Tags: #artificial intelligence, #christianity, #robots, #virtual reality, #hacking, #encryption, #endtimes, #quantum computing, #blockchain, #driverless vehicles
Chasm Waxing –
by B. Michaels
4:50 p.m. (EDT), Friday, July 24, 2020
- Columbia, MD
666 fiery missiles rained
down upon Castle Gecko. The thud of the assault was
deafening, as medieval bombs slammed into the walls of the massive
castle. The projectiles were stone boulders coated with
pitch, tar, and sulfur.
completely encircled Cattle
Gecko’s vast moat.
The stone castle was more
mall. Its gatehouses, buildings, towers, turrets, and
spires spanned three million square feet—a little under 70 acres.
Two fortified towers, known as keeps, stood as the highest points
on the north and south ends of the castle. No
was ever this enormous.
Fire giants, standing 18
feet tall, prepared the boulders and placed them in the trebuchet’s
sling. Zombies, with flesh draping from their limbs, then
ignited the bombs and discharged the trigger. Upon release,
counterweight fell and hurled the flaming payload at Castle
Gecko. All of this occurred in
manner, over and
over. The scene was apocalyptic.
For the last five hours,
Team Bravo had explored the deep underground passageways and hidden
chambers of Castle Gecko. They gathered treasure and weapons
along the way. A
long as the interior of the castle—the servants,
attendants, and townspeople—could do their jobs, Team Bravo could
hunt for riches.
the culmination of a
campaign for Team Bravo. Until now, the Gamers had
never experienced a coordinated, colossal attack of this
nature. Sure, they
the occasional dragon, but
heroes never encountered
of this size or
rAzorWire_007 was an eighth level,
human Paladin. He possessed Team Bravo’s highest Social Ranking—93.
Paladins were a very religious class of Fighters, with a strict
moral code. “We’ve got to defend the castle by
counter-attacking from the north and south keeps. SoCal, we need
your Teleportation Spell!”
Sorcerer. She had a Social Ranking of
79—and a sharp tongue. “RazorWire, not even Spock could
teleport to more than one place at a time.”
, teleport all of us to the
teleport yourself and the Cleric to the
south keep.” The dwarf Cleric’s Gamer tag was,
RazorWire,” said SoCalSheMerlin, “You’re going to go so far in
life." Over the deafening crash of the stone rockets, she
immediately began the incantation for the Teleportation
Team Bravo stood atop the
north keep of Castle Gecko. A new volley of missiles
struck. The drubbing of the castle caused the vibration
motors in SoCalSheMerlin’s virtual reality—VR—headset to violently
shake. Workers in the courtyard
as they scurried to and
fro. For the first time in the campaign, the workers were
unable to work.
grabbed a silver-tipped arrow from the quill on his back.
sixth level, half-orc Fighter.
SoCalSheMerlin laughed. “Yeah, but
without that human mother of yours, you’d be even
the arrow on the
bow. Utilizing two wireless touch
controllers that communicated with his VR headset; he aimed the
bow. The silver tipped arrow flew and struck a zombie.
The zombie shrieked and melted away. But another one
ran to take his place.
the land. Clerics derived their power from the religious
order they served. Like Sorcerers, they cast spells.
But unlike Sorcerers, their spells were more defensive in nature
at the sight. The
aim was improving.
Now, they specifically targeted Gecko’s windows. “It’s no
use. We can’t split up. We need some attack
magic! SoCal what do you have?”
Do I look like the
savior of the world?” said SoCalSheMerlin, with a sigh.
She raised her wand to cast the
and began the
invocation. Just then, projectile shrapnel
six points of damage.
cast the damn spell!” yelled rAzorWire_007. “If
we lose Castle Gecko, all the Bitcoins we’ve earned disappear.
I’ve got a family to feed.”
Shut-up RazorWire!” said
SoCalSheMerlin. “All you’ve got to feed is a neurotic poodle
and that AI girlfriend of yours.” AI was short for artificial
With that, she finished
the incantation, thrust her wand, and discharged a Meteor Swarm
Spell. Fireballs fell from the sky crushing every
trebuchet. The impact
the meteors swallowed up the stone
giants and zombies, covering them in earthen tombs. Smacking
her gum, SoCalSheMerlin said, “That’s how
a good thing I’m a nineteenth-level Sorcerer!”
collective sigh of relief.
Then, streaking out of the
woods, they appeared: 666
toward the moat on pale horses. As they came closer, they
aimed their longbows into the sky. The
The swarm of arrows flew
over Team Bravo. The bolts hit nobody. Each arrow transformed
into a gold coin, just before they struck the
SoCalSheMerlin shouted to
the Cleric, “Those coins are
. You’d better neutralize
them. What do you have?”
The arrows must be
That’s the only way they could have
transmuted like that.
I think an
Anti-magic Field will
luring the castle workers.” OrderMeMyself&I released
Nothing happened. Two workers
Becca cursed under her
5:30 p.m. (EDT), Friday, July 24, 2020
- Columbia, MD
one side of a mahogany conference table. She
watched the entire assault on Castle Gecko from her high-backed,
leather chair. A
flat screen monitor
the video game
The high-tech conference
a number of
smaller, flat panel monitors that surrounded the
. Each screen displayed the
Gamer’s point of view they experienced through their VR
headset. Becca watched SoCalSheMerlin’s screen most
carefully, as most of the action flowed through the female
Becca Roberts liked
SoCalSheMerlin. Although she had no idea of SoCalSheMerlin’s
age, she thought they could be friends in the real world.
They were so similar,
sarcasm and all.
The glare from the
polished conference table made Becca readjust the black eyeglasses
that hid her
face. The petite
dressed up for the
demo. She wore a black cardigan sweater and black
wait to get back
dark blue overalls and flannel. Her closet was
. The software programmer
and hacker had mousy brown hair that she always wore in a
ponytail. Appearances were of little concern to Becca.
Her passions were hacking, programming—and lately, VR video
Becca interacted with Team Bravo
through a microphone in her wireless headset. She managed the
Castle Gecko demo from two, 17-inch Dell laptops. Wireshark,
a software tool for packet analysis, ran on one laptop.
Metasploit operated on the other. Metasploit was a
software program hackers used for penetration testing. Becca
employed Metasploit to launch the simulated network attacks on
Castle Gecko. She monitored the attacks with Wireshark.
Both laptops ran the Kali
Linux operating system, a Linux variant with hacking tools
pre-installed. At least seven terminal windows were open on
her laptops. Becca was a consummate
certainty of typing commands in the terminal window. It was more
precise than dragging a mouse all over the screen.