Over-run World

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Chapter 17: From the Frying Pan
(by Ken Downey, added on 5 September 2007 09:41 AM)

The Hackfinder had one more feature that Nathan could use, a GPS tracker. Since the little black box was the last thing he had seen with the Hackfinder, it locked on with the click of a button, and now Nathan, running back to his house, punched the correct key code into his dad's enhanced Hover 'round. It took off at such speed that Nathan was nearly thrown out, but, clutching at the armrests for dear life, he began to drive.
The Hackfinder was ready to go again, so he aimed at the black box, which was a small speck in the distance but was, the machine told him, the very thing he wanted.
He pressed the button.
There was a blinding flash and a noise that sounded suspiciously like a fart.
Nathan found himself in bed, being violently shaken.
"Get up, boy!" his dad shouted, louder than ever he had shouted at his son.
"I really hope," said his mother, "that you have learned your lesson. If you try hacking our code again, the VR sim will be far more intense--including the shocks."
As she said this, a beam of blue light bathed Nathan, and the pain was so intense that he screamed--and then passed out.
When he woke up, he thought about all he had been through. This didn't sound like something his parents would do--even the worst shock he'd been given before was little more than a tickle--nothing like the mind-blasting series of jolts that had just put him under--so what was going on? Was this still part of the virus? Was he in a virtual reality sim--or was it all real? Were his parents really so mad at him that they would do worse to him than they already seemed to have?
There was only one way to find out. Nathan looked for his parents everywhere, but he couldn't find them. Then, he did the only thing he could do--he got on the computer, and after scanning for viruses and spyware and finding his machine clean, he began to try cracking his parents' 90-digit code once again.

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