Blacked out stage. Rafe sits centre stage (slightly to stage left) and has a satchel (containing a laptop (can be fake, doesn't matter)) slung loosely over his shoulder. He strikes a match and lights a candle. A low, hazy light spills out on the stage, centred on the candle. Leah climbs up scaffolding at back of stage, climbs to middle and jumps down in front of Rafe.

Rafe unphased, teasing And what sort of time do you call this?

Leah Time you learnt some patience. Maybe you'd like to break in next time?

Rafe mock excited Me? In the field? deadpan Nah, I'd get killed.

Leah I think you said the exact same when my parents first recruited you. sits cross-legged next to him Do you ever worry that you haven't changed at all in almost a decade?

Rafe cocky I take it as proof of how comfortable I am in my own skin. brought to reality Wait, it can't have been a decade, can it?

Leah Almost; you were nine, right?

Rafe Yep, and desperate to go off on adventures to save the world.

Leah expression darkens, looks away guiltily

Rafe In an attempt to absolve her, soothing Hey, lays a hand comfortingly on her shoulder none of us knew any better, then.

Leah Do we now? shrugs his hand off as she turns away from him Our best plan is to send a seventeen-year-old off to seduce a stranger.

Rafe rebuking Jenny The seduction is entirely her, Leah. sudden realisation, scathing And that's your issue. venomous Stop thinking she's so innocent.

Leah body still facing away from him, throws words over her shoulder She's seventeen, Rafe.

Rafe bitter We both did worse younger and no-one sat around agonising about us.

Leah spins back around to face him, venomous Perhaps we should make some attempt to be better than them.

Rafe We do. Like I said, the seduction's all her sardonic that's what makes it fun

Leah concedes, deflating Just please tell me we have no other choice.

Rafe shrugs, drained, softly It has to be a seventeen-year-old; she's our only one.

Leah indicates Rafe's satchel Let's just get this over with.

Rafe pulls the laptop from his bag and sets it between him and the audience. Leah arranges herself to sit very close to, slightly upstage right of Rafe, looking at the screen. A faint glow lights his face and the pair slip into contemplative silence as he begins to type.

Leah after a time Nope, don't get it.

Rafe looks back at her concerned, bracing for another fight

Leah How does my wiring something into their central heating help you make a person?

Rafe smiling at her childishness Because people who run the academy are complacent.

Leah waits for him to continue

Rafe Their network is entirely internal and they have no internet access, which is smart, both for censorship and security smiles smugly but they couldn't possibly imagine anyone breaking in respectful nod to Leah or any student betraying them so they don't worry that everything is on that server, from central heating to student information. If I can alter the student information, I can 'make a person'.

Leah half-joking, cheeky I don't suppose military bases are as accommodating?

Rafe I'm not getting you missiles

Leah in mock resignation Fine, I'll leave you to it

Leah stands up, stretches, then climbs away. Light fades out on Rafe.


Author's Note:

It's probably painfully obvious that I know next to nothing about hacking. What you saw there was an attempt to describe an organisation that thinks it's data is very secure (because it only has a school-esque internal network which isn't at all connected to the internet so is immune to outside attacks) but is actually extremely vulnerable once you get into any device connected to the network because then you could pivot? to basically everything else. I'm kind of curious, is that situation even possible?

My point is, in the end, I decided to sacrifice accuracy in favour of better presenting Rafe's personality and the academy.