This week's guest columnist is Lisbeth Salander, who's a hacker but not a hack, Wasp but not a WASP, and an all-around tough-as-nails badass.
The end of a very interesting year is fast coming to an end, and this is the time when most people make those alcohol-soaked, maudlin resolutions for the new year. I say most because I have never made one damned resolution just for the sake of a new year. I mean, come on, just because the calendar switches from December 31st to January 1st, that’s not a valid reason to write up a list of “life improvements” that you won’t keep past the end of the first month! No, the switch in a calendar does not impact Salander. Ha.
Some of you are more than curious about my lifestyle and what I do besides writing this column. I’m sure you know that I have killed people, hacked accounts, destroyed top-level billionaires. The list goes on and on. But you seem to want to know how I do what I do.
To that end, I have decided to give you what I call the “Assassin’s Guide to Survival Resolutions.” Good for this new year and any year. They work for me. Here goes. You will need:
1. Multiple IDs and Personalities
Create at least five people you can become in a pinch and create background info for each one. Get a good counterfeiter from the Tor—also known as the Dark Web—to create passports, ID cards, and driver’s licenses. Keep a wardrobe of different types of clothes, wigs, and varied colored contact lenses. A prosthetic nose can also come in handy when you need to “become someone else.”
2. Hand to Hand Combat, Basic Martial Arts, and Commando Fighting Techniques
I cannot stress the importance of number two. Defense is the best course in the assassin’s line of work. Size doesn’t necessarily matter here; technique, damage, and disabling your opponent is what counts.
3. Gun Use and Advanced Weapons Skills
Your enemy won’t hesitate to use a weapon on you so … payback is a bitch.
4. Lying Methodology
It’s not a lie if you believe what you’re saying. Start believing and become convincing.
5. Become a Highly-Skilled Computer Hacker
In the 21st century, this is by far the most important skill you can teach yourself. Don't know any computer languages? Seriously? Where the hell have you been hiding—in a cave?
Okay, I recommend starting with Python. It is cleanly designed, well documented, and relatively kind to beginners. Plus, I kind of like the name “python.” Such a poisonous sound. Anyway, as far as computer languages are concerned, you can progress from there. And you better progress fast.
The last part of the assassin’s guide to survival depends solely on you and your needs. If you are the type of person who loves to socialize and needs a helluva lot of BFFs, stop right here. You’ll be dead in no time.
And forget a permanent love life. Sex? Sure. Commitment? Never. Assassins are a solitary group who rarely even acknowledge each other. Secrecy and survival are the keys to being an assassin, and that’s a year-round resolution. I never said being an assassin was easy, now did I?
By the way, if any of you readers are interested in learning the dark art of computer hacking, you can leave a comment here and I’ll get back to you. Classes begin January 3rd, and if you sign up, you’d better be ready and willing. I don’t like to waste my time.
Happy New Year! Or whatever…
—Lisbeth Salander, GWTDT
She is the author of nine top-selling novels and is hard at work on a new series that features a paranormal investigator with distinct powers of her own. Houghton is also the author of two non-fiction books and numerous short stories which appear in popular horror anthologies.