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Positive Reinforcement by Spikez_tart
Chapter 8 – Missing Ingredient
Willow spent the entire morning and part of the afternoon in the university computer lab locating and hacking into the Initiative’s computer. If she got caught, she could plan on getting kicked out of school. Getting kicked out wouldn’t matter because she’d be in prison. Maybe she could finish college online from the Tahatchapee State Prison for Women?

She’d put together all the ingredients for the spell Spike told her about - galbanard, shark’s gill, Vitamin E tablets - the liquid center ones, dried and crushed library paste, breakbone weed, swished together with some generic diet cream soda. Diet Coke never worked right in spells for some reason.

Willow wasn’t powerful enough to work the spell herself. She called her new friend, Tara, and asked her to come over and help out. Tara brought a fresh bag of jelly donuts. Together, their magic, along with the school’s Cray 10,000’s massive computing power, located the government site and began crunching passwords.

“We need a different spell for the password. This could take years and we’ll get caught,” Willow said after the spell spun through the first 500,000 password possibilities. She was certain the government techies noticed she was snooping around, so she shut down the password spell before they could backtrack her electronic trail to the university computer.

“I saw something on the internet the other day,” Tara said. She was shy and never liked to put herself forward. Willow felt Tara’s shyness was off-putting at the moment, in view of the fact FBI agents were probably looking for them, but she didn’t say so.

“Great, where is it?” Willow moved the keyboard in front of Tara. Tara located a Wicca site in Sri Lanka that listed a number of spells for manipulating electronic gadgets. One of them was for breaking passwords and high-tech encryption programs. The spell was guaranteed to work within 30 seconds. Unfortunately, Willow and Tara were missing one of the minor ingredients - the black cat’s claw.

Willow decided to chance it.

Willow returned to the government site, chanted the appropriate incantation, burned the arctic slime moss concoction Tara mixed together out of their portable magic supplies, and watched with satisfaction as the government computer spat out a list of every password on the system. Willow printed the list of passwords right before the school’s Cray 10,000 burst into flames. They grabbed the printouts and ran out of the computer room, pulling the fire alarm as they left.

Willow and Tara walked to their favorite coffee shop and Internet café. They downloaded several top-secret documents about the program, sipped their iced lattes and watched a local television news bulletin about how the university’s entire computer department burned to the ground that afternoon.