A boy by the name of Artie attempts and succeeds at hacking into a government website, known as the Black List. The site lists names, information, a date of birth and date of death of several people, including a comedian named Bill Kinneman, listing the date of death as that same day. He bookmarks the website as he goes downstairs for dinner with his mother, seeing a news report of the same comedian’s death. The two raise the situational question of whether or not they’d like to know when they were going to die. Artie goes back to messing around a few weeks later, trying to find something else to hack, but decides to check his bookmarks, visiting Black List one more time finding the name of a rapper with a date of death. He gets a call from his friend, Jason, telling him that the rapper is dead as well.
At this point, Artie begins checking out more names with dates of death set in the future, thinking that it’s a death pool site. He changes the date of death on a death row inmate, bringing it in from the 10 years later. The following day, a news report comes on the radio saying that he died. He freaks out and notices he’s locked out of the site, hacking in long enough to see that his friend was listed as dying that day. Barely able to change the date, he calls Jason and warns him. Jason obviously doesn’t believe him and almost gets hit by a truck, just barely saved by Artie’s call.
He begins attempting to load a virus into the website until somebody rings the door bell several times. A government agent named Mort Donner, handing him a warrant to ask him some questions. Donner lets Artie know that they know of his hacking abilities and his access to the Black List website. It is revealed that the site was designed to assist in killing those who are a threat to the country as opposed to wasting time on searching for them. Donner tells Artie that the Department of Defense could use his skills, taking him to his car where Artie believes that he’s been recruited. Donner gives him a tarot card, saying that it’s his card, revealing the meaning of his name “Mort” to meaning Death.
This episode of Night Terrors raises the question of whether or not hackers truly know what they’re getting into when they open a classified website. The antagonist, and “owner” of the website, seems to toy with Artie once he interferes by altering the date of one of those on the list. He is able to save his friend’s life, but unable to save his own by the end. In the cast of this episode were Mike Dent, who voices in several shows for Darker Projects. He does a good job at portraying the role of hacker and uncaring for what he gets into. His friend Jason is voiced by Elie Hirschman who only has a few lines but adds to the effect of feeling Artie was simply making things up and becoming a conspiracy theorist. As a special treat, David Ault plays as Agent Mort Donner, delivering key points of dialogue into the source of the website. He does a good job at changing his voice of being calm and inviting until he realizes that he has gotten what he wants. David Ault’s work can be found all over the place in the audio drama community, including his lead role as Byron in The Byron Chronicles.
Head over to the Night Terrors page on the Darker Projects website to begin listening now. To download all episodes and be notified of new episodes, you can search out the show and subscribe on the iTunes Store or Zune Marketplace.