Scumhackers

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"Did ya reset that last pango before you sold it to the girl?" asked Martin while urinating, standing upright behind a mound of garbage. She finished, pulled up her pants and strolled over to where Rico sat.

Rico surveyed the laneway situated adjacent to the B line train tracks and intersecting South Valley Road. The thoroughfare was nothing more than an illegal dumping ground among a forest of weeds. "Why the fuck would I wanna do that?" responded Rico, sitting down on the broken pavement picking at a hole in his dirty pants. "Fuck, I'm hungry.

Martin grabbed Rico by the mane and whacked his face against his knee. "What da fuck ya do dat for?" yelped Rico.

Martin turned to face the silent traffic. Thousands of multicoloured vehicles crawled along like electric bugs, "Go get it back."

"What? Fuck no. Why?"

"Cause I fucking said so," answered Martin, her short cropped hair, neck tattoo and bodytech adding to her masculinity, her authority, her brutishness. "The pango needs to be reset. I told you to sell the data, not the whole thing."

"But the Bitrodog cajero needs the actual pango to unscramble the rootkeys. Without it the data is inaccessible."

"Did you use that pango to access the DEN?"

"Well, yeah."

"So you used your own private rootkey. Now anyone with that rootkey can access everything you've ever posted on the dendrome. All it takes is two or more interactions to link you to the outside world and Yellowcop finds you in a heartbeat. Go get that fucking pango back, and destroy it."

Rico climbed to his feet, ready to demonstrate his defiance. "How?"

"How?"

"How is Yellowcop gonna find me?"

For a brief moment, Martin looked like she could attack him once again, instead, she explained. "The dendrome is the blockchain algorithm that runs the entire Dendros ecosystem, right?"

"Yeah."

"And nests are public communication threads embedded within the dendrome. So, if you've interacted with two or more twiddlers who've been compromised, Yellowcop will scour the GIoT until it found it's way to you. You getting this?"

"But there's no geo-stamp or time-stamp on the dendrome. How's it gonna get me?"

"Yellowcop has mapped out the entire Dendro ecosystem. Interlinking DEN activities with real-world activities, it can feasibly work out who you are just by using your twiddle or your private rootkey. So did you use the pango or not?"

Rico decided to back down. For Martin, he would do anything she wanted.

"You should know better, fuckhead," she said and walked away.

Rico strutted in the opposite direction, heading for the main road. His usual goal, would have been to scanpocket as many pangos from passing pedestrians and motorist as possible. Those unfortunate enough to have been left vulnerable by the Dendro were his prey. Stealing dash and private data was Rico's only objective. To him, cars were simply moving wallets; toll wallets, drive-thru wallets, and those were only the add-ons. Big prizes were the propriety wallets that paid for services such as charge-ups, repairs and even car washes. Some of these often came in the form of cash accounts.

Cash or dash — made no difference to Rico.

Sensitive and compromising data — made all the difference between a bad score and a good one.

The pango in question he stole from a woman at the Solaria Recharge Station. She'd been sitting in the eatery, most likely waiting for her recharge. Rico had a hunch about her. Her fish tattoo, her nervous eyes, her demeanour, each attributed to his interest in her. People this intriguing always had some sordid story behind them and stealing their data usually paid well. So, Rico pounced, the old-fashioned way. Bumping into her. Pick-pocketing her personal-area-network-gadget-organiser. He found it already jailbroken and full of home-made guttersnuff. It was content he could sell, but that required they transfer the Dendros rootkeys. Keeping them in the original pango would compromise the holder, so that is where Bitrodog fits in. If one knew a good cajero, they could print a new pango, jailbroken and without the standard GIoT tracking features

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