When quirky 19-year-old Max Mooth is framed with an evil cyber virus, he must team up with his wisecracking eight-year-old sleuthing partner, Mr. Z, to save the world's computers and his good name.
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Max Mooth -- Cyber Sleuth
Max Mooth -- Cyber Sleuth
An excerpt from Chapter 9
Shortly thereafter, Max and Mr. Z sat in front of his computer, scrutinizing
the Virus Tracker’s findings that showed Max’s guilt.
“How bad is this one?” Mr. Z asked.
“It’s the worst virus I’ve ever seen,” Max answered. “But I’ve checked thoroughly, and thankfully, all they’ve done is a test run for now. However, if it’s ever released worldwide, it’ll destroy millions of computers.” Max shook his head, disgusted by the thought of that. “I have to stop it,” he said, petting his computer lovingly. “I have to!”
“How long before you’re exposed?”
“About 50 hours. And then the mastermind behind this venomous
virus will definitely launch it.”
“Have you made any headway on the culprit?”
“No, but you know what they say. If at first you don’t succeed…”
“Then cliff jumping isn’t for you?”
“Wrongo, Sluggo. You try, try again.”
“And where has that gotten you?”
“So you started out with nothing and you still have most of it.”
“Pretty much, yeah,” Max acknowledged.
Mr. Z rolled his eyes. “Well, you’re lucky; at least the Virus Tracker
found it so quickly.”
“Yeah,” Max said. “Even quicker than usual.” Then, Max stopped. His eyes metronomed. He tapped some keys.
“What?” Mr. Z asked.
“Maybe there’s a reason the Virus Tracker found it so quickly.”
“Would that reason be, because it did its job? Novel concept.”
Max ignored the sarcasm. “Maybe the virus uses anti-viral technology,”
Max began. “If it does, the Virus Tracker would be able to read it
that much quicker.”
“That’s actually a clever deduction,” Mr. Z said. “Did something hit
you on the head?”
“Just using my special sleuthin’ senses, young Z-man.”
“I thought we agreed that nickname was beneath my dignity.”
Max tapped keys, searching for something. He smiled as he found
it. He put up two screens with similar-looking formulas and nodded at Mr. Z, who nodded back. “So a company that makes anti-virus software creates a virus and sells the only remedy,” Mr. Z theorized. “They’d be billionaires.”
Max shook his head skeptically. “They wouldn’t frame me, then. They would have framed someone who didn’t have the ability to foil their plot. No, this is something more personal. They’re striking at my heart. For some reason they really don’t like me.” Max was at a complete loss over that. “But who wouldn’t like me? I’m highly lovable.”
“I could make a list.”
“I’m addicted to pudding, but besides that I’m A-OK. I have good
table manners. I floss regularly. I wash behind my ears. I’m able to dazzle
all with my tremendous knowledge of cartoon and comic book trivia.” Max then whip-turned to Mr. Z, “Quick, tell me the name of the unstoppable foe of the X-Men?”
Mr. Z didn’t even have a chance to answer as Max blurted, “Juggernaut!
Or what about Wilma Flintstone’s maiden name being…” Max suddenly stopped, remembering something ignificant. “Hold the phone, mi amigo,” Max said as he typed in a search. He waited for the
result, then nodded knowingly as he read the name now showing on
his screen. “Xefland Aurcracker.” He continued reading. “Mr. Aurcracker
is the CEO of the anti-viral company, Virus Be Gone, based in San Francisco.” He nodded again. This was most likely his culprit.
“That’s who you think is behind this?” Mr. Z asked.
“Yeah. I’m guessing he bought that anti-viral company so he could use its virus technology, and their experts, against me.”
“Why do you think this guy hates you?”
“We went to Berkeley at the same time,” Max replied. “He was Mr. Everything. Most popular. Most accomplished. Most perfect. It was all a lie, though, ’cause he was a big fat cheater. And I took him down.”
“Why do I have a feeling I’m about to hear a long story about a time
in your life?”
“Probably because you’re about to hear a long story about a time in my life. Any more questions before I begin?”
“Yeah, where do you keep the ibuprofen?”
“It was four years ago,” Max began...
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