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2046-09-27 Ripped Off

From X-Factor

Ripped Off
Date Posted 2016/09/27
Location Danny and Knox's Apartment - Greenwich Village
Participants Knox, Danny
Summary Knox had a very bad day. Danny is helpful(ish).
Plot Intellectual Property
 
A one-bedroom apartment shared by a variable number of NYU students at any given time (usually three). It's perpetually messy in that way college student apartments inevitably are.


It is a fall night. The weather is cool and drizzling.


Someone is having a bad day.

For better or for worse, Knox appears to be still alive despite his ungainly sprawl across the living room carpet. He's staring disconsolately at a crumb on the floor and doesn't appear to have even attempted to clean it up. One foot has managed to stay propped up on the futon that's his bed, though his other foot appears to have lost its sock somewhere in the transition from futon to floor. The apartment is still in some state of mess from too many boys living in it combined with general mid-school chaos. The sound system plays what is ostensibly rock music, except it's dove straight into 'emo' territory and is trying to drown itself. And above it all a tiny drone buzzes around anxiously.

Danny is having a conversation with the air - or whoever's on the other side of his Ears - as he makes his way into the apartment. It's in Mandarin. He used to take his calls out of the apartment a lot, but he's figured out Knox can't speak Mandarin, so now he just has them right in front of his roommate at all hours while roaming the livingroom. He talks often to people late at night in Chinese. For some reason. With whatever he's absorbed in, it takes him a moment to notice Knox's incredibly emo state. He finishes his call and hangs up, strolling over to stare down as his roommate. "Umm...you OK?" It's more curious than concerned.

What a fun roommate Danny is. With a miserable grumble, Knox picks up a book as Danny enters the apartment and chucks it at the flying drone. The little robot ducks the projectile easily and beeps. Flopping back to the floor, he seems instantly regretful he throw the book. "Sorry..." He apologizes to the drone which does not acknowledge this at all. Sometime after this--he has no idea when, time has lost all meaning after all--his gaze swivels around to look up at Danny. "Just leave me here to die." He's fine.

Danny puts at least two letters in 'fun.' He looks up at the little drone, his abuse his roommate gives it actually prompting a little concern. Or, at least, recognition this is unusual. "You're not actually dying, are you?" He sits down on the futon. "This music is pretty terminal. Did you get dumped or something?" It occurs to him that he should inject some sympathy into questions like that, so he follows it up with, "I didn't even know you were hooking up with anybody. Sorry, man."

"Not with the expediency that would be preferred at this juncture," Knox answers, mumbling half into the carpet, the crumb still defiantly nearby. Instead of responding to the rest of it immediately, he just groans and mashes his face full-force into the carpet. This is not a sustainable situation unless he wants to suffocate, though. Which despite the dramatics he apparently doesn't, because he flops over. "Uh. I got /fired/!" He states, all woebegone, and a little flushed. "And my program was taken. They took my computer and /escorted me out/ with security." It is /worse/ than being dumped, Danny!

"Oh, sorry," Danny says, after Knox admits he got fired. His attempt at sympathy isn't hugely successful, though. "But, I mean, your internship sounded like it kind of sucked, so maybe this isn't so bad." Encouragement! The last bit, however, evokes actual sympathy. "What? You got cyber-jacked? Did those assholes take your work before they chucked you?"

"Yeah," Knox moans from the floor, taking that as actual sympathy regardless of how it actually sounded. "I've never been fired! I didn't even do anything!" There is a short pause before he follows up with, "I mean I did do things I worked but nothing that anyone would want to let me go for I didn't think!" Breathe, man, breathe. "It wasn't even all work /for/ them. It was just this stupid program that wasn't even working right. It like, erases people from the internet. I accidentally nuked myself the other week. It's been all nighters setting things up again."

Danny blinks as Knox describes his program. He actually looks vaguely impressed. "Seriously? That's cool." Pause. Remember your sympathy, Danny. "I mean, the programming sounds cool. Not the getting fired and jacked. Or nuking yourself. You seem like the kind of guy who'd have a /ton/ of social networking going on." He presses on so the sarcasm might go undetected. "So it actually worked?"

"What?" Knox seems honestly confused by Danny calling the program 'cool' that he forgets for a second to be in the THROES OF MISERY. "Uhm..." He's knocked out of it just long enough that he squints at his roommate for the sarcastic comment, but it ultimately goes right by him. "It's a /mess/. And now it's all gone anyway...I don't know what they'll do with it." WOE. "No, it didn't work. It's only supposed to help clean up social information, but I didn't set strict enough parameters, so it just erases everything you have a password for. And /then/ some. Games, searches, articles..."

Danny winces in /actual/ sympathy when Knox mentions erasure of games. "It is. It's really hard to get around without leaving a digital finger-print /somewhere/. Wiping it would really help..." Pause. Edit self. "...privacy, and keeping shit from getting around that embarrasses people. Do you think you could duplicate it?"

"Yeah, that's kind of what I figured," Knox says, unaware of any editing on Danny's part. He heaves a heavy sigh, wiggling a foot in agitation as he thinks. "Well...yeah. I mean, eventually. Not...quickly. I can't remember everything I did. And I used an earlier program as a jumping off point, plus a bit of software..." He rattles off a bit more, but it's not really that interesting. The end result is: "It was all on the computer. I'm not even sure what I have anymore."

Danny follows a little of Knox's rattling, if not all of it. It's enough to light a spark in his eyes. Which maybe passes for alarm. He reaches out to pat his roommate's shoulder. He's not even that awkward about it. "Was it at least encrypted? At least it might take them awhile to break it."

"I'm not an idiot," says the young man from his awkward sprawl on the floor. This is maybe debatable. But Danny has seen enough to know that Knox has probably done what he said he did. "Of course it's encrypted. It's still /gone/ though. No one wanted to help me."

"Did you call the cops?" Danny asks this in a way that doesn't, really, suggest he's encouraging it. "I mean, you did get your stuff stolen. Even if maybe the company can claim intellectual property or something..." Pause again, thoughtful. "...you said this wasn't work you were doing /for/ them, right? The social nuke thing? Did your bosses know about it?"

"I went to the police and told them all about it!" And given how well Knox is explaining this so far, one can only imagine how that went when he was even more high-strung. "They pretending to write some things down and then /also/ escorted me out!" It is enough to make a guy feel really unwanted. He sighs heavily, foot still wiggling like the one escape of pent-up energy. "I was just doing it...for me. Yeah, I told them. I thought they'd think it was neat. They're programmers, right?"

"They /did/ think it was neat, obviously," Danny mutters. He sighs at Knox. Probably more /at/ Knox himself than the situation. "They just didn't want to pay your for it. Or give you any say in how they used it. Fucking corpers, man." That sounded more genuine than a lot of what he's said this evening. "I guess you could sue..." He looks Knox over. No, no maybe not.

"What?" Knox...doesn't get it. At first. He is not, however, stupid so much as naive. Green eyes go wide. "...You think they fired me over /that/?" He seems genuinely shocked at the idea, poor sheltered cupcake. "I guess I could ask my family for money," he says, chewing on his lip and already looking doubtful. He lives in a one bedroom apartment with three guys. He clearly does not have lawyer money.

He clearly does not. "Or you could try to get it back." Danny says this like it's a viable idea. "How good's your hacking? Even pros will take awhile to break encryption, and they haven't had it to themselves that long...right?"

"They took away my security badge." Which is obviously the end of that. "It's...I mean, it's fine?" /This/ Knox says with a very poor attempt at subterfuge. He is a very legal citizen who would never hack a thing, Danny. "Not that I've...ever tested that against...things." You know. Things. "Uhm, no. They haven't."

"Knox. Buddy." Are they buddies? "Your program that can wipe someone's online presence got ripped off by a shady corp. How is that fine? You need to swipe it back." Danny is maybe less precious about legalities. "Forget a lawyer. Hire a PI. The cops will take ages to bother with this, and by the time they get around to it, it'll probably be too late."

/Are/ they buddies? Knox doesn't argue, but he looks somewhat baffled as to the turn of events. With a wave of a hand the music stops. "...swipe it back?" Blink. "I don't know a PI. Gosh, that sounds so noir. Do you know one?"

"My boss does," Danny replies. His boss at his 'night' job at the store in Chinatown. Who one would assume is the source of at least /some/ of the Ear conversations in Mandarin at all hours. "I could ask him if you want."

Knox sees nothing wrong with this. Somewhere his cousin probably feels a chill run down his spine and wonders why. Okay, /almost/ nothing. "Really? Is your job all noir-y too?" He makes this sound more interesting than, say, concerning. "But...yeah. I mean, sure. I don't know anyone."

Danny snorts. "I'm a cashier." He's practiced at claiming that's his job with far more discerning people than Knox, so this doesn't even sound insincere. "And don't get all fedora on me, Knox. Those things went out in like the Twenties." 2020s. "But I've been working for the guy since high school. He's like a father to me." That...also sounds kind of genuine. "I'm sure he'd want to help you."

"Oh. Oh. That's cool too." Knox sounds a little disappointed, maybe, but he believes Danny easily. "...that just means were due for them coming back, right? Rainy streets and neon lights? Hats and coats?" He does not know anything about fashion. He does okay for a dude. That's the best that can be said. "Okay. Hey, thanks."

"Do you own a fedora?" Danny looks suspiciously around the livingroom. As if this thing might've invaded his space. "Nobody wants to hook up with a guy in a fedora, Knox. Word to the wise." As for the non-wardrobe-insulting part of this conversation, he nods. "Yeah. No problem. I'll ask him. He's really interested in new tech. I bet he'd think your program was super-neat."

"...no." There is no hat and no hatbox in sight. Although he might have owned one once. Knox flushes, his freckles fading away into the pink of his skin. "Er, okay, thanks." What a friend. Such good advice. He rubs at one of his eyes with a finger. "Uhm, yeah, sure. Seems like it's much neater than it was supposed to be."

"That's whole all genius stuff starts, supposedly. By accident." And possibly with crime. Danny stands, clapping Knox on the shoulder, all companionable now. "I'm going to call him. Hopefully he'll be into it, and he can recommend someone." He inputs the number in his Eyes and, a beat later, is talking in Mandarin again. This call, even with Knox's language inability, he takes out of the apartment. Shutting the door behind him. He'll be back in not-too-long with word tha this very generous employer is willing to try and find a PI for poor Knox.

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