comic book heroes* meet a Punkk Kidd

Hacking Handles of Heroes

Punkk Kidd is impressive, but so are all kids. Don’t force children into boxes. Give them some freedom and get out of their way.

“Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.” Voltaire

comic book heroes meet a Punkk Kidd
True reality is whatever we believe is real. Don’t hide from uncertainty by pretending to know. – Allan Wallace
Awake to your new PT lifestyle
As they prepare to leave their table at the restaurant, Mose waves to a planter on his left, and encourages a hidden refugee to approach. “Come over here, don’t be afraid, I think we can help you.”

A young boy slowly pokes his head out from behind the plant. Mose tries again, “I know you were part of the theft ring, but we can help you. My handle is Mose, what’s yours?”

“Is Mose a gang handle or a hacker handle?”

“To some it wouldn’t matter, you can call me Mr. Mose if you wish. Since you know the difference, what’s your hacker handle?”

“I know that’s not your real handle, so I won’t give you mine.”

“All right, I’ll call you Moonlit Knight, or Moon for short. What do you know about hacking?”

“Cool, that’s kinda like Knight Watchman’s handle. I read his comic books.”

Gloria and Mose look at Jon.

Jon smiles, “I’m sure he won’t mind. In fact he would probably enjoy knowing a young hacker is wearing a t-shirt with his comic book art drawn across the front. But back to what Mr. Mose said, what do you hack?”

I code well in five ‘puter languages, and I can script in more; writing scripts, not just using them. I’m the punk kid that fixes broken things at school.”

At that point a security officer walks up behind the child. “Thank you for detaining him, The cameras were tracking him. I’ll take him now.”

Mose stands and walks slowly to the guard. “Let me show you my ID, I’ll handle the child.”

The guard signals him to stop, “I’m told you were the ones that spotted the Fagin. Do you know this kid?”

“Just met him, but he talks a good game. If I find out he’s not for real, we’ll let you have him. I think I can help him.”

“That seldom works, but we don’t have his face on file as a prior perp. This is his first known offense. I’ll scan your ID and talk to the Chief, If he objects I’ll come back and you can talk to the Chief.”


Moon had nervously stood listening. As the guard walks out of earshot he says, “I ain’t agreed to nothing.”

Gloria looks at Moon. “First off, stop trying to talk ignorant, you’re not good at it. Second, It’s your life, not ours — you can run off if you wish. The cops are probably waiting outside. If not, their cameras are. Finally, we can help you, and perhaps the future of hacking, if we think you may be worth the effort — It will make us feel good if it works.”

“So you will help me because it will make you feel good. That’s pretty selfish.”

Mose smiles, “Thanks for losing the sloppy speech. Real coding is precise. Hackers may instigate linguistic bathos, but its not based on ignorance.”

“Hey, I’m just seven years old. Talk slowly if you use big words.”

“What’s the most complex Hack you can do?”

“Hardware, firmware, or software?”

“Good answer. You didn’t get that from a comic book.”

The three tested the limits of Moon’s knowledge. They then share their table with him. Like most kids he eats well. At Gloria’s insistence; they each write notes on napkins, share them between themselves, then hand them to Moon.

I like that you’ve read outside of technology texts and HackNet. A well rounded hacker can be more creative. Ms. Gloria
Nice depth in software. You need to study recent trends in hardware. Mr. Jon
We will try to trace your parents. I too am from Elldee. My mom and dad died there. You show potential to help free the people of Elldee, even if we can’t locate your parents. Mr. Mose

Moon is struggling to stop crying as he silently reads the notes.

Once Moon is done reading, Gloria speaks first; “The officer left, you can leave now if you wish, or stay and let us help you.”

“I won’t even finish formal school reading, reasoning, and rhetoric until I’m eight. Then I’m supposed to do open learning about things that interest me, for the rest of my life. What kind of help am I worth?”

“The best,” said Jon. “Have you heard of Hacker School?”

“Well Duh, That’s where Knight Watchman teaches. That I did learn from comic books. What do comic books mean to me?”

“If Hacker School exists, would you want to go?”

“Hacking is what interests me. I love solving problems. Hacking is what I’d mostly study and do in open-learning, if I could find enough info. But hacking schools are fairy tales, I need something real or I’ll end up arrested like the older kids. I need reality”

Jon laughs, he likes being lectured about responsibility by a seven year old. “You are about to enter a comic book if you wish; a graphic novel filled with hacking information. I know the Dean of Hacker School. Ms. Gladis will accept you into a local branch at my say so. I’ll say so: If once you graduate you find Mr. Mose, who will be well hidden, and agree to intern under him.”

“I can’t make a legal promise until I’m twelve and an adult. But I promise.”

Mose looks at Jon and shakes his head, “I thought we were free, and you make this choice for me?”

“Your wet eyes made the choice. I just echoed them.”

“You’re right; but next time ask so I can pretend to think about it. You owe me, I’ll expect an introduction to Dean Gladis when you get the chance.” Mose turns to look Moon directly in his eyes, “I promise too. I’ll be there for you.”

Following His Gut: Chapter 6B
Mose keeps his imagination working.
Mose works at observing hidden messages in other’s actions; indications of intent that might be crucial to his survival.

Once the effort of training perceptions is established, continued monitoring is automatic, even when not overtly concentrating. Mose knows his mind is constantly compiling data; sorting and aligning until a hunch is formed, a touch of intuition, an explainable gut feeling.

Mose wakes as a dream broaches the surface of his cognizance — a completed puzzle. Recent dream events shine with clarity, even as early scenes of his dream fade.

Gloria, Jon, and himself; sitting on a balcony of a secluded compound overlooking a bay. They are relaxed, and older. They toast an event that Mose does not recognize – but each seems pleasantly satisfied with accomplishment.

Mose savors the peace, contentment, and pleasurable anticipation his compatriots share with him. Even as the joy remains, the majority of the dream continues to fade. Something does not fade, what Jon was saying as Mose woke.

Mose will write it down later, but it was simple enough he will not forget — ever. “The basis of our success is trust.”

He mentally scripts responses as he continues the dream within awakening awareness. “The most important trust of all. We trust each other to remain true to ourselves — even if we are forced to oppose each other.”

Mose knows the dream is not a mysterious omen. It was his subconscious clearing an attic of unused memories, blending them with current perceptions from below the conscious level. It is true. All three hackers have the basic requirements for success — integrity, intelligence, energy. Without integrity the other two attributes are traps, not structural materials for ethical hacking. With integrity, each team member will be true to their authentic natures, and hence dependable.

Mose knows the truth of what Jon said in the dream, he knows based on accumulated facts and research found while drilling for understanding. The trust exists – it is time for a commitment meeting between the three privateers and Midas.

Mose smile tightens in determination. “There is work to be done, my people to be liberated.”

They will remain true to their selves, each working in his own way to achieve. Their odds of success are not good, but they are professionals, understanding the risks. They will continue in doing what is necessary, unless they are permanently stopped.

Mourning is optional, and for later.