The news was on the TV that night when the first message came through. All it said was 'James Kilmanan is next' and, as usual that message stayed on the screen for thirty seconds; no more, no less.
I did not attempt to change the channel, not even hit the TV in a vain attempt to fix whatever was wrong with it. I knew that there was nothing that I could do from stopping this meassage from being displayed, short of turning off the TV.
The signal that created it had come before, many times before. Every time, this signal blanketed every television channel for thirty seconds. The police had tried to track him, but were not even close.
The signal was created by Virus. An annonomous and legendary hacker that had abilities on computers that bordered on the mythical. No computer could hold out against, no man could track him. And, if your name came up on this signal. Then your life of ill-gotten luxury was over.
He started out small.
Small time thieves and gangsters suddenly found themselves without any money to speak of. Then evidence that incriminated them would turn up on police databases.
He only went up from there.
Last year, he took down a multi-national crime syndicate that specialised in everything from money laundering to human trafficking.
Not even the government is safe from him.
Two years ago he hacked the military database and shared some of the CIA's criminal activities with the world. No-one can figure out how.
As for the profits he makes. He keeps half, and the other he gives to charity each year. A different one each time.
No-one knows what James has done but he will be broke before the night is out.
There are rumours that the president has the Virus' number and he can call him at any time. I'm not sure if this is real or not but I'm inclined to think that it is true.
What I am sure of though. Somewhere out there is a very rich man, sitting in a penthouse suit on a computer, ruining the life of a criminal right now.