2007-06-20: The Prometheus Gamble


Elena_icon.gif Gene_icon.gif

Summary: The thrilling conclusion of the plan to break into Mount Sinai's electronic files on the non-Hantavirus, Elena and Gene finally put their plan to action. While they don't get much, they do manage to snag a lead.

Date It Happened: June 20, 2007

The Prometheus Gamble

Somewhere in New York City

Elena is picked up by a familiar car outside her house, Gene's 1976 Chevrolet Camaro. When she said she wanted him to hack into the computers, he was more than willing to. Stupid? Yes. Illegal? Yes. But he knows that no matter how he might try and convince her otherwise, she would still do it. He knows that reason and logic would not dissuade her. Elena is a woman of passion, a woman of determination. If he said no, she would likely try and go in herself. Maybe with that Jack character, perhaps with Peter. They have gifts and talents, he thinks. But what happens if something goes wrong. What happens if they rush in? Gene knows God is a merciful being despite Gene's past, but mercy and providence only extends so far. At some point, man must walk in wisdom and caution. Trust in God, but always prepare for Plan B.

Gene rolls up and opens the door. He seems dressed in a simple black t-shirt and some blue jeans, wearing his usual comfy sneakers. "Come in…." Gene really doesn't say much more than that as Elena gets into the car. "You sure you want to do what I'm about to do? You are aware that this is illegal. You and I could get in a hell of a lot of trouble for this… Are you sure this isn't some wild goose chase? Because once we start this, there is no going back. If there is one thing that I never do, is do a job half way."

She knows this is illegal. But no one else was doing anything. If Peter is right. If Cass is right, then the more they know the better off they are. Elena looks determined, to her, it's a little too late to do anything regarding this legally. She's already broken into an apartment and a business. She's eavesdropped shamelessly in the hospital she worked for. She faced the Company's Eraser. She's gone on a few rescue missions and none of them were legal to begin with. All for the cause. Part of herself is scared, now only realizing just how far she would go to try and keep everyone safe. How far she would go to preserve her way of life. She waits in front of the Gomez Apartment, her bag on her shoulder, and her face determined as Gene rolls up in his Camaro, and opens the door.

She slips in and closes the door. She locks it, and she looks at Gene. She is silent for now - to her credit, she thinks about it. "….it's like we're damned if we do, damned if we don't, Gene," she says finally, after a few moments of silent thinking. "I can think of countless cliched statements that could apply to this situation. But it's been weeks, maybe more, since the last breakthrough. There's an hourglass in my head that's slowly running out of sand. I don't know what else to do but this, and I have to do something." She pauses. "But….if you don't want to, Gene, I understand. Seriously. If you back out, I won't be mad or anything. I know it's risky."

As soon as Elena gets into the car, Gene begins to drive. He already knows where he's going. She is just here to show him what she needs and what pertains to what. Hopefully, he won't need more help than that. "Get the laptop out of the backseat and turn it on." Sure enough, in the back there is simple black laptop case resting on the seats still stained with Petrelli blood. "I am a man of my word, if I didn't want to help, I would have said as much. Hopefully, I'll be able to get in and out with the information… No one will know the better. So, all I need to do is look up a hentai virus or something like that?" Gene focuses on the road, making sure he's not being followed. Doing something illegal only heightens his paranoia, regardless if it's rational or not.

This would give time for Elena to likely look at the machine. It seems like it's a custom made machine and the size of a modern notepad laptop, perhaps designed by Gene himself or had a friend make it for him. The screen's wallpaper has a rather unique look to it. It has a silhouette of a man with an outstretched hand. In the hand, he holds a flame, its light is barely enough to illuminate the man. He seems to be muscular and naked, though the darkness keeps it within rating. The oddest thing is that there is an eagle at his side, ripping into his flesh. A log-in screen appears, requiring name and password.

"From now until forever, I will be known not as Gene, but as Prometheus to everyone when it comes to this project. This means friends, family, lovers… EVERYONE. If there are such things as telepaths, the less people know, the better. Only if they get personally involved do I want my name or your name being mentioned. As of now, you aren't involved. Pandora will be the one that will have assisted me. On the other side, if there is anything that endangers my personal safety or this mission, I need to know it. Now." Gene's voice is firm as he speaks on this, almost cold. He's focused, determined, driven. Elena might have noticed this side of Gene while he was working on his device, only this time he is making more than a machine, but rather a plan.

"Hantavirus. That's what they identified it as, but I know for a fact that it's not. I've been there when it was mentioned, by the lab technician who actually examined the blood sample taken from the woman who came in with the illness. However, he can't remember what he actually saw," Elena tells Gene as they start driving to the undisclosed location that Gene had scouted out in advance. She looks at the customized laptop curiously, and then she looks at Gene. "So, Prometheus. What's the plan? You've got more experience with this than me."

She's also curious as to where they're going.

She nods when he gives her instructions. "No names," she states with a small nod. "I probably won't even tell anyone where I got it. I do have a question though. Say we do get these files. Is it possible for them to embed some sort of tracking code in the downloaded data that they can trace to your laptop? If that's the case, I say if we get them, we shut off the laptop right away to kill the signal, drive to the nearest safe place we could print it all out and destroy it all."

"We need to go to a place with wireless connections available. This will give us a place that we can start our work. We need to stay in the car, so we just need to cruise around until we find someplace we can park and be undisturbed online. Keep refreshing the networks… see if we get a good unsecured place. I've gotten the windows tinted a couple of days ago, so I figure that we should be fine." He got the windows tinted, but didn't get the bloody seats replaced? Odd guy. "Once we get to the place, we try a direct hack. Usually, you would go to a personal network and then use them as a cover, but this should be a rather easy network to get into. Not like we are trying to hack into the FBI or something like that," Gene points out. Besides, he knows that Elena wouldn't want to get innocent people involved and possible endangered. Gene has the same tug of his moral compass, but there is still a part of him that is truly scared for what he is about to do. What if she betrays him? What if this blows up in his face? The young genius sighs as he drives on.

"There is a flashdrive that will download the stuff. There are also a couple of condoms in that bag. We'll download the needed information. If we need to kill the information, you'll take out the flash drive-" Gene reddens faintly, but continues to speak in a professional tone. "-put it in the condoms and swallow it. While you are doing that, I'll be using an electric charge to fry the computer's memory. Most, if not all of the computer's memory should be taken out by the self-destruct. Hopefully, you won't have to be putting anything strange in your mouth before the night is through."

"What I'm concerned about is if they manage to put some sort of string in the downloadable data, that tells them where the data is upon using the flashdrive," Elena says, watching the city roll past the windows, and she does what he asks. She snaps on a pair of latex gloves, taking the laptop into her lap and starts refreshing networks over and over and over again as they drive. "For example, a signal gets sent somewhere when we try to access the data we electronically stored. So it doesn't matter if we do fry the laptop we used on sight and dump it in the Hudson, but they follow the data instead. Which is why I asked whether it would be safer to get to a place posthaste, print the stuff out, destroy everything, leave it after wiping them down for stray fingerprints, and make off with the papers. I don't know if that's even possible at all, which is why I asked you since….well, you know more about this stuff than me."

She knows Gene is paranoid, which is another reason why she had asked him first and foremost. On top of his expertise, the young man was so paranoid he would've already started thinking about every single angle they could get caught. She knows this is risky. She's erring on the side of caution - just because she's resolved into trying to do this doesn't mean she has to be stupid about it and go half-cocked. She'll go to the best weapon in her arsenal for a task like this. The best contact - who happens to be Gene.

The condom idea was also meritous, if not pretty damned gross. But the determined, stubborn expression falls on her face. She nods grimly, despite the inventor's blush.

The black haired programmer seemingly tured hacker smirks at Elena's concern. This is one of the few things he feels hundred percent safe and confident about. "They can't GPS the data. The worst they could do is follow it to the laptop. If it gets extracted and they don't know where to look, they are SOL. That's why it's important we get it on flash and keep it safe." Gene pauses at a red light, trying his best to relax his grip on the wheel, which is enough to whiten them. "The computer's disposal is secondary. Fingerprints are only a big deal if we leave the computer around… If they see us with the computer, prints aren't going to matter much. The only way they could trace the data is if we put it on a computer that was accessible to the Internet, which would be beyond stupid."

Elena looks over at Gene and she can't help but quirk a smile. "Just checking," she tells him simply. "Let's do this." She glances down at the laptop - still she's not taking any chances, tapping into the keys with her gloved hands. It's simple enough, refresh the wireless over and over again until they get a strong enough connection. "Alright…..I think I got something. But it's your call which one we use. We have a choice of three in this area, just by driving around." She looks over at the inventor. "Unless you know a place already." She turns the laptop to him, showing him the screen.

"Right" is all Gene initially says in response. He looks for a place to park, merely pulling into small parking lot half a block down. Once he gets in, he looks at whatever signal is still the strongest. He takes the computer as he pulls the car seat back. He would let Elena switch seats, but he has never heard of her driving. Better just to handle the wheel himself if it comes down to a getaway chase. At his command, programs begins to cue up, various spyware, decryption software, various open source programs, and a few other things. It's like a surgeon prepping his table, a cop prepping his utility belt, an artist placing smears of color on his palette.

Gene stares at the screen, a window showing a black screen with a blinking white cursor. He is silent for awhile. Is he thinking, waiting… praying? Whatever he does, he finally takes a moment and pulls out his inhaler. He takes a pump of medicated air. He is about to put the inhaler down when he reconsiders halfway and gives another pump. That done, he tosses the medication in the back and gives a meek smile as he looks to Elena.

"Okay, Pandora… Time to see if we can open the box." And with that, Gene begins to go online. The first thing he does is try and get to the hospital's website, hoping to log into the network through a person's password. Hopefully, he can use some decryption software and jimmy the lock than trying a hard hack and going through the security code with a virus. Hopefully, the programs he's made will be able to get him in through the front door.

She takes a deep breath. Elena lifts her hand to adjust the rearview mirror so she could see the back of the car and through the rear windshield. If Gene is going to try and break in the network, the least she can do is pose lookout. She can't help but sneak glances at Gene now and then though, watching the master at work. "First sign of trouble, we go, okay?" she says, looking at Gene seriously. She's not about to risk him if she has to. She dragged him into this, she was going to look out for him the best she can.

"It's fine… Promise. On the network," Gene offers as he attempts to check files here and there. He looks over the stuff, trying to see what he can. Searching for the stuff, searching… shoot, looks like it was restricted like you said. Let me see if I can figure out who the stuff is restricted too. That way, if we need to pull out or something goes wrong later, we can at least have leads on who has access to the information." With that, he begins to type furiously into his machine, various commands coming up. Hopefully, none of them will be the dreaded ACCESS DENIED.

"I figured it would be considering there were rumors of some sort of military presence going around," Elena tells Gene, glancing at the network's screen once he's in. And then when Gene starts typing, she keeps looking around, checking her shoulder every so often while they're parked where they are.

Bingo! Gene smiles as information is listed at high speeds. Thankfully, like most of his geeky kind, he's used to reading it. "We don't have much time as of now," Gene offers as he gets to restricted files. While Gene is careful, a hacker rarely knows if he tripped any traps until after the fact. "We have the chief of pharmacology and toxicology listed as having access since this is a communicable disease… Trying to see if I can get in using his account. If I screw this up, we're gunna have to disconnect and try this another way. Hopefully…" He doesn't say anything more, just trying to hack into the main account. This is it, the moment of hacking truth. Sweat begins to form on Gene's brow, his fingers turning pale. Don't lock up, Gene mouths to himself.

"I'll time. I guess in a sense it'll be like tracing a call," Elena murmurs, glancing at her watch. "You probably know more than me as to how far technology has progressed in terms of tracing that sort of thing. How much of a window are you giving yourself?" she asks once Gene types and hacks into the chief of pharmacology and toxicology's account. She looks over her shoulder again. Her heart is hammering and she could feel that familiar rush of adrenaline…and she's not even DOING ANYTHING. "You think maybe….the paper files I heard had been shipped away at the start of this entire thing. Wonder why they didn't

Typetypetype…. Pause. Gene widens his eyes as he turns the screen so him and Elena can see. "Here it is! I'm gunna read you all the important parts, I'm gunna print screen and save it the flash. Don't want to let these people know I'm copying the information, by transferring files with copying and pasting." With that, he begins to print the image to the flash. "Unidentified pathogen… Considered highly communicable. Transferred to private care facility in Texas. Man… No wonder they didn't delete this? What kinda lead is that! I've seen Scooby Doo clues better than this! ..As for why they kept it, don't have any clue. Maybe the doc was supposed to, but he forgot to. It seems the encryption had an easier time getting in this time, so maybe he's not computer literate." Gene tries to get any names or locations that he can… And then swiftly closes out. After all, he KNOWS that doing anything more would be stupid. After all, if getting into the highest access got him this little, this is clearly not the best way to go.

"We can pick apart the file later," Elena assures him - there could be something there that she's missing. But there's a lead to where the carrier could've gone: Texas. What the freaking hell was in Texas? Still, when Gene doesn't download the files, but just copies and pastes the information and saves it in the flashdrive, once he's out of the connection, she takes the drive, stows it in one of the condoms - readying just in case. She won't take off her gloves yet. "I think we better get out of here, I'll leave it to you the best way to dispose of the laptop if we need to, but we gotta go." Doing this in the car and piggybacking off an unsecure network in some random coffeehouse in New York had been a great idea, but she's not about to linger longer than she has to.

"It would take them having one hell of a IT being on the same time as me, them knowing the SECOND I got on to track me, and then being able to dispatching people in five minutes to even get close to being where we are." Hopefully, Gene is right in his confidence. "Either way, we DO need to going. All we need to do is go out to a place where we can take a hammer to this laptop and we'll be good to go." Gene doesn't try and fry the machine right here and there, figuring that he's in the home stretch for right now. He does begin to have the laptop wipe itself completely… After making sure that the information is on the flash drive, of course. Once that is done, Gene will scoot up his chair and turn on the car. As he turns on his car, he gives another deep breath. "So… There we are. I'm officially an illegal hacker. Huh."

She watches Gene run the magnet - but then she takes it from him. "I'll do it," Elena says, trying to help out in this as much as she can. She feels a little guilty for the genius having done all the work. And then she'll proceed to use the magnet on the laptop, now that she's taken care to stow away the flashdrive far and away from the thing. She doesn't want to wipe what the got after all. But she wants Gene to concentrate on driving. She can at the very least do this. "And then maybe an incinerator." Wow. Overkill. But when two PARANOID MINDS COMBINE….

Letting Elena do whatever she wants to ensure that the information is safe and the data harder to track, Gene sighs as he wonders what is going to come his way. Eventually, there will more for him to do. Whoever was picking on that man in the alley will return, perhaps needing defense of the killbot kind. There are still secrets need to be uncovered and shared behind electronic lock and key. Pulling out from the parking lot, he just drives off, seemingly stopping in a parking lot for ten minutes before going away again. Most people do that for lunch breaks or to talk on the phone. Hopefully, no one will notice it and if they do, they won't have seen a thing through the tinted windows. "Sorry I couldn't find more," he offers simply. "But I'm sure you'll get what you need… You certainly have what it takes." That said, the young inventor puts the car into drive and simply makes his way back to the Gomez house.

"…………..I hope so," Elena says softly. It's not like she doesn't have doubts herself, even as she looks out the window. She does. She was all of 19 years old, what the hell did she know about saving the world? What did she know about saving -one person- from the stuff they said was going to happen? She didn't know. All she's doing is trying her best grabbing at things that may or may not be connected with one another - and as always, she'd rather do something than nothing. She looks over at Gene and she smiles. "Gene, you did great," she says sincerely. She reaches out to hug him loosely around the shoulders once he's stopped in front of a red light, pecking his cheek lightly. "Thank you." She eases away after that, because he's driving, and the last thing they need right now is a car crash.

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