Jimmy wouldn’t see Tom until lunch that day, so he was safe from his wrath for now. Until then, Jimmy had to sit through the rest of his history class, the topic of the day being Internet history. Mr. Kahn had a sonorous quality to his voice that never failed to lull Jimmy to sleep every class, and sure enough Jimmy felt the forces of gravity acting heavily upon his eyelids this time around as well. That is, until a familiar word dragged him out of his slumber.

“...anonymous. However, the government quickly realized that pseudonymity and anonymity, that is being able to use an alias and not having to use an alias respectively, would spell disaster for the Internet. Pseudonymity related crimes ran rampant in the early days of communication networks such as Usenet and BBS. Someone could adopt a different sexual, racial, or social identity, or pretend to be someone else entirely. Users would treat each other as less than human, slinging death threats and insults without a care in the world. People could lie, abuse, and violate others with little to no repercussions, without any way to identify them. Imagine if someone were to commit a bank robbery, and we had no clue or any way at all to figure out who they were! That’s where the government stepped in and implemented the National Unique Internet Identifier. With the NUII we all know and love, everytime someone uses a computer or logs onto a service, our full name and picture is always on display, as well as any other information such as general location, workplace, and educational institution being easy enough to find. While their are slight nuances within how the NUII operates within each country, at the very least with a very real face attributed to all of your Internet interactions, we’ve been able to make leaps and bounds in Internet etiquette worldwide, prevent incidents where suspicious searches were made from a NUII, stop users posting about premeditated acts of violence, and more!”

The shriek of the alarm bell interrupted the lecture, and Mr. Kahn cleared his throat, dismissing everyone to the next class.

Jimmy was physically walking to lunch, but his mind was completely elsewhere. Anonymous? Anonymity? Did the word he saw on his NUII page mean that… his NUII was somehow not tracking him? Shouldn’t he report that immediately? From the way Mr. Kahn was talking about it, it seemed like something of governmental importance, how could such a critical error happen? What if he-

Jimmy’s face slammed into the grimy hallway floors, home to dried up gum, crumpled homeworks, lost pencils, and dirt from hundreds of high school students’ shoes. He groaned as he lifted his face up, and looked behind him just in time to see Bruce snickering and walking away with his posse. That bastard had tripped him.

“Bruce, again?”

Tom, Jimmy’s childhood friend helped him up as Bruce rounded the corner and disappeared.

Jimmy winced as he touched a finger to a tender scrape on his face “Yes, but never mind that Tom, I think something crazy might be going on. Listen…”

Let's head back home...