Othella (Arcadian Heights)
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Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Georgette McClain can’t resist a juicy tip. So when a rumored crazy ex-CEO gifts her evidence of a vast conspiracy involving the world’s premier scientific community, Arcadian Heights, she sets her sights on the story of a lifetime. And all she has to do to grab it by the reins is sneak into the most secure facility in the world—and expose it for the slaughter house it is.
Tech company CEO Marco Salt has it all. Fame. Fortune. Family. But not long after Marco’s beloved genius daughter is invited to join Arcadian Heights, a rogue agent reveals to him the horrifying truth about the revered scientific community. Forced to flee for his life, Marco finds himself on the run with a deadly secret in his grasp and a single goal in mind: destroy Arcadian Heights.
Quentin Belmont has been the Arcadian Heights spokesman for the better part of two decades, and his singular motivation is to keep the community safe at all costs. So when an internal incursion leaks vital information to an outside party, Quentin preps a “cleanup” without a second thought. But what at first appears to be a simple task turns out to be anything but, and Quentin comes face to face with the unthinkable—a threat that could annihilate the community.
"What did you call me?" "You heard me. You’re not eight. You can’t throw temper tantrums anymore, Howard. Especially about something so trivial." I maneuver around his image this time and head for the exit. His face trails behind me but stops at the edge of the circular area marked with red paint on the floor. The boundary of the hologram sensors. "This isn’t trivial. My system was breached. Christ, Quentin, you know how hard I worked on that firewall? Nothing and no one should’ve been able to
human anymore. You’re an AI running on the most powerful computer in the world. You used the community database—which contains the entirety of human knowledge—to build the defense grid, including our facial recognition software. Are you telling me you think I’m more capable of finding a fraudster than you?" "No. Not at all. I am far superior." "Oh, naturally." "But there is always a chance my system has been corrupted. And there’s no guarantee I would know it if the attacker was sneaky enough.
the ruined hall. Men in combat boots are charging up the fire escape steps. No voices. No hesitation. Patrolmen. I kick beer cans and paper scraps out of my path, my thoughts in disarray. The shots were angled down and right from the sniper’s point of view, but there are no buildings tall enough in the area from which to make such shots except the Sims Center, which is in the wrong direction. Did it come from the sky? Is Q God in disguise? I deposit Reggie on the stairwell landing and bar the
deeper than that, I think. His demeanor has changed. His confident straight posture falters every few seconds. His voice, strong and pure in the past, is scratchy and dry, as if he hasn’t spoken on a regular basis in weeks. He’s wearing foundation that doesn’t quite match his skin to cover what must be discolored circles under his eyes. The community dynamics have shifted in recent months, and I smell a groundbreaking story getting sweeter and plumper by the minute. When the final stragglers
Heights breach. My patrolman turns its head one-eighty and signals to where its ears would be if it had a human head. With the memory of the piercing siren fresh in my mind, I hesitantly reach up and remove the blockers. The night is so quiet it hurts, and the internal symphony of my heart beating quick and my blood pumping hard through my veins is replaced by the noise of my ragged breathing. Sounds like I’m having an asthma attack. I try to stifle myself as I fold the blockers and shove them