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Submitted on
July 28, 2013
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<Transcription of captured image data initiated>

I'm writing this down on paper because I don't trust my computer any more. I know this sounds absolutely paranoid, but it's the truth. I think everything I write on a computer connected to the 'net is read by someone out there, no matter the passwords and protection I put on it.

How do I know? I used to work in research. Top secret, for NutriVet Inc. The stuff we were doing was illegal - I'll just come right out here and say that. Genetically engineered dog feed - a way to grow the stuff we're selling commercially much cheaper. All about the bottom line of course, no big innovations or anything, just quicker, better production pipelines - the end goal was to find a method to grow the actual beef on racks, without it showing up in the Gov't controls. We're pretty sure ChickLite is already doing that, since it's the only way to explain their cheap prices. Anyway, that's what we were up to. As you can imagine, the security was insane.

I'll square with you here. It was illegal - so what? Even if someone had called the Feds on us, so what? When every bit of evidence they'd need in court is proprietary, and there's no fucking way any judge in the country could hope to subpoena that stuff, there really isn't much of a case for them. We might've been sued for it a bunch of time by environmental hippies, but who cares, that stuff never got near my desk.

I know my stuff, I'm not an idiot. This was stuff they were doing in the early 'aughts for fuck's sake! I've got a pile of print journals in my office that I referenced, from 2011, '12. People did more exciting things in genetic engineering in the twenty-thirties than they do today. Someone probably owns all that data, but you can't find it of course since there weren't any print journals back then any more. Or...or....what if you can't find it any more because it's all been deleted? I know that seems impossible, but what if? They say you can't delete anything off the Internet, but...what if you could?

We had a pipeline for all our research. Do the experiments, feed data into the computer. Each team did their own thing, to keep them from piecing too much together. I collated the data and reported to the board on our progress, and the board allocated funds to the different teams accordingly. Bonuses and pay determined by results - normal stuff. We were all holed up in a secure facility that contained everything we'd need - shopping malls, brothels, whatever - with no traffic in or out. Very high tech, very comfortable. Everyone was meticulously security screened before coming in. There was just no way anything was leaking out of that place, unless I did the leaking, and I can assure you I did not.

So what happened to the data? Why did experiments that worked fine with certain parameters suddenly stop working the next day? I couldn't explain it, least of all to the board, who were getting more and more annoyed with me. I took to writing down, by hand, the exact parameters for certain experiments. It took me hours of checking and double-checking. Then I'd wait until something went wrong, and jump on it. But the data was always the same - no changes. It was just that the results were different.

Science isn't exact. We do things all the time that ought to work, but doesn't, and then we can't explain it. The experiments should have worked, but they didn't. The whole project was a colossal failure, the board shut off the funding, a lot of people, including me, were fired, and the whole thing was written off as a waste of money. I tried, several times, to get an investigation going on sabotage, but no matter how much they looked, they couldn't find a damned thing. So it all came down on me.

I'm telling you though, that there's something in the system. It's not just the NSA back doors either, everyone who's anyone in cybersec knows about those. It's something else. Lately, I've been thinking...what if it is the system itself? I know that, on the surface, it's just a bunch of interconnected computers talking to one another over a network, but somehow it feels greater than that. Remember when you could unplug your computer from the cloud and it'd still work? Of course that doesn't work any more - the moment you go offline, most all the services not concerned with troubleshooting network connectivity issues stop functioning. It's all so integrated. But it all has to go somewhere doesn't it? Something has to be monitoring all of this.

I talked to some of my old college buddies, people who went into information tech. Most of them called me paranoid, but one talked about something he called the Code. Information age urban legend, a bogeyman of inexplicable computer language descending from god-knows-where. Seems like as good a starting point as anything. I just know there's more to it than meets the eye.

Damn, it was good to write all of this down. I'll follow my hacker friend's advice and keep low, and avoid writing about this on anything electronic. Hell, just what I wrote here is already enough to get me in a hell of a lot of trouble with the NutriVet's NDA, not to mention the government. Now that I'm unemployed, I can't trust NutriVet's good graces to protect me either.

I'll find out what's going on though, so help me.

<Transcription complete>
<Checking for keywords. Keywords found: NutriVet, NDA, NSA, paranoid, the Code>
<Threat level purple>
<Sharing document with Ignis.Black>
FFM for July 28. Read the rest of the entries here:…

Ummm. So this is really kind of a part really of another novelistic world that me and *The-Inkling wrote last NaNo annnd....myep. Hopefully it works outside of that anyway. Not sure how the system got a hold of the document. Maybe he has sticky-fingered friends, or maybe he left it in front of his webcam for too long... ^_^
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NamelessShe Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Definitely intriguing. I enjoyed it!
Wolfrug Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Glad you did! Thank you!
KiriHearts Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2013

Holy carp but that is creepy.


(BTW Nutravet turned into Nutrivet, not sure which one you were going for.)

Wolfrug Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Oops! Thanks, edited. NutriVet.

Woop for creepiness! Thank you.
Atheshya Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I found myself intrigued the entire time I was reading this - though the ending wasn't quite as insidious as I had predicted/hoped.  I thought some version of high-tech mind control might be at work here.
Wolfrug Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Haha. Maybe it's even MORE insidious than high-tech mind control! WHO KNOWS! (The-Inkling knows)

Thank you!
The-Inkling Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2013   Writer
:dummy: I know, I know!

I enjoyed this, it's nice to see external perspectives on the central story arc. NOWHERE AND NOTHING IS SAFE.
Wolfrug Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I KNOW RIGHT although I'm sure I could've written this better AT LEAST NOW IT'S WRITTEN.

UntamedUnwanted Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
This draws you in from the moment go. I have to admit, his paranoia was catching and I even caught myself looking over my shoulder a couple of times. 
Wolfrug Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Hah! Thank you. It's sad when this kind of paranoia turns out to be true though, and you find out the government/system/whatever really IS spying on you =P
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