Full Circle

Summary: Twins Patrick and Patricia always clashed, especially when one became a police officer, and the other became an anarchist vigilante. Escalating turmoil brings them together once more.

Patrick and Patricia came of age in the same household, and little besides genetic history. Patricia dutifully obeyed her parents' laws, while Patrick searched ceaselessly for loopholes. When he was caught reaching into the cookie jar with a pair of tongs, he stated they'd only said his hands were not permitted within. At his, his father chuckled, and only half-jokingly, suggested he'd be a terrifying lawyer.

The twins largely avoided each other in creche and school, pretending to be cousins instead of close siblings. Their first year in elementary school, Patricia was the teacher's pet, and Patrick was the unruliest of students. Things changed after Patrick studied his subject matter closely, and thus seized his sister's place by the second year. By the third year, his sister once more reclaimed her place. The dynamic continued until the end of their mandatory education.

Afterwards, Patrick and Patricia found themselves in the same major, cyber-security, in different universities. Patrick surrounded himself with radical reformers and protest organizers. Patricia found herself with law enforcement cadets and budding policymakers. Their ambition and intelligence led them towards their own definitions of justice, although both stemming from the first point.

Patrick and Patricia lived in the same city, although it might as well have been different universes. Patricia worked tirelessly with the police department, putting in long hours with stoic efficiency. Patrick worked online, helping organize code for open source projects, and occasionally, more ambitious acts of cyber-vigilantism. His primary target were the institutions of the status quo, which he knew with the familiarity his sister lived. Yet despite their opposing lifestyles, they did not directly come across each other directly until the second year.

Patrick ensured that a politician's financial chicanery was leaked online on the election's eve. The following day, protests filled the streets as riot control measures failed. Downtown was a sea of pandemonium and pyre, as overstretched emergency services failed to contain the fires and riots. The government declared an emergency curfew, which was promptly ignored. Patricia was issued a stun grenade launcher and told to help defend the police station as the officers withdrew inside. When the power failed, she waited for a mob of angry rioters to burst through the darkened door.

When the power returned an hour later, Patricia turned to see a nearby monitor rebooting. The mocking skull and crossbones of a hacker collective grinned like a mocking pirate. Ignoring her panicked comrades, she scanned at the other monitors. The computer she'd spent countless hours in front of had the skull on it, only the one on her monitor winked. Memories tugged within her mind, until she saw the message that followed. The opposition parties literally marched into government buildings behind the protesters, after the standing government resigned. All public employees and contractors would be put on suspension, until a provisional government could be established. Recognizing she was effectively fired, she gathered her things and left.

Patrick appeared on television the following day, explaining the investigation necessary to correct the prior government's extensive corruption. Patricia overheard during the interview that her brother was in charge of cybersecurity for the investigation task force. It was then she remembered the cycle in which their earlier life revolved around. Contacting former coworker and criminal hacker alike, she set about planning to resume that grand game.