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Unholy Matrimony? Microsoft and Cray

FictionalAccount Bad Day In The Arena (358 comments)

VistaRunsSlow knelt and sifted the sand of the arena through his fingers. The sand mixed with the blood on his hands forming a dull red paste. He knew he probably wouldn't live to see the day's end.

Throughout the day the battle in the SlashArena had been fierce - many had fallen before him, including some of his beloved brothers in arms: Cluster Beowulf, the great Russian InSoviet, 123Profit!, and yes, even his beloved brother CrysisRunSlow. One by one he had seen them beaten to death for the mere amusement of the crowd. It didn't even seem like they enjoyed the spectacle, but were duly observing the match like some kind of gruesome ritual. There was no honor here! Only death, and pain. Is this what they wanted to see? Did this actually amuse them? VistaRunsSlow could not see how. Already today he had fought 385 battles, and not one ModTrophy to call his own. It was like he didn't exist - his life had little purpose than to fill the arena with mindless content.

No matter - the time was before him. He slowly rose to his feet, to the quiet murmor of the crowd. PhasmatisApparatus approached him, shield in hand, grinning from ear to ear. There was no hint of subtleness in his eyes, no mirth, no telling glance that someone of nobleness approached him. VistaRunsSlow could only pray for an end to the merciless beating - a quick death, that was the best this day could afford him. Yet still, if he could, he would fight on. This day he would live proud - this day a joke would not die in vain!

more than 6 years ago

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Bad Day In The Arena

FictionalAccount FictionalAccount writes  |  more than 6 years ago Here.

VistaRunsSlow knelt and sifted the sand of the arena through his fingers. The sand mixed with the blood on his hands forming a dull red paste. He knew he probably wouldn't live to see the day's end.

Throughout the day the battle in the SlashArena had been fierce - many had fallen before him, including some of his beloved brothers in arms: Cluster Beowulf, the great Russian InSoviet, 123Profit!, and yes, even his beloved brother CrysisRunSlow. One by one he had seen them beaten to death for the mere amusement of the crowd. It didn't even seem like they enjoyed the spectacle, but were duly observing the match like some kind of gruesome ritual. There was no honor here! Only death, and pain. Is this what they wanted to see? Did this actually amuse them? VistaRunsSlow could not see how. Already today he had fought 385 battles, and not one ModTrophy to call his own. It was like he didn't exist - his life had little purpose than to fill the arena with mindless content.

No matter - the time was before him. He slowly rose to his feet, to the quiet murmor of the crowd. PhasmatisApparatus approached him, shield in hand, grinning from ear to ear. There was no hint of subtleness in his eyes, no mirth, no telling glance that someone of nobleness approached him. VistaRunsSlow could only pray for an end to the merciless beating - a quick death, that was the best this day could afford him. Yet still, if he could, he would fight on. This day he would live proud - this day a joke would not die in vain!

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Cry Me a River

FictionalAccount FictionalAccount writes  |  more than 7 years ago Here.

Old Man Bradbury had been a fixture on the block for years. Every day he sat on his porch, rocking back in forth, idling smoking his pipe, and glaring at the world as it passed him by.

"So what?" he'd used to say when his neighbors would get a new car, "Is that going to get you anywhere any faster in this traffic?"

"So what?" he'd say when they put a man on the moon, "Am I going to live on the moon now? No? Then so what?"

New trends and fashions would pass him by, always receiving the two word response "So what?" There wasn't much that escaped his scoffing attitude, even his children.

"So what?" he said when presented with a flower from his daughter Noreen. "I can get those at the store, what, are you a florist now?"

"So what?" he told his son Billy as he brought home the second place trophy from little league, "someone else did a better job. Why even have a trophy for second?"

His work, his life, and his family dulled him. Nothing impressed him. The news was always the same, the new miracles of the modern age changing nothing other than how people waste their time. To Old Man Bradbury the world was a cold, static place, and if anything mattered to him it was making sure that everyone knew nothing did.

And so he lived on, rocking in place and watching the world from his porch, until one day the rocking stopped for good.

Billy called his sister that day: "He's gone Noreen. Doctor's say he went pretty quiet...but...he's gone. Dad's dead Noreen."

She sighed into the receiver, rolled her eyes back, and pushed a tear away:

"So what Billy....so what?"

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Blood From A Stone

FictionalAccount FictionalAccount writes  |  more than 7 years ago Here.

Dr. Sierpinski stepped back from the operating table to admire his handy-work. The stitching was complete, a meticulous and expertly done job. The electrodes were in place, and only administering the life giving elixir remained. Soon his work would be done, soon the world would see!

"Igor!" he yelled, "Raise the table into position so we may begin the final stage!" His trusty yet somewhat dimwitted hunchback assistant complied, and slowly turned the crank that moved the operating table into a vertical position.

The creature would stand seven feet tall and was stronger than an ox. His heart and lungs twice that of a normal man's allowing him to carry his massive size as if he were a sprinter. Lifting a cart above his head would be no difficult feat, and his advanced nervous system made him impervious to the jabs and barbs only his future profession could dish out.

His physical prowess was outmatched only by his mental faculties. Dr. Sierpinski had spent years designing and building the biomechanic wonder (some would call monstrosity) that sat inside the creature's over sized skull. In it he had placed the knowledge and experience of all the worlds greats - Igor had been most helpful at gathering the necessary remains, scouring the globe and riding coach to boot. Burns, Marx, Pryor - almost every comedian who'd ever gotten a laugh was represented in the devilish clockwork of the creatures mind. Here truly would be someone that would show the world. Dr. Abraham "Giggles" Sierpinski would be laughed at no more...yes, truly, his creature...would be laughed _with_!

The table clicked into place with a final clash. Far above the castle's dungeon laboratory thunder cracked from the approaching storm. "Now Igor, Now! Quickly, throw the switch!" Igor shuffled to the table and pulled the lever. A bright flash erupted as lighting struck the castle's tower and traveled through a series of wires to the creatures base.

"Yes....Yes...YES! LIVE MY CREATURE! LIVE! LIVE AND MAKE THEM LAUGH!!!!"

The lighting subsided, and the laboratory was suddenly quiet. The doctor held his breath. Quietly, almost a murmur escaped from the creatures lips.

"...bsod..."

"He speaks Igor, he speaks! Quickly! Release the straps! My creature, tell me, what are you trying to say?"

"...mmmmrrchhc.......bsod....mrrrrrghhh.......mmmmrrrrg....Microsoft.....Mrrrrgh...Microsoft has announced that it is partnering with a Japanese automaker to incorporate Windows Vista Auto Edition with all of their car systems."

"What?"

"mrrrgh...mrrrrrrgh....In other news, family of 4 dies as their Japanese car careens off of a cliff after experiencing a BSOD in their Microsoft Windows Vista Auto Edition software."

Igor helpfully chimed in with a boom-tsk from his laboratory drum set.

"WHAT! What was that? That...that...that wasn't even funny! How...how could this be? My creature, the reanimated flesh of dead humor itself...its not even funny!" He sank to the ground in despair. "How...how could I have been so wrong! Where did I fail? Where did I fail?"

The creature lifted its massive head, "I for one welcome...mrrrrgh...I for one welcome our failed humor overlord....ggggggahhahghg"

Dr. Sierpinksi ran from the laboratory, from his monster, clawing his eyes and hair, and wailing into the depths of the night.

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In the Nick of Time

FictionalAccount FictionalAccount writes  |  more than 7 years ago Here.

Turn-X furiously tapped away at his keyboard, sweat dripping from his brow. Time was of the essence, and he had to get his message out NOW.

The story had just come up over the SlashWire, and unlike the usually dismissive drivel, this one caught his eye. Artificial blood. Something wasn't right here. They were going to investigate artificial blood? He thought back to his high school biology and that time he skinned his knee. Also that one program he saw on Nova. Blood...body...plastic...NO GOOD! My God, what if the body totally flipped out and went all attack mode on the blood! An emergency situation would be totally ruined!

He had to act.

Quickly he hit the reply button. The world needed to know before the scientists made an irreversible mistake. As fast as his fingers could go, he tapped out his response and hit sumbit. Now all he could do was wait. The story was fresh, so he might have caught it in time.

Yes! There it was. The Slashmods had taken notice. A reply. A mod point. But not good enough...not yet. Minutes ticked by, the story was already the second down. Would he make it in time?

Waiting...waiting...

YES! +5 moderation! He sighed. His point was made, and now the world knew. The scientists would roll back their plans and head back to the drawing board.

Turn-X would sleep well tonight.

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One More Job To Do

FictionalAccount FictionalAccount writes  |  more than 7 years ago Here.

Col. Pair A'Noid chomped down on the toothpick he was idly twirling in his mouth as he prepped the C4. He could really have used a smoke, but somehow lighting up in the armory didn't seem like a good idea. He gently pushed in the last connector and tested the arming switch.

It was ready.

From out in the hall he heard Taggart and Clark laughing it up over some stupid shit on the vidmon. Well, let them laugh. Wasn't much left in the world to laugh at these days. V-Sign was winning and everyone here knew it.

Pair sighed. Five years ago who would have thought they'd be in complete control of the world's finances and military. It had started innocently enough. Clear ident cards passed out to the unsuspecting masses. No different than anything else out there, and certainly not even close to rousing the suspicion of the Continental Data Forces. Now look at them...scattered, broken, hiding in rathole bunkers doing hit and run ops that barely even scratched the surface of the V-Signs empire. Was it their fault? Could anyone have guessed those numbers triggered a nano-virus already embedded in the worlds drinking supply?

He hefted the C4 into his pack. Maybe he could make a difference. Days ago they'd found out the location of the V-Sign's OPTOUT hatch. Wasn't much of a chance, but if he could get enough explosive in there...well...no sense wasting hope, that was in as short supply as anything these days. The only thing left was action, and he was the man for the job.

Noyd closed his eyes. Don't worry Mary, coming to you soon, real soon baby. "Alright, Taggart, Clark, move your asses. Joy joy, we got a job to do meatheads!"

He stomped out of the armory, hope growing.

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Bad Day Back On Earth

FictionalAccount FictionalAccount writes  |  more than 7 years ago Here

Morari stepped back from the data terminal with a huff. He was pissed, and in his mind, rightfully so. The Swarm was advancing on Earth, and all Master Chief wanted to do was fight the same fight in the same way. Sure, they had success on Ring One, and probably fought the same battle in the same way on Ring Two, but this time was different dammit! This was Earth! They were here and unless the United Earth Defense Forces came up with a different control scheme for their Elite Armor 5000 remote units, they didn't stand a chance.

He picked up his soldering iron and got back to work integrating the piece of shit X 3600 Controller and Imaging module into the Armor's mainframe. In his haste one of the Connectitron wires slipped and smashed into the wireless control unit.

"FUCK" he shouted. Three hours of work down the drain. This was BULLSHIT. He sat down and lit up cigar, looking at the pile of junk the Chief wanted him to get ready. His gaze wondered over to the corner, where his PicoComputer Rig sat gathering dust. The datapad and optical rodentialscanner alone would make the difference in this fight! Plus the units trained to use these controls knew their stuff: THEY had been around far longer, had seen far more combat across a variety of environments. Only THEY understood correct comm procedures - half the Newlies coming on board these days only sounded like twelve year olds over the air. What's more they only understood the Chief's control rig and didn't care about the superior advanced imaging services that the old timer's knew would make the difference.

Making up his mind, Morari snuffed out the cigar on the workbench and strode over to his Pico rig, welder in hand. The Chief would understand, they all would. In the end, he would save Earth, and they would thank him for it.

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Justice & Love On The IT Battlefield

FictionalAccount FictionalAccount writes  |  more than 7 years ago Here

He glanced up again for what seemed like the twentieth time that hour. She was still sitting in that chair, one leg crossed under another, a pen dangling idly from her mouth as she tapped through the day's TPS reports. She glanced up from her keyboard and smiled at him. He quickly looked away, pretending he had been checking the clock.

"What's up Jhon? Got a big date? Rearin' to go?"

He laughed. "Oh, you know me! Always trying to beat the clock!." He had to cover, couldn't let her know his secret.

The buzzer went off. An alert. Great, a distraction! He grabbed his taser and ran down the hall towards the DMZ. Those office plebs were at it again, and a little "instruction" would do them right. His front-line defenders had already dragged the poor bastard from his cubicle by the time he had cleared the security checkpoint and made his way through the cube lot.

"What do we have?"

"Not much sir. Seems this pleb here decided to get uppity and bring in his Ipod."

"Really? Music lover huh?" Jhon grabbed the offending digital device from the plebs trembling hand and threw it on the ground. "Do you know what this could do to us? Do you know the logic attacks ITForce puts down every day? Do you like living? Breathing that air?" He forced the tazer into the pleb's chest, a little curl in his lip as the luser jolted in pain. Jhon released the pathetic, wimpering windozer and turned to his guards.

"Take him down to processing and have him wiped. He might have something left in there we don't want getting out."

Jhon wiped his brow. Tossing that slob around had broken a sweat. It felt good to be useful. He turned to see her standing there. She was smiling. She liked to see him work. He remembered that not too distant day when he had pulled her from the cube farm and began her training. He had seen talent; had he seen more? He was old enough to be her father...yet maybe that wasn't the issue. One day she would be his equal, her powers as great as his own, maybe even better from the looks of it.

Someday she would see him as more than her trainer and Master IT Knight.

Someday she would be his.

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BloodMoon rising

FictionalAccount FictionalAccount writes  |  more than 7 years ago Here.

BloodMoon grasped the package firmly in his hands. It was his! Finally, through the bogs of Glumding, towards the Mountains of Ill and across the River of Evil he had fought his way at each step of the long journey.

The blood of his enemies was washed from his hands by his tears for fallen comrades. The Circle of Eight had started the journey, and now only he remains. Just as the mystic from Laf'haven had predicted.

But here was The Game! The Game to end evil and restore the balance of power across all of Balmovia. And he had done it! The fools back in his tavern...had it been only six months since he was there? So much had happened then. His mind idly drifted back to thoughts of home - roasted meats sizzling next to mugs of foamy ale...

Focus BloodMoon1! he scolded himself. He was too close to fail now. He lifted the package, felt its heft, its weight, and smiled to himself.

Something caught his eye. A glint in the Game's shiny gilded cover.

He gasped.

Sixt glamdrings? SIXTY GLAMDRINGS! How could it be? Impossible! After all this time, this heartache, only to fail now. Fate was a cruel mistress indeed. He briefly considered...no. NO. That was not an option. He had sworn an oath long ago over his father's grave. It might as well have been 1 million glamdrings. The Game that could save the lives of all who walked the earth would have to be his another way.

But how? He couldn't fathom. But there was one who could. The one eyed mystic of Kul'ding'dam'dang. The wise one would know. The wise one would have to know. He would find the mystic and ask him the way. It was his - the world's - only chance.

BloodMoon1 set off into the darkness, his resolve growing stronger with each step.

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Cyberfun

FictionalAccount FictionalAccount writes  |  more than 7 years ago I also claim this post:
Here

Having given his foe some "rightious data", tmjdot (or "dot" as his friends on the 'Net called him" eased back into his Relax-tron and pulled his data-visualizers off his head. He puffed on a 'rette and stared up at the cieling. Wasting these guys one at a time was easy enough, but the softies were everywhere. They covered everything and everyone and the virus was spreading.

The resignation that he couldn't do this alone slowly zipped its way through his meat-grid. He needed help. And fast.

His mind made up, dot flipped down his goggles, cracked his datagloved fingers, and jacked in. The polyphonic lightshow of a billion voices of data slipping into his crib illuminated his face. He put out the 'rette and headed off for info-environs unknown in search of free-lance data mercenaries like himself willing to wield a weapon against the softie menance. Somewhere out there the binary existed to kill the menace, to get things back to normal. It was just a matter of getting the right programmertavists to riot with it, and getting it in time.

It was going to be a long night.

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99BottlesOfBeerInMyF: Behind the Post

FictionalAccount FictionalAccount writes  |  more than 7 years ago Here

...

Looking back, most industry executives agreed that the singular moment that brought the "Consortium of the Willing" together was a lone post on what was then just another Internet forum, and not the brain center for the world government it is today:

"The post from '99 [99BottlesOfBeerInMyF] really just got things started," says Steve Jobs, "Up until then we were kind of sitting around wondering what to do with all these piles of money we had. We knew about Microsoft and games, but we didn't have a direction to go in."

John Carmack of id Software and Rocketry Superstores agrees: "It wasn't so much what he said - we figured it out pretty easily as things got started - but it was the way he said it. 'Get to it!' Man...still sends a shiver down my spine. 'Get to it!'. We weren't getting to it before, and then, after that post it was like 'ok, we need to get to it and get this done.' And that's what we did."

Coming up next on Behind the Games: the fall of Microsoft, and '99's battle with fame and amphetamines.

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