Entropy Volume 1 Issue 1 95.09.14 Contents: 1. How to get in touch with the authors 2. Editorial 3. "LOSE.NEURONS.FAST" by Legion [Parody] 4. "1000 Eyes" by Legion [Fiction] 5. "Something's Out There" by Legion [Fiction] 6. "Rebirth" by Legion [Fiction] 7. "Hackers" [Movie Review] 8. "So you wanna write for Entropy" [send me stories!]
How to get in touch with the authors: Legion: firstname.lastname@example.org "Legion" on Hacker's Haven, Realm of Chaos, Heresy, Liquid Toxin, etc. (boards in 303) Murc: Murc's not in this issue because he didn't send me his story. So don't get in touch with him.
Editorial Welcome to the first issue of Entropy, a new zine dedicated to showcasing new talent in fiction writing. I won't call this a "literary" zine, because "literary" zines suck (don't believe me? Check them out). However, I will do my best to feature the best fiction I can find, as well as some nonfiction and humor. I call the zine "Entropy" because that's the name of the band I started (which is now on hold until my drummer gets out of the navy and regains his brain cells that mysteriously vanished just before he signed up), and I happen to like the name. The word conjures up thoughts of hard-core science fiction, which I enjoy reading and writing. This issue will be short. Most of my fiction is on paper rather than on the computer, and I don't have time to scan it in and OCR it right now. Although I've given plenty of advance notice of this zine (like 8 months or so), not one person has sent me a submission, though I've gotten plenty of queries. So this issue's theme will be "Legion's Writing: How it Fails to Show the Spirit of the Zine, Which is Supposed to be Eclectic." If you want to send submissions, see the submission guidelines below. Thanks for taking time to download this file. I hope you enjoy it (don't forget to submit!).
LOSE.NEURONS.FAST Dear Friend, My name is Dave Rhodes. In September 1989 my car was reposessed and the bill collectors were hounding me like you wouldn't believe. I was laid off and unemployment checks had run out. The only escape I had from the pressure of failure was my IBM computer and my modem. I longed to turn my advocation into my vocation. But I instead wasted thousands of dollars of your hard- earned money by posting a Ponzi pyramid scam to every newsgroup I could find. This January 1990 my family and I didn't go on a ten day cruise to the tropics. I would have bought a Lincoln Town Car for CASH in Feburary 1990 if my scam had worked. I am currently in a federal penitentiary on the West Coast of Florida, without a private pool, boat slip, or a beautiful view of the bay from my breakfast room table and patio because of my extreme lameness. I will never have to work again, except for the work I put in pounding rocks into dust for the federal government. Today I am poor! I have earned 10-20 (Ten-to-Twenty years of hard labor) to date and may become a free man if they ever find the key to my cell. Anyone can do the same. This money making program works poorly every time, 100% of the time. I have NEVER failed to earn several years or more whenever I wanted. Best of all you never have to leave home except to go to your mailbox or post office or federal penitentiary. In October 1989, I received a letter in the mail telling me how I could earn $50,000 dollars or more whenever I wanted. I was naturally very skeptical and threw the letter on the desk next to my computer. It's funny though, when you are desparate, backed into a corner, your mind does crazy things. I spent a frustating day looking through the want ads for a job with a future. The pickings were sparse at best. That night I tried to unwind by booting up my computer and calling several of the message posts and than glanced at the letter next to the computer. All at once it came to me, I now had the key to a long jail term. I realized that with the power of the computer I could piss people off and enhance my stupidity into the most unbelievably poor reputation. I substitued the computer bulletin boards in place of the post office and electronically did by computer what others were doing 100% by mail. Now only a few letters are mailed manually. Most of the hard work is speedily downloaded to other bulletin boards throughout the world. If you believe that, then you're even dumber than I thought. Someday you deserve that lucky jail term that you have waited for all your life, simply follow the easy instructions below. Your dreams will come true. Sincerely yours, Dave Rhode$ (SW Florida Dept. of Corrections) INSTRUCTIONS Follow these instructions EXACTLY, and in 20 to 60 days you will have received well over 50,000 angry email flames, all yours. This program has remained successful because of the dishonesty and non-intergrety of the participants. Please continue its success by carefully adhering to the instructions. 1) Immediately mail $1.00 (cash of money order, no one wants to deal with 50,000 checks for a dollar each) to the 5 names listed below starting at number 1 through number 5. Send cash only please (total investment $5.00 and 10-20 in a federal prison cell with your lonely cellmate Bubba). Enclose a note with each letter stating: "PLEASE ADD MY NAME TO YOUR MAILING LIST." (THIS IS AN ILLEGITIMATE SERVICE THAT YOU ARE REQUESTING AND YOU ARE PAYING $1.00 FOR THIS SERVICE, WHICH MAKES YOU A GRADE 'A' MORON). 2) Remove that name that appears number 1 on the list. Move the other 4 names up one position. (Number 2 will become number 1 and number 3 will become number 2, etc.) Place your name, address and zip code in the number 5 position so that potentially violent (tm James "I am a fuckhead" Keegan) usenet or BBS readers can come to your door and harrass you. 3) Post the new letter with your name in the number 10 position (even though I just told you to put your name in the #5 slot...you *are* paying attention, right?) onto ten (10) separate bulletin boards in the message base or to the file section, call the file, LOSE.NEURONS.FAST. 4) Within 60 days you will receive over $50,000 in CASH *OR* over 50,000 angry email letters telling you to fuck off. Keep a copy of this file for yourself so that you can abuse it again and again whenever you need to be yelled at. As soon as you mail out these letters you are automatically in the mail fraud business and people are sending you death threats. This list can then be rented to a list broker that can be found in the Yellow Pages for additional torment on a regular basis. The list will become less valuable as it grows in size. This is a disservice. This is completely illegal. If you have any doubts, refer to TITLE 18, SECTION 1302 & 1341 OF THE POSTAL LOTTERY LAWS and you'll find the minimum sentence for mail fraud is much longer than you expected. Remember as each post is downloaded and the instructions carefully followed, five members will be endlessly fucked over for their participation as a List Developer with one dollar each. Your name will move up the list geometrically that when your name reaches the number one position you will be receiving thousands of messages telling you how stupid you are. 1. A. Moron 17688 E. Crestline Ave. Aurora, CO 80015 2. Jack Ass 3313 W. Grand Ave. Englewood, CO 80110 3. Fuck Wit Twin Towers 43-W-E Golden, CO 80401 4. Bubba 5029 S. Michigan Ct. Littleton, CO 80123 5. Warez D00D 3787 W. Grand Ave. Littleton, CO 80123 [Note: these addresses were culled from one of these actual spams] The following letters were written by participating members in this program. To Whom It May Concern: At first I was skeptical of your claim that I could produce 10-20 years of federal prison time with such ease, especially considering your poorly-written and badly misspelled letter. But despite my skepticism, I decided to invest the $5. Imagine my surprise when my sysop booted me off his system because of my mailbox's unprecedented growth. Imagine my further surprise when federal agents showed up at my front door insisting that I accompany them to the pen to be their honored guest for the next ten-to-twenty years. I am currently in the process of requesting a transfer to the SW Florida Correctional Facilities where I will have the pleasure of seeing "the man" himself and kicking his teeth in for getting me into this predicament. -- J. Blow, Kokomo Correctional Facility To Whom it May Concern: heh. not only are you a potentially violent psychopathic homophobe, but you're also a liar and a forger. chuckle. -- J. G. Keegan, Fuckhead at Large
1,000 Eyes (Inspired by FUCK0109.TXT, the "Altitudes" movement of Jean Martineaux's (sp?) Symphony #4 (Op. 53), and the song "1,000 Eyes" by Death, and by the rather odd camera on top of the building near 16th and Tremont that is aimed at the foot traffic on 16th Street Mall) I walked down the sidewalk toward the high-rise jumble of apartment buildings, absently avoiding the numerous potholes that the city hadn't bothered patching up yet. The informant lived in a nice area of town, considering his trade; he helped people set up their computers, and apparently made decent money doing so. As I stepped out of the burning sun, I caught a glimpse of the security camera mounted on the outside of the building. I signed in with the front desk and made my way to the elevator, noticing more cameras in the lobby. Room 512; I knocked politely and waited. After several minutes I became aware of the informant's presence on the other side of the door; I could hear him scraping the door as he peered through the peephole. He had obviously been looking at me for a while now, not knowing what to think. "I'm the one you called," I said softly. "From the paper." The bolt on his door was unlocked with a deep "snick!" and he quickly invited me in. The shades were drawn, so there wasn't much light filtering into the dim room. I let my eyes adjust to the gloom. The informant was seedy looking, like he hadn't slept in days. Or eaten much. "I have to make this quick," he said. "I don't have much time. Set up your recorder or notepad or whatever, and let's get this over with." I nodded and pulled out a tape recorder, mostly for show. I wouldn't be needing it. "My name is Inspector Gadget" -- I almost laughed at his nickname, but the haunted look in his eyes stopped me -- "and I've found out some . . . interesting things about our society." He paused. He seemed distracted, so I decided to prompt him a little. "You told my editor that you had a huge story on some sort of governmental cover-up. Something about 'a thousand eyes,' I believe." Startled, he resumed his story. "You may have noticed the camera on the side of this building when you walked in. Supposedly for 'security' reasons. There are similar cameras on buildings in big cities all over America." When I nodded, he began talking less hesitantly. "I've traced the signal from these cameras and found out that the building doesn't monitor them at all. The signals lead to a point outside the buildings, in a central location." I broke in. "Surely you're not suggesting that the government monitors data from thousands or even tens of thousands of cameras across the nation? Doesn't that sound a little . . . paranoid, even to you?" He laughed. "Yes it does, to be honest. But not as paranoid as a heavily armed building in the middle of the desert whose mainframe's firewall is disguised as a harmless university computer." He misinterpreted my surprised look as ignorance, and explained, "a 'firewall' is a system that only lets 'trusted' data through to the main system and that is immune to hacking. Supposedly. Kind of like a front-end to the main system. The firewall I found at this nexus was a nearly exact replica of the University of Denver." "But you still don't expect me to believe that the government would spend thousands of man-hours sifting through this footage, do you? Everybody knows that Uncle Sam is usually involved in shady research, but the fact that there's a strange computer there proves nothing," I said. "You're forgetting the fact that I traced the signals to that location. And the government is not wasting precious soldiers on compiling all the data." He took a swig of Pepsi that looked flatter than freshly-laid asphalt. "I hacked the main system. The computer itself -- amazingly huge and more sophisticated than anything I've ever seen before -- 'sifts through' the information. I found artificial intelligence algorithms that completely blew me away, and I'm known as an AI genius in some circles. What *really* amazed me, though, was the memory on that thing. The machine was coded using an obscure assembly language, which I had to learn in about a week," he said with some smugness. "I ran tests on the memory banks and the results told me that the memory on the main system was faster than anything currently available... to civilians, that is. "They apparently designed this machine for the sole purpose of picking out illegal acts or even legal gatherings to give the government total control over its citizens." "Have you told anyone else about this yet?" I asked. "I've hinted about it, but I wanted to get my handle on this story before anybody else. I'll have to lay very low for a long time after this story hits. The feds' biggest mistake was in using the phone lines to transmit the information. I probably would never have found the system if it wasn't for that. Of course, that was probably the most convenient way, and they most likely designed the disguised firewall to discourage people who got even that far . . . " I stood up. "And your biggest mistake was in not telling anybody else." I shot him three times, and quickly rummaged through his apartment looking for valuables. I pocketed what little he had, and disrupted his computer and its surrounding peripheral equipment with an EMF emitter. Before I left, I took his wallet and emptied it of cash. Just another robbery in the big city, another statistic. I left the building secure in the knowledge that my face would be unseen in the pupils of 1,000 eyes.
Something's Out There The forest canyon stretched before us, a great green blanket punctuated with patches of sinister darkness. I could smell the pungent red sap which bled from the tall evergreens, as well as the raw soil of the forest and a cool river which gurgled contentedly as it weaved its way among the trees. We walked down a thickly wooded hill, surveying the destruction. The sound of softly crunching brown pine needles and the steady ticking of Bob's Geiger counter were unnerving in the silence which shrouded the forest. The scar that seemed to violate the forest's purity was obviously new -- the trees that had been snapped by the incredible force were still bleeding. The clay that had been beneath the torn earth glistened wetly. "Let's go find it," said Bob. * * * * * By the time we reached the clearing where the object had come to rest, Bob's Geiger counter was no longer registering radiation. It wasn't registering normal background radiation either, which was puzzling and frightening. I turned my attention to the metallic sphere which was resting in the center of the newly-made clearing. The object had a haze of steam around it; it was reddish in color and disintegrated even as I watched it. There were no distinguishing features on the sphere. No dirt or leaves had gotten stuck to it as it had plunged through the trees. As I watched, a drop of sap fell from a crippled branch which hung above the object -- and rolled right off of it. I was reminded of the wood-burning stove we had when I was younger. I used to flick water at it, and the droplets would skitter and roll off the stove like marbles rolling down a slope. Bob alternated between staring at the sphere in awe and glancing at his silent Geiger counter in bewilderment. He was standing almost directly beneath a great arc of the ship when the thing took off. I watched in horror as Bob was reduced to blackened char on the forest floor. * * * * * "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you've heard Mister Franklin's testimony of what happened the afternoon of August ninth, nineteen-ninety-three," said the prosecuting attorney. "Now I ask you to decide which you find more plausible: That Robert Modero was vaporized in a fight with a twenty-ton spaceship" -- the audience in the courtroom snickered a bit at that -- "or that Mr. Franklin burned him while he slept.--" "Do you think I destroyed seventeen miles of trees to cover up a murder?" I screamed. The judge was shouting something, but I was too far gone to understand him. The trial went badly. I remember snippets of the judge's monologue: "...remanded into the custody of the . . . Center for evaluation of . . . until such time as . . . is determined to be sane and accountable for . . . stand trial for the murder of Robert Modero." I remember as well my final words to the assembly: "You don't understand! Are you blind, didn't you see the marks? The scars? They'll be back someday! They marked this world for their own!" "*Something's out there, and it's coming back!*"
"Rebirth" 1. Rob staggered down the white sidewalk. He was on his way home from the faceless bar that he had talked himself into entering with the intention of getting drunk. He had been quite successful in his efforts, and was now trying to plow a path to his apartment through the deep snow with his loafers. Looking at the sidewalk after he had passed, an observer would have noticed a winding, snakelike trail in the snow, courtesy of Rob's drunken meandering. As Rob meandered he saw a man hunched over in an alleyway. Rob paused, calculating how much change he would give the guy if he asked for some. The man looked up, his eyes filled with agony. "Help me," he rasped. Then his eyes went flat and cold. The man appeared to be supported from the inside. A faint ripping sound floated to Rob's ears on the frigid wind, and the man's body jerked. A dark form emerged from his back. Dimly, Rob felt his alcohol-swollen bladder release. He stared in horror at the monstrosity which was so alien, and yet so very familiar. It was a moth. A five-foot tall moth. It swivelled its oddly-jointed head and looked at Rob with eyes that resembled nothing so much as mirrored disco balls. "Human," it buzzed with loathing. He ran. 2. He woke up with a hangover and unpleasant memories the next day. He laughed with co-workers about his "strange dream," but couldn't quite shake the feeling of unease which had settled over him like a cold, unfamiliar blanket. After work he decided to drive around and try to find the area he had visited last night. Since he was driving he made a mental note to avoid bars tonight. Besides, he thought, I don't want to be drunk if...anything happens. After driving around for several hours, he finally found the area he had been in the night before. It was dark and vaguely menacing, although Rob couldn't pinpoint an exact reason. Perhaps it had something to do with the grafitti scrawled on the side of the supermarket ahead: "GET OUT." Rob shivered and cranked up his heater a few notches. A flickering from the streetlights caught his attention, and when he looked up, he noticed a figure walking through the snow, stooped over against the cold. Something was troubling Rob, but he couldn't quite figure out what it was until he saw the streetlights flicker again. Each light faded out when the stooped figure passed under it. When the figure had passed, the light slowly brightened again. He realized that the creature -- Moth! screamed his brain -- was somehow stealing the electricity from each light that it passed beneath. In sudden horror, and with an instinctive, ancient hatred he didn't understand, Rob floored the accelerator and rammed his car into the shambling creature. The car spun out, and Rob caught a final glimpse of the broken figure pirouetting through the cold night air before the car hit a telephone post. His head bounced off the steering wheel, and he blacked out When he came to, he felt like he had been out for hours. The car was still warm, however, and there was no fog on the windshield; it had probably been only a few seconds. He half fell out of his car, blood dripping from a gash in his forehead which he was barely aware of. Rob staggered over to where the shattered body of the moth-creature lay. Still alive, but hanging on by a thread, he thought as its disco-ball eye turned to look at him. There was a deep buzzing sound coming from the inside of the creature, probably its last breaths. The monster was either trying to say something or moving its mandibles randomly. Rob hesitated for a fraction of a second, and then stooped down to hear what the thing was saying. One uv uz...one uv uz...one uv uz, it buzzed. "No!" he screamed, and began stomping the moth-creature violently. When it was no longer moving Rob ran back to his demolished car. He tried frantically to start it, but the engine wouldn't catch. Blood dribbled into his eyes, and he mopped at his forehead in panic...and stopped suddenly. He looked into the rear-view mirror with fresh horror, more terrified than he had ever been before. A six-inch long fuzzy antenna was poking out of the gash in his forehead.
_Hackers_ I just got back from the sneak preview of _Hackers_. Overall, the movie was good, but it was lacking in certain areas. The movie opens with an FBI raid on a hacker called "Zero Cool", an 11-year-old virus writer who crashed 1507 systems in a single day with his virus. The judge banned ZC from computers until his 18th birthday. 7 years pass, and Zero has moved to New York with his mom. Here we see the first real evidence of hacking, as Zero takes over the OTV television station by "social engineering" OTV's security officer ("my BLT drive is giving me problems"), and he gets dial-up numbers to the studio's modems. He hacks into the studio network and changes the tape to the Outer Limits. Crash collides with another hacker -- Acid Burn -- and changes his handle on the spot when he realizes he doesn't want to be Zero Cool any more; His new handle is Crash Override. Acid and Crash use the robots at the studio to fight over which tape gets played. There are several other cool parts here. Crash hacks the school's system more than once, getting himself into the cute girl hacker's advanced English class and cracking the school's security grid to cause all the fire sprinklers to go off at a preset time. Crash meets Cereal Killer (Real Name: Emmanuel Goldstein, which all you 2600 buffs will recognize immediately). We get to see Penn Jilette playing a security guard. Crash and Acid hold a contest to see who can fuck up Hacker Hunter Richard Gill's life the most; Acid changes Gill's credit card validity and causes it to be destroyed; Crash puts a personal ad in the paper in Gill's name asking for transsexuals and people into watersports to call Gill's office number; Acid gives Gill 113 DUI violations through a police computer; Crash changes Gill's records to show him deceased. Fun stuff. Cons: on Hack the Planet (a pirate TV show), a useless redbox method is detailed (tape record the quarter tones from a payfone and play them back to get $5.00 worth of free calls. Right. Maybe if you live In Siberia. . . everyone else just makes a redbox. There were also far too many crappy virtual reality simulations (these guys are hacking through laptops, not SGI workstations). The virus subplot could have been a little stronger. The movie did not make me care about the fact that the virus was on the verge of sinking oil tankers across the globe. Bonus: the feds read part of the Hacker's Manifesto by Mentor, a real-life text file written a while ago. For my non-hacker readers, here is the complete text from Phrack issue 7 (reprinted without permission): =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= The following was written shortly after my arrest... \/\The Conscience of a Hacker/\/ by +++The Mentor+++ Written on January 8, 1986 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Another one got caught today, it's all over the papers. "Teenager Arrested in Computer Crime Scandal", "Hacker Arrested after Bank Tampering"... Damn kids. They're all alike. But did you, in your three-piece psychology and 1950's technobrain, ever take a look behind the eyes of the hacker? Did you ever wonder what made him tick, what forces shaped him, what may have molded him? I am a hacker, enter my world... Mine is a world that begins with school... I'm smarter than most of the other kids, this crap they teach us bores me... Damn underachiever. They're all alike. I'm in junior high or high school. I've listened to teachers explain for the fifteenth time how to reduce a fraction. I understand it. "No, Ms. Smith, I didn't show my work. I did it in my head..." Damn kid. Probably copied it. They're all alike. I made a discovery today. I found a computer. Wait a second, this is cool. It does what I want it to. If it makes a mistake, it's because I screwed it up. Not because it doesn't like me... Or feels threatened by me... Or thinks I'm a smart ass... Or doesn't like teaching and shouldn't be here... Damn kid. All he does is play games. They're all alike. And then it happened... a door opened to a world... rushing through the phone line like heroin through an addict's veins, an electronic pulse is sent out, a refuge from the day-to-day incompetencies is sought... a board is found. "This is it... this is where I belong..." I know everyone here... even if I've never met them, never talked to them, may never hear from them again... I know you all... Damn kid. Tying up the phone line again. They're all alike... You bet your ass we're all alike... we've been spoon-fed baby food at school when we hungered for steak... the bits of meat that you did let slip through were pre-chewed and tasteless. We've been dominated by sadists, or ignored by the apathetic. The few that had something to teach found us will- ing pupils, but those few are like drops of water in the desert. This is our world now... the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn't run by profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals. We explore... and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge... and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias... and you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it's for our own good, yet we're the criminals. Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for. I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual, but you can't stop us all... after all, we're all alike. +++The Mentor+++ _______________________________________________________________________________ This movie gets a B.
How to submit: Entropy will be dedicated to distributing quality fiction to the electronic masses. It will also be a (limited) forum for political articles and possibly a small amount of non-fiction, such as articles on hacking. The ratio of Fiction to Non-fiction will be approximately 90%-10%. I will review submissions in the following categories: Fiction Sci-Fi Horror Comedy Mainstream Fantasy Quasi-Fiction Humor (Dave Barry- or PLA-type humor) Non-Fiction Political commentary How-to (hacking, phreaking) Reviews Games (arcade or home systems) Books Movies Other zines Current-events or newsworthy stories By "Dave Barry- or PLA-type humor," I mean the kind of humor that starts out as an anecdote from reality which quickly introduces elements of hyperbole, or actual news stories that are genuinely funny without exaggeration. Be aware that this is by no means a complete list of valid material. If you have something in mind that you don't see on the list, send me a brief description of your idea (but not the entire submission) and I will get back to you. I can be reached on the internet at email@example.com. -Legion
Hope you enjoyed this issue. The next one will be out within 2 months, I hope.