daily – 42

Patrick’s entire body language changes in a moment.

From tense and confused, he softens to the casual, care-free kid who left the house this evening, minus the sulky attitude. I can tell he’s thinking of the way he re-routed the house’s systems after that summer camp program taught him a little more than the lessons in the handbook, and the freelance work he did after that, the work that was nearly as complicated as what I get paid for, the work whose fees he was routing to his grandmother’s savings account, the work that got him limited access only on the networks.

He’s thinking this is just someone messing around like he was, someone playing a game.

“Let me see,” he says. I can tell he’s trying not to sound over-anxious, but he’s got visions of hack-junkies dancing in his head.

“This isn’t a game, Patrick.” Deep ‘serious father’ voice, there, but as soon as I say the words, I question myself. I don’t know anything yet. It could be one of his friends at school, for all I know. Someone he’s unintentionally given access before.

But the satellite link? The security keys?

“I know, Dad,” Patrick grunts. “Geez. But you can stop them!” His eyes are bright as he looks back up at me. “Come on! Let’s go kick ’em out!”