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Eta Team - Prologue

Somewhere in Atlantic ocean

Dave checked his watch again. Almost two in the morning. His small transatlantic speedboat was gently stirring calm water of a moonless night for nearly four hours since he corrected the course last time. He was approaching the coordinates and soon this epic journey around the world will come to an end. It took him almost ten days of preparations and travel, but in the end the job was simple. Collect and deliver. Pretty much what he does all the time only this time with a weird exception about the delivery part. But he knew better not to ask questions. After all, this job, like the most of the other assignments came from the dark web and those deliveries nowadays are stranger and stranger by the month. To say the least. He didn't care. His crypto wallet will be significantly ticker by the dawn and his business will finally take the next step. After tonight he will proudly be the owner of two new and fancy transatlantic speed drones. Business will go rocketing.

His navigation app chimed. Dave shook his head from the daydreaming and put the speedboat to a full stop. Both engines' silent roar faded off immediately and the peaceful and waveless night came to the focus. The sky with thousands of stars was starring at him beautifully but he didn't give it a second glimpse. He stepped below to the remote control of the boat's crane and easily lifted half a ton of a strange looking container. It was the last one of exactly dozen of them he dropped in the water. The third and the last one in the middle of Atlantic. The rest he dropped throughout the world oceans. Four in the pacific, two in the Indian ocean and the rest in the middle of Artic.

The container sunk and within seconds disappeared in the darkness of the Atlantic ocean. Dave initiated crane to fold and as soon as the sequence was done, he closed the cargo hatch and returned to the cockpit. The boat roared back to life and he piloted it toward the south. After a minute, he was gone and the eeriness of the calm water returned back to normal.

After several minutes, just seconds before the container reached the seabed, it came to life and started to transform from the regular cubic shape into small submarine with single propeller in the back and several hooks upfront and sidewise. It navigated toward a small artificial protrusion and parked just above it. The hooks started to work and lifted the box reveling a thin cable from the sand. The optical repeaters and signal amplifiers of the transatlantic submarine cables are positioned almost every 30 miles between two continents and hacking into one was not a trivial task. Design of amplifiers was near perfect to defend against cruelty of the submarine environment and human intruders, but in the world of computer hardware there were no impossible tasks when it comes to hacking.

This node was just one of hundreds of them, containing enough power to provide almost undetected life of attached piggyback system. Even if intrusion was detected, the equipment contained a self-destructing mechanism programmed to trigger in hazardous situations in both circumstances if invaders came from within internet or physically by submarine.

After another two hours of work, the net hack was done and the hook released the amplifier back to the seabed. The protrusion has returned to its original appearance with new attached hardware barely visible at the bottom side of the box. The hacker submarine, now connected with the box moved several meters from the cable, dug itself into sand and returned to it's initial cubic form. Within next couple of weeks, the water and nautical environment would do their thing and in the end there would be no visible evidence that anything happened here.

Inside the hacking rack, on the other hand, the digital life rose and the booting routine started to work, copying exabytes of data from the other racks Dave deployed around the submarine world. Upon finishing, hours later, thousands of CPUs in the rack started to work in parallel and the unique operating system came to life. There was no external monitor or LED display to show the progress, but if it existed, it would show only one line.

η installation progress: 100%

Next Chapter » Will Crfawford

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