Devil's Ether

Creator: RR Cherla
Age rating: Everyone
For the purported cause of America's security, a faction of the US government is using Remote Neural Monitoring techniques to pry into the lives of citizens. A deadly game where Netizens are unwitting players, and the last frontier of privacy - the mind - is violated.
Synopsis: Devil's Ether is a fast-paced thriller, set against the backdrop of neural monitoring, crypto-anarchy and international intrigue in a highly connected world.

For the purported cause of America's security, a clandestine faction of the United States government called the Mentors, is using Remote Neural Monitoring (RNM) techniques to pry into the lives and minds of citizens. A deadly game where Netizens are unwitting players.

The story is based on the premise that every human thought and perception (sound, sight) is a result of external stimuli triggering electrical activity in the brain. This electrical activity emits brain-waves which radiate into the ether. The Mentors discover this phenomenon and develop listening posts that can tune into these radiations and reconstruct the visual and auditory perceptions of the person. These listening posts are mounted on satellites, affording the operation global reach. Furthermore, brain-waves have a unique identifying characteristic, based on the person's DNA; enabling specific individuals to be targeted.

Social media and communications companies, in their mad rush to connect billions of citizens through the Internet, Social and Mobile Networks, have provided the Mentors the perfect platform to establish the massive surveillance Grid.

Volunteer networks with millions of nodes -- participating in the romantic quest for Extraterrestrial intelligence and to mine crypto-currencies (Bitcoin, Ether etc.) -- are hacked to pump up the Grid's processing power.

To prevent detection, the Mentors create an elaborate front for their operation (code named ORION) using the Internet and Social Networks. ORION stealthily takes control of the American Space Commission’s COMET (Cloud Computing based search for ET) Program, that uses volunteers’ computers on the Internet to process extra-terrestrial radio signals.

Sara Sheppard, a financial consultant, is struggling to manage her career and family. Her husband Jim Sheppard, Professor of Political Science at George Washington University, is a severe critic of the Administration’s foreign policy. He has been roped in by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), to testify before a Senate sub-committee, against funding and further empowering Intelligence agencies. The Mentor’s perceive a threat to ORION and try to stop a determined Jim Sheppard from testifying.

Sara witnesses her marriage and family crumble around her as her husband, targeted by the Mentors, becomes ORION’s victim. The Mentor’s use ORION to create footage of intimate moments between Jim and Sara, and dispatch it to him anonymously. Jim endures it silently, eventually losing his mental balance, unable to bear the constant intrusion into his personal life. The Mentor’s have their victory, as an incapacitated Sheppard is unable to testify.

Elsewhere, the Mentors use ORION to engineer the assassination a charismatic South American president, throwing his oil-rich nation into turmoil. The US government steps in to install a puppet government, protecting American business interests in the country, securing its supply of oil and ridding itself of a feared enemy.

In addition to legitimate neutralization of terror master-minds in a post Osama-bin-laden world, Corporate and Political espionage are some of the illicit uses that ORION is put to by the Mentors.

Determined to save her family, a desperate and clueless Sara sets out on an investigative journey, transiting from the corporate world, into the mind of a Nobel Prize-winning neurologist, onto the trail of a murdered scientist’s family and to the sleazy red-light districts of Washington DC. Her search leads her to Jeff Brandon, a disgruntled ORION communications expert, himself on the run from the Mentors. (NOTE : This script and story by the same author, was published 6 months before the Snowden expose, so the parallels seen here are prophetic. There is documented evidence of the registration dates)

Faced with the prospect of exposure and arrest, the Mentors try to hunt down and eliminate Jeff, closing in on him, just as he unveils the ORION saga to Sara.

In the thrilling climax Sara and Jeff turn ORION's RNM capabilities on the Mentors and expose them and their Operation -- prime time on national Television !

As Sara begins to uncover the devious scheme, the ingenuity of the Operation and the scary possibilities, become palpable.

A thought-provoking thriller that neatly morphs state-of-the-art and sci-fi, Devil's Ether leaves the viewer with the feeling that the last frontier of privacy – the mind – is about to be violated.

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