Friday, 13 August 2010

A Curious Tale... 5.

Exams were fly. I breezed through them like a certain Mr. Bolt used to breeze through world records at some time in a millennium long past. I had Dante, who as I said, was an understated genius. Due to her efforts, I was a genius too.
It was immediately after my final paper that Blake showed up again. With a smirk on his face that could only mean one thing. Trouble. He was waiting outside the hall for me, so I couldn't run away. he stretched out his hand when I came out. I took it. There's no point in antagonising the enemy when he can easily abuse his power over you. I wasn't taking any chances.
"You've consistently had the best results in your class" Blake said. "How do you do it?"
"I study."
"That's what everyone says."
"How many of them are consistent?" I asked.
"Good point," he conceded.
We walked along the school corridor in silence. When we got to the front door I turned in the general direction of my apartment.
"I wouldn't go that way if I were you" he said.
"There are twenty four police officers outside your apartment waiting for you to get there."
This I hadn't expected.
"Why are you telling me this?"
"I know you may have been involved in this crime, but I also know you didn't actually commit it. I would like to catch you committing a crime, it would give me no pleasure to lock you up for a crime you didn't get your hands dirty with."
I stood and looked at the man. He didn't like his job, he relished it. He got the same kinda buzz from it that I got from a successful felony. You had to respect his nerve. If he got caught doing this he would definitely lose his job, if not his entire life. You rarely got a second chance in this overpopulated society, they just shipped you off to a harvesting asylum, where you were dismembered and used as spare parts for some righteous upstanding citizen.
"Go home" Blake said, snapping me out of my thoughts. "One of your friends squealed, that's why we're back. I'll be outside your home to take you into custody, but I'll ensure you're sprung."
I kept quiet and let him talk.
"Please commit another crime," he continued, and I had to smile. "It would be a pleasure to cuff you and end your devious life."
I called Dante, Drake and Jay and asked them to meet me near my place. Dante said she was already there and the place was crawling with cops. I told her to wait for me. Jay said he'd be there. Drake made an excuse. He said he needed to drive a client to a party and he might see me later.  I smiled when I geolocated him with his phone. He was at home and didn't leave throughout my journey home.
I told Dante and Jay that Drake had exposed us and Jay was incredulous. He couldn't believe that silent Drake had snitched. I told him to calm down. Drake hadn't been in on the whole plan, he just knew that he would get his cut after graduation. It had been Dante's plan, from a tiny idea I'd had while ribbing Jay. Drake was brought in for the muscle. Somewhere in his tiny mind he must have cracked, thought the cops would let him go if he told what he knew. He may even have thought he would still get his cash. Stupid oaf.
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Saturday, 7 August 2010

A Curious Tale... 4.

My clothes were dropping off me as I entered the apartment. I needed a shower. I'd been terrified. I might have built my meagre resources around a life of petty yet ingenious crime, but I was daily terrified of being caught. And I'd been caught today, only I hadn't been actively involved in the crime. I had a hot shower, then switched to a cold flow half way through. I read about that in some ancient British series of books about some incredibly lame aristocrat who kept on being almost killed but somehow always came back to save the government's sorry behind. I like him. He broke the law constantly, although he was always on the law's side. I would like to be him, but first I need to earn enough money to become an aristocrat, or at least rich, as rich people no longer had the pleasure of bullying poor people.
I walked out of the shower and picked up the various items of clothing I'd strewn all over the place and chucked them all down the laundry chute without checking in the pockets. I didn't want to remember anything about the night. Except the money of course, but that wouldn't come for a while. I dropped my towel and was rummaging through my drawer for a fresh pair of shorts when someone tapped me on the shoulder. A jumped a foot, but I'm sure I had an out of body experience before I turned round and realised it was Dante. Of course it was her. No one else had the codes to my apartment. I pulled on the shorts I had found and sat down on the bed. I was upset, and she knew I was. I got the impression she knew I was going to be upset even before I made up my mind to be upset. It was unnerving sometimes, the way she just knew me.
"We did it", she said.
I smiled.

Blake dropped by the apartment several times that week, and I was trying to study for exams, so I told him off. He told me I was the subject of a federal investigation, and I just laughed in his face. He was definitely aware of some of the other heists I'd been involved in, but since those cases had been long closed he didn't bother to go into them, but that didn't stop him from making dark and threatening references to the Oracle debacle, which of course I'd orchestrated.
I'd thought it amazing that Oracle databases were still being used for by so many traditional banking institutions, so I decided to do something about it. I studied Oracle databases to the highest level, with Dante's help of course. She's the most understated genius ever. I found that because Oracle had adopted cloud databases early with little real competition except from open source providers, they'd been a bit lax. It was simplicity itself to present myself at Oracle headquarters as a QSA agent, and with that I was able to obtain access codes for several employees. From there it was a simple matter of trawling through their records for any slip ups, and I found plenty. You know when you spring a leak, it doesn't take long to turn into a torrent. And that's how it was. I was able to get deeper and deeper into their records, and eventually into client databases... Bank accounts were only for the very rich, everyone else being subject to the UDCS. So I transfered several millions in credits to a fresh record, and made several purchases under a false name and had them delivered to a warehouse. Dante helped me transfer my internet protocols to some sorry sod's records and I was in the clear.
The next day I'd heard a knock on my door and Jason had found us. It was his dad we'd sent to jail, and for some reason he wouldn't tell us, he was eternally grateful. So I found someone who could have done in a couple of days what took me a matter of months.
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