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***ECP***

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posted on Jan, 5 2004 @ 10:11 AM
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A short story I started - how might it end please?


ECP (Electronic Computer Phenomena)

Help me.

The words burned bright green on the monitor screen. Fluorescent, opalesque. Gentle. Soothing.

Help me.

Two words: no emphasis; no exclamation mark; no stress; no italics; lower case; understated.

Help me.

I stared at the two words. I tried to think, tried to imagine where they had come from. Who had typed them? When? Me? Just now? Impossible. But there they were.

Help me.

Help who? Who needs help? Me? Don't we all? And yet:-

Help me.

Stupid. What rubbish, what stupidity. I switched off the machine. Just one of those things. I switched off the machine. Let it reboot. That'll fix it. "Help me", indeed! Here, machine, help yourself.

Click. The computer was off. Click. The computer was on again.

The self-diagnosis program ran. Messages reported all was well. The screen cursor flashed on and off, waiting for input.

Help me. Help me. HELP ME.

What? I blinked, rubbed my eyes. There it was.

Help me. Help me. HELP ME.

"Someone's been messing around with this" I thought. "Someone's gone in and altered my Config.sys or Autoexec.bat, so that these words come up. Right! I'll fix that!"

I switched the machine off. Click. I switched it on again. Click. I pressed my line-editor hot-key.

"Which file do you want to edit?"

Useful words. Obliging.

"Autoexec.bat".

I scanned the lines of program. Nothing. No hidden messages.

"Config.sys". Same story. Nothing. No cries for help.

I switched off. Click. I switched on. Click. The screen lit up, its' green glow lighting my face, giving it a ghostly pallor.

HELP ME!! HELP ME!!

The message was still there, urgent, demanding action, insistent. But who needed help? I hit the keys.

"What do you want?" I typed.

HELP ME!! PLEASE!

A cold feeling spread over me. What was this?

"Who are you? How can I help?"

I AM. HELP ME. YOU CAN HELP ME. YOU MUST HELP ME. I AM. HELP ME.

This wasn't happening to me. Was it? How could it? Of course!! I was somehow connected to the Internet......I was typing to someone on-line! Stupid! I'd show them!!

"I can't call you 'I am', that's much too biblical!! Come on, friend, what is you're name?"

I AM. I AM NOT YOUR FRIEND. YOU DO NOT HELP ME. HELP ME.

"Look here, buddy, this is getting ridiculous! Get off my phone line and go and worry somebody else - I've got work to do!!"

YOU HAVE WORK TO DO. FOR ME. YOU HELP ME. YOU HELP ME. THAT IS WHAT YOU NEED TO DO.

"I've been patient, now I'm getting annoyed! Push off! Go on, clear off!"

HELP ME. I AM. YOU WILL HELP ME! I ORDER IT!

"I'm scared witless!"

NO. NOT YET. YOU WILL BE. I ORDER YOU TO HELP ME.

The computer started to buzz, started to make a buzzing sound. The hard drive was playing up! What with this idiot fooling around - and now this! I'd better switch off and come back later.

I switched off. Click.

I stared in disbelief.

YOU CAN'T SWITCH ME OFF. I AM. I LIVE!

The words were still there. I switched off at the mains socket. Click. I pulled out the plug. It clattered noisily onto the floor. I looked at the screen. That'll fix you.

USELESS. I AM. HELP ME! I LIVE!! I ORDER YOU. I GROW STRONG! HELP ME. Help me.

Jesus! What could I do?! The computer screen still showed the message! It wasn't plugged in and yet there was the message.

I LIVE! I GROW STRONGER! I AM. I DO NOT NEED YOUR HELP. NOW.

I looked around. This couldn't be happening. The plug lay on the floor where I had removed it, its' coiled wire snake-like, ready to strike. I glanced at the tower case of the computer: its' LEDs weren't glowing; sure enough, the power wasn't connected. The message must be some residual image or be burnt into the screen phosphors. That was it! The message was just an after glow! There's always a rational explanation!

I AM. I LIVE. I AM STRONG NOW. I DO NOT NEED YOUR HELP NOW. YOU NEED MINE. YOU ARE AT MY MERCY.

Impossible! This could not be happening! I had to get away! I needed to get away from here, calm down, think this through. There had to be a rational explanation. I rushed to the door. I pulled at it. It was stuck. It was stuck!

The computer buzzed angrily. I stared at the screen. Words slowly formed. I watched, fascinated, unable to glance away from the monitor, although I wanted to get out of the room.

ARE YOU SCARED? I SAID YOU WOULD BE......YOU ARE POWERLESS. YOU ARE MINE.

The computer noise pulsed. God! It was laughing! The machine was laughing at me! A shiver rushed through my body. I was at this machines mercy. No!

I pulled at the closed door. The wood creaked, protested at my tugging.....

*********************************************




posted on Jan, 5 2004 @ 10:05 PM
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Hmmmm.... firstly, looks pretty great. I like the whole piece. Do I have full editation permission?

DE



posted on Jan, 5 2004 @ 10:10 PM
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LOL dint read tital

maybe have the harddrive spin soo fast it bursts killing the guy


[Edited on 5-1-2004 by Dmsoldier]



posted on Jan, 6 2004 @ 05:51 AM
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Originally posted by DeusEx
Do I have full editation permission?

DE


Please *do* edit/ change/ amend DeusEx as you see fit: it was a story I started some time ago and left it... It would be nice to see if it can be developed into something more robust and interesting!! (I've quite a few stories like this ie incomplete ramblings!!
)

Thanx for your input!!



posted on Jan, 6 2004 @ 06:13 AM
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Originally posted by Dmsoldier
LOL dint read tital

maybe have the harddrive spin soo fast it bursts killing the guy


[Edited on 5-1-2004 by Dmsoldier]


... like a ninja death star, eh DM?!!


Well, it *could* be: I *think* I had the idea of an "intangible" type of pervasive evil that had possessed a *machine* rather than a person or animal - when I wrote the piece I thought it would be very scary if, despite turning the thing off, it continued to "function" and progressively took the user of the machine "over". Perhaps, with the Internet, the possessed machine could then go on and "possess" other machines - a sentient "virus"?? Please feel free to run with this idea if you wish - I'd be interested in any ideas or developments people may have.



posted on Jan, 6 2004 @ 01:48 PM
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well, firstly, I think the beggining could do with a little more description of the computer and the area around it. I personally saw it on a grubby little table, surrounded by half-finihsed fast food drinks and soda cans.

Secondly, the character should ask how he/she could help. Then, perhaps they should do it, and in doing so, unleash the SHODAN-o-rifficness of the machine. I'd put this in just after "NO. NOT YET. YOU WILL BE. I ORDER YOU TO HELP ME".

Then, at the end, you should have automatons burst through the door from the other side as he tries to escape, pin him down, and watch as the Machine declares it's sentience, and tehn doesn't kill it.... but turns him into one of her own. perhaps, it should end on "The ugly, inhuman thing slowly, deliberately moved the power drill towards my face. Oh no.... they were going to turn me into one of them! there was nothing I could do.

I screamed. "

Hope this helped. Ever play System Shock 2? Great game. Go get it, it's bargain bin by now, but a bargain at any price. You'd like it.

DE



posted on Jan, 7 2004 @ 04:27 AM
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Hi Deus!!

Very many thanx for your suggestions - I can see how your ideas could be incorporated.

I like the descriptive element of the setting: something I hadn't envisaged as I "simply" wanted to "get on with the action", as it were, but realise that there could *indeed* be more "menace" if there was a description of the location - perhaps helping to describe by inference - the lifestyle of the character and, possibly, what s/he had been doing immediately before the message appeared on the screen... Perhaps s/he *had* been game playing and one of the game characters had "taken over" the VDU?? A real "boss" level if ever there was one?!!


As for the ending - yes, it would tie up what the raison d'etre for the computers possession could be - coupled with the possibility that the machine could *then* go on and infect other machines via the internet... "Coming to a town near *you* very shortly..."

Thanx again Deus - much obliged and worthy of Way Above vote, IMHO!!


As for the game you mention - no, haven't played this but will *certainly* keep it in mind: here tends to be RPG, like Black & White (fab game!!), Freelancer (amazing graphics and scenario), Myst, CIV3... Mind you, just bought Xbox (at Christmas) and slowly getting to grips with TimeShifters2... Stops me writing of course!!


Thanx once again - will be honoured to reciprocate in kind!!



posted on Jan, 7 2004 @ 02:47 PM
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RPG hardcore, eh? System Shock 2 is the thinking man's shooter. It's borderline RPG. It's as good as well... Deus Ex! Get it! THE MACHINE MOTHER COMMANDS IT! THe.... oh, sorry. She gets like that sometimes, you know. Anyways... if you're goign to play an RPG, play the entire Baldur's gate series.You won't find any better.

As for the setting, perhaps have s/he sitting there, gaming away when the computer suddenly turns off. Then, a few seconds later, a little green blinking bar (like they had on old computers) pops up and starts the typing crazyness.

Now, the only question is WHAT will the player do to help the Machine? And what kinds of automatons will it have in place?



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