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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hacker or Virus (computer) (12/15/11)

TITLE: Deragned Little Beast
By Allison Egley
12/28/11


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Kate hung her head over the side of her lofted bed in her college dorm room, as sounds started coming from her computer. Soon the room was filled with an eerie glow.

"Uh.... Jody?" Her roommate was sound asleep.

"I know I turned that thing off.... didn't I?"

The next morning, she asked her roommate about it. "Jody, did I turn my computer off last night before I went to bed?"

"Yeah, I think so, but I don't remember. Why?"

"It turned itself on in the middle of the night last night."

Jody eyed her suspiciously. "Are you sure?"

"Well, I know it turned on in the middle of the night, and I'm almost sure I turned it off. I guess I'll try again tonight."

That night, both Kate and Jody made sure the computer was off.

A few hours later, Kate heard that sound again. "Uh... Jody? Jody? JODY!"

Jody woke up with a start. "What's going on?"

"My computer."

Jody sat up and stared at the computer desk, as the computer made noises, and that eerie glow filled the room once again "Okay. Now that's just freaky."

"Yep."

The next day, Kate ran a virus scan but nothing came up. She turned it off when they went to the store. When they returned, it was on again.

"That's it. I'm calling tech support."

While on the phone with tech support, the phone picked up another conversation, which both Kate and the tech person could hear. "Does this happen frequently at your college?" the tech person asked, with his heavy accent.

"Uh.... no?" Kate said. Oh boy. Between my computer turning on and this, this guy must think I'm crazy.

The tech guy gave her instructions, and Kate hung up.

She tried the fix, but that night, the computer turned on once again. The next night, she pulled the plug on it. Literally.

"Okay," she said to Jody, shaking the plug, "If this thing comes on again tonight, I'm climbing.... no... jumping... down from that loft and running. On second thought, if I jumped, I'd probably break my leg, making me unable to run and get away from that deranged computer. Perhaps I'll climb down, quickly and carefully."

"I'll be right behind you," Jody said. "Wake me up if it comes on. Don't leave me alone with that demented thing."

Thankfully, the lack of a power source was enough to keep the computer quiet.

For the rest of the year, every night and every morning, Kate climbed under the desk to unplug the computer and plug it back in.

The next school year, Kate unpacked her computer again in her new room with her new roommate. Samia saw her unplug the computer that night and asked what was going on.

"Well, last year, this little beast liked to turn on all by itself. I'm not taking any chances this year."

Soon after that, a mandate came from the campus IT staff. The dorm internet network wouldn't be turned on until all residents had run proper virus scans and installed patches for the newest vicious computer virus on their computers.

Jody and her new roommates were having problems installing the patch, and called Kate for help.

"I'll be right over."

While helping one of the girls install the patch, Kate noticed a peculiar setting. There was an unchecked check box next to the phrase "Power on computer with network activity." Hmmmm..... I wonder if that's checked on my computer and that's why...

Kate returned to her room, and tried to replicate the steps to get to the infamous screen, sending up short prayers that she'd find it, and that it would reveal the answer.

"A HA!" Kate stated, as she triumphantly unchecked the box and saved the settings.

Samia eyed her. "What was that all about?"

"I think I finally figured out why my computer was turning itself on last year. There was a setting on there telling it to turn on with network activity. Now I wonder why the tech person couldn't tell me about that little setting? I'm going to leave my computer plugged in tonight to see if it turns on."

"Okay," Samia said, "but if it does turn on, wake me up, because I'm getting out of here."

"I'll be right behind you," Kate laughed.

Kate and Samia slept soundly that year, never again awakened by the computer, which, perhaps, was not so deranged after all.


*********
While the dialogue has been (mostly) made up and recreated, this story is based on true events.


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This article has been read 339 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jennifer Dawn Suchey 12/30/11
Wow! What a shocker that this was based on a true story! I enjoyed it. Nice job. :)
CD (Camille) Swanson 12/30/11
Wow - that was some story! Amazed me that it was true, but usually true stories are the amazing ones. Thanks, I really liked this one.
God Bless~
Nancy Bucca01/04/12
I like this one a lot. Interesting story, combined with a little thrill.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/04/12
This was a great little mystery. I really liked it was based on the truth. My husband is a IT guy and has great stories like this.
Linda Goergen01/04/12
Very interesting read, a well written, entertaining mystery!