It was the third time in a row that his wife had declined sex and James had counted many other times during the month when she had declined. He had read somewhere that when a woman declines sex it could mean she is falling out of love with her man ... and falling in love with another man, who will be getting the sex. He had bought some Viagra-like drugs a while back from Silk Road, a secure online shopping site for illegal items. It worked before so why not try again, he thought. He went quietly downstairs to the living room, lifted up the lid on the laptop. Because of its highly illegal nature, Silk Road could only be accessed via Tor to protect buyer and seller. He ran a special version of the Firefox web browser and started to look around the site.
DI (Detective Inspector) Don Hanson also couldn't sleep. He was in his living room surrounded by reports with his laptop near by. Cars stalling on level crossings was the stuff of horror movies and doors that couldn't be opened sounded like the work of a typical James Bond villain, he thought. He looked at a diagram of how a typical door locking mechanism works: mechanical and electronic. The mechanical part was so simple that failure was almost impossible and the report showed that the ones on the two cars were fine. The electronic part was a geared electric motor controlled by a small computer and the report showed that the motors on the two cars showed signs of heat damage consistent with running under extreme load possibly by forcing the door locks down.
"So .. that must be it." thought Don, "computer failure .... twice in as many months !! ". He made a note to speak to his friend, Greg who worked for an IT company and Susan's friend Rachel the next morning. He closed the lid of his laptop and went upstairs to bed.
James was still browsing Silk Road with a mix of curiosity and occasional revulsion. He was about to give up when he read "Is your wife about to divorce you ?"
"I don't think so." he thought.
A few lines down he read "Less sex could mean imminent divorce". The lack of sex was fresh in James's mind, so he clicked the link and read about the discrete investigation service, installing spyware, network sniffers, malware, etc.
"That's a bit extreme !" he thought and clicked back to the listings. He scrolled down a bit further and read "Does your wife leave text messages unanswered in your presence"
"She sure does ... oh fuck !" thought James, so he clicked the link and read about the subtle (and not so subtle) signs of a cheating wife, the probability that she would instigate divorce proceedings and how much she would be likely to get in the divorce. It was written by the same people who wrote the first entries.
The listing invited readers to leave a message, James accepted and went back to bed.
A few hours later Sarah woke and stretched her arms. "Morning James, how did you sleep ?"
"Badly." replied James rubbing his eyes.
Sarah's mobile buzzed, and she just lay there without reading it.
"Aren't you going to read your message ?" enquired James remembering the articles he read a few hours before.
"Oh, it's probably Debs in dire need of retail therapy again." yawned Sarah.
James got up and walked into the shower while Sarah read her message and grinned. She texted back "Pls dont txt me at this hr james goes to work at 8 so txt me after xxxxxx" and put the phone down. She lay back in bed thinking of a nice hard cock inside her and it certainly didn't belong to James.
James got dressed, kissed Sarah, went down stairs, grabbed his laptop and went to his chauffeured car that was waiting outside. Sarah lay in bed wondering how to keep James from finding out about her affair. Most laptops allow you to set up passwords and mobiles could be secured by a PIN. That would be her task for today, perhaps her new man could help when he came round.
James arrived at work, did all the obligatory good mornings to the staff and went to his office. He plonked his laptop on his desk and closed the office door. Back at his desk he opened the laptop and checked for messages. One was from Silk Road, so he logged on and read it. It contained a few instructions on how to pick up a special package.
James felt like James Bond when he walked to the park to find the dead-drop. He sat on the bench, reached into the rubbish bin and pulled out a package. "Just like in the movies !" he thought as he walked back to the office trying to look as much as a secret agent as he could.
"What a fucking dork !" thought a real secret agent watching him from afar. He picked up his mobile and texted "Package delivered" and drove away.
Sarah opened the door to let her new man in and set him to work. She knew from experience it was best to get men to do things before sex, not after. He setup a PIN on her mobile, he setup a password on her laptop, checked the anti-virus software was up to date, and they went upstairs.
James got back to the office and closed the door behind him. He put the package on a chair in the corner, covered it with his jacket and did his normal work.
"So, what could cause the computers on cars to fail ?" asked DI Hanson to Greg, his unofficial computer go-to man.
"Well, many use a system called QNX because it's so reliable. It's often used in situations where one failure could cost billions of dollars, things like space rockets and satellites." said Greg, "It's not like Windows which crashes if you fart too loud." Greg continued "The only way it could fail would be either hardware failure or someone messing with it via malware."
"Malware ? do you mean malicious software ?" asked DI Hanson. He couldn't known at the time but Greg had been responsible for some of that malware.
"Yes, but I'm not sure how you would get it into the car's computer." answered Greg.
"OK, thanks for your time." DI Hanson shook Greg's hand and left to see Rachel.
"I'm so sorry about Susan." said DI Hanson to a tear-soaked Rachel. "I understand you two were very good friends"
"Yes." said Rachel, "We shared many secrets with each other."
"As this is a murder enquiry, I need to know what they are." asked DI Hanson.
"She used to gamble and got into debt a few years ago but her husband bailed her out." said Rachel.
"OK ... anything else ?" asked DI Hanson.
"She was having an affair and was thinking of divorcing her husband." said Rachel.
"Did you say divorce ??" said DI Hanson.
"Yes." replied Rachel.
DI Hanson's mind raced, "Did her husband know about this ??"
"No, I was the only one who knew." answered Rachel.
DI Hanson needed to get away and think, "Thanks for your time. I'll show myself out". DI Hanson left, got into his car and drove away. He sat on a bench in the park and let his mind wander. "Two cars stall on a level crossing, two sets of doors mysteriously jam shut killing two women about to divorce saving the husbands millions.
These have to be a professional hits." thought DI Hanson, "But the second husband didn't know about the divorce ... perhaps he did know ... but how could he know ? Only Rachel knew ... did she tell him ? ... was he spying on her ?"
DI Hanson went through his check-list. Did both husbands have the means: Yes, (Both were very rich), did they have a motive: Yes (Both stood to lose millions) and did they have the opportunity: Unknown (Both cars hadn't been physically tampered with). DI Hanson realised that "physically tampered with" was the key, what if the software had been tampered with and how would they even know. He decided to thrash it out with the other detectives.
"Good night sir." James looked up to see Suzi, his secretary, getting ready to leave along with the rest of the staff.
"Good night" said James pretending to work. When everyone had left the building, James unwrapped the package. Inside was a laptop, a black mobile phone, an assortment of items and some instructions. He read the instructions. The phone had one contact number in the address book and the laptop needed to be put out of sight but in-range of the WiFi in his house. The laptop, when switched-on, would take him through a simple setup sequence. At the end were instructions on how to dispose of the phone and the laptop when the deed was done.
"Ready when you are, sir." said his chauffeur.
James packed his things including the new laptop and phone into his brief case and followed his chauffeur to the car. When James got home, he checked to see if Sarah was home, she wasn't, so he set to work. He found a dark, dirty place in the cellar and put the laptop down on an old box. His wife was scared shitless of spiders so she would never go down there.
He plugged it in and switched on. He then saw the weirdest boot sequence ever ... "BTX Loader V1.02 ... FreeBSD 9.2 (Die Hard Edition) ... " a load of gibberish scrolled up the screen and then cleared. "Please select WiFi access point" appeared on the screen followed by a list. James looked down the list, recognised "BTHub4-TZH7" as his WiFi. He moved the mouse pointer over it and clicked. The laptop responded with "Please enter password"
"Fuck !!" said James and ran up the stairs to find the WiFi password straight into a very startled Sarah.
"OH SHIT !! you scared the living crap out of me, what the hell are you doing down there ??" asked Sarah.
"I ... um ... thought I heard something." lied James.
"Well, I hope you didn't find anything, OK I'm off to my class, see you later." lied Sarah as she got her bag and left.
James found the router's WiFi password printed on the back, wrote it on a scrap of paper and went back to the laptop. He entered the password, pressed return and watched the screen.
"Obtaining IP address ... Connected .... Testing Internet connection ... OK, connecting to remote server ... OK, Establishing man-in-the-middle network bridge ... OK ... System Active. Press Delete three times to wipe hard drive and kill system.".
James was fascinated but had other things to do, so he covered the laptop with an old bit of cloth and walked back up the stairs.
Thousands of miles away, a compromised web server in South Africa acknowledged the first transmission from the laptop and went back to its normal task of serving out web pages containing boring corporate bullshit to anyone who wanted to read it.
Back in London a man read a text message: "Client 31 has activated system" and said to the man next to him "James has activated the laptop. When the divorce probability reaches 90% contact him on the special phone and send him all the wife's email and text conversations. If he wants to dispose of her, tell him the cost, method of payment and get as much info as possible about his wife, so we can tailor the hit to be as statistically insignificant to the police as possible." The second man nodded.
"There she blows !" thought Jack, remembering an article about whaling. He looked at his wife's huge belly rising high out of the bathwater. When he first met her she was a lovely buxom blonde but now she was 25+ stone, and he was wondering what to do with her.
"Lay her on her back and use her as a bouncy castle ?" he thought as he brushed his teeth and got ready for work.
A few miles away a hacker was browsing a list of hacked servers for sale on a hidden forum on the dark web. Even though these are owned by other people or corporations, hackers had found a way in and would sell the access details to other hackers. He spots one owned by some divorce lawyers, "Oh the irony !" he thought as he fired-up his Bitcoin wallet to pay for it.
A few hours later, when Jack finished work he walked through the front door and was greeted by his huge wife. "Notice anything ?" she asked.
"You've put on another stone since breakfast ?" thought Jack "Good grief, she is just one meal away from needing her own postcode."
"Look I've had my hair cut, cute huh ?" Her hair had been cut very short and cropped on one side.
"Nice." lied Jack, "Fucking grotesque !" thought Jack.
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