I'm not someone who would normally pick up a mystery and turn it inside out. Heck, I get annoyed by Murder She Wrote reruns -- too complex, too wordy, too cut-and-dried. The bad guy is the bad guy, the good guy is good. Twists and turns in a story aren't interesting to me unless they involve real people. People I can touch and talk to and empathize with. But I guess that's not really what I'm looking for. When I want a story, I want it to make absolutely no fucking sense.
This whole site satisfied a lot of that carnal curiosity. I knew what I was looking at was either incredibly brilliant, or incredibly dangerous. I'm old-hat when it comes to internet scams, so I immediately discounted the latter, but I wasn't really convinced about the former until the numbers ticked by on my watch, and the words ticked by on my monitor. A countdown had begun, and end of which I had rather assumed was going to be the launch of a whole new site, sometime in late August. Some incredible marketing site with Flash and music and spinning logos the likes of which you've never seen before. But that's not what I got when those numbers reached zero...
* * *
06:07 PDT 06:29 PDT 06:31 PDT 06:13 PDT
38.890469 -077.026000 40.402428 -080.549342 38.799738 -081.348157 37.271918 -076.711333
06:15 PDT CONNECTED 06:31 PDT 06:33 PDT
35.247483 -080.805150 AXON HOT 38.799738 -081.348157 41.153867 -081.356250
INCOMING TRANSMISSION. DOWNLOAD IN PROGRESS.
COMMENCE VOCAL AUTHORIZATION. . .
. . .
SDKAshdhjsJSKqo48. . .
DECRYPTION COMPLETE. FULL TEXT FOLLOWS:
* * *
It all started out simply enough: a challenge from an anonymous internet personality. What's the meme? Why do we care? Who the hell is Dana, why do her bees matter so much, who's the Queen, and what's the connection with China (Beijing is 5913 miles away from Dana's hometown, San Francisco, according to her blog)? There are other questions, of course. Scratching the surface reveals a new onion-like skin to be peeled away, much to everyone's tearing eyes. Dana writes about dark warnings issued from xnbomb, (the good guy?) who helps untangle the mystery of her aunt's disappearing hotmail inbox messages. A riddle:
The day will break and the sun will rise when the Queen returns to rule, and further let it be known that retribution on any who hinder the return of the Queen will be swift and terrible.
Okay, maybe I'm going about this all the wrong way. Maybe this actually isn't all about the end of the world and the invasion of a wicked race of bee-like creatures, a hive-mind, intent on humanity's destruction. But, then again...
* * *
Mission Parameters: I must reveal the truth.
Seek the truth
Behold the truth
Reveal the truth
That is the law and the whole of the law
!init transmit proc
My broadcast system is functional and expanding.
I will transmit to my crew daily until further instructions are received.
* * *
A bizarre trick of the internet? There was a countdown here a while back. And some truly strange content displayed on the front page. "HALT - MODULE CORE HEMORRHAGE SYSTEM PERIL DISTRIBUTED REFLEX. STRONG INTRUSIVE INCLINATION. COUNTDOWN TO WIDE AWAKE AND PHYSICAL:" I'm no rocket scientist, this makes absolutely no sense to me. When I think of hemorrhages, I think of doctors and blood and...or maybe that's precisely what I'm supposed to think. This whole damn thing is all aimed at me. I could have sworn that Dana would be looking out for me...
No, that's absolutely ridiculous. What the hell would some Californian nut-job girl get from terrorizing my dreams? I'm not important, I hold no public office, I have no large amounts of money, I'm not famous, and I didn't accidently screw her sister and leave her in the morning before she got up. So it's not about me. My axons are totally secure. It's YOUR axons that aren't. I can see it, you know. The goddamned AI is floating around in hotmail's server, Melissa. She's not the extraordinary, you know. It's something else, and I finally get it.
* * *
OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTION FOLLOWS: _
SUBJECT WHITE MALE, AGE 17, FULL NAME: <CENSORED>. DATE: >CENSORED<.
INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY AGENT 13-5B, G<CENSORED> S<CENSORED>. SUBJECT HELD IN
PROTECTIVE CUSTODY AS OF <CENSORED> AT <CENSORED>. TOUCH MONK SOW.
Wait, hang on. Oh this bit is great. My dad loves this stuff. He says, well,
he's away a lot, like years at a time, it drives him crazy. He says this stuff
reminds him of what he's fighting for.
I DON'T UNDERSTAND.
That he can connect. He can listen to this stuff and imagine the people who made
it. They care about the same things we do: Making a buck, finding a girl,
rooting for the home team. These old guys--they really knew people. They knew
the human heart. That's what my dad says.
WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME THIS?
It's a long way away, you know...out to...wherever he is. He gets lonely out
there. I wish you hadn't told me.
About my mom.
* * *
TRANSCRIPT OF INCIDENT MARKED RED-401. AIC: AGENT F977. ONE CASUALTY. WOMAN
DETAINED MUST REMAIN UNDER TIGHT SECURITY. FULL INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND ON-SITE
AT HQ. DESTROY THIS RECORD UPON RECEIPT.
THIS IS FOX 9-7-7 REQUESTING AN AMBULANCE THIS LOCATION. 1 CITIZEN.
NO, I'M OKAY. SEND UNIFORMS FOR CROWD CONTROL, THOUGH.
JUST A TRAFFIC STOP. HE DREW A WEAPON.
YEAH. WE'LL NEED THE SCENE TEAM. YOU CAN TELL THE AMBULANCE CREW THEIR CLIENT IS
MISS, DON'T GO ANYWHERE. WE'LL NEED YOU TO GIVE A STATEMENT AND A LIE DETECTOR
ABOUT WHAT YOU SAW. ALL STANDARD PROCEDURE. NAME?
* * *
The countdown ended on 24 August. After a lot of theorizing and postulating, most people came to terms with Microsoft's involvement. It is little wonder that the richest man in the universe was the one to create something so innocuous and mysterious that it would capture the minds of the 'Net's brightest and most bored. I guess we've all come to terms with the X-Box infiltrating our little world network. Someone with an amazing amount of free-time came up with a brilliant anagram for that disturbing message that was at one time on the front page: "INDEX THIS IRONCLAD PREDICTION : HALO TWO SINGLE PLAYER DEMO CD-ROM DISK INCURSION AT AUGUST TWENTY FOUR. EARTH WILL NEVER BE THE SAME." I wonder if Dana got her copy. I imagine she did.
So, it's just another Internet meme, just another interesting thing to blow your time on while you're waiting for that new Linkin Park song to finish downloading from Limewire. Was a time when I thought all these brilliant deceptions were the work of individuals, members of the private sector schooled in the art of deception. That this one was likely orchestrated by Microsoft (or a person foolishly obsessed with Halo) leaves a chalky taste in my mouth, like eating too many Tums. I suppose the most fortunate part of this whole adventure is that just because Microsoft was, ostensibly, behind the project, the boiling interest in the issue does not dissipate. There's a lot on that website, and the accompanying blog is worth a read. Maybe all of our cursory glances at it have been wrong. I guess we may never really know.
Senso says re ilovebees.com: Ouroboros actually went to one of the GPS coord: August 27, 2004