as she answers her mother's question.
BILLIE: Well...you missed me nearly getting caught by Justin Kiriakis, and Sheryl Connors as I bugged her office.
KATE: You didn't...
BILLIE: No. Thankfully, I didn't. But I did run into her at the elevator. Apparently Sheryl thinks you're manipulating Lucas into possibly breaking things off with her, Mom.
Kate turns toward Lucas with a sour expression.
KATE: Lucas, I told you you had to keep up the charade with Sheryl, and I meant convincingly.
LUCAS: Okay, enough, Mom. Look, it's nearly over now, and I don't see the point in trying to hide my feelings about her any longer than I have to.
KATE: Well, you still had to while Billie was putting the bug in Sheryl's office, didn't you? And apparently, you didn't do a very good job and you might have put this entire plan in jeopardy.
Kate turns back toward the screen, shaking her head in indignance at her son's irresponsibility.
KATE: I just hope this is enough to get Rafe away from that conniving little tramp, Jordan Ridgeway or whatever her name is supposed to be.
Lucas looks back Kate's way, shaking his head at his mom's persistance.
LUCAS: You just better hope this plan DOES work, or else you're gonna alienate Rafe more than you already have.
Kate looks back at her son, the both of them glaring at each other, as Billie seems oblivious to it all, keeping close watch over the Titan server, and Sheryl's actions.
Nick types and clicks furiously at his computer, as Tyler paces behind him, on his cell phone with Justin.
TYLER: (into phone) Justin, I know, but this kid is certain that there's about to be an attack and he says it's directly related to the City Hall server crash and the delay in approving the Ruggles land expropriation deal. I know he's got a handle on this...yes, I know you don't like him...I have a strong feeling he....well we don't have much choice right now, do we? If we wait on this...it might be too late...
Nick smirks as he listens on, simultaneously listening to Sheryl through a single earbud, studying Sheryl's movements closely as she is about to launch her virus.
Sheryl, meanwhile, is still at her desk, very nearly ready to launch her attack (with Jerome's remote help).
SHERYL: (into phone) Alright, we ready to do this thing?
JEROME: (via phone) In 3...2...1...
Sheryl hits "Enter" on her keyboard, almost ceremoniously.
Up in Billie's office, Kate, Lucas, and Billie study the screen as Billie jumps into action, noticing the activity appear in the backup server.
BILLIE: Damnit! She started in the backup system. I have to double back to access it.
Billie types away furiously to try to access the backup server, but is denied access.
LUCAS: Do you know the password?
BILLIE: No, but there's other ways to work around it.
Billie moves her mouse over to another window, and begins to work from there, disabling a specific firewall that protects the backup server from being accessed by her computer.
Nick, meanwhile, is overwhelmed by the activity. Realizing suddenly that someone else is trying to work on the backup server, he flips back to the surveillance program, and realizes it's Billie, Kate, and Lucas.
NICK: Oh, no.
Tyler, upon hearing Nick, quickly ends his call to Justin and darts over to Nick's computer again.
TYLER: Yes, it...I gotta call you back, Justin. Don't worry, it's under control.
Tyler looks intensely at the screen, as Nick springs back into action.
TYLER: What's wrong?
NICK: Nothing. I'm on it.
TYLER: I hope so.
Nick ignores Tyler's panicked threats, and takes advantage of Billie's disabling the firewall and leaps in. As the files from the backup server begin to be downloaded, then systematically destroyed, Nick locates the IP address for Sheryl's laptop.
NICK: Not so fast, little lady.
Sheryl's laptop displays the progress of the virus installation:
Sheryl smiles as her external hard drive she's attached to her computer works overtime, downloading and destroying the Titan files.
SHERYL: (into phone) We're on our way now.
JEROME: (via phone) And we only saving the small files and documents about the workings of the company, right?
SHERYL: (into phone) Not to worry, I programmed it to only save document files, spreadsheets, graphics, media. The rest is getting corrupted and discarded.
JEROME: (via phone) Perfect. How far we at?
SHERYL: (into phone) Only 3% so far.
Billie digs further in, tracking down Sheryl's IP.
LUCAS: What are you doing now?
BILLIE: I'm gonna throw the program they're using into an endless loop that hopefully will jam the program up, and buy me enough time to close up the security hole so they'll be booted from the system.
KATE: Do you have enough time?
BILLIE: I'll be fine...
Billie looks on her screen, and realizes there's someone else accessing the server.
BILLIE: If someone else doesn't beat me to it.
Kate looks over at Lucas, who looks back at her, concerned. They both turn their attentions back to Billie, and to her computer screen.
Sheryl looks on more and more intensely.
The progress bar inches forward...
SHERYL: (into phone) I'm gonna shift this over to the EnerNext subserver once we're done with this backup.
JEROME: (via phone) Got it.
SHERYL: (into phone) Okay...we're in. Downloading EnerNext's documents...
Nick plugs a memory stick into his laptop, as he continues to work furiously at stopping Sheryl. Tyler looks on in wonder.
TYLER: What are you plugging in there?
NICK: Just a program to destroy whatever device these guys are using against us.
Nick looks up at Tyler, his classic smirk on his face.
NICK: Oh no. Not just digitally.
Tyler looks on, concerned by Nick's plan.
Billie continues to work away at stopping Sheryl's virus from progressing, as Kate and Lucas sit on pins and needles.
LUCAS: Billie, how much longer is this gonna take.
BILLIE: Not long now, I'm nearly there.
KATE: This better work.
BILLIE: It will, Mom. Don't worry.
Billie focuses in as she clicks to access Sheryl's computer remotely, so she can trip it up and stop it from continuing to spread the virus.
BILLIE: Almost there.
Sheryl stares straight ahead as she notices unfamiliar activity happening around her.
SHERYL: (into phone) Dammit! We got company.
Sheryl clicks to kick Billie's computer out of hers.
Nick double clicks his mouse, launching his counterattack against Sheryl.
Billie's computer is suddenly kicked out of the server altogether, shocking Billie, as she leans back in her seat, taking a stunned Kate and Lucas with her.
LUCAS: What happened?
Sheryl looks down quickly at her work computer and her external hard drive, as her computer's fan abruptly shuts down, and her computer's processor goes into overdrive, causing the computer to freeze up.
SHERYL: (into phone) What the Hell?
JEROME: (via phone) What's wrong? Sheryl???
As Jerome tries in vain to get Sheryl to answer him, her and laptop begin to overheat quickly, and sparks, with a plastic burning smell and smoke emerging from the laptop. The sparking causes Sheryl to jump back from her laptop, breathing heavily from the shock, as Jerome continues to call out to her over the phone to her Bluetooth.
JEROME: (via phone) SHERYL....SHERYL! You there??? SHERYL...