If there was one perk to being a hacktivist for The Noiz, thought Smudge, it was that thumbing your nose at authority was a job requirement.
Living in Chicago as a middle-class African American university student made him a natural for the job. He lived well as his parents always bugged him about his grades, which he made sure were stellar, but they lost on him collecting comic books and his slovenly dress habits.
If he could defy mom and dad who were very good at making people fall in line, he could up the ante, and he upped it all the way to The Noiz.
His two closest friends in the group were also natural-born rebels: Monster Troll defied her parents and her own biology, telling them the boy they raised was a girl. They may have kicked her out of their home, but she still managed good grades and kick-ass hacking skills that got her into the group.
Then there was Chaser. She was an attractive and dainty redhead in her thirties and referred to herself as a prim and proper punk. She was sweet, sensitive, and polite, but a rebel all the way. She was once a very popular newspaper journalist in Canada, solving murders before the police — but she was also going undercover in two dangerous Illuminati groups — La Nuit du bas and Circle in the Sky — working as their in-house detective until she got the goods and wrote two exposes on them.
Unfortunately, they retaliated against her, sabotaging her book sales, and her career, but not before bankrupting her. They didn’t know she was also a crack hacker — The Noiz wasted no trouble in getting her to their side.
Chaser was an acronym for Criminal Hunter And Sensitive Evidence Retriever — and what her specialty was to expose those two cabals, hacking into their complicated and secret servers to show the world just how worthless the Establishment was — sure they were rich, famous, and powerful, but only because they lied, oppressed, cheated, stole, and harmed innocent people to do it.
Chaser saw it all up close, and now she was making those powerful goons shake in their boots as she showed the world they had to stand up to those people they always thought they should envy, appease and admire. Best of all, she did it from her very posh hotel room, making room for Smudge and Naomi to do their own work right along with her amid her Swedish punk music blaring and her delicious tea and homemade scones.
Chaser looked at her screen and sighed. “Gracious, how dreadful.”
“What’s dreadful?” Monster Troll as she fixed her long blue hair.
“La Nuit du bas has decided they will sacrifice an entire neighbourhood by illegally dumping waste in their drinking water. They calculated that it is far cheaper to pay a fine and increase their profits than deal with their waste in a sensible way. Such impossible behavior, and al in the name of having one more posh car in their driveway than their neighbor.”
“Because that’s the whole meaning of life,” Smudge replied sarcastically, “And let me guess the racial profile of that neighborhood.”
Chaser sighed and nodded. “It is a tintinnabulation.”
“But what do we do about it?” asked Monster Troll.
“We engage in a Resistance Shock,” Chaser replied matter-of-factly.
“A What?” asked Smudge, “I don’t believe I came across that term in my art history or English lit classes.”
“It was a term coined by my grandfather who studied military strategy as a professor, and he used it to describe how revolutions begin,” she said, “People in power begin to believe they are invincible and superior to the people who gave them their goodwill, trust, and faith. They could crush the ruler with their mere numbers, but graciously allow one person to guide them. It is a deal and a bargain, but then a promise is broken and if a ruler is careless, the group take away their faith in him in a tangible way…”
“Giving him a resistance shock,” Smudge nodded knowingly. “Kind of like Alinsky’s rules for radicals.”
“Not quite,” Chaser answered, “Alinsky dealt with people who were dispossessed and had no voice in political matters. A Resistance Shock happens when the people as a whole stand up as one, shattering the ruler’s belief that he can persuade or outwit those who gave the gift of leadership to him.”
“So how do we shock La Nuit with some resistance?” asked Monster Troll as Chaser smirked.
“We shock those impossible people in a very sensible way. I have some legwork to do, but I will return.”
“Wow,” Smudge sneered as he read on his laptop what Chaser had uncovered. “It’s even sicker than what we thought.”
“My part is done,” Chaser said sweetly.
“They call me Monster Troll and him Smudge for a reason.”
Chaser nodded contentedly. “Good, then let us all live up to our handles and expose a cabal for the heartless scoundrels that they are.”
Smudge wrote a sarcastic missive that Monster Troll blasted every citizen in the city with an email and text outlining how one company had plans to poison their drinking water to increase profits and eliminate irksome voters who wished to exercise their rights. What would happen next was anyone’s guess.
As she watched the live angry protests on her laptop, Chaser nodded, noting the number of celebrities marching with regular citizens, as she wrote her message as she was satisfied at her newest contribution to the public discourse:
La Nuit du bas thought they could poison the citizens of Trent as a cost-saving measure, yet as the files I uploaded will show you, the people rose as one as they resisted the notion of involuntary racial sacrifice to rig an election and fatten their profits. The people have spoken, as have I. Because that is your message from… CHASER.