And then it was white. The dreaded blackout … Cherry, worried, had called for help and Erin was rushed to hospital. There, the medics updated her implant, and all the confusion around her faded.

Erin was not allowed to return to her room for several hours. When she returned, she quickly connected to the darknet. She alerted Kwier.


<Pathfinder> Hi Kwier. Bad news, I spent part of the day in the hospital.

<Kwier> I was worried about you, you didn’t come on time.

<Pathfinder> Yes, at that time they were updating my implant. Kwier, I’m scared! I don’t have much time.

<Kwier> Yes, I know.

<Pathfinder> Kwier! I don’t want that to happen. I don’t want to end up like this!

<Kwier> Pathfinder, the team and I have developed a little tool. Thanks to the data you provided us, we believe we have understood the communication protocol with the implant. So, you should be able to access your implant, and remove the checkout routine.

<Pathfinder> What if it doesn’t work ?!

<Kwier> If that doesn’t work, here are the plans to make an EMP micro bomb. It will burn all that is devices around. On the other hand, you had better be discreet after that, because your implant will no longer work, and you will stand out.

<Pathfinder> I would take the risk. Anything but becoming a zombie.

<Kwier> Try the first trick first.

Kwier DCC tool.tgz

Kwier DCC EMP.pdf

<Kwier> The first file contains the latest version of our tool to deactivate the implant, the second contains the diagram of the EMP bomb.

<Pathfinder> OK. Thank you.

<Kwier> Be careful.

<Pathfinder> Always.


Erin logged off. She unzipped the archive provided and took a look at the code for Kwier.

This piece of code was to allow him to access the implant. By reverse engineering the prototype, and by statistical analysis, they had succeeded in understanding the protocol used and interfacing with the implant. Apparently all they needed was the password that protected the access.

Once the password was entered, they weren’t sure what was behind it. If they had had more time, they could have found Erin’s implant password and studied what was behind it.

But since they didn’t have time, the Kwier program would have to connect to the implant, communicate with it until the password was entered.

He then had to bruteforcer the password, then, since they did not know what was behind it, a mini AI had to take the hand if Erin could not, in order to obtain as quickly as possible the necessary information in order to disconnect the control part of the implant.

She then looked at the diagram of the EMP bomb. She didn’t have what she needed on hand. And a hunch told her that she wouldn’t have time to put together what she needed.

So he had to use the Kwier tool, even if it was untested, even if the last part would be left to an I.A. Because time was running out. And since he was in a hurry, you might as well test right away. Why wait ?

Erin connected to her computer through the implant. She threw the Obfuscator for the third time today, and then the tool that Kwier had just sent her.

And she was patient. She could see that the program was bruteforcing access to her implant. But it was quite likely that it would take several hours, maybe even several days … It might not even be possible to bruteforcer if they had entered a password long enough.

But Erin had nothing to do and preferred to remain optimistic. Already, she was supposed to rest the rest of the day, according to the doctors. So if she didn’t show up in class, that would be normal. Cherry might come by, but she made a point of never coming to see what Erin was doing on her computer.

The percentage of passwords tested was increasing. Fortunately, it hadn’t occurred to the designers that someone would seek access to the implant… There were ways to slow down, if not even counter the bruteforce; If they had put a delay between connection attempts, or banned the connecting IP address, or anything like that, it would have been impossible to find the correct password. And she couldn’t just leave the implant here, let the program run and go do something else …

Finally, a positive point: if they had not considered logging into the implant, the password was likely not to be too long.

The half hour ended. And the password had not been found. Erin, ended the program with death in the soul. She couldn’t risk being discovered so close to the goal.