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art by Cheryl L Owen-Wilson

I've Been Hacked

Sylvia Spruck Wrigley obsessively writes letters to her mother, her teenage offspring, her accountant, as well as to unknown beings in outer space. Only her mother admits to reading them. Born in Heidelberg, she spent her childhood in California and now splits her time between South Wales and Andalucia, two coastal regions with almost nothing in common. You can find out more about her at intrigue.co.uk.

Find other works in the Postmark Andromeda sequence and other unrelated stories by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley at dailysciencefiction.com.
From: dlh@urgentemail.org
To: george@amazeballs123.kpb, samwo@frugalspacefarers.sol, viridian@X4379.gmail.com
Subject: I've been hacked!
Dudes, you would not believe. I made it to Venus for the Voyage Extraordinaire Retreat and let me tell you, everything you've heard about the resort is true. This place is totally asteroiding. But I got a low-pressure high gravity situation here dudes, and I need to tell you about it.
The planet is full of crimmies and I'm afraid I've been done. They got my friends list, my contacts, my little black book: you name it, they've got it off me FTL. I was done.
tl;dr: You get any fast-moving texts from me asking for money or help, don't get dragged into the gravity well. It's not me unless I use the codeword Sputnik, gottit?
Long version: They got these wheeling, dealing, sexiest little cyborgs I ever did see. On the south side there are these little love hotels, charge by the hour, you know the type, right? So there's these cyborg cybervultures whatdayacallem. They hang out at the Ishtar Terra Hub and go after the tourists who've just arrived. You can imagine it: spaced out, looking for a good time, and you get some scrumptious cyborg offering you datacards for discount weekends at some new dive, the Aphrodite Amorous or Neptune's Naughties or whatever. So, it looks top of the line, right, wearing the sexiest little EVO suit you've ever seen, and it tells you it's on commmission and ask if you're looking for a fast time and a bit of friendlies.
It offers to hook you up with a free five-minute simulation on the spot: high-oxygen, space jazz, atmospherics, the works. Hooooboy, that's all I can say. E-X-quisite, dudes, seriously.
Thing is, it's a total scam. While that poor spacer is swooning at the simulation, the cyborg is probing him for data, sucking up every bit of datadust it can find. It's slick, you never even notice you've been rummaged.
So, I'm sorry dudes, but I got totally compromised and they've now got your private emails and every other speck of datadust in my system. Sucks.
Sorry, dudes.
All I can tell you is that those cyborgs are totally astronomic. They have the operation down to a fine art. They got me twice when I arrived on Saturday and four times yesterday. I haven't been able to find them yet today.
--Dave out.
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, January 29th, 2014


I have lived outside of the US longer than I ever lived in it. But when I need a teenage voice, there's no denying that I grew up in Southern California.

- Sylvia Spruck Wrigley

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