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In the late 1800s a network was established to speed the sending of data. Whether it was statistical data, or letters. This network was ratified by a group of frustrated ex-telegraph operators which were hoping to speed data transfer and go above the caps of the traditional telegraphy system.
To enter data into this network, one would use a sheet of copper which had indentions which could be popped into a positive or negative position. There were 27 of these indention/bubbles. They had double-meanings. 1-26 meant A-Z. 1-10 could also mean 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 or 9. 27 was the space.
Each one of these values had 2 wires. This totaled to 54 wires in each cable bunch.
On July 23, 1879 the first message was sent over the system. Joseph R. Stern pulled the first copper information sheet through the transmitter. 100 miles north, the message arrived at Karl M. Perry's office in Sanston, New Mexico.
"When shall they see?"
A few wealthy landowners, politicians and stockholders sent numerical data and letters over the system. The service never took off.
In 1881, Joseph Stern, the co-founder of the service died from Diptheria. Karl Perry began to invest in the new and coming "telephone" technology. The system was abandoned.
For years upon years these lines sat vacant.
Then, in comes me! Hi! I'm John Albans!
I'd like to consider myself a technologically apt person. Be it as it may, I didn't get into it as early as others, I'll still consider myself sawvy with the stuff.
A friend of mine once told me that in his early days of computers and communications, he played with the telephone side of computer-to-computer talk. He told me about this network, and how it became the playground for people you probably don't want to meet.
He once said:
"The Lettcom (that old company from the 1800s) company's legacy representative stopped checking the for voltages in the 50s......these lines were free game."
Apparently some time in 1984 someone put a voltage on the wire pair that once represented the "space" key on the old system. Later, in '85 the system was used to facilitate early hacker's communication and the sharing of stolen banking information.
Gradually the system got darker, and darker. In the 90s the system turned to file-transfer protocol for some reportedly shady content such as low-resolution pictures of dead and presumably brutalized animals.
I decided to check this out one Saturday in '02. The wife was out with friends and I was left home, bored. I drove through the desert looking listlessly until I reached one of the rumored poles that apparently was the part of the 100 mile long backbone of this system.
I placed my IBM ThinkPad along with my wiring apparatus on a small wooden stool I brought with me in my vehicle.
I climbed the surprisingly sturdy pole and carefully and methodically cut the insulation from the cable. Red and black. I wired these to my apparatus making sure I wasn't interfering with or cutting off the communications that could be occurring on this line.
There was a voltage, the line was powered. But, alas! Silence.
Then, completely unexpectedly, a tone indicating a video file.
Slowly this file downloaded. It felt like an hour. Maybe it was? I'm using primal technology.
I started playing the video. Erratic tones played in the background of the video, they weren't forming any "music" to my ears, just non-tonally similar beeps and blurs. There's this head. It's a man's head. Some people are playing with it with their hands....
At this point I'm completely weirded out. I feel like I'm spying on some sort of fetish or something...
Then they have some rod or something. Ah! I know. I used these things in science in high school. Stirring rods.
They're peacefully tapping it on his head. Looks almost like they're taunting. I'm especially weirded now, as if the rod has some sort of significance.
Out of nowhere, they insert this rod under his eyeball. He writhes.
I'm almost at the vomiting point, yet morbidly afraid of what I'm seeing.
The man\woman on the video starts violently jerking the rod around, pushing it in and out...in and out.
The man's head lay...eyes open. No sign of life.
I pulled the cord off the pole. I packed my stuff, I jumped in the car.
I sat in the car. The GPS read it's directions. I followed them promptly. Not one mistake.
Without thinking one thing once home. I slid into my bed as a robot would.
I looked at the ceiling, thinking about that horrid sight. Then attempting to rid my mind of it...
I had almost managed sleep. As I started to push the barrier of sleep and consciousness, I something enter my field of vision. Oh, I'm just falling asleep.
Then, this thin, slender, pencil-like object enters my field of vision again, not leaving.
It's the hand, and its weapon.