Once upon a time, Alaric woke up, and he was scared. He hadn’t always been that way. Before that day, he’d been a slicer–a bug, or a demon, or whatever he wanted to be, hidden in the systems of information pathways in every database he could get his hands on.
But then he was scared. It could be the fact that his friends started getting arrested left and right. It could be that his stupid habits had been putting his family’s reputation in danger. It could have been a lot of things. (Could be what he found in the CDC databases too.)
So, once upon that time–that day he woke up suddenly scared of everything–he decided to turn himself in. Yes, I did it, I’ve been stealing and selling your information. And it was on that day that he was going to be sent away with the rest of his colleagues.
But Georgia Mason found him first. He confessed, right? She said, though she knew next to nothing about the entire affair. Yet she still stood up at his sentencing and offered him a job. Penance. Time to start telling the truth, Alaric Kwong.
Funny thing is, she didn’t even know half of it, didn’t know the once upon a time, and didn’t know that he hadn’t always been this person.
“I’ll take it,” he’d said, terrified but elated, “I’ll take her offer.”
And that once upon a time brought him here.
Nothing’s really changed much–he still spends too much time online–except everything’s changed. He’s not in his parents’ basement, ruining plans and taking names. And he’s not with his old friends either. Instead, he’s with new ones and the information he gets is through purely ethical means.