“I swear, it isn’t mine!” said the kid. “My friend must have put it there.”

“Tell it to the judge,” the officer said. “Cuff him and read him his rights.”

While the kid was manhandled into the back of the officer’s Crown Vic, backup arrived with lights blazing.

“What’ve we got here?” said the other cop, emerging.

“Come and have a look.” The arresting officer shone his flashlight into the back seat. He reached in with a gloved hand and fished out a plastic baggie filled with ones and zeroes.

“Well, shit!” the other cop said. “That’s a line of source code for the latest version of Abalone Photostudio! Does the perp have a serial number?”

“Nope. And look at this: these are premium Mexican ones and zeros from Call of the Medal of Honor V! That game doesn’t hit retail for three days!”

Popping the trunk, the cops found a whole bale of binary, shrinkwrapped in plastic in a futile attempt to keep code-sniffing dogs away. It was Annoyed Avians for eOS devices from Apricot, Inc., usable only on ones that had been prisonbroken and unlocked by illicit means.

“Mr. Chen, is it?” the first officer said. “Boy, you in a whole heap of trouble.”

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!