Honor Thy Mother & Thy Father Ch. 02byProlonged_Debut10©
Note: This is a work of FICTION. Although the areas this story takes place in are real; all of the landscapes depicted, the people described, and everything else this story uses to make it enjoyable reading for you are NOT REAL. As you read this story, try to remember:
The author retains all rights to this story.
"It is you again. I guess your father's yelling did not hurt your hearing as much as I thought it would. I still cannot use the word starting with the letter "N" and that the fourth vowel, as we learned as children, so the answer is still an elongated maybe. You know my terms, and I know you cannot live with them. You are not the only one that can check a person out. I broke into the Homeland Security Computers, and found my name all over the place. That was not a nice thing for you to do. That was an invasion of my privacy. I am going to publish the names of every girl you fucked, while you were in college and in graduate school. Their current husbands and boyfriends will be very angry with you. I am sure more than one of them will find a way to get to you. Do not do it again, or I will be very angry. You may leave your apology after the beep."
"Patricia, I did not spy on you, it was my father. Well, he did it, because I asked him to. I have a computer job for you that will pay you a minimum of fifty thousand dollars. If you succeed, it will pay you two hundred thousand dollars. It has nothing to do with my wanting to date you, although I would like to desperately. If you are interested, the next time I call, pick up the phone."
Her phone rang five minutes later, and Patricia picked it up and said, "I will not hack in to the Cray 4 computer again. I almost got caught the last time."
Stephano said, "You hacked into what?"
"If you do not know what a Cray 4 computer is, then forget I mentioned anything."
"We need to talk, face to face. I cannot talk to you about what I need over the phone. You can pick a time and a place, as long as it is public, and I will meet you there."
"The upper-level of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, halfway across, facing north, at 2 PM; if you are late, I am gone."
"You are kidding me right?"
"You are not as dumb as you look. How does Central Park, where we took our walk, at noon tomorrow."
"That sounds much more rational to me."
"This is not a date, this is business."
"Yes, my dear, this is business."
"I am not your dear. I am Patricia, or Miss Gallina, but I am definitely not your dear."
"Yes, my love," and before she could say anything, he hung up.
She threw her phone down on the, because she was pissed. He was an infuriating man. Handsome, educated, well spoken, and infuriating. If he were not a member of the family who had killed her mother, she would go out with him. If he knew what she intended to do to his father, he would probably kill her. The problem was she did not care. As long as Bruno Valentino was dead before she was, her mission in life was complete.
She was sitting on the grass munching on her sandwich, when he arrived.
"Is that all you are having for lunch," he asked.
"Not all of us can afford to dine with the rich and famous every day."
"If you can do to computers, what you brag you can do with them, your money worries are over."
"What type of computer am I dealing with?"
"A new IBM Z Enterprise Analytics System 9700. It has the high-speed cryptography and tamper-resistant hardware installed."
"What do you want me to do with it?"
"We want you to break into it and steal the files."
"You mean to tell me just for trying I get fifty grand, and when I get the files out, I get 200 thousand dollars more. Is that the whole deal?"
"I can bring it up to a million, if you can do one more thing."
"Who do I have to kill? If it is you, I will not charge anything extra."
"You do not have to kill anyone. All you have to do is destroy all the files, without destroying the computers."
"Shit, is that all?"
"What do you mean is that all?"
"I can do those three things in less than half a day."
"It is a brand-new computer with the best anti-theft commercial software in the world. Yet you are saying you can break into it, in under half a day?"
"I will not even break a sweat."
"I have got to see this. So does my father."
"The more the merrier, as long as they stay out of my way."
"I will set in it up. This will only be a test. There is no classified work in there yet. That will be downloaded later. We have to make sure the machines are secure first.
"Let me know where and when, and I will make sure I am available. It will be the first time my checkbook will actually be in the black."
Four days later, Patricia found herself on the eighteenth floor of a multiuse building in Queens. When she walked, in with her briefcase, the room was filled with men. They looked at her with disdain in their eyes. The only person she knew in that room was Stephano.
She said to him, "What the fuck is their problem?"
"These are the men that worked with our other computers. They said what you boast cannot be done. They have a lot of money riding on the outcome of this test.
"Can I get in on that?"
"You can ask them, if you want."
"Guys, what is the current line on me failing?"
"It is 20 to 1 you can't do it. And it is 9 to 1 you cannot do all three in four hours."
"Does anyone have more money they want to lose?"
The men started yelling numbers at her, and she asked them to stop. She looked at Stephano, and asked him to take bets up to two hundred thousand dollars for her.
He said he would take care of it.
Patricia walked over to the new computers and looked at their configuration, serial numbers, and their design specs from the back. She took out the IBM Redbook and went over the notes she underlined over the last few days.
Stephano came over to her and said, "All the bets are in; you stand to make a fortune and a half if you do all three."
"Stephano let me tell you something right now. The third one is the easiest one, because you forgot to do something. I will explain that later. Number one is the hardest 'getting in.' Once I am in, getting the files out is child's play. Let me know when you want me to start."
"We cannot start until my father's here. He is on his way."
As if on cue, Bruno Valentino walked through the door. Stephano went to greet his father, and every other man in the room stood up.
Patricia stayed where she was, and waited. When he approached her, she said, "Good morning, Don Valentino."
"Good morning, Patricia; my son speaks quite highly of you. I hope that you can do everything he says you can."
"Don Valentino, it is 10 AM, by 1:30 PM, you will be on your way to lunch. I will have accomplished all three tasks, without any problem."
"Very good, Patricia, please begin and make a mockery of all my former computer people."
"It will be my pleasure, sir. Would you care to sit by me, and watch what I do?"
"No, Patricia, but thank you for the offer. I am not one of those people who are computer literate."
Patricia approached the keyboard, and inserted a flash drive into a computer port. It immediately began uploading a program she made, and the IBM quickly started to work. Alarms immediately went off in the big machines, and the men behind her started to laugh. Their laughter was short-lived as the alarms died seconds later, as the program shut them off, and continued to upload. It took eighteen minutes for the program to upload completely, and during that time Patricia, did not take her eyes off the screen. It was like she was memorizing the code as it was passing by. When she saw what she needed on the screen, she immediately jotted it down on a notepad. It repeated itself seven times, skipped the sequence three times, and repeated it five more times. She smiled. She said to herself, "Those dummies at IBM never change their thinking. They change the code, but they leave the sequences." She was in. What was she going to do with the rest of the morning? Should she make it look hard, and earn her money? No, she thought, show off, and get everything done."
She turned around, faced Don Valentino, and said, "Don Valentino, are you comfortable?"
"Yes Patricia, I am quite comfortable."
"That is too bad, because I am done."
It was like the breath was taken out of the room. Seconds later, the men who had bet money against her yelled, "You cannot be finished, you have barely touched the keyboard."
"Idiots; when you know what you are looking for, you do not have to touch the keyboard, until you are ready to break in."
Don Valentino looked at Patricia and said, "Please continue with the test."
"As you wish, Don Valentino."
She looked at her notepad, typed in the code, followed by the appropriate sequencing. The lights on the computers all turned green.
She looked at Stephano, and asked if there was enough paper in the printer. He assured her there was.
She looked at the book; hit the sequence for the printing option, and the printer sprang into action. Stephano looked at the accountant who put the test into the computer. He nodded his head to confirm the numbers coming out were correct.
Stephano smiled at his father and said, "So far we owe Patricia 200 thousand dollars. I have a feeling, in a few moments; we will owe her one million dollars."
"Son, she may be worth her weight in gold."
Patricia stood up from the computer, took out her flash drive, put it back in her briefcase, and locked it. She looked at Don Valentino and asked his permission to call his son a dummy.
Bruno laughed. "Patricia, I think you just did."
"No Sir, I asked for your permission to call him a dummy. When I call him a dummy, you will really hear me call him a dummy. He spent a ton of money buying all this equipment, and he forgot the most basic item needed to protect the computer and its contents."
Bruno laughed again, looked at his son, and said, "Son, if I were you I would cover my ears."
Bruno nodded his head Patricia, giving her the go-ahead to admonish his son for his mistake.
Patricia moved to within 3 feet of Stephano, looked him straight in the eye and screamed, "You fucking dummy, you forgot to put in battery backups to protect this investment from losing all its data. If this room loses power, and the computer goes into free-fall, the way you have them set up, you will lose every 'byte' of information in there. A third grader would know better than to do that."
Stephano realized his mistake, and grabbed his head as it sunk into his lap. The room around him broke into laughter, because all the IT people realized it at the same time.
Patricia looked at them and said, "What the fuck are you laughing at. None of you thought about it, either. You should have warned him, while you were setting up these computers. Each of you should be taken outside and horsewhipped."
Don Valentino stood up, turned around, and looked at each of them. This was not a good sign. They had laughed at his son, and they were just as at fault as he was, maybe more so. Now they were in deep shit, and they knew it. He turned to Patricia and asked about the third part of the test.
Patricia said, "Don Valentino that was it. Follow me, sir." She walked over to the main circuit breaker in the room. She took the handle in her hand and said, "Let's say that you have an argument with another family, and they want to withdraw from this service. You download all of their information onto discs or flash drives and give to them. Now they have everything that they need. They also know where all your backups are, because you told them. They set up a strategy to make one organized hit. They take their squads, go to wherever you have your backups and at the appointed time, and place, they make their moves. At the same time they have to get rid of your main computer, which is right here. All I have to do is walk into this room, and pull this lever down. All your data is lost forever. You have it set up this way to protect the information from a raid by the FBI. If this building loses power, you lose all your information unintentionally. That is why you need a battery backup. Actually, you need two of them, and let me explain why. You also need at least two emergency shutdown switches. The Feds are going to know that you have a battery backup. Every good computer facility has one. It is normally not in the room with the computer. It is in the basement, just in case the batteries leak. That is where the Feds will look. You have to let them find that one. On another floor in this building, you have to have another battery backup. You put in a steel floor, covered by a rubber top, almost like a bathtub. If the batteries leak the acid goes nowhere. All the cables are run under the floor, and they will never look there to see if there are more electrical cables, than there should be. We have to disable all the green lights on these computers. They have to look like they are dead, at all times. These are just tricks of the trade that those idiots standing back there should have known. Your son is not a computer person. He is an administrator, who knows how to bring everything together. He needs good people around him to do the jobs that need to be done. I am not lobbying for a job. I like what I do. I like putting together a program for a print shop. I like putting together a program for the city. I like doing different things for different people. It keeps my brain sharp. I meet nice people, and I go all over the city. If you need me, every once in a while, I will be glad to help, but I like my freedom.
Don Valentino said "No wonder my son likes you Patricia. Everyone he meets wants to tie him down. He meets you, and he has to chase you all over town. You drive him crazy, and he likes it."
Patricia whispered in the Don's ear, "So do I Don Valentino."
Don Valentino broke into laughter, when she said it to him.
Stephano came running over to his father to find out what he was laughing about.
"What is going on father?"
Bruno said to his son, "She has another name for you, and it is worse than dummy."
"What is it; I have a right to know."
"When you are ready to hear it son, I will tell you. However, you are not ready, yet."
"Father, you are being totally unfair."
"No one said I had to be fair to my son."
Don Valentino said, "Patricia, may I take you to lunch?"
"I would be honored, sir."
Stephano asked, "May I come also?"
Patricia said, "No, you may not. You have work to do. You have to find a vacancy on this side of the building to run electrical cables from the battery backups to this floor, and from the basement. You have to have one of these computer fuck-ups, that is smart enough, figure out how many batteries are needed to give you two hours of computing time for your backups. Then they have to double that amount for the two systems. You have to find emergency cutoff switches that can handle the load from the alternate battery backups. Then find electricians, who can keep their mouths shut to install this stuff correctly, so this investment does not explode, when you test it. When you finish all of that and get your head out of your ass, maybe one day I will think about going out with you." She took Don Valentino's arm, and walked out the door with him.
Stephano's pale skin turned fire engine red. He was not happy. He had to figure out a way to get even with her that did not include sex. He would not do that to her. That would be rape and he was not a rapist. She was the most infuriating woman he had ever met. He believed it was time to talk to his grandmother.
He turned around and saw the IT men standing around doing nothing. He said, "Cover your bets, and get to work, before you become grass food."
He had never used the threat of physical violence before, however, watching the reaction of the men in front of him, he had no doubt he would use it again; when necessary.
He did the calculations for each man, and took their checks, warning them, they had better be good. Stephano was pissed at her, but he smiled at the realization that Patricia would never have money problems again. For the few moments, she was here today; she had taken $4.2 Million from the IT people, who bet against her, plus $1 Million from the five families. If she let him, he would help her keep it out of the governments' hands, and safely in hers. He laughed when a thought popped into his head: "That is if I do not kill her, or marry her first."
13. Run for Your Life
William Zabo packed his Land Rover and was ready to leave, when he peered outside his windows, and saw an unfamiliar car parked halfway down the curved street where he lived. He checked his sidearm, which he was not good at using, but was hopeful it could scare someone off. He went back into the garage, removed all the quick set pins that held the support posts for the one eighth inch plywood garage door together. He removed the beams and set them aside. He unbolted the locking mechanism from the door, and removed it. He removed the cotter pins that held the cold rolled steel posts to the wheels, removed those, allowing the wheels to gently fall down to the floor. The only wheels he did not remove were those at the very top that held the door flush to the curvature of the steel garage door supports; so it would continue to hold the door in place. The Range Rover could now drive through the flimsy plywood door, without getting a scratch on it. He started the car and connected it to the exhaust hose that would vent the fumes outside his house. When he was finished, he walked back inside, and took a quick shower. He dressed in a heavy turtleneck, cable knit sweater that would keep him warm if he had to open the windows of the car, while he was driving. He turned off all the lights in the house, one by one; that last being the light to his bedroom, to make everyone think he had gone to sleep. He switched on his night vision goggles, and watched for any movement from the car. Forty-five minutes later, three men, dressed all in black, got out of the car and walked up the hill towards his home. His bedrooms were on the far side of the house from the garage, and two of the men branched off to go in that direction. The other man headed straight for the front door.
William backed up to the door to the garage, and waited for the man to enter the front door.
The man picked the door lock quickly, and walked into the entryway. He scanned for anything unusual, but saw nothing. He heard a rumbling sound, but could not make out what it was. He turned left and went towards the bedrooms.
As soon as he did this, William closed the door to the garage, and sealed it with a 2 x 4. He got in to the Range Rover, slid it into gear, and slammed his foot onto the gas pedal. The car roared through the shabby garage door, as if it was not there. He made a hard right turn at the end of his driveway and went down the street towards the car the men had exited.
The drivers' side door opened, but the driver was too late getting out. The front end of the Land Rover hit the door and crushed him, before he was able to draw his weapon.
The three men came running from the house, knowing they had been tricked. They ran down to the car, hoping to get in and follow William, and quickly dispatch him to the next world. When they got to the car, what they found made them ill. The driver's head sat on the roof of the car, while his body was inside spurting blood everywhere. Their leader was gone, and they were irate. They had to find this man and deal with him appropriately. However, they needed a car first. Two men walked up to the nearest house and knocked on the door. When no one answered, they knocked again, and again, until a light came on. An elderly man opened the door, and he asked them what they wanted at this hour of the morning.