Static Breaker
Christian Martin
(1 reviews)
Caleb Wenright is being observed. Someone known only as Lucidity has shown an interest in him. He ... Show More
Genres:
Adventure, Cross-Genre, Mystery, Sci Fi, Thriller, Young Adult
Tags:
cyberpunk, near-future, conspiracy, china, computers, hacking, internet, computer, city, digital

Chapter 1

//SysLib: Affirmative... Amn privilege level confirmed. Tier 4 content locks withdrawn. Limited access granted. You may begin content query.

>Query content level 4.

//SysLib: Query section accepted. Level 4 available.

>Query "Obscurity".

//SysLib: One moment please. Searching...
...
...
...
Search complete. Desired content tag detected. Content withdrawn from database. Would you like to view the file?

>-Start File-

//SysLib: Command accepted. Opening file...



Caleb Wenright woke with the morning sun in his eyes. Squinting, he kicked at the shades over the window at the edge of his bed until they shifted to cover the crack. He rolled over and shut his eyes, but it was too late. He was awake. He lifted himself and headed with a yawn across the cream-colored carpet toward the bathroom connected with his bedroom. A minute later, he came out and dropped into the chair in front of his desk. He wiggled the mouse to wake his computer. He glanced at the time. It was 9am. Way too early.

An alert popped up to tell him one of his friends was on. Ignoring it, he opened his inbox. He scanned the page then paused when he found something odd. He opened a chat to Marcos.


Caleb: I think someone’s been getting into my mail...

Alvarez-san: Wha? Why?

Caleb: Over the last month I’ve noticed some weird things going on with my account. I thought it must’ve been a glitch but it keeps happening.

Alvarez-san: What kinda things are you talking about?

Caleb: The first time I saw something was when my inbox filter was set differently. A few times after that, I found a few msgs in my junk folder when they shouldn’t be there.

Alvarez-san: Krazy... How come you just mention it now?

Caleb: Like I said, I thought they were just glitches or something. It only happened maybe once a week. When I checked now though there were like 6 msgs that I haven’t even seen and it says I’ve already read them all... There’s a pattern to the msgs that are read too. It’s all only stuff from my family and friends. They ignore all the spam and chain letters. Someone must be hacking the mail site or something.

Alvarez-san: Nah, it would take some serious skillz to get into INS directly. Thats one of the biggest mail databases there are. More likely they got a hold of your pass. Have you tried checking when it says you last signed in?

Caleb: Ah, good idea. Lemme check.

Caleb: Damn... It says 4:15am... Last time I got on was 6 last night.

Alvarez-san: Sick. That proves it then. Well, know anyone who’d want into your account?

Caleb: No.

Alvarez-san: Enemies? Leana, maybe? ; )

Caleb: She wouldn’t do that and I don’t have any enemies.

Alvarez-san: Ya sure? You might have driven her to it. Staying up till 4 spying on her ex. Even breaking the INS security walls just to see what youre up to. Love can make ppl do some crazy things.

Caleb: ... It wasn’t her.

Alvarez-san: Positive? Might want to check your room for bugs.

Caleb: This isn’t a joke Marcos!

Alvarez-san: lol alright alright. Ill help ya find out whats goin on. Ur so lucky to have a friend with such epic skillz.

Caleb: Yeah... lucky. So can you come help me?

Alvarez-san: You think I would leave you out to dry? Be there in a sec. Peace.

*Alvarez-san has logged out*



Caleb leaned back in his chair, stared silently at the wall, and took a slow breath. Particles of dust drifted through a ribbon of light nearby.

Leana.

It seemed like barely any time passed before Marcos quickly opened the door to Caleb’s room, walked in, unslung his pack, and tossed it onto Caleb’s bed.

Caleb jumped slightly in his chair and turned to face him. “Don’t you ever knock, man?” he asked.

“I did. Your mom let me in.”

“I mean on my door.”

Marcos shrugged and opened his backpack. “Not like you were doing anything.”

“No, nothing,” He returned after a pause.

“Dude, check this out.” Marcos carefully pulled a thin computer out of his pack. He kneeled at the edge of the bed and opened it. It was like two connected panels of frosted glass. There were no markings on either panel.

“Remember the notebook I was planning to get? Well I ordered it Tuesday and here it is. Just got it in this morning. The newest Zephyr model I520.” He pressed his palm down for a second on the center of the lower panel and a small green light began blinking in the center of the upper panel. He rubbed his hands together. “This gives me chills every time.”

The green light stopped blinking then spread out from the center of the panel until the whole thing glowed green. The brightness dimmed a little and a rolling plain of golden grass unfolded across the screen. A single tree stood in the center of the field, its white leaves swaying in the wind along with the tall grass. The bottom panel also lit up, displaying the standard keyboard layout, but then the image of the keys lifted from the panel and simply floated a few centimeters above it.

“Holographic keys!” Marcos said, smiling. “Isn’t this thing sweet? This notebook’s more powerful than five of your machines put together, and it’s less than half an inch thick closed. Nearly government grade, man. We’ll figure out who’s been hacking your account in no time with this baby.”

“Nice,” Caleb replied flatly, not too impressed with his bragging.

“So how much was it?”

“Money is no object. This thing’s priceless.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

Marcos didn’t seem to notice Caleb’s tone. He started typing without even turning from the screen.

“Alrighty,” Marcos said while standing up. “Connected to the INS database. Just log into your account real quick. I’ve got to go to the bathroom. I’ll check it out when I get back.” He walked past Caleb, into the bathroom, and shut the door.

Caleb rolled himself to the edge of the bed and typed in his information. He knew there would be no change from when he had checked fifteen minutes ago so he pushed himself back in front of his desk. His eyes drifted to the ceiling.

And his thoughts drifted back to her.

The bathroom door opened and Marcos retook his place in front of the notebook. He looked over the screen for a moment before speaking up. “Who’s Miranda?”

“Don’t know any.”

“Well, some chick with that name just emailed you.”
Message from Author:

Hey there. Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this chapter, please give it a +vote to show your support.

And if you REALLY enjoyed it, think about clicking that extra-sexy donate button. ;) You could throw me some change to help buy writing snacks.
Log in to add a comment or review for this chapter Chapter updated on: 9/29/2013 8:02:05 PM
  • Cristal Posada commented on :
    5/28/2015 8:32:54 PM
    i love the way in which you manage to grasp the reader's attention with this 1st chapter.
  • Ryan Watt commented on :
    4/28/2015 5:33:55 PM
    I read the first six chapters this morning offline. Intriguing premise so far. I really like the way you slowly reveal the structure of the world.
  • Zach Seemayer commented on :
    4/14/2015 9:39:04 AM
    Hooked by the first chapter. Near-future cyberpunk is such a specific niche genre, when I can find stuff I like, it's rewarding. Can't wait to keep reading on.
    • Christian Martin Please do, and tell me what you think of the rest. Also, what are some of your favorite stories in the genre?
      4/14/2015 10:43:18 PM
    • Zach Seemayer Well there is a great sci-fi novel (it's not near-future, but it's one of the best cyberpunk/drugpunk stories) called 'RX: A Tale of Electronegativity' -- It's by Robert Brockway and it's mindblowing. Also, Dr. Adder by K.W. Jeter is amazing too (like most things by K.W. Jeter). But it's so hard to tell story like the one you're writing, and it's really good.
      4/16/2015 7:57:11 AM
    • Christian Martin Very cool. One of my favorites is Cory Doctorow's Little Brother.
      4/18/2015 6:15:34 PM
  • Andre Clemons commented on :
    4/15/2015 3:03:40 AM
    So much you've managed to establish within the opening chapter! I like the rapport between Caleb & Marcos and how analytical your prose is. It's definitely hooked me enough to keep reading...
  • Stephen Barrett commented on :
    4/10/2015 1:47:52 AM
    Great first chapter. Very smooth and I really dig Caleb and Marcos' characters . . the elusive Leana . . Excited for more!
    • Christian Martin Glad you liked it. Please let me know what you think of the rest.
      4/12/2015 4:54:35 AM
  • 5/31/2015 3:02:58 AM
    Strong opening, I was drawn in simply because I wanted to know who was searching what and to what purpose. The relationship between Caleb and Marcos is very organic, ... Show More