Skip to main content

Prelude to Revenge

A single recognizer moves quietly down a forgotten corridor of structs–its destination a brightly lit gate floating 200 kilocycles ahead. Inside, a program makes the proper calculations to halt the craft before virus detection scanners pick up their presence.  Once in the right place, this program sends a signal to its user.

From a terminal in San Francisco, Edward transmits an electronic address and a new mission.  Several years ago, he would not have needed to sneak around and break into a system like this.  Back then, he would just have the Master Control Program do it for him. Things are different today. No longer are the resources of Encom–one of the most infamous names in the valley–at his disposal.  Today, he's lucky his parole officer even allows him to have access to a terminal at all. Dillinger is name all but forgotten now and today that suits his purposes just fine.

The recognizer remains motionless as its program finishes probing the system to record which sentry patterns are not there.  There's a brief pause after reporting all findings to the user before a downstream of information arrives. Moments later, code begins to shimmer across the recognizer's surface. With a new coat of digital paint to masking them from the sensors, both pilot and craft resume moving toward the gate. Black matte framing with a rapidly moving grid of high energy beams dance in staccato patterns across the hull of the recognizer. Down below, a small army of tanks can be seen in the pulsing glow of the gate's beams. Failure here means instant de-resolution. All functions scrubbed from existence. Death.

Dillinger taps his fingers lightly on the table and stares intently at his screen. Nothing is happening. There is no progress bar to keep him occupied. Just the steady, relentless blink of his cursor. From the corner booth he managed to snag, he can see Alcatraz and panic begins to creep in like morning fog. Detection now would trigger an investigation and his digital fingerprints would send him right back to the dark luddite box they'd kept him in for the last ten years. Back on the laptop display, nothing had changed. Everything was still except the cursor which continued to blink.

On the other side of the screen, beams of energy dance across the recognizer as it moves toward the end of the sentry checkpoint. Suddenly, one of the beams locks onto a part of the code covering the recognizer. When the beam stops, the recognizer becomes locked in place–tethered by the energy. Other beams begin to retarget neighboring quadrants of the ship while the tanks down below start cycling up their power cores. The pilot program moves to a panel on the main dash and swipes the air above it to reveal a self-destruct control.

With as much warning as it had began, the sentry's detailed examination concludes without incident and the recognizer is allowed to continue past the checkpoint into the system. Once inside a sector, recognizers are equipped with a digital toy chest of ways to probe, modify or crash any system. In the middle of this sector is an Input/Output tower. As they approach the tower, a probe detaches from the bottom of the craft and moves to an interface port on the side of the tower.

The laptop springs to life and begins displaying row after row of system logs. Dillinger is in! All told, this is the seventeenth system he has compromised since regaining his freedom. With this many systems reporting their traffic to him, all that's left is to wait. For the last decade, one thought has occupied Edward Dillinger's mind: Make Flynn pay. With the systems he now controlled, it wouldn't be long before he was pulling the strings again. He'd spent years planning for this. Countless nights replaying his failure. Of course, that is all in the past.  The future is revenge. The future is now.


This is another story idea that I'm playing around with. As with some of the others here, if you like what you've read and want to see more, please comment below and let me know which tale you'd like me to expand further.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Story Problems and Escape Pods

This is a continuation of a previous post. If you'd like to read it first, click here.

Danny managed to sit in his seat just as the last bell in the school chimed. He barely avoided another tardy by bolting down the hall while ducking under the little windows in every classroom door. His dad had dropped his mother and sister off first before driving like a crazy person to get him to school. Like a scene straight out of an action film, the van had rocked back and forth it dodged cars, swung around corners and squealed tires. When his father skidded up to the school, he yelled, “GO! GO! GO!”

"Danny run!" shouted Molly from the school's main door. Molly was Danny's best friend and the one always helping to keep him out of trouble. "You'll be late again if you don't hurry!" Danny turned to say goodbye to his dad but the van was already screeching around the corner and headed out of sight. Quickly he started running toward Molly. She waved him down the…

The Light

The Light By Nabih Saliba
I light the path for all to see They shall not trip because of me How great I am that darkness flee I do all this without a fee
And so it went each night for lamp Who proudly thought itself a champ But then one evening came a tramp His clothes were worn, and torn, and damp
He staggered left, he stumbled right He should not try to walk at night The drunkard fell into the light Thrown from the lamp with disdain bright
Why should I help this man below? He’s far beneath me don’t you know His lesser breeding clearly show This beggar can’t deserve my glow
And so the lamp let darkness fall On he who lay there in a ball As shadows grew both thin and tall The lamp stood off for one and all
Then suddenly the night time fled

Untitled Story pt.2

This is another installment of my "Untitled Story." The preceding portion can be found here.

Gregory Santo sighed at the stack of parchment glaring at him from his desk. This latest batch of border reports would seem less daunting if it represented more than a single day. Looking around his cramped workspace revealed similar piles stacked on chairs, overflowing shelves and collecting dust in the darkened corners of his time room. The Council had assigned him the honor of serving as interim security coordinator but any comfort taken from the position being temporary faded little over five years ago.

Pushing his chair away from the desk, the young acolyte stood and picked his way across the room to a leaded window. Throwing the latch, Gregory swung open the small porthole hopeful that the stacks of paper behind him would suddenly rush through it to freedom. Barely a rustle could be heard as the night air was heavy and unmoving. Father Santo sighed deeply and watched the sun thro…