I remember one thing about my parents, that they died when I was three. The social workers put me in an orphanage, until I was four. I guess I escaped. Man, was it easy or what?
I lived on the streets, where I learned martial arts by watching fights. I got street smart. I kept away from the cops and social workers who were looking for me.
When I was eight, they actually caught me! They backed me into an alley and grabbed me. Even though I put up a damn good fight they still caught me.
They took me back to the orphanage from which I had escaped from when I was four. I got into tons of fights, put tons of kids in the hospital, so I had to do all kinds of chores.
I stayed there until I was twelve. Then, I was adopted by Bob and Carly. They wanted me to call them Mom and Dad, but I couldn't. I was a problem child. I got into tons of fights in school, beat the crap out of those kids, I did.
Then one day, when I was sixteen, something was going down in our neighborhood. I should mention that we live in the country.
Anyway here's what happened. An army truck was coming down our road, while I was on my walk. Then I saw some guys stop the truck, push out the army guys, and tie ‘em up.
When the bad guys left, I ran to the guys and asked, "Are you guys okay?"
They all nodded. One of them told me his name was Colonel Koch, C.K. for short. I untied C.K. first, and he helped me untie the others.
I told C.K. that I had seen what happened and that I wanted to know what was going on. C.K. said that I had a right to know. He told me that they were looking for some mastermind thieves. He also said that the men who had stolen their truck were the thieves.
"Well, why didn't you guys just stop them? Don't you have guns?" I asked, enthusiastically.
"It was part of our plan," he whispered, softly. "We let them have the truck hoping that some civilian, like yourself, would see where they went."
"Oh, I saw where they went, but I'll tell you for a price." I was always doing that to people when I knew something that they wanted to know.
"Well, if you don't tell me, I'm going to have to find someone else on this road that can tell me where they went."
"Too late, there's no one on this road ‘cept me," I replied, slyly.
"Alright, what's your price?"
"I get to help you guys catch ‘em, since I know this place like the back of my hand."
"Okay, you can help catch ‘em. Now, what's your name?"
"Courtney Comp."
"Alright, Courtney, let's give you a code name. How about C.C?" C.K. asked me. I nodded. "Alright, C.C, where did they go?"
"They went up the road to the mansion up there." I pointed at the Jenkins's mansion.
"Okay, let's go."
I shook my head. "No, look, they have some guards posted. Besides the Jenkins have a guard dog and a burglar alarm that not even the president has because their own company developed it just for them. I'm the only one, besides the Jenkins themselves, who knows how to call off the dog and how to turn off the alarm."
"How do you know how to turn off the alarm?'
"By using my computer system."
"I'd like to see this computer system of yours."
"Sure." I showed him to my house.
He had told the rest of the guys to wait there. Bob and Carly were at work so I was all alone. I took him into my room. "Wow," C.K. sighed. "This is some setup. I don't even think a nuclear scientist has a setup like this. Do all of these computers work together?"
"Yeah. Watch this," I said.
I turned on the master switch and turned on my IBM, my Packard Bell, and my Macintosh computers. I turned on my laser and color printers. I went into WordPerfect on my Packard Bell, ‘Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego' on my IBM, and ‘Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego' on my Macintosh. "Pretty cool, huh?" I asked, when I heard him say ‘wow' again. He nodded.
"Now, you said that you knew how to turn off the alarm system. How do you do that?"
"First of all, let me exit out of these programs." I exited the programs. "Okay, I have to try to enter their computer system." I started trying to enter their computer system. "Wow, this guy is a mastermind. C.K, is there a computer expert in this group of thieves?"
"Yes, there is. Why? C.C, what are you thinking?" He asked.
"Well, I can't get into their system."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean they put up a barrier so that no one can even get into the system." I stopped and frowned.
"What is it?" C.K. asked.
"They couldn't have put this barrier up so fast. It normally takes about forty-eight hours to do so. Are you thinking what I'm thinking, that they did this ahead of time?"
"Yes, I think they did."
"My hunch is that they started this forty-eight hours ago and just finished it. But that is really hard to do, when people use the computer not to mention people who break into the system, like myself."
"Don't the Jenkins' have protection on their files and computer system?" he asked.
I shook my head. "I asked in my own sly way if they had protection on their files before I even started going through their files. They don't even know that I go into their files. That's how easy it is. You can usually tell when someone starts putting up a barrier like that. I have a hunch that these guys can really cover up their tracks good ‘cause I have never received any kind of signal that someone was putting up a barrier."
I typed in a few commands. ‘Access Denied,' the computer beeped the words over and over. I exited out of each of my computers, turning them off in turn, and then flipped off the main switch.
"There's no way I will be able to get into their computer system. If I keep trying, they might find out that someone is trying to get into the system and they just have to type in a few commands to figure out where the signal is coming from, and that would blow everything out of proportion not to mention blow our cover and then we'd really be in trouble."
"Are you sure that there is no way to protect the whereabouts of the signal?"
"There is a way but we would have to have a better computer system and besides I don't know how to do that."
"That's right. If I can't even try to get into the system then we'll never find out what they're up to. Oh, great I just thought of something. The number for the alarm system is put in the computer and they can change it anytime they want so that anyone outside of the place who knows the number can't turn off the alarm. Also, if there is a barrier protecting their computer I can't get in there to find out if they changed the number. So, we're screwed.
"That's just great," he said. His eyes lit up. "I just got an idea. You try to get into the estate. If you do, be careful not to get caught and make sure you don't give yourself away."
"Okay, C.K," I said, catching on to what he was saying. I went to my bed and knelt down. I pulled out a few ninja weapons. Then I saw C.K. staring at me. "Bob and Carly don't even know that I have these." When I saw him looking at me, with his eyebrows up, I added quickly, "Well, I need to protect myself, don't I?"
"Yeah, I guess." He shrugged.
"Come on, let's go," I said enthusiastically.
We left and I snuck onto the Jenkins' estate. All of a sudden, I felt a freezing cold hand touch the back of my neck. I turned around slowly. It was the head thief. He said, "What are you doing here, little girl?"
"I ain't a little girl, buddy," I said, coolly.
"Tsk, tsk, tsk. You wanna hear a story? Here goes. Once upon a time there was a cocky little girl and she got hit like this," he said, nastily. He smacked me upside the head so hard I passed out.
When I awoke, I found myself in a field. I stood up. "Ow," I said. My head hurt. I rubbed it gently. When I pulled my hand away, I looked at it. It was full of blood. Then I heard someone yell, "Hey you, this here's private property!"
I turned around. "Oh, I'm sorry. I'll leave immediately," I said weakly.
Then I collapsed.
When I woke up again, C.K. was standing over me. "Hey, Jake, she's awake." he said.
"W-w-what happened?" I asked, weakly.
"Sh, C.C," C.K. whispered. "You passed out again."
"My stuff, he has my stuff."
"I know," he replied.
"You know something, Courtney. I never thought that you could get hurt. I mean you always acted so tough in school, and you beat up Jeremy Wilkins and everything," Jake said.
"You're Jake Larson, right?" I asked.
He nodded. "C.K. told me about the thieves and your mission. He decided that I should get a code name. So now I'm J.L," he said.
"Oh. I have to get my stuff back."
"You are a persistent little devil, aren't you?" C.K. asked. I nodded.
"Jake, are you the one who brought me here?"
He nodded. "Yeah, then C.K. came to the door asking if I had seen you. And when I told him I had he came in and told me why you were in my field."
We left Jake's house and headed for the Jenkins' estate. When we got to the estate, C.K. said, "Alright, here's the plan. J.L, you and C.C. will go back to her house. You two will try to get into the Jenkins' files and system. Let yourselves get caught by the thieves. Meanwhile, I'll be getting the guys together. When you guys get caught then try to escape once you are on the estate. Then contact me using this watch. I'll tell you what to do when you contact me. Okay?" We nodded and C.K. gave me the watch. I put the watch on my left wrist.
So Jake and I went to my house and I booted up my IBM. I didn't bother turning on the others. I started typing in commands while Jake looked out the window and said, "Guess who." I turned off my computer and then I flipped off the main switch so I wouldn't waste electricity.
Three men with guns barged into my room and said, "You're coming with us."
They grabbed us and took us out to their truck and drove us to the Jenkins' estate. They took us to the head guy himself. He told them to take us to the basement. They threw us down the stairs and locked us in.
"Oh great, how are we going to get out of here?" I asked Jake, desperately.
"I have an idea." He quickly told me his plan. "First, I'll hide by the door, and you pound on the door saying that you're thirsty. When the guard opens the door, I'll jump him. Got it?" I nodded.
I started pounding on the door. When the guard opened the door, Jake jumped him. We left the basement, and then we started walking down the hall, hiding in the shadows. We opened a locked door with the keys I had taken from the unconscious guard. Inside we found Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins. We told them to stay there and not to do anything and that we would get them out as soon as we got the big guy. We locked the door again. Then we got to an open door and went in. It was a storeroom. There was no one guarding the storeroom. We contacted C.K.
"C.K, come in, C.K," I whispered.
"C.K. here. ‘Sup?"
"We're in a storeroom. We just got out of the basement where they put us. We also saw Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins. They are alright. Over."
"OK, this is what I want you to do. I want you to find your things, C.C, and I want both of you to find this guy and tie him up. Over."
"Try to save the estate. We just got onto the estate and we found a bomb wired up to the house."
"Oh, that's just great! Over and out."
I clicked off the watch's intercom. We headed for the next room. This room was also not guarded. In this room we found my weapons. I grabbed my ninja darts and strapped the wristband to my wrist. I put the rope on my black belt along with my hook. Then I gave Jake my crossbow and arrows. I asked him, "Are you getting hot?" He nodded. We had dressed all in black so that we woudn't be seen in the house because the corridors were very dark. This side of the house was the hot side so the Jenkins lived mainly on the others side of the house in summer.
We walked to another door and slowly opened the door. Inside we found the head thief.
"Well, well, well, if it isn't Courtney and Jake," he said.
"Yes, it is us, isn't it?" I asked, coolly. "You know we just disabled your bomb." I laughed.
"We're here to make your day, buddy," Jake said, menacingly.
And with that Jake shot a couple of arrows from the crossbow. I threw one of my ninja darts. The arrows and dark pinned him against the wall. Jake threw his arms around me and kissed me, a long, soft kiss. Just then C.K. came rushing in. He took the guy and arrested him. Then one of the other army guys took him away while C.K. congratulated us on a job well done.
Two weeks later
"...And for their courageous efforts in helping the army and Colonel Koch, I award these medals of bravery to Courtney Lynn Comp and Jacob William Larson," the president said.
We stood up and accepted the awards with dignity. We both said a speech and then answered some press questions. And that's my story.

Questions? Comments? Lemme know! Subject: Masterminds


©Melissa R. Finch, All Rights Reserved.