The city below them was an expansive network of grids crisscrossing in a patchwork of small buildings and sky-scrapers. Cars sped down the roads like ones and zeros across the bus of a motherboard, lights dotting the city through the darkness like a giant machine with too many switches to count, flickering without a comprehensible pattern. Three boys, teenagers, stared across the landscape from the roof of a sky-scraper on the edge of the city. A fourth sat against the railing, touching at the air as if in an imaginary world of his own, goggles on his face and circuit-run gloves on his hands. He bobbed his head back and forth to the beat of the music coming from his sound-nullifying headphones.
“So what do we do, huh? After our last mishap, we're fucked!” Thadeus, the youngest of the group, threw his arms to the side. His face was red.
“Relax, D; we can figure something out. Our lives aren't over yet,” Pete, the tallest of the group, tried to keep his voice calm as he spoke, but choked a bit on his words. He knew they had fucked up and he had no idea how to fix it.
“He's right, Pete. They know our signature; they have our file; hell, they know everything about us now. How to we come back from that? Nobody's gonna want to deal with us, our faces are on practically everything now.” Leroy placed his thumb and index finger on the bridge of his nose and leaned against the cold, steel railing. His eyes were closed and he tried to calm his nerves.
Pete turned to the two, feeling like they were ganging up on him. He sat on the railing and leaned his body out over the street, fifteen stories down. The buzz of traffic rang through his ears as he assessed the situation.
“So, what do we do?” Thadeus interrupted his thinking.
“I don't know, okay? We can't just pick up and go somewhere else, the corporation's everywhere and we can't stay here; we'd be caught within weeks. We need to strike back. We need to destroy our files.”
“They're on lock-up,” the boy sitting against the railing didn't look at the group as he spoke to them. He left his headphones and goggles on and continued touching at the air, “They're keeping them in a secure vault within their network. I can't access any of it from here, but if you bring me to their server room, I could get to the files and delete them.”
“See?” Pete turned to Thadeus, “Things are looking up,” his grin almost reached both of his ears.