Serendipity- Chapter 4 – A Ray of Hope


As he was searching for a new episode Ashu began thinking of his college days. How one night all of Ashu’s friends had gathered in his room and were discussing their money-problems. His friend Amit had told them that in order to make money quickly he had been accessing the dark web to place bets on sporting events, horse races etc. Initially, Ashu was shocked and appalled by the thought that Amit would even consider accessing a place that was a breeding ground for criminals. Amit explained, “Please don’t think less of me. I only did it because I was in desperate need. I know that the dark web can be an incredibly dangerous place so I am very cautious of what I do. If done carefully the dark web can be rewarding without scathing you.”

Although Ashu wanted to watch the episode he was searching for, the idea of the dark web seemed like a viable option now. It was indeed ironic that in this bleak time the dark web would be his ray of hope. He pondered over it for some time then made up his mind. Ashu banged his fist on the table and said to himself “What the hell, I’ll do it. If that dimwit Amit can do it and come out unscathed surely I can do the same. I will earn enough to save my house and then leave this behind. It’s a calculated risk I’ll have to take.” With that resolve, he opened his laptop.

The dark web isn’t like an ordinary search engine that one could access. Ashu knew that and thus began on the biggest problem of this entire enterprise, getting access. If he could do this, the next bit would be smooth sailing, he thought. Ashu had underestimated the amount of work he would need to do to get on the dark web and had overestimated his technological abilities. He suddenly had a sense of appreciation for Amit, the backbencher who managed to pass each semester only with a lot of help from his friends and an enormous amount of luck. Who knew that the shabby boy who wasn’t very interested in people other than his group of friends had the skills to execute such a task.
In a moment of doubt, Ashu decided to reach out to his friend. He rationalized that if he was unable to get access he could get some help from Amit and if he did manage to get on before his friend replied he could get insights on how to navigate the web safely. He wrote an email to his friend.

Hi Amit,
It’s been a long time since we last met. I hope that we can make a plan to meet soon. I am reaching out to you because I needed your help. Do you remember the night after our final exams in college when we were all talking and you told me about how you managed to access the dark web to get some money? Well I am kind of in a similar situation and I have urgent need of money and I need your help in this. I distinctly remember the task your bookie gave you, the one in which you had to stay a night in a hotel for a night under a fake name. I was hoping I could also get something similar to do and for that, I
would need your help. Revert when you can. Any help or advice will be appreciated.

Once he hit send, he set to work and finally managed to log on the vast secret cyber underworld. Being a novice in this realm he thought the best way to explore was to enter chat rooms and see if he could find any money-making opportunities there. He picked a chatroom and saw a huge wave of incoming messages. There was a long thread of people sending random messages.

Anonymous – no hidden wiki, please
Anonymous – hi I am a teen and I want to know some live broadcasting sites to use from my phone on
the deep web
Anonymous – WHO’S GOT DRUGS?!?!
Anonymous – How to buy drugs
Anonymous – Anyone wants to learn how to hack?
Anonymous – anyone got some good cheese pizza recipes
Anonymous – 96% + pure cocaine, 90% pure cocaine weed >>>>

This wasn’t working, so left that chat room. It wasn’t like he expected to have a hit on his first try anyway but it did dampen his enthusiasm. He found another chat room named Snake Coil’s which allowed him to chat one on one with random strangers. He created a profile for himself under the username Redeemer_Uhsa and started chatting with random strangers. He continued doing this in other chatrooms as well. It was a slow journey, in the beginning, most of the people he talked to turned out to be teenagers looking for drugs. However, he kept on talking to different people. His message to each one was clear “Need a money-making opportunity. I am willing to work for you if you have a job for me” after spending a couple of hours on the chat rooms he had two responses that looked like they could lead somewhere, from the usernames fallen_angel and pristine_devil. He had a choice to make.

Choose your answer to proceed

Whom should Ashu chat with?

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Shreya Sharma
So she sat with closed eyes and half believed herself in wonderland though she knew she had to open them again and all would change to a dull reality ✨ Shreya is the most disciplined member yet she's always there to cheer you up and motivate you. She is a woman of superior intellect and an interesting conversationalist. Being a keen observer helps her to understand various characters. Shreya thrives on her child-like demeanour but is never the one to shy away from speaking her mind when things seem unfair. She seeks to find magic in the mundane and whimsy in the ordinary. Sometimes cynical, mostly awkward she finds her escape in the pages of books hoping to be whisked away to an alternate reality.
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