chapter 1Becky started to realise that she had just got lucky. Life had dealt her one of those great hands you only ever get once. Becky had somewhat stumbled through life up until this point, having never really had any idea what she wanted to do, or where she wanted to end up. She was a rather sheltered girl and hadn't been terribly popular throughout her younger years, was academically average and finished college with mediocre qualifications and forgettable friends. In the brief years between leaving school and finding work, Becky began to find herself a little more, but was still rather socially shy and largely kept to herself outside of work. Having left the cliquey and malicious environment that is synonymous with the public school system, she had held down several middling jobs that paid the bills but ultimately were uninspiring. However, Becky's friendly and amiable demeanour meant that she had quickly developed a very affable and approachable persona. Now 24, Becky had really flourished since her teenage years and had many admirers, however as she was still a shy person, she hadn't really experienced much in the way of relationships. Nevertheless, Becky was stunning, having beautiful unblemished light skin with silky dark hair, and was naturally slender and toned, and had hovered around 155 pounds for most of her adult life. Becky had subsequently become very well liked in recent workplaces she had been employed in. Her last boss, among others, had taken rather a shine to Becky, and had written her a glowing reference for a new job she had applied for. Because of this, Becky was duly hired. This is where we pick up the story.
Becky had just been offered a position at a research institution, whereby she would be responsible for the tenanted upkeep of a premises owned by one of the research scientists called Iain. Becky didn't know too much about the line of research her new boss was in, but she had been informed in her induction that it was pioneering but highly secretive, with data protection being a top priority. Her job description entailed that she must remain at the premises over the course of the working week from Monday to Friday, unless she applied for a leave of authorised absence. She would be a kind of tenant/secretary, which suited Becky's quiet personality well, and the modest wage she would be receiving and flexibility with her own free time at the weekends made taking this job an easy decision. After all, Becky was only in a mediocre rented flat before and this was much nicer, being a secluded newly built single story dwelling with adjoining offices. If Becky had authorised leave from the premises during the working week, she could sign over to a security firm who would monitor the premises remotely. One important stipulation of her contract was that she must not, under any circumstances, let anyone have access to the office area, and all but one of the computer terminals were off limits, even to her. Whilst she was there, all her living expenses would be covered but she was required to maintain general upkeep of the property. Becky could scarcely believe her luck. Due to her decent wage and the secrecy contract she had signed, she had never really cared to think too deeply about what data was being stored in the office until about two months into her new job.
Becky had just finished making a coffee and headed into the office, mug in hand, to begin some of her end of day clerical duties. This was the only time she was permitted to use the single open terminal in the office for dealing with emails. These emails never really contained any information of note and were normally just between Iain and Tom, Iain's fellow scientist and friend. She had met both Iain and Tom only a handful of times and for the most part was left alone by them, although Tom would pop around on occasion for a coffee and to check the office computers and backup storage drives. This time however, something in the email caught Becky's attention. The email was from Tom as usual, but the content prickled Becky's inquisitive nature.
Group 18 is worth a look. The images of the girls is of especial interest with regards to what has already been documented. Sent through the secure shared remote network, Terminal 3.
Becky read the email again. It was the first time something like this had appeared. Usually the emails just read something about groups, figures and data. "Girls?", Becky thought to herself. "Men". Becky was unsurprised, but also a little bored and inquisitive, and briefly searched for a mistaken attachment or link but was left disappointed. "Hm", she thought, "Shame". Becky loved her new job but it was nevertheless still a little dull at times because of the extent of her seclusion. A little introverted, Becky was accustomed to being on her own for the most part and honestly didn't mind it, but being alone in this new house it still got to her sometimes. Many evenings after her work was done she passed the time amusing herself online, where on occasion when she was feeling a little adventurous she also frequented a few adult sites. Her companion-less nights had led to her spending more time online than she would care to admit. Becky's mind was now wandering to the internet. She logged out and closed the email server and opened the web browser. She knew she wasn't meant to use this computer for personal affairs, but figured she really wasn't doing any harm by amusing herself for a while whilst being alone in the place. A few hours had passed when she was brought back to reality by hearing the front door being unlocked, she reluctantly closed the browser, logged off the terminal and headed out of the office. Tom had arrived.
"Hi Beck", Tom said with a smile as he entered the kitchen to make his usual coffee. "Hey Tom, how are you? Ahh it's good to see you, I'm so used to just being here all on my own during the week". Becky went and sat down at the table and eyed Tom amusingly, her thoughts dwelling on the girls in the emails. "I know you must be Beck, I suppose it's a downside of this, being alone. I'm used to it in the lab, me and Iain don't really get out much...", Tom laughed nervously, "but on the plus side, it's not that bad is it?". Tom smiled at Becky. "Yeah, I can't complain really", Becky smiled back, "The cupboards full for me at least, and most importantly, the wine rack". Becky let out an encourageable giggle and reached for a half full bottle of wine on the counter. "Could I tempt you with a glass? I've had way too much over the past week", she gently offered the bottle in the direction of Tom. "Oh, no thanks, I really have to be quick here, just popped in for a rapid coffee and to check terminal 3 in the office. I will only be five minutes, another time though!". Tom grabbed his coffee and headed off down the hall. "Actually, tomorrow Beck, I will come keep you company for a little while tomorrow", Tom called as he hurried down the hallway. Becky looked at the wine, "Tomorrow" she shrugged, and poured a glass.
As Tom had said, after 5 minutes he shouted a hasty goodbye to Becky on his way out of the front door as Becky was finishing up with the days shutdown tasks. About ten minutes had passed since Tom had left and she ventured back in the office to for the end of day closedown. She noticed that the monitor for terminal 3 was still on, and to her surprise, it was logged in. Becky looked at the monitor for a few moments. This was the first time in the two months since she had started that it had been left logged on, Tom was usually so careful. She looked around, then cursed herself for it. "Like anyone would be watching", she thought. She sat down at the terminal. Becky felt a pang of nervous excitement, she knew she could get in serious trouble if she got caught, but her inquisitiveness was far too strong. This was terminal 3 after all, what were Tom and Iain hiding on there? There was only one folder on the desktop of the terminal and Becky thought that was as good a place as any to look for the mysterious email girls. Becky clicked on it and in the folder there were many subfolders numbering groups, all the way up to 18. Becky was now a little trembly with nerves, a combination of the effects of wine, her seclusion and the risks of getting caught. She clicked on group 18 and inside were lots of folders containing enormous amounts of data of which Becky had not the slightest clue as to what it regarded. Feeling a little disappointed, Becky then noticed right at the bottom of the list a folder named 'Dataset Image Files'. Becky thought that this would be her best bet. She clicked and opened the file ...
27 chapters, created 5 years , updated 5 years
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