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Hack Ed. (standard:Suspense, 1475 words)
Author: NightfyreAdded: Mar 05 2003Views/Reads: 2114/1382Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
This is a test run for my second novel. It's about three high school hackers that begin an illegit business with their skills, to find out somebody has beaten them to the punch.

Hack Ed. 

“So, Andrew. What did you think of Ms. Baines today? Not bad, huh?” Ryan
popped down on the corner of his friend's bed, cracking open a Pepsi. 

“No kidding. I'd be late to physics every day if I saw her before each

“You guys are pathetic,” Lora chimed in, shaking her head at her brother
and his friend. “Let's see today's job list, shall we?” 

Ryan dug into his pocket and pulled out two ragged slips of paper,
presenting them like a presidential speech. Their after-school business 
had yet to invest in proper stationary. 

“Looks like an aide got a “B” on a test; he wants an “A”. And the
homecoming queen took a free salon day. Go figure.” 

Andrew waited for his computer to boot as he considered how to service
these clients. Should he take the back door into the school's files or 
be bold and leave a false trail? These side decisions made his work 
enjoyable, adding entertainment to the mix of their already 
less-than-honorable business. 

“Just do the hack and we'll consider the fun factor afterward,” Ryan
said. Andrew was already on it, combining the passwords Lora acquired 
as a guidance aide with a new backdoor loophole he had discovered. 
While there was always risk (expulsion and jail time, to name two), he 
pulled this routine often enough to feel comfortable. 

Once inside the system, Andrew normally needed three minutes to make the
adjustments. It was an easy fifty bucks for the trio. Just tap into the 
log file, type some magical commands that would wipe out any evidence 
of his visit, and follow his own tracks out. Something puzzled him 
tonight, though. The task quite menial, but the school's mainframe was 
acting like it just woke up with a Tequila-night hangover. 

“Hey, wait,” Lora said as she grabbed her brother's arm. She stared at
the monitor like the mainframe commands were hypnotizing her. Andrew's 
eyes played ping-pong between the screen and his sister until he 
finally noticed what had her attention. 

“Bring your brains down to my level, here,” Ryan piped in, as though his
lack of computer finesse made him feel left out. “What's so 

“This is all regular activity during normal school hours. No big deal,”
Lora explained as her finger guided Ryan's eyes down the log file. “But 
right here,” she jabbed the screen with authority, “this person logged 
in but there is no record of them logging out.” 

“So they left the computer on. Nothing to get your shorts in a knot

“It doesn't work like that, Ryan,” Andrew began. “The mainframe would
have kicked them out already. This person has been cranking way after 
school hours. Something tells me they're in here now. With us.” 

Ryan's jaw dropped in horror. The hackers calculated their next move
like champion chess players as their friend began hyperventilating 
behind them. 

“Shut it down! If somebody's in there now, they're bound to find out who
we are and put us away for life!” 

“Ryan, chill out before I tattoo a yellow stripe down your back!” Andrew
ordered. Ryan settled to a whimper as his friends tried to ease his 
mind. “I'm sure this isn't the first time somebody's been tapped in 
with us. So take your pills, sit back, and let's have a little fun, 

“We're not even getting paid for this! We did our job, so let's get
out!” Lora grabbed a pillow and whipped it around, cold-cocking Ryan on 
the jaw and sending him tumbling off the bed. 

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