Ever wonder why there is no Demon of Hackers?

Don't be fooled; Hackers has the potential to become a powerful Word for the side of Hell. And I'm not saying that there is a shortage of Demons who want to earn the Word either. Demons of Dark Humor, Fate, Media, Secrets, Technology and Theft can be found at any time vying for the prestige of earning the title of Demon of Hackers.

Sure, there's a precis style explanation to all of this. But bear with me; the longer version is better.

First of all, the competition for this Word has some pretty strict rules. Any demon who wants it must have skill in computers beyond knowing where the power switch is and the location of the any key (Yep. Hell's computers have the any key. That's a story for another time).

In addition to computer skills, the candidate has to find out when the competition is being held. This is accomplished by logging into InfernoNet and checking the announcements. Of course, if you don't have an account or a password for InfernoNet in the first place you're already SOL.

So let's say the demon gets in (By earning an account or creating one of their own). They still have to get to the test site, which is in Vapula's lab. They have to decode the instructions and find their way into the test site without blowing up, liquidating, electrocuting, incenerating...ah to heck with it. This is Vapula's lab we're discussing. You think it, it could happen to you.

Once they get to the test site, they have to take a 200 question test. This is somewhat comprehensive and covers everything from how computers talk to each other to advanced programming techniques.

At the end, there are no more than three demons who have made it this far. And that's when competition begins. The victi...err...candidates must abide by the following rules.
1. They are to be on Earth for one year and promoting the Word of Hackers.
2. They may not engage in open hostilities towards each other (Hiring flunkies is acceptable, but that's an unwritten rule).
3. They must live at least 500 miles away from each other.

Once they agree to it, they are sent to Earth without delay. And then it gets fun.

You see, Orc is pretty aware of this competition. And both Orc and his friend and former servant Bedeul (The Angel of Geeks) *really* get annoyed with it. So they break out their copies of Ways of Making a Demon's Life Miserable (First edition, hardcover. Available at finer angelic bookstores). And they are very dangerous when they work together.

The two angels keep an eye out for an increase in demonic hacking activity. They are old enough that they have seen most of the tricks and can recognize potential problem areas. Once they are certain that a hacker is a demon AND participating in the competition, they sit down with a few monkey wrenches and get to work.

First time around, the demon notices that he is having trouble connecting to the network. The hardware is fine, but it won't stay connected for longer than a second. Even a Shedite of Technology runs into problems with his laptop. The second time is when bigger problems happen. Maybe the demon just joined a telemarketing company's mailing list without knowing. Perhaps they have a problem trying to figure out where some vital files are. Or they turned on their computer and are greeted with a blank screen.

The demons with the high Ethereal Forces typically get the hint and drop out of the competition at this point.

But for the persistent ones that are determined to stay with this comes a real special reward. Orc and Bedeul have figured out that this demon is not going to listen to reason and they are going to finish this quickly. But they don't need to get their own wings bloody. Not when there are several Michaelites that would love to pay this demon a visit in return for some prototype weapon that Jean thinks needs field testing. Or if the demon is living in seclusion in the woods with a T-1 line, Novalis and Jordi's people get to deal with the matter.

The record of survival in this competition is 4 months, 20 days, 13 hours and 26.334 seconds. And there have only been 9 candidates so far.

Final note about the competition. When the finalist is brutally removed from existence, a certain Balseraph by the name of Sparky gets a multimedia file. Sparky holds all calls and appointments for a half hour, grabs a bag of chocolate coated popcorn and opens the file, which turns out to be a film clip of the demon's last painful moments. (No one knows how Orc got Sparky's email, where the film comes from or where Sparky gets his popcorn. Don't bother asking.).

And yet, some demon thinks that they know how to win and that they will try to enter the next time the competition begins...