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Hacker - Part 1

The man at the pulpit is screaming now. The same fiery hells and demons from last week, from last month, from last year. Don’t these people ever tire of it? I’m just glad my new dress has pockets, at least this way I can type on my phone while the preacher talks and the time isn’t a complete waste.

They say that everyone is evil, and that it’s all the same in the end. If that’s true then, I might as well enjoy it while it lasts. We stand, we sing, we sit, we stand, we file out from the church and into cars. Grace is said, lunch is had. Finally we’re home. Dad is downstairs screaming about something to Jacob, but I’m able to sneak up the stairs.

I pull my laptop out from under my bed. I carefully stick the USB in one of the ports, I push the power button holding down a function key. I select Tails, it takes a minute. Rachel and I promised each other we’d do everything right. We wouldn’t get caught.

We wanted to know, what people thought, what they really thought, the things they wouldn’t say in public. That’s how it started anyway. The preacher says god is always watching, well why shouldn’t anyone mind if we watch too.

We divided up the work. Rachel will figure out how to get my code onto as many computers as she can, and I’ll figure out how to make each of them listen listen. My dad’s study is filled with old, dusty books. One by one I took them and read them, always making sure to close the gap. Its safer if no one knows. I open a book, and pull up my code. I’m left to work and if anybody asks its just homework.

I’ve gotten the keylogger done, and the networking code. Each computer will try to find others and they’ll do it at normal hours, and try to blend in with everything else that’s happening.


At lunch we sit together. Rachel looks like she’s trying to disappear into her hoodie. People bustle past in the cafeteria.


Rachel sends me photos that night. “For the occasion” she titles them. Below the photos is a file. exploit-final.zip. In the photos she’s wearing the dress I lent her and a pair of heels. She looks happy.

M: Is this ready?

R: I ran all the tests. Give it code and it does the rest.

R: So, when should we do it?

M: Tomorrow?

R: Tomorrow

I run through the last checks. I read through the files carefully. I don’t want to miss anything. I paste my code into Rachel’s. Compress. I need a name for this, for all of this. god-is-watching.exe.

I send it to her.


I can barely focus in class. To everyone else its just a normal day. I look out the window at the parking lot. The trees blow back and forth in the wind. Nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing that can be seen anyway.

We have different lunches on Tuesdays, so I don’t get to see Rachel. I sit by myself, looking at everyone walking by. I wonder what I’ll learn about them.

At dinner, my dad says grace. “Dear lord, we know that each and every deed we do will be weight for good or ill in your kingdom to come. All will be revealed. All will be judged. We thank thee for this meal. Amen.” I chew my potatoes slowly. I try to hide my excitement and my hurry.

Up in my room, I pull out my computer. I wait for what feels like hours for Rachel to come online.

M: Ready?

R: I think so

M: How should we do this?

R: Count down?

M: 3

R: 2

M: 1

R: Liftoff!

A little box in my screen starts filling up with numbers, each a different machine in the school. I imagine the process like a wave of clear water crashing through the school, lifting everything in its path. Rachel and I say our good nights. Tomorrow, the real fun begins.