Thursday, September 2, 2010

Friday Fiction for September 3, 2010

This week, I verified we really do have a host for Friday Fiction. Karlene at Homespun Expressions has the helm and the Linky tool. Check out the excerpt from her WIP, and the other submissions for your holiday weekend reading pleasure.

This week’s chapter from “Precocious by Consent” is short, but essential in that it’s the first time in the story that we get the POV of a key player in this drama.

Chapter 23

Wednesday evening

The car sat in the guest parking area of the condominium complex, unnoticed by the few residents that happened to drive down the cul-de-sac street. When first built, the neighborhood had been a “gated community,” and residents had needed to either show identification to a guard, or enter a security code onto a keypad, to gain access. As the property values decreased in comparison to similar sized domiciles, and the economy took its toll on the net wealth of the various homeowners, the guard had been laid off, and the keypad fallen into disrepair. The gates remained open constantly, allowing guests to come and go at whim.

The neighborhood was not without its attractions, though, and the solitary occupant of the parked car reclined in the passenger seat, with a laptop computer resting on his thighs. The owners of the unsecured home wireless network were out for the evening, and he perused profiles on Facenet through the piggybacked connection.

Where’s your shill, Powell? The man thought. The Feds were not likely to give up, and particularly not with a new set of victims to add to their list of charges against him. Worse, it wouldn’t be nearly as exciting without the side challenge of keeping the FBI guessing as to who he was, and when he’d grab his next victim.

Refining his search criteria, several names appeared on the screen, most of which he’d seen before. Hello… what’s this? Yesfir Petrova – is this your new shill, Powell? A girl that happens to fit all my likes that you know of, shows up shortly after Lara Moore disappears. Only one picture so far, and supposedly a recent immigrant from Romania. If this is one of your agents, Powell, you’re slipping. Surely you could have come up with more than one photo, and a better cover story for a lack of history than that. Well, let’s see what happens. He marked her profile page, and then brought up his network map.

The Walfords were not a very careful family, he noted. Not only was their wireless network unsecured, but one computer was also unsecured and fully accessible. He explored through a few file folders, shaking his head at the foolishness of some people. There was enough information on the drive for him to accomplish an effective identity theft, and by the time the Walfords realized what was happening, he could have thousands of dollars worth of purchases on their accounts, and their credit in a shambles.

Thievery, however, did not excite him.

Instead, he opened an obscure file folder on the computer, created a new folder within it labeled, “Private pictures,” and copied dozens of photos from his laptop into the folder. Most people never explored the various folders on their computers, and this new folder could remain undetected forever, if a repair tech or law enforcement official didn’t find it somehow.

He closed the connection to the other computer, and brought back up Yesfir Petrova’s Facenet profile. Using the new alias he’d created, he sent her a friend request, and then logged out. He shut the laptop and slid it into its carrying bag, and then walked around to the driver’s seat of the car.

If Yesfir Petrova were Powell’s latest shill, they’d likely track the friend request to the Walford’s IP address. Since Chet Walford was a Middle-School teacher, with nearly daily access to hundreds of children within the Facenet Killer’s target age bracket, the FBI would tend to be overzealous in their investigation. They would find the photos he’d copied to Walford’s home computer, and a Middle School teacher caught with child porn would make the news. Powell would tell him who his new shill was, if that was the case.

He could decide from there how to make the FBI pay for their clumsiness.

Driving away, he chuckled as he imagined the living hell the Walfords would go through, if the FBI did seize the computer. After all, no one ever believed a middle-aged man’s protestations that he knew nothing of how dirty pictures of little girls got on his computer. Once the stigma was attached, it would stick, even if the man were completely exonerated.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Makes me wonder how secure our network is. Nice bit of story telling.