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A Different Kind of Hunt
Time flies when you are having fun. Rather when the Regus keeps you busy. The parchment had been translated sussed out emotionally. Aria hoped to never touch the thing again. One day the world would end, but Aria hoped it would never be in her lifetime. But the signs said other wise.

But meeting that mysterious man who could fling monsters around like they were leaves on the wind made Aria question her beliefs and teachings. How could something that had the morals to save another life be evil?

Sadly life moves on and the mysteries remain mysteries. Hunting was life. Aria was out hunting for something else this time. It wasn't a monster or a reborn god, but the elusive hacker.

It wasn't like she could put out an advertisement that said Looking for hacker to hack government issue goggles and a proprietary wallet system for integration for Atharim purposes.

Aria had been going to the underground making friends for nearly a week. It was easy to bribe those down on their luck. Food, money, new shoes whatever it was they needed Aria could get her hands on - with in reason of course.

She'd found a few boys who touted around computers. But they had already failed at the small little task Aria had asked of them, to find the specs for the goggles. Surely a hacker could get them. But these boys were nothing more than that - boys pretending to be hackers who knew little more than playing a video game or two.

Today was probably going to be her last meeting with them. Hopefully they had found something useful.

The boys were just more than teenagers, probably no more than 19 years of age. They were greased over from lack of showers or rather money. They both wore ragged leather shoes and oversized clothes. Hand-me downs in the worst shape possible but the boys were always in good spirits.

The taller of the two boys smiled when he saw Aria approaching. He had tried to wrap his arm around her and Aria deftly avoided him. She had gotten rather good at avoiding someone's touch, wanted or unwanted it was not something she needed right now. "Did you find something?"

The second lad shook his grease blonde hair emphatically yes. He spoke in a quiet voice, "Though I don't think you'll like it."

"Try me." Aria was optimistic. It didn't pay to be half empty glass type of person.

The blonde boy smiled at her, "We found a web site. It has some resources that you might find useful." He handed Aria a peice of paper with a link neatly written on it.

Aria nodded, "I suppose that'll do." Aria handed the boys a small wad of cash. It wasn't much, but it was all she could manage right now until she had another hunt, her funds were rather limited. "Thanks. I'll see ya around."

The boys frowned disappointed. Aria turned and left, there was no point giving the boys any hope of any friendship. They had merely been a means to an end. Besides, they were nearly half her age.

Aria held the small snippet of paper in her hands and hoped that the website would show more promise.

((OOC anyone can jump in, no more plans for this thread))
continued from A Different Kind of Hunt - Repost from Little Place Above a Shop

The boys hadn't been very helpful overall hopefully the little piece of paper in Aria's hand would make it worth her while.

The sparsness of her new apartment was comforting. But it still lacked the hominess she wished for. One day, shopping would be in order, but today Aria sat down on the provided stuffed chair and pulled out her wallet.

It was a simple device. Not like the one she wanted to hack into. She needed more power than her own personal one held. At least that was what she figured. Hopefully she be able to explain to a hacker exactly what she needed.

Aria tapped out the link in her wallet and it opened into nothing more than a bunch of text and links. Information overload. But that was far better than emotional overload for Aria.

Aria sat and sifted through the information and at the very bottom she found a link it was nearly hidden in a picture of a cat hanging from a tree. The picture was clearly a throw back from the early part of the century when social media was big.

The link started a download. Aria could only hope that it didn't set of any security on her wallet. Thankfully it was fast and done with in seconds and even the installation didn't prompt any security warnings.

The new program blinked at her before she tabbed the icon to start it. It was simple. Just a text box to type in. Seriously?

Aria started typing her message:

Hopefully this works. I'm looking for someone to integrate a wallet and a government issue set of goggles. Pay isn't great to start with, but if it turns out great you can have all the credit and the patents etc. As well as sell it to another bidder. My uses are private and I don't care what ya'll do wit it later.

Aria clicked the encrypt button at the bottom of the box.

Magic happened. Pages of the internet flipped by. An archived post filtered to the top. And the screen split in two. One was the archived page from the Huffington Post, the other was her message in black and white.

A line at the bottom said, "Searching for replies..."

((Continuing here as it's just as good a place as any. Changing direction of of how this plays out since the comments part is killing the muse.))
It was a boring day at work. Granted she was working hard, but the security issues most companies have were really just too easy to get around. Hacking into the Kermlin or the WHO servers was by far more challenging. But today she was working some mundane corporation. Katya didn't even fully understand what they did, she just knew they had installed new security protocols and she was to attempt to bypass them. It's not that she couldn't get past them, but there were certain levels of security that companies paid for. Places like banks required heavy security. And those were hard to crack. Government agencies were even harder, but the everday companies, they couldn't necessarily aford that level of security, much less afford the hacker to test their security.

Katya's boss' philosphy was to ensure that the company under contract had at least one level above what was required for their payments, except for of course the highest level of protection, which meant that it should be hacker proof with current technology. It was hard to see what would come out in the future. Hell they even had a department of hackers whose sole job was to think of new ways to hack - call it R&D he said.

So on this uneventful day of typing away at the prompt trying to get around security protocols that were pretty mundane, Katya had open the darknet open and was skimming through items that caught her attention. Being what they called a white hat made patrolling the darknet dangerous for her collegues out in the world. But Katya was not a rat and that left her standing decently in that underworld of technology.

So many projects out there that could be fun. But there was never any reason to contact them. Her boss said things like that were a conflict of interest. So she stayed away. He was after all paying the bills.

An interesting message popped up:
<dd> </dd>
Hopefully this works. I'm looking for someone to integrate a wallet and a government issue set of goggles. Pay isn't great to start with, but if it turns out great you can have all the credit and the patents etc. As well as sell it to another bidder. My uses are private and I don't care what ya'll do wit it later.

Clearly this person was not overly knowledagble about the darknet, probably stumbled upon it from some stupid kid. Playing with some new fangled toy.

Katya replied back. She probably wouldn't help but it would be fun to make a jab at such a newbie.

Hacking government systems is illegal. *smart ass grin*

Katya giggled as she sent the message. What was interesting about the whole thing was the request was from someone locally. And since they were a newb it was pretty probably that they really were local and not some hack bouncing things everywhere first.

Now only to wait and see the response.
It was only moments later when another message popped up under hers. Aria rolled her eyes at the action written down in the body of the test. Kids! It didn't help that the answer wasn't helpful at all. Not even in the slightest. Illegal, well duh! Why else would she be posting there.

Aria had to temper her anger. It wouldn't be good to shoot down the responder with out explaining further. She got up and walked around her apartment, pacing and thinking. She couldn't do this herself, she had to find someone to do the programming and the connecting. Her idea but she didn't have the talent to do it herself. Maybe if she'd not been locked away in the basement of the Vatican for her entire life. No she wasn't bitter much. And time only made the taste in her mouth worse. Her life then and now were so much different, yet she still felt locked in a cage like some freak show candidate.

Her anger seethed and Aria had to sit down on the floor of her kitchen and let the cool tiles infiltrate the heat of her rage. It barely worked but with the coolness on her back side and the flame in her thoughts, she was soon in control of her emotions. It was hard living in a world where everything felt.

Aria pulled out her wallet and start typing her reply. Hopefully much cooler than her original thoughts had been.

<dd> </dd>
If it were legal I wouldn't be asking the lot of you now would I?

I'd have hired some software engineer who could do it for double the price and still mess it up.

I'm looking for someone with an open mind, someone who can keep secrets and someone who is up to the challenge I will present them.

And the familiar message spun back at her as she waited for another reply.
The project did intrique Katya, however who knew if this was just some ploy to pull a black hat hacker into the open. Katya sat on a reply for several hours. She didn't want to look like she was too eager, too bored, or give the potential client hope. Katya hadn't exactly decided to help or not yet.

Surely there was already an app to do what this person wanted. Goggles and wallets probably went together somewhere and at some point in time. More information would be required that was for sure. But the details probably wouldn't come from an online message. But one could only hope.

<dd> </dd>
I need more details.

Katya hovered over the enter key before sending it off. She doubted it would be enough. They would have to meet, and that scared Katya more than hacking into the WHO security system. This could end badly, very badly.
It was several hours after her last response was sent. Aria decided to head downstairs and take a look at the shop below that her landlord owned. It wasn't much, mostly dusty and old books dating back to a century that no one could recall some even farther back than that.

But books weren't the only things that she'd seen. On her first trip through the little shop she had eyed an antique sword sitting high up on a shelf above the stairs.

Aria could sit and stare at it for hours on end. The shop keep always watched her stare at the sword. He never said anything just watched her.

She'd taken a picture of it and browsed through some of the books that held stories and accounts of ancient weapons and battles. Some were stories she had not read prior.

This time was different, he spoke to her. "It's a piece of work isn't it."

Aria nodded, "Yeah. What do you know about it?"

He smiled nearly toothless at her, "Not much. It's old." He paused. "Very old. It has been in my family for many years. Passed down from generation to generation, so many times we've lost count."

"My grandfather told me once, that it once belonged to a god." He laughed at that and Aria smiled. "Do you believe that, a god, as if they really existed."

Sadly Aria knew that men had made that claim once. "It should have gone to my son upon his coming of age, but sadly he was killed before he reached it."

Aria looked to the old man with sorrow. Her ability feeding from his sadness. Aria braced her self inside the emptiness and tried to move the topic away. Maybe another day he could tell her about him. How he died. "May I hold it?"

The man looked at her with a grin. "I've been waiting for you to ask child."

Aria carefully took the relic from the shelf it rested on. It was perfectly balanced, it nearly hummed when it sliced through the air.

*Beep* Aria sighed, a response had finally come in, at the most inopportune time. She placed it back on the shelf and stuck her hand in her pocked to read the message that she was sent.

She sighed again. It was worse than she had hoped for. What could she tell this person without giving away her secrets.

The store keep watched her with curiosity. "Perhaps, if you gave the sword a proper work out you would feel better."

It was such an odd thing to say Aria stared at him before coming to the conclusion that he knew more than he let on about many things.

Aria smiled, "You were one with the snake?"

He nodded, "Many years ago. My son was barely six when I fought the monster that killed him. It was a sad day for my family. I didn't hunt much after that instead coming here to provide knowledge to up and coming hunters like you. But none have ever asked about the sword."

"It is yours if you desire it."

Aria nearly feel over wtih excitement. "Really?"

He nodded, "Tend it well, the blade does not need sharpening, but that's no reason to let it be tarnished."

Curiouser and curiouser. Aria took the sword down with cation, "Are you sure?"

He nodded. "My pleasure. I should get back to the front now as I'm sure you have things to do."

Aria nodded started back up to her room with the sword in one hand and staring at her wallet thinking about what to say.

It finally came to her.

<dd> </dd>
I need some custom work done. A different kind of database, a 3d rendering in the goggles based on data I have, integrated mapping software. New verbal and touch commands. Holographic controls would be awesome to for what I have in mind.

It was brief and nearly encompassing with out giving away the exact details of what she really wanted - a monster hunting aid.
It sounded more like a programming gig except for the hacking into a pair of government goggles and a proprietary wallet system. But it sounded fun anyway. Katya couldn't imagine what what you'd need a 3d rendering engine in a pair of goggles could be used for. She wondered if she would ever know. But the only way to get that information would be to work on it.

Katya sighed. She had just made her decision.

<dd> </dd>
Let's meet.

It didn't take Katya long to find the IP address of the anoymous user using the hacking program. Despite it being written by hackers for hackers didn't mean that they didn't have all the regular information in the, you just had to know where to look. It wouldn't stop someone like her from spoofing herself, but this user was nothing like her and definitely no where near the ball park either.

Katya sent the sending wallet a text message.

<dd> </dd>
Meet me at Artskaf on Old Arabat 10am tomorrow outside by the window.

It was cryptic. It was meant to be. The little cafe was a good place to meet someone for the first time. It was out in the open and there was little worry about something happening. But Katya knew better than to go unprepared. She just wondered who she was meeting and if this would go wrong. First sign of the authorities and she was gone. No matter the pay or the intrigue this project created.

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