This is a quasi-excerpt from a book I’m working on. This was written by me, Brandon Nolet. I say “quasi” because I’m actually writing it now as opposed to having written it in the past. I intend to actually put this in the book somewhere, probably in the beginning.

Daniella looks up from her notepad and notices her brother navigating to a website that she’s feels vaguely familiar with. It looks like the same one she uses to communicate with some of her close friends in the cybersecurity space but can’t be sure.

This is the first time she’s noticed him on it but it’s not the first time she’s seen his username. A sense of worry comes over her but she quickly shakes it off. She can’t help but wonder what he’s doing there, but wonders if she should say anything for fear of showing too much interest. She decides to go the colour route.

“Oh that website looks so cool, I like the colours! What is it?” Daniella asks.

“It’s just some website that all these hacker nerds use to communicate, no big. I found it, like, six months ago,” Andrew responds.

“No way, hackers? I didn’t know you were into hacking!”

“I’m not, I just want to see what they’re saying. A bunch of stuff I don’t even come close to understanding, shit. I tried DM’ing a few people but I can’t understand half of what they’re telling me, except for a few people, one of which I talk to every once in a while.”

Daniella can’t help herself, “Who’s that? Are they people you like? By the way, I seriously can’t get over the purple and black theme of the website, it really works,” Daniella puts this act on in front of her brother all the time. She’s really just that one of the guys types but prefers to keep that to her hacker friends.

“Uhh, okay, glad you like the site. But yeah, I guess I made some buds here. The one person I talk to’s username is danilla, but I just call him Dan”

Daniella’s heart starts racing, “Oh, that’s cool, I guess.” She quickly scrawls his username in her notepad and walks away from Andrew to her room.

“Where you goin’ with such a hurry?” Andrew asks, face leaning towards incredulous.

“I forgot I had a friend I was supposed to email some important information!” she yells from her home office. Turning on her computer, she sits firmly in her chair. Once logged in, she quickly browses to a website similar to the one Andrew was using.

It’s the same platform, just a different implementation. It’s the same space, just a different access point.

She looks up his username and lo-and-behold, she has in fact interacted with Andrew in the very same space that she’s used a thousand times to communicate with her cybersecurity friends. He knows all the things that she’s been up to. He doesn’t, however, know that these things have been happening literally beside him, on the couch, in the cafe, on the bus, in the supermarket. She’s also not known that he’s aware of so much of her online activity.

If he knew what she had been up to the past few months, he would never look at her the same.

This was written as part of an effort to get back into writing my book. Let me know what you think of this quasi-excerpt over on Mastodon. I know that what happens isn’t extremely exciting, but I hope you like it anyway.