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A Fictional Character Named Bob

Have patience, for death comes for everyone. - Bob

Bob sat alone in his 12 X 12 X 12 efficient living space. No one would ever call it an apartment or even a tiny home. The only walls were the four whitewashed cinder block walls that contained the open space. A kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and computer station filled the space. The bed was attached to the wall and folded down for use. The kitchen had a sink, microwave, toaster oven, and a mini-refrigerator. A wire rack was next to the refrigerator and had enough cookware/dry food/utensils to serve Bob's requirements, nothing extra. The bathroom was in the far corner with a pull-around curtain covering the shower and toilet, so all the water went down a drain in the recessed floor. The opposite corner held an extensive state-of-the-art computer station with an oversized computer chair. Multiple computer monitors covered the cinder block walls. There were no windows and only one heavy steel door in and out of the room. Bob was a loner and alone. That's all he ever known because he was orphaned at four.

Bob's fingers flew across the keyboard while at the same time yelling commands into the microphone headset. He scoffed at the dolts that thought the lowest level of the internet was the DarkWeb. The DarkWeb is a part of the internet that is intentionally hidden and not indexed by standard search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. It exists on encrypted networks, making it difficult for users to access without specific tools or knowledge. The DarkWeb is characterized by anonymity and privacy, making it a hub for various legal and illegal activities. Bob knew that the DarkWeb was only the entry point to where the actual web lived. He was now on the lower levels of the internet, where all government agencies stored data on their citizens, political leaders, and power brokers. He also knew one misstep, and he was dead. It was time for him to pick the next president, and Bob knew he was the only one to ensure it happened without anyone knowing what happened. All those cocky operators at the highest level of government, with millions of dollars of equipment, and he had beaten them at their own game with only a few thousand dollars of self-modified computer equipment.

On 5 November 2024, Bob gazed at his multiple computer screens as election day unfolded. He had to do nothing at the start of the day as the two political parties brought the nation into total chaos, only seen in horror movies. As planned, the many immigrants were now running out of promised benefits, and the large cities were under siege. Most voters were terrified to leave their homes, so they voted early with mail-in ballots or the new electronic online system. The major networks were encouraging everyone to get out and vote, and implied in their request was for their candidate. It looked like the most loved and hated rebel candidate was in the lead, and riots started to break out nationwide. Then, as it was time for the first voting polls to close, Bob looked up at his computer monitors, smiled, and hit the execute command. The nation went dark as the power clicked off, then back on. A short time later, the voting machines were back online. At first, no one noticed how the votes had changed because it was so subtle. A negligible majority of the votes now picked a new, unknown leader. Bob knew there was a big difference between polls and actual votes, and he controlled both. Anyone who protested the results would receive an anonymous text from a site on the Darkweb. They would remain silent.

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