Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Hacker or Virus (computer) (12/15/11)
TITLE: My Name Is Andrew
By Leola Ogle
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Andrew turned and squinted at the young man sprinting towards him, his hand raised in salute.
“It’s me, Michael.” The young man extended his hand, his smile slowly fading as he studied the look of irritation on Andrew’s face. “Michael – from Beaumont High. We went to school together all four years there. Surely you remember me.”
Andrew frowned. “My name is Andrew – Andrew Tate.”
Michael shifted his stance and stared in disbelief. “Seriously? Is this a joke, Jonathan? We played on the same football and baseball teams for two years. And you turned when I called your name.”
Andrew clenched his teeth and turned to walk away. “You’re mistaken!” His voice was firm and unyielding, squashing all further conversation.
“But….” Michael’s voice faded. He shrugged, continuing to stare at the back of the man he knew as Jonathan until he disappeared around a corner of a building.
Andrew waited a few minutes, then peaked around the corner, dismayed to see Michael still standing there. He gave a heavy sigh before walking on.
When he got to his apartment complex he glanced over his shoulder, fearful that he might have been followed. “Hey, Andrew,” his neighbor called out. Andrew gave a half wave before hurrying into his apartment.
He was no longer Jonathan Martin. It had been two years since he had assumed the identity of Andrew Tate. He still marveled at how easy it had been.
He needed a way out. His life had been so messed up. He had warrants out for back child support, for speeding and other traffic violations, he was being hunted by a loan shark that he owed money, he had gambling debts, and had been involved in a drug bust and barely escaped being captured by the police.
He was on the run and hiding out when something on the news caught his attention. It was a story of a young man named Andrew Tate who had been involved in a serious car accident, leaving him in a vegetative state. Jonathan used his computer skills to hack into Andrew’s accounts – bank accounts, facebook, email, and several other accounts. Between that and all the information about his accident, Jonathan soon had date of birth, social security number, address, schools attended, parents names – everything he needed to take over Andrew’s identity.
It was almost too easy to get copies or replacements of all the necessary documents. He moved to a suburb outside of New York City. Now everyone knew him as Andrew Tate. He was Andrew Tate.
He had really intended to stay out of trouble, but he soon put his skills to use hacking into accounts, making fake ID’s, stealing credit cards and bank account information, and anything else people were willing to pay him to do. He reasoned that it must be a special gift, this talent, this ability of his. Why not use it?
This Michael, though – that might create a problem, being recognized. He might have to move. He’d really hate if that happened, he had a good thing going here.
He grabbed a beer from the fridge. Taking a long drink, he rubbed his lips with the back of his hand. He paced nervously back and forth and then went to the window, peering through a slit in the blinds. His heart stopped. The police were out front talking to his neighbor, the one that had called out to him earlier.
Had he been found? Maybe it had nothing to do with him, but he couldn’t take a chance. He hurriedly packed a duffel bag, grabbed his stash of money, and his laptop. He peered through the window once more and saw that another police car had arrived.
He slipped out the back door, made it to his car and sped off. He kept glancing in his rear view mirror until he was safely out of town. He’d have to get a new identity, and get established in another city. Not a problem. He had skills; he had talent. It was a gift.
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