Working from Home

It was too straightforward, too simple. He just sat down at the keyboard, the steam from his coffee warming the air beside him with that delicious brown scent. He just sat down at the keyboard and started hacking. Hacking away at the keys, each time a satisfyingly solid little thunder crackled from the letters flying straight from his mind to his fingertips. Each sip of coffee a burning droplet of ambrosia, stoking the fires of his mind.

It was a lesson that they would have to learn. He smirked at their pitiful defences, brushing them aside, wallowing in the glow of caffeine as the code spilled onto the screen. A cold trickle of sweat touched his forehead as the fans of the computer spun into life and he propped open the window above his head – the southerly breeze kissed his cheeks as he glared into the darkness. The hopelessness of his situation struck him, it was him against the world – he stood as Atlas, holding all the globe against his shoulders. The warm temptation of surrender crushed down by the cool stirrings of revenge.

Another slug of coffee, another sigh as his eyes flicker up to the stars – no more than a wish, the longing for some form of support. Again he sits, laughing into his hands as slowly the systems fall in line at the whipping lashes of his coding. Computers and satellites obeying his commands. There would be all Hell breaking loose in Houston by now – they would turn the laboratory over in search of the programmer responsible. Cancel his project, will they? This would be their lesson.

His fingers slow, his coffee grows cold – heat exchange, between the thermos and the night. He doesn’t care, anymore. He points the reflecting eye toward the heavens, as he waits for them to decipher his riddle. They would be at the door soon; he knows they will take him away. Now he had enough data for an entire lifetime of work and his message beamed toward the stars, toward those worlds thought most likely: HR8779, AB Pictoris, 51 Pegasi.
He had enough work for a lifetime.

Does this story make sense? My wife answers with an emphatic “No.” What do you think? He’s an astronomer and they fired him. That makes sense…right? Anyway, written for Steph over at with her excellent prompt Satellite Hack I couldn’t fit it into my last story so I had to write a new one…

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5 thoughts on “Working from Home

  1. TheOthers1 says:

    I don’t know about astronomer, but I definitely got that he was someone extremely intelligent who was fired suddenly. He’s extremely angry too.

  2. I didn’t get “fired astronomer.” I got that he hacked the NASA satellites to send a message to the worlds most likely to be inhabited by aliens. Am I way far off?

  3. DBJohnson says:

    Maybe because I sometimes feel like corporate life is downing me…but I love stories with this kind of premise. Love it!

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