He pressed the button and waited. A green light stopped flashing and a red one came on, besides that nothing else on the machine, showed that anything else was going on.
He took out his phone, swiped a pattern to unlock the screen, clicked on the browser icon, a notification popped up Error Page Not Found. He tried the laptop next, and a similar error message flashed on the screen.
That is when he allowed himself a small smile of victory, his device worked. Yes, he had just successfully blocked every single user access to the internet. Basically his device acted as a server which intercepted all communications on the information superhighway and routed them to meaningless portals and gateways, effectively what ever page you tried to go to you would get a page not found error.
If he was an evil genius this is when he would have laughed, that evil genius laugh. He got up, paused to straighten his animal print vest, as he thought to himself what a time to be alive.
The day the internet stopped. He could picture the headlines.
“Dude can you restart the Wi-Fi” Simba told his younger brother Taona. “But you are closer bro”
“No way, we are in the same room, besides you are younger, and I am your elder you hafta always listen to your elders” Simba retorted.
“If I go I won’t help you with the chores”
“Fine” Simba sighed “we’ll both go”
They got to the lounge to find a Ndalega conference in place, their mum dad and little sister huddled around the Wi-Fi router like doctors around a patient undergoing open heart surgery.
“What’s up guys” Simba asked startling the trio who hadn’t heard them enter the room.
“It’s the Wi-Fi router, I think it’s dead, I reset it and it says active but we can’t access the internet.”
“Dad, did you try switching it off and on again”
“I might be old but I am still computer savvy, don’t roll your eyes at me. Gimme the phone let me call the customer care hotline.” He dialled the number and an automated response informed him that he was an important client, his call was important and would he please hold till a care customer care rep, came to his help, then proceeded to play a soothing jingle. Well it was supposed to be a soothing jingle but listening to it, for thirty straight minutes and the automated voice periodically reminding him his call was important please keep holding, made him feel like a brainwash candidate. He wanted to gouge out his eardrums to make it stop. He terminated the call after forty five minutes when the low battery warning chimed.
“That’s it I am going to their offices.
I really really need the internet working.” He must have heavily emphasized need because everyone in the room looked at him strange.
“Sure love, brilliant idea, I love a man who takes charge.”
“Mom” groaned all three siblings at the same time. He grabbed the router dashed to his car and sped off to the offices of the corporation who owned his internet connection. Driving rather recklessly, he narrowly missed a man wearing an animal print vest. Not my fault, in court I would say I thought you were a wild animal, in my defence, he thought to himself as he drove on without a look back or slowing.
Almost all over the world people were slowly looking up from their phones and their computers with a confused expression first to ask if anyone else was having trouble with their internet, then panic as realization hit that maybe something was wrong with the internet.
For some it was like the death of a close friend not even that, death of your twin self or your clone even. Something you felt in the fiber of your being.
Mr Ndalega glanced at the router on the passenger seat, to check it had not slid off, after he had braked the car suddenly, because traffic up ahead was practically not moving a jam of some sorts.
He adjusted the rearview mirror to check traffic behind him.
The word lurk just sprang unbidden to his mind.
He peered again into the mirror and spotted the object of his discomfort, the man in the animal print vest he had passed a few blocks earlier, had stumbled into view. The vibe he gave off could best be described as lurking. He lurked just like a beast stalking prey.
Traffic had ground to a standstill, nothing moved, he turned on the radio.
“Breaking news wide spread chaos, riots, due to internet service disruption_” he changed channels same news bulletin on every channel. “A terrorist attack on the internet__” He switched through several channels.
“…Remain calm, do not panic__”
Calm, I can not stay calm!! I need internet.
A knock at the window startled him, it was the lurker in the animal print vest.
“Hey man hope you don’t mind me following you around, see the internet is not working without the updates from people I follow I feel, somehow, lost, I can follow someone else if you mind…. ” the man trailed off.
He was just about to tell him to get a life when he realised, he actually felt that it was calming, that someone wanted to follow him.
“As long as you keep a respectful distance away.”
“Oh I’ll be a like a fly on the wall you won’t even know I am here.”
He released the seatbelt, opened the door and got out of the car. That’s when he noticed why the cars up ahead where not moving, they had no drivers. People were just exiting their cars and walking, where they were going no-one knew, they were just following other people in perfect straight lines.
He would follow too, just to see what they got up to, he looked back and saw his single follower lurking somewhere behind.
My entry this week for the #Blogbattle theme Lurk