Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The How to Steal the World Affair

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The How to Steal the World Affair

    The How to Steal the World Affair
    By John McNabb

    Nappy confidently walked down the sidewalk and then took the six steps down to the entrance to the Little Flower Tattoo Parlor at 2600 Broadway, New York City. He was tall, six foot four, medium build, wore a black tank top, to show off his colorful tats, over tight leather slacks, earrings, and kept his polarizing sunglasses on inside.

    In the backroom, he pushed on a concealed panel on the wall, which opened a sliding door. He stepped through into an elevator which quickly whisked him ten floors below the surface and into C0US1N headquarters carved out of the bedrock below Manhattan.

    “Nappy, there you are,” said Illy, his partner. Nappy eyed Illy lustily, taking in her skin tight leather slacks, all six foot two inches of her, and low-cut bustier which showed almost all of her substantial bosom. While Illy did have some tasteful tattoos on her arms, and earrings of course, there were no markings on her large well tanned breasts.

    “Tell me dear,” he said in a low voice, standing close behind her, “where do you hide a gun in that outfit?” Illy just rolled her eyes and turned away.

    “Thank you for coming, both of you,” said W, the head of Section One of C0US1N. He was dressed slightly more conservatively, in a brown tweed three piece suit and a brown bow tie, as he customarily dressed. W’s real name and identity was a closely guarded secret. He gave their tattoos a sharp look. Nappy and Illy shrugged, gave a mental command to their neurological implants, and the tattoos disappeared. Their neurological implants were powerful micro computers that also gave them direct mental control over a limited number of body conditions, allowing them to regulate breathing, adrenaline, and blood flow, as well as providing an always-on communications channel.

    “This briefing,” he continued, “is being viewed by thousands of C0US1N agents across the globe. Our decades long struggle against SHR1K3 may finally be reaching a conclusion, where we can win or lose the world. While we are confident that we can win a hacker v. hacker war with SHR1K3, we must never let down our guard.” C0US1N was a decades-old international police organization supported by nearly every nation on earth, because of the threat of world domination by SHR1K3 to the entire planet. C0US1N’s lead agents were an American, Nappy, and a Chinese-Russian, Illy.

    “Please permit us to first review some of the most significant battles against SHR1K3 over the last ten years, that have brought us to this point.” He nodded in Nappy’s direction.

    “In The Bring in the Clones Affair,” said Nappy, “we discovered by finally decrypting their cloaked communication channels that SHR1K3 had been developing human cloning technology in the Amazon for over twenty years in secret, and had just starting experimenting with accelerated growth methods to bring the clones to adulthood in less than five years. As many of you may recall, it was a very bloody fight that succeeded in wiping out the clones and destroying the facility.”

    “Are we really sure that we got them all?” asked an agent from Hong Kong, which Nappy picked up on his implanted comm unit embedded in his skull.

    “We are as sure as we can be,” Nappy said, looking at his hands.

    Illy then took over. “In The Night of the Zombies Affair, in West Africa, SHR1K3 had succeeded in producing a drug from teratodoxin, datura, and scopolamine that produced an effective zombie-like state that they used to create an army of thousands of zombies, that they planned to use to take over all of Africa. Fortunately, our scientists quickly found an antidote that was used in a mass aerial spraying to cure all those unfortunate people.”

    “Thank you Mr. N and Ms. I,” said W, who insisted on speaking properly at all times. “Also, we need to remind you of The Anubis Gate Affair, when SHR1K3 hacked the universe itself by creating a wormhole into a secret alien base under Antarctica. We never found out where the aliens came from or how they got there, unless it was by a similar rip through the universe, but we were sure they had nothing but the worse intentions for us. SHR1K3 may have stolen some advanced technology from the aliens before our agents destroyed it with a low yield nuclear weapon.”

    “But let me now get to the point,” said W. While each of those missions were definitely successes for C0US1N, and we did set them back years, unfortunately it now looks like each of them did contribute to their overall master plan, which all of us know is to take over the world.”

    “Since the days after World War II, about 75 years ago, we have been battling SHR1K3, which was formed by survivors of the Nazi party and the SS, and which will never give up their mission to create a Fourth Reich. Now it looks like they may have found a way to do it!”

    W turned to the wall behind him, which started to show images from recent news reports from the many internet news outlets.

    “First, there are the reports of the kidnappings of 50 hackers from all over the world, the most recent one being the abduction of the entire team which won the Capture the Flag hacking competition at DEF CON 28 in Las Vegas last year.”

    “Second, our monitoring of worldwide communications network, satellites, and the internet, have shown numerous, subtle but unmistakable, tampering of the signals. We are working around the clock to identify what is happening, but we have to conclude that SHR1K3 is probably behind it. We have known for some time that they are extremely interested in electronic mind control techniques, and it looks like they may have some new developments in that area. They have plenty to go on, of course, considering the long history in this area, such as the CIA project MKULTRA, as well as projects BLUEBIRD, ART-CHOKE, CHATTER, CASTI-GATE, MKDELTA, MKNAOMI, THIRD CHANCE, MKSEARCH, AND MKOFTEN.”

    “Finally,” said W, “and this is most strange, we have reports from our agents in North Korea that a Doctor Kotobuki, who has been working at the infamous Camp 22, had defected to SHR1K3. The reports say that he was performing experimentation on head transplants with human subjects, presumably as a macabre way to try to provide practical immortality to that nation’s leaders.

    “Section 4, Research Branch, reports that there have been recorded limited success of head transplants in dogs, monkeys, and rats. Combine this with cloning and one could perhaps create virtual immortality, since transplanting ones head onto a clone of oneself avoids any issue of tissue rejection. So far as we know, this hasn’t been tried on a human, unless such experiment shave been conducted at Camp 22, which is infamous for its human experimentation.”

    “SHR1K3 has also been very interested in the works of many other mad scientists, we could call them, including Johann Conrad Dippel, Giovanni Aldini, Sergei Bruyhonenko, and Andrew Ure. Without getting into more unpleasant details, they were all interested in reanimating dead flesh in one form or another.”

    Nappy and Illy tried to not look startled by that last bit of news. The situation had turned a corner from merely dangerous to catastrophically surreal.
    “Our intercepts show that they have traveled to a remote area of the Himalayas, where we must presume that SHR1K3 has a facility,” said W. “So that is where we must go.”


    Twenty hours later, the DHC-3 Super Otter was cruising at 29,500 feet over the Himalayas as Nappy and Illya prepared for their HALO skydive to the roof of the world. In a High Altitude Low Opening jump, one can avoid detection by radar because the plane is above the range of ground based radar.

    The plan was for them to go ahead and to infiltrate the SHR1K3 facility, to do whatever they could to discover what SHR1K3 was up to and to disable their radar and air to air missile defenses, before the main strike force could arrive and storm the facility in about six hours. Time probably was not on their side.

    Nappy and Illy prepared for their jump by breathing 100% oxygen for 45 minutes to flush nitrogen from their blood stream. They carefully checked all their equipment, since there was no room for error in a HALO jump. They wore helmets and full oxygen masks. Just before the jump they switched their oxygen from the planes supply to the bottles they carried with them.

    It was too noisy in the small plane to talk, but there were able to talk through their implanted comm units. “Remember,” Nappy said to Illya right before the jump, “SHR1K3 is all for equal opportunity: the opportunity for everyone to be their slave.”

    “Nappy, you always know what to say to cheer me up,” said Ilya, as they jumped.

    They then experienced two and a half minutes of free fall, reaching terminal velocity. It seemed to them like less than thirty seconds, and that they weren’t moving at all. Then the automatic parachute activation device opened their elliptical parachutes just in time. With their night vision goggles and gps built into their implants, they each were able to land safely in the dark in a small clearing about half a mile from the castle.

    C0US1N had earlier re-tasked one of their spy satellites to do low orbit flyovers. The few high resolution black and white photos obtained from the satellite, after a quick review by C0US1N squints, revealed that the facility was in fact a full size replica of Wewesburg Castle in Westphalia, Germany, the only triangular castle in Europe, which was the headquarters of the SS, Hitler’s private army, during the Third Reich.

    From the satellite photos one could see the triangular castle, with its signature circular North Tower, unmistakable as a replica of the original, which was partially destroyed – all but the north Tower - by the Nazis to keep it from falling into Allied Hands. From the ground as they approached it in the dark, Nappy and Illy could make out an enormous stone structure with light leaking from dozens of shuttered windows.

    There was also a parade ground to the East of the castle, where Nappy and Illy could see lights. Tonight was June 21, the Summer Solstice, an important pagan holiday for the Nazis. As they got closer to the castle they could see a sight that hadn’t been seen on Earth since the Nuremberg rallies.

    They could see a few thousand soldiers in brown uniforms parading with torches around a central dais with a large “eternal” flame, and they could hear triumphant Germanic singing. Looks like the Solstice ceremony was keeping most of the inhabitants of the castle busy outside, which is why the assault was planned for tonight. The Nazi’s and now apparently SHR1K3, considered Nepal to have mystical properties, a possible ancestral homeland for their mythical Aryan race, so presumably put a lot of faith in their paganistic ceremonies to take place here.

    Nappy and Illy were dressed in flat black full body jumpsuits designed to show a smaller radar signature, a sort of stealth suit. They were wearing the same helmets and masks they wore during the jump, which provided oxygen to help them handle the low air pressure of this altitude. They were both armed with official C0US1N issue HK45 45 caliber 10-round handguns with silencers, two Mark 3 knives, a HK416 assault rifle strapped to their back with quick release clips, and various other goodies in their knapsacks.

    They snuck around the back of the castle, out of sight of the ceremony and toward a side of the castle with a door that was less than 50 feet from the surrounding forest. There was no fence and they could not detect any electronic alarm system, so they quietly slowly crawled along the ground toward the door. The door was locked, or course. Nappy quickly picked the lock and they were inside.

    Illy immediate sprayed an opaque foam over the surveillance camera inside the door, as Nappy tapped into it with some of the electronic gear in his bag. Since it was unlikely that a human being was actually watching all monitors all the time, it was unlikely they were spotted and that the castle guards would assume the camera had malfunctioned.

    Nappy then released the dozens of miniature swarming spy robots he also brought with them. The quickly and quietly circumnavigated all the hallways, slipped under doors, and penetrated every nook and cranny of the castle and delivered the information back to a small handheld computer where the two humans could see a three-dimensional plan of the castle appear. Along with the video that they go from hacking the surveillance camera, they were quickly able to find out what was going on in the castle.

    Their two objectives, and the quickest route to them, were thus identified. The fifty hackers were found in a large room where they all appeared to have been zombified, carrying out instructions from SHR1K3 to do what looked like a macabre Capture the Flag competition. While their skin wasn’t green, it appeared to have a green tinge, their eyes were glazed over, and their lips appeared too red. Illy’s job was to get to the 50 hackers, give them the anti-zombie treatment that had worked in the Amazon, find out with their help what they were doing, what they were hacking into, and enlist their help to hack into the castles radar and missile defense system.

    “Organize a group of hackers?” she muttered under her breath. “I’d have more luck trying to herd cats.”

    Nappy’s job was to get to Doctor Kotobuki, who had defected from North Korea, and find out what he was there for. They could see a large medical lab in the dungeon of the castle, where the Doctor was presumably performing horrendous experiments on human beings like we formerly did in Camp 22. They could also see a few dozen large plexiglass canisters that appeared to contain people, alive or dead they couldn’t see, and a large box big enough to hold a human head. The Doctor, who they could see only from behind, was busy doing something on an operating table in the center of an operating theater, and appeared to be alone.

    Before they left on their respective missions, Illy, through their hack of the camera, reprogrammed the surveillance cameras along their routes to loop their signals from the past ten minutes, so their passage would be undetected. They did not see many people in the castle, almost of its inhabitants were indeed at the ceremony outside.

    Illy quickly but quietly ran through the spacious corridors, with their massive stone walls lined with lit torches, to the hackers. After picking the lock of the door to the room, she spotted three guards and quickly shot them. As they fell she took out a large spray can and doused the room with the anti-zombie formula. The hackers look dazed and confused, naturally, and it took about ten minutes for them to come to their senses.

    “What are we doing here,” said Zero Kelvin, one of the hackers, “can someone please tell what in hell is going on?” They all started talking almost at once, with questions, swears, and confusion.

    Illy, playing Den Mother, patiently quieted them all down and explained the situation. She got their attention, of course, since a beautiful six foot two busty blonde Chinese-Russian woman dressed all in black holding a recently fired HK45 automatic would be noticed anywhere.

    Unfortunately, the zombification process had caused partial amnesia, and they couldn’t remember what they were hacking into or why. By quickly hacking into the equipment in the room they were able to determine, though, that their job appeared to be to hack into virtually every communications channel in the world. The goal seemed to have been to feed a continuous extremely low frequency alpha-wave signal into every internet, video, and audio channel in the world, and they had to conclude that the signal was some form of electronic mind control. This was all done via uplink to communications satellites, since there was no physical internet backbone, fiber or otherwise, in Nepal.

    “The signal also included ultra-short bursts of subliminal messages,” said one of the hackers. “Like a blipvert, but without the head-exploding part.”

    To buy time, she first had them hack into the building’s security system and seal all the doors and windows, trapping the soldiers outside, at least for a while. The hackers found that easy to do, since they were using Linux and Free BSD boxes and the castle security system was running on Windows. Illy also gave them copies of C0US1N’s industrial strength hacking software, but most of them didn’t take advantage of that because they could access their own store of zero-days, trojans, and other tools and were able to easily break through the castles defenses.

    “We need your help to knock out these facilities,” she said. Illy then showed them the location of the radar and missile defense systems, which were primarily in the infamous North Tower. She gave each of them weapons and ammunition from the nearby armory, a small but lethal amount of plastic explosive from her backpack, and organized them into 4-man teams to take out each emplacement, led by the hackers there who were actively serving military of their country.

    As she was sending them on her way, Illy lost the signal she had been getting from Nappy’s com unit, indicating that he had lost consciousness. She quickly headed in his direction for her second rescue of the night.



    Nappy had quickly found his way to Kotobuki’s operating theater, and was able to quietly sneak into it and watch for a few minutes. He saw a few disembodied heads floating in plastic or glass tanks, some headless bodies on operating tables, and various body parts lying in a heap on a table. And there was that one head-sized opaque plexiglass box sitting all by itself in a place of honor in front of the Doctor.

    Then the lights went out.

    He woke up tied to the operating table with Kotobuki looking kindly on him. Next to him was Krull, the Doctor’s assistant, who had snuck up behind Nappy and knocked him out.

    “Ahhh, now you are awake, we can talk,” the Doctor said. “Who are you and what are you doing here?” He removed a syringe from Nappy’s arm.

    “My name is Spike Canetti” Nappy said cheerfully. “I’m from Stull, Kansas.”

    “Come now, Nappy, we both know that’s not your real name.”

    “I represent the Global Mutual Life Insurance Company,” said Nappy. “We were growing concerned that you didn’t have sufficient life insurance, and they sent me here to offer you a policy at reasonable rates.”

    “Certainly not,” he said, waving his finger back and forth. “I tried to contact the Commandant, but it seems that you have disabled all communications in the castle.” Illy had also jammed all electronic signals, except her channel to and from Nappy, and cut all wired communications in the castle.

    “You really should consider the benefits of full term life insurance for you and your family, if you have any,” said Nappy.

    Kotobuki frowned. “I suppose there really is no need for talk. I have much better use for you.” He held Nappy’s head tight in both hands.

    “Are you sure? What do you have in mind?”

    “First, we will isolate your head in a plexiglas box, with a tight fit around the neck,” he said. “Then we will slowly cool the head to reduce all neurological activity to the minimum possible. We will carefully cut into the skin of the neck and prepare constrictions on all the major blood vessels. Then we quickly cut off your head, while simultaneously constricting the blood vessels to keep the head intact. Your brain and head will stay alive for a short period of time, with no loss of faculties, just long enough to transplant it onto another body.”

    Nappy, despite the icewater in his veins, tried to not gulp aloud.

    “I may not be a famous doctor like you,” he said as coolly as he could, “but so far this doesn’t sound like it will work. Isn’t cutting the spinal cord irrevocable? Has a head transplant on a human every worked?”

    “But, my dear sir, that is the beauty of it!” said Kotobuki. “We get to find out if this time it will work. What you don’t know is that we are very close to restoring the spinal cord after being severed, there have been developments we have made in stem cell research which have promise to solve that problem once and for all.”

    “While this question is, of course, imminently very interesting to me,” said Nappy, “the more important question is why is it so interesting to you?” He thought of pointing out that the breakthrough in stem cell research, if true, would have major beneficial uses in society, but he didn’t think that argument would work with this specimen.

    “You could get the Nobel Prize in Medicine for this,” said Nappy. “Why, you would be hailed worldwide as the savior of millions of paraplegics, by allowing them to walk again. You would have more research money than you could ever spend. Hospitals all over the world would be named after you. Isn’t that what you want from this?”

    “Those are trivialities,” said Kotobuki, flicking his finger into the air. “You poor dumb American. Your bankrupt, corrupt, bourgeois, capitalistic society has eroded your mind. Your time will soon be over, as will the time of the traitorous false Maoists and Russians. Our true leader is coming back to us, to save the world as he tried to do many years ago.” He unconsciously turned slightly toward the mysterious head shaped box.

    “But, Doctor, isn’t it interesting that……” Katobuki cut him off.

    “Now you talk too much. Enough talk. I think you are just trying to buy time. Krull, lets prepare him for…….”

    Katobuki suddenly stopped talking as he fell over, dead, because Illy had shot him between the eyes. She then shot Krull and cut the bonds from Nappy and helped him off the table.

    “We have to get the hell out of here, right now,” she said. “The foundation is full of explosives, and we found out that SHR1K3 has initiated a self destruct sequence for the castle, to keep it from getting into our hands. We have about 5 minutes.”

    “He injected me with a truth drug, probably scopolamine.” He had a dry mouth, one of the side effects. “But I don’t think I told him anything. What about the hackers? Did they help you to disable the castle’s defense system?”

    “Yes, but that hardly matters now. I told the hackers to get out as fast as they can, through a secret tunnel we found under the dungeon. The soldiers have all disappeared, it appears they don’t want to be caught in the blast, which could be a big one.”

    They sent a message to W to fill him in, and arranged to have the strike force pick up them and the hackers on mountain ridge about a half mile away. They would have to hurry, though. They couldn’t run too fast, though, because of the reduced oxygen in the low pressure air at this elevation.

    As the VTOLs hovered over the ridge, lifting the hackers one by one into the planes, there suddenly was a large BOOM that shook the mountain. They could see the castle, except for the North Tower, totally disintegrate in a cloud of smoke and debris.

    Illy turned to Nappy, as they were being lifted into the rescue vehicle, and asked, “whose head do you suppose was in that box?”

    “Who else?” he said.
    And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts, And I looked and behold: a pale horse. And his name, that sat on him, was Death. And Hell followed with him.

  • #2
    Re: The How to Steal the World Affair

    Like a compilation of every cheesy sci fi, adventure, spy movie plot as imagined by a back alley conspiracy theorist rant website. Was that the intention?
    "They-Who-Were-Google are no longer alone. Now we are all Google."

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The How to Steal the World Affair

      Originally posted by eris View Post
      Like a compilation of every cheesy sci fi, adventure, spy movie plot as imagined by a back alley conspiracy theorist rant website. Was that the intention?
      I'm guessing it was an attempt to meet the requested theme for short stories:
      Rules for Defcon 19 Short Story Contest"
      Originally posted by rules
      THEME for this year!! The theme for your stories should fit somewhere into the realm of a retro dime store exploitation novel! We're looking for 007, Spy vs Spy, double secret agents who are battling robot sharks with laser beams..... We want drama, espionage, science fiction, hacker vigilantes, and gum shoe! Give us your best Hacker version of Black Dynamite, Aeon Flux or the ever classic BOND! Bonus points if you design a book cover for your piece! In fact I hear this theme is along the same lines of what Neil is looking for in the Art contest this year.... I think the phrase coined is "Hack'Sploitation" Neil will post more on this later.

      For more information on 'sploitation art check out this wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploitation_film
      Also see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spy_film
      Best guess for what is desired is something that can be re-purposed, or altered to fit a, "comic book," "graphic novel," or whatever name they have these days to describe similar books.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The How to Steal the World Affair

        I understand the rules, Cotman. This particular story, if a re-purpose, is clunky. I was asking the author if the cheesiness was deliberate or not. If deliberate it has a certain charm, like a bad B movie. If not on purpose, it could use a re-work and I don't think that is a bad criticism, it is constructive. My comment was not intended to be rude, if that is how you interpreted it, causing you to feel you needed to quote the rules at me.
        "They-Who-Were-Google are no longer alone. Now we are all Google."

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The How to Steal the World Affair

          Yes. I was complying with the requested theme for the contest to write a "hacker exploitation" story; this is a hacker version of the 1960's spy show The Man from Uncle, which was campy and over the top to start with. I understood that the requested theme for the stories as "robot shark lasers" and "exploitation" so yes the "cheesiness" is intention, I was only following the instructions.
          “I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.”

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The How to Steal the World Affair

            Originally posted by eris View Post
            I understand the rules, Cotman. This particular story, if a re-purpose, is clunky. I was asking the author if the cheesiness was deliberate or not. If deliberate it has a certain charm, like a bad B movie. If not on purpose, it could use a re-work and I don't think that is a bad criticism, it is constructive. My comment was not intended to be rude, if that is how you interpreted it, causing you to feel you needed to quote the rules at me.
            I did not take your comment as rude. When posing an argument, I like to support it with citations and references and in this case, the contest rules. I apologize if this offended you: sorry about that. It is good to see people providing comments on these stories.

            What are your thoughts on the reason for the stated theme? In the rules, there is comment that Neil may be using the stories with his artwork...

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The How to Steal the World Affair

              Originally posted by number006 View Post
              Yes. I was complying with the requested theme for the contest to write a "hacker exploitation" story; this is a hacker version of the 1960's spy show The Man from Uncle, which was campy and over the top to start with. I understood that the requested theme for the stories as "robot shark lasers" and "exploitation" so yes the "cheesiness" is intention, I was only following the instructions.
              Excellent, thank you for the reply! As I mentioned, if intended, it was done quite well. I groaned out loud a few times and wasn't even halfway through.
              "They-Who-Were-Google are no longer alone. Now we are all Google."

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The How to Steal the World Affair

                Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                I did not take your comment as rude. When posing an argument, I like to support it with citations and references and in this case, the contest rules. I apologize if this offended you: sorry about that. It is good to see people providing comments on these stories.
                It didn't offend me I was simply unsure if I had somehow been rude by offering a less than stellar critique.

                What are your thoughts on the reason for the stated theme? In the rules, there is comment that Neil may be using the stories with his artwork...

                If they are going for a comic book to be printed and sold at DefCon then the overly-dramatic and splashy stories that should come in will be a lot of fun to illustrate.
                "They-Who-Were-Google are no longer alone. Now we are all Google."

                Comment

                Working...
                X