Home » Tuck Fanfic » New Fanfics » Tuck Seasons - Prospective New Chapter 24
Tuck Seasons - Prospective New Chapter 24 [message #8437] Sun, 31 August 2014 21:31 Go to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
Messages: 421
Registered: April 2006
Senior Member
Chapter 24a
Jane got her charges back to the house - Charlene going quietly and Valerie being increasingly distracted. Once there Valerie made a copy of the second CD for her to send to Reggie ("Why two CDs?" "'Cause-, BEcause a single CD only holds 700 megabytes and her hard drive is 810. 810 is larger than 700 so it takes two." The "you idiot" was unvoiced but came across clearly.) Jane sent Darla and Diana out of her office while that was going on.

Once Valerie had e-mailed Reggie her notes file she became so uncommunicative and distracted that Jane sent her to bed, taking her laptop with her. Jane put the CDs in an overnight-delivery mailer and prevailed upon Kenneth to drop them in a FedEx box for morning dispatch.

Jane was leaning back in her chair rubbing her temples when her phone rang. *Oh, God; now what* she thought. "Hello."

"Aunt Jane, this is Reggie."

"Oh, yes. What can you tell me?"

"English is Valerie's second language, her first language is geek."

"What?"

"Never mind. What she describes is a really nasty problem. You heard the initial description, right? Melissa's computer is capturing and sending information to someplace else, information about stock trades?"

"Yes."

"Melissa's laptop is infected, her husband's-"

"Julian's,"

"Julian's laptop is highly likely to be infected, so is any other computer they have at home, So is any computer in his office. Is he working from a satellite office there?"

"I believe their main office is in New York."

"That means his office there and the home office are infected." Reggie paused for a moment.

"Reggie?" Jane prompted.

"Sorry, I got overwhelmed there for a minute. This is big and is going to get ugly. Financial information means the Securities and Exchange Commission and possibly even the Exchanges themselves. Across state lines means the FBI. The address where information is being sent is outside the US so that means the State Department and all the other Federal three-letter agencies."

"Oh. my."

"'Oh, my,' indeed. Arrogant Federals in cheap suits stomping all over everything and getting in the way and I can't get there before Wednesday."

"Is there anyone upon whom you can call?"

"Well, yes, a couple. A guy named Bill Tucker and someone I only know as Jester-"

"'Jester?'"

"Nom de internet. Bill's a consultant; I can probably get Julian's company to pay for his services in New York - they really need to get someone from outside to do this. Julian's going to call me once he gets home and I'll call them first thing in the morning if he doesn't have an emergency number. Valerie may have do Julian's home and their satellite office."

"I'll leave this in your hands."

"I'll try to keep you and Valerie out of it as best as I can."

"Thank you."

"Now about Valerie...."

"She was getting unresponsive and distracted so I sent her to bed."

"With her laptop?"

"Yes. She has to have it with her."

"That fits. Jane, Valerie's a dedicated geek. Don't expect her to sleep tonight or do anything but work on this until it's resolved."

"She promised feminine dress and pleasant demeanor."

"Promised? Never mind. You watch, she's going to be heads-down on this all night if I read the situation correctly."

"We can't watch her - we had to disconnect the cameras once she found them."

"She found them? Who is this kid? What's going on there?"

Jane found herself telling Reggie about her and Marie's illnesses, Valerie's escape, the negotiations, the contract, her equipment and laptop and the backpack she carried everywhere. Art's heart problems. "This has been such a whirlwind that I find it difficult to think clearly."

"Aunt Jane," Reggie began soothingly. He stopped and chuckled. "Aunt Jane, you had an egg that you expected to hatch into a chick or a duckling or a baby swan-"

"Cygnet."

"Cygnet. What you got was a baby dragon[x]."
----------------------
[x] Extra points for the attribution.

[Updated on: Mon, 01 September 2014 10:17]

Re: Tuck Seasons - Prospective New Chapter 24 [message #8438] Sun, 31 August 2014 23:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anne  is currently offline Anne
Messages: 355
Registered: April 2012
Senior Member
Thank you, Thank you Thank you! Kowtow's a googleplex! This is excellent.
Re: Tuck Seasons - Prospective New Chapter 24 [message #8439] Sun, 31 August 2014 23:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
Messages: 695
Registered: August 2004
Location: Portland, OR
Senior Member
Wonder if Valerie and Jester will get connected.

Tuck would hate to do it, but on the other hand, zie is pretty deep into the mess already and wouldn't want to risk someone less skilled getting involved.

And Tuck doesn't *dare* let Bill Tucker get involved... Even if Tuck thinks his dad knows he's there at Jane's there's bound to be some way it could backfire. Better to keep him out of it.
Re: Tuck Seasons - Prospective New Chapter 24 [message #8440] Mon, 01 September 2014 03:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
Messages: 421
Registered: April 2006
Senior Member
Brooke wrote on Sun, 31 August 2014 23:51

Wonder if Valerie and Jester will get connected.

Tuck would hate to do it, but on the other hand, zie is pretty deep into the mess already and wouldn't want to risk someone less skilled getting involved.[0]

And Tuck doesn't *dare* let Bill Tucker get involved... Even if Tuck thinks his dad knows he's there at Jane's there's bound to be some way it could backfire. Better to keep him out of it.[1]

[0] Jester might be called upon for consultations but I think Tuck would reply that zie's not available at the moment. Valerie's already involved and keeping Jester separate from Valerie would be too difficult - what does each one know and not getting that confused.

[1] Valerie has no way to keep Bill from getting involved. Bill has the real-world quals to do the major forensic work in New York on Reggie's recommendation. Bill deals with New York and the Corporate hierarchy and the Feds and all the rest; Valerie just deals with delousing Melissa's and Julian's computers plus the satellite office, sending the data files of transmitted information to Reggie. Reggie comes to Jane's, talks to Valerie, Melissa, Julian and the rest and then goes on to New York. No real need for Bill to go to Jane's, no real need for Valerie to go to New York.

Bill thinks Tuck's at the boot camp, Tuck thinks his family sent him to Jane to prepare him for transitioning if necessary.


Re: Tuck Seasons - Prospective New Chapter 24 [message #8441] Mon, 01 September 2014 05:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anne  is currently offline Anne
Messages: 355
Registered: April 2012
Senior Member
Cool That's about my take on it. Though there might be some federal agents who take a second look at what Jane is doing... They seem to lack a sense of humor about such things! Shocked
Re: Tuck Seasons - Prospective New Chapter 24 [message #8442] Wed, 03 September 2014 13:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
Messages: 421
Registered: April 2006
Senior Member
Chapter 24b

The next morning Jane knocked on Valerie's door and announced herself. After the third time with no reply she opened the door. Reggie had accurately predicted what she saw - Valerie was hunched over her laptop at the makeup table dressed only in her underwear. Two empty Mountain Dew cans were on the floor beside her chair. Kenneth had brought home two twelve-packs from his errand to drop off the FedEx envelopes. *Bless him for his prescience*, she thought.

Jane called Valerie's name three times at increasing volumes and sharpness. The first didn't elicit any response, the second a muttered "Go 'way, I'm busy," and the third a shriek of "Not now, this is important!"

Both Kenneth and Darla had come into the room as this was going on. Kenneth stepped forward and raised a hand to forestall Jane and Darla. In a loud command voice he barked, *Attention! On your feet, Marine!"

Valerie wound up standing in front of the makeup table looking confused with the chair on the floor behind her.

Jane followed up. "Valerie, I admire your dedication but there are more important things right now." To Darla she said, "Quick shower, clean underthings, tank top, jeans, sneakers. The straight blonde wig in a ponytail. Minimal makeup. Downstairs for breakfast in ten minutes." To Valerie she repeated, "Ten minutes. Miss Marie is cooking; how do you want your eggs?"

"Ah, ah, scrambled with cheese and onions, or whatever you have ready."

"Very well. Ten minutes." Jane turned the laptop around so its screen couldn't be seen from the room. "That should help you resist the sirens' song." She paused a moment and propped a pillow up between the laptop and the makeup mirror. "I have no doubt that you'd be able to read the screen in the mirror."

Valerie smiled a little. "At least you didn't threaten to plug my ears with wax. And mirror reading is something we all practiced. It's really hard on the guys who don't touch type."

"Indeed. Ten minutes."

Darla stayed behind to keep Valerie on task. She was partially successful because it was only twenty minutes until the two of them appeared. Kenneth seated Darla and Charlene placed a cheese-and-onion omelet in front of Valerie, accompanied by a freshly-decanted Dew. Marie came in carrying her own plate and took a place at the table beside Charlene.

Jane said, "Valerie, I've been up half the night dealing with the problem you have uncovered." Valerie started to protest but Jane overrode her. "Valerie, you are not to blame; rather you are to be commended. What you found has implications far greater than you perhaps have realized."

"Yes, ma'am."

Jane looked around and caught everyone's eyes. "This goes no farther, but what Valerie discovered is a, an infestation on Melissa White's computer; Melissa's husband is Julian White, Edith's grandson, and he uses his and occasionally Melissa's computer to perform transactions in the financial sector. Reggie, our friend in the computer security field, says that if her computer is infested then so is his and any other computer associated with him. That includes his firm's main office in New York City."

She paused and garnered a nod from everyone else at the table. "Reggie is not available until Wednesday therefore he has arranged for the services of a professional colleague, Bill Tucker."

Valerie was fortunate that she wasn't eating or drinking at that moment. She thought, *Oh, God, I'm so lucky that I haven't sent the spy program to Dad yet.*

Jane looked at her watch. "Mr. Tucker is probably in New York by now; Reggie emphasized that time was of the essence because Julian's company, White and Associates, dare not transact any business until the matter is resolved.

"Now Valerie, your part in this is to, in Reggie's words, disinfect Melissa's, Julian's and their colleague Mark's computers. Their satellite office here is just a bare office without any computers, and that's where you will do the disinfecting. How long do you think that will take?"

Valerie thought for a moment. "If all of them are the same as Melissa's, a little over three hours each: hour and a half for the pre-disinfection backup, same for the post-disinfection backup, now that I know what to look for maybe a half hour for the disinfection. Melissa's is mostly done, just need to check it over. She hasn't been using it, has she?"

"That was discussed last night. They are all the same and no, she hasn't used it."

"Good."

"While you are doing the disinfection you need to copy all parts of the program and the information that was sent elsewhere and send them to Reggie."

"I'll do a diff on the program components and if they're all the same I'll just need to send one copy."

"Very well. After breakfast we will call to get everyone and their computers at their office."

Valerie had visions of conversations she had about client relations with both his father and Debbie. "I really need to wear the right thing. That pants suit would be just about right." Jane started to say somehting but Valerie cut her off. "Appropriate feminine attire, emphasis on appropriate. This," motioning to herself, "is appropriate female attire, suitable for associating with other girls in my age group. In an informal setting." She nodded at Darla. "Darla's dressed in feminine attire, suitable for associating with other adults in a more formal setting. I need to dress as a professional female in a business setting. The equivalent of a guy's ordinary go-to-the-office suit, not a thousand dollar Armani or a tux or morning dress."

Valerie got a nod from Kenneth and a begrudging acceptance from Jane. "Very well. Kenneth, will you be so good as to take Valerie? I'm afraid you will have to wait around."

"Certainly. We'll stop on the way to buy more blank CDs."

Valerie said, "Better call first to see if they have the right brand - I know what works in my recorder and they're not all the same."

Jane said, "I'll leave those details to you and Valerie. Valerie, just remember, businesslike demeanor and behavior. Not everyone is a computer genius; many people are just as knowlegable in other areas of expertise as you are in computers. They just think of computers as a sometimes ill-behaved tool, like a hammer or electric drill."

Valerie snorted a little. "With a hammer all you can do is mash your thumb or make a hole through it with a drill. You can make more mistakes faster with a computer than anything else except for automatic weapons and tequila."

[Updated on: Mon, 14 December 2015 13:28]

Re: Tuck Seasons - Prospective New Chapter 24 [message #8443] Wed, 03 September 2014 20:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anne  is currently offline Anne
Messages: 355
Registered: April 2012
Senior Member
Thank you again for this piece... Is this something that you're doing with Ellen?

Second question: Will Bill recognize Tuck's work any way? By that I mean at some time he is going (more than likely) to see some of the programing that is being done to disinfect the machines, or the notes on the program, so will he recognize his 'son's' work?
Re: Tuck Seasons - Prospective New Chapter 24 [message #8444] Wed, 03 September 2014 21:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
Messages: 421
Registered: April 2006
Senior Member
Anne wrote on Wed, 03 September 2014 20:34

Thank you again for this piece... Is this something that you're doing with Ellen?[0]

Second question: Will Bill recognize Tuck's work any way? By that I mean at some time he is going (more than likely) to see some of the programing that is being done to disinfect the machines, or the notes on the program, so will he recognize his 'son's' work?[1]
[0] Nope, which is why I put it in the New Fanfic section. I just got a zot of inspiration of a possible straightforward extrapolation of chapters 22 and 23. I'll send Ellen an email and either edit them or remove them entirely as she wishes.

[1] Tuck's original notes might be indicative but Reggie would rewrite them into Business English before anyone sees them. The disinfection is pretty straightforward.
Re: Tuck Seasons - Prospective New Chapter 24 [message #8445] Thu, 04 September 2014 17:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
Messages: 421
Registered: April 2006
Senior Member
Chapter 24c

Things were finally arranged for Mark, Melissa and Julian with their laptops to meet at the company's satellite office and Kenneth had directions to the office and to a computer supply store that carried the right brand of blank CDs.

There was a conversation with Mr. J. Thomas Kirkwood at the White and Associates main office. "Valerie, this has become a corporate concern instead of a personal one of Mrs. White. Mr. Reggie Walters has recommended that you return Mrs. White's fee and the corporation reimburse you for your time and expertise. Would five hundred per laptop be acceptable?"

The amount boggled Valerie's mind for a moment. "Well..."

"We won't pay more than a thousand."

"A thousand, then. The price doubles unless you can show me a recent backup."

"Then we're agreed: $1000 per laptop, three laptops, $3000 total. Part of your fee includes a guarantee of privacy about this matter."

"Yes, sir; client confidentiality is always included."

Jane interjected, "Valerie's banking arrangements are a bit unsettled at the moment. If you send me a check I can make the funds available to her."

Kirkwood said, "Valerie, would that be acceptable?"

"Yes, sir."

Kirkwood said, "We thank you for your assistance and be assured that corporate computer security and administration will be addressed most thoroughly in the near future." His tone promised all who were involved a metaphoric flogging.

After the call was concluded Valerie asked Jane, "Who is Mr. Walters?

"That's Reggie, Reginald Walters, our computer security consultant associate."

Valerie wondered if she knew Reggie by an Internet handle.

------------------------------------

Valerie won an argument about jewelry with Darla. "No, no rings or dangly bits. It's a safety issue - rings can cause shorts and equipment likes to grab anything in reach, just like a baby."

"You won't be digging into any computers, just doing backups and other things."

"Look, Darla, I'm supposed to be a professional, a pro from Dover come to fix things. Jewelry like that is totally out of character."

Darla huffed and threw up her hands. "Fine."

Valerie successfully resisted the urge to gloat when Jane examined her and pronounced her appearance "acceptable for the task at hand."

---------------

Valerie's estimation of Kenneth rose greatly while they were in the computer store. She picked up a spindle of twenty and he said, "Get the big package."

"We won't need that many."

"Probably not, but the extras might come in handy. The price difference is less than the annoyance of having to come back."

On their way to the checkout Kenneth stopped and pointed to a box on the shelf. "Isn't that the same kind of drive you have?"

The package contained an external SCSI CD drive, an adapter card for a desktop, the appropriate cables and Windows software.

"That's for a desktop; we can't use it on a laptop without a laptop PCMCIA adapter card."

"If we buy that drive and a laptop card would all of this go quicker?"

"Yes, but it's a lot of money."

Kenneth smiled and shook his head. "Not much when you compare it to the amount being lost by Julian's company, and this will speed up the process of fixing things."

"Good, fast, cheap - pick any two."

"Exactly, so we're going for good and fast. Besides, this situation has brought the importance of computer backups to the fore. I don't think Jane has ever backed up her computer. If we just happen to have a solution available I think she'll contract with you to implement one."

"You're a sneaky devil. Do you think she'd trust me?"

"You'd abide by the terms of a contract, wouldn't you?"

Breaking such things included interactions with a birch rod as well as the financial repercussions. "Yes."

------------------

Once at the office the first thing Valerie did was make a copy of the Linux boot CD, then continued the delousing of Melissa's laptop, copying the spy program and its data/overlay file to /WHITECORP/MELISSA/SPYPROG and the log of transferred information to /WHITECORP/MELISSA/SPYLOG before completely deleting them.

After starting the post-infection backup of Melissa's laptop she set up the new CD recorder for Julian's laptop and started the pre-disinfection backup.

Valerie explained the new financial arrangements and returned Melissa's $200. While the backup was running she and Melissa conversed about Melissa's adventures with Anthony and Valerie's adventures with Stella and Ricky[y]. It turned out Julian's family had a cousin of Dorothy's, Edith White's maid, working for them. Valerie gathered that Edith was propping up Julian financially.

Kenneth, Julian and Mark were all discussing guy things while this was going on.

Once Melissa's backup was complete Valerie switched it for Mark's and started the pre-disinfection backup. Melisa took her cleaned laptop and left with an admonition not to connect to Julian's office.

Valerie moved over to monitor the backup of Julian's computer. Julian drifted over to watch and engage her in conversation. He was extolling the virtues of a little day-sailer, which Valerie gathered was some kind of boat, that he and Melissa had enjoyed before Anthony came along and he had to get rid of it. Valerie paid as little attention as she could to him while watching the two ongoing backups.

Mark excused himself from his conversation with Kenneth and began to read The Wall Street Journal. Kenneth took a book from his pocket and start to read.

There was a coffeepot in the office and when Julian left to delete an accumulation Valerie approached Kenneth. In a low voice she said, "Would you please remind that dork I'm supposed to be twelve? I swear if he makes one more off-color remark or innuendo I'm either going to remove his liver or call the cops and swear that he exposed himself to me."

"What?"

"He's a creep and he's been hitting on me."

"Oh, God. I'll take care of it. Jane will not be pleased, and neither will Edith. Let's leave it up to Jane to tell Edith."

"Okay."

Kenneth left in the same direction as Julian. When Julian returned he was very subdued. He asked, "Do you need me for this? You can just leave the laptop here and I'll pick it up later."

Valerie answered, "No, as long as this office is secure."

"It is."

On his way out the door Julian told Mark, "Lock up when you leave."

Valerie told Mark, "You can leave if you want."

"I'd like to stay, if I might. I'm fascinated by what you're doing. That's not Windows, is it?"

"No, it's an operating system called Linux-"

"Oh, I've heard a little about it. Supposed to have quite a steep learning curve, though."

"Yeah. No pretty pictures, just commands you have to type."

"And remember. I did some stuff with cards at school. If we were lucky we got to use serial terminals-"

"Teletypes?"

"Yes, KSR-33s. Oh, my, was that slow. What's the best way to get into Linux?"

"Go through Computer Shopper and get a mid-level system without an OS; you can't get that kind of thing at a normal computer store - they all come with Windows preinstalled. Get a Linux distro, too. Distro - distribition, a combination of the Linux kernel and varius utilities. Linux and the software's free but 'way too much to download."

"Are there computer clubs where people might know about Linux?"

Valerie was taken slightly aback at the question. "You know, there probably are. I never thought about it because it's one of the things we run at home. Call your local community college or maybe used computer stores." *That's something Doug would probably like,* she thought. *Have to remember to mention that during our next class.*

Valerie explained to Mark what she was doing as she disinfected Julian's laptop and started the post-disinfection backup. Once Mark's pre-disinfection backup was complete she had him type while she prompted him.

After the post-disinfection backup started she had him call Reggie on the office phone. "Hello, Reggie, this is Valerie."

"Hello, Valerie."

"I have all the laptops here disinfected and the programs and log files copied. There's a lot of stuff in the log files, do you want me to send it or will an overnighted CD do?"

"An overnighted CD will be okay. Send it to the corporate offices attention Bill Tucker, he's the consultant they brought in."

"Okay."

"Warning, there are some people from the Fed who want to talk to you."

"Oh, shit."

"Remember, you're a minor and Jane is in loco parentis to you so you don't have to talk without her and a lawyer present."

"And the Fifth Amendment is still in force."

"Um, well there are both civil and criminal aspects to this and I'm not sure how the Fifth Amendment goes with civil law. Get Jane to get a lawyer involved. Don't volunteer anything and especially don't get into an 'ethical hacker' discussion. Just say that Jane referred the problem to me."

----------------------------------------

Note: I found out that Reggie's last name is Walters.

[y] I just realized that this may be a mistake on Valerie's part, depending on how much Kenneth overheard and repeats to Jane or how much Melissa tells Jane. Jane is highly unlikely to believe that a boy would be hired as a babysitter, leading to the question "How long have you been playing at being Valerie?"

[Updated on: Mon, 29 September 2014 14:38]

Re: Tuck Seasons - Prospective New Chapter 24 [message #8447] Mon, 08 September 2014 11:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anne  is currently offline Anne
Messages: 355
Registered: April 2012
Senior Member
Thank you for writing... I keep feeling like I'm missing something in this, like maybe all the pieces don't fit quite right but that I can't identify the pieces that don't fit....Razz
Re: Tuck Seasons - Prospective New Chapter 24 [message #8448] Mon, 08 September 2014 13:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
Messages: 421
Registered: April 2006
Senior Member
This is Tu-Val being a computer consultant solving a problem for a client. As such there's none (or very little) of the conflict for control between Valerie and Jane's household. I may have Jane acquiescing too easily but I thought that she'd follow Reggie's lead to a certain extent. As the story stands I couldn't see Jane letting Valerie do the work in New York even if Reggie recommended it.

I also have Kenneth accompanying Valerie instead of Darla or Jane because they're clueless and would be kvetching and questioning every thing that Valerie did - not conducive to a good client impression ("What's wrong with thse women? Why are they here? This is fixing computers, not taking tea with Edith White.") I probably should put in a bit about Jane asking Kenneth to accompany Valerie, or him volunteering, because of his level of knowledge and that this is not a learning exercise in femininity for Valerie.

I only have a little left - a visit from a couple of Suits from the local FBI office to get Valerie's statement about her involvement. I think it'd be somewhat cursory because Valerie's just a kid and obviously not involved in the conspiracy.
Re: Tuck Seasons - Prospective New Chapter 24 [message #8449] Mon, 08 September 2014 21:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lurker
Messages: 197
Registered: May 2004
Senior Member
Marten,
1. Thanks for this. I miss Ellen's canon Tuck and canon Tuck Seasons (if there's such a thing as a canon Tuck Seasons)Laughing . Hope she returns soon.
2. I was about to shout - why doesn't Tuck recommend Ubuntu or some other Open sourced software until I realize this is 1997, that PCMCIA cards for laptops were expensive options for computers then, and USB wasn't quite adopted yet. Anyone see a laptop offered with PCMIA slot lately?

Maybe, during that FBI interview, Val is shown a list of suspects, one of which is named Jester, obtained from earlier court order tapped network servers, trying to ID and track down Jester, due to suspicious hacking activity. She is asked if she knows anyone on the list, and of course she doesn't. She sees that Jester is associated with an IP/MAC address she never used or spoofed. If the Tuck universe is so small, such that Reggie knows of Jester, why not the same person breaking into the Wall street firms?

You now have a new chapter where Val is tracking down this guy impersonating her alias, ruining her cyber rep, and possibly buring her ID....
Re: Tuck Seasons - Prospective New Chapter 24 [message #8451] Tue, 09 September 2014 12:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
Messages: 421
Registered: April 2006
Senior Member
lurker wrote on Mon, 08 September 2014 21:33

Marten,
1. Thanks for this. I miss Ellen's canon Tuck and canon Tuck Seasons (if there's such a thing as a canon Tuck Seasons)Laughing . Hope she returns soon.
2. I was about to shout - why doesn't Tuck recommend Ubuntu or some other Open sourced software until I realize this is 1997, that PCMCIA cards for laptops were expensive options for computers then, and USB wasn't quite adopted yet. Anyone see a laptop offered with PCMIA slot lately?

Maybe, during that FBI interview, Val is shown a list of suspects, one of which is named Jester, obtained from earlier court order tapped network servers, trying to ID and track down Jester, due to suspicious hacking activity. She is asked if she knows anyone on the list, and of course she doesn't. She sees that Jester is associated with an IP/MAC address she never used or spoofed. If the Tuck universe is so small, such that Reggie knows of Jester, why not the same person breaking into the Wall street firms?

You now have a new chapter where Val is tracking down this guy impersonating her alias, ruining her cyber rep, and possibly buring her ID....
The FBI and the Whitecorp hierarchy see Valerie as a talented kid. Her involvement has been finding the infection and, through Jane, alerting the real professionals (Reggie and Bill). After that she just disinfected the three local laptops. She's not going to get pulled into anything more, that's for the real professionals. The major thing is to keep the FBI from confiscating her laptop just on general principles.
Re: Tuck Seasons - Prospective New Chapter 24 [message #8453] Sat, 27 September 2014 12:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
Messages: 421
Registered: April 2006
Senior Member
Chapter 24d

Reggie's warning that some Feds wanted to talk to her kicked Valerie's paranoia into high gear. She connected her laptop to the CD recorder and made a copy of the entire /WHITECORP folder with the programs and data logs and gave it to Kenneth. "Here's the infection stuff that Reggie asked for."

Mark said, "We have some FedEx overnight envelopes here at the office and they have a dropbox in the lobby. I can-"

Valerie interrupted him. "We'll drop it in the box as we leave. Sorry, but we have to do it that way. Security."

Mark started to object but caught an obvious clue. "Oh, okay."

"We'll send the dirty backups in a separate mailer as insurance."

"What are you going to do with the clean backups?"

Valerie motioned to a filing cabinet in the corner of the room. "In the bottom drawer for now. I'd suggest a fireproof safe for the future."

"I'll talk to the computer staff about that."

As Mark and Kenneth were busying themselves with the FedEx mailers Valerie made a CD copy of just the spy programs then started a full backup of her laptop. Once the FedEx envelopes were finished Mark said, "I guess you don't need me for the rest, do you?"

Kenneth said, "No, but thanks for your support and patience."

Mark said, "I can't say it's been a pleasure but it certainly has been enlightening." He stood and gave both Valerie and Kenneth cards. "Feel free to call upon me if I can be of further assistance. The office door locks automatically, just leave Julian's laptop in the drawer with the backups."

Mark shook their hands and left with his laptop.

While the backup of her laptop was in progress Valerie filled out another FedEx mailer, this one to Mike's home. After the backup was completed she put the CDs in the new mailer. She used the laptop to encrypt a message to Mike and copied it to an index card by hand:

"Black. Hold until called for. May miss today's checkin."

As she was putting the message in the mailer Kenneth asked, "What's that all about?"

"Insurance. The Feds want to talk to me, wanna bet that they'll try to confiscate my laptop?"

"No bet."

The last thing Valerie did before shutting down was to delete the contents of the /WHITECORP folders - just the files, she left the directory structure.

On their way out of the building they dropped the three FedEx envelopes in the dropbox. In the car she gave the CD containing the spy programs to Kenneth.

"Put this somewhere safe. Don't tell me where, don't tell Darla or Jane either."

"What's on it?"

"Don't ask."

Kenneth raised an eyebrow and Valerie repeated, "Don't ask."

-----------------

Kenneth had a difficult time waking Valerie when they arrived at Jane's. He carried her backpack up the stairs, Darla carried her laptop bag under strenuous protest and Marie helped Valerie. Darla and Marie just removed her suit, wig and shoes before tipping her into the bed.

Kenneth ducked into his and Darla's room and stuck the CD into a book on a bookshelf.

Jane called Kenneth into her office. "How did it go; how did she act?"

"It went smoothly; she was perfect, just the right image of a consultant in a technical field. No issues on her part."

"That doesn't mean 'no issues.'"

"Julian was making some off-color and suggestive remarks. I reminded him that she's twelve and that sort of behavior is unacceptable."

"Do you think she was over-reacting?"

Kenneth thought for a moment. "No, I don't think so. He protested that he was only kidding and she shouldn't be so sensitive, but that kind of protest is not indicative of a good attitude toward women. I don't think it's quite enough to take to Edith."

"I'll mention it to Dorothy."

-----------------

Valerie's door burst open and black armored SWAT troopers poured in just as another trio rapelled in through her window.

Marie served Kenneth a quick lunch then he went toward his room to take a short nap. He heard a scream from Valerie's room, "GENERAL QUARTERS! REPEL BOARDERS! REPEL BOARDERS!"

He opened her door and saw Valerie crouched in the far corner with both hands on an imaginary pistol. Her hands changed position to an equally phantom rifle. He took a couple of steps forward and held out his hands. "Valerie, Valerie, they're all gone."

Valerie focused on Kenneth and dropped her hands.

He asked, "Who were they?"

"SWAT team goon squad. Sure they're all gone?"

"Positive."

Valerie shook her head. "'nother nightmare. Musta been Reggie talking 'bout the Feds."

Kenneth remembered a conversation that featured statements such as "When seconds count the police are only minutes away," and his curiosity gave him a nudge. "What's your carry weapon?"

"Modern 1911 in forty-five ACP."

"Long gun?"

"Galil five five six."

"AK has better anti-armor performance."

"Ammo weighs more. Five five six is enough for most social occasions. Wait! Why are we talking about this?"

"Your nightmare. You were returning fire and I wondered."

"Don't tell Darla or Jane, especially Darla - she's probably one of those hysterical hoplophobes."

"Okay. You didn't bring one with you?"

"No, not even a little auto for .22 shorts. Perfect for escape and evasion but 'way too many questions if somebody finds it."

"Wash your face and try to go back to sleep. I'll keep you safe."

Valerie snuggled down in the bed. Kenneth sat on the edge of the bed with his hand on her lower leg until she fell asleep. He thought, *No, I don't think I'll tell Jane or Darla about this conversation.*
Re: Tuck Seasons - Prospective New Chapter 24 [message #8454] Mon, 29 September 2014 19:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
Messages: 421
Registered: April 2006
Senior Member
Chapter 24e

Darla awakened Valerie. "Wake up, Valerie; time for dinner."

"Wha? Uh, okay; I'm awake, I'm awake."

After coming out of the shower Valerie found a selection of clothing that was mostly things she had bought at the Cotton Spott, plus her original smaller breast forms. "What's this, Darla?"

"Mama Jane's lawyer is coming after dinner and I suppose she wants you to look more like a kid."

"Oh, okay." *I guess she does have an idea about how regular girls dress.*

Dinner went well, with Jane being relatively restrained in her correction of Valerie's manners. Marie had prepared a large roast and Valerie requested, "Just half a slice, please, Kenneth." In answer to Jane's questioning look she said, "I don't think too much heavy food would be good for me right now. I'll just have more of this lovely salad Miss Marie prepared for us. And the marvelous asparagus."

Jane answered with a nod and an unvoiced "Very well."

The doorbell rang just as everyone had finished dinner and Marie was gathering the dirty dishes. Jane looked at her watch and remarked, "That will be Harold Archer. Please show him into the parlor, Marie. Darla can help Charlene with the dishes. Kenneth, please join us."

She dabbed her lips with her napkin and stood. "Valerie, we'll be discussing your involvement with the Whites' computers. He will probably wish to examine your laptop so please fetch it before joining us."

Valerie went to her room to fetch her laptop bag. While there she took a $5 bill from her wallet and put in her skirt pocket.

Valerie paused just inside the door to the parlor. Jane, Diana and Kenneth were seated in chairs facing the coffee table and Archer was seated on the couch behind it. Jane said, "Harold, may I introduce my student Valerie; Valerie, Harold Archer, my attorney."

Valerie gave him a bob of a curtsy, slightly off-balance due to the laptop bag over her shoulder. "Pleased to meet you, Mr. Archer."

Archer picked up a brushed-aluminum Zero Halliburton briefcase from beside the coffee table, laid it on top and popped the latches. Valerie raised an eyebrow and Archer said, "What? The briefcase?"

"Yes, sir. Every time you see one of them in the movies or on TV they're either full of money or a disassembled sniper rifle."

Archer shook his head. "No, just a couple of legal pads this time." He opened the case and took out the pads then paused and gave Valerie a grin. "However, just after my father-in-law gave it to me a banker friend and I went into his vault and found out it can hold ten thousand dollars in new singles."

"Wow. That's a, a million in hundreds."

"Unfortunately, he made me put it all back." He motioned to the couch. "Now, please come sit beside me. What we're going to do is put together your statement about your involvement."

"But I wasn't involved."

"You found it in the first place and that makes you involved."

"But that's all I did."

"They don't know that. This statement will describe the circumstances under which you found the problem and what you did afterward. I'll have it typed up and we'll give it to the FBI tomorrow morning when we meet them in my office."

"I'll plead the Fifth."

Jane interjected, "Valerie, you'll talk to the FBI!"

Valerie said, "I respectfully decline to answer on the grounds that I might incriminate myself." She crossed her arms.

Archer took a non-confrontational tone. "Valerie, that the FBI is involved should tell you that this case has larger implications that just some infected laptops. Most of what the FBI does involves records and ledgers and other kinds of paperwork. They're not really interested in you; what they're really after here is filling in the blanks and establishing the timeline: 'problem first discovered by Jane Thompson's student Valerie, reported to Reggie Walters who informed White and Associates.' Your part is the initial discovery, which they'll be interested in, and the disinfection, which they won't. They'll probably interview the Whites, too."

Valerie said, "Oh, okay, but I don't know that Reggie notified White and Associates."

"Then that doesn't go in the statement. They will probably want to examine your laptop."

"No-"

Jane interrupted, "Valerie-"

Valerie shot Jane a quelling glance. "Not without a proper search warrant. Fourth Amendment. 'No warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.'"

Archer smiled. "Just so."

"That reminds me." She approached Archer and gave him the $5 bill. "Will you represent me - me personally instead of as Miz Thompson's student?"

Jane said, "What's this all about?"

"Mr. Archer represents you and you are covered by attorney-client privilege. I want the same for myself."

Jane was nonplussed but Archer took the bill. "Yes, I'll represent you. If there's a conflict of interest I'll recommend other counsel."

Valerie nodded. "I'd hate to lose my laptop 'cause, BEcause there's private information and proprietary software on it." She glanced at Jane. "My recipe database, for example. There's nothing on it anyway; I erased it all after I sent the spy stuff off."

Archer said, "Examine, not confiscate. You'd probably get it back, eventually." He pointed to the end of the couch. "Mr. Walters had a laptop sent from the White and Associates datacenter. He said it was one of his dual-boot Windows and Linux machines that he uses for diagnostics and suggested that you move all your personal information to it."

Valerie thought *I've gotta do something real nice for Reggie.* She said, "Okay, what do you want to know?"

Archer took out a pen and poised himself to write. "Come sit down next to me. When did your involvement start?"

Valerie sat as directed. "Miz White, that's Miz Melissa White, complained about her computer. I contracted with her to get rid of the virii, viruses, on it and that's when I discovered the spy program. I guess- I suppose that's how it all got started."

"And you just happened to have the software tools to do that?"

"Well, yes. It's immensely frustrating to come across a situation that you know you can fix but your tools are somewhere else. Except for the CD recorder everything I need is a handful of cables and some CDs. It's like, like, oh, coming across someone with a flat tire and you have the equivalent of a hydraulic jack and an air wrench."

"You've done this a lot?"

Valerie thought a moment. "A half-dozen times for pay, a bunch more for friends. Sometimes it's just a software problem, sometimes it's a hardware failure."

"How did you recognize the spy program on Mrs. White's laptop?"

"Well, it wasn't a known virus so I took it apart a little."

"'Known virus?'"

"Yes, sir. All virii, viruses, have certain distinctive characteristics, you just have to know what to look for. There are repositories of known vir-, viruses out there, sort of, ah, sort of like a display case in a museum with all those butterflies pinned in it. Or like a medical research lab with disease cultures."

"Have you ever.... No, don't answer that. So what happened then?"

"I told Miz White, who I gue- suppose told Miz Thompson, who I suppose told Mr. Waters. She, Miz Thompson, must have called Mr. Waters because she put me on the line with him. I sent him the notes about what I'd found and that was it except for disinfecting the laptops."

Archer made a few notes and went over Valerie's statement with her. "Now, Mrs. Thompson, the sequence is Mrs. Melissa White to you to Mr. Waters?"

"Yes."

"I see. I'll have your statement typed up for presentation to the FBI tomorrow."

Valerie said, "This is like the chain-of-custody for evidence?"

Archer said, "Yes, but it's more 'who knew what when and from whom.' We give the FBI a clear, concise narrative and that'll limit our involvement."
Re: Tuck Seasons - Prospective New Chapter 24 [message #8455] Mon, 29 September 2014 19:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
Messages: 421
Registered: April 2006
Senior Member
Chapter 24f

Valerie spent the night moving her personal files and toolkits to Reggie's laptop. She left the initial notes she'd made about Melissa's laptop and enough software tools to support the story, the higher-function (and almost guaranteed to raise eyebrows) tools she deleted.

The meeting with the FBI went as well as such things ever went - the FBI agents went over her story a few times and asked some dumb questions but that was about it. The same thing happened with Jane's statement.

Valerie resisted giving up her laptop 'for examination' but she allowed Archer to talk her into it. The receipt she received had a valuation on it that would allow her to buy a top-of-the-line replacement.

On the way back Valerie asked, "Miz Thompson, is there anyplace along the way we can stop and get an ice cream cone?"

[Updated on: Tue, 14 October 2014 17:41]

Re: Tuck Seasons - Prospective New Chapter 24 [message #8456] Mon, 29 September 2014 20:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anne  is currently offline Anne
Messages: 355
Registered: April 2012
Senior Member
Thank you for writing this chapter. I think I may have spotted what felt 'off' about the whole scenario. It seems odd to me that even a 'branch' office with only three people in it wouldn't have at least one machine that wasn't a laptop.
The time ('96-'98) also indicates the strong possibility that the office should have had at least one 'desktop' or tower machine.
Re: Tuck Seasons - Prospective New Chapter 24 [message #8457] Mon, 29 September 2014 21:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
Messages: 421
Registered: April 2006
Senior Member
Anne wrote on Tue, 30 September 2014 00:29

Thank you for writing this chapter. I think I may have spotted what felt 'off' about the whole scenario. It seems odd to me that even a 'branch' office with only three people in it wouldn't have at least one machine that wasn't a laptop.
The time ('96-'98) also indicates the strong possibility that the office should have had at least one 'desktop' or tower machine.
Well, you can assume that Val used the adapter card that came with Ken's CD recorder to back up and then disinfect the office's desktop(s). A desktop wouldn't have a PCMCIA slot so without it everything would have to go through a serial or parallel Laplink-ish cable.

The thing about a having a bare office to go to is to avoid the work-from-home "Honey, since you're home all day why can't you just..." During my time with IBM work-from-home just meant I didn't have to dress up and drive to the office. My ex and I kinda worked it out that my daily office commute was down to the local 7-11 for coffee. After that I was "at work."
Re: Tuck Seasons - Prospective New Chapter 24 [message #8458] Mon, 29 September 2014 23:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sir Lee  is currently offline Sir Lee
Messages: 440
Registered: October 2003
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Senior Member
Well... it was certainly uncommon and expensive but I don't think it was unheard of -- people using a laptop as their main/only computer, even in an office setting, I mean. I remember noticing that characters in TV series, like NewsRadio, had a laptop on their office instead of a desktop. I suppose that some of the motivation for that choice was that, as props go, laptops cause less problems -- easy to set up in the morning, easy to store at the end of filming, doesn't take as much room on the table or block as many camera angles and such. But still, it was not a futuristic sci-fi show nor "Lifestyles of the Filthy Rich" -- it was intended to be something believable to the point of invisibility for a contemporary business setting.

I suppose that for an investment company that deals with tens or hundreds of millions, the difference in cost between a desktop and a laptop would be peanuts -- and the convenience might be worth it. So, I don't rate the lack of desktops as "unbelievable" or even "unlikely", just "unusual."


Don't call me Shirley. You will surely make me surly.
Re: Tuck Seasons - Prospective New Chapter 24 [message #8465] Mon, 13 October 2014 11:59 Go to previous message
Desiree99  is currently offline Desiree99
Messages: 24
Registered: March 2013
Location: So Cal
Junior Member
I really regret that I have not been logging in weekly, but I shall make sure I do as even rereading old episodes of Tuck is better than most of what is new out there. Also this wonderful Tuck Seasons Fanfic by mkemp thanks so much for your lovely story.
Previous Topic:Scenes We'd Like to See
Next Topic:Twelve Years After
Goto Forum:
  


Current Time: Thu Jun 21 16:28:19 EDT 2018

Total time taken to generate the page: 0.02207 seconds
.:: Contact :: Home ::.

Powered by: FUDforum 2.7.7.
Copyright ©2001-2007 FUD Forum Bulletin Board Software