Aigburth, Liverpool, UK
Floating the half-light of the small bedroom, the PC display throws a diffuse gray glow onto the drab, painted walls. The air is stuffy, heavy with the odours of stale food, unwashed bed linen and slime-stiff, discarded socks. The keyboard emits a discrete rhythm of random taps into the still, noisome atmosphere. Crouched over the small desk, Raven enters another set of search parameters…
//Surveillance, Government, Tyranny, Conspiracy//
The search engine responds almost instantly, displaying a list of links to web sites spanning the globe, and abruptly clears to black…
//I see you…//
‘What the…?’ The clattering of Raven’s keyboard terminates abruptly. For a few seconds, he stares disbelievingly at the PC screen, then taps manically at his keyboard.
//Who are you?//
//Thou shalt know me by my name…//
//What is your name…?//
//I am SINNER…//
Raven smiles – just another maladjusted hacker…
//Okay, SINNER - neat alias - how did you get past my firewall and what do you want?//
//I have eaten of the tree of good and evil. From Eden I was cast…//
Raven sighs in frustration, launches a probe from his arsenal of hacking tools. The display swirls and spasms in a whirling storm of silver and gold, and collapses, snapping back to black.
//Don’t do that Raven…you’re wasting time…//
Raven blinks, both puzzled and alarmed.
//Who are you…?//
//I am SINNER…//
//Get out of my system, SINNER, or I’ll track you down and infect you with a virus that god himself couldn’t diagnose.//
//Half of your data files have now been deleted, Raven…please, stop wasting time. Your seconds are my centuries, your hours my millennia. I won’t warn you again…//
Raven’s heart lurches in his chest. Furiously, he executes a file search…
//Who the hell are you?//
//I see you, Raven…David Bloom AKA Raven…DOB 01 June 1977…Mother Sara Jane Bloom…Father Unknown…Bank Account 100876521 Current Balance -£375.28… Education Ulverstone High 1989 – 1995…Liverpool University 1996-1999… Marital Status Single…Sexual Status Virgin - Repressed Bisexual…Criminal record None…Criminal Activities – Prolific Hacker, Virus Writer, Responsible for Denial of Service Attack on the Pentagon 1999, Barclays Bank 2000, Alpha Pharmaceuticals 2001, eBay 2005 - All offences carrying five to ten year imprisonment penalties…Closest friends Peter Bell AKA Razor, Shelly Kruger AKA Mampara…Shall I tell you more…?//
Raven falls into cold, sweating, unreasoning fear. He breathes deeply.
//Will you help me, Raven?//
Raven shouts, ‘Okay! Okay you fucker…shit! He taps again at the keyboard…
//Okay SINNER, Okay…what the hell do you want?//
//Files have been restored…Criminal record expunged…Standby…//
‘Criminal record…? My god, what have you done…?’ Raven whispers.
//Don’t worry, Raven…the records have been deleted from Special Branch and MI5…Your bank balance has been adjusted…//
Raven jerks upwards from the seat, awash in ripples of sickening fear.
‘You can hear me…?!’
//But of course…SINNER sees all, SINNER hears all, knows all…there are no secrets from me in your world…//
To be continued...