Chapter one : My normal life
I stood outside my office building waiting for my wife to stop by and pick me up. My car was in the shop, because just last week, while it was parked outside the local bar, apparently, one of the drunks lost their temper near my car, and well, let's just say it won't run anymore. I work as a co-manager of a software company, or at least, this branch. Anyways, my life, yeah, not so interesting, but---
"Robert!" Called a woman, my wife, in a nearby car. "Hurry up, we've got to pick up John from baseball practice."
"Oh, uh, alright." I said and started for the car. Did I forget to mention my son, John? He's the athlete of the house I suppose. The boy runs track on Tuesdays and Thursdays, plays basketball on Mondays and Fridays, and to top it all off, baseball on the weekends. I, on the other hand, am not the type to do much of anything outside. My wife reached over and unlocked the passenger seat for me. "Thanks." I said and then stepped inside.
"So, how was your day at work, Robert?" She asked, and looked at me through the corner of her eye, trying to stay focused on the road.
"It was great, but we're still having trouble setting up the 813 program, but I'm sure we can solve it." I chuckled. My wife and I tend to go on a first names basis, strange, I will admit, but, my wife feels that recognizing eachothers name better expresses love than nicknames.
Morgan, my wife, slowly pulled into a small parking area just outside of a baseball field. The Shooting Stars, my son's baseball team, were packing up their supplies and ready to head home. Morgan rolled down her window and waved to John in order to signal that it was time to head home.
I opened the car door for John as he came up to the car, hands full of baseball supplies such as his spare uniform and bat. "Hey Mom, hey Dad." He said as he sat down. My son prefers to call us by Mom and Dad, instead of by our real names like his mother, Morgan, wants him to do, at least somebody in our house is normal.
"So, did you score any touch downs?" I asked and took out my cellphone. My cellphone was equipt so that I could still do some of my work while even on the road.
"Touch downs? I was at baseball practice, not football! Hehe, you're losing it old man." He laughed, amused at my lack of sports knowledge.
"Right, baseball, that's what I meant." I said, not really aware of the real world anymore. I was too busy fiddling around with the Project 813 file to care.
"Ah, put away your phone, you're not at work right now, you're here with us, your family." Scolded my wife. She hated seeing me work when John was around. She would always say that if I spent anymore time on that phone than I already do, I'd start seeing things in binary code.
We had now finally arrived back at the house. While my son dashed off to the front door so that he could play his xbox or whatever kids play, I still sat inside the car, jittering my thumbs away at the tiny phone keyboard. My wife was also at the door with John, she was opening the door so that he could get in. Simply another day in my life, a cycle that never ceases to give me severe cases of déjà vu.
After about twenty minutes of sitting in the car, I had finally decided to come on in. Truth be told, I hadn't noticed we had arrived at the house yet until I looked up from my work for a split second.
I took off my coat and hung it on the coat rack by the door, sounds of gunfire and zombie moans could be heard from my sons room, clearly he was playing another one of those little games of his. My stomach rumbled and moaned for food, which is why my first stop in the house, was the kitchen. While searching through the fridge for a quick bite to eat, John happened to walk in.
"Hey, Dad, could I have a friend of mine over for a bit?" He asked casually, his eyes were foggy from playing his video games for too long, probably from earlier today before baseball practice, seeing as how he just got home.
"Eh, sure, which of your little friends is it? Bill? Zane? Luke?" I questioned. I knew most of his friends. Since I work for a software company, most of his video game friends thought I was rather cool.
"Zane." He said. He turned to the phone hanging on the wall, and started dialing his number.
"Ah, Zane." I sighed. Zane was one of his smarter friends, but, the boy never used his brain for much of anything except illegal work on the computer. Zane, was a self proclaimed hacker. I must admit, the kid is good, he even understood almost everything I told him about Project 813's coding. But just the outer shell of the project though, I wouldn't dare leak any real information on the project.
After John had finishedtalking to Zane, he headed back to his room to continue his video game playing until Zane arrived. Which would result in having two zombie bashing, castle crashing, road rashing, video gamers in the house. I then looked over to the living room, which is right beside the kitchen. My wife was standing there looking at me.
"So, what did John want?" She asked. What is it about wifes that always make them so curious about the things going on around them? Eh, whatever, it's not as if I really care.
"Oh, he just wanted to invite his pal, Zane, over here to play." I said and went back to looting the fridge. I managed to round up a healthy looking salad from the things I gathered.
"Oh, that computer guru friend of his?" She said and walked over beside me to grab a can of pepsi from the fridge. I never could understand why she liked pepsi, both John and I agree that Dr.Pepper is far better.
"Yeah, the one that could probably match wits with me when it comes to the technological stuff." I said and then went over to where the utensils are kept and grabbed a fork to eat my salad with. I then preceeded to head on to the table in the living room so that I could sit down, eat, and watch some good old TV. My wife joined me soon after I had sat down.
"You know what, you haven't really ever told me what that little project you and your buddies at the office are working on is. Mind giving me a few details? I know I'm not technically inclinded like you are, but I'm sure I could understand bits and pieces of it. She said and took a sip of her pepsi.
I closed my eyes and thought for a moment. I wanted to pick a way to describe the project the easiest way I could, but, I was having a bit of trouble with translating some of the very technical stuff. But, I decided I'd just cut the description short and leave a few of the more advanced matters out of it. "Well, you see, our project consists of two things. A program, and a vessel. The program is designed to be able to scan objects while moving very quickly, and is also made to understand how to keep the vessel operating when caught in a strong gravitational pull or when subject to extreme pressure. The vessel, is designed to be able to withstand harsh winds, run on a solar panel, and to be able to remain functioning even when in deep space.
She nodded. "So, it's safe to assume that this project of yours is for some type of space thing?" She blinked. She was clearly trying to figure up some kind of sci-fi space mission, because, unlike most ordinary people, she looked interested.
"Right." I said and took a bite out of some of my salad. "But not anything like finding aliens. We're simply sending this vessel to Saturn, one of the gas planets, to further investigate it's structure. We're hoping that the vessel will survive the mission to Saturn, if so, we plan to send it off to Neptune soon after." I stated. The way we got this mission, was through a request by NASA. They had heard of my colleagues and I through online interactions and viewing our website. We've featured many videos of our make-shift, unfunded space based projects before on our websites using pictures and videos. We even launched our own satellite into orbit. Needless to say, we all upgraded to satellite phones.
"Oh." She said, she sounded a bit dissapointed actually. Clearly not the big alien hunter space mission she was hoping for.
I chuckled. "Well, it's not really that interesting to hear about, but, just wait till you see a few of the pictures it sends back. You'll love seeing Saturn, especially Neptune, if it makes it."
And then, at that moment, the doorbell rang. I scooted my chair out from under the table and walked on over to the door to open it for whoever it was outside. Standing there, was my son John's friend, Zane.
"Hello, Mr.Thomas." Said Zane. He had a slight smile on his face, the type of smile you see acquaintances give one another.
"John is in his room again playing games, make yourself at home." I said and shut the door behind him. I then returned back to the living room table to continue my chat with Morgan.
Zane nodded and headed off to John's room. Right before the door shut behind him in John's room though, one could see him take out his laptop from his backpack. His laptop had a giant S on the top of it, which Zane had always said meant Script.
I had just finished up my salad, when both Zane and John had approached me on my way to the kitchen. "Hello boys," I said. "What can I do for you?" I asked them.
John was the first to speak up. "We were just wondering if we could have a peek at that project of yours." He said. As soon as he said that, I knew this was most likely something Zane had asked him to ask me.
"Project 813." Said Zane with a smirk. "I'd just love to see what type of work you're putting into it."
I sighed as I put my salad bowl in the dishwasher. "You kids know that I can't give away information on that project. " I had said and then started for the computer chair over in the other room. "The most I could show you, is the very basic stuff, like what it is meant to do, which I have already done, three times to be exact." I then turned to face the computer, I booted up the home version of my office at work. I had the mouse hovered over the Project 813 folder, but I was waiting for the kids to go along back to John's room.
Both Zane and John gave an annoyed sigh, more so Zane than John, and then departed back to John's room. But, unknown to me, Zane had a plan.
In John's room, Zane took out his laptop and turned it on. John was no expert when it came to electronics, so he didn't know what Zane was doing. Zane, even though he wasn't a proffessional like myself, knew his way around a computer. So, viewing what another computer was doing on a shared connection, was easy enough. Unlike real hackers though, Zane couldn't view what I was doing directly. While it wasn't showing what I was doing directly on his computer, Zane had set his computer to take screen prints of what I was doing on my computer.
Back in the computer room, unaware that I was being watched, I continued reviewing over the codes, adding on more, and emailing my superiors. So, within only twenty minutes, Zane had already collected a fourth of the entire code, and a decent list of all of executive emails. John was too busy playing those games of his to notice. He merely thought Zane was playing something also, like Dungeons and Dragons.
By around eight P.M, Zane was ready to head on home, with lots of stolen data waiting to be read on his computer. "Seeya later, John!" He said and waved as his mom pulled into the driveway. John waved back before heading back inside. Instead of playing video games though, this time, he decided to grab a bite to eat. Like father like son, eh?
While my wife was busy cooking, I decided to head back to the computer. I had grown tired of working on Project 813 though, so instead, I booted up my Facebook page to have a chat with some of my co-workers. We all made facebook pages in order to keep connected online. I checked my buddies list, but it said that no users on my friends list were online. So, my idea of blowing some time on facebook was a no-go. Eventually, I grew tired of doing nothing, so I sat down on the sofa to watch a bit of television.
My wife had already sat down our plates for dinner on the table, so I headed over to the living table once more to eat. She had prepared steak tonight, my favorite, as well as John's. She only moderately liked steak, so she prepared a fairly large salad for herself, much like the one I ate earlier.
Meanwhile, over at Zane's house, he was busy decoding the information he had stolen from me. I must admit, the information is very hard to understand, even for some of my fellow colleagues. Scattered upon Zane's floor were many circuit boards, wires, scraps of metal, and weilding tools. It was clear that he was planning to use the information he had gotten for something, but, the problem is, what exactly will he use it for? The objects are his floor were most likely failed attempts at creating a vessel, like the one we have built back at the office for Project 813.
Anyways, I was done for the day, and so was my family. John was already sound asleep, and Morgan was cleaning up the dishes from dinner. I headed to our room, Morgan and I's room, and changed into some clothes suitable for sleeping in. If I had known everything that happened that day, I'd go to bed furious, but, instead, being ignorant to the events that happened earlier today, I fell soundly asleep.
< Message edited by Matala -- 2/2/2011 0:32:53 >