A Boeing 777 floated over the grey skies. The night was deep blue and below the clouds flickers of light. A lone bat descended through layers of skies until it entered an opening in the roof of a two bedroomed house.
Two floors below the house, a red blip appeared on a screen. On an adjacent screen green night vision images showed a bat.
“Bats.” The tall dark lean man commented. Seven screens were arranged in front of him like a panel. He pushed up the thick framed spectacles from the top of his nose and observed the screens. Some were black with lines of command prompt code running. Some had visuals from cameras. Some seemed to be displaying progress bars.
As he swirled on his swivel chair, a beep came on another of his screens.
Code blue. Data Wipe. Server hack. My handles. Return favour.
“What has he got himself into this time?” the dark man grunted. After which he pulled out a plastic keyboard pressed some buttons and one of the screens opened up Facebook and Twitter. His eyes darted left and right, up and down and he smacked the long black platform that held the screens.
“What in Hawking’s name?!!!…Manslaughter?”
He pulled up to a screen and kept typing with his plastic keyboard.
Last Whatsapp text.
He read the contents in disbelief.
“What was this stupid kid thinking?
I mean I have never hacked a Whatsapp server before. He’s asking me to hack a server all the way in California. A server with the most complicated security algorithms. Bloody hell, this kid wants me arrested.”
He looked at the screen with the text again. Two words in particular stood out. Return favour.
He shot up from his swivel seat, headed for a door that was right behind the screen panel and returned in a two minutes with a bottle of Jameson and a whisky glass in his hand. He placed the bottle on a special contraption on the platform and placed the glass under it.
“3 shots please,” he said, and the contraption turned and poured into the glass.
He removed the glass, drank everything at once and turned to one screen that was black with only command line code on it. He began typing, furiously. Lots of <s and >s and open‘s and dir‘s and pings. He typed with his eyes pressed onto the screen. After a while, he looked down on the Casio on his left arm, set a timer and continued.
It was a beep that made his head shoot up. He looked at the wall next to the door behind the platform and saw it was 5am on a clock in the form of Darth Vader’s face.
“Running a little slow tonight, dammit!”
He kept typing and typing until his Casio finally let out its alarm sound.
“Ha I beat it this time.”
He was looking at a blinking cursor on the screen. Before it, the words -“runscript.exe”. He pressed the return button on the keyboard and saw lines of code start to write themselves. They took over the whole screen and kept running. He looked at the Casio again, set another time and swirled in his chair.
Another beep and he looked at the clock. 8am.
Just then a very tiny beep and the screen displayed “script complete.”
An hour later at the police station, the thick short man in khaki was confused.
“There’s nothing on his phone.” A colleague from the next cubicle shouted and said, “Check hers. She received it.”
“Nothing. We have nothing to continue. There is nothing!!”
His colleague, stood up from his cubicle. He was a brown man with thick features and several pips. He gaped at his workmate for a minute and said,
“This is getting complicated. We need to contact the engineers at Whatsapp. At least it is on the server?”
As the two officers looked at themselves in contemplation, an audio was being received in a newsroom. A lanky man stood up and shouted
“New headline : Manslaughter Case in the Balance. Whatsapps did not exist.”