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It was a perfect plan, of course. All plans are before their execution has been set in motion. Ian had spent months working on the malware worm and the day to set it free and wreak havoc had finally arrived. Lisa was to be the one who loaded it onto the servers, James was the lookout, and Josephine was to raise a concern days later that the network had been compromised, but that was only a red herring. Ian had already released a separate worm earlier in the week that served no function but to distract from the real threat by causing annoying problems with syncing files. The four of them agreed the plan couldn’t fail.

Their goals were relatively small considering the trouble they were going to, the primary one being to manipulate the corporate master calendar that tracked everyone’s days off. Ten days vacation, five sick days and three personal days isn’t unreasonable on the surface, but anyone who has ever worked in I.T. knows that working only the same number of days is utter hell. Your code perpetually has a flaw. Management can’t access their spreadsheets, even though you went through all of this last week. The clients are terrible. Everyone around you is miserable. Little wonder the four of them were seeking change.

So all Lisa had to do is insert the USB drive inside the server room while James distracted anyone who may notice, releasing Ian’s handiwork and sending it on to eat away at the calendar data and bit by bit increase everyone’s number of available days off (excluding management, obviously). According to their perfect plan, they’d all have an extra sick day and three extra vacation days by year end. Josephine would finally have time to visit Thailand properly without compromising her Christmas plans. Ian and Lisa had no specific interests other than not being in the office. James just wanted to sleep more.

He managed not to on the day of the deed though, and things went off without a hitch as far as the four could see. But by the next Tuesday, when Josephine was readying her complaint about her files not updating properly, the entire company had already noticed the leakage from the defective malware Ian had programmed. The workstations had begun talking back to the employees with insults and admonitions. By Wednesday, people were complaining that their keyboards seemed warmer than usual. They were aflame on Thursday. Several people were hospitalized from the smoke inhalation, including Lisa and James, and the office ultimately burned down, forcing the company to lay off most of the company.

The four conspirators were among them, and Lisa was found out quickly enough through the offsite backups. She quickly gave up the team, and James and Josephine were questioned shortly thereafter. They all blamed Ian exclusively, who truly was the mastermind, but he was nowhere to be found. He had fled. Russia? China? Hell? No one knew. But geniuses roll like that.

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