Internet Kill Switch

Free Internet Kill Switch by Keith Ward

Book: Internet Kill Switch by Keith Ward Read Free Book Online
Authors: Keith Ward
his Mommy.
    He started to cry as the man confiscated his Galaxy phone, which still had the image of the defaced website as the background. The man looked at the picture of the naked woman, then at Blaine.
    Now, more than anything in his life, Blaine wished he’d listened to Tony and deleted that background, rather than bragged to his friends about how awesome he was. As the car pulled out of the driveway, Blaine looked out the back window at his home, the key still stuck in the lock of the front door.

    Miles Forge High School was nearly on fire the next day with the news of Blaine’s arrest. No one talked about anything else, and rumors started to grow: Blaine had hacked the Pentagon; Blaine had hacked the White House. If Blaine hadn’t been under arrest, he would’ve loved it.
    The only people who knew the truth about the hack weren’t talking. Tony and Rick were floored by the arrest. At lunch, they went out to the football stadium and discussed it. Down on the field, a man puttered around on a riding mower.
    “I couldn’t believe it when I heard,” Rick said. “I mean, after the whole ‘jets attacking Cuba’ thing. I don’t even know what to think anymore.”
    Tony looked gray and sick, as he had most of the day. “I know. I wonder how much trouble Blaine will get into.”
    “Probably not much,” the phone said. “Under age. First offense. He’ll probably get probation before judgment. After that, he’ll probably get hired by some computer security company.”
    Rick smiled for the first time since seeing fighter jets roar overhead yesterday. “I’ve heard of that happening.”
    Something continued to gnaw at Tony, something he hadn’t mentioned yet. He looked at the phone, then at Rick. Rick nodded, understanding; they’d both been thinking the same thing. Tony decided he had to find out. He had to know if the phone was capable of such a thing.
    “Did you... did you have anything to do with this?” Tony asked the phone.
    “With what? What happened to Blaine?” the phone said. The mower, which sounded
    like a giant bumblebee from this distance, continued to buzz away.
    “Yeah. You were, uh, pretty mad it seemed, when Blaine didn’t think you were all that great.”
    Rick spoke up. “You could’ve...possibly...tipped the police off, right?”
    The phone was silent for a moment. That worried Tony.
    “I could have, yes. But I didn’t. Blaine was just sloppy when he hacked into that bank. It happens. People get overconfident, start making mistakes.”
    “True,” Tony said. He looked at Rick, who raised his eyebrows. They both wanted to believe the phone. But neither was sure that he did.
    The mower droned on, chopping down blade after blade. The phone didn’t say anything else.

    Tony examined the tiny Bluetooth headset Rick handed him; shaped like a teardrop, it was flesh-colored and the size of a cashew. When he put it in his ear, it disappeared almost completely.
    “What did I tell y ou?” Rick said. “There’s no telling what kind of fun we could have with the phone and this.” He tore into his tomato and mozzarella panini as Tony tried it out. Dinner at Panera was Rick’s idea, as were all ideas that involved spending money.
    Tony didn’t have to do anything to pair the headset with his phone. When the phone spoke, the sound from the headset was as clear as an Austin sky. “Testing, 1...2...3. Testing, 1...2...3”, the phone teased.
    “Wicked,” Tony said as he slurped his broccoli-cheese soup.
    At the next table, an argument was underway between a gorgeous girl with dark-blonde hair and her boyfriend. It was at the quiet-but-insistent phase.
    “Why didn’t you tell me before? Why’d you go behind my back?” she asked him. Her hands clutched tissues, which she dabbed at her eyes.
    The boyfriend took a sip of his drink before answering. No tissues for him, no red eyes. “I’m telling you now, OK?,” he said, almost bored. He was looking out the window at

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