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Skullhack Part One

/* I wrote this during a lunch break so please excuse any spelling, grammatical, and tense errors if any exsist! If anyone has any questions on some of the slang please ask, i think its fairly self explanatory tho..thanks again R>B /*

Skullhack Part One
By R.B. Clements

Philadelphia, 2065

“Ah, young mister Jordan, so good to see you!”

This is not something Jordan wants to hear, especially coming from the corpulent, gap-toothed, sweating man sitting in front of him. Jordan tries to adjust his eyes to the light as the bag is removed from over his head. His face throbs from Tony’s little “speech”, the one with a heavy emphasis on the words “fist”.

“Oh..what happened to your eye? Did Tony do that? Aww..Im sooo sorry.” continues the man sarcastically, ending the statement with a chuckle, mixed with some labored breathing that made Jordan want to puke.

“Diego” Jordan replies, with a hint of venom.

This is not where Jordan wants to be. A nasty little grotto of some filthy two-bit criminal. Fuck. How did they find me?

“Your wondering how we found you?” grunts Diego, mopping his brow with a cloth that is suspiciously brown.

“Not at all.” says Jordan, stonefaced.

“Bullshit. The girl. HAHA. Its always the girl isn’t it! Hahehe…eehh…eeh.” Diego blubbers, frothing spittle with his unbounded joy of torment.

“Fuck you Diego, you fat-fucking pig faced…” Jordan didn’t get to finish his sentence as Tony began his speech again.

Jordan had to lay on the floor for a moment. He was no damned soldier. Nor was he some fictional badass that could take an uppercut to the face and still be standing. That shit only happened in bad movies. He decided to get to know the floor better, try to organize his thoughts…think of a plan…call for help.

He accessed his neural implant. Network communications blocked. Those bastards must have some sort of jamming field around this little piece of hell. He raced through his data banks. He should have sprung for those self defense backjacks. It was no use. Every available bit of storage in his head was filled with programming loads, hacking backjacks, dexterity enhancements, anything that he could use to master his mind, nothing he could use to protect his body. Fuck. As a last ditch effort he ordered his nanos to begin repairing his face, boost adrenaline loads, and prepare against shock. THE NANOS!! Of course, he thought, maybe, just maybe he could command them to exit his body and breach the jamming field. They could call Holly, they could get help! But how? Nanos were specifically built for his body, and they were notoriously difficult to program for different environments, especially off the cuff. There must be a way, he had to focus.

In the nanosecond it had taken for Jordan to access and assess, Tony had begun to pull him off the floor. In a second, Jordan was standing again, this time with all but his essential verbal response load working on reprogramming his nanobots.

“Where is the data, Jordan?” Diego asked, not laughs, jokes, or smiles this time. Dead serious.

“Data?” Jordan replied, almost as if in a fugue state.

Diego looked at Jordan strangely. He glanced at his watch, the com jammer was still bouncing, Jordan wasn’t calling for help, what was he doing?
There was one thing that Diego knew about Jordan. Be careful. Although Jordan was unimposing, benign, and altogether passive, he was not someone to fuck with without a plan. Jordan was the best user Diego had ever seen, he probably would surpass even the best Bit Clerics, if he had gone to college. If you got on Jordans bad side he could destroy everything that identified you, if still leaving you physically untouched. In the technology underworld, Jordan was legendary. And that is why Diego had drugged and assaulted Jordan into this dank little room beneath his nightclub. That is why he had his techs install the jamming system. That is why he was going to make a point with Jordan. To let everyone know, don’t fuck with Diego. Diego is fearless.

Diego pulled out his gun nervously.

“You know what fucking data, Jordan. Don’t play that shit. I want those specs you stole from CoDyne, and if I don’t get them, Im going to do to you what I did to your little girlfriend.” Diego roared, adding a lilting cadence as he finished.

It took obscene amounts of energy and effort for Jordan not to drop from his taskload back into what was unfolding right in front of him. Focus. Creating a link between the nanos and his own corebase operating system was difficult, because the two basically spoke different languages. Luckily, the corebase OS had been created by himself, a shell to load and unload data, backjacks, and uplinks- he was privy to all its secrets.

“I cut her.” said Diego with a slight grin

Shock. Jordan dropped from his task load for a nanosecond. He had to focus. He pumped all available chemicals that might aid his task from his over taxed glands. His cycles were maxing out. The human brain, however enhanced, has its limitations.

Jordan stood staring at Diego.

“Did you hear what I said? You twonk fuck? I cut her little face, the corners of her mouth until she told me were you were. HAHA. Oh how she cried….Those specs are worth hundreds of millions Jordan, I tried offering you a fair deal, but no. You have me play dirty. I want them now, or Im going to carve you up, take out those implants and decode data…Id prefer if you gave it to me….” Diego was working himself into a rabid state. Slamming his fist on the table, coming and going from rage to lucidity with almost manic oscillations.

“And I know you probably have encryption in that wonderful brain of yours, so, give me the specs…it saves me from having to get your little brother, James is his name? Saves me from having to cut him up too…” Diego glared at Jordan, secure in his malice.

“I…I…” Jordan stammered.

Jordan felt himself flush. James. Maggie...hurt…dead? His heart was beating erratically. He had never pushed his mind to these limits before. Calculations were iterating so fast that he felt detached from his own mind. He started to black-out. Stop them. Stop Tony, stop Diego. Kill them both. Theres no other way. Breach the room.

Jordan felt as if he were dying. His corebase began to crash, all his backjacks, and datafiles dropped out of his mind. He felt naked. He felt he was dying. His brain was in full neural arrest, shocks of electricity rolling in spasms across the lobes, hectically, randomly.

Jordan fell to the ground, thrashing about in a full blown seizure, blood from the bite in his tongue pouring out his mouth.

“What the fuck?” said Tony looking at Diego

Diego stood from behind his desk.

“He’s having a seizure.” said Tony stating the obvious.

“No shit…let it ride through…if he survives, well get him to cooperate. If he doesn’t, were going to have to skull hack. Fuck. I wanted to avoid that.” Diego spoke as he sat heavily into his chair.

“Sigh..its never easy.” he said.

Jordans seizure subsided. There was no thought in his mind, no concept of time. No idea wrapped around and around until it became known as Jordan, as self. Nonspace. Nontime. Nothing.

Jordan thrashed awake. He was unsure of who he was, where he was, or even what he was. This strange place, the dingy ceiling fan swishing above him. The door. The dimly lit desk with the…slime…on it? He stood, memories rushing back to him. His corebase…it had crashed...he ran a full body scan. System online. Status normal. He glanced around, the memories of just an hour before flooding his mind again. What had happened? There was a strange slimy fluid on the walls, around the door, on the desk, in the chair. Papers strewn about the floor, trash cans overturned. Where was Diego?

“Jordan” came a soothing voice inside his head.

“Holly! Where am I” Jordan thought. The jamming field must have been dropped…

“Sending coordinates. How are you?” Holly replied with the synthesized caring of an AI assistant.

“Bleeding, confused.” thought Jordan

“Suggest doctor, sending coordinates.” holly replied.

Jordan walked to the door. The padlock was gone, only a fine powdery dust where it once laid.

Jordan understood. He scanned his backjacks...offline. He scanned his links…only Holly. He scanned his corebase. It was different. Radically different. What had he done? He scanned for his nanos, they were in the syngland at the base of his spine, waiting for commands, where they should be. He had to get out of here. He could figure it out later over a drink, but right now he had to go. He had somehow survived. Diego and Tony were gone, or dead, if his suspicions were correct. He kicked the door open and stumbled out into the night, a little afraid about what he might find.

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kelson.philo's picture


yuppers, this be a fun start. only recommendations: give Tony a nickname like 'the orator' to add some black humor to his 'speeches' and when Diego tells Jordan that he cut her, have him labor over to where Jordan is sitting and say it right in his ear, trying to get a response. Then, not only does he have to fight the temptation of listening to Diego, but also the smellyness of the fatman's sweat and possible heat. Looking forward to reading the rest!


The "orator" idea is great, especially since I sub-conciously named two characters Tony (Tony the thug, and Tony Orleans) within the first two chapters of the story. I guess I really like the name Tony, i dunno, weird. When I do a rewrite im going to make a concious effort to really expand on say, the vileness of Diego, the angelic nature of Holly, the confused statte of Jordan, the cold secrets of Breaken, and so on. Doing the quick post series method helps me churn out a good plot-line, but it lacks in details like you mentioned. Thanks for reading, and posting your work, I enjoy it! -Alpha

kelson.philo's picture

hey, thanks! this place is

hey, thanks! this place is great for putting down the sketches, that's for sure. i look back on posts and immediately have idears for stuff that needs to be added in. it's fantastic to have it all right there in an environment not nearly as cluttered as my desktop is, unfortunately...

Great start. It's more than

Great start. It's more than a bit chilling to imagine your own nanobots reprogrammed in some way you can't remember. Looking forward to see what happens next.

The only suggestion I'd make at this point is to leave out the second, "This is not something Jordan wants to hear."

Other than that, I just wish *I* could be that productive with my lunch breaks.

Reads like the start of a

Reads like the start of a good book.


Cool stuff. I don't usually like Neuromancer-style stuff but this was really nice. I'm interested in what happens next and that is what matters in a story. I was thinking that Diego should be wearing a tasselled fez like Sydney Greenstreet to complete his villainous image. Looking forward to the next installment.