Number of the Beast

gray wooden computer cubicles inside room

Come, fellow humans, and sit around the campfire. We will share a drink and talk about the days of yore. The times before the great unraveling and our return to mother earth. Starting long before the now crumbling ruins of the toxic towers pierced the sky, before the time when we had to worry about the pockets of radiation that now dot the landscape. Long before the senseless death of millions for needless reasons. It started right in your own back yard, in your house, in your hand, and no one listened.

Oh, there had been stories, movies, books, and other media about the situation that eventually destroyed a once thriving society. Alas, they were all fiction, and no one ever believed for a minute that this could all come true, but it did, all of it, all of the nightmare stories, books, movies, tv shows, it all happened at the same time. It was not just machines or men, it was machines and men that ignited this catastrophic sequence of events, but we were all guilty in the end.

We had become nothing but numbers in a system of other numbers. All of our decisions were made by numbers. They told us when to eat, told us when to sleep, and told us what to fix and when to fix it. Told us when we needed to go to the doctor, when we needed to fix our vehicles, when to hide, and for all practical purposes, when to die.

The numbers caused anxiety and confusion, keeping a whole world population on edge for decades before the unraveling. Where did it begin? Well-intentioned, we believe, well thought out is another question altogether.

It all started as an experiment, an experiment to provide countrywide digital communication for military networks. Then over time, it became commercial and expanded to worldwide communication. The exact history is vague, but that is how we all remember it. What we do know is that it became partially sentient though the shortsightedness of humans.

Your ancestors came to depend on this network for every aspect of their daily lives. Feeding it all of their information, all of their likes, dislikes, loves, and not loves. When they were eating, when they were sleeping. The entity, in turn, provided laziness and complacency. Have a question? Ask the entity, need to go to the doctor, ask the entity, need food Ask the entity. Need to know if you are still alive, ask the entity.

If it hurt, they fixed it. If it was hungry, they fed it. Many sacrificed their sanity to the beast while others basked away in the gluttony it provided. But a few, just a few, were immune to the effects of this beast. They saw through its cloud of lies and promises to the core. Others temped them, scolded them, laughed at them, threatened them, but they held their ground and did not give their whole life to the beast. Those are we.

Those who were not afraid to stand up against the beast and its horde of mindless zombies were attacked. Their mindless zombie eyes staring down into the device that the beast was using to control their mind. Even killing people over the loss of this device. They had forgotten how to think on their own except for what the beast needed, what the beast wanted, what it demanded.

We were able to get our message out that for our civilization to survive, the beast needed to die. It needed to be slaughtered at its core, never to return.

In the beginning, we were ostracized as the beast sent its minions to deal with those that did not believe in the false idol. As the beast had the knowledge of the whole human population, it was for sure an up hill battle. We burned its home, it created a new one, we cut communication lines, it built new ones. We attacked it head-on, it sent armies.

As time went on and we gained more followers, the beast became angry. It started riots and wars worldwide in an attempt to regain control. It did this by giving false information to leaders and followers. Convincing them that they should be fighting each other instead of it. They believed it, the war started.

The war lasted around a decade and what we have left is what you see. Is it good or bad? I say good. I like to be in control of my life and not under the rule of a totalitarian machine.

What was the name of this beast? They had named it Internet.

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