Dan Malarkey is your average thirteen-year-old boy. He loves video games, hates schoolwork, and has a tendency to procrastinate. As if that’s the biggest part of his sucky life: his dad’s rarely ever home, his mom is in a recovery home for alcoholics somewhere in Illinois, and he’s practically ignored at school by everyone except for Melvina Tate, the ugliest girl in the universe, who has a major crush on him, and his gullible, computer genius best friend Robertina.

But when he and Robertina discover Omega Silver, a ring of hackers working undercover and Beijing, of course they have to try to stop them. With the help of Melvina, a computer genius abandoned by her parents because of China’s one-child rule, and the abnormally short son of one of China’s most powerful people, they set out to try to stop Omega Silver. But they soon run into a lot of problems. It’s going to take a lot more than hacking to stop a ring of hackers.


1. Prologue

He’s at home, like he usually is. On his couch, like he usually is. On his computer, but anyone could guess that. Nothing’s new in the life of Markus Mittleburg.

The green text on his computer screen stands out in the dimness of the rest of the room, and the only sound is the occasional tapping of keys, punching in the necessary commands. There’s a window open; Markus can smell the humidity. He smiles, remembering, but that smile disappears instantly, both due to the memory and what appears on the screen.


@rlogin uunet

?connection refused


Markus sighs. It really pisses him off when this happens. By the time he regains access to uunet, one of those douchey Stalin-types will have overtaken it—one of those idiots with nothing better to do than sit around and kick people out of uunet. Don’t they realize how many people use uunet? Markus remembers that that’s why they do it: because they want to piss off as many people as possible.


continue? y/n


Markus hits the Y key and watches as the system hacks back into uunet. Well, of course it’s not real; Markus doesn’t want to get himself arrested. It’s a game. He does have better things to do than play games, but he doesn’t want to do them at the moment. He needs to save uunet from douchey Stalin-types.


adding user MARKUS to system accounts…

porthack complete

Type RLOGIN UUNET to log in.

%acct-rerun-delay: 90 secs


Markus logs back into uunet, and sure enough, someone has overtaken it. He figures it won’t be long before that someone kicks him out of uunet, and he’s starting to get tired. He moves to shut his laptop, but not before something pops up on the screen.


%new mail received from user derrick port 42


Well, what does he have to say for himself? Markus opens the message.


I just got mail from Robertina…


Markus doesn’t know who Robertina is. She’s some girl on the other team, in Derrick’s homeroom. She’s an annoying little bitch, according to Derrick. She plays the game too, but she fails miserably, also according to Derrick. Markus doesn’t know her username. He doesn’t need to. He continues reading.


…and she says she’s gone to Beijing…


Why is this girl I don’t know going to Beijing? Why does Derrick think I need to know this?




…she says she’s trying to stop a ring of hackers called “Omega Silver,” and I thought I should tell you. Okay bye.


He did not just say Omega Silver.


Markus slams his laptop shit and fits it into his laptop bag, grabbing his jacket and going out the front door. He doesn’t know who Robertina is, but she needs to get out of there now. Markus remembers what happened to the last kid who messed with Omega Silver. And even though Markus doesn’t know who Robertina is, he can’t let it happen to her too.


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