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Born Again Hacker

Written by Razer Steel


Hi. My name's Bob Knoble, and I own Keytron Labs... At least I used to own
them before I was driven out of the business by Moon Solutions.
It was a normal day at work. I'd come in, sat down with a cup of coffee and
read the mail. After a bit I went down to see how the programmers were
doing. We were working on a new type of Firewall, one that offered much more
protection than any other type of protection currently available, and it was
going quite well... Until, when I was talking to the lead programmer,
suddenly error messages appeared on all screens:

ERROR: Cannot find H:\ connection to sever was lost. C+++++ will quit now.
Do you want to save?

Did I want to save? Of course! I told everyone to save it on to their local
machines for the time being, but then there was another error message. Not
one of the computers would save. I phoned the Admin and he informed me that
someone had hacked in and deleted everything on our mainframe, after
planting some kind of virus, which proceded to eat away our entire network.
Two years work down the drain, and I was certain that it was Moon Solutions,
they were after all, working on their own improved Firewall. They must have
hired an Uplink agent, why the police don't just shut the place down I don't
know, oh yeah they keep saying they haven't got enough evidence, but that's
no real reason. They could just plant the evidence, that's how they managed
to get arrest half the hackers in jail, most are useless wannabes who
couldn't, if you'll excuse the pun, 'Hack it'. But some of the best hackers
have just had evidence planted on them, and then shipped of to some prison
way out to sea, just to get them out of the way.
Well as you can guess, I was slightly pissed off. I hadn't actually used
Uplink Agents before, my predecessor did though. He hired one to trace a
hacker just before he got arrested. I've heard rumors that the Hacker didn't
take to kindly to being traced, nuked the gateway of the hacker tracing him,
and then hacked into the Criminal Records database, altered my predecessor's
file, and ordered his arrest. Served him right anyway, never did like the
bloke. So anyway, I posted a message on Uplink's board to take down Moon
Solutions. And they did, so we paid him, well I say him, but it could have
been her. With a name like Razer, how can you tell? And set about working on
getting the business up and running again. With hindsight I suppose we
should have had a proper back-up system, on a machine not connected to the
network. As it was, we had nothing left. We did the best we could, and it
seemed to be going fine.
Well, as always happens when things are going well, something bad was about
to happen, I think it used to be called something like Murphy's Law;
Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. And boy did things ever go wrong.
A few days later I received a phone call from my bank, it seemed I was
several thousand overdrawn. Now I know I didn't move that money, so I asked
my accounts manager what had happened to it. He had no idea so I asked for a
full statement from the bank. It showed that all our money had been
transferred into my personal account. I immediatelly tried to transfer it
all back again, but it was no use. When I checked my account it had been
transferred again.
As you can guess, this left the company in some deep shit. I had no money
either, and was worrying about the bills. As it was I didn't have to worry
about paying the bills again. And not for a long while either. There I was,
sitting in the solitary confinement cell in that prison in the middle of the
ocean I told you about. They arrested me for high tech computer fraud, they
traced the money all the way to a seccondary acount in another bank, with my
name and details. Why was I in solitary? Well they placed me in a double
cell and I got chatting to my cellmate. He was a hacker who had worker for
Uplink, he called himself Razer (Ok, so I was right about that one being a
man) he told me about his last hack before being caught. Moon Solutions
hired him to ruin someones life by putting High Tech Fraud on his police
file, and isuing a warrant for his arrest. Then to steal all the money from
a firm's account and place it in another file. A Joint Job. Well I hit him
with one of the cups in the cell and he fell to the floor, and I kept on
hitting him until I was dragged off of him by the guards and thrown into
solitary. The man whose life he had been hired to ruin was Bob Knoble, the
owner of Keytron Labs, yes that's right. They had put me in the cell with
the man who brought down Keytron Labs, and if they let me out of solitary
again, I will kill him...

* * *

I lost track of time in solitary. It seemed like years, but was probably
only days, they fed me reguarily, and the bed was not uncomfortable. One day
I heard a commontion coming from outside. I didn't bother getting up, there
were no bars in the door, and the food hatch can only be opened with a
special key, from the outside obviously. But then the door opened and Razer
was standing there.
"Look mate, I don't know what your problem wiht me is, but forget about it
for now, let's escape and, if we both survive, then we can sort it out." He
stepped aside from the door, and I got up. I was sorely tempted to attack
him on the way out, but instead I decided it would be sweeter if he knew why
before I attacked him. Well we headed out and he told me what happened. One
of his friends on the outside, a Hacker named simply 'The One', had
attempted the impossible and hacked into the island's mainframe and released
all the prisoners, solitary cells needed a key though, so Razer had to grab
the keys and release them all. We ran through the prison, bodies of guards
were all over the place.
"Where are the ships, mate?" Razer was staring into a security camera.
"Go up to the roof, there is a set of stairs leading down the outside of
the building to a cave, the ships are moored in there, and watch out, not
only are there guards there, but one of the ones behind you is starting to
get up." The voice came through the speakers. Razer turned around and
planted a right into the guard's upturned face.
"Was that 'The One'?" I asked him.
"Yep, he owns the place now, we gotta act fast, don't know how long he can
maintain the connection before the trace gets too close."
"I'd say about another minute." The voice echoed off the walls again.
"Well don't worry about us, log off, Nuke your gateway and get the hell out
of your building, we'll meet at the usual place in one month. If I'm not
there, then this guy will be, if neither off us are... well start looking
for a new friend, we'll be fish food."
"Alright, I'll see you then." All the lights suddenly died.
"What's going on?" I asked.
"He's just nuked the computers here, the best way to cover your tracks when
in a hurry. Don't worry, I've got a couple of torches here." There was a
click and a thin beam of light shone in front of us. We headed off down the
passageway, and eventually made it to the roof. Several more guards had to
be dealt with on the way. I'm a bit ashamed to say I was no use, not having
worked out since I was at university I couldn't punch to save my life. But
Razer looked like he lived at the Gym. Not what I expected a hacker to look
like at all. When we got to the docking bay there was a massive fight going
on. There were no guns on the island, the automated defences would be able
to deal with any prisoner riots, but if the guards were carrying guns, any
riots could get out of hand. As it was, this riot had got out of hand and
the hundred or so guards there were fighting of several hundred prisoners.
The guards were doing surprisingly well against the inmates, these were,
after all, people who had been locked in cells for weeks, months, even years
in some cases. Several inmates were lying on the floor, most were just
unconscious, but a few looked like they wouldn't move again. Razer
immediately jumped into the Mêlée and proceeded to knock out several guards
before being jumped on by several. Now I may be no good in a fight, but
without thinking I lunged at a guard, dragged him off Razer, and threw him
into the water, we were right at the edge so don't think I did any kind of
amazing throw or anything, more like a strong shove.
By this time several other inmates had reached us and Razer was back on his
feet, blood streaming from a cut in his forehead, his left arm was hanging
at his side, broken. He grinned at me, thanked me, and ran at another guard.
I don't know why, but I felt like joining him. And I did, by the time they
were all unconscious I had received at least one broken rib, and my leg
could not support my weight. All the inmates split up, occupying all the
boats there. The wounded inmates were spread out among the boats, and we all
pulled away, heading off in different directions.
We weren't worried about persuit yet, the inmates had destroyed all
communication equipment before we left, but we didn't hang about, the supply
ship was due in two weeks, along with any new prisoners, we wanted to be as
far away as possible before then. We sailed for about two days before we
reached the coast, there was several argument during this time about our
direction, but Razer was adamant about where he wanted to go. We landed in
England, not far from Portsmouth. I won't bore with the details of our
travels, but two weeks after our escape we saw a broadcast on the news
detailing our escape. There were almost 100 dead inmates, and at least 50
dead guards, the one I threw into the water was missing, presumed dead.
Razer congratulated me on that, yeah I know I said I was going to kill him,
but we became friends during our escape. He stole a laptop not long after we
landed and set himself up online again. I asked him to show me how to hack,
he was suprised by that, asked what I was doing in that prison if I couldn't
hack. I then realised I hadn't told him my full name. When he found out he
appologised for what he had done.
On our way steadily south and west, my education as a hacker proceeded, I
called myself 'Born Again Hacker', for indeed my previous life was dead. We
eventually made our way to Brixham, a small town in a quaint little place in
Devon called Torbay, or The English Riviera as a flower bed by a roundabaout
said. We headed to the docks and Razer walked over to a man he saw leaning
against the rail.
"Thanks again, John." The man turned around, and seeing who it was, broke
into a massive grin and hugged Razer.
"Glad to see you're still around Justin." releasing him again he stepped
forward and offered his hand to me. "Hi! My name's John, excuse my
ill-mannered friend but he forgets to introduce new friends sometimes." I
took the hand and grinned.
"I must thank you too, my name is Bob." With that we headed off to John's
Bed and Breakfast room, B & Bs are something Brixham has in abundance. Along
with fish, and old people, probably one of the only things it has in
abundance. We chatted and I was welcomed into the Hacking community. The
rest, as they say, is history. I have built myself up to rank two in the
Uplink Agent list, Razer being number one. The One had to nuke his gateway a
week ago and is steadily climbing again. When I was skilled enough, the
first thing I did was to set the head of Moon Solutions up in the same way
he had me set up. Funilly enough he ended up in the same prison, but this
time there would be no riot, security was stepped up to such a degree that
not even a fly could get out. One day I may hack in there, just for the fun
of it, and watch the fellow rot. Some new guy took over Keytron Labs, but
Moon Solutions still beat them to releasing the new Firewall.
We've been on the run for about two years now, we have cleaned up our
records, but we can't alter people's memories, so we have to keep moving.
But for now, Arunmor has asked me to steal some file called Revelation from
ARC's Mainframe so I'd better get on with it. Wonder what it could be...


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