I remember when the internet was full of mean people. Until a stranger could blow you online. Then everyone got real nice.
1 Hour Later - Deadman - Data Centre
“How is this possible!” yells Senator Kentucky.
Evil Dumbfuck is frothing mad. Confused and mad. There’s a new internet. We can’t turn it off, we can’t find who made it, and now we can’t spy on it. He doesn’t understand how this happened. Honestly, neither do I. But I don’t understand it on a much higher level than he don’t.
He yells at us for a while, then sends us back to work. What else can he do?
I sit and think. My colleagues are trying increasingly esoteric backdoors. Looking for a weak spot into Leviathan's inner workings.
I can't be bothered with an endeavor that hopeless. I log on to Twitter.
#Leviathan is trending. I peruse the tweets, looking for the first mention of Leviathan. After an hour, I have a list of the first thousand tweets about Leviathan. I pull the files we have on the usernames that sent the tweets. I make a map of where these people live. 90% of them live in the same city. Okay Leviathan, I think I found where you were born.
I do a quick surface check of the early tweeters, but nothing jumps out at me. Not surprising. Whoever made Leviathan took extreme steps to hide their identity. I didn't really expect them to tweet about it.
I don't waste time with the terror watchlist. If this is terrorism it's pretty fucking subtle. We can't even catch blatant terrorists with the watchlist.
The criminal activity database is also useless. The creators of Leviathan are probably on it, but so is the rest of the city. We’ll use the database after we find them - it will have a handy pretext their arrest.
What I need is a list of all the coding geniuses in the city. We don't keep a list like that. We’ll probably start one after this. For now, I’m reduced to using google.
I search our internet archive for a few hours, but I can’t find any chatter about Project Leviathan or anything like it. Was it always a secret project? Or, was it built during the blackout? Can you build something like this in less than 30 days? I couldn’t. I look at Lodestone. Maybe she could.
Hmm… I’ve been looking for corporate or collage types. I figured that’s where all the best coders are. But the best coder I know doesn’t have a job, she works freelance. Hmm…
I pull up the NSA database. It has a billion profiles. It was designed to catch proto-terrorists, so the profiles are categorized in 5 ways. Financials, locations, associates, psychometrics, and criminality.
I start with a billion suspects, and narrow them down.
- Operates in the city.
- Makes a lot of money, but has no job.
- Breaks the law often, but doesn’t get caught.
- Likes science. Takes risks. Big risks.
20,000 people. Still too many. I look at the last search field. Associates. Who’s the most dangerous friends these guys could have? Anarchists? Nobody? Each other? Yeah, it’s each other.
100 of these guys party at the same bar. The Sugar Lab. A makerspace for high tech horndogs. This looks promising.
I browse their profiles. These are some subversive weirdos. I dig past the automated categories, and get to the raw data. Texts, emails, phone calls, videos. Usually, I’d backdoor their phones and get current sound, video, location, and ultrasound radar. But, those backdoors don’t work over Leviathan, and it’s the only internet we have now. No matter. I have lots of chatter from a month ago. I worked with a lot less in the army.
A picture forms. The club was heavy into virtual reality. They were trying to make an internet you could fuck through. They made software for augmented reality glasses. Wait - I check the software on my glasses. Fuck, they made these. Apparently, they also made a haptoclone - a device that uses ultrasound projectors to allow virtual touching. So they could fuck over the internet.
I look at Lodestone. Okay, these guys are pretty smart.
I keep reading, but I’m just procrastinating. I can already picture what happened. There’s at least half a dozen people in this group that have the skills to make Leviathan. They’re all internet addicts, cut off together in the dark. It was only a matter of time until they jury rigged a wireless internet using phones, solar chargers, and viral programs.
The only hard part would be closing the backdoors we’d inevitably use to shut them down. One of the suspects sticks out in this regard. She collects A.I.’s, optimises them by having them compete against each other. Forty, divorced, freelance troubleshooter for tech companies. Goes by the handle Megacles. I check her psychometric profile. Voraciously curious. Risk taker. Lonely loner. Problem with society. Yeah.
It occurs to me that my investigation is over. Time for the clean up. Have the local lads pick up Megacles. Beat her with rubber hoses until she shuts off Leviathan.
My blood boils. I can see where this is heading. First we kill Leviathan, then we kill the possibility of Leviathan. First we round up Megacles, then we round up anyone who could rebuild the internet. Sure, people will be pissed when the internet doesn’t come back. But we’ll feed them some bullshit excuse, and that’ll be the end of it. What else can they do? There will be no internet to expose us on. We’ll probably give back porn, Netflix, and a Today Show mantra on how nice it is that we aren’t wasting our energy on Facebook anymore.
The gatekeepers for the class system were asleep at the wheel when the internet was invented. They were too fucking stupid to see how it would equalize the human experience. Well they know now, but they’re still fucking stupid. Thinking that throwing away the future will make their lives better.
Cause, the internet is the future. It’s the best place to solve our problems. Turning it off is accepting our current lives. Debt, depression, diabetes, and death. Fuck that. I want a healing factor and a Millenium Falcon. There’s no way I’m getting that if I hand over the future to Evil Dumbfuck.
That’s what kills me. They LIED to me! They said I’d be protecting us. Then they order me to shaft everybody. Did they forget they LIED to me? Or, don’t they care? They stabbed me in the back. Then they turned their back on me.
I pull up Megacles’ profile. I pull up The Sugar Lab's profile. I pull up the profiles of everybody who goes to The Sugar Lab. I scramble all the location data. Good bye.
Those profiles are effectively lost forever. They’re still in the system, but when something gets misfiled in a billion entry database, it’s gone for good. It’s like hiding a book in a library. A library with a billion books.
I surf Leviathan. It’s user base has doubled in the last 4 hours.
Future looks good.