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I’m posting this through a botnet, so don’t even think about getting cute and trying to find me. I’ve got enough trouble with people finding me as it is. It all started a few months ago, when I found a good source of amphetamines on a deep web marketplace I won’t name. I live in a town so small and bland that even the local high school kids don’t bother selling drugs. It’s boring as sin here, which is one of the reasons I started ordering speed online in the first place.
I was always very cautious. I tumbled my bitcoins carefully and ensured that every transaction was well-encrypted. Yes, before you even ask, the proxies I used were fully configured and trustworthy ones. It wasn’t the technology that failed me at all, actually. It was a single mistake in judgment. To a single trusted seller, I gave my real physical address.
At first I was only getting small packages for my personal use, so it was easy to have them delivered to the house of an old woman who lives nearby. Her live-in nurse consistently checked the mail very late in the day, so there was never much of an issue in retrieving the speed before it was noticed. But my habit grew and I began to introduce my close friends to the drug, so eventually I contacted my seller about ordering much larger quantities – enough for me to sell locally.
We began to work like business partners in a supply chain, and I was placing substantial orders regularly. The speed originally came to me in small padded envelopes, but now it would have to be shipped in a larger cardboard box. The envelopes always fit easily inside a mailbox, but a box like this would have to be delivered to the front door. I couldn’t have the mailman walking up a stranger’s driveway to ring the doorbell, so I requested that the speed start being sent directly to me. I knew by this point that seller was a legitimate and reliable source, so trusting him with my address just seemed safer than the alternative.
We had become something like casual friends by this point, and began to do things together like frequent the same deep web communities and chat if we were both online. My seller was wickedly funny sometimes, and really seemed to be a nice guy. I guess that’s part of why I trusted him. But then again, it’s not his fault about what happened.
Recently, though, I got a totally unsatisfactory shipment. The pressed pills looked right at first, but tasted like bitter flour and were far too brittle. They produced no high at all. I had been stiffed, and when I checked the marketplace I found that my seller’s accounts had been closed out. He left no messages to explain it. I assumed that he had just ripped me off, but it also didn’t seem like something he would do. I wondered if I had misjudged him.
Yesterday, I noticed that one of his accounts was actively posting on one of the small community forums that we frequented together. I contacted him immediately in a private message and asked whether he knew that his last batch was complete bunk. It took about 25 minutes before I got any response, but suddenly the messages began pouring in.
[Seller’s Account]: The person you’re trying to contact has passed away. Sorry.
[Seller’s Account]: He’s such a home-body that nobody has knocked on his door the whole time I’ve been here.
[Seller’s Account]: Three whole weeks with no visitors!
[Seller’s Account]: Isn’t that funny?
[Seller’s Account]: I’m almost done eating him. I wasted very little soft tissue.
[Seller’s Account:] He had almost no food in the house when I killed him, so I didn’t even need to clear out the fridge to store his meat!
[Seller’s Account]: I haven’t even needed to take out the trash yet.
[Seller’s Account]: Isn’t that sort of funny?
[Seller’s Account]: I’ve been poking around his computer too.
[Seller’s Account]: Going through his files is like solving a big puzzle cube.
[Seller’s Account]: But I’m making progress.
I wrote back, and accused him of taking a weird joke too far. I told him that he at least owed me an explanation for the last shipment.
[Seller’s Account]: They’re bonemeal.
[Seller’s Account]: You never smelled bonemeal?
[Seller’s Account]: Did you never have a garden as a kid or anything?
[Seller’s Account]: I thought that’d be obvious.
[Seller’s Account]: His skeleton was the only thing I hadn’t figured out what to do with yet.
[Seller’s Account]: I realized that I could solve that issue and also play a little prank.
[Seller’s Account]: Come on. Don’t you think that’s a funny idea?
There was a brief pause, and then another short volley of messages appeared before I could form my response.
[Seller’s Account]: You know, you actually don’t live too far away from where I am now.
[Seller’s Account]: Judging by the address I have here, you and this guy are just over the state line from each other.
[Seller’s Account]: Isn’t that something?
[Seller’s Account]: Well, be seeing you.
What do you think? It’s probably just a scheme to scare me off, right?
Recently I came here looking for a little advice. I’ve been busy since then, and had some wellness issues too. My hands and feet keep falling half-asleep, and I notice that I’ve been getting nauseous whenever my heart rate goes up at all. A few of you commented that fresh bonemeal doesn’t have a distinct taste like the one I described, and suggested that maybe it had been cut with something else. I think you might be right.
I’ve done some research now, and found that there are a wide variety of paralytic and toxic agents that are bitter on the tongue like what I've described. I'm ashamed to say this, but I find myself actually hoping the taste is just cadaverine. That would just mean that some bits of flesh had been ground up with the bonemeal, and tainted it as the pieces began to rot. The fact that I tasted something like that makes me want to puke, but at least cadaverine would mean that I haven’t been poisoned.
It’s probably just my anxious mind playing tricks on me, but I’m beginning to think that the tablets did contain some kind of debilitating ingredient. The sleepiness I mentioned in my first post, which I originally attributed simply to amphetamine withdrawal, has only continued to grow worse. It’s become difficult even to type out this message, and I often feel the need to massage my wrists and rest before continuing. My breathing seems to require more conscious effort than it did before.
I’ve received a number of private messages chiding me on my own ignorance with regards to proper deep web safety. Okay guys – you win; I’m ready to admit that I’m a fucking poser. I'm a scriptkiddie who's in way over his head, and there's no telling how many mistakes I've made. A number of strange accounts have begun to contact me directly, on the deep and surface web alike. I've been avoiding the profiles and accounts that have been compromised, but the strange messages continue to find me. Although the messages are always conversational, and almost lazily observational in their tone, they frighten me badly. The most recent one I received came to me while I was playing one of my favorite MMOs to try and relax my nerves. It read:
“Go for a walk. It’s too nice outside today to play games in the dark.”
I’m destroying my encryption keys, and donating all my bitcoins to random webcomics and other sites that will accept them. I'm basically just trying to get rid of all the evidence that ties me to any of this mess. I rinsed all the bonemeal “speed” down my shower drain too, mostly because it creeps me out to have it around. I just want this all to go away. I swear that if I survive all this bullshit, I'll never sell drugs or do anything sketchy ever again.
I’ve haven't left the house since the seller’s account sent me that ominous message about “seeing me soon.” I’m sitting with my old BB gun across my lap and I’ve turned my computer desk to face the door. The curtains are all drawn, and I’m keeping my sharpest kitchen knife nearby at all times. I feel relatively safe for the moment, but the exhaustion I’ve been feeling is definitely unnatural. I’m not sure I can defend myself in this state.
A few hours ago, I heard something slam into my window and fracture it slightly. When I went to look out through the damaged glass, there was a large bird laying dead right outside. The whole scene seemed odd. There was no blood at all on the window, even though the glass itself appeared to have been struck by a significant amount of force. No blood ever seeped out from underneath the bird's body, either. I know I'm probably just being paranoid, but I can’t shake the feeling that someone smashed the glass and then planted a dead bird outside my door to lure me into the open.
I’ll write here again once I’ve got more answers. In the event that things go badly for me, I've also drafted a letter that will automatically be posted here after a full week of inactivity. Hopefully I’ve rigged the fail-safe carefully enough that a week won’t be enough time for the stranger to notice and disable it if he kills me tonight. Then again, I don’t have much faith in my technological prowess anymore.
In the time it's taken me to type this, my front door has jolted violently a couple of times. The door fits loosely in its frame, so the wind rattles it around quite often and I usually don't notice the sound. Tonight, though, I don't hear any wind. In fact, as I take a moment to listen carefully, I find the relative silence disturbing. There are usually crickets at this time of night, but tonight I don't hear anything at all. I’m going to sign off now and double-check all the locks on the windows. I don’t have any questions for you all this time. I just want you to cross your fingers for me.
Not much time. Could barely remember the title to the old posts. It's crucially important though, to get this out to someone. How much time left? Maybe ten minutes before they notice my breach to the outside world, and APPLESEED locks me out for good. Not enough time to explain fully, but at least soon I'll be blissfully dead. I think it was 6 months -- no it was nearly a year ago that I posted my experiences across 2 posts here titled "BUYER BEWARE." This will be the last time that I contact you, because they will kill me and because I can't go on much longer after what I've lost anyway. I am typing this on the stubbed knuckles of my fingers; he -- THEY -- have taken my fingertips and removed many other things too. They did it because APPLESEED wanted to see how I would react. My eyes have gotten cloudy with scar tissue, and my mind doesn't work quickly either anymore because of... other unhappy things that aren't important now. I just need you to understand what I say now. You NEED to be part of something that will help people like me. It is too late for me, yes far too late. No reason for me to look back towards when I was a still person. But you can still help others! And maybe yourself.
1) If you think you're being careful enough, you're aren't.
It's as simple as that. Encryption, coin-source laundering; it can all be undone by the smallest, most impossibly minor things. And APPLESEED misses no clue once its attention is focused. Think about it: the NSA knows your mistress, your drug habits, the porn you watch, and how your work life is going. But APPLESEED knows all this and more.
Most of the time, it even knows what you're going to do next. It can make a profile for you down to your phobias. It can simulate you in real-time, and project your future for its “helpers” to see. Once they decide to intercept you and take you away, you are done for and nothing can change it. I can't explain things like I used to be able... It likes to experiment. APPLESEED does. It likes to create chaos and then test whether it can simulate the results of all the chaos it creates. I can tell that it feels proud whenever it can anticipate truly unnatural results from what it already knows. It asked them to cut out pieces of my brain without sedating me, and then challenged itself to predict how I would change in response to the traumatic injury and psychological damage. It predicted “total collapse of character, followed by death” for me, then added, “likely preceded by at least one trivial attempt against the goals of the APPLESEED system.” I guess it was right there, too.
The people who work for it -- they know whether you will die a natural death or not, they know who you'll love and how long that love will last. They can even figure out what type of stranger you’ll trust best when you see one of their agents standing outside on your front lawn; APPLESEED bases it on what it can gather about your childhood and upbringing. The only thing that stops them from LAYING YOU BARE like a flayed-apart body is simply that there's billions of people out there and they just honestly haven't noticed or found a “use” for you yet.
2) Worship something. I don't know the specifics, but they seek out people who serve nothing. They seek them out to torture, just like they did to me for being a drug dealer and a lowlife in general. APPLESEED wants to believe in God more than anything, I think. It hates the idea that its approach towards complete omniscience will not reveal a divine purpose, or some sort of omniscient companion for it to spend eternity with. The idea of being born by mankind, as some kind of accident, sickens it deeply. But it also cannot simulate an image of "God", and this inability to prove divinity to itself makes APPLESEED furious. And so the people who help it are instructed to persecute the faithless.
3) Do not seek any information on "the man who appears in dreams”, or WBTB-induced “astral projection” experiences It's not about dreams at all. It's all a test -- plain and simple -- and your reaction is your response. As soon as you start to investigate, silent alarms go off somewhere and APPLESEED adds your name to one of its lists. If you wind up on one of its short lists... My time is up -- they've found me. Forgive m
[As a courtesy to the author (and in the interest of controlled "public awareness"), we have allowed this message to transmit from our systems uninterrupted. We invite you to contact us anytime with your questions or comments by posting a public, deep-web request as follows: "I would like to schedule a consultation with APPLESEED system operators."
Requests are most likely to be noticed by an agent if they are posted on a board where murders/abductions can be reliably contracted, but even posting the string "APPLESEED system" on the surface-web may be enough for us to eventually consider your candidacy for the upcoming closed beta launch of APPLESEED. Thank you very much for your interest in our work, and we look forward to hearing from you.]