Coffee Break Read – The Laptop

From The Cracksman Code by Jane Jago

When he came home the next night Anna greeted him with a big kiss and a wry grin.
“Sandra and Esmond brought his laptop over.”
“Oh. That’s my fault isn’t it. I probably shouldn’t have mentioned computer geek. If people know that about you they’ll be beating a path to our door with their sickly electronics. Sorry.”
“Not a problem with those two, though I have sworn them to secrecy, but it might be good policy not to mention my magic fingers to anyone else.”
Sam looked a bit puzzled.
“It’s like this,” Anna said seriously, “I can do stuff with computers you probably wouldn’t even begin to imagine. Most of it is immoral and almost all of it is illegal. There are a lot of bad guys out there who would like nothing better than to find a hacker of my quality, and they wouldn’t be particularly bothered about the means they used to ensure my cooperation. One of the young guys I met on a training course wasn’t careful who he talked to. They killed his dog when he wouldn’t do what they wanted. I was careful before, but that made me paranoid.”
“Oh my god. Anna. I never thought.”
He pulled her to him in a rough hug. She hugged him back hard.
“My fault. I should have thought to tell you. And Esmond and Sandra just assumed that I had the average accountant’s computer skills. I didn’t disillusion them. I just looked at the heap of dog crap he laughingly calls a laptop.”
“Did you fix it?”
“No. To use a purely technical term, it’s fucked. I got his data off it and sent him off to buy a new one. Then he has to bring it for me to set up. I’ll make it simple for him to use. And difficult to break.”
“Will you do the same for me?”
“Almost. Though you aren’t quite as hamfisted as him!”
Sam roared with laughter.
“Just don’t tell his patients that.”
“I most certainly won’t,” she said severely, “I wouldn’t want somebody who can break solid state electronics messing around with my fanny!”
This time Sam laughed until he actually had tears running down his cheeks.
“It’s a shame those two won’t be at the fecking charity bash, they might have leavened the mix a bit. But Esmond was crafty enough to plead a prior engagement.”
“Yeah. I know. He says he’s grooming the horse they don’t own!”

Jane Jago

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