1. (of a usually complicated technical or computer process) done, operating, or happening in a way that is hidden from or not understood by the user, and in that sense, apparently “magical”.


The letter came earlier than expected. Except it  was more like a package–a thick brown manila envelope stuffed with about 30 folded pages of paper the courier dropped off nonchalantly after receiving Adam’s signature.

Although he saw this coming last year, he was surprised by which board members had agreed to his ousting. Each name was handwritten on a sheet of paper with a note from his former business partner detailing the annual payment of .02 percent off of the profits. That was the way Russell handled things, rubbing salt in bloody wounds.

“Russell probably bought every last vote,” Adam seethed to himself. “What’d you promise them, Russell? More money?”

Adam had to laugh at this turn of events. It was really quite ironic, but the irony didn’t cause the anger in his blood to dissipate. With one quick motion, he sent the papers flying throughout the expansive foyer.

He had never trusted Russell who was smooth with words and full of charisma, some even thought he had the knowledge to run the company. But they both knew the truth. Russell had charisma and a little knowledge, but Adam built the company from a limp idea into a strong, profitable machine. His work had made them both billionaires in the tech industry as they enhanced various industries around the globe.

The more success they had, the more they argued. And lately the arguments had been incessant–what way the company needed to go, whether they should expand in China or India, if they should downsize stateside labor–it was obvious the nonstop bickering was dividing their team.

Never one to confront a situation directly, Russell just happened to be on a flight to Bangkok that was scheduled last month. Adam had wondered why the flight was scheduled without him knowing about it. Now he understood.

A smirked crossed Adam’s lips. If he timed things right, his backup plan could be initiated within the hour, right as Russell’s flight was departing. He checked his watch as he headed toward his office.

Long before they had even sampled success, Adam knew this day would come. That’s why he had written an automagical code within the original version of the software. It was hidden in plain sight actually, lying dormant in the system, forever replicating and resurfacing when triggered, like a latant virus.

The code acted like an archivist, taking crucial pieces of information and storing them away in secret compartments within the software. Once Adam entered one final code, all that information would be locked away on a remote server and everything else would be destroyed.

Russell was smart, but he had never been patient or thorough. He wouldn’t spend the time to find the trojan horse.

All of Adam’s accounts would be frozen, but Russell’s would be alive and well and, as usual, unused by Russell.

Adam sat down at his desk, whistling, and began accessing a remote server in Bangladesh. With a few keystrokes he was already logging in Russell’s identifying information. He shook his head. Russell should’ve listened to him when he’d proposed biometrics two years ago.

Now Russell would come back to face the chaos he’d made. He’d probably offer him more money. But this wasn’t about money. It was about retribution.

The war had begun.


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