The following is anecdotal fanfic styled after Black Mirror, but instead it focuses on how such 21st century digital technology can be used to secure American liberty. I’ve tried to retain a Lovecraftian psychological/cosmic horror atmosphere, because I think the abolition of the State is inevitable, and it’s far past time for statists to feel dread at losing their emotional security blanket of legalized coercion. For more literature on agorism, feel free to read the An Agorist Manifesto in 95 Theses, #agora, and The Second Realm.
Rebecca woke up lazily in a warmly colored room. Late last night, she managed to book it using Airbnb, given that she didn’t want to raise unwarranted suspicion by renting a motel room during the early morning hours. Her sense of propriety extended only so far as she was discreet with her activities, nocturnal or otherwise.
Groggy as all hell, she yanked her blue jeans back on and a crewneck shirt. Heading out by foot to a nearby diner she managed to locate by using OpenStreetMap, Rebecca sucked in the crisp morning air as she closed the door behind her. Appreciating the sunrise momentarily, her senses didn’t detect anyone else in the parking lot.
Arriving at the greasy spoon, Rebecca sat on a bar stool and ordered a tall latte. The décor of the place reminded her of a blue-collar version of a coffeehouse she’d visited in Vancouver just the month before, and much like that very coffeehouse, the waitress serving Rebecca enabled her to pay using a Bitcoin smartphone app. Refreshed, she ordered another one to go, since it’s gonna be useful for the busy working day ahead.
Stepping through the door to her room, Rebecca opened up her laptop and checked her mail. Undressing, she heard the ping of a PGP encrypted email from a trusted associate. Typing in her passphrase, Rebecca read that her package will shortly be available for pickup within the hour.
Grinning from ear to ear, Rebecca booted up her encrypted VoIP/IM client as she took a brisk shower. By the time she dried her hair while wrapped in a towel, Rebecca noticed that her intelligence asset reached out to her while she was AFK. Replying back, she learned that her spy had isolated the target, but will exploit him only if Rebecca pays her in something tangible.
A nighttime rendezvous was scheduled for the mid-evening, as if Rebecca wasn’t hurried enough; quickly, she slipped into a cardigan and a pair of Capri pants from her duffel bag. Realizing that the local commercial mail receiving agency is too far to walk to in less than 40 minutes, Rebecca briefly pounded the pavement towards a strip mall where she locked her bicycle up. Pedaling past the diner, she arrived at the agency’s storefront just as they were opening for business.
Waltzing in nonchalantly, she opend up her private mailbox, and aside from some forwarded property tax bills related to her ten acres of land that she just paid off in full, there was nothing really of important note, other than two package slips. Handing these over to the clerk, Rebecca received a tiny box as well as a large one. Due to the combined bulkiness and weight of the packages, Rebecca hired an Uber driver. He dropped her off near her room, for she didn’t want his geolocation tech to pinpoint where exactly she was holed up at.
Flipping out her switchblade, Rebecca opened up the tiny package first. Buying oxycodone through a cryptomarket is easier said than done, but acquiring cannabis is ridiculously easy by comparison (and sometimes even legal!). Rebecca smirked as she mused about the importance these narcotics will play later tonight.
Opening the larger package showed Rebecca’s latest investment – the Ghost Gunner. As a CNC mill, the Ghost Gunner can legally manufacture unserialized AR rifles by milling 80% finished lower receivers to completion. Booting up her laptop, Rebecca programmed the Ghost Gunner to privately finish her lower receiver that she kept wrapped up in clothing inside of her duffel bag.
Throwing off her cardigan, Rebecca noticed that it’s barely mid-morning. Deciding to finish proofreading her latest e-book, she accessed an encrypted file folder where she keeps all the drafts of her various book projects. As the Ghost Gunner was busy milling her lower receiver, Rebecca decrypted the assorted files, proofread her latest work, and then uploaded it through Kindle Direct Publishing.
In need of some exercise, as well as her conversion van, Rebecca switched into her yoga pants and sports bra. Tying up her hair, she jogged back towards the storefront where her private mailbox was, unlocked her bike nearby, and then she travelled on it for a few miles. Hopping a backyard fence or two, Rebecca approached an “overgrowth” of brush concealing her van. Relieved that the previous night’s drizzling rain did not make the parked van sink irretrievably deeper into the growing mud puddle, she heaved the bike onto the rear of her van, and then drove back to her room.
Now with the lower receiver finished, Rebecca hastily packed her duffel bag, laptop, and the Ghost Gunner into her van. Checking out of the room by submitting payment, she then drove the van for about 30 miles through downtown traffic. Once she reached an industrial park, she pulled the van into a nondescript garage, which is the kind used by automotive mechanics for repair, bodywork, and overhauls.
Upon closing and locking the garage doors, Rebecca grabbed her duffel and headed towards the back of the building, where there is a cordoned off section with its own door and windows. What used to be an office and kitchenette area was refurbished into a fairly livable “bedroom chamber” with its own electrical and plumbing lines, similar to an off-grid urban farm. Rebecca locked the door, and used the bathroom for a much-needed shower.
Emerging from the makeshift sauna, Rebecca sauntered into the kitchen to microwave her first meal of the day. Over the weekend, she had harvested her edible plants that she grew in her aquaponics farm, cut them up, and froze them in her deep freezer. Combining those with her recipe for lentil stew was her idea for what constitutes brunch.
Slipping into her familiar blue jeans and a black turtleneck, Rebecca returned to the kitchen just as the microwave finished heating her food. After she stirred the lentil mixture with rice, she let it cool a bit while she surfed Amazon Video on her laptop for something to watch while she ate. Deciding on another episode of the HBO miniseries John Adams, Rebecca sat down on the floor, leaning back against the frame of the couch’s armrest.
Finished eating, she used her laptop while the episode was still playing about halfway through. Bringing up her list of music to grab, Rebecca systematically downloaded lyric videos and converted them to MP3. Plugging in her smartphone, she transferred those DRM-free audio files over, so she had something to listen to when she went on her next batch of garage sales (aside from her growing audiobook collection, that is!)
Speaking of DRM, Rebecca surveyed the latest “open-sourced” documentaries. Breaking out her remaining stack of recordable DVDs, she downloaded and burned multiple copies of The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear, The Great Global Warming Swindle, and Samuel Edward Konkin III (SEK3): The Founder of Agorism (not to mention the bonus feature that was the 100% statism free version of Dr. Roger Roots at a senatorial debate). If nothing else, perhaps Simon Jester could be called up to freely distribute such material onto the windshields of cars parked at random shopping malls.
As she waited for the conversions and transfers to work, Rebecca sold two ounces of gold for Bitcoin to the former Agora Commodities; not only that, but she bought silver bullion from them using Bitcoin, as well. Considering that she’s been attempting to persuade neighboring traders to support her idea for a local paper scrip, it would help immensely if the scrip itself was 100% backed by, like say, a silver reserve. That, and she has to pay her spy in something else other than Federal Reserve Notes (or “ferns”), for once.
Seeing that as it’s early afternoon, Rebecca activated her laptop’s screensaver as it continued to process its functions, whipped out her e-reader, and plopped down onto the couch. She’s been gradually reading Argumentation Ethics: An Anthology, which was released under a BipCot NoGovernment License by an independent publisher of unique anthologies and audiobooks, which seems to her to be reminiscent of the former Loompanics Unlimited. Sometimes it’s better to just release the accumulated information gratis rather than dick around with asking others for copyright permission so you can make a few ferns in cash, which just delays publication unnecessarily; Rebecca understood this, and it is why she sold her own original creative works only, instead of in combination with other artists or writers.
Noticing it to be mid-afternoon, Rebecca turned off her e-reader and headed towards the spare bedroom that she used mainly for storage. Last weekend, she had gone on a circuit of garage sales and flea markets, haggling down the prices with the sellers just so she could resell them later on eBay for a profitable markup, so she’s hoping that can she begin listing these items and therefore begin clearing out her inventory here for the next batch of resellable goods. Waking up her sleeping laptop, she noticed that it’s time again for her to post newer items.
Scrolling through her latest sales, Rebecca became cognizant that her buyers are collectively gearing up for winter. Propping up coats and hats, she took clean photographs and typed accurate descriptions for each item. Rebecca didn’t shy away from dumpster diving for reselling either, but it’s a riskier venture due to the mountainous volumes of statutes, ordinances, and regulations criminalizing various forms of dumpster diving, albeit not all of them (and good luck figuring out what is grey market dumpster diving from black market dumpster diving!).
Hours past, and Rebecca sees that her “appointment” is not long off; before she left, though, she bought gift cards using Bitcoin as preparation for her upcoming open-source computing hardware project that this a Hackintosh. Although she cares for her current laptop quite strongly, Rebecca appreciated that only a free and open-source computer (both hardware and software) is consistently a privacy-enhancing technology. Maybe with that foundation, and some capital investment, perhaps she could design and build her own Rally Fighter, someday?
Right on time, Rebecca’s spy meets her at a classy pub located in downtown. Wearing a red sheath dress, this intelligence asset is none other than a lady of the night. Sliding into a booth, Rebecca starts the briefing.
“Your assignment, Lizzy, is to scatter the contents of this tiny package all over your target, his clothes, even his lawn, if he’ll let you.”
“Do I want to know what it is?”
“Whatever you say. Anything else?”
Rebecca leaned back and remained quiet for a moment, until she straightened up again by saying, “If you’re up for it, I’d also like you to copy his cell phone and any paperwork you can get your hands on.”
“Sure, but why?”
“Because I’m willing to pay you more, that’s why.”
“Can’t grab what I don’t know I’m lookin’ for.”
Rebecca sighed in exasperation, “What I’m looking for, Lizzy, is evidence of corruption that your John is actively involved in. Briefly said, I want his civil service in government to be brought to a screeching halt.”
“But Becca! He’s my best client!”
“Then find another – and don’t call me that,” Rebecca replied evenly.
Lizzy looked distraught, but then picked herself up again. “I guess it was only a matter of time before someone went after him for some damn thing or another. Might as well be you than some asshole I don’t know.”
“Better the asshole you know than the one you don’t, huh?”
Both women giggled, and then clinked their shot glasses together before downing their respective poisons.
“Why do you want this guy taken out of play so badly?”
Rebecca pursed her lips, gazed downward for a moment, and then stared Lizzy straight in the eye. “Because that fat bastard got my baby brother’s home civilly forfeited while his wife was seven months pregnant. Needless to say, she lost the baby, and he lost her too, eventually. It’s long past time for payback, but he’s so deep in depression over losing most of his family that the only family he’s got left is in the best position to exact a just vengeance, don’t you think?”
“I’m not one to argue, Rebecca, it’s just that, I don’t know, is there some other way to gain revenge without completely trashing his life?”
“No, there isn’t. Even what is about to happen to him is far too good for him. Tim won’t be made whole again, but that bureaucrat will now have the very same evil he’s inflicted upon others imposed upon himself. He’s getting what’s coming to him, I’ll see to that.”
Gulping another liquor shot, Rebecca adds, “Besides, I’m no altruist; aside from righting the wrong Tim has unjustly suffered, Mandrake’s downfall will also facilitate the ending for a certain politician I’ve wanted punished for quite some time now.”
“Ah-ha! I knew there was another angle, some hustle you were workin,’ girl!”
“It’s not that simple, Lizzy. The target is virtually untouchable, having skirted every conceivable scandal you can imagine, no matter how heinous and reprehensible his own personal conduct has been. I believe you know whom I am referring to.”
Lizzy’s mouth was agape. “No! You don’t mean…”
“Oh, but I do.”
“Rather ambitious, isn’t it?”
Rebecca looked at Lizzy thoughtfully. “Maybe, but he’s been provably responsible for so much tyranny that the fate of the so-called ‘free world’ depends upon his decisions, at least some of them. Put simply, I want to end his political career, permanently.”
Lizzy shifted uneasily, “I don’t want to know, do I?”
Rebecca grinned from ear to ear. “No, you don’t.”
Lizzy took her last swig of tequila. “I’m about to meet Mandrake in about half an hour. If you want this job done right, then I hope you brought money with you; and none of that digital stuff!”
“Gauging from our last deal, I know you have no faith in crypto-currencies at all. That’s okay. Money is trust inscribed. Here’s your silver, Judas.”
Lizzy winced at that remark, but Rebecca’s knowing wink eased her tension somewhat as she handed over the pouch. “How much are these worth now?”
“Today’s spot price is $17 per ounce. Given that those are all American Silver Eagles, you’ll get a higher return; more, I suspect, if you wait a week or a month. At least I didn’t get you the Canadian Silver Maple Leafs.”
“What, you some patriot or somethin’?”
“Not at all, I just prefer better artwork if a silver coin is gonna be marked up over spot.”
Business now being completed, both women departed to their respective professions. Rebecca heard over the next week’s news cycle that Mandrake the heartless bureaucrat not only lost his “tainted” car where he transacted “business” with Lizzy, but now he is also under a criminal indictment for fabricating evidence against Timothy. Rebecca mused to herself that those anonymous tiplines to the police a real bitch, aren’t they?
Perhaps there is justice in this sorry excuse for a country, if only vigilante justice; yet, she had to move quickly if she was going to seize the shrinking window of opportunity. Just to be on the safe side, Rebecca used a multi-hop VPN anonymizer to place her bet in a gambling pool of sorts. The target won’t know what hit him, literally.
During this same week, the aforementioned politician ended up in the hospital with an acute case of lead poisoning. Turned out, oh-so-conveniently, that Rebecca’s “gambling bet” richly paid off for her. Oddly enough, she’s also been reminiscing about how her father, now a political prisoner with five years still left on his sentence, had compared popping cops to gopher hunting.
Once hearing of the politician succumbing to his mortal wounds, the news anchors seemed rather grim, and the pundits became hysterical, one of whom nervously lit a tobacco cigarette in studio, live on broadcast television. By contrast, Rebecca raised her bong, proclaiming assassination markets for the win, and imbibed some celebratory tokes.
Desirous for a well-earned vacation, Rebecca left her garage hideout the next day, traveling in her van towards that unimproved land she “owns” outside the city. Scaling up her own private driveway, she arrived at the tiny house she finished building recently. Enjoying the breathtaking views from the side of the hill, Rebecca wondered if she ought to take stained-glass classes so she can learn some basic workshop skills, because that Hackintosh won’t solder itself.