It all started with the new kid. His name was John Beowulf
. He seemed to be the smartest kid in the school, he knew everything
. As if the entire corpus
knowledge was already in his brain.
There was a clear increase in the intelligence of the other kids who were in classes with him, as well. It's as if he activated a mental key in them--and the teachers were impressed.
But then, the weird
things started happening. Kids started talking about weird dreams which seemed to universally involve binary--and then they started forgetting
things. Mostly minor things, but most of the academic benefits
seem to have disappeared and they've gone back to their pre-Beowulf days.
Soon, the school newspaper did a survey. 99% of the population had reported having the binary dreams. Of the 1% that didn't--John Beowulf.
The students started talking about John Beowulf. Nasty rumors abounded. The primary was that he was some kind of psychic
. You also heard things about the CIA, FBI, all those agencies with initials.
One day, I decided to ask him.
"What's up?", I asked.
"The same as always", John said.
"Do you know what's happening with the dreams and such?"
"Would you mind telling me?"
"So, what's happening?"
"I need to crack an AES key."
"Why do you need to do that?"
"Crack encrypted FBI communications. Basically, I'm an experiment in human computing.
A group of scientists from various universities built a device that could read magnetic signals to such an accurate precision that they could do MRIs to the neuron. I was a test subject for the university study until it was taken over by the FBI. I got a lot smarter during those experiments.
The government then turned the reciever into a transmitter. They started working on Project ARTUMLK
. It didn't work nearly as well as they wanted, but I could turn some of the darker corners of the brain that you weren't really using as parts of a huge biological computer.
Realizing how easily I would be able to do it, and what would happen to me if I didn't do it, I ran away. I need to know how they're going to get me, and to do that, I need to know what they're saying to each other."
"Could you at least stop using the brains of these people", I said, placing a list of names on the table. It was a petition.
"Sorry, I can't, not without stopping the whole thing. And if I do that, I get caught."
I didn't believe his story. At least, not the whole story.
But, just in case he was cracking something in order to cause real problems, I took to memorizing the ASCII binary for the beginning of an FBI communique, or at least what I think an FBI communique would look like, in order to hopefully trick his AES dreams.
I cut the FBI bits out, made it look like it was all part of the university study and the transmission was an error, and replaced the AES stuff with mention of a "program to solve P=NP" even though I knew that barely meant anything so that he wouldn't get arrested for cracking. Then, I submitted it to the school paper, anonymously.
The rumors increased exponentially. Nobody sat with John Beowulf anymore. I then, suddenly, blacked out and woke up three hours later. Apparently, during those three hours the MRI showed activity concentrated in one small piece of the brain.
The dreams stopped happening a few weeks later. Everything slowly returned to normal
A few days before the end of the school year, the Secret Service came in and arrested John Beowulf for some sort of computer hacking charge. I don't know whether my plan worked and he was telling the truth, meaning that I just got him arrested. Or whether he was lying about the "escape from the FBI" stuff and he was trying to get into some other database.