Forgotten Literary Greats: "Cracked Copy" by Bruce Gibson
Case stopped replying to Haz, he already had a new message from Luann. Before launching into his next conversation he chugged some of the Diet Mountain Dew. Xtreme Molecular chains buzzed his neo-cortex as the stimulant took hold.
"Come get some," he deadpanned to Clay Aiken.
Luann was waiting with good news.
"Got a good lead on that Adobe thing," she messaged.
"Shoot me the link," he drummed his fingers on his desk waiting for her reply.
After what seemed like hours because of his ultra-heightened perception, but was probably only a few seconds, Luann sent the link. Another IE window opened and eBay loaded.
"THIS IS FUCKING ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS 2!!!" Case typed in furious all-caps.
Luann closed the window and logged off, leaving Case to fume. In his rage he smashed his Diet Mountain Dew off his desk and watched in growing anger as it emptied across his mangas. He could worry about those later. Case already had a new message from Yuri.
"Comrade Case," Yuri sent, "I have accessed Adobe.com."
"And?" Case replied.
"No software key," Yuri sent back. "I hack into Adobe.com, just website. I take down front page and put picture of my johnsons there."
"That wasn't the deal, Yuri!" Case typed to the Georgian.
"Is deal!" Yuri responded. "New deal, I make now. You pay or I sign you up for all mailing list in history of Internet."
"You can't threaten me," Case replied. "Do you have any idea how many gmails I have? I have hundreds. Do your worst."
"Hope u like dick pills and chick with the Johnson, American faggist."
Yuri finished with a link, but Case was so attuned to the web he knew it was a trip to gay porn pop-ups before he even clicked the link.
Feeling defeated, Case was ready to give up and go back to his futon to finish watching Family Guy when a new IM window opened from Haz Cheezburger.
"Sorry bromo," Haz sent. "Got my mom's serial # for you now."
True to his word, Haz Cheezburger Internet transmitted the software key for a copy of Adobe Photoshop CS3. What's more, Haz did not even demand repayment. Mission accomplished. Case fired off an email with the code to Nakamura. There were still hours to kill before Nakamura would be up to respond. Just enough time for a quick game of Civ IV.
Eleven hours later, a bleary eyed Case achieved a cultural victory as the Aztecs. He closed the game and opened his email. Among the thousands of new dick pill spam messages Case found an email from Nakamura Gardening & Landscaping.
"Very good mister case," the email read. "Adobe is happy. Now, we have some ideas about the logo. Bob wanted to use a tree that sort of turns into the company name, I thought maybe hedgerows spelling out NAKAMURA in 3d. What do you think? Could you do some mockups?"
Case laughed. Once gain, he had avoided disaster and beaten the house.
That was the way of life of datajackers living on the razor's edge.