THE NEW ATHENIANS
After finding out that Truth was a fraud I immediatley set about writng
an anti-virus that hunted down and destroyed the Truth virus wherever it
was. Then I posted my report back to the CR's and enclosed a request for
more information on Foxstab. Within 12 hours I had my response.
Congratulations on your
success. Please find attached two files dealing with "Foxstab."
I quickly scanned the reports. The first one was an Internet reference
report on the new English political system.
INTERNET NEWS SEC.
CAT: ENGLAND, POLITICS.
England is the only country in the world to have used technology to
form its political system. Not that there were many options after the
great constitutional crisis. I should explain exactly how the seemingly
unshakable British political system collapsed towards the end of the
century. The old system of "understandings" and the comedy of an
"unwritten constitution" finally collapsed. Surprisingly the homogenous
society that is England did not fall and paradoxically it was that unity
of an island nation that made the revolution possible. Indeed it was the
urgent desire to save it. Strangely economic hardship was not a factor of
the break up either. In fact it was the boom times of Europe that were the
cradle to the British Revolution. With the boom and the brief period in
which Europe was the worlds biggest economy came incredible prosperity.
Now it was not just middle class families that could afford to buy
themselves and their children computers. Natural British snobbishness
helped this spread rapidly as families desperately tried to keep up with
one another. The craze took hold very deeply first of all in the working
class. As with satellite TV, here people would buy any distraction from
the bleakness of their surroundings. Unlike satellite TV however computers
gave people the chance to talk back, and talk back they did.
First they were pirate BBS's each one setup by poor working class kids
who had scraped the money for a second hand modem & PC. The police
tried to clamp down but found themselves sadly ill equipped and under
trained to compete with a highly enthusiastic and computer literate sub
class. The spread of information this brought about was uncontrolled and
explosive. To a country used to a state run news organization and a
government that has the legal ability to ban any news story on grounds of
national security, the spread of free information was devastating.
Dirt on the royals, Sport, Sex , Stars, Racist material, Radical
Political propaganda all these things were available in huge amounts
on-line. With such a plethora of topics parents now became interested.
Like video games before them, modems and PC's started to move into the
living room. This was the beginning of a major change in English society.
Information is power. For the first time since the invention of the
printing press there was an explosion of information but this time it was
not the intellectuals or the ruling class who governed its use but a
working class bitter and angry at an unjust society. They organized
rallies - on-line, they sabotaged the transportation network - on-line,
they robbed banks in the name of freedom - on-line, they even committed
acts of terrorism - on-line.
It was on one drizzly Saturday that the Red Top Boy's crew hacked into
the traffic control center in Portsmouth. Noone really cared about a small
southern transportation network computer and so security was not tight.
All the best experts were trying to stop the daily attempts to hack into
the Royal Families private E-Mail. But the Red Top Boy's crew were very
interested in Portsmouth, you see it controlled all the relays to the
traffic control within the channel tunnel. They stopped all the traffic ,
trains and cars. They stopped them all. Dead. This they claimed was all
that they intended to do but now there were too many variables set loose.
The tunnel had recently been expanded for motorist traffic and that was to
prove deeadly. The security chief of the tunnel assumed that because all
the traffic control systems had gone down he was suffering from a power
cut and so he went to back up generator. Nothing happened. He then tried
several other methods of getting it back on-line. It was to take him 10
hours to solve the riddle still assuming he had lost power as technicians
checked cables. The back power lasted 24 hours for lighting, it only
lasted 4 hours for Air-conditioning. When the air started to go stale
people jammed in a 4 mile long traffic jam or trapped on a train stuck in
an enclosed tunnel started to panic. Many tried to run out of the tunnel,
panic spread and a stampede started many left their cars on causing the
air to become clogged with car exhaust fumes the ugly scene left three
hundred people dead.
Even this crime did not slow down the movement however. Most people now
started to rely on the Network for information rather than the state
controlled news network. Outlandish claims about corruption and wealth
were widely believed and many were true. The government indeed the whole
system of parliament and a constitutional monarchy lost all credibility
with working class and lower middle class citizens. Finally the government
could handle it no longer. Faced with mass ownership of computers and a
massive dissatisfaction with the system of government they did the only
thing they could. They cracked down and pulled the plug on the whole
telecommunications network. It was anarchy. The country ground to a halt
and the people took to the streets. Violent revolution was never the
English way but now it happened. No longer were the exploited lower
classes ill-educated and without information. Quite the opposite they had
been exposed to power and they liked it. The scottish revolution was
complete first then they gave support to the English rebels. With mass
support the bulk of the army and police found it impossible to attack
those they knew on-line. No longer was it possible to bus in police from
different districts because thanks to telecommunications England was one
district. The final storming of parliament was done by members of the
marines against the loyal secret servicemen of the government. Then when
the fighting was over the terror began. Hundreds of thousands were
summarily executed by the Peoples Brigades that wandered the abodes of the
rich, all of London was looted. The royal family escaped to Wales only to
be handed over by the new welsh government when they were awarded
independent statehood by the new English ruling party.
With the revolution complete the thinkers K4, RedDuck, Ninja and others
began to organize a new form of government. It was Democracy. Everyone
over 18 years old could vote. They could vote on anything. Each citizen
was given a citizens unit. This unit was linked into the central voting
office in London. Anyone could present a bill and everyone could vote on
it. At first it was chaos. the death penalty was introduced for over one
hundred different offences then abolished for fifty of them all in one
week. The people were empowered and it went to their heads. Racist
policies were enacted. Senior members of The royal family were executed
then in a change of mind all surviving members were given estates and a
pension. Still it continued and survived. "First Speakers" appeared, these
citizens were the most eloquent and started to mould public opinion. Then
finally a leader was elected and the post of "Lord High Protector" was
formed to represent England internationally. Finally after numerous
attempts to break into the voting computers by hackers and foreign powers
the Information Security Police were formed. Their most famous
investigator was Roger Carter also known as Foxstab.
Carter was the man responsible for the execution of over one thousand
hackers all found guilty of trying to interfere with democracy. He closed
down the pirate BBS's and the revolutionary hacking groups that helped
found the present group. He had purged democracy of any who had the
ability to change it.
Today England is a closed country. Its citizens tend to be very
nationalistic and their trade practices are very protectionist. Very
little information comes out of the country and they are renknown the
world over for their skill in producing telecommunications equipment and
I looked away from the screen. This Foxstab was a cop? I had never
heard of him but that was not surprising I paid little attention to
anything that happened outside the states.
Curious I read the second report. It was an interrogation report marked
Classified. Once again I admired the CR's ability to penetrate even the
most secure networks.
PEOPLES SECURITY STATION 7
Interrogation of suspected terrorist
INTERROGATING OFFICER - Carter
Session number 4
Look you fucking know all this already why? What good will it do you?
Ok as I remember it.
I had finally bagged a "Big Job" and it seemed I was going to get into
the big money reserved only for the very best hackers.
My laptop was busy running the first level codebreaker so I flipped on
my Citizens Unit and watched the news.
The last batch of Malaysian Muslims who were under siege in east London
had been driven out of their ghetto , They would be forcibly repatriated
next week as per People's Edict 10385. Apparently 3 had been killed during
their resistance and another 2 were being held in the Peoples United
Kingdom. The 2 were charged and found guilty of assaulting a police
officer which was now a capital offence. This made me stop and wonder.
Would the 2 men who were to be tried be stripped of their British
nationality before execution? Or would they be allowed to die as
Englishmen? I saw that one of the speakers in Parliament had asked the
same question and it was to be put to the vote. The issue number was
displayed on screen and I quickly punched it up. The voting options were
displayed and I voted against the Muslims retaining their British
nationality by the quick pressing of a small green button. It was that
easy. All over the country other green & red buttons were being
pressed deciding the fate of where their bodies were to be buried. I
always did like video games.
The speaker of my laptop to let me know that the first level security
codes had fallen to my breaker program. I turned back to the laptop set
stage two underway.
Why do you want me to repeat all this?
My laptop's speaker let loose the finale from "Messiah" and I knew that
I was in. The screen threw up a whole list of data files I now had access
too. There was a lot of very interesting stuff here but I only wanted one
file 4BZ2121.CXZ. I scanned the list and spotted it exactly where I
thought it would be. I got ready to grab it when I noticed the file size.
Very nice, there was a copy check built in so that when you copied a file
it added a tiny amount to the file size. This would show up in the
directories file total. I turned to my second laptop and constructed a
file exactly big enough to compensate for the discrepancy and uploaded it.
I then downloaded the required file. The instant I reached 100% I pulled
the plug and sat back. In clean, out clean. I was done.
On my second laptop I logged onto a local game crackers BBS. I changed
the filename of 4BZ2121.CXZ to LORE.TXT and uploaded it. I labeled it as
"A walkthough of the old MAGICIANS LORE game." A game I knew had sold very
badly last year. It was from here that my employers were to download it. I
went into the kitchen to prepare myself a cup of coffee.
The kitchen door exploded in front of me. At the same time an enormous
sound like a thundclap deafened me and a smoke bomb was tossed in through
a window breaking it as it did so. I turned and ran back towards my
computer, too late. Men dressed from head to foot in black with gasmasks
and brandishing heavy sidearms blocked my path. One grabbed my arm and
bent it behind my back. Then mercifully there was a heavy blow to my head
and I lost consciousness. Next thing I knew I woke up here with you guys.
Please this is the third time I have told you all this. Can't I get some
Despite further questioning the subject's story did not change. It
seems clear he was working for a foreign power to sabotage the trading
vote on restricting the import of foreign chips.
CITIZENS CONFESSION 4299;10:00
CRIME: High Treason against the
RECOMMENDATION: Execution by firing squad. (Non
Signed in the name of the people.
Peoples Investigator Carter.
ADDENDUM : Sentence carried out
6373 on the 4th year of the revolution.
This man Carter fascinated me. He was a hacker turned policeman it
seemed. But the documents brought up more questions than they solved. Why
was this man writing programs such as "Truth"? I began to type out a
request for more information regarding Carter when my laptop beeped that I
had just received a message. It was from the CR's, it seemed that they
were as curious as myself, so curious in fact they were going to send a
team into England.
Make yourself ready for a trip. You will be leaving tomorrow.
It did not say were we were going but it was obvious. I felt thrilled
at the thought of a " Real World Op". I hardly slept at all that night
filled with a nervous energy that I had not had since my parents bought me
my first computer.
At 7.00 AM there was a sharp knocking on my apartment door. I walked
through the mess that passed for my floor and opened the door.
"Alright cheify! Ready for the off?" A high pitched English voice came
out of a very pale skinny man. Dressed in jeans an a leather jacket that
was patched with many insignia from "Speed racer" to "Thunderbirds are
I nodded and motioned for the man to come inside while I grabbed my
He took two steps into my apartment , trod on several things that went
crunch and slipped on something that went squish. He then thought better
of the whole journey and retreated back out into the corridor.
"Not a very chatty sort of bloke are ya?" I was now beginning to be
convinced that the English accent was forced. It certainly was irritating.
"My names Cutter." I said in the most steady monotone I could manage. I
hoped this would convey a sense of menace and mystery.
"Pleased to meetcha Cutter, my names Jeremy, Jeremy Thorpe." He looked
expectantly then said " Don't worry no relation!" He delivered this like a
"Sorry?" I seemed to have missed something there.
"Never mind, ready to go?" He muttered "Bloody Yanks" just loud enough
for me to hear. Then snapped out a warm beamy smile as I came into his
"OK, are we going far?" I enquired as we strolled down the corridor to
"Blighty!" He roared with pleasure, then seeing my blank stare he
continued, "Britannia old chap, England. We are returning to liberate the
mother land for God & King & Country!"
I allowed myself a smirk of satisfaction which quickly turned to a
scowl as Jeremy stared to sing "Rule Britannia" in the elevator down.
Jeremy was a great dissapointment for me. He was the first CR I had
ever met but he didnt look like he was capable of any kind of crime beyond
stealing beer glasses from bars. If I had been concerned by his appearance
his car made me wonder if this guy was sane, it was a multi-colored van
with the words "Mystery Machine" painted on the side.
"We are going to drive around in that?" I asked, "I thought me might
want to AVOID attention not get it."
His whole facial expression changed and he now displayed the same look
of dissapointment and concern that I had tried to conjour up moments
"I had heard you were good Cutter. Seems you have a whole lot to learn
about social engineering. In that van we have got a shitload of very
illegal computer equipment. Now cops have a sense of humor and the scooby
mobile has saved me from having it searched on many occasions."
Pride is for pricks so I apologized.
"No sweat man. Now we have to go pick up the Alien and I can brief you
"The Alien?" I asked.
Jeremy smiled. "Yeah. The Alien is haunted."
After enduring an hour of Jeremies driving and a constant looping tape
of the "scooby doo" theme tune we arrived at some downtown shithole that
apparently Alien lived in.
Jeremy knocked the door. There was no response so he knocked again.
Immediately after he stopped knocking a deep voice came from the other
"Alien its me you fucking freak." Jeremy said in his irritating English
A small scrawny kid about 15 years old with boggle glasses threw the
door open smiling a weak smile. This I took to be the Alien.
"Hey JT, come in man, whos the straight?" The Alien LOOKED like a coder
IE: like shit. We all look like shit after we have been working. He left
the door open and walked back inside.
I scanned the room and saw the usual hacker decor. In one corner were
three TV's. The biggest TV was a huge wide screen job hooked up to an
expensive sound system. On it was playing a hardcore porno with the sound
turned off, some girl putting a very large dildo up herself and trying to
put a brave smile on the whole situation. The other two TV's were regular
size ,one had the football game playing on it with the sound on just low
enough so you would here it when one team scored but otherwise was safetly
in the background noise region. The last TV was hooked up to MTV at the
moment but had a video game resting just below it indicating what this TV
was usually used for.
The other corner was devoted to Aliens machines. He had two Greycard
5000's running side by side and a laptop balanced preacriously on the
elbow of his huge console chair. The desk itself was covered with peices
of paper and soda cans. Shoved right up next to his screens was an
enormous ashtray stolen from a bar with a small mountain of cigarette
stubs in it. Under the desk was packed with power points and boxes that
the computers had come in but now being used to store various bits of
Jeremy closed the door and walked straight into the kitchen, He grabbed
a can of soda and a filthy enamel cup. Lighting up a cigarette he moved
over to Aliens desk and sat the cup down on it, he gently tapped the ash
into the cup while swigging the can.
"Man I wish you wouldnt light up without offering me one." Alien turned
to smile but then I caught his eye. His eye was moving very quickly almost
having spasms, I had seen that look before.
Alien was was indeed haunted.
He caught my stare and said very simply. "Yeah man I got the ghosts."
There are ghosts. Hackers ,programmers and gamers get them. You see
them after a long stretch at a computer terminal. You think you are fine
but then you look away from the screen and you see them.
My first was after a 14 hour hacking session on a corporation job,
things had got pretty hairy but I had got out ok. I turned off the
terminal looked around my apartment and there it was. A black cat walked
in from the hallway and sat down next to a box. I just stared at it unable
to take my eyes away. How the hell did a cat get into my apartement? I got
up from my chair and as my height adjusted the cat turned into a pile of
books that I had moved there yesterday. It had really scared me. I
suddenly felt claustrophobic and had decided to go for a walk outside. I
walked out into the hallway and called the elavator, just as the doors
closed I had the strangest feeling that the elavator was held up not by
cables but by living snakes. By the time I reached the bottom I was
sweating, it took me an hour to clear my head in the halflight of dawn.
The second one was after an 18 hour stretch on a computer game. One
again it was dawn and just as I was turning over to go to sleep I saw a
figure walk across my kitchen through the doorway. The man was about six
feet tall and very pale. I strained my eyes but his face was blurred. I
reached over and turned the light on. Nothing. I was so shaken that I went
to sleep with every light on in the house. Even with the lights I saw 4
inch long cockroaches all night long.
There is nothing supernatural about them, fatigue plays tricks on the
mind and many people have seen ghosts down the ages when they are at the
edge of exhaustion. But for the hacker there is a problem. Sometimes the
ghosts stay. You see for most people that level of eye strain ,fatigue and
solitude is a rare occurance but for people like me & Alien thats what
we do every day. If you push the mind to far it can snap, and when that
happens the ghosts stay.
"Yeah man, I hear ya. Knew a guy who had to drop some tabs of sandman
to get rid of em. Slept for 24 hours straight. Nearly died of
Alien nodded then wiped his sweaty hands on his T-shirt that read "The
Geek Shall Inherit The Earth." He proffered one.
"Alien, Nice to meetcha."
Jeremy took a final swig of his can then dropped his ciggarette into
"Well lads why dont I fill you in on what we are going to be doing?"
From his jacket he drew out a map of England.
"Now can anybody tell me what this country is called?"