Open Source

“Let me tell you about the revolution.” said Hack as I lay back, enjoying my smoke. Hack and I engaged in the worlds’ two oldest professions. I sold sex, and Hack stole stuff. Recently, Hack had been doing well enough to become a frequent client.

Hack wasn’t so bad, for a geek. His hair was a greasy mess and his stubble was scratchy on my skin but he always brought weed when he came over. I considered the drugs a peace offering for what would happen later. Hack pulled small black box out of his backpack, which was made of melted tires. “This box will unlock your house.”

I watched the smoke leave my lips in a stream and raised a sleepy eyebrow. “What do you mean?” The more time we spent talking about his projects, the less time I would have to spend naked. I might actually get another hour out of it.

“Just this, Jack.” Jack was the name I had told him, not very feminine, but I thought it sounded edgy. He slapped the box on the wall, and it whirred, blinking red. I found the color mesmerizing as it faded in and out, a soundless chime.

Hack stroked the box. “This is something I put together from old parts, but it’s made on a code that I found floating around the third world net. It unlocks all the content in your house, the music, the shows, even the programming on your PC. It configures your whole system to open source.”

I sat up, trying to shake off the haze. “Oh shit Hack, what the fuck did you do?” I looked at the evil box on my wall and felt nauseous. “Holy crap! If the cops get a link on this I’m fucked!”

“Calm down Jack, this is very new stuff. Third world. They are not going to get a link on it.”

I couldn’t be pacified. I was not a child. The red blinking light suddenly looked like a police siren. “Hack! You know how illegal open source stuff is. Why the hell did you bring that here? If the cops find it, I’m going to be in jail forever.” I got up and pulled on my soft velour overcoat, not even bothering to throw on my dress. “I’m leaving. I do not want to be here when the cops arrive and find the open source.”

“Stop freaking out Jack! The drugs are making you paranoid.” Hack got up and walked over to me, putting his big hands on my shoulders. “I configured this thing to avoid police scans. I’ve had it running for weeks at my place and I’ve yet to see a cop.”

It occurred to me that his program to avoid police scans must be why he was tipping so well. “Really?”

“Yeah, really. If you want, we can reset your house’s program when I leave.”

I shrugged. It wasn’t my house anyway; the place belonged to the madam. “Sure, okay.” I said, and giggled suddenly, thinking about Bera getting busted for open sourcing. It would serve her right.

“With this, you can get your shit to play on anything; you can rip it and trade it or whatever. You don’t have to buy new tech to make things run.”

“You’re shitting me.”

“No. The third world uses this kind of thing to rip and sell stuff back to us on the cheap. It’s illegal, but the laws in some places are pretty flexible.”

I wondered how long I could keep him talking. “That’s cool.” I said, playing nice.

Hack handed me another blunt. “Smoke up babe. This is the revolution.”

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