August 9, 2299
"So, here's the deal," the Garbage Man said. "This Geotech place is keepin' all the files related to this new secret contract on a protected server inside their office building. You need to get in, grab the goods, and transfer the files t' my organization."
"Sounds simple enough," Fishhook said.
"Ain't as simple as it sounds," the Garbage Man went on. "You gotta be off-site, far enough out of range of their networks that they can't wirelessly capture the packets when you transmit 'em." She turned to the darkened doorway behind her. " Raina NT407X , come out here, would ya?"
Emerging from the shadows of the back room of the Trash Can came a female bioroid, her eyes covered with a large VR interface. "Yes, boss?" she asked, casting her gaze around the room at G00dw;ll, Fishhook, and Rook.
"You're gonna sysop this mission for these gentlemen, understood? Set up a secure line, get the protected server ready, and give 'em whatever info you can find." The Garbage Man turned back to the three men. "Raina's the best there is. Bioroid designed specifically for systems interface tasks, and she's been sysopping for my org for three years now. You'd be amazed what she knows, but she don't do anything off-book, y'hear?"
"Glad to be of service," said Raina, flashing a smile. A moment later, G00dw;ll's wireless console chimed from under his arm. "I've just dropped you a contact packet. Let me know if there's any information I can provide."
"Anything you can get for us from the public record for Geotech would be helpful," G00dw;ll said, snapping open his console and checking in the packet. "I'm going to see what my friends have to say about this place."
"Fine, good. Just don't do it here," the Garbage Man said. "Talk to Raina if y'need anything. The next time I hear from ya, it better be confirmation you delivered that data pack."
G00dw;ll set himself up at one of his hideaways and dove into the underbelly of the Net. He had friends, and lots of them, spread out all across New Angeles just searching for information. For this one, though, he knew just the friend to get the info he was looking for.
While he waited, G00dw;ll downloaded the briefing packet from Raina, the Garbage Man's sysop. The information was basic, and remarkably sketchy. In business three years. No major corporate harassment. No paper trail leading to any megacorps. Official stated purpose: geological survey and engineering for the greater New Angeles area.
The day of the failed job. G00dw;ll's stomach sank. Could it be? Did Geotech just hire the runner who burned him, the same day she'd gotten away scot-free?
"Fuck me," G00dw;ll said aloud.
Arthur "Fishhook" Kingston strolled down Hypatia Blvd, doing his best to blend in with the crowds. It wasn't difficult. He might have been better dressed than most of them, but this neighborhood was ritzy enough that no one batted an eye.
The target, Geotech, owned the third floor of an office building at the end of the block. G00dw;ll had wised him to Geotech's closed job postings, particularly the security one. His ex-military background gave him a great excuse to go talk with them, even if the posting was closed. You could never have too much security, after all.
It never hurt to get a really good look at the neighborhood before hitting a target. Fishhook took his time, surveying the landscape, really understanding the lay of the land before he made a single move.
Trollc0re had given him some good info, but it wasn't enough. G00dw;ll needed more.
He would have to try and get it himself.
Loading up his icebreakers, G00dw;ll launched a new anonymous proxy and routed all of its traffic halfway around the world before it came back to his console. But he didn't go after Geotech directly—oh no. He monitored it from afar, watching its traffic patterns, and then targeted an intermediary routing server that Geotech's traffic pinged off regularly.
Routing servers didn't usually have much in the way of sophisticated ICE, because they didn't hold on to information—they just passed it through. But G00dw;ll had a trick up his sleeve. His fingers flying over his keys, he infiltrated the routing server and installed a low-level packet sniffer tied to Geotech's physical network ID. As they passed through the almost-passive sniffer, a higher-level program fired off copies of the packets to his local storage.
Based on the modified-date stamps on the packets, G00dw;ll was pretty sure that Geotech was doing some kind of remote backup. They were old, six months old in fact, files. He couldn't see the information yet, but he continued collecting the data, letting his local storage fill with as much sensitive, encrypted data as possible.
After almost ten minutes of straight information download, a message came through on his console.
He froze for an instant, petrified. What had he left open? Panic froze him solid.
Then he snapped back to reality. Burning everything, he torched his connections, deleted his proxy, and slammed his console closed. Tucking it under his arm, he ran.
So much for that hideout.