NationStates Jolt Archive

Acceptable Levels of Risk

The Most Glorious Hack
24-07-2004, 07:35
Section 3 HQ, Corporate Spire, Chiba City, The Most Glorious Hack

Mikhael brooded over a cup of luke-warm coffee, wondering where the next headache would come from. He shrugged mildly, At least I wasn't hallucinating with that stuff in Eurusea... He blinked as he noticed an incoming trasmition from c-space, aparently from Devon Treznor. He activated the secure line and answered.

"Devon... good to hear from you. I've heard you've had some... difficulties."

"News travels fast, I see."

Mikhael smirks, "Marcus likes to keep up on local events, and that clearly was an 'event'."

"No doubt. How bad was the leak? How much was revealed, do you know?"

"I don't think it was too bad, really." A shrug, "I filled in a couple blanks myself, and our agents are nothing if not descreet."

"I didn't ask that. Things got out of hand, and I'd like an unbiased opinion on what was seen. What was noted out of the ordinary?"

"Well... the current stories seem very vague and undefined. No names are given, just that two people beat the shit out of each other in the middle of the plaza. People are saying that they were superhuman, so it was either something impossible, or someone's making a movie."

"Hmm...all right, thank you. Now for the reason I called. I have a job that can only be accomplished by someone of your unique and...expensive talents."

"I had hoped as much." Mikhael was pleased, it'd been awhile since he had been given a project. "What can I do for my favorite sponser?"

"I want to put a virus into Alkanphel's computers."

Mikhael coughs, nearly choking on his coffee, "That is... no small request, Emporer."

"Naturally. I wouldn't expect you to do it alone. I'll pay whatever it costs. And security is paramount, so I won't ask you to take any unreasonable risks. It doesn't need to happen tomorrow, but what I need is a spy in the Five Kingdoms' network. Something that will track Alkanphel's movements and report them back to me."

"Hmm. I'm not fully familiar with their systems, OS's and the like, but I would assume it's possible. Anything can be hacked, provided one has enough talent. And resources."

"That's what I'm hoping to hear. I trust you have the talent, and I'll pay for the resources. This has to be the cleanest job you've ever done, Mikhael. The cleaner it is, the safer we'll all be."

"I can see that, yes." Mikhael paused, pondering the rest of his responce, "This will be... complicated. I'll need to gain access to their networks to deposit the virus and move from there. I'll certainly be calling in favors and talent. This will, likely, be big. I'll need Alysa's help, as well as a team to do the actual insertion as I doubt I can do it remotely."

"You've got a blank check, Mikhael. I'm looking for results, and you're the only one I trust to get them for me."

"Let me do some preliminary digging, testing, and research, and I'll give you an idea as to chance of success. Judging by the connection you're using, I think it would be best if you contacted me for results. Give me a day or two."

"Done. See you again in 48 hours."

"I look forward to hearing from you."

Back on the Bitstreams, Treznor cuts the connection and ponders. It could almost be called brooding.

Hack Information Technology Center, Marshal City, GMC Military Arms

A sealed package was dropped on Polly's desk, the delivery man looking more than a little put off by the smiling Naga 'sitting' behind the desk. She signed for it and looked at it, a little confused, but shrugging nonetheless. Rising from her chair, she slithers into Alysa's office.

"I've got a package for you, Aly-chan. Very mysteeeeeeeerioussssss..." grinning as she overaccents the sibilent sound.

Alysa looks up from her desk, appearing a little lost behind mounds of paperwork, charts, binders, and other things. She sighs, "Now what? More Starblade nonsense?"

Polly shook her head, "No, this is from the Hack." She shrugs, "Nothing else for the return address."

Alysa sighs again and takes it, "Thanks, Polly." Polly smiles and slithers back out, closing the door behind her.

The package contained a dataspike. The last time she had received one of these it had been for a 'special project' for Section 3. Not an entirely legal one either. It was a perfectly secure way of sending a message and being sure that only the right person accessed it. After all, a curious person would have to be psychic, have a Hack-made datajack, and have her DNA. She locked the door to her office and gingerly plugged the small spike into the back of her neck. She had been right, it was a brief message from Mikhael Aronofsky.

"Alysa, I'm pleased that you've gotten this spike. Things were easier when we shared a building, but no matter. I have another Special Project that I'd like your help on. This is a very sensitive matter, and will be our most difficult project to date. The risks are astronomical, but I find them... acceptable. If you agree, please get in touch with me in person. If that is too difficult, you know how to reach me using the Double-N. This will be the best piece of code you'll ever write, I hope you agree to come on board. I really hope you do, as this project will sink without your assistance. Contact me ASAP, please. Thank you."

Alysa slips the dataspike out of the back of her neck and sits lost in thought for several minutes before jacking into the Neural Network and working her way to the secure contact site for Mikhael.
Five Civilized Nations
24-07-2004, 17:56
The Most Glorious Hack
27-07-2004, 07:42
Hack Embassy, Devras, The Dominion

Marcus slowly looked over all information that he was trying to pull together into a reasonable and cohesive set. He was having a rather difficult time with it. The fight in the plaza ( was definately a Very Bad Thing and the Dominion was desperately trying to cover it up and/or explain it in any way possible. Aparently, the Emporer and the Lady had kept their augmentations hidden, so the recent near-war in broad daylight had gone a long way to exposing their true nature. Luckily most people had been too shocked by the action to try and figure out the actors. The occational hints of a movie being filmed dropped by his agents seemed to be helping too.

Connected with this, he had a curious message from the Hack concerning a black bag operation that Section 3 wanted his assistance with. This was the sort of thing that would cause a citizen to vanish and never return. As a foreign diplomat, and one liked by the Lady, he would probably just be deported. The damage to the NDA in general and Hack/Dominion relations specifically would probably be far more dramatic. Tact and stealth were the words of the day.

Especially since one was black bagging the rooms of representatives from the Five Kingdoms. Which were located in the Dominion's Royal Palace.

Marcus sighed. Slipping the knife to one ally, while supporting another, and spying on a non-alligned nation that tends towards hostility. He cried out to nobody in particular, "How in the name of N'Kai is this a good idea?!" He lets out a loud 'bah!' and knocks the papers from his desk, stalking downstairs, waving off surprized attendants.

Suburbs of Marshal City, GMC Military Arms

Alysa sat at a non-networked computer, typing furiously, a large, half empty cup of coffee beside her, cursing softly under her breath. She was in one of the spare rooms in the house, the door locked. It wasn't really necessary to have it locked anymore, nobody should be up at three in the morning, but she hadn't paused from her work to bother unlocking it. She really shouldn't be coding this monster at home, but she wanted to get as much done as possible before she had to leave for the Hack. Since she hated leaving her family behind, she figured she could cut the trip short if the virus was largely completed by the time she got there.

Looking at the clock she sighed, "Fuck... it's late..." Rubbing her eyes and downing the last of her coffee she set back to work, making a mental note to try and get a copy of the operating system for the Five Kingdoms.
The Most Glorious Hack
31-07-2004, 07:24
Hack Embassy, Devras, The Dominion

The embassy was, essentially, on lockdown. All nonessential personel had been given time off (with pay), and no visitors were being granted access. The orders had come from Marcus, and he claimed that it was a training drill, ordered for all Hack embassies, supposedly from the office of Director Day. Several VIPs from the Hack's government were rumored to be visiting, but nobody could verify anything, and the PR people weren't saying a damn thing.

Jakob was standing on the roof of the building, fiddling with some strange looking equipment. He had been given the nickname of 'Mean Tech Guy' for his habit of calling anybody who wasn't on the cutting edge of technology use a luddite. He disdained the use of paper, for instance. Currently he was scanning the Dread Lady's palace, muttering softly to himself as he worked, "Come on... come on... where are you... gotcha!" He sniffer had picked up radiation signals from the palace. The information downloaded into the laptop computer beside him, where a few quick key taps translated it. "Bingo." He connected a data spike to a small port on the laptop, a downloaded the Five Kingdoms' operating system into the spike for Alysa's use.

Back inside, Marcus was having a quiet conversation with a few operatives from the Empire of Treznor. They were lowly agents to Devon, and had been sent in order to aid in the project. While Hack agents weren't adverse to the thought of blackbagging an imperial palace and possibly pissing off two major world powers (and in the process, three international organizations), Mikhael and Marcus prefered more pragmatic methods. The ties between the Empire and the Dominion were very tight, as were the leaders of the nations. Thus, it was far more likely that the imperial agents would bypass Nathicana's security systems with far greater ease than Hacker agents. Marcus, having become the de facto project leader, had decided that Devon's agents would be better suited. Especially since it allowed for plausible deniability. Alysa was programming on a machine that used the Empire's OS (simple enough as she had helped code it in the first place); this, coupled with imperial agents and Devon's obvious desire to keep track of Alkanphel's movements ment that most, if not all, of the the flak would be directed towards the Empire, as opposed to the Hack.

Shifting the blame, even to an ally, was perfectly pragmatic, after all.

Alysa's Imperial Construct, Neural Network, The Dominion

It was something of an ad hoc environment, really. The embassy in the Dominion hadn't been set up to accomidate the Hack's Neural Network, as none of the workers at the embassy were able to access it. In fact, the only embassy that was truly wired in was the one in GMC. However, Mikhael and Jacob had brought the proper equipment with them to set up a temporary Neural Network. Normally, they wouldn't have bothered, but Alysa could work faster, and better, in the double-N.

Working in this half-assed network with the imperial operating system wasn't the easiest thing that Aly had done. However, since she had done most of the work on her personal computer, and had recently aquired the Five Kingdoms' operating system, she felt reasonably comfortable with her environment. In fact, she was just about done.

An outside observer in her construct, wouldn't find much of interest. Aly's avatar was essentially floating in mid air with bits of code swirling around here as she grabbed bits and pieces of them, putting them together in the proper order, occationally adding new bits of code as she needed them. After about an hour, the code was finalized and she spent a moment admiring her work.

Turning to her left, a computer materialized, running the Five Kingdoms' system. She put a copy of the virus into it and looked over her work. Her avatar smiled thinly. It would work just fine. Logging out of the system, she gave a copy of the virus to Mikhael, to be given to the imperial agents.