In 400 minutes the self-driving car your child is in will be remotely crashed. Fred glanced at the email subject and initially dismissed it. A second email arrived 2 minutes later; 398 minutes left until Kate is killed. This time he opened the message. He was to transfer 1000 Bitcoin, the equivalent of $100 million US dollars to the attackers account by 9am or ‘Storybored’ would crash the bus.
He called his security expert Stephen, explaining his predicament as quickly as possible. Kate was in Bolivia and it was the middle of the night there. She had texted from a friends phone saying that she was taking an overnight sleepcar to Argentina but had lost her phone. “...I’ll text you when I arrive..”. Fred attempted to text her friend Ciara but a message came back saying undelivered. He called frantically but got nothing.
Stephen recommended that he call the hostel she was in and although it rang, there was no answer. Another email came through. 380 minutes to crash. Freds pulse quickened. He hadn’t been around for her as much as he should have been since her mother died. Choosing instead to throw himself into his work as the CEO of the now world famous, Ransom Park.
Fred decided he needed to use his influence to resolve this crisis. He had met with the president of Argentina a couple of years ago. President Messi had travelled to New York in an attempt to learn more about the potential to open a VR park in Buenos Aires. Fred attempted to contact the Argentinian Embassy in New York but was told that they would get back to him in a couple of hours. 315 minutes left.
“That won’t work, this is an emergency” he said. The overnight operator told him she would try contact her supervisor. 5 minutes later an older man answered the phone. “Si”? Without any Spanish, Fred tried to explain in English that he knew the President and he needed to speak with him urgently. The man on the other end simply said “No puedo ayudarle” and hung up…. 300 minutes.
Fred now decided that he would respond to the email. I don’t have 1000 BTC he wrote, ‘I have spoken with the Argentine consul and I expect Kate to be taken by the police to safety soon . My own investigators will now spend every moment tracking you down’.....He thought about the impact of this statement and hesitated. He deleted the text and instead wrote, “Why are you doing this”?