Amazing Kids! Magazine

A Push of a Button

By Greg Muha, Age 11, Ohio

 

I gazed up at the manmade sun that was setting while letting my surroundings vanish. I wished that could see the real sun but I knew that was never going to happen.

I continued to stare but then my partner tapped me on the shoulder and said, “It is time to go home.”  I was on a different planet than earth in 3012.  Earth got to be so populated that people had to go to a different planet.  This was the only other planet that people could live on, but only one problem got in their way.  This planet didn’t have a hot enough sun so the people created different suns using the 18 moons.  They put an enormous nuclear reactor in the middle in each of the huge moons to make hotter suns so that people could live on this planet.  Only rich people could live on the real Earth and those people didn’t have to do anything.  Our planet known as The Servant had to supply Earth with all their needs.  The Servant could do everything Earth did so we could supply Earth with a lot of goods.  I got lucky and got a chance to work with the F.B.I. instead of doing farming and the rest of that kind of work.  I had more money than most people on this planet because I work for the F.B.I. and do my job with pride because I love it.  I investigate crime and fix government problems.

I finished my long journey home with a sigh and ate my small, cold dinner one bite at a time.  I got ready for bed and then crawled in bed.  I lied in bed wondering what will tomorrow bring.  Each day of my work can bring new surprises, good or bad.  I thought about why my boss said about people trying to hack the computer system and trying to destroy the government.  “To gain power over the government would be impossible,” I thought to myself.

The next day I went to work as I did every day.  When I got to my office, I found my partner sitting nervously at his tiny desk.

“We have a meeting,” he said seriously.  “When?” I asked.  “Now,” he answered. “It’s an emergency.”

We entered the meeting room to find my boss sitting in the largest, but small, chair waiting for us.  There were two chairs left because other people were occupying the others.   My partner and I took a seat next to each other.

“I would like this meeting to be quick and easy,” my boss said.  He continued, “We have people that found a way to eliminate us with a push of a button.”

“How could they do that?”  I asked. I didn’t think anyone could ever do that in a million years. “Maybe people could if they had enough people,” I thought.

“If they hack into our computer systems and activate the emergency shut off for the nuclear reactors all those manmade suns will shut and you know what that means,” he answered.  “Without us Earth wouldn’t get any goods from us and then our whole government would fall apart,” he continued.  “I would like all of you to make sure none of that happens.  You’re dismissed,” he announced.

I stumbled back to my office grabbing a drink of water on the way.  There was nothing here to drink but water either because it was too expensive or there was none of it here on this planet.  My partner was already in the office typing away on his large, outdated computer. The old designs from years ago were slower by a lot, but they were much cheaper than the faster, more compact computers that were shipped to Earth.

“This is a war that must be fought on a computer and this slow computer is not going to win it,” he said.

“Then maybe you should ask for a better one,” I laughed.

“Like that is going to happen,” he muttered sarcastically.

I retrieved my own computer and turned it on.  It wasn’t really my computer but I called it mine.

Twelve minutes later I was on the internet.  The building had poor internet connection but it was better than nothing.  I thought deeply about what my boss said about being able to shut off the 18 fake suns.  It was hard to imagine the suns fizzing out like a light bulb and throwing this planet into complete darkness three minutes after the emergency shut off was activated.  This planet would then be a cold, bare, wasteland.  I tried not to think about that and think about what would happen if I did stop the hackers.  Maybe they would give me a spot on Earth along with my partner.  I would really enjoy that.

I went to the F.B.I. website and typed in my five passwords.  They had tight security so no one could get in the system and shut off the nuclear reactors.

“To get in this system they probably need to work for the F.B.I,” I said to my partner.

“You probably would and maybe they do work for the F.B.I.,” my partner said agreeing.

“I am going to see how far I can get trying to shut off the reactors,” I said.

I tried to hack further into the system but it seemed impossible.  I was already in the system but not for enough to get anywhere near to shut off the reactors.

“I need much greater authority to get anywhere closer to the shut off,” I mumbled to him.

“That’s a good thing because then no one can shut off the suns.  The only way you can do that is if you had a high authority or if you devoted your life to computer hacking,” he said back at me.

“So you are saying that we have to stop a computer genius from destroying this whole planet then eventually the government.  I am sure that is going to happen,” I said sarcastically.

I went home feeling sad and stressed.  I don’t know who wouldn’t if they knew that life on their might not exist on their planet in a few days.  After the long walk home I ate my cold, small dinner.  I retrieved my laptop that I wasn’t really supposed to take home but nobody would catch me.  In fact, nobody would try and tell on me even if they found I brought it home.  I booted up the laptop and checked to see if anybody else was on the system.  There was one user on it which was very strange at their time at night. The user was destroyer. It was about 11:30 p.m.  I could call my partner about this but that would mean I would have to walk to the phone station and pay to use a phone.  Maybe it was my partner on the computer right now.  I was sure he brought his laptop home but it was still unlikely it was him on the computer right now.  I shut off the laptop and put it away.  I lied down in bed and tried hard to sleep but I couldn’t.  It took me a while before I finally fell asleep.

Ring! Ring!  I woke up to my alarm clock still feel like I haven’t even slept.  It was 6:00 a.m. and I only got around 4 hours of sleep.  I had a feeling this is not going to be a good day.  I made a quick breakfast, took a shower and then got dressed.  I had to be at work at 8:00 sharp and it was at least an hour walk to my work building.  I walked out of my house at 6:50 and went to my building.  I arrived at my building at exactly 7:56 and checked in.  I had never been late to work before and I never want to be.  I don’t know what happens if you are late because I never bothered to ask.  I jumped up the stairs and jogged to my office and I burst into my office breathing heavily.  My partner was already in the office working which was unexpected for someone like my partner.

“I have good news and I have bad news,” I said in between breaths.

“Let me have the good news first,” he suggested.

“The good news is that I think we might have found the person we are looking for,” I said. I paused to take a breath. “The bad news is that person might try to destroy the life on this planet,” I said.

“How do you think that you found the hacker?” he asked.

“I found a person on the system at about 11:30 last night,” I said.

“I went on at 1:00a.m and found someone on the system,” he said.

Someone knocked on the door and we both got up to get it. I beat him to the door so I answered it. There was a F.B.I worker standing there.

The worker said “You have a meeting right now.”

“Why can’t you tell us about the meetings before,” my partner asked.

The worker frowned, turned and then walked off.

“He wasn’t very nice,” my partner said.

At the meeting I grabbed a seat next to my partner. As the last person took a seat a man walked up to the microphone and said, “Good morning, I am the president of computer security.”

I saw a couple people faces turn red when they heard him say that.

“I would like all of you to discuss what progress you have made. How about you go first,” He said.

He pointed to a man in the far right corner of the table. “I have made no progress, sir,” the man said sadly.

He continued down the table but everyone had the same results until he came to my partner. “What should I say?” asked my partner.

“Tell him we haven’t made any progress,” I whispered back my partner. “We have made no progress sir,” my partner said.

He came to some people who said they made a little progress so he asked them what they found out. All of them didn’t actually have any useful information.

After he came to the last person and said, “I will expect better from all of you next week when we meet again because you may not have a job if I don’t see progress from you.” “You are all dismissed,” he announced.

On the way the back to the office my partner asked, “Why did you tell me to say we made no progress when we did make progress.”

“I could tell that some people were lying so I didn’t tell them about our progress. I didn’t want other people to use our knowledge to find the hacker because I want to find the hacker,” I said. “The president must have known that people were lying so he said that we have to tell everyone our progress or else we our fired,” I said.

Once we were both back at the office I said, “Make sure you bring home your computer so we can track were the signal from the hacker is coming from and bring the equipment to track it.”

“May be I should stay at your house so when we track the signal we can both turn it in,”

“That is probably a good idea,” I said.

When I got home with my partner I made an undersized dinner for both me and my partner. After we ate none of us even bothered to get some sleep because both of us would be tracking the signal to the hacker’s computer.

“What if this isn’t the hacker?” my partner asked.

“Then we go back home with a failed attempt,” I answered.

When it was 11:15 we booted up the computer and checked the system. There was one other user. The user was destroyer. “Quick, get the tracking device!” I hollered.

He sprinted to his computer bag and grabbed the signal tracker. It looked like a flash drive except it was slightly larger. He handed it to me and then I plugged it into the computer. It only took me a minute to get the tracker working and once I did I intercepted the signal. I then traced the signal back to the user and the computer gave me the place from where the signal was coming from.

I hand copied the page on a piece of paper and said, “We need to give these directions to the police.”

He nodded and then I shoved the paper in my pocket. We put our coats on and ran outside. We got to the phone station in 5 minutes and I found just enough spare change to use a phone. I called the F.B.I and gave them the directions. The place could be halfway around the world because I didn’t know how to read the directions. The F.B.I said they would find the hackers place and arrest the hackers. We both went back home and got some sleep. I slept easily that night.

The next day I went to work I found my boss waiting for me at my office smiling. My partner was already there waiting for me.

My boss said, “They found the group of hackers at the house and arrested them. The government will reward you with a house on Earth and a large sum of money.”

My partner and I were overjoyed when he said that. Later that day we packed the little stuff we had and we headed out on a luxury spaceship and arrived at Earth. I received huge amounts of money for saving a planet that was a push of a button away from being eliminated.

One comment

  1. Shannon Scofield /

    Wow this story was truly amazing and really got you absorbed in the story