The Death

 

(c) Petrakovsky Vadim, 1999

     ... Nobody had understood how it happened, and there wasn't any need
for  it.  It was done quickly, literally in one day. She was still alive.
She was working, sending and receiving data, still not aware that all her
hours had already been counted. It was cruel and inevitable - like a kil-
ler  standing  around  the corner, like an infidelity of a loved man. Did
she suffer? I don't know - I think she did...

     Everyone  gone,  turned  away from her. Why? The Net didn't know the
answer. The void... The black void. Nothing, a nonexistence... Empty cha-
nnels  like  parched  rivers, dark and gloomy skies - the monitor screens
turned off forever...

     But she was still alive. The automated service programs were not af-
fected  with  the  deadly impact of disaster. Soulless and executive, not
knowing any difference between night and day - they were waiting for req-
uests, guarding the secret resources, operating the mailing lists and se-
nding  messages from them to every corner of the Net. Messages were stac-
ked  together  on  mail servers. Well-configured software did not require
any  human  intervention.  But download counters almost stopped now, they
were triggered only by the occasional visit of a net spider set up by so-
me  unknown  weird  hacker. More and more messages returned back with the
"Error: Server unavailable" remark. Chats died down, and the control pro-
gram hopelessly queried participants again and again, not getting any re-
ply  and disconnecting them after a time-out. The perfect banner exchange
systems  were  waiting  for  clicks  in vain. All cunning algorithms were
found to be feeble in the face of the life going down. They were not rea-
dy for this.

     The  Net was filled with life just some time ago, switches were hea-
ting  the  air  while connecting the girl and the boy living on different
continents,  terabyte  disk arrays were rustling while helping the fellow
from  deep  Siberia  to  download a patch for a server he was responsible
for,  routers  were blinking with CPU activity LEDs while transferring an
e-mail  with information on where to get a cure for a dying person... And
now  everything  was  over.  Traffic was getting low. The Net was growing
weak. She leaned painfully against host servers, slowly sinking down with
gigabytes  of  unclaimed data into the hard disks getting cold. From time
to  time  the random traffic was emerging in different segments - the Net
was feeling that and trying to rise again... but it was too late. The Net
was dying. Slowly and painfully.

     She was breathing heavily, her blood flow slowed down... She was be-
ginning  to lose the feeling of whole parts of her huge body. She was not
getting any reply to packets she was sending. Whole segments were paraly-
zing.  The  Net watches empty cities with street cameras, but her servers
were  coming  down  and  she was slowly losing her sight. She didn't know
what was happening to them. Pentagon servers were among the last ones the
Net  lost  feeling  of. Until then, she was watching the hollow Earth and
her own death through their SAT cameras. The most powerful multiprocessor
systems were going down one by one. In a clean and empty labs the coolers
were silenced, the environmental systems turns off, the light was wearing
out, only emergency system lamps were lighting the corridors wanly. Sate-
llites  were going offline by command, doomed to an eternity powered with
solar energy.

     Finally the last server on this planet was down. The processor comp-
leted its last instruction, the hard drive recorded its last byte, parked
its  heads  and turned off, the screen flashed its last "System shutdown"
message and blacked-out; the last reckless packet broke away from the ne-
twork  adapter  and  got lost in a web of dead cables, in a cold chips of
receiving modules, in a still pile of murdered servers, in an empty space
that was just alive with the most bright, beautiful and saturated kind of
life  on Earth. The smart UPS responded to its internal command and clic-
ked, turning off the power of the last living cell of the huge being.

    The Net has died...

  Special thanx for: - SYNTHESIZER
                     - RAGE


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