Trials of Odessa

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Clickjack's Nightmare

Vera sprinted down the hall and crashed into the door. She swiped her wrist hastily on the door console, her heart pounding with each failed attempt. The pit of her stomach fell as it beeped and flashed red for the fourth time.She steadied herself against the door and moved her hand slowly across the console. Her breath shook, waiting for it to flash red again.Instead, it beeped and flashed green and the door whooshed open.She stumbled in, barely able to breath, her body buzzing with energy. Ready to fight, scream or hurt anyone who had put their hands on Lori, whoever was inside.She jolted to a stop just beyond the threshold. Lori was spread on her front on top of the bed blissfully snoring away. Exactly how she'd left her.Her shoulders slumped. Lori was still here. Untouched. Unharmed. Undressed. Vera scolded herself briefly. No one had taken her. Yet the Comms call had said they had… which could only mean...Blaine had known she was there the whole time. At Falmouth. She must have faked the Comms call in order to get her back to her bunker. To get her away from...what? She’d been there hundreds of times. What could she have missed?Her eyes darted to the camera in the corner of the room. The glass glistened black like the eye of a spider. Just one of many beady eyes scattered across the station like a web, the initiates the flies caught up in its dewy clutches.But there were no cameras in the old station that she knew of. So how did Blaine know she was there?Lori groaned in her sleep and rolled over, her hair floating across her face.Vera slowly inched backwards and exited the room, lingering by the door until it slid closed.She paced back and forth down the corridor. Her gaze drifted across the walls and ceiling discreetly, looking for eyeballs and anyone who might be walking the corridors at this hour.The sinister black dome of a cam caught her attention further down the hallway. It was far enough away that it wouldn't be a problem. The distance combined with the sketchy black and white images were mediocre at best but she blocked its view of her console screen all the same.'Z' she whispered to the glass. If she hadn't already done this before she'd think she was going crazy. Heck, maybe she was.'Psst, Z.'She stared into the screen. A faint crackle of light sparked on the console. She hunched closer.The screen flickered and the glacial light bled into striking static letters that sank to the bottom right of the screen.'I'm here' it read. It looked like hastily scribbled handwriting etched into the fibre of the glass, before it faded away into the screen once more.'Lori.-' Vera started.The words 'I know' appeared across the screen followed by, 'She knew you were there.' Vera nodded. Her fears confirmed. 'How?'‘Not sure.' appeared and disappeared faster than she could fully read it. 'She went through another passage after you left' took up the whole screen.Vera cocked her head, her eyebrows drawn together in concentration.'Another passage?' The rest of the writing faded away to leave only, 'Another passage.''To where?''Don't know.' It flickered for a moment before 'It's another extension off my ship it seems.' was scribbled over it.Vera raised an eyebrow.'It seems?''It's not on any of the schematics I could find.'Vera's eyes squinted in quiet curiosity. A door to nowhere yet Blaine slipped through it just fine.'She's hiding something down there?'Almost sure of it.' fizzled in confident letters. Vera nodded to herself. At least she wasn’t the only one thinking it.‘Can’t you, you know? Go look?’ Vera asked.'No electrics.' sparked across the screen violently and the console went dark. Z gave it a jolt and it buzzed back to life to reveal 'At least, not the kind I can travel through' flickering just behind the thin glass barrier.'Can I-' Vera started.'Not the kind you can hack either.''Old school?''Old school.'Vera bit her lip.'Like the walkman?''Like the-' The words flickered and disappeared before they were fully formed.'What walkman?' took up the whole screen.Vera looked innocently around the corridor and pulled out the chunky rectangular walkman from her hoodie's front pocket. The headphones tangled themselves around her wrist as she lifted it up near the screen as if Z could see it.The case was chipped and scratched and the screen back light was long dead. The needle like shatters of the glass had crumpled in, making the display damn near impossible to read. The battery plate was duct taped into place too and several faded out stickers, many she imagined were of bands she could find on the track listings, had been plastered across it in an attempt to make it look better.It hadn't worked. But it succeeded in giving it character, which is why she'd kept it.'The Walkman I took from a safety deposit box in Commander Locke's office...'The screen stayed blank.'Z? You still there? 'Yes.' appeared faintly.'Will the tech in that section be the same?''I can only presume with no eyes.'Vera sighed and ran her hand through her fringe and scratched the buzzcut at the back of her head. She’d have to shave it again soon.'It will be more complex circuitry for sure.'Complex and unfamiliar, Vera thought. Just the kinds of hack she craved.'How complex we talkin'?' Vera asked.'Miles of circuit boards and old plug panels.' Vera's mind reeled. How would they know which one they'd need without going in there and checking each one? Even so, with no cameras or consoles she'd be searching for a deadbolt computer which would have to be jacked into the system in order for her to get a look in and she'd need a direct connection to it, which would mean venturing into unknown territory. Without eyes, a wire or anything to give them information they couldn’t even be sure there was air in there. Even though Blaine’s presence in there wouldn’t make sense without air but still, as much as the untraveled labyrinth of green and silver circuitry called to her, she didn’t want to go in blind. A thought niggled at the back of her mind.'Could a power jack work?''Come again?''It's something Lori mentioned from her engineering classes. Jacking the power line not the actual framework. It could-''Give us an outline of the section based on-‘‘Live circuits and-'‘The reflective static feedback.’Now it was Vera's turn to sound nerdy.'Precisely.''Electrical Echolocation' the screen fizzled.Vera nodded smugly.'Why didn't I think of that?'Vera chuckled. She’s surprised she even remembered an estranged theory Lori mentioned in passing conversation. She’d have to thank her for that later.'We'd need something to jack in with though.''It would have to be compatible with both power circuits’'Like this?' Vera stared intently at the Walkman.The screen flickered as though he was hesitating. 'It would need some adjustments.''The hell it would! Have you seen this thing? It’s practically falling apart.'‘Still works though.’ Z defended.Vera smiled. ‘Are we agreed then?’ Vera raised an eyebrow.‘Agreed on what?’'Doing this.''But-' fizzled and sputtered out as Vera started interjected again.'This is me making the first move Z. She threatened Lori. You know me. No one just does that without ticking me off. You know she has it coming.'‘It could be a trap.’ The words glittered across the screen, trap took up most the screen, the electric charge making it burn bright.Vera faltered. She glared into the floor and expected it to peel away and reveal its secrets. The console blazed away beside her.It could be a trap.‘She knows you wouldn’t be able to resist.’ No cameras or consoles - a Clickjack’s nightmare.‘She knows what you’re like.’ An undiscovered part of the space station. ‘She knows how to get under your skin.’A perfectly orchestrated mouse trap. We’ll see about that.‘Traps are made to be strung Z. Let’s try not to disappoint.’A whoosh of static emitted from the console.‘Did you just sigh at me?’‘I’m not happy about this.’‘You will be when you get eyes in there. I can see it now. All the fanboying over your nerdy retro circuits.’Vera shifted and rolled her left sleeve up.‘Now shock me. Hard. So I look like I’ve been crying.’ She nodded her head back to the distant black dome perched on the ceiling. ‘Got to put on a show for eagle eye.’The screen sputtered. Vera prepared herself, placing her hand at the corner of the console where techs would jack in so Z could deliver an electric shock.‘I once saw Blaine naked.’ Flickered onto the screen.Vera closed her eyes and tried not to smile.‘Wrong kind of shock Z.’‘Noted.’Vera hissed as the shock sparked straight up her ar, rebounded around her shoulder blade and speared into the back of her neck. Tears welled up in her eyes.She nodded in satisfaction. ‘Good talk.’ She breathed, trying to stop herself from crying out. Tears ran down her cheeks and she turned and wiped them for effect, snuffling over dramatically, shaking her shoulders and pretending to compose herself so it would be picked up on any grainy images. She didn’t glance at the camera, that would have been too obvious. If she had any hope of pulling this off she needed as much of a head start as she could get. Satisfied she’d wiped away all of her tears she went to swiped her wrist on the console, her fingers still tingling with the after effects of the shock. She strolled in and briefly watched Lori sleeping peacefully before grabbing a chair from the far side of the room, propping it underneath the right corner, teetering dangerously above empty space - one foot on the chair, one on the back – and slowly, layer by layer, removed that god damn camera.Leveling the playing field.If Vera had to go blind, so did Blaine.

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