• Nikita Soklakov

Online Invitation

The Message


“With the progression of technology in 2017, more and more people can hide and lock information more securely. The Dark Web was originally used in the 1990s to transmit information between American spies. But today anyone can access it. It has come to the point in which anybody with a special browser called “Tor”, which can be downloaded from the Surface Web, can be anonymous and browse the Dark Web and find multiple sites which mostly might contain disturbing content.”

As I opened my eyes and lifted my back from my bed I looked around my room from my slumber. As I got out of my bed, got dressed in my generic white work uniform, ate my breakfast, brushed my teeth and pocketed my phone in that order, I realized I was quite early and could do some things while I walked to work.

Now, who am I? My name is Smith and I am a bit mysterious, so to speak. I work for a company that designs different variations of computer security, and they are competing with other corporations to make the best anti-virus apps as possible.

What was my normal day at work like? Well, it would go something like this:

Arrive at work, normally as soon as it starts.

Try to find issues with the antivirus software that the company is developing.

Have a lunch break.

Continue trying to find issues with the antivirus software.

Have meetings with my colleagues about the issues they have discovered and try to understand how to fix them.

Then I go home.

At home, I browse the Dark Web for fun, not because I am into the sick stuff they have there but it is only to fulfill my morbid curiosity about the unknown.

One regular Monday morning three years ago, I exited my house and began walking. After a few minutes passed, I began to get a little thirsty and there was a nearby restaurant. I thought to myself “A little drink at a restaurant won't hurt.”

I walked into the restaurant and booked a seat at a small table in the corner of the restaurant. As I walked over to the table, someone walked past me. Now this person looked a little sketchy, he wore a lot of winter clothing, and he was a little too close. He got out of my way quickly, so I did not think much of it.

I called the waiter and asked for an apple juice. The waiter agreed and went to go get it. Since the restaurant was a bit chilly I put my hands into my pockets and felt a little piece of paper. As I pulled it out it had a scrambled link and a key.

As I looked at it closer and inspected it I realized it was a link to a website that was purely coded from scratch. Even if the link was scrambled I managed to figure out some key signs this was a purely coded site that would be too complex for me to explain right now in my predicament.

As the waiter arrived I quickly hid the piece of paper and took the apple juice while saying “Thanks” to the waiter. Knowing I was extremely early to work and I had to find out quickly what this website link was. I quickly sneaked out of the restaurant with my apple juice and the paper, surprisingly without getting caught.

I then ran to my home spilling some apple juice on the way.

I jumped to my computer and turned it on. I quickly opened Chrome and googled “Link Key decryption” I eventually found a website to do it and put in the link and key and then got a link that was decrypted.

What was it encrypted in?

I realized it was Caesar cipher which was when all the characters except numbers and symbols would be moved a character forward so like A to B and for the entire link. I could see since it had the format of a link but the letters were just jumbled.

I looked around to see if anyone was there. I then opened up Tor and put in the link. Little did I know I would not be prepared, for this website will be nothing like the worst of the worst I find during my Deep Web scavenging hobby.


The Website


I saw a black screen, questioning myself I thought, “Is that all?” Suddenly a face appeared before me. It was somebody wearing a mask and the mask resembled the skull of a mangled goat of some sorts.

It looked a little off, the head seemed a little bigger on the forehead and slightly deformed. Without any warning a voice came from the screen. “You have been chosen to be recruited into our sacred council,” the voice said proudly.

I stared at it, completely in shock. I was confused, what was this thing? What did it want? It stared at me once more in an emotionless face.

The face then disappeared. It was complete black, I waited patiently for something else to pop up, but nothing brought itself to the screen. As I looked closer he saw a tiny button. It was the size of a pixel and it was dark red.

As I clicked on it a gallery of images flooded my screen. At first, I was confused on what they were but on closer inspection it looked like multiple photos of the supposed “Cult Members” committing heinous acts such as murder, torture and kidnapping. Some images I would rather not describe to you out of pure disgust.

Next to the gallery was one word that was a link. The word in question said “location” and as I clicked on it was a photo of the cult members gathered on a table probably in a meeting with some text that contained coordinates of the supposed location.


Chapter 3: Blackmail

I had seen enough and was ready to stop this cult from committing any more crimes. As I got from my seat I turned around and saw that my window was open. “Open?” I thought. I realized that I had never left it open and got a chill run down my spine.

I took my phone out and began to dial “911”. As the phone dialled waiting for a pickup the sound suddenly stopped abruptly. I then got a notification on my computer which was an email.

As I sat at my desk and saw the contents of the email I once again got a chill down my spine. The email read:

“You have attempted to betray the council, you will thus will have to go to our meeting at February 20, 2017. Failing to attend the meeting will lead to your private info being leaked to the public. Here is a list of your private info for proof.”

I then began to read the list. My password, location, credit card number and everything about me was in that email. I was scared out of his mind. I tried calling again but my phone would not allow the call.

Eventually I had to come to the realization that I had to go to the meeting. I looked at my computer “February 19, 2017 I read on my computer. I had tomorrow to go to the meeting. I inspected my phone to understand what was going wrong with it.

I then realized that my phone got bricked with a virus. “How did they access my phone?” I thought. “Somebody must have done it while I was searching the website through my window” I concluded.

I needed to get another phone to call, so I opened my door and ran to the nearest public telephone, inserted a quarter and began to dial “911.”

I began to explain about the cult and what they have done. Even giving their address as I had found out.


Aftermath

After that was a blur. I remember that I went home, watched TV and saw news of a cult with multiple ties and some other info I cannot remember. As I went to bed I could not sleep that night and went to the psychiatrist. I had been diagnosed with PTSD and had to go to a hospital to heal.

On the way to the hospital in a van there was a window I could peek out of. While the van was parked, I saw a yellow stain which I remembered was the apple juice I spilled. It made me think of my entire journey through this site and let's just say it did not help with my condition.

But even if I had a mental illness, I still ponder the everlasting question in my head. “Why did they choose me?” If they are a big cult organization then why would they choose a random fellow like me to join them?

But sadly those questions will never get answered until an unforeseen event happens that will show me the truth.

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