High Octane

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Chapter 6- The plan

“AR data construction in progress.“, a medium-toned, British voice said. It was the voice of B.R.U.T.U.S. Krypto clapped his hands and sucked air in through his teeth- before taking another swig of Juice. Told ya he was addicted to the stuff. Around the group was now a 3D interactable hologram- which laid out Krypto’s plan. It was a straight road- surrounded by nothing but endless desert, mountains, and more desert. Krypto squatted down on a nearby office chair.

“Okay, we’re hitting an armoured convoy. 5 main trucks”, he began to explain, pinching to zoom in on the road. “The back truck has what we need.” It lit up in red. “Now, considering these things are armoured like damn freight trains and have more firepower than an entire battalion of soldiers, charging in head-on is suicide.”

“Can’t you just disable the guns?“, Lillian asked.

“Meh, good idea, rookie! It would definitely work... but it’s a little... boring. Now that we got this bad mo-fo”, he continued, patting B.R.U.T.U.S’ whirring hull, “We’ve got more options.”

“What are we doin’, then?“, Voodoo questioned. Krypto chuckled and pointed to an object floating high above the convoy in the hologram- a half-empty vial of Juice still in his hands.

“What’s that?“, Hugo pressed.

“This... is a satellite! One which launches E.X.A.C.T.O rounds. The plan is to take out the first 4 trucks using the satellite, and then I’ll immobilize and disable the guns on the 5th. Standard shit. After that, we take candy from a baby!“, Krypto explained. Now, I knew this kid was off the wall but... hacking a satellite? That’s fuckin’ insane, even for TC standards!

“Uh, this sounds dumb, but what are E.X.A.C.T.O rounds?“, Natasha questioned.

“Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordinance. Basically rounds which can’t fuckin’ miss!“, Krypto explained briefly- trying not to go into too much explanation about the marvellous technology behind it. Seriously, it’s pretty admirable!

“So, you’re gonna hack a satellite, use it to take down a convoy, and then we take the parts?“, Hugo summarized. Krypto snapped a finger- pointing it at Hugo’s head in a finger gun position.

“Hold on, who are we actually stealing the parts from?“, Lillian asked- concerned for her own morals.

“The Animals. You good with that, rookie?“, Krypto responded. “Look, literally nobody likes the Animals. If anything, this’ll do us some good. Plus, TC police will wipe our record if this goes off without a hitch, so its really a win-win.“. Lillian nodded in agreement. Doing some good was what she wanted.

“Alright, any more questions?“, Krypto pressed- eager to get to work with B.R.U.T.U.S, his new best friend.

“Whose buying the parts?“, Lillian questioned- still concerned by her own moral compass.

“TC police will take ’em off our hands. After that, they’ll probably be incinerated or some shit. What a waste...“, Krypto complained. I would, too. These were top-dollar aftermarket parts. But, to a goodie two-shoes, they’re just more rot to add to the pie.

“What about vehicles? What we usin’?“, Hugo asked. Mr Voodoo would usually answer that question; however, Krypto made a suggestion.

“Use something that’s either fast or armoured. Fast, you’re less likely to get hit, but... you’ll take a lot more damage if you do. Armoured, more likely to get hit, but less likely to take damage. Tell ya what, two of you take the armoured TC truck we nicked last week. Other two take bikes.“, Krypto explained in detail, “armoured vehicle absorbs all the bullets, bikes fire bullets back. Simple! Anythin’ else?“, Krypto continued, clearly growing impatient. His fingers were writhing uncontrollably. To his amusement, the crew stayed silent.

“Alright, we got 48 hours until we’re shootin’ up an Animals convoy. Move it!“. The other four members began shuffling towards their bedrooms. Voodoo pointed out a place for Hugo and Lillian to stay.

“Ah, fine then, losers! I’ll just work my magic whilst you sleep! Nighty-night!“, Krypto called out to the weary four as he leapt out of his chair.

“Time to work some fuckin’ sorcery, Brutus!”

Krypto threw the rope over the hook on the ceiling. You see, the reason he works upside-down is because it makes more blood go to his brain. According to him, its ‘like a damn supercharger’. Hoisting himself up, the kid got to work on a laptop strapped to his leg. Extending a long cable, he plugged it into B.R.U.T.U.S. Oh, and if you’re wondering, B.R.U.T.U.S stands for Brutal Ruthless Unshakable Totally Unlimited Supercomputer. At least, according to Krypto.

Krypto powered the laptop on and brought up the Brutus interface. Typing code rapidly, he ran a program which located the exact satellite which corresponded to the Dead Zone. He then left it to Brutus to brute force it.

“Alright, Brutus, over to you!“, Krypto called out to the supercomputer below.

“The satellite will have security locked down, but you can bet its got more holes in it than Julius Caesar!“, Brutus mocked as lines of code scrambled on Krypto’s laptop- at a speed no person, not even he, could comprehend. His eyes could barely keep up- seizing frantically to even read one block of code.

“Alright, logging on to the network... oh, hello Mr Firewall! No, I am not a virus which is attempting to fuck up your entire system! I’m a supercomputer looking to hijack you!“, Brutus continued- as the first layer of security was taken down masterfully. Krypto sat upside-down, sipping Juice, in sheer awe and amazement. Brutus did hacks faster than any human could. It was just... fuckin’ beautiful. Can’t do anything but admire corporate handiwork!

“Hang on, just getting past the encryption now. This stuff takes t—oh never mind I’m done! On to the weapons systems...“. Krypto continued to watch his best friend working in sheer disbelief. Hacking a satellite... in a matter of mere minutes? This thing could easily take out anything, from power grids to telephone lines, to probably the entire damn planet- given enough time.

“Weapons systems... accessed! Aiming the satellite at the target now. Wanna take a test shot?“, Brutus mused triumphantly.

“Tempting, but... no. Well done, Brutus!“.

“Hacking a satellite in a matter of mere minutes. I’m still amazing!“, Brutus responded, recognising its own genius. Krypto had no regrets about jailbreaking the big guy and giving him a personality. Better than some bland old fascist AI.

Krypto untied himself and dropped to the floor gracefully- clutching his laptop in his right hand. He then proceeded to meander into his room- where he spent most of the night working on prepping programs and tech for the job. The guy’s a serious workaholic, too. Probably because he never sleeps. Like, ever.

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