The press had shrewdly dubbed the 1987 killing “The Hearth Murder.” That a 16-year-old had killed his father, a wealthy district judge, was news, perhaps even national news. But that a teenager with the last name ‘Hearth’ had stabbed his father to death by the fireplace, in his own house, guaranteed the surname would remain associated for decades in national consciousness with mayhem and family collapse. The murder never bothered Jacob. In fact, he was an accomplice. He never warned his father upon seeing Lev creep up behind him with the upraised knife. Judge Hearth had been an alcoholic who beat his children, a hypocrite to his own profession. No, what troubled Jacob was the way his political career had been wrenched away, the loss of control over the world he’d structured around him. He required control even over the lives of others, let alone his own. With one world lost to him, the Internet provided him with the virgin world he craved. Supported by the generous inheritance that the three brothers had split, Jacob devoted himself exclusively towards mastery over this new universe. From its earliest years of TCP/IP and hypertext, Jacob was always on the online forefront. But it wasn’t until the rise of role-playing games like World of Warcraft, Dark Ages, Guild Wars, Second Life, and Red Light Center that he came into his own. Soon heralded as one of the undisputed lords of the gaming world, Jacob – by then known as The Unseen (for he had discarded his earlier identity) – began designing and programming his own multi-player game in line with his quest for absolute power. Like other games, players battled and competed online. It differed only in one way. The players were rewarded – or punished – in real life.