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Operation: Recruitment

Operation: Recruitment

“Dude, Red… you skipped class again?” asked Eli as he slung his backpack onto the couch.

“Didn't feel like it,” Red replied.

Red was staring at the center of three video monitors. The monitor on the left had a paused position of a zombie based first person shooter game. The screen on his right was engaged in a massive data download. The screen that occupied his attention, though, was asking for a password.

Eli plopped onto the couch. ”Man,” he said, “you missed it. There’s a new TA in Bexley’s class. She’s got boobs bigger than your mom. And she’s like ten times hotter than Josh’s sister.”

Red pushed a few keystrokes on the keyboard to the right and the data dump screen disappeared to be replaced with a familiar naughty video clip.

“You mean hotter than this?” Red asked.

Eli cracked up.

Eli conceded, “alright, not hotter than that. But close.”

Red ended the sequence with a few keystrokes on the computer. He broke into a slight smile at making his buddy laugh.

“Seriously, though, dude,” Eli said, moving to the fridge and grabbing a soda, “there’s only so much Bexley is going to take before he doesn’t recommend you for the top job… regardless of your mad skills. The dude is a bit of a hard ass and I know you want to get paid.”

“Laid… I said I wanted to get laid”, responded Red.

“Well, there’s no hope for that… especially when you veg in front of a computer all damn day,” replied Eli, “What are you going to use for a pickup line… watch how many keystrokes I can do?”

Red was amused now.

“Worked on your mom,” he replied.

An uneen hand moves quickly and the adult clip was once again on the third screen with a bit louder volume than before. Suddenly the image is replaced with an animated sequence of a red bearded pirate with a parrot on his shoulder.

The parrot squawked, “Ahrrrr. You’ve been hacked, matey!”

The animation then showed the pirate stabbing the parrot through the chest and the parrot as a bloody skewer on the pirate’s sword. The pirate’s mouth moved as a clip of Monty Python’s audio announces, “This is an ex-parrot!”

“You keep peeking into stuff you shouldn’t and you might be getting your degree beside a guy named Bubba that keeps calling you Tiffany,” remarked Eli.

A loud ringtone rang out with the sounds of gangsta rap from Eli’s belt.

“Monkey…” Eli responded putting the camera to his face, “Oh, no way!” He exclaimed, “dude, this is the girl I am telling you about. Check her out!”

Red got up from his commander’s chair and walked over to Eli and looked at the video streaming on Eli’s phone. There was a voluptuous brown haired girl eating at a familiar fast food restaurant.

“Wow!” Red exclaimed, “She is hotter than Josh’s sister!” He walked over to the third keyboard and started typing and clicking. “I’m saving this. Monkey is the man,” he said, “tell him he’s a perv and to stop taking upskirt shots! Screw it. I’m hungry. Let’s go down.”

Moving quickly, the two leave the dorm room and head down the stairwell.

* * * * *

Monkey made sure the hallway was clear before he moved to the recently vacated dorm room. Punching in the code the door opened slightly with the gentle click of the lock. Monkey quickly entered shutting the door behind him and made his way to the computer desk and began moving the computer mouse of the third computer. The obscene screensaver quickly gave way to a darkened screen that left nothing more than a prompt.

‘Password’, Monkey thought to himself. Looking quickly at the other two screens, he noticed that one was asking for a password and the other was frozen mid-game in the latest zombie kill-fest game. A light bulb went off in Monkey’s head. He quickly ducked his head below the desk and looked at the connections to the hard drives.

* * * * *

Eli and Red got into the car and the stereo was blasting upon ignition. Eli bolted out of his parking space and butted the tail end of a campus security vehicle.

“Ahhh… man,” Eli said, “you’ve got to be kidding me.”

“Dude… what did you do?” asked Red.

The campus officer walked over to their car with a frown. The officer instructed the two to get out of the car and asked Eli to provide him with the usual documentation. Eli was surprised to find that his wallet was missing… and that it was not in his car. The campus security guy seemed to believe Eli. Eli explained that it was probably in his backpack, and that it wouldn’t take him 2 minutes to retrieve it. The officer asked the two to get in the back of the cruiser and they complied. Looking over the documentation, he looked at Eli in the eye from the rear view mirror for what seemed like a minute. He told Eli that he would trust him to go look for his license while Red filled out an accident report.

Red said, “You bail on me and I will kill you, dude.”

* * * * *

‘Lazy is just as good as stupid, I suppose,’ Monkey thought. The LAN connections were still intact from the last time they all played together. Monkey quickly got upright and began tapping away at the first screen. The zombie game was quickly replaced with a window full of folders. The mother lode of Red's work was all there before his eyes.

Monkey was amused. How many times did he compliment Red on his skills, the swiftness of his computer? It was going to pay off now. ‘The ego has landed,’ he thought.

* * * * *

Eli burst through the door into the dorm hall. He quickly made his way to the east stairwell and tromped up the stairs. He made his way to the third floor and saw Daniel Stevens sitting on the third floor stoop in his normal Titans' jersey.

“Eli… long time, no see,” Daniel said.

Eli felt a sledgehammer hit his chest. “Dude, I… I haven’t got it just yet, but I’m working on it-t-t... really.”

“You owe me a lot of money, man. I told you Villanova was a stupid bet… but did you listen?” asked Daniel as he rose to his feet.

* * * * *

With a few keystrokes the disc he had inserted was finished. Monkey was smiling… all of the tricks of the master were going to be his. Monkey was already thumbing the brochures in his head… ‘Which country had tropical beaches, great extradition laws, and a bandwidth good enough to launch decent size spambots?’ he asked himself.

‘Hold on… what have we here… the object of your recent work if that timestamp is any indication,’ Monkey mused as he looked at a new file of folders.

* * * * *

Eli turned to run down the stairs, only to see Curious George, Daniel’s favorite muscle, step into the stairwell from the second floor door. George got his name from his ape like shape and his curiosity in the field of applied pain… something Eli didn’t want to know anymore about if he could avoid it.

George put a fire axe through the door handle to block further intrusions. Rather, than face George, Eli turned towards Daniel, who was now flanked by two other goons who were moving towards him.

* * * * *

“So, Mr. McCarthy… have you given much thought to your future?” asked the campus officer in a tone unlike Red had heard from the man.

“Er, uh… no,” Red lied. Patrick "Red" McCarthy had something in his bones that made him sense trouble and something in his mind that made him lie when he sensed trouble. He was thankful for both, but neither thing was helping him at this moment.

“What if I offered you something right here and now…” asked the officer, “something that would be double what you are going to be offered next week by Microsoft and 50% more than Lexis Nexis is going to offer you after that?”

“Uhhh… I… uhhh would have to consider it,” Red replied nervously.

The officer looked disappointed.

“Time is a thing we do not have, unfortunately,” replied the officer flicking on a monitor inside the car.

A streaming image came on of the two goons hanging Eli by his feet over the third floor stairwell.

“Well… Eli doesn’t have time. You recognize the gentleman in the Titans' jersey of course, that’s Daniel Stevens,” remarked the officer, “Eli, well, it appears as if his whole life has turned upside down… literally. Now we can make this go away as a… a signing bonus with our company, as well as your considerable debt to Mr. Stevens… if you can only pledge your commitment to our team. We need men with your talents, Mr. McCarthy.”

* * * * *

A file folder with the name Operation_Shell_Game got a well deserved right click of curiosity. Monkey inserted another disc, copied the file and switched in another disc of red herrings he developed as part of an experiment he performed to try to mess around with a few conspiracy theorists when he was 13. A few choice clicks later he chose a particular favorite and uploaded the ringer.

The file was about the same size as the stolen file… a quick name change and a history dump, and Red would never know anything happened at all. Monkey made the final adjustments, slid the discs back into his backpack, and made his way out and into the western stairwell unseen.

* * * * *

“O.K…. I-I-I’ll work for you,” replied Red, “Just don’t hurt Eli.”

Wow, you've got a lot of

Wow, you've got a lot of great stuff happening here. Love the details you've added to the world (the pirate and parrot animation, etc.) which help to make it concrete. Eli and Red are great characters. Believable as friends, but wily enough to make us really wonder if they might rat out on each other, even if they'd try to make up for it right away.

And then we have some great other questions: what exactly will Monkey do next? And what sort of work is Red getting recruited for?

A great start. Moves fast, draws you in, definitely makes you want to know what happens next.

No problem!

It's no problem for me to comment on your stuff, because I like it. Give me more.

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