Sunday 21 September 2014

Short Fiction - Watch Dog by Jon Jefferson

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick /

Jon Jefferson's story 'Watchdog' was the third place winner in September 2013's short fiction contest.

Watch Dog by Jon Jefferson

It was never a good idea to go in through a public jack. In a perfect world Simon would have a place with untraceable lines set up so he wouldn't have to do it this way. This wasn't a perfect world and Shelly was paying him to get it done now.

He pulled back the cover on the  underside of his arm. The line popped out and connected to the input on its own. He plugged his deck into the bottom connection and pulled up the home screen. The world around him digitized as he adjusted his ready programs for the hack.

Breaking through the security apps at the cafe were not an issue. They were low grade watchdogs, he didn't need any black ice for them. He sent them chasing their digital tails.

Once you left the confines of the jack-in, the getting around the world was much easier than the average user could know. This was the playground of the hackers.

He grabbed onto a data stream and whisked away to the data base he would need. At least the cafe was near the Brankot Building. They rode on the same data streams. He only needed to hit a repository within the first level of encryption.

He was deep inside the data streams, time worked differently for him than it did for the outside world. It felt like forever for him to find the location he needed. While in the outside world only seconds had passed.

He was digging into the low level stuff so at most he would need a few watch dog apps to take out the locks. No problem really, his kid sister could have done this in her sleep.

As he was working through the third lock, something felt off. If he hadn't been digitized he would have sworn the little hairs on the back of his neck would have gone goose pimply.

The lock melted away. It wasn't his app. The thing melted from the inside out. A black dog chomped through the last of the lock. The thing was still hungry.

You couldn't send these doggies out chasing their tails. This was going to take a bit more work. He pulled up a shielding and fast attack app. He was ready for hand to mutt attack action.

It leapt at him, biting through the bottom of his shield. He struck out as well, taking a chunk out of its shoulder. His shield wasn't going to be much more than extra for the doggie to chew on.

He stepped back, a plan forming. The cyber dog lunged again. This time he was ready. He slammed his shield into the gaping maw forcing it open. He released the shielding into the attack app, then struck underneath the maw and shield into the throat of the problem.

His attack burned it out. The attack app winked out as he went back to the data base to pull up the information he needed.

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