A Dark Web: Part Four.

Freethought Blogs - A DARK WEB - Halloween Fundraiser

This is Part 4 of a story chain that some FtB comrades are writing by turns.

If you have not read the first three parts of our story:

Part 1 is at The Bolingbrook Babbler.
Part 2 is at Freethinking Ahead.
Part 3 is at Impossible Me.

This collaborative story is a project for our Freethought Blogs Halloween Fundraiser. If you enjoy and appreciate the work we do here, please consider making a donation to our legal fund. Every single dollar helps, and is greatly appreciated.

 

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A Dark Web
Part 4

From the second Kyle broke through the door of Lucy’s, Connie would be operating on autopilot. Adrenaline, training and experience in dozens of these missions would coalesce in blood and brain to transform her into a singularly focused machine. And Connie’s unique “gifts” would provide a covert advantage no ordinary human could match.

But in that instant before the switch flipped, the events that led her to this precise point in space and time flashed before her in an instant. Images, sharp and vibrant, paraded by, bringing back with them the heavy emotional weight of her journey like an unexpected gut-punch. Connie Herbert remained one of few people alive who had a front row seat for all of it: a witness to the whole world transforming, fundamentally and forever, over the course of a single day twenty years ago.

One could only marvel that over two decades–two decades!–very few people knew anything of it at all. Fewer still knew the full story in all of its grotesque spendor. A 20-year, globe-spanning, total information blackout stood as a towering testament to the Company’s power and reach. An ongoing joke among insiders turned on the unfortunate fact that the most successful Op in company history could never be leaked to Sales & Marketing.

But there had been leaks, of course. A leak sparked the whole mess in the first place. The critical breach occurred one morning when nearly every subject in the study – H. sapiens, Latrodectus or “other” –  manifested a stunning variety of transmutations, all at once. The researchers were quickly overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the task of quantifying every one of these strange new phenomena. They called for emergency reinforcements right away.

Connie had awakened that morning feeling oddly out-of-sorts. Once she took in the view of the lab, she puzzled at the sight of Dr. Myers and a half dozen lab techs systematically peering into the dozens of small glass enclosures arrayed against the far wall. Another tech disabled the locks on the lab door and propped it open so the extra staffers could come right on in and get to work immediately–well, immediately after they picked their jaws up off the floor, and remembered how to breathe.

Billy was ranting and pacing in his pod, agitated as ever. Not for the first time, Connie was grateful the glass walls between them provided excellent soundproofing.

Just then, three men in well-tailored suits strode through the open door and made a beeline for Dr. Myers.

“Poor guy,” Connie smirked wryly to herself. “He hates dealing with the suits.” And if the suits were here, it could only mean one of two things: either phase III had just been deemed a smashing success, or something had gone very, very wrong. At the moment she couldn’t tell which. It looked like nobody else was sure, either.

Staffers in crisp white lab coats came streaming in continuously, some of whom she hadn’t seen since phase I or II. Those studies had gone exceedingly well. Phase I investigated human reactions to various Latrodectus venom extracts, as well as Latrodectus reactions to various H. sapiens blood extracts. Phase I yielded very little new information, but it did provide a vast trove of baseline data.

Phase II was similar, except the extracts derived from both species underwent molecular modifications before infusion. Results revealed, among other things, potential applications for modified venom extracts, including non-lethal bioweapons, a broad range of medicinal properties and “neurocognitive effects.” Or, as some of the H. sapiens subjects put it, “Wow, I am really high!” At the time Connie wondered whether the Latrodectus subjects experienced similar effects, and how anyone would know if they did.

In the present day, standing at the back door of Lucy’s Bar and Grill, Connie would wonder whether the “Venom” presently drawing in the Halloween party goers traced directly back to that fateful morning in phase III, or if it was indeed just a marketing gimmick. The cartels and dealers were always branding retail heroin packets with names of exactly this sort.

Phase III had been a much more ambitious undertaking. For one thing, all subjects had undergone cross-species genetic modifications prior to the infusions. Early results in Latrodectus took an interesting turn when the females bore spiderlings that inherited their respective new gene sequences intact. Most of these clusters died off before or shortly after hatching; only two continued to thrive. As these clusters began hatching and maturing, it became apparent that the novel genes had expressed in mutations so profound, these creatures could hardly be classed in the Latrodectus genus at all. They were something entirely new. So was the venom.

Human life cycle constraints naturally prohibited any investigation into Latrodectus gene expression in the offspring of H. sapiens, to say nothing of the Geneva Conventions. The Company was already treading dangerously close to those limits, perhaps even exceeding them.

And those Latrodectus genes roiling around inside ten human subjects were not exactly lying dormant.

Connie was struck with the sense that something was off about Billy today (more so than usual, that is). She turned back for another look. Billy took heaving breaths, wildly contorting his upper body as if he were trying to glimpse the back of his own neck. Strange. But what was all that…that…stuff? Thick, glossy strands and strings clung to his arms and torso, wobbling like jello with every twitch.

No one seemed the least bit concerned about Billy: all attention was focused on the dozens of small glass enclosures lining the back wall. Some of them were moving, in short pulses. A metal cover from one of the higher enclosures came spinning down.

Dr. Myers and the techs descended from their ladders and took slow steps backward.

The enclosures were jumping and jerking more violently now. Metal lids came down. Whole enclosures crashed to the floor, and shattered. The Latrodectus were out.

Billy and a few other subjects were pounding on the glass walls, some throwing furniture and other heavy items. It was all for naught. All eyes were transfixed by the chaos exploding outward from the far wall. In less than a minute hundreds of spiders were trailing sticky silk to every nook and corner in the lab.

Billy swung at the glass with a piece of dismantled bed frame. The wall first cracked, then shattered under the blows. He was now swinging at the other pods, freeing the frenzied subjects inside.

“Get back!” he yelled at Connie. She could barely hear him, until Billy smashed down the wall between them.

The suits were the first to make a run for it. The swarm of techs followed behind them, moving like a single organism and sweeping Dr. Myers right out with them.

Someone had set off the fire alarm: sprinklers showered the room, a siren a strobe light flashed, sirens shrieked, silk webbing criss-crossed the ceiling. The effect was surreal.

Connie knew there were risks when she volunteered to be a subject. But she never imagined anything like this. No one did. The consequences were as yet unforeseen, but they would come, hard and fast, in the form of shockwaves around the globe. Connie or any of a hundred tactical officers like her would be there when they did, mitigating all of the damage, destroying all evidence and ensuring that any narrative taking hold would never lead back to the Company.

Kyle would be first through the door tonight. The others would follow in a practiced and precise routine. Just then, in that breathless last second, Connie wondered what the world might look like if only the last tech to make it out that day had stopped to shut, lock and bolt the lab door behind him.

“On my mark,” she said coolly. “Three. Two. One. Go.”

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Part 5 will be at Oceanoxia tomorrow, and I will update this link.

Again, if you enjoy the work (and the community!) here at FtB, please consider contributing what you can to our legal fund. And by all means, check out more Halloween treats we have lined up for you.

It’s a weird year, to put it mildly. Many Halloween traditions you might have enjoyed in the past may not be possible this year, at least not if you prefer to avoid catching and spreading a deadly virus and you have the terrible misfortune of living among conservatives in the US. So please, if you are celebrating this weekend, have your fun safely. And if you’re looking for something to do, hang out with us here on Halloween!

Freethought Blogs HALLOWEEN FUNDRAISER

YOU’RE WELCOME, PEOPLE.

As infinitesimal fractions of millions of fans of my debut short film Boss Bitch Fight Challenge II – The Reckoning will recall, your favorite squirrel hater explicitly promised she would neutralize certain bitchez, by way of poison.

Iris holding a tray of four drinks and a bottle marked with a skull & crossbones, pictured outside the White House with Trump, Pence, Ivanka and Jared Kushner. Bold block lettering says "Iris Vander Pluym Will Poison These Bitchez."Still photo from
Boss Bitch Fight Challenge II – The Reckoning
(courtesy of Death to Squirrels™ Productions)

Poisoning of course is a very ancient dark art, its practice dating at least as far back as 4,500 BCE. The variety of suitable substances and delivery methods has continued to expand and evolve to this very day.

One day I got to thinking, and a plan quickly crystallized in my mind. While shooting the film, I found myself incognito at a party on the White House lawn, costumed to blend in perfectly with the catering staff.

I saw my chance. And I took it.

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Nobody loves me, I’m gonna eat some worms. 👿

I am auctioning off an interview at Death to Squirrels. Bidding starts at ONE DOLLAR, closes in less than three hours (6pm EDT), and nobody wants to talk to me! *sniff* Waaaaah!

You can bid either in the auction thread comments or via email if you prefer: send your bid to irisvpluym [at] gmail [dot] com, with “Iris Interview” in the subject line, and I will post a corresponding comment on the thread that reads “Anonymous bid for $____” along with the timestamp on your email. You know: in case there’s a last minute bidding war! 😂

C’mon, I promise you have nothing to fear from talking to me. Unless you’re a squirrel.

 

What are you doing?! UPDATED.

What are you doing this weekend? THAT WAS RHETORICAL OF COURSE because I already know you’ll be hanging out at FtB’s Carnival of Curiosity, already underway! So many fun, funny and fabulous events are planned for you by my beloved FtB comrades, and they’re all FREE! Though we will gratefully accept any tokens of your appreciation (in the form of US dollars plz). Because it turns out that free speech isn’t free, even when you win the lawsuit.

I know you will be so delighted, amused and wildly entertained you will magnanimously contribute a few bucks to our legal fund (here).

WTF are you even doing here?! Grab some virtual refreshments and GTFOver there already! photo composite of traditional movie candy, popcorn, wine, beer and cocktails.

Catering courtesy of our sponsors:
Vander Pluym Vineyards
Bitch Brewery
&
DeathToSquirrels Desserts

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UPDATE: Okay fine. If you’re just here for the free booze and snacks killing time before another Carnival of Curiosity event, please go grab some popcorn and enjoy my (first, last, only and very very short) debut film: Boss Bitch Fight Challenge II – The Reckoning.

BREAKING: Steve Bannon in Federal Custody! HAPPY DANCE EVERYONE!

Our good friends at The New York Daily News have just made my day:

BREAKING:

Steve Bannon, former Trump advisor, in federal custody on charges of defrauding donors in fundraising scheme: US Attorney SDNY

Stephen Bannon and three others “orchestrated a scheme” that raised more than $25 million to build a wall along the southern border according to charges contained in an indictment unsealed in Manhattan federal court.

Read the Latest

My “religion” requires me to find joy in every day. It turns out I never need to look very far for it, but some days it gets handed to me on a silver platter.

Of course Mr. “Breitbart” has more claims to infamy than “former Trump advisor. But right now, who even cares? Let’s dance!

   

Have a joyous day.

Best Crip Dyke Update ever: BLM WINS.

Here’s what I woke up to today:

BLM Won – Just wait til they win some MORE!

Go read the whole thing – it’s truly fantastic, and well worth celebrating!

Now because I am a cynical bitch realist, I cannot help but reflect on the sheer enormity of human effort and sacrifice it took for Black Lives to Matter in one small U.S. city – and on how much more effort and sacrifice will be required to maintain this progress once the news crews are gone.

But pay no mind to Negative Nellie over here! This is a good and necessary victory, and it deserves aaaaallll the kudos!

Here are a few more previous posts to bring our collection up to date:

Being Uncomfortable (referenced and linked in my earlier post about that lying piece of shit AG Barr)

Brain ipsa loquitur (LOL)

Past the expiration date (saving the fresher batches of tear gas for Chicago and New York?)

Still a step away from Pinkerton’s, but it’s bad. (referencing Marcus Ranum’s excellent How to Riot post at stderr.)

Interview with a YOUNG HOT GAY (❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❗️)

There will be more Crip Dyke posts forthcoming. Although I hoped there would be a much-needed break for rest, rejuvenation, self-care and especially time to process recent intense and traumatic events, Crip Dyke is returning to the protests tonight. Because of course she is. 💜

Fun petition: Disbar Jeff Sessions!

[CONTENT NOTE: white supremacy.]

No, of course it won’t accomplish much of anything. Does anyone really believe the good ol’ boys of the Alabama Bar see any problems whatsoever with a white supremacist lying liar who lies as attorney general? Hahaha no I think not. But if this petition gathers just enough signatures to make a little noise, it will piss off the rabid racist asshole currently in charge of the U.S. Department of Injustice! FUN!

 

 

Conservatives, and particularly conservative men, are notoriously thin-skinned. If the numbers are big enough, maybe it’ll even yield some hot conservative tears – and, well. You all know how much I looooove those! Let’s doooo eeeet!

[via Color of Change]

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is Too Racist to Be a Lawyer #DisbarSessions

Jeff Sessions is a liar, a racist, and a white supremacist. Last week, Sessions testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and one thing is clear — enough is enough. Sessions’ entire political career has been to undo major progress hard fought and won from decades-long work by Black people and communities of color. And he continues to spread so many untruths just to maintain power that keeps him in close proximity to the ugliest and most dangerous White House administration. Sessions does not represent and never will represent any symbol of fairness and justice.

Jeff Sessions holds a prominent law license from the state of Alabama that gives him the power to be Attorney General. He should not be the Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice and he has no place in this country to practice law.It is long overdue to finally shut down his power and access as well as stop the harm that he continues to inflict. And the way we’re going to do it is by getting him disbarred from the Alabama State Bar. Bar associations are responsible for issuing licenses for lawyers to practice but just as importantly ensuring that the integrity of how lawyers use their role is upheld.

The Alabama State Bar should not allow Jeff Sessions to keep a license to practice law. He is dishonest and corrupt. It’s time to disbar him today.

Jeff Sessions has spearheaded Trump’s entire Law and Order agenda. As Attorney General, Sessions has built a false, racist narrative that crime has exponentially increased across the U.S. Right after being sworn in as Attorney General, Sessions said national crime rates were the highest they’d ever been–but it was a lie. According to FBI data, the national rate was decreasing.1 Sessions is following the eerie and distorted words of Trump who said, “In many of our biggest cities, 2016 brought an increase in the number of homicides, rapes, assaults, and shootings.”2 This in and of itself is a violation of the Alabama Bar Code of Ethics — Sessions is actively engaging in dishonesty as a chief law enforcer. This ignites fears and sets up a big platform for ruthless policies that directly impact Black people and many other marginalized groups.

This white supremacist narrative of Black people and immigrants as violent and dangerous has led to extreme changes and further violates another ethics code of being prejudice and bias. Sessions was determined to bring back the war on Black people by restarting the “War on Drugs.” This includes pushing prosecutors to issue the most severe punishment against people who commit drug offenses, giving local police departments more power to arrest and surveil with access to militarized equipment. He’s against any form of police accountability and has eliminated consent decrees. Sessions even went after Sanctuary cities by threatening to withhold federal funding for refusing to comply with harsh immigration laws. And Jeff Sessions reversed the ban on federal private prisons. Sessions said, “the ban on private prisons hurt the prison system’s ability to meet the future needs for housing.”3 This, of course, is all code for locking up more people for profit. This list goes on and on, and it will continue as long as Sessions has the power to keep his license.

Jeff Sessions does not represent the people. His job is to only target and criminalize our people. Alabama State Bar must take away his license now.

We already know who Jeff Sessions is. It is not just lies — but he is unapologetic in wanting to dismantle democracy and destroy the rights of all our communities. Plain and simple he is a White man with a lot of privilege and power he doesn’t deserve. He is incapable of upholding the integrity of his position in the U.S. Department of Justice. Jeff Sessions has abused his power long enough.

Sign the petition.

Until justice is real,

Scott, Rashad, Arisha, Scott, Anay, Clarise, Enchanta, Malaya, Kristen, Katrese, and the rest of the Color Of Change team

References:

1. “The ACLU says Trump’s executive order on crime aims to “stop national trends that don’t exist”,” Quartz, 02-09-2017 https://act.colorofchange.org/go/9697?t=9&akid=8090%2E2505660%2ErziDSw

2. “Sessions calls rise in crime a ‘dangerous permanent trend,’ but FBI data shows rate consistently falling,” Yahoo News, 02-09-2017 https://act.colorofchange.org/go/9698?t=11&akid=8090%2E2505660%2ErziDSw

3. “Justice Department Keeps For-Profit Prisons, Scrapping an Obama Plan,” New York Times, 02-23-2016 https://act.colorofchange.org/go/7973?t=13&akid=8090%2E2505660%2ErziDSw

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Color Of Change is building a movement to elevate the voices of Black folks and our allies, and win real social and political change. Help keep our movement strong.

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Sign the petition! Forward it! Blast it on your social media! Share far and wide the joy of imagining Jeff Sessions’ epic CBF* as he reads all about it in his morning paper.

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* Cat Butt Face.

Disciplining Luther.

Paradise.
While it lasted…

Sometimes I can’t even believe my life. While everyone else was very busy fighting Nazis (?!#%*&@?!), I was busy vacationing luxuriously in the Caribbean, blessedly unaware of the stateside shitshow. And by “in the Caribbean” I mean literally in the Caribbean, alternately swimming, snorkeling and floating effortlessly in impossibly warm and clear waters for hours on end. We are enthusiastic snorkelers, my lover and I, and we had finally fulfilled a long-ago promise and purchased our own fins and masks for the trip. (Did you know you can get swim goggles with corrective lenses? TRUE FACT.)

A natural coral jetty divided the resort’s two sandy coves, and there were spectacular reefs very close to shore. It felt like a dream, really, and everything was going so wonderfully…

Until that little fucker Luther showed up.

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