Internet Friends: Chapter One
The faint sound of multiple clicks echoed throughout the small enclosed room, lit only by the screen of a computer monitor. The pair of eyes from a young man followed every movement that was displayed and hardly took the time to attentively notice his surroundings, which housed a strange figure lurking in the darkness. It only took a few minutes to find what the young man was searching for on the internet, grabbing a notebook and jotted down a few words. His head moved back and forth while copying every character on the screen as the dark figure moved close and closer towards the distracted boy.
The characters began to form a large paragraph and then a full page in a short timeframe; it was to his knowledge that the information he was in the process of recording was urgent and severely confidential, something that others would kill to know.
“I found it. Now everyone will know the truth behind this world.” The boy said enthusiastically. Suddenly the dark figure slammed the boy’s head against the table, leaving an imprint of a grid across his face. The boy was momentarily discombobulated, but as soon as his awareness emerged the figure slammed his head again. The boy swung his arm, trying to grab a hold of whoever it was then pushed his chair back. The figure fell backwards which gave the boy enough time to snatch the notebook and run out of the room.
“The boy is out! the boy is out!” The figure yelled into an in-ear receiver. He ran toward the escapee while managing to hurdle over several items that were thrown in the way. The boy opened the door and hid into the large bush that surrounded the side of the building, hoping that the perpetrators would lose him. The figure that exited the building turned into a man in a black bodysuit and greyish armor that was moulded to fit his form. He surveyed the surroundings, waiting for any movement that could identify the target’s location.
“The notebook Mr. Lancing, is vital to the survival of not only your life, but the rest of humanity’s.” Said the man as he circled the front lawn. “You know now, you know of the secret, but some secrets are meant to be kept from the knowledge of petty beings such as you. Any alteration in this world can potentially change everything, for what you know on the other hand, can destroy everyone.”
The boy tried the hardest to keep from giving himself away, holding his breath every time the man approached, but regardless of his determination, he let the notebook slip from his arm. The man paused and turned around to see it’s blue cover on the ground.
“Hmmm…so Mr. Lancing, you decided that you should give up. Good choice.”
The boy shot from the bush and snatched the notebook, running into the alley behind a string of houses.
“Gatherer five-one-five-two, you have clearance to delete.” The man said into the earpiece.
The order was carried out instantly and as the boy disappeared from the perpetrators, he vanished into nothing. Notebook and all.
The popping sound of a received notification prompted AJ to pull his phone from his front pocket. Friends on the social network decided it would be entertaining to begin a rant on how the political standing of the running candidates for president was unfair and an economic trap for the population. He ignored and brought his attention back to his girlfriend.
“It’s Frank and Gene again, isn’t it?”
“Don’t worry about it Kathy. It keeps my profile alive.” AJ chuckled.
“I can hack into their profiles, potentially prevent anymore activity, and shut them up for as long as needed.”
AJ threw a concerned look at her. “No. That wont be necessary honey. ”
Kathy was the technical witch who spent her time with computers while being a girly girl at the same time. She had the nerdiness that only emerged in the most unpredictable moments, surprising anyone on the room who believed her to be whatever came to mind from her appearance. AJ on the other hand was a slight degree off of a jock, but had the caring love for Kathy that a typical stereotype would lack; sports, martial arts, and partying were a part of his repertoire. Kathy chose nine times out of ten to stay indoors and watch intellectually stimulating movies and fix file systems for operating platforms. Regardless she still enjoyed hanging out with friends and matching to AJ’s adventurous antics.
“We should do something today. Anything that we havent done before? AJ said with a curious mind.
Kathy thought for a second and responded rather cautiously. “Well, there is one…”
“We could visit that weird house down the block. I was told it’s vacant and that it holds the spirit of a madman. Perfect opportunity to test that EMF reader.” Kathy said with a gleaming smile.
AJ couldn’t resist and kissed her multiple times. “To the haunted house it is.”
The building reminded AJ of the cliché houses used in horror shows and books with the overgrown vines scaling the side of the walls, dusty windows that acted as drawing palets for smiley faces and clean me messages, peeling paint, and the slightly opened door that told countless stories of people who ran out in fear of what was manifested before them.
“Are you sure this is safe hun?”
Kathy nodded naively. “I don’t see why it wouldn’t. You seem scared.” She teased.
“Uh-huh.” Kathy laughed.
The two walked in slowly, cautiously navigating in prevention from injury and other hazards. The place reeked of rotting wood and for all they knew perhaps mold. Kathy activated the EMF reader and flipped two antennas from it’s side. The beeping of the device showed signs of an immediate presence, forcing the couple to glance at each other in surprise and continued to venture on with a heightened sence of excitement. It was only a few minutes into the investigation that the short pauses of beeping turned into long stretches of irritating sound, the temperature gauge read a chilling 69 degrees and the hair on their bodies stood up like trees.
“So much activity. This is amazing.” Kathy said enthusiastically.
“Oh yeah. Way too much activity.” AJ said with a shaky voice. He felt as if he was succumbing to the intimidation of what ever entity was present, he almost wanted to leave, but there were things that made him want to venture on and explore deeper. They reached what they guessed to be the living room, an area with furniture covered in white sheets. The curtains let rays of sunlight through the multiple holes made by moths and other pests, it landed on broken pictures of an old man in a top hat. Others were of a family of seven, with the same man prominently shown in each.
“That must be the guy that they say died here.” AJ reconfimed.
“Wasn’t it…Leeroy?” Kathy asked, trying her best to recollect the old stories of the place.
“The best way to figure it out is to look in that bookshelf. Maybe there’s something in there.”
A few more steps into the depths of the room uncovered a weak spot in the foundation, sending Kathy into the darkness of the basement. AJ screamed and launched himself forward to catch her, but it only collapsed the floor wider allowing him to fall on top of the soft wood and his girlfriend. They grunted in pain as they sat up, looking above in a bewildered manner.
“What the hell?” Kathy said.
“Damn that hurt.”
Kathy slapped AJ in the arm in response to the curse word. He had a extreme habit of practicing the language which she hated more than anything.
“Oww. Yikes, as if falling ten feet wasn’t enough.”
“I don’t like that. I don’t like this either, but I’d rather be stuck down here.”
The gaping hole that seemed like the new sky taunted the two maliciously. “We need to figure out how to get back up there, it’s pitch black in here.” AJ said as he lit the screen on his cell phone. The area that was visible by the light showed several large monitor screens and deactivated computers. Cobwebs and vines joined in a biomechanical ensemble which gave the feel of being transported hundreds of years into the future.
“Kathy, you need to see this.”
She grabbed her phone and serveyed the same area as AJ. “This is amazing. I don’t even recognize those models.” Kathy aproached the gigantic towers and screens, adoring the discovery as if she had found lost treasure. “These are definitley more advanced than what I’ve toyed with before.”
“What do you mean? It looks like it’s been here for decades honey.”
Kathy swipped the dust from the top of the tower and searched for a power button. “These are definitely new. Odd.” The search ended when a small circle was pressed in, initiating the whirring sound of a fan. Suddenly lines of white light traveled from the tower to the middle of the floor where it spread throughout the rest of the room and reaching the other towers. The screens displayed an eerie “hello” and showed windows of active cameras that were placed around the city.
“What the hell did we do?” AJ said slightly nervous.
“I don’t know, but whoever this person was liked to watch you sleep.”
AJ ran up to the screen Kathy stared at in awe. His bed with the blue sheets in disarray matched the current state he last remembered it to be in. “This is real time. I’ve been spied on.”
“But for how long? And why you?”
AJ and Kathy couldn’t seem to wrap their heads around the newly unearthed concept that the privacy of their lives had been compromised. They discussed an authoritative to tell police, but Kathy’s curiosity kept the investigation alive.
“We shouldn’t tell anyone untill we know what we’re up against.”
“What if it’s too much for us to handle. We could end up in danger and I don’t want that for you.”
“Come on, we’ve been so wasted our brains have a dependency on beer. This couldn’t be nearly as dangerous.” Kathy said as she picked up a note from the desk. It read,
To whom ever finds this room again;
I have recorded vital information that will lead the rebellion back to the Citidel.
The Interweb Reformery will never be the same and the world as we know it is in danger.
Everyone could die. I feel my end coming the longer I present the evidence that this world is more fantasy than reality.
A fabrication. But we need this, to restore the world to it’s old soil is necessary for the longevity of mandkind.
Please. Save us.
AJ and Kathy stared at the note in horror and shock. She lowered the small peice of paper and dropped it back onto the dust ridden table. “Open mouth. Insert foot.”