Archive for October 8th, 2011

8th October
written by amber

Cyber War

Getting to work this morning is worse than usual – the traffic, the crowds, the pollution. I hate this place. Of all the people in the diplomatic service to be ‘rewarded’ with a posting to New Delhi, why did they have to pick me?

My wife loves it. She seems to find beauty in the squalor, flavour in those god-awful curries and a skewed mysticism in their primitive sects. Well, she’ll get over it when I get my next posting. I’ve been promised New Zealand. Sheep, landscape and hobbits – what more could she want?

I’m relieved to see, when I enter the office, that Sanjee isn’t in yet. He’s the icing on the cake for my dislike of this job. Super-efficient and pointedly reminding me of it at every juncture, obsequious, vain and subtly disapproving. I hate him. Of course he can run this office better than I can. That’s his job.

Very unlike him to be late.

I hurry into my inner office and activate my smartdesk, hoping to get news of my New Zealand posting without Sanjee staring over my shoulder. But I can’t’t get on the UK web. I’m trying, for the third time, when my earbud chimes. It’s my superior in London.

“Can you get on the UK web?” she asks, without preamble.

“No, I was just trying.”

“Well, keep trying. None of us here can get on.”

“No one in your office?”

“No. No one in the whole goddamn country. And when the secure back-ups were checked, all the data there is gone. We have no government bank accounts, no emergency services or military communication, no power in any government building, no public transit system, no air traffic control. Water systems aren’t working, and two nuclear power plants are on emergency shut-down.”

“Why have you called me?”

“There’s indication that the cyber attack came from India. I want you to-”

The connection breaks abruptly. Just then, Sanjee enters the room.

“I think, Mr. Parry,” he says, “that I am your new boss.”

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story written every day and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.