[profile] 7s_prompts 8.3.7. Feel

Mar. 16th, 2010 04:32 pm
lightening_sky: (Short hair || Oh no you don't)
[personal profile] lightening_sky
She only knew because she was that good.

His handle was seam_us - which might have meant that his name was Seamus, but by how good he was, she sort of doubted it would be that obvious. She didn't ask. He didn't, either. The one of hers that he came across was brighter_star. Since he didn't know if she was a woman or a man, that made him call her, depending on mood or who-knows-what, either Arwen or Lucifer. It amused her. She didn't know, either, well, not in the beginning.

He was a hacker. She wasn't exactly one, herself, but some of the tools they used occasionally overlapped.

They basically ran across one another by trying to tear the other's work down, more than two years ago. Not... exactly literally, unless one took virtual structures as literal. They worked on each other for a bit, then found a way around without either of them coming on top.

Three weeks or so later, it happened again, on an information system of an entirely different substance matter. This time, the snafu continued for almost twenty-four hours; by the end of that time, Dawn was giving quiet snarls of frustration. Then the breaches were almost simultaneous - just to find out that the other side did not have what each of them wanted.

He managed to get a message through to her; she snapped back and killed the route he had used.

Two days later, after she had calmed down, she tried to track that down. That took some doing. She spent a week, off and on (among her other work, obviously. She couldn't just drop everything to track somebody for... exercising, now could she?) to trace down an identity that she was certain belonged to the same person she'd now come up against twice now.

There was just a certain twist, something like a subtle flair, that was like a signature.

She just dropped two words for him to read when he opened up that account. 'Apology accepted.'

He'd have to come back to her after that, and he did. Once that they'd assured each other (and themselves) that they could trace each other up, they set up a drop 'box' (again, virtual places!) where they left the messages for each other.

And started a bit of a ... something. Not quite a game, because there were no winners and no prizes. But mutual testing. They worked on a similar level enough and yet differently, and that meant that they could push each other up, setting up security, tearing it down, layers and layers of protection and then feints and attacks and what not.

She hadn't know he was he until she didn't come across that certain little flair in an entirely different search. It was an older thing, exploit of the glitch in a credit card company system. A relatively tiny thing, at that, too - just a pinprick to have proof that he's done it. And...

... and to buy a car. Which now belonged to a six-layer-construct of a phantom 'person'. And the records of the movements of which (traffic camera records were also data, looked at from a certain perspective) matched some of the random, inconsequential remarks in the shared messages.

Eventually, she put a face the handle. Not bad. Nose a bit too wide, face a bit soft - no chiseled cheekbones or anything like that. But a warm, full smile. A tease in the dark eyes. She imagined dark caramel, but, well, brief shots from traffic cameras could only give so much information.

And then there was the seminar.

It was too recent, after the last non-virtual ... adventure she had. Which she hadn't planned for at all, and had left her shaken, not to mention that it had worried Eve, too, and she'd gotten the big guys involved to get her out. She'd promised the both of them that she'd be careful. She wanted to be, dammit, she was getting tired of getting into fixes too big for her to handle!

But it would be right there, and there was a lull in the work as Eve had finished her job and was about to head back, and he never even need know she knew him from before that, did he?

There was no remark whatsoever that anything had happened; but the way too brief... meeting resulted in about forty-eight hours worth of sheer brilliance. Both made her smirk. Gave a twinkle to her eye and a bounce to her step and something to her words that she couldn't even name. Something to her days.

Until she looked up from a stream of numbers and letters floating steadily down her screen and saw that footage on the TV, and she knew.

She only knew because she was that good, and right now, she kind of wished it wasn't so.

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Dawn

May 2011

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