[This post was originally presented to a smaller audience on September 21st, 2016. A few days later squirrels hacked my blog and posted it to a wider audience. Squirrels understand that information, like bullshit, wants to be free.]
Thousands of miles away a data analyst was on the verge of discovery. He knew it. He loved the delicious feeling of mastery that came at these times. He was about to reach into the tendrils of the great web encasing the world and come up with the truth.
He was so close he was quivering with excitement. These moments were intellectually addictive.
He’d discovered other truths over time, usually one or two year; and that made him the most valued employee of an agency which we will not name at this time. For inspiration, he glanced at the awards tacked to his wall. They were classified and he’d never be able to hang them anywhere else. There was a letter of thanks from [redacted] at the office of [redacted] commending him for uncovering the Amish plot of 2014. There was the certificate from [redacted] honoring him for decrypting the Presbyterian’s secret military code in 2015. There was even a picture of him and the cigarette smoking man from the X-Files. (Who is totally for real!) After that photo they’d had to strangle the cameraman. It had been a bonding experience.
He turned his mind back to the matter at hand. There was something there. These web traces were associated with a generic dipshit redneck but the key wasn’t him. It was someone else camping on his server. Oh sure, he’d thrown up flags with a “bear event” a few weeks back but that turned out to be nothing. (As required by protocol the file had been deleted. By “deleted” they meant “archived for further review”. Obviously nothing is ever truly deleted.)
Now the same traces had activated once again. A different device was using the same WiFi access point. It was performing “interesting” searches.
He gritted his teeth, being on the edge of understanding is almost more frustrating than total ignorance. He knew something was up; but what? The “bears” search had been questionable but not conclusive. Now, the searches were hinting at a pattern without truly defining one. He tapped his pencil and looked at the list:
- “mind control”
- “Stockholm syndrome”
None of this meant anything except it was coupled with viewing habits that were oddly suggestive. Downloads of “1984” and “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” could mean anything. But a download of the full original series of “Twin Peaks” was terribly important. Then came this:
- “the owls are not what they seem”
That couldn’t be happenstance! He couldn’t put his finger on it but something was there.
One of his monitors blinked; indicating new data had come from the traces in question:
He sprang to his feet and jabbed at the special telephone he’d only used twice before. The connection was instant.
“What do you have to report?”
“This is analyst number 27B/6. There’s been a breach.”
He paused. Even speaking it aloud worried him. It made the terrible menace go from conjecture to horrible reality. He steeled himself and spoke the words calmly.
“Lesbian activist squirrels have unleashed the power of Swedish disco!”