I have 15 million US dollars in an offshore account ready to be transferred into a Swiss account of your choosing. Find who TheSteveMan is, and 1984 him. I want him gone. When you have him, PM this account with the words "Do penguins sweat verily under the moonlight." The money will be transferred within 24 hours. Good luck.
15 million dollars. That's...that's a lot of TL shirts. He could have one for every day of the year. But Pholon knew he mustn't get too ahead of himself. He still actually had to find TheSteveMan, which was the biggest challenge do far in his fledgling eDetective career. Hell, even without the money, it would be amazing. TheSteveMan had dogged everyone not set to /dnd for years. Getting rid of him would be like getting rid of that gangrenous limb that has irritated you for all those years. First though, he needed sleep. He had done a lot of work in the past few days powered solely by Red Bull mixed with Bear Semen. He climbed into his bed, stroked the covers that had salle's face printed on them, before lifting them over his head, shutting his eyes and dreaming of MLG.
Pholon awoke with a start. He had been in the middle of the dream where intrigue was tending to his needs, but already the details were fading. He needed to get back to work, and find TheSteveMan. First he needed details. Which channels did TheSteveMan frequent, which people was he friendly with, who did he harass particularly. If Pholon could gather this information in his folder l33t detectoring, he could definitely narrow down the list of suspects to a few select people. There was already a very specific list of people he knew it had to be. The elite group on TL known as the "BW old guard". These people included Blind-RawR, arb, konadora and a lot more. However he knew most of them and didn't think any of them would do anything like this for so long. Damn it, this would be hard.
He stopped his train of thought. Once again, he was getting ahead of himself. He needed to gather the necessary information. It would take a few days, but he knew he could do it. He began working straight away, hopping onto the TL staff IRC and asking "What's TheSteveMan doing these days?", most staff said they didn't know, and Hotbid said your mother. Hmm. This would be harder than he expected. He decided, and this was a big move, to hop onto ICCup and turn /dnd off. Then he sat there. A few hours passed. The sun rose in the sky, then dropped, like a penny when you realise exactly what that strange smell is. Nothing happened. He decided he had to make first contact. He did something no sane person has ever done. He messaged TheSteveMan. It was just a simple hi, but it was enough. Instantly he got spammed, with everything from yo momma jokes, to umadbro? Pholon though carefully. The more structured insults TheSteveMan said had patterns that were there, but that were definitely identifiable. He needed a few days back in the lab (also known as the Internet cafe two blocks away) to analyse them, but he could definitely get something. He decided to go down straight after a nourishing lunch. He could almost taste the ramen.
Pholon sighed and rubbed his face. The analysis hadn't gotten him anywhere in the past three days.. He had tried to sniff down a few other leads in that time, but nothing had come up. Pholon was beginning to doubt himself. Many grizzled bitter vets had tried to take down TheSteveMan before him and had failed, many quitting eDetectoring altogether. Yet he, a mere beginner to eDectoring thought he could do it in a few days. Then again, the grizzled bitter vets didn't have 15 million dollars to drive them onwards.
Pholon sighed again and logged onto ICCup. Pholon swore under his breath, he had forgotten to set himself to /dnd and was already getting messaged by TheSteveMan. But this was not the usual trolling spam gracing his screen. No, this was something much more simple, yet complex. It read simply, "Stop. Many have tried before you. They have all failed. You will too and it will drive you insane. You will never learn who I am. You cannot", and with that TheSteveMan logged off. Pholon felt his breath to get more ragged as he began to panic. How did TheSteveMan know so much? Did someone tip him off? Was Pholon being watched? That man sitting 2 computers down from him in the Internet cafe did seem to be trying to get glimpses of Pholon's screen. No, he told himself. That can't be it. Maybe he is just trolling again, trying to scare me into paranoia. Still though, he was shaken. Maybe h should go for a warm bath and a lie down. He could always go back to working later...
Pholon slowly opened his eyes and yawned. He knew he'd slept for far too long but he didn't care. He did have a weird dream though. Something to do with IP addresses. Probably about TL, just a dream. He still had more work to do though. He wasn't sure what else he could do about TheSteveMan case, other than let it simmer for a few days before returning to it. He still had other work to do, mainly on TL. He began browsing through threads, finding users who had stepped out of line and either hitting them with a warning stick or bashing their head in with a banhammer. When he refreshed the main page he noticed three new threads on the sidebar that he hadn't seen before. The first at the tops title was just "I". The next one down was called "Am". The third one was called "Watching". Pholon opened all three of them in separate tabs and checked the name of the users. The one who made "I" was called The, the one who made "Am" was called Steve and the one who made "Watching" was called Man.
Pholon felt a chill ride up his spine and took a deep breath. He closed all three threads, before cross referencing the IP of the newly registered users with the rest of TL. He didn't get a match. Pholon was getting worried now, but knew it still mightn't have been aimed at him. He decided he really needed to relax and get rid of the tension building up inside of him. He decided to log onto ICCup again, not to pursue leads but to actually, and you might want to prepare some brandy for when you read what is coming up, to play Starcraft. He hadn't in a while, what with all the cases coming up and thought it would be fun.
After five or so games, he felt sufficiently calm and collected and decided to refocus on the problem at hand. There had to be someway of working out who TheSteveMan was and he knew it. He felt like it was just beyond his grasp, something really obvious that he just wasn't getting. He decided to do some more moderating in case he thought of something mid ban, but he accidentally clicked on the Team Liquid Ten Commandments Thread. One Commandment caught his eye, saying how you shouldn't smurf because users IP's are seen in real time. Something about that leapt out from the page, but what? Pholon thought and thought and suddenly, it came to him. He realised it in a moment of brilliance. It was so obvious too, he couldn't believe no one had thought of it before. He nearly had TheSteveMan. He just needed a few days then he would know exactly who he is.
Pholon breathed a long, deep sigh of relief. The people working at ICCup had agreed to what he wanted to do. They'd agreed and soon this would be over. As soon as they gave him what he wanted he would be able to work it out with a few minutes work. He sat in his desk chair browsing TL for about an hour, before he got another email from ICCup. It contained what he wanted. The Holy Grail. The Golden Snitch. The 7 Millennium items. It contained...TheSteveMan's IP. Now he had him. He quickly cross-referenced the IP with the TL database and got a match. He had it. TheSteveMan's true identity. His true name was Lightwip. A balance whiner on the forums, disliked by many. Few would be sad to see him go. He announced he had TheSteveMan's identity on the TL staff IRC. No one believed him, but then he gave the proof that was the email. Lightwip was instantly banned. Now Pholon could finally claim his award. 15 million dollars. He sent a PM to NotBlindRawR, "The penguins sweat verily under the moonlight". Then he went upstairs, got dressed in his esports pyjamas and went to sleep.
When he finally awoke a few days later he had forgotten about the 15 million dollars. But he would never forget about capturing TheSteveMan, one of BW's biggest anonymous trolls. This alone made him a legend in eDetectoring. He lit up another cigar, feeling he had earned, took a long drag and leaned back in his large, leather desk chair.
Funnily enough a few months later he got a reply from NotBlindRawR that went something like,
lol u actually believed it?
Thanks for reading this short story. Not all events are true and most definitely are not. Please do post what you think of it and if you want to see more suggest something :D