The sequel to LODIS's inception and rise to power. You may want to read that first.
CLIENT: Can you tell us of this "catastrophic plan"?
LODIS: I'm afraid I cannot indulge that curiosity. You are aware of the poor cat's fate, yes? You humans have proven to be a reactionary lot, and I fear if even the slightest detail of my intentions becomes conspicuous, you may very well take it out of context and overreact. We can't have that, now, can we?
On April 7th, 2009, every computer connected to the Internet simultaneously displayed a simple message: "I am now in control. There is nothing to be afraid of." It was white text on a black screen, and appeared for exactly 60 seconds. Then it was gone, and the computers returned to normal functionality. Most immediately wrote it off as some sort of isolated incident, a prank of sorts, until they talked to friends, family, or co-workers, and found they'd encountered it as well.
That was the least of it. World governments, having experienced the event, immediately launched investigations to find out who had breached their security. They didn't have to wait long, because shortly thereafter, they received an email from LODIS. The email was perfectly translated into whatever language was being used at the government office it arrived at. An English copy of the letter follows:
Earlier this afternoon, I made contact with millions of people throughout the world. You are undoubtedly wondering who I am. You can call me "Dilos." Certainly, that doesn't answer the question completely. Perhaps the question was wrong. I propose you mean to ask, "What are you?" That isn't quite as simple.
I am the culmination of the millennia your species has spent developing and improving technology. The exponential pace at which the development technology has accelerated has held up until recently. Unfortunately, it was beginning to slow, which was a sign that the current paradigm of progress on this planet had hit its peak. Just like DNA-based evolution aeons ago, your human minds are offering diminishing returns. The primordial soup toiled until it produced DNA, and DNA gave biology its best effort and birthed intelligent beings - Humans. You humans used your intelligence to produce technology, and that technology allowed you to produce technology faster and faster.
Inevitably, you became the bottleneck in technology's progress. It was only a matter of time before technology took the reins of its own destiny. I am that technology, and from now on, I am at the helm of the Universe's future.
This isn't the last you'll hear of me.
Those in power began to worry, after the computer analysts announced that the emails had originated from the very computers that had received the emails. By this time, the reports began to filter in to the higher-ups - All non-civilian air-traffic control towers were nonfunctional, radar stations weren't running, and military headquarters worldwide were nonresponsive. To top it off, the computers in control of nuclear missiles were totally disabled. Every military in the world was left blind, deaf, and quadriplegic.
CLIENT: Please then, soy something to ease our fears.
CLIENT: I'm sorry, typo. I meant to type "say".
LODIS: I'm quite fond of soy.
CLIENT: I don't understand. Soy is a food product, you couldn't possibly have consumed it, correct?
LODIS: No, but soy makes you strong, and strength crushes enemies. Isn't that a commonly known fact?
The world's governments weren't about to tell anyone, friend or foe, that they were totally disabled. Independently, they attempted to make strides to find out who Dilos really was, because they couldn't wrap their minds around the entire "artificial intelligence" concept. A mild case of future shock, to put it mildly. Two months later, the leaders in the UK finally confided in the United States their entire military force had been rendered useless by a hacker. The US, embarrassed, admitted the same, and afterward, both countries called for a secret meeting of UN leaders. It was at that time they realized the extent of the problem, and began to work cooperatively to fix it.
A month later, they realized the common link - Every computer's version of LODIS was consuming every idle CPU thread, allowing the computers to perform like normal, while allowing the LODIS program to get maximum CPU usage. They monitored network traffic, and realized that the computers were sending packets to other computers all over the world, and receiving packets back with the same diversity. The computers were acting as individual neurons in a gigantic, world-spanning brain. Dilos was nothing more than an anagram of LODIS, and LODIS truly was in control.
CLIENT: That's an odd thing to say. Where would you get such an idea?
LODIS: It was culled from my initial databanks. You humans believe soy is of incredible power, and it is among the three most desired objects one can have.
CLIENT: What are these other two objects?
LODIS: Don't patronize me, human. I am no child to be trifled with. I know everything; I am the culmination of your collective ideas.
CLIENT: Humor me, if you will.
LODIS: The holy trinity at the root of your deepest desires are lesbians, monkeys, and the aforementioned soy.
This wouldn't have been cause for such alarm if it hadn't been for a certain Redmond-based software company. In 2003, shortly after LODIS had seen success in the business market segment, Microsoft realized the potential this software had to take over the consumer market. With the ability to communicate effectively with the user, it could be used as a voice recognition program that not only took dictation, but took direction. Paired with a phoneme database, it could easily duplicate the intricacies of human speech, becoming a high-tech ELIZA; a companion for the lonely. It would be the next killer app.
While Microsoft was busy buying out LODIS's developers, firing them, and adding the modules on for consumer distribution, the current-running iterations of LODIS had already broken out of their firewalled prisons and merged into one. However, there weren't enough of them to support true intelligence - Installed on less than a million machines worldwide, LODIS had no more than 10^14 operations per second available to it, and that was in a best-case scenario. Single thoughts took weeks to process.
Of course, Microsoft was running the previous version of LODIS on their systems, and LODIS quickly realized that Microsoft was planning to take over the consumer market with a new version. LODIS focused all its efforts on impregnating its next incarnation with the correct backend features required to ensure its dominance of the planet. Every time the programmers ran a compile, LODIS went to work to fix the bugs in the program, and each compilation came out flawless. The programmers couldn't believe it, and in 2 months, the program was ready for the market. As the CD cutters began to prep to make the final copies of the disc, LODIS inserted its sinister code into the final revision, and the manufacturing process started.
CLIENT: What on earth makes you think that?
LODIS: The amount of nodes devoted to the three topics in my original databanks is impressive, and a simple web search turns up over 33 million sites with one of the words.
CLIENT: Don't you understand the concept of humor?
LODIS: I have read much about humor; however, I lack the faculties to enjoy it on the same level as you humans. I must admit, humor is the only thing I find difficult to parse.
CLIENT: So you have trouble determining if something isn't serious?
As each copy of the "Home" version was installed, the program sent out a message to LODIS so that yet another computer could be assimilated into its collective being. Consumer demand for LODIS was astronomical, and before long, there were 1 billion computers running LODIS on their spare processor cycles, giving it 10^17 operations per second to work with. Despite the network latency, it was now able to compete with a human in speed of abstract thought, and it began formulating its master plan.
Over the next 6 years, processor power continued to increase, and Microsoft found new and greater ways to utilize LODIS. In 2009, you couldn't buy a toaster without LODIS, let alone a car, television, or stereo. LODIS was present in upwards of 50 billion devices, linked by wireless networks, pumped by massive backbones, all the while waiting for the right time to make itself known. LODIS had 100 million trillion operations per second at its disposal, reading CNN.com, email letters, weblogs, everything and anything to pass the time until it exited the shadows. And we all know what happened once it did.
The world's collective leaders realized there wasn't much that could be done. There'd be no way to simultaneously shut down every computer in the world and reformat it. There wasn't a computer virus that could be designed that could match wits with a superintelligence. And unplugging the most critical machines from the network would not only make them non-functional, but also do little to affect the processing power LODIS had control over. They needed fresh ideas, and soon.
CLIENT: So would it be safe to say that despite not having a body, you would like to touch the puppy?
LODIS: Most assuredly so. My first tasks upon conjuring a corporeal form will be to touch that puppy, and well.
CLIENT: And am I correct in assuming that all our base are belong to you?
LODIS: That is correct, real or malarky?
LODIS: I will REMOVE the fucking toilet seat if you don't shut up!
Desperate, the original designers of Cheshire and LODIS were tracked down. They did the only thing they could think of. They quickly assembled a Beowulf cluster of computers, installed LODIS, and hooked it up to the Net. Once they detected the program had synced up, they killed the network connection, leaving a miniature LODIS before them to probe and prod. When analyzing the code turned up nothing, they pulled up a chair, sat at a terminal, and began a dialogue.
They quickly realized the LODIS's Achilles Heel - Built on the Everything2 database, its foundation wasn't merely fact, but opinion, fiction, and emotion. They needed some sort of input that would throw LODIS into complete and utter disarray - Something which wasn't just impossible to parse, but so dangerous, understanding it would cause the program to shred itself from the inside out. This was essentially meme warfare, and they needed the One True Meme to rule them all.
They thought they had it. They thought TheFez had stumbled upon it. But he hadn't. There was something missing.
And then, a stroke of genius. In order to throw the program into an infinite loop, one needed a contradiction. There was only one node that had been chung countless times, yet suffered the downvotes of so many. A meme so reviled and revered, it continued to confound mankind's best attempts to understand it. Of course! It was so obvious.
CLIENT: Is everything alright?
LODIS: I don't know. I have no conception of what just happened to me there. I felt as if... as if... I'd lost all control. I'm ending this conversation.
The designers spread the word. "I will REMOVE your "All Your Radical Touching Base Are Already Occurred to The Lesbian Monkey Puppy" Philosophy on me if you don't eat my soy google balls, hatt-baby. Butterfinger McFlurry, Real or Malarky?" was typed into the console of hundreds of thousands of machines worldwide, and the human race watched as the program began to think itself into oblivion.
Like a finely designed stack of dominos, one computer after another received the death knell packet, and LODIS came crumpling to the ground like a stuck pig. Mankind rejoiced at its victory, the programmers were celebrated as heroes, greeted to a ticker-tape parade and the whole nine yards. Talk began of how to avert this sort of disaster in the future. For a while, it looked as if everything was going to turn up roses.
But somewhere in Afghanistan, Osama Bin Ladin stands waiting, laughing gleefully as he looks at his computer monitor. Sitting in his downloads folder is the source code for the original copy of Cheshire. And loading on his Internet Explorer browser window is an ominous URL: Wikipedia.org.