After several seemingly random men and women are murdered in the same way, teen hacker Dustin Decker discovers an unlikely link...
~WARNING~ Contains: Frequent strong language; gore; death, violence, and terror, some targeted at teens; and other mature themes.
...Securing Hard Drive.....OK
Dustin stared at his computer screen. The white text rolled down the featureless black background. An ancient means of computing from decades past that others may had been turned away by. Dustin smirked. He built the operating system himself from scratch, he didn't need fancy visuals to accomplish what he wanted. And besides, Dustin liked doing things the old-fashioned way. He even put his beast of a PC in an old, discolored Commodore 64 casing, complete with the signature keyboard built into the tower. Just how he rolled.
Dustin grabbed his Rubik's Cube from the desk he sat at. He twisted it a few times as he decided what he was going to do today, leaning back in his chair. Perhaps another practical joke? He already sent porn to Jake's school computer in the middle of Design class this month... That was enough for a while. Dustin put his feet up on the desk and twisted the cube some more. Maybe he'd leak another major video game release?... Nah, he decided. Dustin already went through the three big software giant's databases last week, and they weren't working on anything juicy. He finished the puzzle cube and tossed it on to the desk. He pulled out his smartphone, and saw that he had missed three texts from his friend, Tracy.
Three new messages:
--"Hey, txt me when u get the chance"
--"Want 2 hang? Ill buy..."
--"god, youre hacking again, rnt u? :)"
Dustin smiled. Tracy was the only one he told about what he did down in his room. He trusted her completely. He looked up at his Centipede poster. All his guy-friends at school didn't care about his nerdy, 80's references. Tracy not only got them, but she laughed at them, too. She joined his AD&D game, she watched Ghostbusters with him. Tracy could even beat him at Freeway. Dustin sat his phone down. He decided long ago that he would only tell one person in the whole world about his main hobby, and he decided a few months ago that it was going to be Tracy.
And a few months ago, he didn't have to worry so much about money. A few months ago, between fixing up old electronics and selling his leftover parts on Craigslist, he was comfortably well off. Dustin sighed, and glanced at the busted VCR and Walkman beside his desk. Barely worth five dollars a piece, fixed up.
Dustin saw the phone he just sat down, and an idea hit him suddenly. He spent twenty dollars on apps just this month... Damn DungeonHolder and it's micro-transactions. Dustin smirked. He wasn't above cutting a few illegitimate corners to save a buck or two.
He put his feet down and typed in a few lines of commands on the Commodore look-alike. After a few seconds, he was in the root directory on his phone. Dustin smiled to himself. The backdoor he installed, just in case, worked.
A hop, jump, and a skip later, he was swimming in enough gems in DungeonHolder to set him for life. Dustin checked his phone to double check. Sure enough, it showed 9,000,000 gems, the maximum the game code allowed. He threw his fist in the air and spun his chair around in silence. Alright, he thought, a few gems were impressive... But what if he could hack the app store itself to get those annoyingly expensive apps for free? The app store had some tight security, but nothing Dustin couldn't bypass.
Dustin scrolled through the different apps the store had to offer on his phone. Puzzle games, RPGs, utility apps, action games, the list went on. He couldn't decide, so he decided to hit the 'Surprise Me!' button.
A cool looking game popped up. The game was called "Battle Era"... Lame name, but the screenshots looked impressive. Dustin swiped through them, and got an idea of what it was about. It seemed to be some sort of action-RPG style game set in space, and that alone had Dustin interested. He looked down. The description only said, "Download Now"... And it only had... What? 5 downloads? Dustin looked at the release date. It was relatively new, about a week old. That explained it, but Dustin wanted to be sure it was good. No use wasting precious SD card space.
Dustin leaned in towards his computer, and typed in a few lines of code.
\remotehost\4245.297: open info.downloads.battleera.cll | IPretreive
Retrieving IP(s) from info.downloads.battleera.cll ...
Server IP: 7755.646 - Accessing Phone Global Positioning System ...
General Location: 1414 main st. Westerville, IN
Useage: Unused for 5 days, deactivated.
Server IP: 4563.977 - Accessing Phone Global Positioning System ...
General Location: 656 3rd st. Tomak, IA
Useage: Unused for 4 days, deactivated.
Server IP: 6634.900 - Accessing Phone Global Positioning System ...
General Location: 2223 cherry pkwy. Heartfield, IL
Useage: Unused for 7 days, deactivated.
-And so on for the other two. Puzzled, Dustin plugged the addresses into a pirated form of Google Maps he found.
\c: run chrome.exe | Google.com | 2223 cherry pkwy. Heartfield, IL
and so on for the others.
They were all... Police stations? What did that mean? Everyone who bought the app was arrested? Unlikely. Dustin again leaned back on his chair. Very peculiar, he thought. Now he had to know. He chose one of the police stations at random to test their security.
Nothing he hasn't done before. He just had to find the least protected network, like a secretary's laptop, make himself admin, and make his way around to find any data about the phones. Three firewalls broken down later, and Dustin found the root directory. He typed in a bit of code he had written on a sticky note, and stepped back to let the computer search the databases for any mention of the cell phone.
Case File 402 -> Evidence -> Samsung Smartphone
Dustin squinted at the screen. Evidence?... He put in the same bit of code again, this time searching for Case 402.
Case File 402 -> Report -> Murder Investigation
Dustin leaned back. Poor sod, he thought... But... He realized something quickly. What of the other phones? He tried each one, at each station, and they all came up the same...
Case File 636 -> Report -> Murder Investigation
Case File 900 -> Report -> Murder Investigation
Case File 301 -> Report -> Murder Investigation
Case File 566 -> Report -> Murder Investigation
Dustin stopped in his tracks. This was not good. His mind raced.
"Battle Era" had something to do with this.