The Dark Web is a mysterious place, and you really don’t see it coming. It just dumps it all on you. I woke up on a Saturday morning feeling lazy and very hungry, thanks to a very heavy dinner the previous night. I staggered lazily to my kitchen, and in two minutes had a bowl of cereal in my hands.
I went straight to my work desk, turned on my laptop, web browser, and started to read updates from my favorite blogs. There was a particular piece of fiction on the New Yorker that caught my attention and I was deep into the writer’s mind in a matter of seconds. The plan was to spend the next two hours surfing the internet, after all, it was almost a free day. I had very little to do.
I had just spent five minutes when my laptop went blank. It was gone for just five seconds. Those five seconds, I kept hitting the enter button wondering what had gone wrong again.
The screen flickered to life. All white with a deep green cursor blinking, “The Dark Web”. Again, letters started to form on the screen, in old typewriter fonts.
The cursor blinked on the next line. Something told me this was a conversation and that a reply was needed.
– What’s Sea on Fire?
– Knight’s Mission. He has been contacted to stop the North Korean missile launch. North Korea plans to send missiles into Guam, American territory. You know the implications of that?
I thought about the question for a while, I had a few theories, but I needed to hear what the Dark Web entity had to say. I replied
– No, I don’t.
– Have you thought about a third world war? A full-scale nuclear war, and maybe Armageddon? Knight’s to break into the North Korea systems to prevent the launch of these missiles and detect the location of the leader. He has been contacted by the shadowy FBI operative J.P Archer; she’s acting for the Deep State. The president and pentagon may even be involved. He has been burdened with the task of saving the world.
Deep, I said to myself.
– How’s anybody supposed to do that?
– Trust Knight to be more than capable. It’s a tough job, quite alright. He has help, three freelancers. Malik, David, and Doris. Interesting company but they’re surprisingly capable. If anyone can do it, it’s them.
– Malik, Dr. Malik actually, a Ph.D. from MIT. He works with Retr, on and off now because of his research at MIT; Some secret research that would break grounds in computer networking.
– Doris is a sixty-year-old spinster. She once helped break into the National Intelligence Agency network with just her laptop and an internet modem. She had practiced law in the firm of Gilbert & Rendell for thirty years of her working life even making it to junior partner only to quit one day at fifty-three. Her new career started a month after she quit law when she took some online courses in hacking.
– David, an overweight drunk; Computer programmer and software analyst. He had worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation for six years before resigning and going freelance. He mostly did illegal program hacks, and was known in the computer underworld as the black vector.
I read the words on my screen, surprised at how much information the entity had dumped in my laps.
– Beyond interesting. There’s still a lot more you should know. They are right now downloading into your USB.
A meter appeared in the middle of the screen. It ran from one to hundred percent in a few seconds. I looked at the flash drive, plugged into its port. I wondered how much information would be contained in it.
My laptop screen started to flicker, and it went dead again. I looked at the abandoned bowl of cereal and the digital clock. Twenty-five minutes had passed since I first put on the laptop. I pushed the power button, and the laptop came to life. The New Yorker page was still there in my browser, but I was more interested in the contents of the USB. I navigated to the storage device and opened…