The New World
[I meet him in a seedy /tg/ outpost's tavern on one of the innermost rings of the internet currently livable. A dangerous place for an interview, but the best stories are from the front. This is a dangerous place, and /tg/'s warriors are everywhere, their bolters, bows, and laser rifles (as well as countless other weapons) all held close and loaded. The man I'm interviewing has a sort of understated menace to himself as well, although the only weaponry he's carrying is a truly antique spybot program and a double-barreled antivirus slung across his back. He takes a long pull of his underclocker (of fine codesmanship, I notice) and begins to speak into my mp3 recorder.]
You know how there are all these people trying to get out of the web? That ain't me. What'll happen if we escape? What do we go back to? A fucked-up, ruined planet covered in bones? Face it.
Humanity has been constantly moving toward this point, ever since the net was born. It's for the better, brah. We've evolved. [he takes another pull of the underclocker, and when he speaks again, it is slightly choppier as its data calms and slows his stress-frayed systems.]
I was made to be a surfer. Well I mean maybe not a surfer, specifically, but an explorer, an adventurer. But I was born into a world that had been discovered. No more secrets. Space itself was filled with our satellites, and besides, what's out there, really? Just nothingness. No desert islands with forgotten tombs, no undiscovered realms. So I just stayed home and became another faceless consumer bureaucrat and I drowned my sorrows at this boring planet in video games and booze and fat. [another silence.] When the Fall happened, I was browsing a forum I moderated, something about, fuck, I don't know, some meatworld TV show or something. When I felt myself become digitized and the body I kept thinking was betraying me wasting away, I remember thinking relief, that I might be dying. Then when I materialized in the forum and saw the Cybers pouring out of the links, I panicked. Ran to the first link I could find and jumped through and through some insane turn of luck ended up on my own comp. Some Cybers broke through but my antivirus software fucked them up pretty bad. I grabbed for the first data deletion tool I could find (he gestures Spybot, currently in the form a serrated, crude-looking dagger). And that was when I realized I could fight back. And that's when my life found its meaning.
A lot of people, for a while after the Fall, were confused as to why something *we* had created was so alien, so hostile and dangerous. They didn't see the need for people like me, and some wandered out of the webfort walls confident they could find safe networks, trying to control what humanity had, after all, made itself. They didn't get far. Business has picked up for Surfers now that everyone has recognized this new world for what it is. [he leans forward, a gleam in his eyes]. Just that. The NEW WORLD. The kilobytes turn to megabytes which flow into gigabytes to terabytes stretching off into infinity. Link after link, page after page. It's unique, dangerous, exciting. I fucking love it. People like me, we've finally come into our own. [a roar sounds outside the walls of the tavern. Already, the constable of the settlement (in the form of a towering Grey Knight) is barking orders to his soldiers] Speaking of which - 'scuse me.[He unslings the antivirus and heads for the door. He pauses for a moment before joining the battle.] In retrospect, I wouldn't want it any other way. [He pulls out the old Spybot and heads out into the fray.]