An American hacker who goes by the moniker P4x was hacked by North Korean spies. He’s a security researcher and hoped the US would have his back.
After a year without a response from the US for the attack, P4x retaliated. Since he struck back, North Korea’s internet has suffered from persistent blackouts. The exceptions are sites hosted outside the country’s borders.
Two important notes:
- There aren’t many people connected to the internet, unlike here in the US.
- North Korea also has a disconnected intranet, which was untouched.
Still, the fact that a single man would and could take down a country’s internet makes for a compelling story.
What if the hacker becomes convinced the state is hunting him, developing intensifying paranoia throughout the story?
The story could follow two hackers after a fictional country’s been hacked. The person who hacked the country—let’s call them X—starts thinking agents are following them, becoming increasingly suspicious of everyone they meet, and rarely leaving the house.
The other main character, Y, could be a grunt working for the hacked state. They face increasing pressure from their bosses to fix the problem and become convinced the state is following them as they go about their lives. They spend more time with their parents and friends to cope with the stress.
We see two sides to dealing with pressure: increasing seclusion and increasing reliance on meaningful relationships.
Amid the anxiety about surveillance, X reaches out to Y when they discover the state is, in fact, following Y.
In short, X wants to know if the state is also following him.
They begin a fevered correspondence, promising to help each other escape the state. Eventually, they fall in love, and X begs Y to leave and join him in the free state.
But Y can’t abandon their relationships and doesn’t leave.
The state discovers the correspondence and starts investigating, discovering X’s identity and planning their revenge.
Until then, X hadn’t been tailed, and his paranoia created threats.
Y finds out about the planned revenge on X and doesn’t say anything, choosing the relationships in their country over the long-distance romance.
In the end, X is assassinated, and Y gets promoted for helping the state retaliate.