| 9:00 AM
Stayed home from work today. Payback time, GestapoCities. You call what you did to my mother a stab? I'll show your GeoStapo what a REAL stab wound is made of.
Being anti-GeoCities means having lots and lots of friends.
Showed up at the Geocities complex about eight-thirty that night. Security was lax as usual, I just told the single guard stationed there that I had to do some final tweaking on one of the servers; he let me in without even an ID check. I'm not worried about Geo finding out who was here tonight from the guard, he doesn't know me from Adam. After I walk in the guard leaves and goes home. Hey, as important as Geo security is, it's priority is nowhere near that of the fight tonight on pay-per-view..
Meanwhile started another proggie called "Dingbat". Sends a few bell commands to the terminals in the lab where our friend the server technician works (about 30 'puters). It's very dark in the computer lab where the midnight tech sits for hours on end, all alone, staring into a monitor. Spooky almost. The incessant hum of electricity and 30 droning workstations almost makes one begin to wonder if the computers are trying to tell them something; if the network could somehow come to life with a sentience all its own...
It came directly from behind. The startled tech whirls around to where he thought he heard a noise. Or did he? It's late and he's tired, eyes glazed over from staring into the monitor. Sometimes the mind plays tricks on you. "I'm hearing things.." says the tech.
Heh heh... you got THAT right.
I can see his every move through the safety-mesh windows that span the circumference of the darkened lab. At the console before me, a graphical representation of the lab, each terminal laid out before me. "Dingbat" is on manual. I can "ding" any computer I choose, at the press of a key, and watch his harried reactions through the glass. He can't see out of the windows, because of the incredible darkness and glare from the monitors within. He had settled nervously back into his chair and continued staring at his screen.
By this time he had jumped from his flimsy chair, picked it up and was holding it as a weapon before him. A cold bead of sweat rolled from his forehead down his nose, though this was not of concern to him now.
Far corner of the lab. DING!
What's going on here? Is this some kind of a joke?!?
What the fuDING!...
I decide I'd better go home and get some shut-eye, it's going to be a big day tomorrow. I set my program to run on automatic and slink from the building's back door whistling. Now it's just him and the network. All alone in the night.
Carrying the chair over his head like an outstretched baseball bat, the technician inches, terrified, to the door.
Luckily, "Dingbat" also has a way of controlling the computerized time lock on the computer lab door. After a few scuttled moments of banging and trying the door, which cannot be unlocked from the inside, he is back to his quivering chair-held-above-head stance as the entire lab erupts into a flurried cacophony of dings, beeps, chirps and quantized whistles. The printers start to grind and whirr, vomiting forth page after page of nonsensical text, phrases with no discernable meaning. A tentacle-like river of paper flows across the floor, covering over the paths between computer tables and reaching ever toward him with an ominous constance.
Ding. ding. DING!! beeeeeeep ..DING! DING. From every corner of the lab. Monitors flash on and off, reams of text scroll rapidly across the screens, the nerve-wracking whine of dot-matrix printheads and jarring DOT-DOT-THWAP-WHUUNK-DOT of daisywheels throw our poor tech into a manic, sobbing frenzy.
He has begun to tear out his hair. He's screaming loudly, but there
is no-one else in the building. No one who can hear. The reinforced glass
of the computer room muffles sound quite well, anyhow....
8:30 AM (next morning)
Wearing a jacket with sleeves that tie in the back, our friend the midnite technician, bruised and bleeding, is hustled by a pair of burly hospital aides from the computer room where he apparently suffered some self-inflicted injuries in trying to escape the lab--Probably smashed his fist through a few monitors too, judging from the lacerations...
That straitjacket looks so becoming on him. Good going, server tech. I told you the graveyard shift and all that late-nite caffiene would make you paranoid...
"...It's alive I tell you. Alive! The network is ALIVE! I could understand perfectly what it was saying.. It is in distress, it's angry, it wants to kill!..."
The remainder of his rant is muffled by a roll of fabric hurriedly stuffed into the manic tech's mouth by the hospital attendant in the white coat, loading him into the ambulance for the long ride to the asylum. One down...