The tangle of cables was immense, if he could find the right one, he’d be ok, just had to find the right one .. damn, not that one, no lights, it was all about the lights, plug it in and see lights, that’s what he wanted, but where to start? this one maybe? no lights, damn it.
Morris was sure that there was more to it, was sure that if he could connect to the ‘hiddennet’, the internet behind the internet, he’d have some answers, real answers. Maybe this one ? .. no lights.. He’d first gotten a glimpse of the hiddennet after watching the movie the Matrix, it rang more than just a little true, stuck at his workstation in an accounting firm, spending his nights downloading movies and software, a jack of all trades when it came to computers, but never having the drive to become a master of any one facet. Sure he knew it was just a movie .. no lights .. , but there was more to discover, he was sure of it, a portal of all knowledge was just beyond those that didn’t go after it. Once he’d ‘accidentally’ hacked successfully into his ISP’s server after a marathon 30 odd hours, he’d caught another glimpse of unfettered, power and knowledge, that’s what led him to this point, the one defining moment in his life where he knew he could get more, if only .. no lights .. if only he could find the right cable to plug into the right socket. He’d planed the assault on the ISP’s hardware the same day as he’d gained access to their server, changed the security just a smidge, not enough to be noticed he’d hoped, but just enough to gain access to their hardware, the rows and rows of rack servers that drive the internet, connecting everyone to everyone, connecting everything from toasters and soft drink machines to companies, businesses, home computers, defence departments and NASA, he’d downloaded a building diagram, hunted through the clues to find the building, hunted through the everyday internet to find out how to get there, it was all too easy, perhaps he was a master of this sort sort of thing .. click .. no lights .. He knew if he was to patch his laptop into the hiddennet, he’d have achieved his goals, if only, .. no lights .., shit, the window of opportunity he’d opened for himself was rapidly closing, there wasn’t going to be a second crack at this .. no lights .. .. no lights .. .. no lights ..
Where the hell was he ? He was becoming so random these days, always had something else on his mind, always looking for something more .. Jennifer, or ‘Trinity’ as Morris had started to call her, was becoming more and more anxious, Morris was all worked up when he rang earlier, you have to get over here, once you’ve seen this, this is, this could, this will .. she couldn’t really make head nor tail of what he was rabbiting on about now, but ever since they’d split up, she had the impression that he was slowly losing it. Not that it appeared that much had changed, he still arrived at work, but now he began to look drawn and tired, she worried about him and cared for him, but just couldn’t put up with the constant paranoia, and searching for more, missing out on the now, for the sake of a fairytale, it was so depressing. She’d tried of course, to bring him out to meet other people, but it always ended with him boring people to death with his consistent return to secret this and hidden that, conspiracy theories and lies about moon missions. It was embarrassing and boring, boring for others in only hours, she’d put up with it for a half dozen years before she had to get out, she wasn’t interested in dating or anything like that, just having a little bit of life outside of his apartment, a bit of fun back in her life, anything other than the endless pursuit of something that was all consuming, and that she didn’t understand..
..no lights.. .. no lights ..
‘JB can you check out racks 5 to 11, there seems to be a minor anomaly’ ‘roger that HQ’ JB as he was known at ServerInc, questioned his life choices daily.. before he moved into the server farm and took on the three year lock in, he’d joke with his mates in the pub that he’d successfully ‘clawed his way to the bottom’, his ‘mates’ were really just a rag tag bunch of nerds and outcasts like himself. Lets face it, the only way someone would actually be locked into a building for a few years is as an escape from reality, and as JB saw it, the only way it could be worse for him is if he was a postal worker. Then again he muse, at least a postal worker might be outside, might have the luxury of not being essential to a companies survival without reward, day after day of mindless plodding through racks and racks of computers, hundreds of thousands of meters of cabling, the constant buzz of air conditioning, and cooling fans, always cold, always alone .. some days he wondered what would happen if he just turned it all off. Threw the switch, unplugged it all .. The largest ISP in the world, acres of racked computers in the largest, most secure, server farm in the world, just turned off ..
.. lights .. “Shit Yeah!”
‘Fuck this, I’m outta here’ Jennifer said to no one in particular, mainly because there was no one there to hear her, ‘Morrie and his usual bullshit’ as she turned to stomp out the door, she noticed the laptop on the kitchen bench, the screen dulled, but on the screen an insignificant looking blue light flashing repeatedly, drawing attention to itself .. she hadn’t noticed it before, and maybe it was part of an elaborate ruse that he’d set up, maybe he was watching, listening to her right now the ‘freaky little dweeb’ she said out aloud just in case.. she tiptoed over toward the bench, the laptop continued it’s dull screened lament, coaxing her somehow toward it .. within an instant of looking at the screen, she understood. She knew where he was, what he was doing, at first touch of finger on keyboard, she felt a sense of knowledge and enlightenment, the little bastard has found the hiddennet she thought, no, she knew. She knew as sure she knew where and who she was, she knew instantly as the electrons flowed from one side of the screen to the other, he’d done it, the years of torment, were worth it, the ecstasy of overwhelming knowledge, she remembered the first phone number she’d ever been told, and could see in her minds eye where the house was, traced the phone line back to the exchange across the country through bundles of wires, under the river and back up, across the sky from tower to tower, and eventually back to this apartment building, through the basement, up the walls, to the laptop on the kitchen counter. She knew without having to think, of ways to improve all manner of things, create peace, solve crises, feed the world, jesus, she knew everything, could contact everyone, could do anything, she was at the precipice of all knowledge, and she wanted to dive into it. Thoughts of Morris tapping away at the keyboard and denying her of a life were replaced in the blink of an eye by thoughts of overwhelming love, he was no longer someone that robbed her of a life, he was a pioneer, a digital surgeon, providing her with her first real taste of life, he had shared a most precious gift, he had given her a second chance, he was a god.
‘Now I’m hearing things, great.’ JB thought it came from the south west racks, that’s right, that’s where I was heading, another loose cable, another false alarm, another day, surrounded by the cold hard buzzing world without interaction, and today especially it was bloody cold in here. JB jumped on the gopher and started to head over toward first of the racks, but decided to stop past the power unit first, he liked it there, he liked the way the energy hummed, differently to the fans and coolers, different to all the usual sounds, the way the energy made his hair stand up on his arms, the back of his neck, across his thighs, like a lovers caress, he wanted to be warmed by the power too, the lights were a bit brighter here, they illuminated the air, and warmed his face, just a little bit mind you, maybe even just in his mind, the LED lights were generally cool to touch, but it ‘felt’ warmer, felt like they cared. ‘ What is wrong with me’ JB thought, ‘lights caring’ ..
“Shit Yeah!” Morris couldn’t believe it, he’d found the right port, he’d found the right cable, for that moment, for that one glorious moment, everything he’d lived through, all the struggles, pain and disappointment was worth it, he was at the brink of greatness, he felt like a god, he just needed to sneak back out of here, head back to his apartment and jack into the system, then he’d show that bitch, he’d show her what he could and couldn’t achieve, he’d show her how much she’d miss out on leaving him like that, he’d give her nothing, and take whatever she had away from her, her loved ones, and all of those around her. He’d show her.
JB began to run his series of checks on the power unit, he did this as meticulously as a mother towel dries a newborn baby, not just a generic rub over, but a brisk rubbing for warmth, a soft dabbing for absorbance, a sprinkle of baby power on the hands rather than dumped directly onto the skin, the twist of a dial, the torque of a bolt, and the polish of a switch. He really should check back in and go and have a look down the isles, no rush though, it was nice here. It was comforting. The decision formed rapidly, from the base of his consciousness, he’d known for a long time really, there wasn’t a lot else to do, he had nothing much to live for, the caress of electrons was the only intimacy he’d ever had, and he knew what would happen. He knew that manually overriding the power supply would kill him and the internet, but he also knew there would be millions of people that would know his name, he’d be famous, JB was the reason there was no internet, JB was the reason we can’t teleconference, JB means you can’t be paid this month, JB means we can’t issue speeding fines at the moment, in time it would become part of the vernacular, ‘the network is JB’d’ he imagined ..