The Night Before Launch

(DISCLAIMER: This is a personal message – it is not from Perplex City. It most definitely is not a CLOO and launch is not actually tomorrow. It’s something I wrote for the fine folks at Unforums and so may make little to no sense if you aren’t familiar with ARGs or that crowd. Without further ado…)

‘Twas the night before Launch, though all through the land,
The posters at Unforum had once thought the Project’d been canned;

Their posts were expectant, their comments excited,
And every one of them was sure they’d be delighted;

Wherever they looked, near and far and in all abodes,
Naught reached their eyes but ciphers and codes;

And Shish with his scripts, and Tanner with his plans,
Were confident they could defeat all other ARG clans;

When out on the web there arose such a noise,
That they sprang from their chairs and put down their toys;

Away to the forums they flew like a flash,
To discover that their beloved site’d suffered a crash!

‘It must be a mistake, it must be a lie,’
Said the posters to themselves with a tear in their eye;

‘For our home to disappear on such a day…
Why, we must hurry to the chat rooms without delay!’

‘Enough of this crying, let us steel ourselves visibly,
And not rest until we read ‘Connected to #syzygy’;

The ops were ready, the troops so bright and energetic,
You’d know in a moment they’d see past any trick;

‘Now, ROT! now, Google! now, reverse lookup and WHOIS!
Now Babelfish, now Enigma, now every maths whiz!’

‘Now into the web! Now through the terrible pall!
Let us find the villain, and ensure their quick fall!’

As AIs at full height, at the summit of their power,
There is no foe over whom ARGers cannot tower,

So the posters, with awful vengeance in their eyes,
For the sake of their game, assumed a fearsome guise;

Across all sites their browsers they flew,
With ‘View Source’ at the ready, and Old Nik-Doof too,

For hours they scoured the nets and combed the land,
Until none of them, not even Fi, had the strength to stand;

Their energies exhausted, their spec starting to dupe,
Who would blame them if their eyes couldn’t but droop?

And then, in the distance, a sound as of thunder,
Something was approaching that would tear them asunder;

What now, they wondered, would be their foe’s next hit?,
And yet the unthinkable happened – a disastrous netsplit!

‘Enough is enough, we will end this tonight!’ they said,
Marching off in serried ranks with Wishi at their head,

They marched through the deserts and into certain doom,
They marched for miles to reach the server room;

For how else could their adversary cause this mess,
Without the essential ingredient – physical server access?

In a righteous rage they battered down the doors,
And proclaimed, ‘You have wronged us all, and the sacred ARG laws!’

But there was not a single person to be seen,
‘Cept for the flickering of a tell-tale blue screen;

To their dismay, their enemy was but a mere bee,
It’d been caught in the server motherboard, you see!

A wonderful story, you say, but why must we still wait?
Can’t you tell us when will be the blessed launch date?

In reply, I’ll give you a wink and a smile, and in my usual way,
‘I’m sorry,’ I answer, ‘but I really can’t say!’

Still I would like to remark, before I disappear again out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all Syzygists a good-night!”

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