Arcs - June 1994
D.E.M - Ronjoy Choudhury
(page 2/8)

D.E.M.

To: *@ic.ac.uk
From: John@JB_lab.ac.uk

Strange, I thought it would be lighter.

I'd better explain myself. My name is Beckett - John Beckett. As far as I can tell, I'm thirty-four years old (I'm sorry I can't be more definite, but I haven't found any internal chronometers here yet). Software engineer, single, two sisters, rented flat riveting stuff, eh?

Anyway, where was I?

Oh yes.

Remember 'Tron'? Great film. That bit where Jeff Bridges gets digitised and SUCKED INTO THE COMPUTER. Cool. And then there was this comic... 'John Craven - Hellblazer'. Or something like that - this old hippy does the same thing Then 'The Lawnmower Man', then that 'Star Trek' episode with... whatsisface.. Howling Mad Murdock. Seemed like everyone was at it.

So I had a go.

Mmmm...

Sorry - lost my train of thought for a second. At least I think it was a second. Who knows? It's just that I've stumbled on to a MUSH program. Some guy in Bognor is having computer sex with a blonde in Seattle. At least, that's what he thinks.

(Mental Note - find any database with statistics for transsexual truck drivers in north-west USA).

Anyway, as I was saying (or thinking - whatever), I decided to find some way of entering cyberspace. Well, I won't bore you with the details, but needless to say it takes more than an Amiga 500 and a copy of Digiview. In fact, it took eight years to create the technology, and find the money, to make it happen. Eight years of lying, cheating, screaming and sweating, all of which finally led me to an 'Are You Sure? Y/N' prompt on a computer screen in an empty lab.

So here I am.

To be honest, it was surprisingly painful. I think I screamed a bit but it's so difficult to tell. I can however tell you there might be a slight problem in getting back. You see, I had the computer monitor my synaptic wave pattern during the transfer, and it seems there's not much of a brain for me to return to. Well, that's death for you.

It really does seem to be darker than I thought. No flashing lights. No neon beams. Nothing. So how do I know where I am? I'm afraid that would be like explaining colour to a blind man. Pretty damn difficult

Ah! A clock. Mmmm . thirteen hours since I joined Doesn't time fly? Well, I guess there's time to tell you what I've been up to. At first I just looked around. You know reading people's email; gaining access to bulletin boards, playing XPilot. Almost died of boredom. Then I started branching out. You'd be amazed how easy it was. Passwords? No problem Encryption? Ha! At this moment I have thirty-two million pounds in a secret Swiss bank account. Pity I can't use it.

The games are a lot better on this side as well. None of that 'Doom' shit. I've played stuff that makes 'Seventh Guest' look like 'Ms Pacman'. NORAD have got this great version of 'Missile Command' - just a tad more realistic.

Incidentally, you're not the only one getting this message. Everyone is. (And I do mean EVERYONE ).

Do you know what I've done yet? Has anyone told you? Well, let's pretend they haven't. You see I started to get bored, oh about thirty minutes ago. I'd played everything. I'd read everything (except for all that 'Star Wars' trivia - you'd never guess how much of that stuff there is). And there are only so many project reports you can sabotage before you go mad.

Am I mad? Could be.

I think you know where I'm headed with this one. If you don't, then I hope you like surprises. Anyway, I was thinking that God must be one depressed son of a bitch. After all, he's omnipotent, omnipresent AND omniscient. When you're that powerful, HOW ON EARTH could you have any fun? Me, I'm pretty much the same. You've seen all those stupid cow pictures made from pressing different keys on the keyboard? That was me. Those thousand crap chat-up lines? Me again. I know all the anecdotes from 'Blade Runner' and every possible explanation of its symbolism, and you know that someone who's read all that has just too much time on his hands.

So, I decided to share the darkness. Do you hear them yet? I guess it depends on when you read this. You see, I'm afraid I've done something rather naughty, and, even worse, just a touch cliched. Go on, have a guess. Give in? Well, let's just say if you have to finish a lab report, you've got until 4:23pm GMT to hand it in. After that, it's your funeral.

And everyone else's for that matter.

T.T.F.N

John