Author’s Note: Most of the inspirational spark that gave rise to this story came from watching a certain video containing MatPat talking about WATCH_DOGS and hacking, combined with choosing to look at the bright side while and after watching it.
“So, what do you want, Professor?”
It was the weekend, meaning that I was on a day off. And for some reason, this bedheaded and labcoated dude who I call “Professor,” even though he’s never taught a class because of his aversion when it comes to large groups of students, decided to call me to his lab.
“I’ve made a new invention, John, and I’d like you to try it out!”
He’s a pretty nice guy, despite the introversion…but still…there are certain aspects in him that make me worry sometimes.
“Okay…I know we’re close friends…but still, I’d like to ask…What insanity have you made this time, Professor?”
And then he picked up this smartphone from a table filled with a bunch of tools and whatever stuff he uses for his work. I suddenly felt like I’m gonna see something I’ve seen before…
“So, I was playing video games, as usual,” he said while waving a hand with the phone in it, “And this one game had this guy who was able to hack so many things in a computer-network-connected city. From a simple set of traffic lights to a whole power grid, he could hack it with a few touches on his smartphone. You do know what I’m talking about, right?”
“Well, considering that all your questioning and science work almost always requires me to have enough knowledge about the video games that you play…Yeah, I think I know that game that you’re talking about.”
Suddenly, a horrible thought hit me as I realized that I knew the game that he was talking about, all while I looked at the phone that he was waving around.
“No…” I said while slowly shaking my head and stepping back a bit. “Nope…You are not going to tell me that you actually made such a dangerous hacking device…right…?”
“Hey, it’s not like I’m planning to use it to destroy humanity, John!” he replied with his strangely chilled-out tone. “And besides, it’s not as advanced as the actual thing in that video game. It can gain access into stuff, but once connected, it can only go as far as stealthily reading, copying, and storing the data that passes through computer-network-connected terminals unless the owner of the terminals that I access allows me to modify stuff. And it can actually send permission requests! Like this!”
Sometimes, I wonder if Professor is actually aware of the dangers that he puts himself in. I sighed as I put a palm to my face.
My phone suddenly rang with a beep that I’ve never heard before in my phone. I took my smartphone out of my pocket.
[Hey, is it alright if I fiddle around with your terminal? You’re free to say no, by the way! ^_^]
“How blunt,” I declared as I read the message that popped up in my phone. “How politely blunt, professor.”
“Isn’t it interesting? The thing we thought that would only exist in fiction can exist in reality!” he shouted with raised arms and a wide grin.
“Interesting, yeah, and dangerous, yeah.” I replied with a frown. “It’s surprising that some criminal organization hasn’t come to kidnap you for your tech yet.”
“That’s because I’ve got tight measures that I use to hide myself while in cyberspace and while in the outside world! Like not going out to the outside world most of the time and using multiple pseudonyms while in the Internet!”
“I don’t think I should even bother trying to understand how you manage to hide yourself so well…I don’t want to add up to the headache that I got from my hangover and that strange situation last night…”
“Anyway, wanna try it out and expose and kick some criminal butt?” he asked as he pushed the modified smartphone closer to me. “I think it can be used for something that’s actually productive for all of humanity, you know! Well, that’s how I choose to look at it. What about you? How do you want to look at it? To be honest, it would be disappointing to hear you say no, but hey, being with people who are forced to work with me isn’t fun!”
Oh, of course. This close friend of mine may be a worrisome person at times, but there’s a good reason he became a close friend of mine. One such reason is that he doesn’t force me into his insane works.
And on another note, most of humanity these days look at the world like it’ll stay being shit forever. Professor? Well, he’s one of the minority who still has faith in humanity. I guess he’ll never have no faith in humanity, no matter how many times humanity, including himself, acts like shit. And that’s another good reason he’s a close friend of mine.
With all those reasons comes another reason: His insane but interesting and, at times, awesome works are a big part in what makes this boring life of mine really entertaining and really worth living.
Besides, who doesn’t want to successfully kick criminal butt?
I smiled as I looked at the modified phone in his hand and the grin on his eyebagged face.
“I think I’ll go trust you and join you in some good insanity again…” I said as I folded my arms. “…but first…get some sleep. You’ll probably make us screw up bigtime with your drowsiness.”
“Great!” he shouted as he put the phone in my hand and then turned around. “Now, I should sleep!”
And then he crashed face-first on the tiled floor.
Ah, calling him a close friend is freaking worth it, alright.