From Chapter 3 of Snow Crash:

But in the bleak light of full adulthood, which is to one's early twenties as Sunday morning is to Saturday night, he can clearly see what it really amounts to: He's broke and unemployed.

Then in Chapter 44:

"I just threw away a brand-new top-of-the-line motorcycle in the street because I didn't feel like pushing it half a block to the garage," Hiro says. "I am on an expense account that would blow your mind."

I must have missed something. When and how does Hiro acquire his mind-blowing expense account?

  • 6
    I haven't read it in a while, but I thought Juanita hooked him up along with giving him all the research material.
    – Zoredache
    Commented May 25, 2014 at 7:37
  • There's no direct canon explanation I was able to find. Most people's consensus seems to be Juanita. Commented May 25, 2014 at 17:53

3 Answers 3


A pale-faced white man with a very high forehead-cum-bald spot jumps out of the chopper, looking a lot more athletic than his face and general demeanor would lead you to expect, and jogs across the parking lot directly toward Hiro. This is the kind of guy Hiro remembers from when his dad was in the Army—not the gristly veterans of legends and movies, just sort of regular thirty-five-year-old guys rattling around in bulky uniforms. He's a major. His name, sewn onto his BDUs, is Clem.
"Hiro Protagonist?"
"The same."
"Juanita sent me to pick you up. She said you'd recognize the name."
"I recognize the name. But I don't really work for Juanita."
"She says you do now."
"Well, that's nice," Hiro says. "So I guess it's kind of urgent?"
"I think that would be a fair assumption," Major Clem says.

As we can see, Hiro is hired by Juanita, who has quite a bit of money from when The Black Sun went public.

In the early years of The Black Sun project, the only way the hackers ever got paid was by issuing stock to themselves. Hiro tended to sell his off almost as quickly as he got it. Juanita didn't. Now she's rich, and he isn't.
(...) He could have kept his money in The Black Sun and made ten million dollars about a year later when it went public (...)


It comes up a chapter or two earlier. (Can't find my copy of Snow Crash at this time, so I'm stuck being vague here.)

Summary of events leading up to this point, though: Hiro shows up at motorcycle dealership, addresses salesman by name, truck with motorcycle shows up, Hiro claims motorcycle's a special order for him, etc., etc., Hiro has expensive motorcycle and makes his way up from the LA area to Alaska before motorcycle OS crashes due to Snow Crash.

  • I thought so too at first, but it's apparent that he actually has the Kongbucks. "[Hiro]'s watching him intently, seems to sense his nervousness, almost as if he can hear Scott's heart beating. So at the last minute he eases up, gets magnanimous — Scott loves these big-spender types — decides to throw in a few hundred Kongbucks over invoice, just so Scott can pull in a meager commission on the deal. A tip, basically. Then — icing on the cake — the guy goes nuts in the Cycle Shop. Totally berserk. Buys a complete outfit. Everything. Top of the line...." Commented May 30, 2014 at 6:33

I agree with the answers above now that I read them, they make sense.

My initial personal interpretation was that since Hiro is a great hacker, he had somehow been able to manipulate the computer systems handling the car/motorcycle dealer's customer accounts and transactions (those systems might have been accessible from the Metaverse), and to register himself as the new owner of the vehicle.

However, this would not have explained why Hiro was described as broke ; someone capable of such feats could probably make an easy living out of it.

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