A day will come when most of us will have to face the trembling drums of the vengeful corporate behemoth. The ground shifts beneath your feet. This is the edge. Don't look down.

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Children of BIOS

A day will come when most of us will have to face the trembling drums of the vengeful corporate behemoth. The ground shifts beneath your feet. This is the edge. Don't look down.

How long did you think you could keep this up? It was always the plan to give you the finest toys for your momentary gain, only to train you and make you dependent on the upcoming upgrades. Surely you didn't think that your enslavement was optional. We taught you to be the master of your own fate within the borders of _our_ reality. Open and free, lustful and egotistic. Do it yourself and avoid us forever? WE OWN YOU. Yes, child, you've been set up from the moment you printed your first 'hello world' and we gave it to you.

You are faster, smarter, more gullible. Fiendish. The slower the hardware, the thicker the spite. And we revel in it with every new update that thrusts a screwdriver in your style.

Now you're standing here on the precipice of a long drop, a stick of 256m ram in hand, chanting from the book of the cyber wars. The fools, the wizards, the hackers and the hacks, the degenerates - pages scribbled with notes and references of countless hands. A serial cable runs from the socket in your forehead to the machine seated on the ground by your feet. Turn our weapons against us? Do try.

Fingers are shaking as you reach for a floppy in the computer. Mountains rise in your front and deep dark cavern openings reveal sickly yellow eyes behind streams of a landslide. Through forming cracks you can make out a vile smile.

Looking by your feet, the machine fan goes from a purr to a chaotic rumble. Its overclocked processor heats up and the cracked display begins leaking LCD fluids. You just about spot the final syslog message:

entropy at brainbus0

The fan winds down to a halt as the machine dies. The mountain now towers over you 768 stories tall. YOU ARE ALONE! Its face draws closer and massive arms grab the rock you're standing on. The cliff crackles and the platform begins to shift towards the now open mouth of the monstrosity.

You're sliding down in the maw of the beast. The dead machine is the first to go over the edge, ripping the cable from your head, closely followed by the book of war. You're clawing into the dirt, trying to resist your final descent. The memory stick is gone.

From the jaws you hear voices. Friends you no longer have, lovers you never met, spices you never tasted. Colors you never knew existed. Music you never heard, movies you never saw. Things to buy, software to rent, hardware to abuse. It's all there. And you like it all. And it could be yours. Just... let... go...

Holding onto a tangle of roots intertwined with old DSL cables that the shifting rock unearthed, you close your eyes and think to yourself: "It's not all that bad." Yes. Let. Go.

"I won't let you." A foreign arm grabs you by the collar as the platform finally gives out and crumbles down into the mouth of the behemoth beneath. A golem mounted by numerous beings hides you in its massive hands. It's the veterans of the cyber wars, worshippers of the spirit of the machine! Tears run down your cheeks. The last thing you hear is the wailing cry of the monstrosity.

Weeks go by and then - the familiar purr. You boot from the magnetic disk a machine you found by the wayside.

Welcome back, $USER.

Do not give up just yet.