Hack the Future part 2 (Steven Schaufler & J Dark)

Despite the annoyed retort on the cusp of exploding into his microphone, it was the doors finally opening which made him pull it back only to be forgotten with the countless others she’d more than deserved, but never heard, over the course of their working relationship. And it had been one that was not only mutually beneficial but, also, quite lucrative. If that meant he had to take her sass along with her skills, then so be it.

Now he winced. Not only because ninety seconds was cutting things way closer than he would have liked, especially with his paunch not allowing him to slip sideways through the door before it fully opened like he would have a few years ago, but because Blade’s last impatient urging was cut off by a gunshot. Cursing a string of expletives under his breath that would make even the hardiest sailors blush, he wasted precious seconds by considering whether to prioritize the job or his partner… Then he moved, and he hated himself for it.

„Blade, I’m going for the prize. Don’t get your pretty little ass shot!“ He all but cried into the headset, not knowing whether she heard him or not.

It wasn’t nearly enough to clear his conscience if she did get herself killed but, it would have to do for now. He had reached the display case at the end of the cavernous and mirror paneled room and, while under normal circumstances he would’ve checked for any secondary alarms, he neither had the time for it, nor really the need for secrecy anymore. The glass case shattered after just one quick and precise application of his P7’s grip, and the polished aluminum cube which had been on display beneath it found itself in his free hand. He would’ve worn a self-satisfied smile, if not for the fact the door was beginning to close a good fifteen seconds before it should have.

Acting on pure instinct and trusting luck more than skill, he didn’t even tuck the newly liberated container into his satchel but merely took three long strides, before taking a leaping dive onto the mirrored floor and letting his momentum carry him forward like a skater on ice. And it was that momentum, along with a generous helping of luck, that saved his hide. He’d slid across the smooth surface so fast, that when his shoulders touched the carpet outside, it was almost like hitting a wall. His legs had nowhere to go but up, so he barely managed to clear the door before it shut and, whoever it was that fired at him didn’t factor in the sudden stop either, for the projectile which was no doubt meant to pop his head like a melon, buried itself into the carpeted, concrete floor a few centimeters in front of him.

„I’m getting too old for this shit!“ He yelled into his headset. Though the ways things were going, it likely was a futile gesture. Ever since he heard that initial gunshot on Blade’s end, all he’d gotten from the damned thing was static. Rolling over and zig-zagging along the narrow hall in a crouched run to avoid getting hit by whomever was shooting at him he somehow managed to make it to the stairwell unharmed.

Unlike his partner, who had to hack into the system several stories up, his objective had been on the sub-level. As such, he decided that if he was going to even to try to attempt getting to Blade, he had to first grab something better than his P7 from the car. Though once he opened the door to the garage, that became a moot point. Directly across from him, albeit separated by a good thirty or more meters, Blade was already hobbling towards the car. Grinning wickedly, he called out to her „I think we…“ and whatever else he’d meant to say was lost to the thunderous echo of a single gunshot tearing through the garage as violently as the projectile tore through his shoulder.

Hack the Future part 1 ( Steven Schaufler & J Dark )

She flipped her straight black hair back with a light toss of her head, then grunted in annoyance as strands floated like black silk back in front of her eyes. Grumbling, she took an alligator clip from her open kit with her right hand, and used it as an impromptu barrette to hold her hair. “Come on Blade, where’s that hack?” She muttered something low and scathing as the wires leading from her left hand continued to send signals, attempting to finesse the security login. “Hey! What’d you….”, the voice growled. She snapped back, “Shut it, spud. It’s hard enough hacking with a dog yapping.” The angry growl at the other end of her earbud promised a long talk when they got done. The last electron pattern for the security code dropped into place, the yellow ‘query’ going to a green ‘proceed’.

“I got it, I’m in. Doors opening now. We got ninety seconds before Dayner’s pet ‘runners find the hack.” She started feeding spoofers, small programs designed to randomly look, and act like a virus attempting to hack a program. Spoofers used a random algorithm to choose targets, then attached themselves to the program, and replicated, attempting to absorb all available memory. It was a slight variation on a distributed denial of service attack, but one that was internal rather than the archaic method of overwhelming the link to the ‘net.

Blade watched the spoofers take off, and watched the speed that the ‘watchdogs’, the company’s personal security runners isolated the spoofer swarm and began to deny them expansion. “It doesn’t look good, these guys are sharp. Pick up the pace. I…”, she started to say then dropped flat on her back as a soft scrape reached her ears. Three impacts hit just above her, the bullets pockmarking the wall and spalling ceramic dust into her eyes and nose. She brought her foot up, aiming the heel at the security guards in dark brown uniforms. Both carried silenced StGS Wasps, the stubby assault pistol with a silencer longer than the snub barrel. The guard to her left dropped to a knee to brace, the right guard leaned against the corner, only his head and right shoulder seen.

She lifted her left leg, tightened her toes a certain way, and the heel-mounted pulse laser fired, obliterating her boot, and the kneeling guard from the sternum up. The cauterized remains flopped and twitched as the body began to realize it had died. The other guard had ducked back around the corner as she’d fired. I got to get out of here. They found me way too fast. “They found me, I have to bail. Abort. Abort abort abort!” Dammit, there goes our payday. Angry at the shift in fortune, she pulled her father’s old Smith&Wesson Model 29 from the shoulder holster, and snapped a quick shot at the corner where the other security guard had slipped behind. The thunderous boom of the old .44 magnum raised the settling ceramic dust and she sneezed. The bullet tore a fist-sized chunk of cement and ceramic from the wall. She smiled grimly as she heard choking and coughing from around the corner.

She hobbled to her feet and ran clumsily, reaching the stairwell door, and yanking it open. It was second nature to slap the big D-ring around the steel railing and leap over the edge, using the rappelling wire brake to slow her descent. Landing at the bottom o the stairwell, she slapped the rappelling rig’s quick-release and sprinted out the doorway into the underground parking garage. Where is he?! I’m screwed if he gets caught. He’s got the keys.