simon_icon.gif f_reed_icon.gif

Scene Title IM
Synopsis Reed chats up Simon who lost some money this morning.
Date April 11, 2009

Staten Island

There are few places on the rock that is Staten Island where someone can comfortably and safely hang out with a laptop like Simon's. It's new, shiny and is still being featured in commercials on television. The perfect toy for thieves to lust after. Here at the Garden, or rather just outside of it, though, Simon can enjoy relative peace and time to himself. He's seated in the backyard of the Ferryman establishment, propped up against the thin trunk of a tree whose name the kid forgot.

His laptop is open, bathing him in an unnatural glow that is beginning to be overcome by early morning sunlight. He has his bank statement open and is staring, dumbfounded, at a rather hefty withdrawal made from his savings account. Someone has been messing with his inheritance money.

Reed doesn't necessarily need relaxation or rest. He's just a series of 1s and 0s, traveling along the supposed Internet Highway. He was still embedded into one bank, having decided to wait a bit before deciding what his next move will be. He sees someone checking their bank account and decides to follow the trail back.

When he arrives in Simon's computer, there are no alarms or whistles that sound due to the intrusion, as Reed has already figured out most of the security bypass procedures and uses them liberally. Seems as if this one is one of the few who lost some cash. It wasn't like he couldn't afford it. Reed decides to have a little fun with this one, so an IM box pops up out of nowhere. "Hello there."

Fingernails dig into the back of his head as Simon scratches an itch in frustration. That was money his parents had meant to send him and Mallory to school with. Some was due to his aunt and uncle for keeping the twins after their parents died. He'll have to make some calls, he decides, before he starts to worry about identity theft or anything like that. Still, the idea of lost money doesn't make him feel happy or safe.

The wireless signal bar drops to a tiny blip and Simon glances down to it, sighing. Whatever signal he managed get isn't a strong one. He probably shouldn't be on it at all, considering the Garden doesn't have wireless of its own for a reason. As he's about to shut down, though, he's greeted with an IM box. Strange. He stares at the words posted on his screen for a moment and decides to respond. "Hello. Who's this?"

Reed has to be careful. If the computer is shut down, he would not survive. He keeps a short leash on the wireless connection, so that if it looks like the system is going to shut down, he can grab the signal out before it's too late. The response is short and sweet. "I'm Martha. I don't know why I decided to send this, but I lost alot of money last night somehow. I just needed to talk to someone."

Somewhere in one of the trees a flock of birds give flight, rustling leaves to the ground and riling any other small creatures that may be napping nearby. Normally Simon would pay more attention to something like that, but right now he's concerned about the strange IM. I mean, really, who IM's strangers anymore? "You did? That sucks. How much?"

Simon doesn't want to give away anything about himself to this stranger. He thinks back to all those television specials about the dangers of the Internet and can't help but grin.

"I lost about fifteen thousand." The text states as it blips on and scrolls up the previous text. Other than sitting inside the computer, Reed is not doing anything that would set off any flags to Anti virus software or firewalls. He is pretending to be an IM program, one the system would already be familiar with.

Fifteen thousand? Simon wonders if maybe the sudden withdrawal of money from his account wasn't due to identify theft. What if something bigger was going on? "Some of my money is missing, too." He types this in and hits enter as the paranoid thoughts flood his head, not giving his words much thought. He should probably keep his own money loss a secret for now, but if this stranger really is going through the same thing…"What happened?"

Reed responds while keeping an eye on the running processes of the computer. "Not really sure. Just went to check my bank account and it was short. The bank is closed on Saturdays and they will probably not be able to look into it until Monday. Wait.. You lost money too? How much?" Gloating privately, Reed is loving this. This guy is rich, it's not like he can't afford to give up some of the money for those who need it. He should have been helping long before now.

Simon may be rich, in theory, but it's only thanks to his wealthy parents. It's not like he wanted their money or their life insurance. He would rather have his family back together. Something deep down tells him that losing a little bit money it isn't the worst thing in the world, but that doesn't stop him from feeling violated. "Enough. Do you think it will happen again?" The idea of another unauthorized withdrawal worries the teen for a moment.

"Dunno. I hope not. I mean, it's not like I miss the money much, but if they keep taking it, then it could start to matter. Is the money gone going to hurt you at all?" the text replies.

It's a thought that hasn't occurred to Simon, yet. Does the sudden loss of funds really affect him so much? He doesn't buy expensive things often and he doesn't pay rent. He doesn't have to worry about paying for school until later that year. He's also been left with more than enough to survive. Still, it's a feeling of insecurity that gnaws at his gut. It's been there for a long time and the events that have come to pass in his recent history have only deepened that feeling. "No," he types out quickly, "No, I guess not. I'm still not happy with it, though."

Reed adds a little more of a clue to the conversation. "I've been seeing this post on all these message boards online about Robin Hood. Maybe the money went to someone who needed it? I wouldn't mind that so much, I guess.."

Internet forums are not exactly Simon's forte, so it's no surprise to him that he hasn't read anything about Robin Hood. "Maybe," he writes to his new cyber-friend, "but he still stole from me." The enter button is clicked at the IM is sent. Simon looks at the exchange of words thoughtfully and then decides to add, "It's not as if I've ever done that."

"Well, I can only hope it was for something good. I don't know if we'll ever know, really. I guess when Monday comes I'll call the bank and find out." The messages is sent, then another message quickly follows. "I don't think you told me your name. You don't have to, I understand. I was just curious." Reed can sense that the signal is continuing to be a little flakey and doesn't want to be trapped, so this will have to wrap up shortly.

"My name is Simon," the kid types in and sends to the mystery person on the other line. First names can't hurt, right? Maybe he's a little naive, but some could argue that to be a good thing, or at least a preferable thing. "I think I'll call on Monday, too. I'd like to think that I will find out what's going on. Whether it was a good deed or not, it's still my money."
"Well Simon, it was nice meeting you. Sorry for the abrupt intrusion into your life there. I just wanted to find someone to talk to. And I happen to pick someone with the same problem as me. I hope things work out for you. Thanks again for talking." Reed attaches a smiley face to the end of the statement.

"You, too," is the simple response that Simon types out. Whether or not that quick exchange of text actually helped him is something he's unsure over, though it definitely deepens the mystery of the missing money. Oh well, such is life. A growl in the pit of his stomach makes him switch his thoughts to breakfast, and so he glances over at The Garden. Some eggs and toast first, then he'll give his technopath sister a call to see if she's heard anything about Robin Hood. Yep, that sounds like a plan.

Pity that Simon didn't mention the money was for him and his sister's education. He might have gotten some of it back. But so is life. Reed never one associated names with accounts. He only found the accounts with the most money and moved some to the accounts with the lowest amount of money. He slips from Simon's computer riding the wireless connection back to the mainframe of his ISP and back out into the Internet. Maybe a visit to Tokyo is in order today.

<date>: previous log

Previously in this storyline…
More or Less Polite

Next in this storyline…
Hey Big Spender

<date>: next log
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