Chapter 18: .evil
I just sat there, perplexed. Scott was still trying to get a hold of Jason. He was pacing back and forth across the floor. All the time he was rubbing his forehead.
“Pick up,” he muttered. He jumped in surprise when his phone called. He looked at he ID.
“It’s Cameron Brown,” he said to me. He answered, concern thick in his voice as he spoke.
“Chrissie,” he said, horrified. “Yeah, I’ll be right there.” He took his coat and walked towards the door. “No, I don’t expect you to put me on the case again. I understand, it’s just a clean up job. Ok. Bye.” He closed the door. A couple of seconds passed before he came rushing in again.
“I’m leaving you here alone. There is a gun under the settee. Don’t be afraid to use it if this Staring-man comes.”
“45 Sundrive and Amanda’s basement both exploded. We are expecting the worst.”
“Chrissie was leaving for 45 Sundrive when we met her,” I mumbled.
“I hope she left early to go home.” Then he disappeared. He locked the door thoroughly before leaving. I heard the car pull out. It was the first time in a long while I was left alone. It felt kind of good, but the fright of what had just happened overshadowed it.
To pass the time I went back to my old browser and put in Ex-Fortify again. I found a Wikipedia article about it. I read it up and down a few times. As I read my body went cold. The bloodcurdling article told me exactly what I needed to know.
Ex-Fortify is a programme used to access the Deep Web. It functions a web browser. It’s an anonymity software, that hides your identity while you search. The browser is often used as an alternative to For. It is commonly used by paedophiles, drug dealers and other criminals because of the level of security if has. The programme uses a proxy server that hides you, making you able to surf the Deep Web without detection. This is what makes it a perfect marketplace fro drug barons, kidnappers, creators of illegal and questionable pornography and such. The Extra Wiki is the site where you access the content found in Ex-Fortify. The site consists mostly of link directory.
It was terrifying reading material. I got curious as I saw the term Deep Web repeated many times. I clicked the Wikipedia link to the main article and started reading. The Deep Web was a place on the web that couldn’t be indexed by standard search engines. That meant that the search engine hadn’t collected and stored the data from these websites. At least that was my understanding of it. According to the article, 96% of the Internet consisted of Deep Web. This whole thing fascinated me. I wanted to know more.
I got up to get a cup of coffee, and when I sat down again, I was reading article upon article of information about the Deep Web. For was the normal way of accessing it, it seemed like. I downloaded the programme and looked through some of the links it provided.
I got another cup of coffee. Nothing seemed that bad. There were a couple of gun and drug markets, but that was pretty much it.
I got my third cup of coffee. Nothing on For was as bad as the stuff on Ex-Fortify. I even purchased some really nice cigarettes for a cheap price. This Deep Web thing was great. That was until I saw the chat rooms. I went to one of them, hoping to find some more websites that sold cigarettes. I came across the Ex-Fortify forum. It was a bad looking forum with HTML codes hanging out of every hole in the website structure.
One person asked if they had heard of the new software called Ex-Fortify. It was apparently a great place for CP and snuff. By now I had gathered that CP was child pornography, and I knew from a late night Internet visit that snuff movies were films of actual people being murdered.
Another sicko replied with this:
After Bastyboy took over everything has gone to shit. Now you have to pay for all the good stuff.
There were several messages under this one. I continued reading until one peaked my interest.
I got a private webcam show with Oxycotton. She was so sexy and professional. Only cost me one BitCoin.
I opened my standard browser to find a currency calculator. One BitCoin was the equivalent of 160 pounds. Surprise about how much these men were willing to pay, I continued my journey deeper into the web.
Bastyboy let me take her for a joyride for free the other day. We should all go over to Ex-Fortify. For has too many cops.
I wondered what joyride meant in connection with the Deep Web. Probably something I didn’t want to know. Then a new message appeared. I went cold. It was Bastyboy.
We don’t provide services for free. This joyride nonsense has to end.
He was sitting on his computer somewhere, probably in this city, not at all affected by what he’s just done.
Another message popped up.
Shit, it’s Basty. When will Document10 be launched?
I waited for a while. Sipping my coffee as I looked at the screen. It said that Bastyboy was typing. I held my breath as I waited for him to press enter.
We have very special plans for Document10. Unfortunately, they were stalled by an incident.
I wondered if he was talking about the incident. It seemed likely, since it looked like all the parts involved had something to do with this Ex-Fortify-thing. I waited for an answer. When they, after ten minutes, still hadn’t answered, I closed For. Sick to my stomach because of what I’d just read.
I opened Ex-Fortify and followed Thomas Oxford’s instructions again. I came to Document9 and typed the passphrase.
There was a new picture.
I was sitting in Scott’s living room, wearing a big, blue shirt that I found in Scott’s wardrobe and a pair of jeans, dark grey. I looked down on my self. I was wearing a big, blue shirt and a pair of dark grey jeans. This picture was taken today. I dropped to my knees and started looking under the settee for the gun Scott talked about. I found a small ammo box and put it in front of me. It contained a small handgun and some ammunition. I had no idea how to use a gun, but I was sure it couldn’t be that hard. At least this gun could scare possible intruders. I made sure the door was locked before I peeped out of the window. There, in the pale light of a streetlight, I could clearly see the figure of a man staring at the house. He was wearing a hoodie that covered his face, but I already knew this was the Staring-man. I clenched my fists around the gun and unlocked the front door. The walk down the street was quick, and the Staring-man didn’t even seem to notice me as I came towards him. He had a camera around his neck with a telephoto lens. That’s how he had gotten the good shots. It was connected to something in his pocket. I imagined he had a phone or something else connected to the Wi-Fi of the house. That’s how he uploaded his pictures to Document9.
I walked right up to him and tore his hood off. Just like I had seen in the window, he was a handsome man in his mid-twenties. He had rusty brown hair and piercing green eyes. Scott’s sketch didn’t do his angelic face justice.
“Onila,” he greeted.
“Why are you stalking me?” I asked.
“Because they told me to.” His voice was calm and collected, but there was a fire behind his eyes.
“Let me guess, Bastyboy and Oxycotton.” The Staring-man nodded.
“Were you the one looking at me at France’s Petrol Station the night of the incident?”
“I was,” I answered, without a trace of shame in his voice. He spoke in a weird accent. As if he was programmed to speak, and didn’t do it naturally. Almost like you’d imagine a robot talking.
“What’s your name?” I asked.
“Do you have a last name?” He shook his head. I pulled the gun out of my pocket and pointed it at him.
“What’s your last name?” I asked again.
“You are not going to fire that.” He declared, taking a step closer to me.
“Try me,” I spat.
“Do you not think I will? I have been following you for months, I know you.”
“What’s the connection to Thomas Oxford and John Bashor?”
“I cannot say.”
“Because of them?”
“Because of them.”
“Who made the website? Document9?”
“Who’s your father?”
“You are full of questions.”
“And you’re deflecting.” He sent me a scowl but answered my question.
“Bastyboy is my father.”
“What are you going to do to me?” I asked. He looked around the street. There were no people here. It was deserted.
“I was going to watch you, but since you came so willingly, I can bring you back to my place.”
“You wish. You’re going to hurt me,” I accused.
“I do, in fact, not wish to harm you. I don’t harm the merchandise.”
“You are an offender and your father is a bastard!” I shouted. He looked completely undisturbed by my outburst.
“I might be an offender, and my father might be a bastard, but I exist through my needs. My need to evolve, to grow, to understand. I am but a mere tool of my father’s. I have grown to accept my fate. Have you done the same?”
“I don’t have a fate.”
“You sit on your bottom all day, making music, listening to your teachers, waiting for your boyfriend to fuck you. What a dreary life. You must realise there is another life for you out there. People will pay good money for you.” I got angrier as he spoke.
“You know nothing about me!”
“I already said it. I know quite a lot about you actually.”
“What is it you want from me?”
“What do I not want from you, is the question you should ask.” His face never changed. He had the same half-dead expression the whole time as he spoke. Every once in a while he would glance down the street.
I tried holding the gun pointed toward him at all times, but I knew he was right. I wasn’t capable of firing it. I didn’t even know how to check the clip, or how to turn the safety off.
“Then what don’t people want from me?”
“They do not want you to be walking the streets, freely. That might hurt the merchandise.”
“Stop calling me merchandise. I’m a person!” I screamed again.
“I know you are a person. We deal in human beings, therefore you are merchandise.”
“So you’re a part of a human trafficking ring?”
“That I cannot say,” he answered stiffly. I looked at him. Searched those green eyes of his for a trace of compassion. Though they were dazzling, they were as firm as stone and cold like a winter night. He ran his fingers through his rusty hair. If it wasn’t for is stone façade, I would have thought he cared about his hairstyle.
“Did you kill the police officers?”
“Most likely,” he said, completely unaffected.
“Was John Bashor involved?” I continued the questionnaire and he answered with giving me more questions.
“He wasn’t crucial, but he was involved.”
“Can you tell me how?”
“I cannot.” We stood there in silence for a while. I brought my gun down, mostly to rest my arm. He didn’t look like he wanted to attack me. Not tonight.
“I’m telling you this once, so listen up. Stay the hell away from me.” I started moving away from him. When I had put enough distance between us, I started running. I ran to the front door of Scott’s flat and locked myself in. I caught my breath and peeked out of the window.
Ubel was gone.ns 188.8.131.52da2