This is the hack as it occurs in Kumo’s mind. She is, after all, a telepathic hacker and she draws her inspiration from the Temple of the Muse. Also, remember, she’s on Hlau’s list and she is one of the Seven.
Kumo often focused on something related to the network. Sometimes she would use a wireless signal in a library or café, other times she would touch a computer or hold a network cable. The physical object itself was not enough for her mind to log onto the network and acess information from a computer. She visualized the connection, the safe with the combination, and the listening tools she would use to ascertain the password. Sometimes the password prompt would appear as a sentry and she would somehow read the person’s expression and figure out the password. Othertimes, she would see a lock and create a key from thin air to fit the keyhole. Kumo was very good at mentally matching lock with key.
Once inside, the file directory would often have many different virtual manifestations. Some servers resembled the great ancient libraries of Tlon and accessing a file meant taking a scroll or a codex off the shelf. Some resembled more modern libraries in appearance with books offering the information. Most directories, however, were incredibly boring and all that Kumo would see were infinite numbers of file cabinets with files in manila folders. Some were fine with deep, dark wood cabinets from early Year 20, while a majority of them had cheap, metal ones, sadly institutional in late Year 20. All this was how her mind chose to see things, but the visualization often reflected the institutional philosophy of the server she would hack into.
The Home Office server had white walls going down the hallway and a military uniformed guard in front of the entrance. For extra security, there was a computer console to scan the hand of whoever requested entrance and run the information against other existing information. A computer within a computer – how imaginative. This is what she would do – disable the guard and hack the console. Actually, she didn’t even have to go that extreme. She would assume the form of the Home Secretary and replicate her handprint. Kumo had found met her once before and shook hands, so she had the pattern of the lines of the Secretary stored in her mind. All she had to do is imagine the lines and they would appear on her hands. She smiled at the guard and placed her hand on the glass. She was cleared to go in.
It was a goldmine. Not literally, but she certainly felt like she had found the vein of gold. There were filing cabinets and bookshelves and magazine racks. With the variety of materials – books, magazines, newspapers, microfilms, microfiche, and manila file folders, everything was neatly organized on gun-metal shelves and cabinets with a military austerity. Information on Itanese military bases foreign and domestic, naval ships and ports, weapons, military contractors, allies, enemies, and even neutral nations and tribes. Even better were the information on personnel, security clearances, politically linked activities, and best of all, spies – who the Itanese had spying abroad and who was spying on Itan. Many nations, tribes, and foreign political and terrorist cells would all pay handsomely for the information. She did not doubt that, but she was also doing this for the art of it. The Home Office’s server was a difficult target and she got in. Now she had to get out.
In the virtual realm, she found a way to make her handbag dimensionally transcendent – that is, it was larger on the inside than it was on the outside. There have been a few legends of Wisdom priests and a few others who have been able to achieve that effect on containers, buildings, and vessels, and that was her inspiration. Whenever she placed an item in the bag, it downloaded, and she had lots to download. In the space of a minute, she had the entire contents in her bag and she walked out. She teleported out of the hallway and it would be moments when the server itself would register that her entry was not authorized.
She opened her eyes, placed her hand on a data storage device, and visualized her handbag going in, and then saved. She put the storage device in her purse and she was ready to set up a meeting with the highest bidder.