Firestorm

Oliver looked through his glass walls to the temporary Executive Assistant that was decidedly not-Felicity. Mrs. Garrett was severe looking woman, late 30's early 40's, whose tailored brown business suit screamed focus and efficiency. She carried out his orders without question or comment and there was stemming cup of coffee was on his desk every morning without fail. Mrs. Garrett spoke to Oliver only when absolutely necessary as she preferred communicating with him through email. When asked about this, Mrs. Garrett calmly explained that she understood that being the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company required drive and intense concentration. She didn't want to disturb Oliver (or Mr. Queen as he is called by his ever-professional EA) unless she had no other choice. After three days of this, Oliver was climbing the walls. The silence was actually making it harder for him to concentrate and his night job wasn't fairing any better. He and Diggle were making due, but every time something or someone had to be traced, hacked or monitored, Felicity's absence was felt even more intensely.

Oliver's secure cell phone went off. He answered it without looking.

"No," he said immediately.

A deep huff came from the other end of the call, "I didn't even ask a question," Diggle complained.

"You didn't have to. No, I haven't heard from Felicity," he responded, trying to read the QC's newest projections for the next fiscal year.

"Three days, radio silence, I don't like it," Diggle replied.

Oliver didn't like it either, but after the mini-spat that he and Felicity had before she left, he was trying to give her space.

"She had a family emergency. She's fine. She doesn't need us to check on her. She's a big girl," stated Oliver in his most monotone voice.

"So you two had a fight," Diggle deduced.

"I didn't say that."

"And she's not talking to you," continued Diggle.

"Diggle."

Diggle kept on talking as if Oliver hadn't said anything, "I guess you haven't noticed in your sulking, but our Ms. Smoak is not good at holding grudges. Even if she wasn't talking to you, she would have called me, if only to make sure I hadn't destroyed her computer system."

Oliver began to argue, but he finally caught up to what Diggle had been saying. He slowly closed his eyes, "You're right."

"I know. So what you are going to do?"

Oliver opened his eyes, "Bring the car around."

Diggle cracked a small smile. "Roger that," he replied and hung up the phone.

Oliver pressed the intercom on his office phone.

"Mrs. Garrett," Oliver commanded in a voice that was dangerously close to the one that he used when he arrowed up.

Mrs. Garrett jumped, not used to Oliver's tone. She pressed button on her phone to reply.

"Yes, Mr. Queen."

"Cancel my appointments for the day. An emergency has come up. I will not be available until further notice," he stated.

"Yes, Mr. Queen. Um… What do you want me to do about Ms. Rochev?"

"What do you mean?" Oliver asked.

"She is-"

"Mr. Queen's 1:30," Isabel Rochev announced as she walked into the glass offices. Her heels clicked and she breezed into the room.

"Mrs. Garrett," stated Isabel as she walked by with something bordering on respect. Isabel marched into Oliver's office. She crossed her arms and raised an eyebrow at Oliver.

"You weren't planning on leaving without consulting me, were you?"

Oliver put his fingers up to make a point.

"Because the last time you did that," she said, interrupting him before he spoke, "I ended up packing for Russia."

Isabel made her way to Oliver's desk, "Now, as much as I enjoyed racking up flyer miles with you, Mr. Queen, we still have a business to run and QC won't get anywhere with you jetting off at every opportunity."

"Not that it is any of your business, Ms. Rochev, but I have a family emergency that I must attend to immediately," stated Oliver.

Isabel pursed her lips, "Really?" She turned toward Mrs. Garrett and looked back at Oliver, "That emergency wouldn't be about blonde secretaries who can barely do their jobs now would it? Because I thought we solved that problem in Russia."

Oliver raised himself from his seat. He walked around his desk, stood by Isabel and whispered, "Россия решена, кто был активом, а кто был ответственностью (Russia solved who was an asset and who was a liability),"

Oliver walked by her and left his office. Isabel swung the door open.

"И кто есть кто? (And who's who?)" she called after him.

Oliver turned and smiled at her, "Would you like to know? Mrs. Garrett, can you make sure that Ms. Rochev finds her way out of my office."

"Yes, Mr. Queen."

Oliver left for the executive elevator leaving a very frustrated Isabel Rochev in his wake.


"And that should do it," Felicity announced, finishing up her last few keystrokes. Barry Allen sat besides her, racking his hand through his hair.

"Okay. I just want to go on record and say that I don't like this plan," Barry insisted.

Felicity sighed, "Barry, we've been through this."

"Not that it wouldn't be totally worth it, but if you go back to Starling City with so much as a hair out place, Oliver will put an arrow in my chest," protested Barry.

Felicity looked at him with a smile in her eyes.

"Totally worth it?" she questioned.

"Yeah," Barry replied with a smile.

"Do…do you want me go?" Felicity asked nervously.

Barry looked up at her, "What? No, you're wonderful. I mean, beautiful. I mean," Barry took a deep breath, "I really appreciate you're help on this case, I just don't want to put you in more danger."

"These are computer nerds, not ruthless killers. Not that nerds can't be killers, I mean look at Lex Luthor, that man is crazy smart, crazy rich and just plain crazy," she rambled.

Barry laughed, "Felicity,"

"Right, work," she continued, "The Trojan that I put around the city's digital power grid should attach itself to anyone who tries to attack it or access it remotely, giving the police a nice trail to follow to the hacker's I.P. address."

"Wouldn't the hackers be bouncing their signal all over the place?" Barry asked.

Felicity smiled, "Yes, but that's the beauty of the program. It latches on to the attacker and leaved a trail more obvious than a skunk's stray attack and there is no tomato juice to get it off. Can you imagine taking a bath in tomato juice?"

"Yes I can actually. 4th grade cub scouts. Tommy Green dared me and it was just…"

Barry was interrupted by Felicity's laughter. Knowing they had veered way off topic, he joined in with her laugh for a minute until they both refocused. Felicity raised her hands in the air.

"3, 2, 1, back to work," she said.

"Right. Trojan will find the location of bad guys," Barry stated, "Police find location and bad guys. Case closed."

"Exactly, now we just have to—"

"WHAT THE HELL," shouted a voice just outside of Barry's Crime Lab alcove.

"What is that?" called another voice.

Barry and Felicity jumped up. Barry pushed back the steel door that separated his lab from the rest of the precinct. They ran around the corner and down to the open area that held all of the police desks and computers. Each computer had the same image filling up the screen, a tan-tinted background that looked like old-fashioned parchment with a large black spot in the middle.

Captain Reed, a short, burly man in his mid 50's, marched out of his office. "Who the hell has been messing with my computer?!," he bellowed.

"It's on all our computers, sir," replied one of the detectives, "It's some kind of cyberattack."

Suddenly words swirled around everyone's screen until a phrase started flashing across the black spot.

Beware the Cyborg.

Mumbles and mutters of "What does that mean?" rumbled around the precinct. Barry looked at Felicity and saw her eyes glued to the computers screens. Her

hands were literally shaking and she seemed to be trying to catch her breath. Barry grabbed her hand.

"Felicity?" he asked.

Felicity looked at him and gave him a shy smile, "I'm okay. I'll be okay."

"What—"

"Shut it down!" ordered Captain Reed, "I want us offline now."

Barry squeezed Felicity's hand and turned to his captain.

"Captain Reed?"

"Allen, I don't have time," he replied.

"Actually, sir I think you do. Shutting us down might not be the best option."

Captain Reed turned to him, "Look, kid, we've got way too much information on these servers to have it fall into the wrong hands."

"It's probably too late to worry about that," Felicity's voice popped in, finding her strength again.

Captain Reed looked up at the cute blonde in the pencil skirt.

"And who is this?"

"The I.T. specialist I told you about," Barry replied.

"Look, Allen, I didn't allocate funds for you to play hanky-panky in your office," Captain Reed accused.

"I.."

"Captain Reed," Felicity demanded in the voice that she used when she was bossing around Oliver, "Just get me to a computer and I can show you want I can do. If someone is already in your system, they've probably been there for a while and are downloading your files as we speak. The best we can do is minimize the damage and figure out what they took."

Captain Reed looked at Felicity dumbfounded that she commanded his attention and seemed to actually know what she was talking about. He gave her a once over and huffed.

"Fine. Work your magic, sweetheart, but we are pulling the plug in 15," he stated gruffly.

"I'll be done in 10. May I use your office?"

"Excuse me?"

"I'm assuming your computer has the most processing power. I'm going to need it," she insisted.

Captain Reed looked at Barry as if to say "Is this girl serious?" Barry just shrugged.

"She's a I.T. genius. She knows what she's talking about," he defended.

Captain Reed huffed again, "Fine."

He opened the door to his office. Felicity sat behind his desk and got to work. After a few minutes, she was able to break back into the systems and isolate and quarantine some of the most sensitive and important files in the police database.

"Uh-oh," Felicity said suddenly.

"What?" asked Barry.

"I think I've been caught," she stated with her fingers flying across the keyboard.

"GGrrr, I was trying to avoid this," she continued.

"Avoid what?" questioned the Captain. Felicity's eyes never went off the screen.

"Hacker War."

Captain Reed looked her confused, "Hacker what?"

"The other hacker, Cyborg, he knows I'm in the system and is trying kick me out or block me. I tried to stay under the radar, but that didn't work. Now it's a fight," she explained.

Felicity was so focused on her work that she barely noticed when she muttered 10 minutes later, "This would be so much easier if I was home."

"Maybe that's why home came to you," stated an all-too-familiar voice.

Felicity looked up and saw Oliver and Diggle crowding the doorway of Captain Reed's office. Diggle slid a duffle bag to Barry.

"Who are theses bozos?" asked Captain Reed.

"Open the top. Give it to Felicity," Diggle ordered.

"Friends," Barry replied as he unzipped the top of the bag.

"Friends?"

"Felicity's—" Barry started as he pulled out Felicity's specialty tablet.

"Assistants," she finished as she grabbed her tablet from Barry and immediately pulled it into the USB port.

"Assistants?" Captain Reed questioned.

"I mean," Felicity started and then shook her head, "You know what, you guys figure it out, I'm hacking."

Silence feel over the room for a brief second and then Felicity broke it up.

"By the way, John, you're godsend," she complimented as she started working with her tablet.

"Actually it was Oliver's idea," he stated.

Felicity raised one eyebrow at that, but then decided not to question it.

"Thank you to you too then," she replied stiffly and then returned to work.

Oliver fully stepped into the room and extended his hand to the captain.

"Oliver Queen," he stated.

Captain Reed shook his head, "I know who you are. Allen ran off to check out your little spooky case a while back right?"

Oliver nodded, "Yes. He was a great help, saved… my company, in fact. So when he asked to borrow my best I.T. specialist, I couldn't say no."

Captain Reed snorted, "Tit for tat, I get that. Let's hope this girl is a good as she says she is."

Oliver smiled, "She's better."

Within a half hour, everyone had control back of their computer screens and Felicity was able to construct a new firewall for the precinct and create a list of the files downloaded during the attack. The attack was extensive, but not as bad as it could have been if Felicity hadn't been there. Looking at the list, Captain Reed whistled.

He reached out his hand to Felicity, "It looks like I owe you an apology, sweetheart. You do good work. I think I'll keep you."

Felicity looked at him, not sure how to take that, "A… thanks… but I'm only here for a visit, I already have a job."

Captain Reed looked at Oliver who seemed to indifferent to the police surrounding him.

"Well, if doesn't work out with tall, blonde and brooding over there, give me a call. They'll always be room for you at Central City."

Felicity smiled, "Thanks, Captain."

Captain Reed grunted and walked away.

Oliver walked up to Felicity and indicated the Captain with his chin.

"What was that about?" he asked in his soft tone.

Felicity sighed, "Not here, Oliver."

"Why did you lie to me?" he implored insistently, but in the same soft tone.

"Oliver, I will not have this conversation, here and now. We can talk in Barry's lab, but only if you are ready to listen. I will explain everything, but I won't fight with you. Do you understand?" she said, looking directly into his eyes. He silently stepped out of her way, giving her to room to lead the way to Barry's lab. Barry caught up with her as Oliver and Diggle followed behind.

"So," Barry started nervously as they made their way through the precinct, "Cyborg?"

"A ghost from a past life," she said.

Barry swiped his key card.

"You knew him," he grunted as he pushed the steel door open.

Felicity put her finger on her lips and waited until everyone was inside the lab and the door had closed behind them. She did a quick check of the labs and made sure that she wasn't facing any cameras.

"How did you know Cyborg?" Barry asked.

"Who's he?" asked Oliver.

Barry opened his mouth to answer, but Felicity beat him to it.

"An international cyber criminal," she stated and then took a breath, "And my ex-boyfriend."