The New Bank of Asia

A William Gibson/Neuromancer inspired fanfiction

author/Electric Monk

Towers and fields of it ranged in the colorless nonspace of the simulation matrix, the electronic consensual hallucination that facilitates the handling and exchange of massive quantities of data. A few people could handle it, manipulating the data into forms that multinationals didn't like - they were cowboys, console jockeys, rebellious but gifted.

McCoy Pauley, shortly after he flatlined against an AI in Rio was looking for a challenge, anything except an AI or military system. Commercial systems, the big multinationals, were protected by AI's and without a really good icebreaker, which he didn't posses - only low grade stuff that could handle ice but not AI ice.

He punched up the Hosaka, telling it to prepare a precis on banks, he leaned listening to it talk in a flat synth voice. Banks were a good touch but NAFTA, Central American, EU, and Japan banks already had AI's. African and some South American banks didn't have AI's or even heavy ice but they were too small. That left Asia, Taiwan too unstable, China too big, bank accounts were too spread out and many were State run - too dangerous. Hong Kong, he thought, that seemed likely, the New Bank of Asia. Conservative yet the third largest bank in Hong Kong, with no AI.

McCoy smiled thinly and pulled his customized Ono-Sendai VII, the 'cyberspace seven' blared in his brain, from endless commercials. He relaxed, listening to beat of his cheap artificial heart, establishing his timing. He cracked his fingers, adjusted the trodes and jacked in. A silver tide of phosphenes boiled across his field of vision as the matrix began to unfold in his head, a 3-D chessboard, infinite and perfectly transparent.

The impossible shape of the New Bank of Asia's cyberspace representation appeared before him. Imagine a mad movie director, with a lavish budget, unlimited CGI and a vision. A future world, a mixture of New York's Empire State Building, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge and the Seattle Space needle with a huge radio dish perched on top. Not to mention the subways, traversing the creation on lines of fiberoptics. Nothing was like it in the matrix, and nothing would be like it again - critics had hammered the design but the New Bank of Asia wasn't willing to spend the money for a redesign. He smiled at the whimsy of it, like his favorite book.

After blurring through a series of jumps, designed to mask his trail. McCoy punched up the menu, carefully crafted to look like a Californian beach, as it was back in the early 20th century. He flipped through layers of menus until he saw the program he wanted, D-Day. He punched it up, setting the features he wanted. He launched it at the New Bank of Asia's wall of ice; to him it appeared to be a program like any other, to the computers inside it was something else. If anyone had been there they could have fought it, but it was a holiday and a weekend to boot so there wasn't much chance of a human blocking it. Only security guards were there, not one of them a computer security guard, a mistake that the bank would soon regret. Inside the building alarms went off as the program did its thing. All it really did was seem like a major deal and open up a small access for other, better icebreakers. McCoy smiled thinly, as was wont, and activated Firewire, not an old way of transferring data but an advanced masquerade program. In this case it was three things; a complete set of Chinese High Councilor authorization overrides, one State Security order for arrest prior to torture (well not the torture part, but that's implied pretty strongly), and an order from the president to fight the police and StateSec forces.

Inside security guards were moving to barricade positions, readying heavy weapons such as fletchers and lasers, wiring the vault and the first several floors with recrystallized hexogene and flaked TNT. McCoy, tapped into the guards free flow tac link, listened and activated part two - phone calls saying that terrorists and bank robbers had taken over the building and were massacring everybody inside, phone calls that would appear to have originated inside the New Bank of Asia's building. Within a few minutes Honk Kong police and StateSec forces were scrambled, sirens wailing through the business district. In the real world the New Bank of Asia's building was relatively ordinary, not that anyone really cared, the police too busy securing it. Helicopters flew overhead, chopping noise reaching the upper floors of the building, police cars pulled up, StateSec cars, long and black following closely also pulled to a halt in front of the building.

The ice went down, unable to cope without human aid, none of which was forthcoming. McCoy hunched over the deck, fingers flying as he rapidly accessed bank account after bank account, racing the police and StateSec cowboys. A counter ticked down, 99.4, 99.3, 99.2, etc... in the corner. He grimaced, other cowboys coming in, he glanced at the counter 98.0, and he pulled out - just ahead of the other console jockeys. He erased his programs and left, crashing their records as he went.

Outside the building police stormed the building, not willing to wait for SWAT teams. The building guards met them in a hail of flechettes and laser pulses. The smell of ozone thickened as the police responded firing outdated caseless guns flinging bullets back at the guards. Police and guards went down in a tangle of limbs and the spray of blood, police dying far faster then the guards. The police pulled back, clearing the way for the SWAT teams. The guards grabbed this chance to move back to the vault, evacuating through several hidden tunnels. The SWAT teams, meeting no opposition quickly reached the vault. The SWAT members were momentarily slowed by automatic weapons fire, covered by millions of dollars worth of gold bars that the guards - aided by heavy equipment - had moved to create makeshift barriers. The few guards who had stayed behind didn't last for long, the SWAT team quickly outflanked them and blew them apart one-by-one. One member of the team touched the access panel next to the vault.

A ton of explosives detonated, utterly destroying the basement, first and second floors. The building didn't fall, incredibly strong nanotech built, exotic metal, main support beams holding it up. The fireball faded, reveling for a brief moment before the smoke swirled back in, a pool of radiant gold.