“Ready?” the warden removed a key from his neck. The head guard did the same, and they both inserted them into their respective locks. “Turn on three.”
At the warden’s count, the locks clicked open and the cell began to peel apart. Sections withdrew into the ceiling and floor, revealing the stasis tube holding the prisoner. Brayden Ellis Cunningham, age 16, looking just as dangerous as he had the day he’d been brought in.
“Doesn’t look that dangerous,” said Agent Tenga. “Just like any other snot-nosed kid.”
The warden and chief guard jammed their keys into a second set of locks and turned, beginning the stasis flush procedure amid klaxons. “That ‘snot-nosed kid’ caused 4 billion dollars’ worth of damage,” said the warden with a sneer. “He killed 27 people. Be careful.”
The stasis liquid drained from the tube, leaving Brayden Ellis Cunningham awake but groggy. The chief guard handed Agent Tenga a microphone. “Here, you can talk to him on this. No physical contact.”
Agent Tenga picked up the mic. “Mr. Cunningham?” he said. “Braydon Ellis Cunningham? This is Agent Tenga of the RIAA. We need your help.”
“Ah,” said Braydon. “First you lock me up for pirating Misty Chalmers’ new album, the entire fall lineup of NBS, and every movie released on Webfilmz since 2013. Then you ask for my help? Laughable.”
“You drove two dozen network executives to suicide,” said Agent Tenga. “But we’re willing to overlook that in exchange for your cooperation.”
“Cooperation with what?” said Brayden. “It’d better be good.”
“Someone has pirated the Oscar telecast,” said Agent Tenga, lowering his head. “It’s been leaking out at the rate of one minute per day.”
“That’s it?” Brayden cried. “Who cares? There’s another Oscars in a month anyway!”
“No, you don’t understand.” Tenga put a hand over his mouth and bit his finger for a moment before continuing. “Someone pirated this year’s Oscars. They haven’t even been filmed yet!”
“Oh. Oh, now that is interesting,” said Brayden.