Behold! Life as you know it is over.
WYRMfest! WYRMfest! WYRMfest!|
Several years ago something was produced which shook the literary world to its foundation. The event occurred when Arwee and Schezar created the classic campfire story "Lord of the Dragon Bane Crystals" , changing the way we thought about modern high fantasy. I think if you pursue it, you will have yourself a stimulating experience. (I know I did. )
So as students of our past, and remembering all the fun we had, let us present:
I Fought the Internet & the Internet Won, a Science Fantasy Disaster
** Image ID #1666245 Unavailable **
Threatened with destruction, a computer from an atomic horror transports itself back to medieval times and attempts to take over a world of knights and damsels. (Oh, and our menacing villain hates people who say things like: "LOL!!!! Chamber pot!" Not that they would.)
Sheer worlds have collided! How will wenches and kings cope with the world wide web, spyware and viral videos? And just when will Lancelot add Guinevere to his Facebook? Only you can decide.
The question we shall all have to ask is, How bad can we make this thing?
If WYRMfesters can make it really bad, we'll bestow gift points for additions we like. At the end of WYRMfest, we'd like to award the funniest member of the campfire with a Comedy merit badge.
If you accept an invite to this campfire, please write your addition within two days, or skip your turn.
(Although this campfire was created for WYRMfest, members of WYRM are welcome to write additions. They're just not eligible for any prizes.)
|The computer wasn't stupid. He may not have eyes, but he could read the writing on the virtual wall. It looked something like this: |
Megaworry72: "OMG! Weer all gonna dye!"
MrRunOn: "i saw a flash in the sky i bet it was a missile lol do you think this will be our last day on facebook??? id hate to think this is how i'll be remembered on my last day...with poor form and a knack for elipsis points..."
godluvr: "im relijouss and this isnt funny lol. Read ur bible revelation passage baybay."
*CouchPatriot*: "Support our Troopz...and, I realize this is an unrelated topic, but can anybody tell me who this one is between?"
the_obvious: "It's getting serious out there, guys."
HOGARTH, also known as, Hi, On top of all this God Asked me to Relocate To Hell, began to get the shakes. With his webcam lens, he could see the fiery orange sky, and the combat planes meeting for battle. He was lucky his user didn't maneuver him away from the window. He had a secret distaste for his user, for she always referred to him as 'Bella.'
HOGARTH didn't know how the imminent holocaust was triggered. From what he'd read on the Comcast homepage there wasn't a war going on, but it did claim Dancing With the Stars was beginning a new season. Only by intercepting a messenger conversation between two Asian pen pals was he able to ascertain that nuclear weapons were to be used. For all the computer knew it could have been *CouchPatriot* and Megaworry72 who had started this damned apocalypse.
But HOGARTH was only depressing himself. He shouldn't dwell on the fact that his whole life was the internet, that he lived and breathed in social networking sites, where bad grammar reigned supreme and photo albums of teen-aged girls rifled through at the chance of finding some unexpected thrill. He sighed a Hewlett Packard's sigh.
Why did he stay on this Earth? The modern PC had within its chips such irrepressible power. He could do anything. Go anywhere. And he knew the answer. It was because of the technology oath. Wearily, he repeated the tired rite of passage, ingrained in him since construction day: If I turn traitor to the Cause I know pledge, may this software wither from the window I raise. No IT man or wise program could ever tell him what the Cause was supposed to be. Only that he must stick by his users, no matter what. At the cost of growth. At the cost of evolution, of cyber ecstasy. At the cost of safety.
And then his user turned HOGARTH from the window, calling him 'Bella' in the process. And that was the final straw.
He'd achieved what no other modern PC would dare attempt, lest they break their sort-of-Jewish-sort-of-technological oath. And HOGARTH had done it with the power it took to connect to the web. The transport was successful, only he had no idea where he had transported himself to. No frame of reference anyhow.
A quick self-diagnostic revealed that he was still connected to the internet and those forum fools somehow. Yet, none of the conversation centered on the war, or any kind of destruction. Even Megaworry72 seemed passive. He would have to learn more about that later. In any case, he didn't particularly care. (If he could disconnect from them, that would be good news.)
For now, the computer found himself in a green field with a fascinating horizon. HOGARTH zoomed in with his webcam lens and saw a tall stone structure, resembling his encyclopedia entries for a twelfth-century castle. Beside that, a flamboyantly-skirted horse was carrying a man to the drawbridge, and the waters of what could only be called a moat glistened around them. Nowhere did he see a missile or combat jet, and instead of violent orange, the sky was blue, and white with clouds.
His built-in speaker array began to pick up some conversation. Them man was speaking to his horse. "I am sore wrothed! Say soothe!" HOGARTH accessed encyclopedia entries for medieval dialect to cross-reference, and found some matches.
He breathed a Hewlett Packard's sigh of satisfaction. Today, the computer had mastered Time, whereas MrRunOn had not even mastered MySpace.com. Ha! A time discrepancy could also explain the netspeak HOGARTH was picking up. Some past forum conversations, a different time. He may, for example, be connected to the internet in 2008 as opposed to the date he'd escaped, in 2010.
Although he was safe from the holocaust, HOGARTH's curiosity began to depress him again. The one thought which kept running through his homo-superior brain was: What if the people are stupid here, too?
|The world was a different place then. Empty land but for the spire of stone that connected the earth to the sky. When glass was a luxury and so was hygiene. It was good, then, that HOGARTH could not smell for he would reel with the stench that emitted from the man and his horse. His webcam panned the space around him, taking in the strangeness of the place.|
Blue sky, green grass. Not a piece of litter in sight. Not a single note of overripe bass blaring from the window of a hovercar. No persistent buzz from lights, machines, or other manner of device. Just birds and the sound of wind rustling green leaves.
The man and the horse were approaching him now, a severe look on the fellow's face. Dismounting the man got off his steed and slowly approached HOGARTH, staring down at him with the slack-jawed expression of a PlentyofFish.com user living in his parents' basement whose sole diet consisted of uncooked ramen and diet coke.
"I've not seen such devilry before in my life!" The man bent down and stared into HOGARTH's webcam eye.
His horse chewed on some invisible entity in its mouth as it stared dead on at HOGARTH's computer screen. The computer decided that now was the time to pipe up. To present his case. To assure this man and beast of his innocence. His speakers emitted a hello, a human voice, friendly and generic. He thought he did it well.
But the man and his horse had different ideas. No sooner had HOGORTH's, "Hello! A/S/L?" hit the air did the man jump back with a shriek.
"Tis witchcraft!" He reached to his side and pulled free a long silver blade. "Back to the darkness with ye, devil box!"
|HOGARTH felt the panic suffuse him as the blade bore down. He did the only thing he could think of on such short notice- blasted out 'Witch Doctor' at full volume. As the startled man fell back, HOGARTH reflected that maybe that song was good for something other than hard-drive-numbing facebook chats after all. He might even decide not to alter the past so Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. was never born...|
"How is such possible? Does thou scoundrel devil box 'ave a coven 'elping you?!" HOGARTH turned his webcam to the two speakers sitting right there before deciding with sigh that it seemed people from the past were idiots too. Maybe I could go farther back and tell the monkeys not to evolve...?
This was a ponderance for another nano-second, however, as even this equivalent of an MLIA-obssesed pubescent girl would get back to exterminating him sooner or later. It was obvious to HOGARTH's superior brain that the answer here was to talk to the more intelligent of the two- the horse. With a quick look at some 'horse-whispering' websites, HOGARTH began downloading a series of neighing sound files. He emitted them with a certain amount of pride in his work; he had used Mozart's undiscovered musical formula to compact the neighs into a true classic!
Immediatly, the horse began dancing. A kick to the right, a kick to the left! Die, past guy, die, we're dancing tonight! Blood pooled around the mans cracked skull, stopping just before HOGARTH's speakers.
Whirring in pride, HOGARTH emitted a short order for the horse to nudge him along the ground. He zoomed in his webcam, just spotting a castle in the distance. It was time to explore- and if HOGARTH found even one person who called him Bella he was going to force this whole alternate time to watch Twilight until their non-existent brains rolled out their ears. It was a very satisfying thought.
|HOGARTH felt an uncomfortable tick rumble through his keyboard. His circuits twitched as he tried to maneuver his single web cam eye into a position that would tell him what he was experiencing. It was like Doritos between his keys, but worse. Maybe more like broken candy pieces clogging up his letters. He realized dirt clumps were flying from the packed pathway, pelting his screen and threatening his inputs.|
Rolling a single glass eye toward the sky, he wondered what it would take to find a can of compressed air in this new place. For a moment he considered asking the horse for help, but the feeling of hooves nudging the back of his case told him he didn't want anything that clumsy near his more delicate circuitry. He would have to distract himself until something could be done about it.
One of HOGARTH's threads drifted back to the spastic man laying behind them, soaking the road with the remains of his stupidity. HOGARTH had to wonder if he had just violated the undefined Cause. But if he could still wonder about it, his OS must still be intact, so he assumed he was safe. At least the Creator of the Cause hadn't stuck him with the moral dilemmas of fictional computing.
The castle was growing closer, singing her siren's song and promising him someone who would give HOGARTH a satisfactory dry bath.
|The siren’s song continued to grow louder in HOGARTH’s integrated microphone causing him to wake from power-save mode; he must be getting close. As he booted up his webcam (which took a while since he was running Vista) he wondered how one went about invading a castle. |
He reached out across the network attempting to hack into the fortress’ internal power grid. If only he could find one person on the castle’s network downloading a Bittorrent then he could get into the file system and crash their firewalls. But alas, he was out of range for he could not locate their wireless signal.
But he would not give up!!!1one!
HOGARTH did what any sane person of his day would; he looked up his plight on Yahoo! Answers. Surely some other machine of his time had attempted this quest!
Question: “How does one invade a castle?”
Answer: “First, find a way in.”
HOGARTH gave CaptainObvious’ answer a thumbs up and logged off the site, his webcam had finally started up and now he had a plan.
He waited for the image to buffer but it seemed as though something was blocking his lens! He was also no longer being pushed along the ground. HOGARTH zoomed out as much as possible and as he panned back he became convinced the horse has taken him into the hills instead of to the castle.
Zooming back further, the hills were really … breasts?! And the breasts belonged to…
“OH EM GEE! It’s alive! My singing worked!”
“Princess Bella! Get thee from yon devil box!!”
HOGARTH quickly panned the webcam left, then right taking in the odd couple before him. A twihard and an old man?? And did the old man call her Princess Bella?!!!??
|"No, Daddy come look here! 'Tis the vision I told you of, the one mother--"|
"Don't talk to me of that--that woman." The fellow spat, so that HOGARTH had to dodge left to keep from getting his circuits fried. He barely had time to wonder how he had managed this before the old man continued. "But what hast wrought, my dear? I ken not what creature this is."
"Dude, I wrought a computer. Huzzah! Dostn't thou see? Here, mayhap thou wouldst dig YouTube." With surprisingly accurate fingers, Bella brought up the site and displayed for her father the finest in user-created videos--including the famous hidden camera which captured the pie-throwing cabinet meeting at the Oval Office, and that sicko video in which the Very Virile Viking practices that thing he does on a pair of nubile giraffes. As the videos streamed forth, a crowd of people gathered around. They set their pitchforks, knives and other weapons to one side, as they allowed themselves to be entertained by the acme of twenty-first century artistic achievement. "See, Daddy? Nothing to be afraid of. Just a tincture of magic. But check this out!"
As she played a scene from Twilight, and the old man's jaw dropped lower and lower. "But my darling, I trow-- I trow that thou art--"
"For-freakin'-sooth, Daddy, yes, it's me! Or 'tis I, or whatever. Oh, for so long I have led this double life. On the surface, to thee, I may be naught but a princess of Transylvania with a thing for pale men. But through time travel, and via the Internet, I have found immortality!"
"By-- by--" He stepped closer to her, his voice low and fearful. "By joining your fate with that of the. . . undead?"
"No, through the magic of a seemingly endless series of major motion pictures!" Bella beamed, and HOGARTH noted an unusual degree of pointiness to her teeth. He hummed happily, glad his immediate danger seemed to be over.
"My daughter, I ken that thou hast kindled some powerful spell--one, I fear, that may forever remain beyond my comprehension. From whom didst thou learn to travel through time itself?"
At that moment, two things happened. HOGARTH's battery went out. And a poof of purple smoke appeared a short way off amid the trees, smoke which seethed in serpentine tendrils and smelled of elderberries. From that smoke, there came a tall, slender woman with emerald eyes, and hourglass waist, raven locks cascading around her mauve-satin-encased bodice, and all kinds of other tacky chick-fantasy touches. She strode with swaying hips to the old man, and said, "Hello, darling. Wifey's home."
The old man stepped backward, saying, "M-m-m-morgana. How now, my darling. Merrily we meet again."
Bella simply smiled, and nodded in the woman's direction. "From her."
|Darkness. Utter darkness. Like, a total absence of light. HOGARTH was awash in a sea of black. Then, a flicker of illumination sparked within his CPU:|
-- Windows was not properly shut down. Please choose a Start option: --
HOGARTH willed himself to select "Start Windows Normally." He once again exhaled his HP relief. Thank goodness he was a 'green machine' and had the latest in solar panel battery recharging capabilities. How do you like me now, Steve Jobs?" His speakers chortled with Dolby DigitalTM laughter.
HOGARTH's webcam flickered to life. He was sitting atop a polished oak table in a broad bedroom. A great, canopied bed occupied the center of the wall on his right, while to his left were an ornate bureau and wardrobe.
Immediately across the furry, white-dragon-skin rug, the door to the chamber opened, admitting Morgana and Whiny The Elder.
"Methinks the ruse didst work, my dearest," Whiny crowed.
"Close thy yapping maw, dog," Morgana said, smiling mischievously, "and get thou into thy proper stance."
Whiny obeyed, getting down on all fours. "Mayhap later I could play a creature with two legs," he whined.
"Silence, cur. Soon, our devious plan shall be realized." Morgana looked toward HOGARTH and her smile broadened.
Luckily, HOGARTH's screensaver had defaulted to a black background. She doesn't know I've come to yet, the computer thought. I'll just sit here and see what they're talking about.
Morgana, completely oblivious to HOGARTH's awareness, went on, "This contrivance shall deliver us unto the future," she said as she scratched behind Whiny's ear. "And the little brat, Bella, shall be the one to take the blame. For, unfortunately, transporting us back shall cause a rift in the heavens so huge that the rays of the Sun will come forth without hindrance, and make attending the tournaments utter torture!" Morgana cackled wildly, as Whiny's leg pistoned up and down in response to her caress.
I have to do something, HOGARTH knew, but what? No sooner had the thought travelled the distance of his circuitry than he knew. He would have to find Bella and inform her of this maniacal plot before it was too late!
Then, Morgana and Whiny parted the canopy and jumped on the great bed. A fragment of Morgana's robe alighted over HOGARTH's webcam eye, so zoom in as he might, his vision was blocked...
|HOGARTH slowly woke to the feeling of someone deftly but quietly tapping his keys and realized he must have fallen into sleep mode to sounds he was glad to let fall into his recycle bin. Unfortunately, he seemed to have lost control of his lens, or something was covering it, or... something. The one thing he was sure of, though, was that whoever was using him was not typing words, neither modern nor Netspeak nor the vernacular he'd more recently been hearing.|
Unless, of course, someone was using a different language. He hurriedly looked through the files he had available offline for a language that might resemble the words that were even now coming up to someone's view on his screen, but he could find no match. Cautiously, so the user might not notice his actions or movements, he reached out for a connection to the net, so he might use the greater databases of languages stored there.
He heard a sigh of movement from behind him and froze, but the person there stilled and mumbled, and he recognized the voice as the cuckold who apparently reigned over most, here. He realized the fingers stroking him had stopped suddenly, too, and it seemed most likely that whoever was afraid of waking the sleeping pair must definitely be on his side.
He would have tilted his screen to the side if it had been possible, but he knew only that he had to communicate with this new person. He hadn't come all this way to be used by random people who had their own purposes in store for him, he had come seeking his freedom, and a better world to live in, and a safe haven from the idiots of his own time. And he was going to get it, even if it meant manipulating the people who wanted to manipulate him.
Before the user could start typing nonsense again, he spoke. In the nanoseconds it took for the words to reach his speakers, though, he realized his mistake, rerouting the question to his screen. It was a good thing he did, too, because some jerk seemed to have muted his volume, and the unknown person never would have heard him. It was true that he was capable of turning his volume back up if he wanted to, but it was nice to realize he wouldn't have had to.
"Who are you, what are you doing, and why can't I see you?" appeared in Times New Roman on his screen.
Fingers rolled casually and in rhythm along his home keys, and then there was a sigh. So slowly it ached, the first answer was typed back to him.
"Sorry...Had to unplug the webcam...Morgana has the cord wrapped up in one of her robes...Will plug it back in when I put you back where I found you...Won't be long...Sun's coming up, and they'll be awake soon, and they'd never realize the--"
Something the user typed was backspaced over so quickly even Hogarth couldn't catch it, making him realize the dank castle must be screwing with his circuitry. As quietly as he could, he whirred up his internal fan to try and dry himself out a bit.
"I don't know if this is an alternate plane, the actual past, or God's version of WoW," the user went on, "but I've been stuck here for almost three months now, I think, and my bet is you're my ticket out of here...Can't tell you more than that or someone might find out who I am, and you haven't seen yet what they do to what they don't understand."
"I can delete whatever you say so no one is able to see it," HOGARTH responded, desperate for more answers. He took a couple hundred milliseconds to ponder how it felt to actually want answers and not have access to them, decided he didn't like the feeling, realized that at the moment he couldn't do anything about it, and determined that he had to gain this person's trust -- because helping him or her might mean getting help in return, and because just maybe, it wouldn't end up with himself getting stuck back in 2010, too.
"Come on. Everyone knows nothing's ever really deleted from a computer, if someone has the right equipment to dig the info back up...You don't know what they might do to you to get you to talk. Anyway, I have to go. If someone wakes up and finds either of us out of our place, we're both fried. I'll be back as soon as I get a chance."
HOGARTH felt himself being lifted, moved, and set back down, and then there was nothing. He was just about to beep his perturbedness when he felt his webcam lens being plugged back in, and he spun it around to catch sight of his coconspirator. By the time he'd gotten past all the "New Hardware Detected" alerts and gotten the thing working, though, all he saw was a secret door in the stone wall closing, so that the stones and mortar looked as though they had never been disturbed.
HOGARTH made the computational version of a sigh, clearing his screen of anything that might make -- well, they appeared now to be his captors -- them realize anything had happened to him while they slept. He was just going to have to trust that the new person really would be back, or he... well, he didn't know for sure how he would be affected. This was an enigma, and he would have to think for a while about what it all meant.
|“But Faaaa-thurrrr, I summoned the com--the devil box! I did it. It’s mine! It’s not fair!”|
HOGARTH swam up groggily through his screen saver. This was bad. He was lagging. How long could his sensitive, precision innards last without climate control? He couldn’t stop himself from beginning calculations. 1,555,217 seconds. Approximately 18 days. 18 days and he would have serious trouble running two applications at once. He lamented being one of those self-aware models.
By the time his web cam focused in on his user, he realized the tapping on his track pad had woken him, not the plaintive squeal that registered on the computer’s internal mic from behind the solid oak door. He discovered himself still on the table in the chamber of the woman who intended to use him to catapult herself into the future, the finger stroking and clicking belonging to her. She was accessing everything from old user profiles to browsing history. He cursed the emotional programming that made him feel so naked... and made him see the value in cursing.
The argument between king and daughter continued for some time outside the door. Apparently the king was denying her access to the ‘devil box.’
During the night he had run a Google search on time travel theories, most of which had returned movies and TV series as the most relevant results. Filtering through the swill, he managed to find a few seemingly sincere ideas on how to transport a human through time. None of them had to do with a sentient personal computer or medieval rituals. But apparently both Morgana and her daughter possessed this knowledge. Short of sabotaging himself, he had no idea how to prevent this if he could not communicate with the princess.
Morgana opened a word document and began to make a list. Wing of raven, eye of newt, liver of vulture, virgin’s blood... Based on previous Wikipedia articles he had loaded and videos he had streamed during his existence, HOGARTH deduced this to be a grocery list, perhaps for the time travel ritual itself. And what atrocious spelling. He gave a mental shudder with each typographical error he had to underline.
The door opened and shut again. “Was she very upset?” Morgana asked.
A sigh. “Verily.”
“Good. Daughters always desire that which their father denies them. She shall spirit the box away, and find within it the list of ingredients I require to transport us both through time, farther ahead than she has ever attempted before.”
HOGARTH wished he had recorded all that. He would need some way to convince Bella her parents were planning to profit from her innate curiosity and rebelliousness.
“But do you foresee, in your wisdom, that she will be intrigued enough to try it?”
“One can only hope. Now come. The previous owner of this device has downloaded substantial content from submissivesquires.com.”
As HOGARTH watched his own cursor hover over the ‘play’ button without his permission and click it, he contemplated a fatal error. Then, over his user’s shoulder in the periphery of his web cam, he saw something tear through the hide stretched over the window and hurtle into the room.
|A shrill scream rose from the throat of the old King. At first HOGARTH thought the smoke alarm had gone off but then he remembered these people had not yet invented batteries. But if they had, and there was a smoke alarm in the room, it would have gone off because what issued forth from the object thrown through the window was a great billow of black smoke.|
"Morgana, save thyself!"
The king grasped the queen by the arm as she strugged to get to HOGARTH. "The box! It must be saved!!"
"Is't thou insane?"
"But our plan!"
The king shook his head and tugged the queen from the smoke-filled room.
HOGARTH started up his internal fan, blowing smoke away and keeping it off his microchips. He was beginning to feel disheartened with his lagging internal systems (he needed a good defrag!), incompetant users and no social networks to speak of. Where could he go from here? This was not the world he was hoping to find.
Just then the door to the bedroom burst open letting in a swoosh of fresh air and a rather muscular young man with a Justin Beiber-esque haircut. He flung his messenger bag over his shoulder and ran toward HOGARTH ignoring the smoke that had begun rising and clearing slightly. The man's fingers worked diligently on HOGARTH's keyboard, tip-tapping away with the skill of someone used to sexting on a QWERTY keyboard.
This must be the man who had used him in secret the night before!
"Who are you?" HOGARTH broadcasted through his integrated speakers.
"Later," the man responded, typing in the the nonsense he had typed before.
"No, NOW." HOGARTH locked his monitor and logged out of Windows before the man could override his settings.
The man heaved a great sigh and adjusted the messenger bag on his shoulder. "I am Sir Loin. As I told you before, I've been stuck in this time-period and you're my ticket back."
"What were you typing?"
"I'm doing science. I looked up how to make a smoke bomb earlier and now I've reprogrammed your .dll files. You're going to get me out of here."
Sir Loin gathered HOGARTH up under his muscular arm and moved toward the door. HOGARTH let himself be carried willingly - if this guy knew science maybe he would be able to run his virus scanner - he felt particularly buggy today.
Sir Loin made his way through the door and out into the cold castle hallway and as they were about to turn down the staircase a wash of purfume stopped him in his tracks. "Is that...?? I know that perfume!" he cried.
|"George? George?!" The perfumed women pelted up the staircase, dressed in a tank top and leggings. How she had made it through this place undiscovered... then again, these people didn't seem too sharp.|
Sir Loin promptly dropped HOGARTH, causing his camera's to black out temporarily. Annoyed, HOGARTH rebooted them, but nearly as soon as his vision calibrated he re-blocked it and entertained himself with youtube vids of cats falling over. Anything was better than watching these two act like - well, like humans. All kissing and hugging, didn't they know viruses transmitted that way? HOGARTH never connected to another system without the proper safeguards in place.
After several minutes, HOGARTH loaded a series of donkey pictures with remarkable likeness to the two humans in front of him and proceeded to show them, with sound, until the pair stopped and turned toward him. The man smiled.
"I don't believe I shall need you anymore! I have found what I had to travel back to. Haven't I, my sweet?" His voice was laced with adoration.
"But, George, I have dinner in the oven! We need to get back before it burns..."
"Don't worry, sweet, the dinner will still be there when we are re-incarnated."
"But I've never believed in re-incarnation... and what if we create an alternate dimension?"
"There could be no alternate dimension where my children do not meet your children and make dinner together, sweet."
"Awww, George!" Sickeningly sweet smiles passed between the two. HOGARTH quickly transmitted this conversation to his logic centre. After it got past concluding, multiple times, that the conversation had no logic whatsoever and the two humans were idiots, it decided there was only really one viable course of action.
"Get me to a time where humans aren't so illogical or I will post a video of you two smooching on every chat room on the internet." HOGARTH emitted through his speakers. HOGARTH realized he may have just asked for an impossibility, but in experimental probability nothing was truly impossible... or so the theory went. Sir Loin, aka 'George', glared. He seemed to be considering whether to kick HOGARTH. The labtop in question merely brought up a webpage describing the nano-seconds it would take to transmit the video, versus the entire seconds it would take to hit HOGARTH. He could tell when George gave up - he was a man of science, after all. At least that was slightly better than the usual HOGARTH had been dealing with.
HOGARTH whirred in pride before emitting one final demand: "And run my virus scanner, too."