Part I – Chapter Seven: BlackNet

Chapter Seven

Working title – BlackNet


NOVEMBER 8, 3211



12:53 PM


BlackNet: Breaking News.  Terrorism in Agri Sector!
The toppled buildings filled the crater like a soup bowl.  Embers of flaming grain rained down from the sky like molten snow.

“In the dark of the City-State Agricultural Sector,” came a female voice narrator. “This evening, five dark bodies were spotted silently moving across the ground in the Agricultural Sector of Layer Seven.  Security footage shows them moving like shadows, jumping fences, dodging security personnel, scaling walls, and slinking across rooftops.”

The video cut to a pre-recorded sequence.  A camera drone’s footage displayed shadowy figures skirting the silos as they moved with expert precision. Using exact, well-coordinated maneuvers, five wraith-like men all but floated towards their destination. “The footage could not identify the men who were wearing black, urban-warfare fatigues and small, light-weight backpacks.” Relayed the stern female voice. “Their destination: grain depositories held in trust by the City-State Government,” continued the female voice.

The figures stopped suddenly in a narrow alley between two agricultural storage sheds.  The lead body gave several hand signals to the others.  The camera panned over to an open area a few yards away.

“What are we watching?” asked Jeremy in confusion.  “What is this?”

“Quiet,” said Alaya.  “Just watch.”

On her MediPalm screen, six armed security guards from the grain Agri-Unit entered an open space between two large silos.  They stopped briefly to check their equipment.  Slowly and dutifully, the guards resumed their course across the open section between two grain depositories; the guards were unaware of the strange men lurking in the shadows.

The five man team continued with their mission.  One of them scaled a nearby building. Jeremy assumed that this man was the leader; he was perched on the roof of a warehouse and looked down at the men on the ground.  The leader gave another hand signal.  His troops continued to move swiftly on the iron-plated deck.  The metal soon turned to concrete under their feet as they reached their destination.  After weaving in and out of stairwells, pipes, and cables, they arrived at their destination: Agri-Container 46551.b7 – a grain depository.

Jeremy was confused.  He looked around the lobby, half expecting Dr. Smith to catch them.  “Alaya, we need to get back to work.  What are you watching?  Who is filming this?” he asked again.

“BlackNet,” Alaya whispered.  “Quiet down.  Move over here.”  Jeremy scooted his chair over next to Alaya.  The main lobby of the National Hospital continued on its normal business.  Jeremy looked back at Alaya’s MediPalm .  He continued to watch with graphic content.


The explosives were placed on points several feet above the ground and in some kind of special configuration.

The female voice was heard once again, “This terrible explosion is not the work of the Illegals, but the work of the well-trained men and women who undoubtedly worked for the National Police. ”

“They knew how to cause one silo to collapse onto another,” Jeremy realized.  “It must have been a massive domino-effect taking out two or three more silos at a time.  It must have been a spectacular sight!”

After the explosives were in place, the entire group evacuated to a nearby building several blocks away – Agri-Unit Headquarters 46550.

The camera panned away from the perpetrators. After momentarily refocusing, the camera zoomed out just in time to watch the silos erupt in a brilliant red blaze of fire.

The explosives went off, each one detonating at the right time and forcing multiple silos to crash into the one next to it. As the last silo came crashing down, a fireball as white as the sun reached up into the night sky, casting temporary daylight across the Agri Sector.

The camera drone panned around, locating the terrorists. The group’s  leader, stood with his hands outstretched on a nearby rooftop.  Behind him, the enormous fireballs consumed silo after silo; he was an angel of death.  The inferno grew larger and louder as more and more buildings were engulfed in the hellish rage.

The video cut away to the silhouette of a woman sitting at a makeshift news desk.  “This is S.G. Aureus, reporting for BlackNet.  So far, no government news agency has broken the story of last night’s attack.  They have not even admitted there was an explosion.  But to anyone near the explosion, it is impossible to deny that one took place.

“No one knows who shot the video, but we assume it was taken on an aero-drone – sometimes called a camera drone – most likely by the terrorists themselves,” continued Aureus.  “We have no report of casualties, and this may be why  and the government have not reported the incident.  They are either waiting to know more, or they will attempt to cover it up as some kind of accident.  We at BlackNet know the truth.  This was a terrorist attack. We will update you in the future if anyone claims responsibility. Unfortunately, a thorough government investigation is not in the cards.”

Alaya’s MediPalm screen went black.  Jeremy stared in disbelief.  “What was that?  Were they Illegals? Illegals aren’t real. Rights?” he asked in shock.

“An attack,” responded Alaya.  “I can’t believe this would be carried out by Illegals.”

“But I didn’t see anything on V-Reel,” whispered Jeremy.  “Is that attack real?  What about victims?  Where will they take them? I think there’s a clinic in that sector but not one substantial enough…”

Alaya whispered harshly, “What do you think will happen to them?  Anyone caught in that kind of explosion will get Somnium.”

Jeremy paused at the word, “Somnium”. He shook his head.  “No, that’s for old people, not for accidents.”

“I’ve been out of school longer than you, Jeremy,” Alaya said with a hint of sadness.  “It happens, Jeremy.  It happens quite a bit.” Slowly put the MediPalm back in her pocket, shaking her head. “We should go back to the Lab.”

The two walked back to the lab solomly. Neither of them talking until Jeremy broke the silence.

“BlackNet?  Really?” Jeremy blurted out, changing the subject.  “BlackNet is an illegal app, Alaya,” Jeremy scolded.  “You can get into trouble with that kind of stuff.”

“Oh please,” she dismissed.  “Lots of people have the BlackNet app. BlackNet is the only way to get the real news in City-State.”

“Oh please,” Jeremy scoffed. “Name five people who have the app.” asked Jeremy.

“No one. Never mind.  Really, it’s not a big deal,” said Alaya.

“Yeah, well,” Jeremy shrugged.  “If you ever meet my sister, don’t tell her about it.”

“You were saying something about your sister, before,” said Ayala.  “I’m sorry, what was it you were saying?”

Jeremy’s coat pocket buzzed.  He pulled out his own MediPalm and checked the time.  “Speak of the devil,” he said.  “I think I’m late for lunch. I won’t be going back to the lab just yet.  I’ll have to tell you some other time. ”